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


Diabloii.Net Member
Welcome to the party @Lynchgrinch ! I can't help on your questions about bugs on the Mac. But unless I'm mistaken, you can still make runewords without the RWM as long as they aren't ladder only. That rules out Spirit, Insight and Infinity, which are biggies for sorcs, but other useful runewords are still out there like HoTo, Delirium and Chains of Honor. Good luck on leveling!

Looking forward to the update @Neksja . I ended up doing a few more runs last weekend with Mercy but didn't have time this week until this afternoon. She's made steady progress and is getting close (relatively speaking) to 97. I'll hold off on updating until she gets there though.

@qwernt - I think @Pb_pal concluded that Infinity is nice to have but not completely needed. Given that you have two Bers already, I'd probably make CoH, which will make it easier for you to run Chaos Sanctuary sooner. It certainly should make AT runs safer in the meantime. And you will probably/hopefully find more high runes along the way to higher levels, so you can save the extra Ber and possibly make Infinity later. At this point, I'm trying to make CoH for Hiatus and she'll be happy when that's possible. I can also sympathize to lack of Spirit shield this late in the running -- my characters had pretty poor luck with Monarchs. If I recall correctly, Hiatus didn't get a first Spirit until level 92 and only recently got the second for her switch.


Diabloii.Net Member
Welcome to the new runners, and congrats on all the progress and finds!

@qwernt - @PhineasB nailed it. CoH will up your survivability, which is crucial especially if you're looking to switch to the CS soon. As Phineas mentioned, for my testing Infinity was slightly faster, but you won't notice any appreciable difference until the later levels anyways so stick with Insight for now. Here is the post in which I outlined my testing of Infinity vs Insight, which you can always read if you'd like some more specific info on time saved, benefits, and compromises of Infinity over Insight.

Happy running everyone!


Diabloii.Net Member
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      99             No         3068        437            5           -
NanoMist     Izuna           SC      Sin       98.7           No         4441        465            4         324
T72on1       Neverland       SC      Sorc      97.2           Yes        2190        425            11        208.5
Neksja       Aura            SC      Paladin   97             Yes        2489        415            -           -
PhineasB     Mercy           SC      Sin       96             Yes           -        380            9           -
hasuprotoss  Reina           SC      Sorc      95             Yes         894        316            -           -
XyleneCyanol Fishie          HC      Sorc      95             No            -          -            -           -
PhineasB     Hiatus          SC      Sorc      95             Yes           -        345           16           -
Tarantella   Tarasha         HC      Sorc      94             Yes           -          -            -           -
Reyz         Qty             SC      Sorc      92             No            -          -            -           -
OldSoldier   Battleforge     HC      Pala      91             Yes           -        236            -           -
Southpaw     Njord           SC      Druid     90             Yes           -          -            -           -
Qwernt       CanbeOnlyBlizz  SC      Sorc      90             Yes           -          -        Dont want to know
LiquidClear  Sally           SC      Assn      **             Yes         225          -            1           -
liquid_mage  zDadColdSorc    SC      Sorc      **             Yes           -        160            -           -
Neksja       Turirao         SC      Druid     87             Yes         191        124            5           -
Gladstone    Socrates        HC      Druid     86             ?             -          -            -           -
MercMan      Este            SC      Ama       86             Yes        1212        278            2      Classified
Lord Molyb   Cruise_Control  SC      Necro     84             No          104         87           16          idk
Zenigma      Ayura           SC      Barb      84             No            -          -            -           -
Qwernt       AmaAgainstAll   SC      Sorc      81             Yes           -          -            -           -
Gambit       Mallenroh       SC      Sorc      81             Yes           0          0            0           0
Zenigma      Gnosis          SC      Druid     78             No            -          -            -           -
Jean Avila   SpeedAdict      SC      Ama       77             No            -          -            -          50
logo         Digimon         HC      Nec       76             Yes          85         65            0           -
Darke Rahl   Bells           HC      Ama       74             No           19          -            0
Lynchgrinch  Tattersail      SC      Sorc      58             ?             ?          ?            ?           ?
Vildecor     Celia           SC      Ama       59             Yes          52         43            0           -
ioupainmax   Durnik          SC      Paladin   52             Yes          50         42            -           -
Lord Molyb   Verisimilitude  SC      Ama       50             No           12          9            0         idk
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            -          -            -           -
TwentyMule   Gaius           HC      Assn      17             Yes           1          -            -           -
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
TwentyMule  Valus           HC      Barb      76             Yes           -          -            1           -
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
Weekend update on Aura!

