“The devil’s in the detail” couldn’t be any more true when it comes to Diablo II speedruns. This deliciously demonic game from Blizzard captivated audiences upon release with its moody ambiance, loot collection, and addictive gameplay.
It didn’t take players long to deep-dive into the game’s mechanics, tweaking their skill builds for optimal performance and figuring out the intricacies of obtaining the rarest items. But once you’ve explored every corner of the Diablo II world, what else is there to do?
The answer for many gamers is to try to blast your way through the game as quickly as you possibly can. To this end, highly recommended “meta” builds are used. As well as this, endless hours of practice are bolstered by exploiting glitches and quirks in the mechanics.
Sometimes, players also spend a little extra time obtaining specific loot items. Some of these can really power up your character and make defeating enemies a breeze.
Whether you’re a speedrunner or not, the clock is always ticking. So, with that in mind, let’s dig into this incredible world-beating Diablo II speedrun, courtesy of Kano.
Techniques Used in Diablo II Speedruns
When you’re doing an any% run, usually you’re going to take advantage of glitches within the game. This is especially true when you’re going for a world record. However, Diablo II is an odd beast in the world of speedrunning, in that it’s probably the game with the highest amount of RNG.
This basically means that there are many randomized elements during a game, mostly involving enemy spawns, item spawns, and map layouts. Some maps do have a smaller number of potential layouts though, such as the Den of Evil.
- Requires 32 MB RAM
- Single-player mode
- Rated mature
All in all, it’s virtually impossible to achieve a flawless run, and there aren’t really any major glitches that can be taken advantage of. This does add a lot of variation to the gameplay and definitely makes it a unique title for competitors to play through.
This run in particular is an any% New Game+ (NG+) run. NG+, for most games, involves retaining your character’s levels, stats and/ or items after beating the game once. However, Diablo II has no official NG+ capability, so speedrunners have invented their own.
This involves being able to use any items you’ve obtained and stored in the shared stash, as well as using a mod to create powerful equipment to use. The restriction on this, however, is that the item must be one that can be legitimately obtained during a normal playthrough.
Specifics to Kano’s Run
As you can expect, being able to equip endgame gear from the outset vastly reduces your playtime. For example, Kano has used a staff with a level 10 charge bolt for powerful attacks, and rings and charms to give stat boosts.
In terms of increasing mobility, he uses Cow King’s Hooves to enhance his movement speed, as well as a Sacred Globe to reduce the mana cost of teleporting. The Eagle Orb is also key for the early game, as it grants access to the Frost Nova, Static Field, and Telekinesis skills.
Overall, beating the previous record by nearly 1 and a half minutes is an outstanding accomplishment.
Were Any Mistakes Made?
Overall, there aren’t many mistakes in this run — it can be improved the most through sheer luck with the RNG. Overall, Kano did get relatively lucky with this. He had an almost perfect jail map setup, as well as the desert in Act II.
However, he did teleport in the wrong direction a few times, such as when trying to reach Mephisto at 18:00. Although, to be fair, when you’re speeding through the game this quickly, you’re bound to encounter a few missteps.
More About Kano
Kano spends most of his time speedrunning Diablo II. But he also enjoys many other games, such as Overwatch and the rhythm game osu!
He’s actually achieved many world records for Diablo II in a lot of categories. However, he mostly focuses on the any% Baal category and the Druid class. You can see more of his playthroughs on his Twitch and YouTube.
History of Diablo II Speedruns
As a game that was essentially designed with online gaming in mind, it’s unsurprising that it didn’t take long for speedrunners to try their hand at it. However, these wouldn’t be widely shared until the advent of YouTube. Even then they weren’t as ubiquitous as they are now with the help of Twitch.
Once the expansion pack was released, players had 2 new character classes (Druid and Assassin) to get to grips with. Druid, in particular, greatly changed the speedrunning landscape. Druid is a very popular class, largely due to his increased movement speed when in his wolf form.
This isn’t quite as quick as the Sorceress’ teleport, but doesn’t require as much mana. To this day, Sorceress and Druid are the most common choices, but Paladin isn’t too far behind.
Diablo II remains a popular game more than 20 years after its release. Not only with the average gamer but the speedrunning, too.
There’s a lot of love for this title, which is evident from the runners’ intricate knowledge of its mechanics and level design. If you’re a fan of intense battles, roguelike video games, or a dedicated speedrunner, you’ll have a blast with Diablo II.