But not without actually killing anybody. Oh no, that’s the clever part. Twitch streamer and speedrunner DrCliche has managed to finish both Diablo II and its Lord of Destruction expansion in just under eight hours without ever stabbing an enemy – by (mostly) using a Thorns aura to do the messy work for him instead. It’s the very definition of passive-aggressive, and it totally counts.
Over on Reddit, Dr Cliche reveals his crazy strategy, which prohibits the use of any, uh, intentional violence, including summoned or hired allies.
“There’s a bug that sometimes causes your mouse buttons to revert to attack when any of your equipment changes,” he added. “As a result, it’s easy to unwittingly swing at an enemy, or to accidentally TK something while aiming for a chest, portal, waypoint, shrine, seal, or altar. If that happens, simply apologize and don’t allow that enemy to die. If that enemy needs to die, respawn it unprovoked in a new game.”
This was his second try at a so-called “pacifist” playthrough, because it’s much harder than it looks – and potentially even impossible, depending on class selection. A first attempt, using a Paladin character, failed during the fourth act of the game, because of Chaos Sanctuary boss Lord de Seis. This Oblivion Knight is the game’s only enemy whose ranged attacks don’t trigger – or “proc”, in the vernacular – the Thorns aura or items imbued with the Nova spell, and he also has a healing ability called Bestow.
“I’ve tried a dizzying array of insanity to get a pacifist Paladin past De Seis, including luring him out to the River of Flame to take damage from fires while casting Cloak of Shadows from an inventory of Nadirs, but nothing works,” Dr Cliche explains. “Though you never see him cast Bestow, and Cloak supposedly stops enemies from using skills, somehow Bestow always manages to get cast, and he starts healing at a frightening rate, permanently.”
So he tried again with a Sorceress, whose Chilling Armor ability can launch an ice bolt against ranged enemies.
“But De Seis’s elemental attacks do proc Chilling Armor, and at level 30, with Cold Mastery, 6 points in Chilling Armor, and a +2 staff, you do damage quickly and consistently enough to keep Lord de Seis from ever casting Bestow. Diablo is almost a joke in comparison, but do watch out for his Lightning Snake.”
But he might never have gotten that far. In order to boost his Thorns aura, DrCliche had to complete an Edge rune, and that’s not a guaranteed thing on Normal difficulty. Not even close.
“Act 4 mana potions are strong enough to allow you to continuously teleport, so teleport to the River of Flame waypoint. Find the Hellforge, then destroy Mephisto’s Soulstone and say a quick prayer to Tyrael, because this is the moment that makes or breaks the run. The Hellforge has a 1 in 11 chance of dropping an Amn rune, completing your Edge. Without the level 15 Thorns provided by Edge, it would be wholly impractical (if not impossible) to continue. If you don’t get the Amn, the first monsters that can drop one are the Council Members in Act 3, but Amn drops in Normal are exceedingly rare. If the Hellforge doesn’t deliver, your run is over.”
… Who has this kind of time?