It took over 50 hours of playtime, but MacroBioBoi (opens in a new tab) she finally did: they completed the “world’s first completely twinless solo pacifist Hell Sorceress run” in Diablo 2: Resurrected.
In terms that will be more familiar to people who aren’t Diablo 2 speed runners, Macro beat Diablo 2: Resurrected on the hardest difficulty without attacking anything, using only items they found during the race. (“Twinking”, in Diablo 2 parlance, means using the trading system to give items to a character.) The speedsters in Diablo 2 had come up with theoretical ways to accomplish the race, but Macro was the first to actually do it.
“The only people who have ever run past Normal had winked at 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 can’t force anything else to attack, set traps, or use damaging auras. For the most part, the damage you deal has to be a direct result of a creature choosing to attack you. To accomplish that, Macro loaded his Sorceress with “chance to cast” items and abilities that sometimes cause a spell to be cast when his character is hit. In the end, they had armor that made them cast the powerful area-of-effect Nova spell whenever an enemy hit them. They also dropped points to Cold Armor’s passive abilities, 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 might make things easier for this Hell difficulty run. It didn’t work that way.
“I thought this run would be tough, but with the addition of Synergies to the Nova ability in Diablo 2: Resurrected [bonus damage for related skills]I thought it would actually be a lot easier than in Lord of Destruction,” Macro told PC Gamer. “That quickly fell apart after eight hours trying to get a specific spawn pattern for the Seal Boss Lord De Six in Chaos Sanctuary. . I couldn’t survive his minions long enough to kill him, and if you die and return to town, he’ll often cast a Bestow buff on himself that will make him regenerate faster than any number of Nova procs on my team. “
In order to deal damage faster than Lord De Seis could regenerate health, Macro needed an item that would give his character a 5% chance to cast Blaze, a spell that creates a burning stain on the ground. If Lord Of Six stood in the fire, he would take damage every frame, 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 at about 5:05).
“I needed to force him into that fire, and he’s a very difficult monster to manipulate into moving,” Macro said. “Basically we were lucky that on my last try, it didn’t award itself and after about 10 kills, we got it.”
It’s quite an achievement, but Macro, who’s been playing Diablo 2 since he was a kid, is already streaming another career attempt, this time with a paladin. Unlike the Sorceress, Macro says that the Paladin does not have any abilities that can kill Lord De Seis.
“I need to farm a very specific Mephisto weapon in Nightmare to have a chance of doing it,” 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 it all over again so people can see me suffer.”
MacroBioBoi streams on Twitch and also covers Diablo 2: Resurrected for Maxroll. They’re not Diablo 2 purists, though, and once they’re done with their current run, they’ll have Diablo 4 on their minds.
“I come from a very heavy MMORPG background (EverQuest and WoW) and it looks like Diablo 4 will bring about a lot of social gaming that I really miss when I play most ARPGs these days,” Macro told PC Gamer. “I like the restriction on the exchange of BIS equipment [the best items], and its sheer aesthetic 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 aesthetics were lacking. Add that the Necromancer is a starting option for you to play, and they won my pre-order.”
When the socializing ends, I wouldn’t be surprised if Macro also started creating characters according to unreasonably restrictive rule sets in Diablo 4.
“My background is in microbiology and science in general, so I’ve always been prone to asking impossible questions,” they said, “and if there’s no answer, try something until I figure it out.”