Here we go, finally breathing on @T72on1 's neck, lvl97. I wish I could say this was another level without any deaths but I can't. Then again, the good thing is that the only death came in on the 2nd run after hitting lvl96, so I practically lost a minute and half of progress, so not bad :) And why did I die? Because I thought I had hit Esc to pause the game to get a beverage, but apparently I did not. Tsk, lesson learnt, only taking breaks between runs from now on.

Levelling to 97 was to be honest, a bit dull. Most of the level, I was focusing on Vizier and Infector, rarely hitting any other bosses, so S/U drops just weren't there. I ended up with only two tc87s in that 1.2-1.3k CS runs, which felt really low for an Area 85 running. Then again, it's not proper A85 running, since I was not hitting boss packs consistently. This has now changed, as I've decided to kill all boss packs (except really nasty mod combinations) between the two seals and now that I changed maps, for the 97-98 grind, I should kill around 2-4 extra boss packs per run. Also, that should keep the runs more interesting.

The finds? Well, remember how I was saying that I hoped the Glad's Bane I got from Mephi was ethereal? The reason I changed maps was to visit NM and create this beast:

The Gladiator's Bane
Wire Fleece
Defense: 2168
Durability: 120 of 120
Required Level: 85
Required Strength: 101
Fingerprint: 0x1fb5310b
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+30% Faster Hit Recovery
+193% Enhanced Defense
+50 Defense
All Resistances +15
Damage Reduced by 17
Magic Damage Reduced by 19
Cannot Be Frozen
Poison Length Reduced by 50%
Attacker Takes Damage of 20
+103 Maximum Durability
1 Sockets (1 used)
Socketed: Um Rune
High def roll, low-ish DR but high MDR, it's amazing. For nostalgic reasons, I kept Duriel's Shell on my Merc until I reached lvl97, but since I did a handful of runs after that (around 25-30), Merc has become a proper tank now. Only if there is boss pack of Doom Knights/Oblivion Knights with Fana aura, I can notice Merc losing health, otherwise, the small amount he loses health, he gains it back immediately. It's amazing, I don't have to worry about my Merc at all anymore. Eventually, if I manage to find a 14+all res/15 ias jewel, I'll probably plug that in to the Glad's Bane.

As per usual, here are the other notable finds from this stretch:
Arctic Furs
Quilted Armor
Defense: 45
Durability: 13 of 20
Required Level: 2
Required Strength: 12
Fingerprint: 0xc20e5661
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+282% Enhanced Defense
All Resistances +10
Set (2 items): +288 Defense (Based on Character Level)
Set (3 items): Cold Resist +15%

Cinnabar Jewel of Fervor
Required Level: 31
Fingerprint: 0xa0184186
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+15% Increased Attack Speed
6% Enhanced Damage

Fanatic Grand Charm of Balance
Grand Charm
Required Level: 42
Fingerprint: 0x5282f4c9
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Masteries Skills (Barbarian Only)
+12% Faster Hit Recovery

Gore Rider
War Boots
Defense: 156
Durability: 14 of 34
Required Level: 47
Required Strength: 94
Fingerprint: 0x7397e734
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+30% Faster Run/Walk
15% Chance of Crushing Blow
15% Deadly Strike
10% Chance of Open Wounds
+189% Enhanced Defense
+20 Maximum Stamina
Requirements -25%
+10 Maximum Durability

Harlequin Crest
Defense: 108
Durability: 8 of 12
Required Level: 62
Required Strength: 50
Fingerprint: 0xc5dcfc12
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
All Stats +2
+112 to Life (Based on Character Level)
+112 to Mana (Based on Character Level)
Damage Reduced by 10%
50% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Kira's Guardian
Defense: 101
Durability: 14 of 25
Required Level: 77
Fingerprint: 0x533adb28
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20% Faster Hit Recovery
+56 Defense
All Resistances +54
Cannot Be Frozen

Kira's Guardian
Defense: 161
Durability: 23 of 25
Required Level: 77
Fingerprint: 0xc2e9defd
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20% Faster Hit Recovery
+116 Defense
All Resistances +65
Cannot Be Frozen

Kira's Guardian
Defense: 165
Durability: 17 of 25
Required Level: 77
Fingerprint: 0x12a29aef
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20% Faster Hit Recovery
+115 Defense
All Resistances +50
Cannot Be Frozen

