Monday, December 26, 2005

Rune rushing in Diablo II Lord of Destruction

Using Classic mode to accelerate Hellforge rune farming

What follows is a set of instructions for accumulating runes in the online game Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. Certain runes are the rarest and most valuable items in the game. This guide gives step by step instructions for gathering runes by repeatedly creating characters and performing the hellforge quest in each of three difficulties for each character.


  • "Rusher" - a character powerful enough to quickly clear areas and kill bosses
  • "Rushee" - a character created for the sole purpose of snagging their hellforge treasure
  • "New Rushee" - a rushee that has not completed the Andariel quest
  • "Andariel Rushee" - a rushee that has completed the Andariel quest, but no Act 2 quests
  • "Amulet Rushee" - a rushee that has completed the Viper Amulet quest, but has not completed the Summoner quest
  • "Summoner Rushee" - a rushee that has completed the Summoner Quest, but has not completed the Duriel quest
  • "Duriel Mule" - a character that has touched the Summoner's book, and inserted the staff into the orifice, but done no other Act 2 quest activities.
  • "N" - the number of computers available for the rushing operation

General Rules

  1. The rush steps repeat for each difficulty (Normal, Nightmare, Hell) (except that the Classic Hell rush phase ends at the beginning of Hell Act 3)
  2. A rushee who completes one difficulty becomes a "New" rushee for the next difficulty
  3. A rush through one difficulty requires one (1) Summoner Rushee, one (1) Duriel Mule, and (N-2) Andariel Rushees. (if these rushees already exist, proceed directly to DURIEL TO END instructions. Otherwise, create the necessary rushees using the recipes below
  4. Maggot lair only needs to be completed once per difficulty
  5. Viper amulet quest only needs to be completed once per difficulty for every N3 - 2N2 + N rushees (80 rushees for N=5)
  6. Summoner quest only needs to be completed once per difficulty for every N2 - 2N + 1 rushees (16 rushees for N=5)
  7. Most other required quests are run once per difficulty for every N-1 rushees
  8. Instructions for a second simultaneous rusher (Rusher B) are given in parentheses
  9. If a rushee dies in a quest area, remain dead (i.e. don't hit escape) until the quest is completed. You will get credit for the quest.


  • For Normal difficulty, select "create new character" from the character screen.
    • create 1 at a time
    • UNCHECK expansion (required)
    • UNCHECK hardcore (if option is present) (optional, be consistent)
    • CHECK ladder (optional, be consistent)

  • For Nightmare and Hell difficulties, complete the previous difficulties
    • (create (N - 1) rushees at at time)


  • requires N-1 New rushees
  • creates N-1 Andariel rushees at a time

Rush steps:

Act 1:
  1. Primary rushee (New) creates new game
  2. Rusher enters game
  3. Rusher fills up on town portals
  4. Rusher saves screen shots of maps of paths from Cat2 to Cat3, and from Cat3 to Cat4
  5. Rusher finds Catacombs level 4, and clears first two rooms
  6. Rusher creates town portal to first room of Catacombs 4
  7. Primary rushee waits in upper left corner of first room of Catacombs 4
  8. N-2 additional New rushees enter game and join party
  9. Make sure all rushees are in the game and in the party
  10. Rusher kills Andariel
  11. Primary rushee makes sure he got the quest before returning to town
  12. Rushees each talk to Warriv and go to Act 2
  13. All N-1 rushees in the game have now been converted from "New" to "Andariel"


Act 2:
  1. Game created by Duriel Mule, or by New or Andariel rushee
  2. One primary Andariel rushee enters the game
  3. Ensure that rusher and rushee both have full town portal tomes
  4. Rusher creates town portal to Lost City [not needed?]
  5. Primary rushee goes to lost city, causing darkness [not needed?]
  6. Rusher saves screen shot of path from Lost City WP to Valley of the snakes
  7. Rusher finds the Claw Viper Temple level 2, and kills all of the monsters there
  8. (Rusher B finds summoner)
  9. Rusher makes a portal to the Claw Viper Temple level 2
  10. Primary rushee enters portal and makes a portal to Claw Viper Temple level 2
  11. All rushers leaves game
  12. N-1 additional Andariel rushees join game and join party
  13. Primary rushee gets viper amulet. Do not leave the Altar Room until the Altar animation finishes. Otherwise the quest might be botched.
  14. If a Duriel Mule needs to be created for this difficulty, save the amulet.
  15. All rushees talk to Drognan
  16. Verify that all rushees have the amulet quest
  17. All N rushees have now become Amulet rushees


