The Untwinked Level 99 Progress Thread, Revenge of the 99ers


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@NanoMist - So a death (with body retrieval) only loses 100 runs? That's what, 2.3 million or so. That's way better than I thought. Good point about the shrines decreasing total run numbers and therefore total risk, I hadn't thought about that. Also, don't worry about me pulling away, I'm going to lay off of Eleanor for a while now and concentrate on a few other things. I'll still be running with her, just at a slower pace.
Just to clarify, I didn't lose much progress because I didn't have much progress to begin with. 400 runs deep is approximately 3%, so I wasn't subject to the full 10% exp. loss in hell. I'm past 10% now, meaning a death with body retrieval would probably cost me ~300 runs.
Same here, doing other things and putting Izuna on a lighter schedule. At the rate I'm going, finishing before 2017 would be good!


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@NanoMist - Ah, that makes sense. 300 runs lost is a rough ticket, about 7 million XP (or 2.5-3 hours for Eleanor).

@Grape - I will definitely record some runs, although my machine can only produce videos with embarrassingly low quality (it's a ~10 year old laptop still running Vista). I'll see what I can do about getting some better quality vids, or maybe you guys will just have to settle for some extra pixels in there :p.


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Nice going there @Pb_pal and @NanoMist !!! Good luck on the rest of the journey to 99. And yes Pb_pal, 4hp left is way too close. Better try to squeeze in some more hit points it seems.

As for myself ...

I finally hit level 97 after 59 hours and 25 minutes. Almost half of that (29 hours and 10 minutes) was actually spent on gaining xp in 1088 CS runs. The rest was for LK (4 hours and 10 minutes) early on and RoF superchest runs (almost 3 hours) and Pindle runs for the MFO (23 hours and 10 minutes) when I was at about 75% to 97. I had no deaths, not even close calls in the CS, so that compensates for my rather slow runs somewhat.

Btw, first part of the CS runs were done including De Seis on /p1 and Diablo on /p8 whenever Infector didn't spawn CI. After I had rerolled my map to get a good RoF map, I stopped doing that and only did the first 2 seals, including any boss packs I'd encounter near the seals and between the 2, with an occasional stop for other bosses. That definitely sped things up considerably.

Drops were quite terrible since my last update quite a while ago, except for my Pindle run results. Especially runes were really frustrating: only an Um early on from RoF and a Mal from Pindle. But in the CS? Nothing but a couple of Ko's and Lum's. Really frustrating, especially with all the HRs floating around in this thread alone, while I'm some 75 hours without a HR now, and only got one single HR in the CS :(. Ah well, I guess things can only get better, right?

Right (and I mean right :mad:) after the MFO I got one terrific drop. Other notable drops were a WWS, Steel Carpace, Stormshield and a Halaberd's Reign. O yes, and my fourth cold skiller, the first that wasn't a plain one:


And yes, I sorted that in my inventory properly afterwards ;).

I also found this dual leech ring, although I don't know if it's any good:


I'm not sure what I'll do next. Probably take a break from CS, or at least lower the intensity. Although it actually hasn't been that intense, except for the MFO maybe, and the last few sessions after my holiday to make the push to 97. Besides those, my playing sessions were always shorter than 2 hours, so no wonder it took me so long to hit 97 ...

So yeah, I might do some more RoF or LK runs. Or take a break from my Sorc altogether and continue the MF Barb I started. Problem with that one is that I'm still missing so many items for him (Arreat's, dual Grief and Enigma to begin with) that that doesn't make much sense yet. I'll have to think about it for a bit.