M'avina's True Sight
Defense: 207
Durability: 17 of 20
Required Level: 64
Fingerprint: 0x3ab59457
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+30% Increased Attack Speed
+150 Defense
Replenish Life +10
+25 to Mana
Set (2 items): +1 to All Skills
Set (3 items): 50% Bonus to Attack Rating
Set (4 items): Cold Resist +25%
Lightning Resist +25%
Fire Resist +25%
Poison Resist +25%

Natalya's Mark
Scissors Suwayyah
One Hand Damage: 120 - 153
Durability: 41 of 68
Required Level: 79
Required Strength: 118
Required Dexterity: 118
Fingerprint: 0xf619f695
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+40% Increased Attack Speed
200% Enhanced Damage
Ignore Target's Defense
+200% Damage to Demons
+200% Damage to Undead
Adds 12 - 17 Fire Damage
Adds 50 Cold Damage Over 4 Secs (100 Frames)

Natural Grand Charm of Sustenance
Grand Charm
Required Level: 53
Fingerprint: 0x6fb55598
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Elemental Skills (Druid Only)
+31 to Life

Sapphire Small Charm of Balance
Small Charm
Required Level: 32
Fingerprint: 0xebe72c09
Item Level: 81
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+5% Faster Hit Recovery
Cold Resist +11%

Sapphire Small Charm of Good Luck
Small Charm
Required Level: 33
Fingerprint: 0x5ba91f64
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Cold Resist +10%
6% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Sharp Grand Charm of Sustenance
Grand Charm
Required Level: 53
Fingerprint: 0x326dd3a3
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+10 to Maximum Damage
+74 to Attack Rating
+33 to Life

Tal Rasha's Adjudication
Required Level: 67
Fingerprint: 0x8c9a34ae
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to Sorceress Skill Levels
Adds 3 - 32 Lightning Damage
+50 to Life
+42 to Mana
Lightning Resist +33%
Set (4 items): +10% Faster Cast Rate

Vortex Shield
Defense: 206
Chance to Block: 0
Durability: 54 of 90
Required Level: 66
Required Strength: 148
Fingerprint: 0x4154b238
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
All Resistances +45
4 Sockets (0 used)
Not much to write home about, right? :( As I said, drops just weren't there. But how about runes? So, I found Ist, Mal, 4x Um and 3x Pul. Not very good either? Yup, but I found something a bit better as well:

All together, so far this is Aura's total number of HRs (Vex+) found:
Ber 2 (2 CS)
Sur 6 (4 LK, 1 RoF, 1 CS)
Lo 2 (1 LK non-super chest, 1 Eldritch)
Ohm 2 (1 LK, 1 Mephi)

I'd say that's a decent haul, but I am hoping those numbers will go up and I can add in a Jah+ to the list at some point. At least I know that I have thousands of CS runs left to find more ;)

So as I mentioned, the plan now is to keep running CS, but hitting more boss packs to increase S/U drops, especially tc84+. I managed to get that first white blip towards lvl98 this morning, took around 25 runs and according to those runs, I was averaging around 90-95k XP/min. The runs did feel like going extra well, killing everything quickly and no Conviction bosses or mobs covering the seal requiring them to be cleared before getting the seal boss. So, I assume my XP/min will end up being around 85-90k. My estimate is that I need to do around 2,750 CS runs to level up, which will take quite some time and I am hoping to hit 98 before 2017. Then, I'll probably try how Aura can deal with Nihlathak and see if it's worth it to run there for the last level or go with p7 Diablo. Nihlathak has the advantage of being able to drop any S/U in the game (right?), where as Diablo can only drop up to tc84. We’ll see about that later. I keep telling myself that “Grinding for the last level is so far away” and here I am, maybe 4-5 weeks away from hitting that 98, so it’s not that far away anymore.

For 97-98 stretch, I'll probably do quarter updates, which would mean once a week or so. Although, I assume most of my running for this level will be done between Christmas and New Year’s, so I might just do a random update here or there :)

Good luck everyone! Keeping running and keep us updated!
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Diabloii.Net Member
Yeah, I realised that yesterday...and promptly dug around my extended stash and made Rhyme. That extra res and mf is great.

Currently looking for a good base armour for Stealth and...if I get lucky, a Lem for making Wealth. Ko already dropped while smashing the spider forest on NM. Happy days!

I forgot how useful some of the low lvl runewords are.


Diabloii.Net Member
@Neksja Congrats on 97 !!! And a lot of good runes along the way :).