  1. Game created by Duriel Mule, or by New, Andariel, or Amulet rushee
  2. Primary Amulet rushee enters game
  3. Rusher enters game
  4. Rusher finds summoner platform in Arcane Sanctuary (but does not kill Summoner yet)
  5. (Rusher B finds Mephisto)
  6. Rusher creates town portal to area near summoner (about 1.5 screens away)
  7. Rushee enters portal, and remains just out of range of the summoner
  8. (Rusher B leaves game)
  9. N-2 additional Andariel rushees enter game and join party
  10. Rusher kills summoner
  11. Rusher creates town portal to Canyon of the Magi
  12. Rusher saves screen shot of Arcane Sanctuary waypoint, with map positioned to show summoner location.
  13. All rushees talk to Cain
  14. All rushees verify that they can take the portal to the Canyon of the Magi waypoint.
  15. All N-1 rushees have now become Summoner rushees


  • Requires 1 Amulet rushee WITH AMULET, and one Andariel rushee
  • Creates one Duriel Mule (from Andariel rushee)
  • One Duriel Mule can be used ever after, for one difficulty level
  • (Amulet rushee is only needed as a source of the amulet, the staff, and the tomb location)
  1. Amulet rushee creates game
  2. Rusher enters game
  3. Make sure both have full town portals
  4. Andariel rushee DOES NOT ENTER GAME YET!
  5. Rusher clears chest area of Maggot Lair level 3 (this is the only time that Maggot Lair must be completed).
  6. Rusher creates town portal to Maggot 3
  7. Amulet rushee gets staff from Maggot 3
  8. Rusher clears walking path from palace in Lut Golein to the summoner
  9. Rusher kills the summoner, but does not touch the book
  10. Andariel rushee enters game (but does not party with the others)
  11. Everyone avoids talking to townspeople and any other quest triggers while this character is in game.
  12. Andariel rushee walks to the summoner area, and touches the book
  13. Andariel rushee enters canyon of the magi and gets waypoint
  14. Note symbol of true tomb
  15. Andariel rushee leaves the game
  16. Rusher clears walking path from canyon to orifice in the true tomb
  17. Andariel rushee enters the game (but does not party with the others)
  18. Everyone avoids talking to townspeople and any other quest triggers while this character is in game.
  19. Andariel rushee walks from the Canyon of the Magi to the orifice
  20. Amulet rushee gives cube, amulet, and staff to Andariel rushee
  21. Andariel rushee transmutes staff
  22. Andariel rushee places staff into orifice
  23. Andariel rushee returns cube to rightful owner
  24. Andariel rushee leaves game
  25. Andariel rushee has become a duriel mule for this difficulty. Only one is needed per difficulty
  26. Duriel Mule must never get more quests in Act2, just create games and leave as soon as possible


  • Requires 1 duriel mule, 1 Summoner rushee, and N-2 or N-1 Andariel rushees
  • N-1 rushees complete this difficulty.
Act 2:
  • N rushees can complete Act 2 in one pass, compared to N-1 rushees for most other acts.
  1. "Duriel Mule" creates new game
  2. Rusher enters game
  3. Duriel Mule leaves game
  4. Summoner rushee enters game, and identifies true tomb symbol. If symbol does not show in the quest log, talk to Cain and visit the Canyon of the Magi waypoint.
  5. If Jerhyn cannot be seen in town, send everyone back to Act 1 temporarily to reset the Act 2 town. Jerhyn must be available in town.

  6. Arrangement of tomb symbols in the Canyon of the Magi
  7. Rusher finds Tal Rasha's chamber (bear left in the chamber)
  8. Rusher saves screen shot of path from stairs to orifice
  9. (Rusher B clears area near Travincal temple, but does not kill all council members)

  10. (Rusher B clears beginning and right side of Durance of Hate level 3)
  11. (bear left in Durance level 2)
  12. (Rusher B creates town portal near stairs in Durance level 3)
  13. (Rusher B clears seals in Chaos Sanctuary)
  14. Summoner rushee waits in orifice room
  15. Rusher kills Duriel
  16. Rusher(s) leave game.
  17. N-1 Andariel rushees enter game and join party.
  18. (Even though the quest log says that you cannot complete the quest, you actually can.)
  19. Summoner rushee walks through chamber and talks to Tyrael.
  20. Each rushee talks to Jerhyn, then Meshif, and goes to Act 3
  21. N Rushees have now completed Act 2
  22. If this is HELL difficulty, STOP here, and go to EXPANSION instructions

Act 3:
  1. Rusher clears area near Blackened temple, but does not kill Council members
  2. Primary rushee stands near Blackened temple
  3. Make sure N-1 rushees are in the game and in the party
  4. Rusher kills high council
  5. All Rushees pick up their Horadric Cubes near the dead council, if they need one.
  6. All Rushees talk to Cain
  7. Rusher saves screen shot of path from Durance 2 WP to Durance 3
  8. Primary rushee waits by stairs in Durance 3
  9. Make sure N-1 rushees are in the game and in the party
  10. Rusher A kills Mephisto
  11. Rusher A creates town portal near red portal
  12. Each rushee goes to Act 4 through red portal
Act 4:

