Speed runs have become popular since they challenge players to complete the game in new ways. But when the plain old speed records have been set, players come up with new challenges to keep things interesting. One #Diablo2 player, DrCliche, decided to see how fast he could complete the game without attacking anything.
It's called "Pacifist" and has been done before in other games, but not usually as a speed run. Since the majority of action video games rely on killing enemies, it's definitely a challenging way to play. He didn't go full pacifist though, which entails not doing any damage at all. #Diablo is centered entirely on killing things in order to proceed through the game, so while he didn't actively attack any enemies, he had equipped gear that would do passive damage for him.
The run took nearly 8 hours, 7:41:33 to be exact. Commenters suggested that, with refinement, it could possibly be cut down another hour or two. A large part of this speed run heavily relies on the Sorceress class due to her abilities. One of the unskippable enemies is nearly impossible to get by, especially on a Paladin as DrCliche initially tried, since the enemy doesn't have a melee attack, its ranged attacks don't proc certain character buffs, and it can heal. However, it procs the Sorceress's Chilling Armor to do damage and keep it from casting the heal.
He makes creative use of different gear, strategic skill points, fiddling with the "/players x" commands, runes, teleportation, and potions. The "/players x" commands and runes are a little controversial, since it's emulating different group sizes for more experience and using items only found in competitive play, but speed runs often make gratuitous use of glitches and exploits so it matters little.
DrCliche spent a great deal of time in the run farming certain areas for gear needed to defeat unskippable enemies, leveling up and hitting certain skill points in the process. Once he got the skill point for Teleportation, it sped up the process. Act 4, though, is where the real clincher is and relies on a lot of luck or the run is blown. There is less than a 10% chance to drop the item needed to continue the speed run, which boosts the gear to be able to withstand the onslaught.
Like any good guide writer, DrCliche details exactly what he did to make this run possible, and what you need to do as well. He even made rules to follow, since this new Diablo 2 Pacifist speed run category was of his own creation:
- No aggressive action toward any creatures, either on your part or on any NPCs you summon or hire.
- Don't worry about other NPCs, you're not responsible for them if you can't control their actions.
- Shrines are considered an "act of [God]", you're not responsible for the actions of those either.
- If you accidentally attack something due to a bug that causes your mouse buttons to switch to "attack" when your gear changes, apologize to the creature and don't let it die. If it does die, respawn in a new game.
- You can use Ladder-only runewords and "/player x" commands.
It's definitely a new and interesting way to play Diablo 2, though if a bit time consuming. Now that the idea and strat is out there, it will be interesting to see how he or others can refine it and make a new speed record. In the meantime, I'll leave you with his parting words, celebrating the victory of the Pacifist:
"Well, I’m up against the character limit for posts, but Act 5 is simple and easy. Teleport to the Ancients, and then Baal, and bravely weather the storm until they submit to your moral superiority."
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