Name (F)     Name (C)       SC/HC   Class   Level/exp   Extended Stash   #of S/U   Grail/504   #of deaths   # of Hours
zticazzy     Perkele         SC      Barb      99             No            -          -            -           -
Pb_pal       Eleanor         SC      Sorc      98.25          No         2945        431            5           -
NanoMist     Izuna           SC      Sin       98             No         2672        437            2         239
T72on1       Neverland       SC      Sorc      97             Yes        1594        394           11         148.5
hasuprotoss  Reina           SC      Sorc      95             Yes         894        316            -           -
PhineasB     Mercy           SC      Sin       95             Yes           -        328            9           -
XyleneCyanol Fishie          HC      Sorc      94             No            -          -            -           -
Tarantella   Tarasha         HC      Sorc      94             Yes           -          -            -           -
Reyz         Qty             SC      Sorc      92             No            -          -            -           -
PhineasB     Hiatus          SC      Sorc      91             Yes           -        278           13           -
Southpaw     Njord           SC      Druid     90             Yes           -          -            -           -
OldSoldier   Battleforge     HC      Pala      90             Yes           -        236            -           -
Qwernt       CanbeOnlyBlizz  SC      Sorc      90             Yes           -          -        Dont want to know
LiquidClear  Sally           SC      Assn      **             Yes         225          -            1           -
Lord Molyb   Cruise_Control  SC      Necro     84             No          104         87           16          idk
Gambit       Mallenroh       SC      Sorc      81             Yes           0          0            0           0
logo         Digimon         HC      Nec       76             Yes          85         65            0           -
Darke Rahl   Bells           HC      Ama       74             No           19          -            0           0
Zenigma      Gnosis          SC      Druid     61             No            -          -            -           -
ioupainmax   Durnik          SC      Paladin   52             Yes          50         42            -           -
Lord Molyb   Verisimilitude  SC      Ama       50             No           12          9            0         idk
Zenigma      Ayura           SC      Barb      48             No            -          -            -           -
Kitteh       Darozzo         HC      Druid     45             No            -          -            -           -
TrU          Henryk          SC      Barb      41             Yes           -          -           22          12
Gambit       Colossus        SC      Pal       39             Yes           0          0            0           0
Smancer      Smancer         SC      Necro     26             Yes           1          -            -           -
Ergroilnin   Erilinda        HC      Sorc      20             No            -          -            -           -
The Fallen:
Name (F)    Name (C)       SC/HC   Class   Level/exp   Extended Stash   #of S/U   Grail/504   #of deaths   # of Hours
coju        NintyNine_orRiP HC      Sorc      81             Yes           -          0            0         a few
Tenecabo    OldShatterhand  HC      Druid     49             Yes           -          0            1           -
coju        fB              HC      Sorc      29             Yes           1          1            0           2
Kitteh      Verallus        HC      Druid     26             No          N/A        N/A            0          N/A
logo        Rolex           HC      Barb      21             Yes           0          0            0           1


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Complaining always helps ...


Death Cleaver
Berserker Axe
One Hand Damage: 89 - 264
Durability: 18 of 26
Required Level: 70
Required Strength: 138
Required Dexterity: 59
Fingerprint: 0xafcf777f
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+40% Increased Attack Speed
272% Enhanced Damage
-33% Target Defense
66% Deadly Strike
+9 Life after each Kill

Veil of Steel
Spired Helm
Defense: 396
Durability: 29 of 60
Required Level: 73
Required Strength: 192
Fingerprint: 0xac76816f
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+60% Enhanced Defense
+140 Defense
+15 to Strength
+15 to Vitality
All Resistances +50
-4 to Light Radius
+20 Maximum Durability
Both dropped in the first 25 CS runs I did today. Unfortunately no Nightwing's, but the Veil of Steel is a first ever for me as well :).

Now to get those HRs ...


- Do I still run CS from 97 - 98, or Nihl instead? I asked before, but I can't find the answer, and with all the fuss about Nihl lately ...
- If CS is still the place to be, do I still just run the first 2 seals on /p8, or /p1 seals and /p7 Diablo? Or a mix of both?


Diabloii.Net Member
@T72on1 - Awesome finds!

As for where to level for 97-98, it's status-quo if you want the most efficient. /p8 Vizier + Infector (with convenient boss packs). Here is the post I think you're referring to, although it is lacking information about Nihl. If you want to include Diablo for variety you can (explained in the link), but personally I wouldn't bother.

Let's look at /p8 Nihl's numbers for comparison:

XP/run: 29952 (that's only Nihl, no other monsters)
time: 30s/run (optimistic, but doable if you have an Infinity)
so ~60k a minute is an optimistic viewpoint of how much XP you will get from him.

