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Guide:High Level Baal Runs to 99 v1.10, by jjscud and Reborn

From Diablo 2 Wiki

Figures courtesy of jjscud and Reborn.

Diablo II Strategy Guide Info:

Since the v1.10 patch reworked the experience rewards and high level penalties, it's become a much longer project to level a character to 99. Up to 85 or even 90 isn't that slow, but past 91 or 92 the leveling speed drops off terribly. Past 93, only 3 bosses are high enough level that the player does not get an additional experience penalty. These are Baal, Diablo and Nihlathak. Solo Baal runs (trips down through the Worldstone Keep, and then a long battle to clear out Baal's Throneroom, and then kill Baal himself in the Worldstone Chamber) have been popular for a long time though recent numbers and experiments have shown that running Nihlathak and Diablo can be just as effective over time. Serious ladder teams usually have the primary character kill Baal and Diablo each run.

The following figures represent how many Baal runs are required for each level up, and the total journey, from level 90 to 99. This assumes a player kills almost nothing on Worldstone Keep levels 2 and 3, then does all five packs of of Baal's Minions on /players 8, before killing Baal himself on /players 3+. (There's a bug with Baal's experience in v1.10+ where his experience value does not increase past 3 players.)

Players doing these runs on or in multiplayer games will generally have to kill a few more monsters on their way down to the Throneroom, but the experience from those is negligible, compared to the total quantity required.

Baal runs can be zipped through with amazing speed by talented players with powerful characters. Entire runs, including the time to create the game and start in town, can be routinely done in under 2:30. That's two minutes and thirty seconds. Video evidence at the link.

Baal Runs Figures

This shows how many runs are required for each level up, and cumulatively, to move from 90 to 99. Note that almost 2/3 of the total runs are required to go from 98 to 99. A very fast player, especially one playing with turbo help from friends, could conceivably spend more total play time going from 98 to 99 than they did going from 1-98. Interesting balance the D2 patch designers have wrought, there.

Start Level End Level Baal Runs Total Baal Runs % Complete
90 91 20 20 0.36%
91 92 30 50 0.90%
92 93 45 90 1.63%
93 94 60 155 2.61%
94 95 110 265 4.8%
95 96 210 475 8.6%
96 97 450 925 16.7%
97 98 1100 2025 36.6%
98 99 3500 5525 100%