About a year ago, I started the Sub2 - The Twinked Speedrunning Project as a long-term side project to test the limits of twinked play. The goal was to kill Hell Baal within 2 hours of character creation, with no pauses in the timer. The Run Although this is a Players X run, I only switch between P1 and P8. P1 to quest through the game quickly and P8 to maximize experience. Balancing experience farm and quest progression is a crucial aspect of the run. Right from the start I mule in all the items I'll need to complete Act 1. I run straight for the Cold Plains WP while leaving a TP next to Den. There's no need to kill anything in the Blood Moor when Den can get me to level 5 quickly. Sub 3 minute Den here is a good start. Continuing on the dirt path, I only kill bosses and large groups of monsters as I race towards the Barracks. The Underground Passage map is really good, just the one minimum map tile between the entrance and exit tiles. Usually 6 minutes entering Dark Woods at level 7-8 is good, but the 5:10 here is great. Even though I reached the Barracks quickly, the number of boss spawns aren't great. The Black Rogue and Bone Mage boss packs are stable, and sometimes a 3rd pack will spawn. The one thing the Barracks had going for it was the short route to all the bosses. I leveled to 18 here, allowing me to use teleport charged staves to get through the rest of Act 1. I finished Act 1 at about 21 minutes, which isn't bad at all. Act 2 is more progress oriented as Act 3 has better experience. I kill a few groups of monsters here and there, but generally one level up is all I get in Act 2. Maps were not kind to me in this act and I lost some time here. Act 3 maps were better, even without a Great Marsh skip. The Ruined Temple map turned out to be the large one, and I was able to get a boss pack alongside Sarina to expedite my experience to level 23.5. I continued to use teleport charges here due to inventory space efficiency. 52 teleport charges gets me alot farther than 4 regular mana potions afterall. Continuing on in Act 4, I forget to kill Izual at P8, so I had to kill a few more mobs in the CS to make up a little more experience to get to level 24 heading into Act 5. I teleport straight to Ancients and dinged level 25 heading into the 1st of 2 normal Baal runs. P8 Lister is one of the tougher fights in this run due to their stun and life regen. Life regen is based off a percentage of max life, and those minions of destruction have a massive life pool at players 8. It makes finishing them off with Nova a little tricky, especially if I get stunned and have my Nova casting interrupted. Lister is easier on the 2nd Baal run due to higher Nova damage. It would have been even easier if I remembered to spec Lightning Mastery, but I didn't immediately realize that I hit 30. The final task in normal difficulty is to go respec into our endgame build- Frozen Orb/Hydra. FO is the main killing spell while Hydra is the backup spell for the mandatory cold immunes- Lord de Seis, Korlic, and wave 2 Bone Mages. I also mule in the remaining endgame items to accompany the respec. Nightmare is where the fun really starts. Most of the gear swapping is done and there are no more charged items to repair- it's time to just rush through the game. Nightmare is fairly straight forward, rush through the game and kill and boss packs I see along the way. NM CS is done on P8 for experience as well as 2 NM Baal runs, just like normal. Mixed in some LR charges for faster kills. I proceeded to Hell at level 55, 2 levels short of CTA. Dying can be a great time loss, especially when I'm speeding through the maps and not picking up WP's. Act 1 Hell is not incredibly dangerous, so my goal is to pick up some experience along the way so that I can enter Act 2 with BO. Players 8 allows me to be very picky about what I fight for experience, and archers is definitely not a group I'm willing to fight. Higher risk of death is not worth it here when I can just kite melee monsters all day. Even with CTA, my life total isn't at a point where I can be relaxed. Most importantly, my Sorc doesn't get put into hit recovery as often with the higher max life, and as a result, can escape bad teleports more easily. I get through Act 2 and 3 deathless, all the while skilling up Hydra. My first CS attempt ends in a quick death trying to activate De Seis' seal. Minimal time loss, that's fine. 2nd attmept, FI/CI De Seis, abort. 