For comparison, I was getting 80k/min doing Vizier/Infector. Granted those Nihl numbers aren't including shrines, but as we've seen in the last little while shrines probably don't add a whole lot of improvement to your overall running time, just decrease the overall number of runs you have to do (still a benefit). One huge thing to consider though is that you probably won't die doing CS runs (since you didn't die last level), whereas the risk of death (and therefore lost time and motivation) running our little necromancer friend is fairly substantial.

I seriously doubt Nihl would ever be more efficient at 97 than doing the Gripp run, but as always, you should take some runs and compare your numbers to see.

Good luck!


Diabloii.Net Member
Howdy! I'm not playing much lately (the Perkele's saga has fulfilled my destiny as a D2 player), but I keep lurking on the forum quite often, and to me this is still the best thread around. :rolleyes:

@Pb_pal @NanoMist @T72on1 nice going people! I really hope to see at least another 99 thread from you guys by the end of the year. Btw I can confirm: one death w/ body retrieval = ~7.28 mil / ~2.30 hours loss

@Grape you reminded me of some nihla runs I recorded some time ago. The music was suggested by Youtube and is quite fitting, especially in the end.



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@Pb_pal Thanks once again, and sorry for my rusty memory. Do you think that normal boss packs are still worth it at 97? I can't get my running times below 1 minute, and I'm figuring it's because of those boss packs. Maybe I should just do another xp/hour test.

@zticazzy Thanks. I don't expect me to finish before the end of the year, but you never know. Did some more CS runs this evening, and I'm still not bored of them, so that is a good sign.

As a change of pace, I also tried 20 Tranvincal runs. To my surprise, I liked them, and they went really well. Not in terms of killing speed, because bad map, getting used to it, ... but in terms of survivability. Only my merc bit the dust a few times when amped, but the hydras didn't pose the slightest problem. I guess I'll have to do some reading on Travincal runs and then might do some HR hunting there, just as a change of pace and because I have never done so. Also the Council seems to drop quite some S/U, and iirc they are also a rather good source for jewelry, so you never know ... ;). Btw, does a Blizz Sorc wait for her merc to kill the CI boss, or should I just skip him?

Edit: I didn't miss my start, as I got this one while rerolling maps:


I also got my 4th Seraph's Hymn, making it my most found unique amulet.

Still rerolling maps. Currently have one where I have all but the CI boss and one minion outside on the balcony. Might settle on this one for a while. Or shouldn't it take too long before I get one with everyone outside?
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Crazy Runner Guy

Diabloii.Net Member
Oh, and for those wondering, I do NOT recommend running with as low life as Eleanor has (~2.1k). NDEs abound all over the place, and quite frankly I'm not sure how I haven't died yet. A quick trigger finger on the rejuvs/Esc button is the only thing keeping me alive.
I wouldn't recommend it either.

I've banged out 250M XP @ clvl 98 worth of Nihl runs /w Coldtest (Lightning/FW) and 80M XP /w Lady_Fury (LF/CS) - no deaths /w either. Coldtest had 2,197 hp, max block, 35% PDR, 60% FHR, 14 PDR. My zon has ~2,450 hp, 43% PDR, 11 PDR, max block, plus D/A/E's passive bonuses, and still with both of them I felt neither really had enough life. A bad draw in Nihl's throne room could just eat up HP like it was nothing. And both of those characters were twinked to the gills.

Also, I love this thread.
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Diabloii.Net Member
@T72on1 - As you say, it's a bit of a grey area for those bosspacks. It's tough to get an accurate measure of how efficient they are variable, and it depends on the monster types too. Basically what I did was kill any bosspacks (except OKs) if they were by the seals, but the only ones I stopped for in transit between the seals were the finger mages, as it only took (for me) typically one Blizzard to kill them. That way I just stopped, threw a Blizz at them and kept on going.

I don't have any numbers for this but my gut tells me that the most efficient way is to just go for the seal bosses, and kill any Venom lord/Finger Mage boss packs that happen to spawn near them in the seal areas.


