[GUIDE] - The Time Traveler's Vortex - Part 1 - General Guide to SPF Time Travel

Helvete

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Mar 13, 2020
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All right, here goes again... I'll continually update this for as long as I'm around. I'll authorize in advance whoever may be the authority at whatever time to edit this guide, for the purpose of keeping it updated.

(best read with the accent of Londo Mollari, Centauri Ambassador to Babylon 5)

Greetings, fellow Diablo 2 nerds! And welcome to my guide to the marvelous universe of time travel. The goal of this guide is to provide you with the knowledge required to obtain the most powerful items in the game, and to elaborate on how to advance with as little hassle as possible. Be advised, however, that embarking on a journey like this could take a rather long time, but, the rewards are substantial, and some truly astonishing items can become yours!


This guide will briefly mention the tech stuff and method I used to get any patch running with multiple instances. The gameplay will be a lot more in-depth in the guides to follow. In summary, we will look at the following patches:

Pre-LoD patches, with main focus on 1.00

1.07 - Lord of Destruction expansion as it came out of the box.

1.08 - LoD with working TC system but broken MF. Also more crafts.

1.09b - LoD with the "players" command, which goes from 1-64. Also because <3

1.10a - The first glimpse of the game as we play it today.

1.10s - The last patch with items superior to 1.13d.

Bear in mind, no item or character can ever be brought back in time; only you as a player have that ability.

The Why
Why the long journey? I'll try to elaborate on the whys for each patch before we get down to the hows. If you've ever read the patch notes, you probably thought to yourself that Blizzard didn't think the game balance very well through to begin with, and that they aren't very good at fixing bugs. That thought is true, but sadly not the whole truth. In the patch notes, a LOT of what they fixed/broke/changed isn't listed at all (which doesn't make writing this guide any easier...). I've been running a few tests, but sadly, I do not have any code digging skills, and most of the people who did dig into the code have lost interest in this game after just sixteen twenty years! I, for one, still get value for my money, and if you are into character optimization without breaking forum rules, then please read on. <--- remember linky to forum rules

During two decades since Diablo 2 was released, items, monsters and even characters have been changed with patches. However, pre-existing items were very rarely affected by these patches, and even if they were, the effects were usually beneficial. What we want to do is to make these items pre-exist.

I am not aware of any changes to items from 1.00 through 1.06b, except that a few exceptional items didn't drop until patch 1.04. The reason to start in 1.00 and not 1.04, 1.05b or 1.06b however, has to do with monsters and skills, not items.

Regarding Monsters:
- The Cow King can be killed without ANY penalty whatsoever in 1.00 and 1.01
- Maggot eggs and Maggot Young give exp and drop items in 1.00 (although at a lesser rate than pre-existing monsters). This makes for some great exp opportunities, especially since the command to set simulated additional players (known in 1.10+ as the "/players" command, but was actually introduced in 1.09 just without the / and with no confirmation from the game as to what actually happened) wasn't available.

Items to look for in pre-LoD versions (1.00-1.06b):
- Rare boots
These can have up to 19 strength/dex and 20% faster hit recovery. Also available are mana, life, and the single resists have a 9% greater range than in LoD. For some, up to 119% extra gold will be a real treat, as 80% is the max in LoD. Rares don't drop very frequently from anything but the Cow King, but the Secret Cow Level wasn't restricted to one king kill until patch 1.02, so that's not a problem in 1.00. Furthermore, a pair of boots (normal ones) cost 2500 gold to gamble, regardless of character level, so one can gamble them very efficiently.

- Rare belts
Can't have more than 19 str, but can have 19dex and 9% greater resists, same as boots. Also the goldfind max is 119%, which is almost 50% better than anything in LoD. Very cheap to gamble, at 2200 gold for a sash. In LoD, however, most will use String, Goldwrap or Arach, and only the goldfind chars will see real beneficial belts from pre-LoD.

- Unique rings
There are only three: Nagelring (which is worse than 1.09+), Manald Heal (which is the same) and The Stone of Jordan (which is also the same). Three distinct advantages, though. First of all, unique items pre-LoD were generated in a certain order if there were more than one. This was abolished with LoD, and replaced with a rarity system where uniqes are weighed first, then a rare would drop if the game chose a Nagel, but one had already dropped. Pre-LoD, the order is always Nagel -> Manald -> SoJ and Nokozan -> Etlich -> Mahim Oak. Cute. Second, uniques pre-LoD have neither level requirements nor quality levels. Which means that if a monster can drop the base, it can drop the unique, and if an item can be seen in the gambling screen, it could be unique, with one exception, which brings me to the third advantage: A unique item can only generate if that unique hasn't yet been generated in the game, OR is in the possession of a character. Contrary to LoD, equipped and stashed items DO count, which means that if Manald Heal and Nagelring are in the possession of a player, the next unique WILL be a SoJ. Also, if you were to bring a unique into a game, then drop it on the ground, you CAN still generate another that game, as long as it generates while the other unique is on the ground! This, combined with 3% odds for a unique when gambling, makes getting those SoJs MUCH easier than in LoD, and that is even without level requirement. The usual level requirement will be applied if any unique is ever converted to LoD in any way, but NOT if it is kept in classic. Which goes for any pre-LoD unique, and can help immensely with building twinked chars, or even rushing them.

