Diablo II: 1-80 ASAP Guide

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The first question on any new Diablo II player is likely
"How can I level up faster?"

The short answer to that is rushes.

So what is a rush in Diablo II?

The primary goal of getting a rush is to level up as fast as possible, however, the method of doing so is to advance through the quests, acts, and difficulties faster with the help of other players.

That is because some of the later quests and difficulties offer far more experience gain. This is actually not the case in most instances, but rather particular areas. Most of the game is designed to punish your experience gain by getting too far ahead, but for whatever reason, some exceptions were made. So the goal of the rush is to get you to those particular exceptional areas.

Players do this by doing quests for you, while in your party, to advance you through the acts. These players are referred to as "Rushers".

Not all quests will advance you through the acts, however. It's the job of a rusher to only do the quests for you that will. So most rushers will not do optional quests for you, even the ones that give bonus skill points and the like.

The second question some may have is "Why get a rush? Why not just play the game?"

If you're reading this guide, I assume that you have all of the "dilly dally & willy nilly" playing out of your system and want to be serious. If you still want to relax and take your time playing, may I suggest saving this guide for a later date?

If, on the other hand, you're ready to compete with other players and want to do whatever it takes to be better and more efficient, then rushes are a necessity.

There are three methods of efficient leveling.

-Grush
-Chant
-Manual

A Grush is the best and fastest, but is also harder to get for newer players.

A chant level gets you to level 40 twice as fast as manual leveling and how easy it is to get depends on the number of players on your server willing to provide it. Some servers (Server, as in USEast, Asia, USWest, Europe, etc) are better about having them than others.

A manual level is the slowest form of leveling (Outside of inefficient playing), but it's not something you need the help of another player to do.

So whichever leveling method you do will mostly depend on whether you can find players who can and will provide these services.

So what exactly is a Grush?

A Grush, as far as results go, is a rush from Act 5 Normal difficulty all the way to Act 5 Hell difficulty. Sometimes a Grush will include a rush from Act 1 to Act 5 in Normal difficulty, but it all depends on the rusher.

Grush stands for "Glitch Rush" and some might also refer to it as a "Bug Rush". It's called this, because (In the expansion) it requires an exploit to get you past the last two quests of the last act (Act V).

This is because, normally, in Normal difficulty for example, the game requires you to be level 20 or higher to do the "Ancients" quest, which blocks you from fighting Baal to finish the act.

A Grush has a method of bypassing this requirement so that any character under level 20 can finish the act. Yes, even a level 1.

This is done by having a member of the party that IS already the required level and has the quest open. That player/ character is referred to as a "Bumper".

This means that a Grush will always consist of at least three characters. The "Rusher", the "Bumper", and the character/s being Grushed.

Because of this, Grush providers usually try to rush as many people in one rush as possible to get the most out of it, ESPECIALLY if they're getting paid for each spot by the other players.

The Ancients quest in Nightmare difficulty requires level 40, and so Bumpers are leveled to 40 so as to get you into Hell difficulty in one rush.

There are three reliable ways to get a Grush.

-Have a friend that can do it

-Pay someone (Runes or Forum Gold) to to do it

-Make your character a (Level 40 and not in Nightmare yet) Bumper and offer it to a Grusher for a free Grush

If you have a friend that can Grush you, that's great, but if you're new to the game, chances will be that you don't.

Your second option then is to "buy" one, assuming you have a high rune or any Forum Gold to offer. Chances are also that if you're new to the game, you probably wont have a high rune to offer.

-About D2jsp

So I've mentioned Forum Gold at this point, but I haven't explained it yet.

There is an item trading website called D2jsp.com. You post threads in the forums offering to buy or sell certain items ( Or services, like rushes) and people respond auction-style. The site has a currency system called Forum Gold. When you buy an item on the forum, you agree to send an amount of gold on the website from your account to theirs and once you have, this person will give the item to you in-game.

The first question on your mind is likely how this website keeps someone from just taking your gold and running with it.