You definitely get a great deal of xp/min. Like I said, Pb_pal had something like 80k/min, I'm not even up to 70k/min. I really need to look into what I have to do to improve this, because it makes a big difference in the long run. Maybe I need to reroll maps again. My runs are often very difficult, with lots and lots of enemies around, which make it so that I can't strictly focus on the seal bosses. Infector usually isn't a problem, but Vizier ...

Anyway, good luck on your way to 98. My initial plan was to finish it before 2017 too, but chances are slim I'll make that. Not much time to play this week to start with, and probably not that much improvement afterwards.


Diabloii.Net Member
@Neksja - Grats on 97! The runes are nice too ;)

@T72on1 - The map probably has a good deal to do with it, yes. Getting one with consistent seal boss spawn locations and a low-ish density of other packs around the seals will streamline the process. My favourite configuration ended up being the linear branch for Infector (the nearest seal spawns him, and I found he pops up in the same spot very consistently), and the forked branch for Vizier (I found with the other Vizier configuration, he often spawned with less minions and the seal was overrun with OKs)

EDIT: another thing to consider is what breakpoints you're reaching too. Eleanor ran 105 FCR (I think this is what Neverland is at as well IIRC?) and 60 FHR. The FHR bp can be reached with just a 5% FHR charm (assuming you're using Spirit), and really makes a difference in being able to get yourself out of trouble if you tele into a boss pack.
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Diabloii.Net Member
@Pb_pal is right about the map, consistency really helps to streamline the runs. Below, you have my current CS map with superbly awesome Paint skills:

Green "boxes" represent Vizier/Infector spawning area. I'd estimate Vizier spawns in that area 80% of the runs, which is quite high, but Infector spawns like 95% in his area. Makes it super easy to kill when you pretty much know where the pack is gonna be, also that spawn is amazing in a way, that Infector is always on the outer edge of his pack, so all my hammers hit him immediately, so he is killed quickly and if he spawns with Conviction aura, I don't have to S&E anymore (but I still do if I am watching TV or something when I'm not fully concentrated on running).

X's mark boss packs. Orange ones are always there, almost literally. The one next to the shrine and Diablo's spawn spot is not always there, maybe only 90% of the runs, but the other 2 are always there. Red X's are more iffy, seems like it's pretty much 50-50 if they are there or not, except I've noticed that the 2 close to Infector always come together, I don't think I've seen only one of them spawn, always together and that's why it's a decent stop for MFing as you can kill them together faster.

Why I marked the boss packs is that having highly consistent pack spawn locations really, really helps, makes your runs faster. I mean, if I am killing just the seal bosses, I know which way to teleport for safest route and avoid bosses. Also helps when MFing obviously, since I know where the few locations where the packs are, the runs are really streamlined since there is not a lot of variation and surprises in pack spawns.

I may have done a little bit of running already today, first 20mil gained towards 98. I figured that I could probably increase my run speeds by swapping 6x plain 7mf SCs to 2 Paladin Combat skillers. The problem is, that I don't have more than 2 yet. And those were Diablo charms that I spent about 200 pgems each to reroll. So, I might need to hit LK every now and again to see if I can find 2 more or at least get some pgems to reroll Diablo charms. We'll see what I come up with :)


Diabloii.Net Member
Thanks for the hints.

@Neksja I prefer the map layout that @Pb_pal suggests. I ran with yours for a while too, but couldn't get into the Infector one. Too dangerous too many times, while the other version is very easy 95% of the time.

So it's probably worth it to reroll maps again. Right now the Vizier spawn point varies quite a bit, and there's always 2 - 3 bosses in that branch,as well as some other packs. Probably perfect in terms of potential drops if you can do it fast and safe, but that's clearly the issue for me. Infector sometimes is very crowded too, with quite often a boss pack as well, but there always seems a safe spot to get to (usually the outer right of the map), so that isn't an issue.

I was wondering if killing normal boss packs would be worth it at level 97. I seemed to recall an answer from Pb_pal some time ago that, after some testing, he didn't do so, unless they were near Infector / Vizier and he could kill them (almost) within' the same time frame. But looking at your really high xp rate, I might have to change my mind. If that would be the case, my current map would actually be really good, since it seems to have the same density of boss packs as yours. In that case I'll just have to learn to kill quicker while still being safe I guess. While I don't have a Death's Fathom or Nightwing's Veil, I do have 7 cold skillers and a Snowclash belt, next to my HotO, CoH, Shako, Tal's amulet and Spirit Shield. So my damage isn't too bad either, and I should be ok to kill fast. Still farming for that Sur / Ber to make Infinity, to see if the (small) increase in killing speed matches with Pb_pal's experience in that respect.