- Rare rings
These are similar to the rares we already know, but with greater range on most stats except strenght. Prismatic rings are always [email protected], single resists go up to 39%, dual leech is possible and with greater leech than LoD (impossible on rares until 1.10 LOD with MUCH higher lvl req), and they have really low level requirements. 6% mana leech available at character level 4... Ormus has a habit of handing out superb twinking rings for later patches. Also, the affix pool is limited to actual useful stats.

- Rare amulets
These have amazing potential, with a minor catch. They need to be ilvl 88 to get +2 character skills (which is magic only in 1.07). Only Diablo himself is high enough (lvl 90), and getting to a level where gambled items can reliably get ilvls this high is pretty tedious. Getting one for use in 1.00 is therefore difficult (requires lvl 84+ character or questing to Hell Diablo a lot), but with 1.04, the recipe for rerolling rares with 6 Perfect Skulls was introduced. And it always has ilvl 99 output! Needless to say, collect every skull possible, upgrade to perfect, mule off, send the mule, a cube and a couple rare amulets to 1.04 or 1.05b and cube away. +2 skills is pretty easy to get as well, since the affix pool is much more limited in classic. I'm unsure about dual, but both types of leech can spawn independently. Prismatic is also frequent, with a range of 15 to 24 (rolled independently). MF should in theory go as high as 48% on a rare, but this requires a combination of prefix and suffix. Single resists go up to 49% and life to 59. Mana could in theory reach 88, but this also requires both prefix and suffix to roll perfect mana. Anyway, +2 skills is level req 67 as it has always been, but +1 is just lvl req 22, so potential for some ridiculous twinking gear.

- Gems
Yes, gems. They are always normal quality in hell (except moo moo farm). They are almost completely useless in classic, as you can't add sockets to items, and only grey items have them. However, any grade of sapphires, topazes, rubies and emeralds can be cubed ad infinitum in 1.07 or 1.08 with the ring recipes. Skulls are even better for 1.05b amulet cubing, although they must be perfect. Normal (and flawless) gems can be used with 1.10a to roll socketed magic weapons. Perfect gems are best used for 1.07 prismatic amulets or 1.08 crafts, but of course, perfect amethysts and rubies are very popular in 1.10+ for crafting.

- Normal (white) War Scepters
These can be shopped, and you'll want one with +3 Holy Shield with some juicy adds like redemption and vigor for socketing and runewording in 1.10s

- Exploding potions
Buy from Lycander in act II then forward to 1.07 or 1.08 as they cannot be bought there. You need them for the fire resist ring recipe along with rubies.

Items to look for in LoD 1.07

Oh my, where to even start? I'll have to divide this up into several subsections.

Uniques/sets
more or less complete list can be found here:
The highlights would be
- Vampire Gaze has 25% Damage Reduce and no cold damage, rest of stats like today, but always perfect
- Valkyrie Wing has IAS, FHR, FRW and FCR all at 30% which is the only 30%FCR from a helm ever
- Harlequin Crest (Shako) is 100%ED, +2 all skills, Indestructible, 50%MF and a whopping 40% max life
- Arkaine's Valor is 200%ED, +2 all skills, Indestructible, 30%FHR, 50% Fire res, +2 life/clvl and a stunning +2.5 vitality/clvl!
- The Gladiator's Bane has 25/20 PDR/MDR and Indestructible, but lower defense
- Hellslayer has +2 vitality/clvl and is Indestructible
- Wizardspike has 95% resist all
- Baranar's Star has +1.5 vitality/clvl but no elemental damage
- The Grandfather has Increase max life/mana 25% (but always 150% ED)
- War Traveler has 100% Extra Gold, +10 dex and MF fixed at 45% but no +str or damage
- Hellmouth has Cannot Be Frozen, the only gloves to ever have that
- Skullder's Ire has 30 vitality and 25 MDR, always 200% ED. (Same MF, but displayed as goldfind)
- Visceratuant has +2 necro skills and +80 life
- Gerke's Sanctuary has +1 vitality/clvl but no resists
- Kelpie Snare has Slows Target 100% (whatever that entails)
- Coldsteel Eye has 50% Crushing Blow
- Herald of Zakarum has Cannot Be Frozen and +1 Offensive Auras, but is otherwise terrible
- Arreat's Face has +0.5 max damage/clvl but is otherwise terrible
- Jalal's Mane has 25% Crushing Blow but is otherwise terrible (knockback...)
- Raven Claw is nothing special in this patch, but forward to 1.10+ for lvl 30 Exploding Arrow at lvl 15...
- M'Avina's Tenet has 10-15% manaleech and 40% FRW, the fastest run/walk on a belt ever.
- Laying of Hands has 50% Fire ABSORB, which makes characters fire immune until patch 1.10

