Act Four takes the player into the depths of Hell itself, in pursuit of the greater evils. This act was designed as the conclusion of Diablo II, and is about half the size of the first three acts. In D2X it's merely a stepping stone on the ultimate path to defeat Baal, but still features one of the most dangerous areas in the entire game, in Diablo's Chaos Sanctuary.
Act Four: The Harrowing
The goal of Act Four is to kill Diablo. In Diablo II this ends the game, in the Expansion it allows you to advance to Act Five. There are only three quests in Act Four, and it's the smallest of the Acts, with just five areas and no extra dungeon levels. The first two quests are optional, but the first has the best quest reward in the game, so you'll want to be sure to do it.
Quest One: The Fallen Angel
- Quest Name: The Fallen Angel
- Triggered By: Entering the Pandemonium Fortress
- Location: Find Izual in the Plains of Despair
- Reward: Two skill points from Tyrael*
- Quest Priority: This quest is not mandatory, but the +2 skill points is probably the best quest reward in the game.
Izual will be found somewhere roaming around the Plains of Despair, the second area in Act Five. He is a relatively easy kill, as he has just a Cold Nova attack and a slow physical attack. The challenge is that he has an incredible amount of hit points, more than Diablo even, so takes quite a while to beat on. He's worth a good chunk of experience though, in addition to Tyrael giving you two skill points when you return to town after killing "Izzy" as he's called.
Tips: Try to get someone else in the game if you are on Battle.net to help you with him. Sorceresses are the best, since with Static they can take Izzy down most of the way a lot faster than any other attack. Use your biggest damage weapon on Izual, he's not much of a threat to deal you damage, he just has so many hit points you'll often need to go get repairs in the middle of the fight.
* Note: If you wander away from Izual's spirit, it will disappear. You can still return to Tyrael to get the quest reward.
Quest Two: Hell's Forge
- Quest Name: Hell's Forge
- Triggered by: Completing Quest One, or entering the River of Flame
- Given by: Cain
- Location: Hellforge in the River of Flame
- Reward: Smashing Mephisto's Soul Stone on the Hellforge drops four random type gems, one normal, two flawless, one perfect per player finishing the quest. The Expansion adds one dropped Rune per game. The rune is randomly selected from within the following ranges:
- Normal: El (r01) - Amn (r11).
- Nightmare: Sol (r12) - Um (r22).
- Hell: Hel (r15) - Gul (r25).
- Quest Priority: Optional quest, but a good reward. It was frequently skipped in v1.08 and earlier since Hephasto was so fierce. In D2X it's much easier and has a better quest reward.
You must destroy the Soulstone you got from Mephisto on the Hellforge, a blacksmith's forge in Hell. This is the forge Izual was attacking to prevent the completion of Shadowfang when he was captured, in the Diablo mythology. At the Hellforge you'll find Hephasto the Armorer, a SuperUnique monster. You must kill him to make him drop the Hellforge Hammer, which you should then equip. (It must first be identified in early versions of Diablo II.)
If you click on the Hellforge and have Mephisto's Soulstone in your inv/cube/stash, the stone will appear on the Hellforge. Equip the Hellforge Hammer and click on the forge. It takes three swings to shatter the soulstone. You get a very pretty display as hundreds of skeletal-souls fly up into the sky, freed by the shattering of the gem. (The graphics are borrowed from the Paladin's little-seen Redemption skill.)
The reward is in the form of gems, and a rune in the Expansion. Four gems fall to the ground as the souls are flying away. They are always one normal, two flawless, and one perfect, of random types. There are four gems for each player in the party who is finishing the quest, so in a five player party, with three people needing the quest all in Act Four, you'd get twelve gems, and have to sort out who gets which. You want to be careful if you are new to Act Four, and in a party, since others might finish the quest and get all of your gems even if you are in another area. In the Expansion there is one Rune dropped each time the soulstone is smashed, no matter how many are in the party, so you might want to be sure you do the quest yourself to get your Rune.
Hephasto was one of the most feared monsters in the game prior to v1.08. He was always Cursed, Extra Strong, and Magic Resistant, did huge damage, and had a lot of foot speed. Hep spawning with Might or Extra Fast was a terrifying sight; he could outrun most characters in a footrace, and packed a potential one-hit kill for many types of characters. Most players, especially hardcore characters, lived in dread of his section of the River of Flame, and ran for their lives if they got close enough while exploring to trigger his quest button to pop up. He's much less fearsome in v1.08 and the Expansion, with Spectral Hit and Conviction instead of his earlier mods, and he's not as quick either, so killing him solo is no longer a real test of your skills or technique.