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I haven't had a chance to play for days because of work/training as I am back running far earlier than anticipated, but will hopefully play Mon/Tue/Wed and update then :)

I too, would like to confess that I have a crush on this thread.


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I won't make my necro a 99er. Too much of trouble. I am already bored with this gameplay. And every death makes me very annoyed... it's hard to get lost XP back ! Quill Rats - very annoying, 3k xp each... at least they're good as revives.


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Good to see the activity and continued progress in this thread. Congrats @T72on1 on hitting 97.

I'll add a brief update, because I haven't been able to play much at all since my last post due to work schedule and haven't made any progress on levels. I did a couple 15-30 minute sessions when I finished up work before going to sleep, and then was able to spend a few hours last weekend. I mostly focused on Mercy, who is now 2/3 of the way to 96.

I was really getting tired of minion runs (occasionally threw in Baal), so I decided to switch up between Baal and CS. In the first few CS runs, Mercy got a Pul and a Gul, which allowed a reroll of the CtA after cubing some runes. It's a major upgrade and means I don't have to recast Battle Orders during CS runs and only once during Baal runs. No major item drops, but Mercy finally got a second 4os Monarch for Spirit, which helps with the additional +1 skill on the CtA switch.

I'm going to play some more this afternoon and hope that Mercy hits 96 before the weekend ends. At that point, I may focus on LK runs with Hiatus to try to improve charm collection to allow reasonable CS runs for her.


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I haven't had a chance to play for days because of work/training as I am back running far earlier than anticipated, but will hopefully play Mon/Tue/Wed and update then :)

I too, would like to confess that I have a crush on this thread.
Cool !!! Great to hear about your running.


Diabloii.Net Member
Alright @Grape, ask and ye shall receive! Here are some Nihl runs.

Small note before watching, this is my most updated strategy that I'm working on right now. Even though I have a 3-shrine map I'm only checking 2 of them (one on Pain, one on Vaught). The reason for this is that the 2nd shrine on the halls of Pain is in a slightly cumbersome spot just off of the direct path to the stairs (you can see it on the mini-map as I fly passed it), and I can only check it reliably without doing the quest screen tele trick. This obviously loses time, but also just makes the runs much more clunky. So I've opted to skip it to make the runs both quicker and smoother, which I'm quite pleased to trade off with the extra shrine.

The play is sloppy, the video is choppy (as I said, my machine is a little rough around the edges), but hopefully this gives you a bit of a sense of what it's like.

The only thing I noticed is that there weren't really any runs with vipers in this set, which is a bit of a shame. Other than that though, you can see me lose a couple XP shrines, get an XP shrine kill, and even kill him so fast I thought he teleported (2nd last run).


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Darozzo has made it to Nightmare Act 3 and is currently about to clear out the Flayer Dungeons. Spirit and insight are making life much easier, and Nightmare Mephisto will be farmed briefly, once I get a 4 socket gothic plate anyway...


Diabloii.Net Member
Darozzo has made it to Nightmare Act 3 and is currently about to clear out the Flayer Dungeons. Spirit and insight are making life much easier, and Nightmare Mephisto will be farmed briefly, once I get a 4 socket gothic plate anyway...
I know the pain.. wanted to get better armor for Bone RW. Lost my patience and used the weaker than Vipermagi mage plate that I have acquired. So far, nothing better dropped for me. At least I have +2 to all necro skills which is the way to go for me.


Diabloii.Net Member
My new hammerdin just hit 70. I converted from classic at 53 after hell act 2 so all ancients are alive. After that I had to go to farm NM Andy for a bit, leveled in NM CS/hell act 1 and then finally was able to farm hell Andy.

Luckily I found spirit bases quite quickly. First an 4os Akaran Targe with 45 all res and while the block rate is pretty bad the resists and +skills were sorely needed. Soon after that a 4os broad sword dropped so now I have double Spirit, Lore helm, Duriel's shell and Nokozan's Relic to fix fire resist hole. Rest are pretty bad rares.

This character will probably never actually make it to 99 but we'll see. I have done the gear farm part for couple of characters over the summer and hopefully I won't lose all hope during it.