The short answer is that people get banned very easily for that. Generally, anyone who wants to use this website wouldn't risk losing their Forum Gold to scam someone.

I'm not saying scams don't happen, they do, but they are very rare. Also, the scams that do happen are usually for very expensive items, are largely unsuccessful, and if enough proof is provided, the scammed party will be reimbursed by admins or moderators. I've been using D2jsp since 2008 and haven't been scammed once.

The real truth is that D2jsp is and has been for at least 15 years the real backbone of the Diablo II economy. Not using it is not an option for people looking to play competitively.

While I understand the sentiment that outsiders and new players would see this site as an illegitimate means to acquire items, they would be wrong on a few levels.

Yes, you can buy Forum Gold with real money and yes that could be seen as problematic. However, you CAN amass Forum Gold legitimately and never spend a dime by selling items/services first and buying second.

All of that aside though... D2jsp is a widely accepted part of the D2 community. It might as well be a part of the game. Anyone who decides to forgo using it is in an extreme minority. It's one of those "It is what it is" scenarios that you will need to accept.

To summarize, D2jsp.com is an invaluable tool for trading items and getting services. Everyone uses it, and you should too.

All of that said, if you don't have a friend to Grush you and no one immediately offers you one in-game (Sometimes people do), you can request a Grush on D2jsp (You'll have to get some Forum Gold first, of course). It usually costs 10-20 Forum Gold. To put that in perspective, 300 Forum Gold is $10.

Rushers aren't always available, however. So sometimes, when it takes a long time to get a response, you have to decide whether you want to wait it out or just start manually leveling.

Keep in mind that if you're in a fresh ladder season, rushers may be in short supply. In the first week of a new ladder, there will be virtually no rushers at all, because everyone is starting from scratch. So knowing how to manually level is still desirable.

How manual leveling goes depends on if you can find a "Chant" game. Using Chant will make you level twice as fast and the areas you farm when you do are different. So I'll explain how to "Chant Level" first.

Well, the first question is "what IS a Chant Level?".

It's called Chant as it's short for "Enchant". Enchant is a Sorceress skill that allows her to buff another players character with lots of fire damage. A decked-out level 85+ Chanter Sorceress can Chant other players for over 7,000 damage! Yes, even a level 1 new character.

However, 800-2000 Chant damage is what you'll encounter most of the time, because more than 800 is kind of redundant in Normal difficulty.

Once your new level 1 character gets Chanted, equip a bow and arrows (At Charsie. Dying a lot wastes valuable time. Using a bow is most efficient) and farm these areas corresponding to your level (This can sometimes be difficult to follow if your character doesn't have the waypoints needed, so just try your best to make a bee-line for these areas)

Levels 1-4: Stony Field

(Levels 5-15 - Tristram if available)

Levels 5-8: Dark Wood

Levels 9-15: Catacombs

Levels 15-21: Tal-Rashas Tomb

Levels 21-25: Secret Cow Level (But ONLY if you or someone else uses a Ravenclaw bow. Otherwise, try to find Baal runs)

Levels 21-40: Normal Baal Runs

How fast this gets you to 21 depends on how much of Tristram you get to farm, how many other people are in the game, and how many people are leveling beside you.

While more people in a game increases your experience gain, people leveling beside you actually hurt your overall experience gain unless they're killing enemies VERY fast. So, as selfish as it sounds, try to Chant level by yourself to level up faster.

If someone has Ravenclaw bow, follow them however. Ravenclaw is a level 15 Long Bow that fires explosive arrows. The explosive AoE arrows will take on the Chant damage and kill everything around you in the blink of an eye. Tal-Rashas Tombs will level you from 15 to 21 in under 5 minutes this way. Getting your hands on of this bow is very ideal.

Under ideal circumstances, a Chant Level can get you from 1 to 21 in about 15 minutes. However, I'd say on average, it ends up taking 40 minutes.

Then you have your last-resort option. Manual leveling without Chant.