Tips: You don't need to carry the Soulstone you get from Mephisto in Act Three, Cain will give you a new one each time he gives you the quest if you don't have one.
To deal with Hephasto, if you have a ranged attack, lure him to some spot in the lava with a gap he can't run around, then get yourself to the other side (If you can't teleport, portal back to town and come back down by the waypoint in the City or River, depending on which side you want to come from) and hit him from a distance until he dies.
Melee characters benefit a lot from a Knockback or stun sort of attack, either from skills or from equipment. Wear Cleglaw's Pincers, or use Smite or Bash, and you can pin Hep against a wall and keep him motionless for as long as it takes to kill him.
Quest Three: Terror's End
- Quest Name: Terror's End
- Triggered by: Finishing Quest One, or entering the Chaos Sanctuary
- Given by: Tyrael
- Location: The Chaos Sanctuary
- Reward: None, other than finishing the game and gaining you a new title in Diablo II. In the Expansion it allows you to progress to Act Five.
- Quest Priority: You must defeat Diablo to finish the game or move on to Act Five.
Diablo is found in the Chaos Sanctuary, and you must release him by opening the seals you find around the level. There are five seals in three locations. Three of the Seals will spawn a fearsome pack of boss monsters, and opening all five and killing all of the three seal bosses will make Diablo appear in the center of the pentagram of fire in the middle of the level.
The Chaos Sanctuary is among the most difficulty area in the game for most character types. Characters will want high resistances here, and it's especially dangerous for melee characters due to the Oblivion Knights casting Iron Maiden, a curse that will often cause an afflicted melee character to kill themselves with their next attack.
The Bowazon is the best suited for clearing out the CS solo, with her ranged attack and Valkyrie and Decoy to keep her from being swarmed or fired at too much. Her partying with a Sorceress with long range Static Field makes for a very fast clear. Necromancers are useful here too, with a Bowazon or Sorceress to kill while protected by his minions.
There is no reward for this quest other than what Diablo drops, though as an act boss, his loot is usually substantial.
Tips: The Seals that release the Seal Bosses are always the same, depending on the layout of the level. Lord de Seis always has one seal, so no wondering there. He used to appear right on top of it some times, but in the Expansion he's always over far to the left, in the hallway coming towards his Seal. The Grand Vizier of Chaos is always to the left -- if there is a single hallway with a corner there, the first Seal you reach will always release him. If there is a fork there, the Seal to the right will release him. For the Infector of Souls, if there is a single hallway with a Seal in the middle, and then a pair of right turns into a Cul de Sac, it's always the Seal in the back corner. If there is a shorter straight hallway with Seals on both sides, it's always the first Seal you reach. Knowing which Seal is going to release them is useful to get ready for their appearance.
All the seal bosses can spawn with MSLE on Hell, so be wary of them appearing close to you and spitting out lightning of death. They can't have MSLE on Nightmare, so there is less to worry about there. Besides, in v1.10 and later MSLE is no longer especially dangerous.
Diablo is a difficult fight for many characters. He dies more quickly than Baal, but can deal far more damage while he remains alive. Diablo was much more dangerous prior to the expansion, since his Firestorm ground flame attack could hit nearby targets many, many times, potentially killing almost any character in a blink. His pink lighting was very hazardous too, dangerous enough that D2 players dubbed it the LBoD, for "Lightning Bolt of Death." It too has been much nerfed in the Expansion (v1.07 and later) and is no longer lethal. It doesn't even hit characters at melee range, but it can hurt ranged attackers quite a bit, and most players quickly learn to run circles around Diablo when he fires this inferno-like spell and tracks it after his target.
Diablo also has a very high blocking rate, which makes him last a lot longer than you expect, and makes him seem almost impossible to hit at times. This is especially noticeable for ranged attackers, as arrow after arrow hits him and vanishes, with no damage being done.
Using Minions on him is very hard also, unless you spam Fire Golems, as he does seven times damage to minions, and his Fire or Lightning spells will usually kill every minion on the screen in an instant. He has a melee freezing hit also, and a charging slap attack, but it's the elemental attacks that most find so dangerous. He isn't immune to anything though, so any type of attack can kill him, eventually.
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