Ethereal Weapons
Etherealness was different in 1.07; Armors had 50% enhanced defense (not base defense as in later patches) and weapons had 50% enhanced _maximum_ damage. For armors, this means a given eth armor always has the max defense possible, as base defense is set to max+1. Patch 1.11 introduced the cube socket bug, where etherealness was reapplied whenever adding sockets via the cube. As the 1.07 eth armors are NOT base defense, these will only win out against the current ones when the rune word applied doesn't have any enhanced defense on them (such as Treachery). For runewords such as Stone and Fortitude, with massive defense bonuses, current armors win by miles.
Weapons, however, will update their damage when brought forward to 1.09+. But the 50% enhanced max damage stays. This makes ANY 1.07 ethereal weapon vastly superior in 1.09+, and the higher the max damage (war pikes, berserker axes, thunder mauls...), the greater the benefit. You will never again look for socketed weapons in the current patch!

Crafted Items
(insert linky to Worg guide here. All in good time)
The short version is, crafts in 1.07 can get magic only affixes, and up to 3 sockets from Larzuk. A Greater Safety Armor could get 30PDR and 3 sockets for a whopping 51 PRD with SOL runes. Amulets can get +3 skilltab with prismatic and mana, while the bugged lifeleech items will solve any leech problems with just one item... And it was recently discovered that you CAN get +2 character skills on amulets by circumventing a bug!

Magic Items
Larzuk can put up to four sockets in a magic item, which makes for some killer armor, especially druid/barb helms. +3 warcries with +3 Find item, 100 life and 3 sockets anyone? Or +3 elemental skills with +3 nado, hurricane and cyclone armor? Sadly, for shields, only paladin shields can ever get 4 sockets in 1.07, and circlet-type headgear can only have one. Orbs get none. Still, a Cruel Phase Blade of Quickness with 4 sockets could see some use, and don't forget that ethereal items will update their damage with an extra 50% max damage, so imagine the Cruel War Pike of Quickness, ethereal with 4 sockets! (A 298% one was found by @WoRG , named the "Spear of the Gods". Any chance of seeing that one again?)

Cubed Rings and Amulets
Now, THIS is when 1.07 gets really interesting. Especially if you have a steady supply of gems from 1.00.
There are five recipes which can be used. In detail, these are
1 - Prismatic amulet (any amulet + 1 of each perfect gem except skull)
This will roll an amulet with a "hidden" prismatic affix, which rolls 6-36 light/fire/cold and 12-72 poison resist. "Hidden" in this case, means this amulet is NOT a magic "Prismatic Amulet (of X)" but ANY amulet with odds 1:999 unique, 5:999 rare, 8:999 set, and 986:999 magic. ilvl=clvl*0.66 rounded down. Sadly, this means no Mara's, but you could still get Tal Rasha's or Sarachen's Chance. Or imagine twinking with Angelic combo when the amulet has 30/30/30/60 resists? Also, the hidden modifier has no level requirement, so any amulet is a potential twinking gem!
2 - Coral Ring (any ring + 2 topazes [any quality])
Works the same way as the prismatic amu recipe, but adds 6-36 Lightning Resist as the hidden modifier. Hope for Fortutious Ring of Fortune, SoJ or even Angelic Halo. Odds for SoJ are really dim, about 1:81.000 but only requires clvl 60 to be possible. Actually, using a lvl 60 character is optimal, since a lvl 76 character could give a Raven or Dwarf, which are both worse than their 1.09+ counterparts
3 - Jade Ring (any ring + emerald [any quality] + antidote potion)
Same as above, but with posion resist. Poison resist isn't very important, but still a nice way to reroll rings. @WoRG rolled a SoJ with this!
4 - Garnet Ring (any ring + ruby [any quality] + exploding potion)
Same as above, but with fire resist. Fire resist would make for an excellent addition to a SoJ, wouldn't it, "Spirit" users?
5 - Cobalt Ring (any ring + sapphire [any quality] + thawing potion)
Same as above, but with cold resist. This recipe, however, is bugged in such a way that if the prefix "Triumphant" rolls (on a rare or magic), the cold resist will disappear, and be added to the Triumphant value. The result of this is a ring with 7-37 mana per kill, which is outrageous! Roll these with a level 8 character to also have the suffix "of the Apprentice" available, making for a possible 37MPK 10FCR ring; even better if it rolls rare! Possibly the most broken ring obtainable. Easy to get when rolling with a lvl 8 char, but it gets harder as more affixes become available. Still, when you have 4-5 of them, start using your highest level character for these, for a chance at higher affixes such as prismatic, str, dex, high mana or individual resists.