And yes, @Pb_pal you are right about my breakpoints: fcr @105, fhr @60 due to Spirit and one charm.

O yes, @Neksja 20M xp gained already? See you soon, as you race right past me, in that case ... :).


Diabloii.Net Member

Update: Tattersail is doing very well. Just made Lvl 71 killing NM Baal who dropped Blackhorn's Face and Blackhand's key. NM has been an absolute breeze, Meph, Diablo and Baal were all shockingly easy to take down even on /players8. More excitingly, A boss pack in Andy's lair dropped Lem! Exiting? Yes! I now have the Runes for making Wealth...I just need a good base armour to shove it in.

Hell is HARD. Cold Immune dark rogues are giving me all sorts of NDEs in the Underground Passage. My CL just isn't doing enough damage right now, not without +skills items...So I've given up on Hell just now to do some hardcore farming in NM.

Currently running NM Andy and Meph on tandem to flesh out my low-mid grail and to hopefully get the gear that I desperately need to make a CL/FO Sorc actually viable in Hell. Please drop Occulus...someone needs to!

Quick question about finding good base items for runewords. Is the Moo Moo Farm my best bet? How do I make sure not to kill the King? My FO ripped through Normal Cow King without me even realising it :/

I'm really enjoying getting back into this game! Can you tell?!


Diabloii.Net Member
It's not uncommon that your Sorc has issues early on in Hell. While NM Andy and Meph surely aren't the worst targets out there, I still think you are better off farming in Hell. Either try the easier zones first (Mausoleum and the Crypt) or just teleport past everything, only do the necessary quests and go straight for AT and/or Meph. While questing, don't bother with higher player settings, it's not worth it. While farming AT and / or Meph, it is worth to up the player setting, but only if you can do so while still being relatively safe and being able to do it fast.

About base items: not sure what can drop from NM Cows. I'd just continue to AT for now. Maybe you'll get good bases while doing so, and otherwise in AT itself. If not, LK racks might be another good option. Not sure, I have never done LK for that purpuse.

Good luck !!!


Diabloii.Net Member
@T72on1 about killing boss packs in CS. I'm fairly sure it's not XP efficient, as killing the 3 consistently located boss packs slows me down maybe up to 15 seconds. The advantage with Hammerdin is having max block, relatively high defense, 3+k life, so I can stomp those bosses easily, throw in few hammers and move to next one. But why I am killing them now is that it keeps me more motivated on running, knowing that I am not limited to TC78 drops (and to Cham) from the Seal bosses. So, running 25 slower runs with a chance of finding anything and getting a little XP is better than running 30 runs faster with limited drops and higher XP. I am considering dropping them though, since I only have around +250% MF, so not sure if it's smart to try and MF with this char. If I ever get another Combat skiller for Aura, I'll go down in MF even more and then I'll definitely leave the boss packs alone and just focus on Seal bosses. So far, I've acquired 50 skiller GC's with Aura, 2 Paladin Combats (both through cubing), 2 Defensive Auras, rest for other chars. I think I have 6-7 Druid Elemental skillers, so I am only slightly annoyed by this...

But do some test runs, see how quickly you can kill the extra boss packs. And also, make up your mind if you are in CS purely for XP efficiency or XP and drops ;)

@Lynchgrinch I agree with @T72on1, stick with Hell. I've always found Rakanishu a decent place to get few extra levels in low 70s, just reroll maps until you get the Stones right next to the Waypoint, then do some /p8 Rakanishu runs, shouldn't take more than 20 seconds each and you might find something useful for now. Although, moving to AT is not a bad idea at all, since you can find anything there.

If you really want to farm NM Cows, I'd recommend a strategy for running where you avoid the area where Cow King spawns completely. Just teleport past it and kill others. For my Blizzsorc, I had a map where the Cow King spawns in North-East corner and the Portal opens in the center of the map. I used to just teleport close-ish to Cow King's spawn area and then just go through the Map clock-wise until I reached Cow King again and Exit and repeat. If you do go and run NM Cows, don't forget to pile up with MF, those Bovines can drop some pretty useful stuff there like Oculus, Skin of the Vipermagi etc. Good luck!


Diabloii.Net Member
@Neksja and @T72on1 - Thanks for the advice. As you can tell, I'm still a little rusty.

