It took over 50 hours of playtime, but MacroBioBoi (opens in a new tab) finally made it: They completed “the world’s first ever fully unwinked solo self-found Hell pacifist Sorceress run” in Diablo 2: Resurrected.
In terms that will be more familiar to people who aren’t Diablo 2 speedrunners, Macro beat Diablo 2: Resurrected on the hardest difficulty without attacking anything, using only items they found during their run. (“Twinking,” in Diablo 2 parlance, means using the trading system to give a character items.) Diablo 2 speedrunners had come up with theoretical ways to do the run, but Macro was the first to do it for real.
“The only people who ever made the run past Normal had flashed a character with edited gear to see if it was possible,” they told PC Gamer.
The Diablo 2 speedrunning community has created a detailed set of rules that define what a pacifist race is. You can’t attack, of course, but there’s more to it than that. You also cannot force anything else to attack, set traps, or use damaging auras. For the most part, the damage you deal must be dealt as a direct consequence of a creature choosing to attack you. To achieve that, Macro loaded up his sorceress with “chance to cast” items and abilities that sometimes cause a spell to be cast when their character takes a hit. At the end, they had a set of armor that made them cast the powerful Nova spell whenever an enemy hit them. They also dumped points into Cold Armor passive skills, which increase defense (the sorceress doesn’t have many hit points) and deal cold damage to enemies that hit them.
Macro, who holds the Pacifist Paladin speedrun record in Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction on Normal at 2h 25m 45, thought switching to Resurrected could make things easier for this Hell difficulty run. It didn’t work out that way.
“I thought this race would be tough, but with the addition of synergies to the Nova skill in Diablo 2: Resurrected [bonus damage for related skills], I thought it would actually be a lot easier than it was in Lord of Destruction,” Macro told PC Gamer. “It fell apart quickly after eight hours of trying to get a specific spawn pattern for Seal Boss Lord De Seis in Chaos Sanctuary . I couldn’t survive his minions long enough to kill him, and if you die and go back to town, he’ll often cast a Bestow buff on himself that makes him regenerate faster than any amount of Nova procs from my gear could give out. “
To deal damage faster than Lord De Seis could regenerate health, Macro needed an item that gave their character a 5% chance to cast Blaze, a spell that creates a burning spot on the ground. If Lord De Seis stood in the fire, he would take damage on every image, preventing him from regenerating. (The full explanation involves even more complexity than this; it’s in the video (opens in a new tab) embedded above, starting approx. 5:05.)
“I needed to force him into that fire, and he’s a very difficult monster to manipulate into moving,” Macro said. “We were basically lucky that on my last try, he didn’t pour himself, and after 10 or so deaths, we got him.”
That’s one hell of a feat, but Macro, who’s been playing Diablo 2 since they were kids, is already streaming another attempt at running, this time with a Paladin. Unlike the sorceress, Macro says the Paladin has no skills that can kill Lord De Seis.
“I need to farm a very specific weapon from Mephisto in Nightmare to have a chance to do that,” Macro said. “It’s called Boneslayer Blade and it takes me about five minutes to kill Mephisto every time I do it. I started the challenge two days ago and I’m streaming everything again for people to see me suffer.”
MacroBioBoi streams on Twitch, and also covers Diablo 2: Resurrected for Maxroll. They’re not a Diablo 2 purist though, and after they finish their current run, Diablo 4 will be on their minds.
“I come from a very heavy MMORPG background (EverQuest and WoW) and it looks like Diablo 4 will kick off a lot of social gameplay that I really miss playing most ARPGs these days,” said Macro for PC Gamers. “I like the restriction on trade for BIS gear [the best items], and the clean aesthetic of it seems like a beautiful return to form after Diablo 3 and Diablo Immortal. Unlike most Diablo 2 players, I’m a fan of Diablo 3, but the aesthetic was lacking for me. Add in Necromancer being a starting option for you to play and they won my pre-order.”
Once the socialization is over, I wouldn’t be surprised if Macro started building characters according to unreasonably restrictive rulesets in Diablo 4 as well.
“My background is in microbiology and science in general, so I’ve always been inclined to ask the impossible questions,” they said, “and if there’s no answer, test something until I find out.”