Charms
1.07 charms are infamous for their damage. In short, +40 max damage is possible on Grand Charms, while +12 is possible on Small Charms. Also, single resists can be up to 12 on small charms and 36 on grand charms, while all resists can be 6 on small charms and 20 on grand charms. Elemental damage cannot spawn, which increases the odds of a good damage charm. MF and GF, however, is horrible. 1.07 also has areas with level higher than 90, so any charm found in chests here could be forwarded to 1.09+ and cubed for a chance at a skiller with 41-45 life. This CANNOT be done in 1.07 because that recipe sets ilvl=1.

Rare jewels, gems and Perfect Skulls
Forward them to 1.08 to reroll for possible 6-affix jewels, as 1.07 rare jewels are limited at three affixes and with much lower magnitude. Gems are for crafting, and need not be perfect, unless you're going for the prismatic amulets. I personally cube all flawless, and only leave diamonds and amethysts of the lower grade gems on the ground. Well, flawed and chipped skulls also.

Items to look for in LoD 1.08
- Windforce, the unique Hydra Bow. It has +35 dex instead of just 5 and can't spawn in 1.07.
- Rare Jewels and Perfect Skulls. Rare jewels can get 6 affixes in 1.08, best of any patch.
- Highlord's Wrath has 30% FRW instead of IAS
- Some greater crafts which are disabled or different in 1.07, most noteworthy caster amulets with up to 25%FCR, but also greater safety boots and belts can be very juicy.
- Raven Claw for twinking in 1.10+ if you didn't find one in 1.07 or 1.09b
- Some of the uniques are the same as 1.07 and rack odds are 1:800 for unique instead of 1:1000. BUT! Racks are capped at qlvl 75.
- The elemental resist ring recipes mentioned in 1.07 have better odds for rare/set/unique quality here, around 20% better.

Items to look for in LoD 1.09b
- Raven Claw, the unique Long Bow (if you haven't found it in 1.07 or 1.08) as it gets lvl 30 Exploding Arrow when forwarded to 1.10+. Great twinking bow.
- Other uniques should have the stats we have all come to know, so get them for use in this patch.
- Countess' special rune drop goes up to Vex, reportedly in BOTH NM and hell (needs confirmation), so she's a potential target for runes. I'd rather rush characters in 1.00, 1.07 or 1.09b to collect Hellforges in 1.10a/s but if you want a Vex in 1.09b/d she's your best hope.
- Small Charms come with 5% FRW, not 3% like 1.07 and 1.10+
- Not an item in itself, but 1.09b was where the "players (1-64)" command was introduced. Yes, it went all the way up to 64 back then. You can cheese-level extremely fast! Note that this ONLY applies to 1.09b, so if you want broken Chance to Cast for safer Oculus usage, you'll need 1.09d which is capped at players8.

Items to look for in LoD 1.10a
- BKWB (Bul Khato's Wedding Band) for its +2 all skills. What a prize!
- Cubing magic/socketed weapons with normal/flawless gems introduced (not just chippy swords as in 1.09) and you can get MAX sockets for its ilvl. Which means 6 socket archon staves, 5 socket war scepters...

Items to look for in LoD 1.10s
The famous beta runewords! The big four are:

Call to Arms runeword with
+2 All skills (instead of 1)
level 5-15 Battle Orders (instead of 1-6)
level 5-20 Battle Command (instead of 2-6)
level 10-13 Battle Cry (instead of 1-4)

Crescent Moon with
220-260%ED (+40% compared to 1.10 final and later)
20% CtC Static Field (instead of 7%; almost three times more frequent casts)

Bramble with 69-207% to poison skill damage (25-50% in 1.10 final and later)

Delirium with higher overall CtC. 33% Confuse is triple the chance from 1.10 final,


The How
It used to be rather complicated getting all the files and software we'll need, but luckily, there are ways to get several versions running.

Option 1 - multiple installs
This will consume quite a lot of disk space. However, disks have been getting bigger, and space is no longer an issue for most people. You do need old disks for this...

Option 2 - Use a version swithcher
Take a look in the Community Links where you can find everything you need! This will allow for running any version, and depending on method, with much lower disk space required.

Also recommend you check out these features (from that same link)
- ATMA
- GoMule
- Sven's Glide Wrapper


Oh, and before you go nuts... be sure to read post #3 of the Forum Rules
 
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