Well, first I should explain what a "Run" is in Diablo II. This is when you create a series of sequential games with the sole purpose of farming the same area or boss over and over. For instance, "Chaos Runs" are when you clear out the Chaos Sanctuary and kill Diablo, then start a new game and do it again and again.

For levels 1-15, you want to start or follow "Trist Runs". Trist runs are when you clear out Tristram. If you can't find a Trist run to follow, you can start one if you have already saved Deckard Cain. When you have, there will always be an open portal to Tristram in the Stony Field.

The process would go

-Create a game with a name like "Trist-Runs 1"

-Run to the Tristram portal in the Stony Field and go in it

-Wait for players to join for more experience

-Open up a Town Portal once inside

-Wait for other players

-Clear out Tristram together for lots of experience.

-Leave the game

-Create a new game called "Trist-Runs 2" and often the people who joined the last game will join it too. They fully expect a "Trist-Runs 3", "Trist-Runs 4" and so on and will keep joining.

It's always good manners to give a heads up when you're about to stop doing the runs. Otherwise, they will sit in the lobby waiting for the next run and be annoyed when it never comes up.

From 15-21, you should do "Tomb Runs". This is when you simply clear out enemies in the seven Tal-Rashas Tombs. Typically, (Because there are seven tombs and one of them is huge) you shouldn't need more than two runs at most. Sometimes one run is enough.

From 21 to 40 you just finish off with Normal Baal Runs.

Once you are at 40 and as long as you don't get the Baal quest, your character is officially a Bumper. As mentioned earlier, Grushers need Bumpers to Grush, so your character is now a bargaining chip to get it a free Grush. In fact, many rushers on D2jsp will PAY you 10-20 Forum Gold to be their Bumper.

I do NOT recommend continuing to Nightmare to level. You can easily get stuck there as it's a ghost town of a difficulty that everyone skips over. Just be patient and wait for a Grush. I assure you, it will take FAR longer to crawl through Nightmare difficulty than to find a Grush.

Now it's finally time to talk about what you do once a Grush has gotten you to Hell difficulty Act 5.

Unfortunately, you can't just jump right into Hell Baal Runs unless you're already level 60.

That said, regardless of whether you're level 1 or 59, you will follow Hell Chaos Runs from this point.

Experience rates will fluctuate at certain points, as the experience thresholds for each level in this area are not completely linear. Look at it as the game putting a bottle-neck on your experience gain at certain level ranges.

So at certain points you'll ding a level every 5 seconds and at others every 60 seconds.

You'll see your experience slow down dramatically during the 20-25 level range.

After level 45, it should start to slow down little by little until it takes more than one run to level after 55.

Overall, 1-60 in Hell Chaos Runs shouldn't take much more than 45 minutes. Making it, by a massive margin, the fastest way to get there.

After level 60, you still can't Baal Run QUITE yet. There is still that pesky Ancients quest to get through. Unless you already have decent gear stashed for level 60, you'll probably need help getting it done. People in the lobby chat or in a game are usually quick to help. Everyone playing in Hell difficulty knows what it's like to be stuck there, so it's only natural that many are willing to help. If you can't get help in a reasonable time and you're stuck there, you could resort to requesting help on D2jsp, but don't be too shocked if someone wants payment.

Once that is done, it's Baal, Baal, Baal until at least level 75. After that, some start following Chaos Baals/CBaals (Where they do both Chaos and Baal every run) as the difference in experience between the two runs starts to become negligible.

60 to 80 this way probably takes about an hour or so.

That said, if you get Grushed at level 1, including the 45 minutes the Grush takes, it can take as little as two & a half hours to get a character from 1-80.

After level 80, just keep Baaling or Chaos Baaling, of course. 80-85 takes another 3 hours and 85-90 takes about 12 more hours after that. Every subsequent level after 90 takes dramatically more time to reach. 98 to 99 is said to be a 300 hour grind when playing solo. Some people organize 8 player teams to run with each other to maximize experience and apparently that can make 98 to 99 as short as 100 hours.

Now get to the grind... noob
 
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