  1. Rushers clear all seals in Chaos Sanctuary (except one cold one)

  2. Primary rushee enters the safe nook

  3. Make sure N-1 rushees are in the game and in the party
  4. Rusher A pops the final seal and quickly returns to the Diablo area
  5. Rusher A kills Diablo, avoiding wandering too far from spawning spot.
  6. All rushees move to next difficulty, where they are now "NEW"


  • After completing Hell Act 2 and entering Hell Act 3 in Classic mode, convert rushees to Expansion
  • Bring the Expansion rushees from Act 3 Hell to the begining of Act 4 Hell, using same rushing methods described for Classic
  • Requires one expansion rushee in Act 4 Hell difficulty
  • Make one game per rushee
  1. Rushee creates game
  2. Rusher kills monsters in region of hellforge
  3. Rusher creates portal to hellforge
  4. Make sure rushee is not partied with anyone who needs the hellforge quest.
  5. Rushee collects hammer and smashes soulstone
  6. Store runes and gems in a safe place
  7. Complete hellforge quest in both Hell and Nightmare difficulty
  8. Complete Shenk/socket quest in both normal and Nightmare difficulty
  9. Save socket quests for a special occasion
Possible hellforge runes by difficulty. There is an equal chance (1/11) of each listed rune dropping at each hellforge quest.
  • Normal: El, Eld, Tir, Nef, Eth, Ith, Tal, Ral, Ort, Thul, Amn
  • Nightmare: Sol, Shael, Dol, Hel, Io, Lum, Ko, Fal, Lem, Pul, Um
  • Hell: Hel, Io, Lum, Ko, Fal, Lem, Pul, Um, Mal, Ist, Gul
Runes that cannot be obtained from hellforge rune drop: Vex, Ohm, Lo, Sur, Ber, Jah, Cham, Zod. It would take 256 Gul runes (and some gems) to cube up one Zod rune.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Raxco t-shirt charlatanism

This rant is reawakened from the early 1990s. Back in about 1991 one of my responsibilities was the maintanance of some Digital Equipment Corporation VAX workstations, running the operating system VMS. One fringe benefit of this activity was a free subscription to a publication called DEC Professional. One frequent advertiser in DEC Professional was a company called Raxco. Raxco placed one ad that they later regretted. The ad copy proclaimed that simply by filling out and returning a card requesting more information about some of their products, you could get a free t-shirt. This t-shirt featured a cartoon by Don Martin, best know for his work at Mad Magazine.

The cartoon is captioned "Fragmentation happens", and features a Don Martin version of a computer engineer with computer parts flying about with sound effects like "Kloon", "Ping", "PA-Tween" and "Sproing".

I filled out the card and waited for my t-shirt. This was now about fourteen years ago. One of Raxco's representatives informed me that the response to the ad had been larger than anticipated, so I might need to wait longer before getting my shirt. I have now waited fourteen years.

Later I got another business reply card with which I could request product information from Raxco. This time, no shirt was offered. But there was some additional white-space below the check box options on the card. Being careful not to mark any of the preprinted check boxes, I wrote in a new one of my own. It simply said "Where is my t-shirt, you deceitful charlatans?" I placed a large check mark in the box I had created next to this question and dropped the card in the mail. All I received in response to this was some product information that I had not asked for.

Why am I bringing this up now? My loving wife found an image of the aforementioned t-shirt and made me a t-shirt using special iron-on paper for inkjet printers. Is this copyright infringement? Perhaps. I would so love to have someone from Raxco try to take the moral high ground on this one. They still owe me a t-shirt. After fourteen years, the interest should run to at least two t-shirts by now.

Where is my shirt Raxco? I am still waiting. Jerks.

And thank you honey for the beautiful t-shirt. I have wanted something like this for so long.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Slip up at Mountain View Optometry

Back in mid November I got a prescription for new glasses at Mountain View Optometry. That was five weeks ago and I was promised that they would call when the glasses were ready. I finally got too impatient and called them today. Apparently their computer indicates that some useless and apparently anonymous retard contacted me by phone two weeks ago. Their computer is a liar. Useless retard. There I said it again.

To be fair, my optometrist, Dr. Bell, is excellent. The problem is that they take your payment before they have delivered their product. Many organizations that do this have neither concern nor accountability for the customer experience after the cash register has rung its chime. I am left with a very nasty feeling. The feeling is compounded by an unrelated blunder at Fenders Collision Center that I had this morning.

Rant rant rant rant rant rant. There, that does feel better.