Sounds like pushing on towards the AT might be the best bet. IIRC my last CL/FO Sorc was really fast through the AT. Might be a good shout. Never heard of doing Rakanishu runs before. What item class can he drop up to?


Diabloii.Net Member
Here we go, finally breathing on @T72on1 's neck, lvl97.
Finally? You know, as someone who has been following this at the audience, you got the there pretty damn fast. Congrats on 97, and gl for the remaining big grind! Gogo CS Hammerinds! Gogo @T72on1 the race is on, and there's plenty of time to pick up your pace again ;)

@Lynchgrinch nice progress! +1 for getting to the AT asap. I'd go as far as respec'ing to a full Blizz for the MF phase, but 100% up to you ofc. Blizz sorcs are just so practical there.


Diabloii.Net Member
I agree there, Aura has reached 97 very quickly.

For another point of comparison, my 97 exp. rate with p8/p3 Baal runs was about 70k/min. That's probably as low as you want to go at 97.


Diabloii.Net Member
Just to clarify, by "finally", I meant that I have been eyeing on that 4th spot on the table since Aura was born. I knew I couldn't catch @Pb_pal or @NanoMist but I knew I had a chance of catching @T72on1 if I really put all my efforts to it. I know I made it to 97 quite quickly, a lot faster than I expected. So that "finally" was more about me getting within reach of that 4th spot, not that it took me a long time to get there.

Thanks @NanoMist for a reference. I'm saving Ancients for the end, so I get a nice 40mil boost there, so no Baal running for me. But it is good to know. How much are you getting now doing Nihlathak runs? I think it's the last level where I want to figure out the fastest XP/min option for me as it's going to take a long time anyways, so then losing speed for MF is out of question. Now, I can compromise some XP efficiency :)


Diabloii.Net Member
For another point of comparison, my 97 exp. rate with p8/p3 Baal runs was about 70k/min. That's probably as low as you want to go at 97.
I agree with this. T72 is right in that Eleanor was floating around 80k/min, but honestly in an untwinked situation that's probably near the top-end of what can be likely achieved for a Blizzy, seeing as how she had some serious firepower having found a Nightwings, Fathom and Blizzard Ormus by then, as well as a pile of skillers which she was very fortunate with.

How much are you getting now doing Nihlathak runs? I think it's the last level where I want to figure out the fastest XP/min option for me as it's going to take a long time anyways, so then losing speed for MF is out of question. Now, I can compromise some XP efficiency :)
I'll jump in here too, even though you asked Nanomist. :p Eleanor was banging out ~47k/min at Nihlathak (not factoring in shrines), with 28 seconds average for her runs. Diablo runs netted her ~31k/min (again, no shrines accounted for), and Baal ~22k/min.

Long story short, Nihlathak should almost always be the most efficient target. It also is by far the most dangerous though, and for non-sorcs (no native teleport) unless you're like zticazzy (ie, insane :p) and have multiple Enigmas in your stash, body retrieval is going to be tough if you die.

For Hammerdins specifically, note that Nihl has an innate 25% Magic resistance. If he spawns Mana Burn that gets bumped to 45%.

I know @Kitteh tried out Nihlathak runs with his 98 Hammerdin, but I think he decided to stick with Diablo runs in the end. Hammerdins are so damn good at CS/Diablo runs that it is a very viable option, especially since he's by far the easiest target to carry a shrine with.


Diabloii.Net Member
I find CS runs far, far safer than Nihlathak. Also, gem shrines (amethysts) and experience shrines are aplenty :)


Diabloii.Net Member
Trappers aren't great at sniping boss packs, and that forced me to go Baal running til 98 and lose out on Ancients. My Nihlathak runs are 41k/min, but hammerdins should be closer to 50k/min due to faster teleport and kill speed, similar to Pb_pal's rate. Definitely do some testing once you reach 98; you won't lose much progress in the beginning if you die. Body retrieval saves you 7.5% progress, so it's up to you to compare that to the danger of retrieving the body.

Other things to consider:
More S/U drops to manage with Diablo, if you are still counting these at all.
No player setting adjustments with Nihlathak - always p8.


Diabloii.Net Member
When I did my 99 Hammerdin I was supposed to switch to Smiter running Nihlathak for the 98-99. Would've been faster than Hammerdin, but I preferred the drops CS has to offer.


Diabloii.Net Member
I thought that @NanoMist's and @Pb_pal's drops from Nihl weren't too bad either, although it's mostly the rune drops that I remember from their posts. CS surely hasn't been that great for drops for me lately, but maybe it gets better when Diablo is included.