3rd attempt, CI only De Seis, great. I leave De Seis to check up on Infector. The blue balrog turns even bluer with a Frozen Orb, perfect! Vizier cannot be FI/CI dual immune and can always be killed. I was a bit short on experience and switched to P8 for Vizier to get level 60. I forget to switch back to P1 before Diablo spawned, so some time loss there. Rolling Act 5 Ancients is like rolling slots, you need all 3 of them to line up. Korlic and Talic cannot be FI/CI dual immune, and Madawc cannot roll CI. Things like extra fast and might should be avoided, as that can get very scary, especially if no WP's were picked up on the way. It's not hardcore, but dying here without WP's would basically kill the run. I finish up Ancients and head into the Worldstone Keep, which is probably the deadliest area in the game to teleport through so far. Quick WSK 1 map- great. In WSK 2, I find the entrance to WSK 3 first. Do I take a minor time loss and search for the WP or do I go all in and accept whatever throne room gives me? With ample time, I took the safe route and grabbed the WP. I ended up quiting a semi-dangerous throne with souls for a more tame throne in the next game. Baal waves is usually not an issue unless I execute poorly. I kill wave 5 since I did not remember if the throne entrance was empty or not. Usually it's faster to just lead out Lister's pack, but I didn't want to risk running into some nasty mobs. Baal falls at 1:57:51, well below the 2 hour mark. While showing the final build at the end of the video, I groan as I realized that Fire Mastery was unskilled, leaving Hydra at about half its potential damage. No wonder Hydra felt weaker in this run.. I see it as time to be gained next time! Muling Items Organized into 4 stashes with 4 muling sessions. 1. Start of game. (Level 1) Max Gold Stash (Level 1) 2x Level 11 Charged Bolt (71 charges) Battle Staff with 2x +life jewels (Level 3) 2x 10 FCR rings (Level 5) Hsarus' boots and belt (Level 7) Rare cap: 10 FHR, 5 energy, 38 life, 3 mana, 2x sockets (flawed rubies) (Level 9) Bloodfist (Level 9) 10 FCR ring with 10 mana and 20 fire res (Level 12) 1x Level 7 Nova (56 charges) Battle Staff (Level 13) 10 FCR ring with 6 energy, 19 mana, and 27 fire res (Level 15) Amulet: 1 lightning skills, 10 FCR, 5 rep life, 6 all res (Level 17) Stealth (Level 18) 4x Level 6 Teleport (52 charges) Battle Staff 2. End of Act 1. (Level 18) (Level 18) 20x 15 life SC's (Level 18) 114 mana 3 Psapphire mask (Level 18) Rare boots: 20 FRW, 10 FHR, 36 light res, 32 fire res (Level 18) +3 Nova, 10 FCR, 12 energy Long Staff (Level 20) Wall of the Eyeless with +3 maek jewel (Level 24) Rare Demonhide Sash: 4 str, 36 life, 29 cold res, 15 light res, 30 fire res (Level 24) Magefist (Level 25) 35 FCR, +110 mana Spirit crystal sword 3. End of Normal (Level 31+) (Level 31) Perf Vipermagi with +15 all res jewel (Level 31) 2x SoJ (Level 31) Rare amulet: 2 cold skills, 2 energy, 39 life, 17 all res (Level 31) Rare circlet: 2 cold skills, 52 mana, 31 all res (socket with res jewel) (Level 36) Level 3 Lower Resist (82 charges) wand (Level 41) Lidless with PDiamond (Level 57) CTA 4. End of Nightmare (Level 55+) (Level 55) 5x Cold Skillers (Level 55) 5x Life/Mana SC's Looking back on this now, the 4th and final muling can be done after NM Diablo, where I'm almost always going to be level 42+. Skill Build The normal skill build is just a static/nova build, so here's the end game build: 1 in Prereqs 36 (20) Frozen Orb 22 (6) Cold Mastery 14 (7) Static Field 26 (18) Hydra 0(0) Fire Mastery Given the Fire Mastery mishap, Hydra did decently well. I wonder if more points could be diverted to Ice Bolt/Cold Mastery for more FO damage instead. Definitely something to consider in a Blizzard build variant to level up Ice Blast. Thanks for reading this far! The twinked speedrunning project is far from over. Updates will be posted in the Sub 2 Hour thread.