With a little help from my friends - untwinked Sorc hits 99

ffs

Well-known member
Mar 13, 2020
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HelpYourself, an untwinked Sorc created almost exactly a year ago, has finally reached her ultimate goal and hit level 99.

Let me start by saying that to me, the journey of this character is a prime example of an SPF product. It's surprising how a project like this can be approached when making use of all the information within this community, both about game mechanics and efficiency generally and the 99er mission specifically. It has been a great experience to build on the foundation of knowledge and experience of others, while discussing and theorycrafting along the way in order to find an improvement here or there, and to stay at high efficiency during the intimidating amount of hours spent on this mission.

All these things resulted in an amazing ride for this character, and eventually in what to my knowledge is the fastest XP gain known for 98-99. It truly was the most rewarding and satisfying experience I've had with this game (not to mention the most fun I've had with it, definitely since making my first Enigma and Infinity).

[HIGHLIGHT]Hitting 99, Gear and Drops Highlights[/HIGHLIGHT]

So, here's the final moment:


Final gear (Nihlathak setup for 98-99)
Code:
Griffon's Eye (15/19) socketed with 5/5 facet
Chains of Honor (13% ED superior Scarab Husk)
+2 Sorc/9% FCR/8% ML/[email protected] craft amulet
Crescent Moon (eth Crystal Sword)
35% Spirit
Magefist
Arachnid Mesh
Nature's Peace (30 PR/11 DR)
Rare ring: 10 FCR/[email protected] (18 LR)/28 life/18 mana/1 DR
Aldur's Advance (mostly used WT along with MF and FR SCs for the last level though)

Switch:
+5 BO CtA (eth Double Axe)
Spirit

Merc:
Infinity (eth Thresher from ~98.3 onwards, first Infinity in eth CV before)
Delirium (eth Demonhead)
Treachery (eth bugged Wyrmhide)

Inventory:
3 Skillers, Gheed's
Life, life/resist SCs, one FHR/FR SC to get to 60% FHR

Body recovery kit in stash:
eth Hoto Flail ([email protected])
+3 BO CtA
Shako 'Sol'
[email protected] upped Viper
35% Spirit
Nature's Peace + rare 20 str ring

GoMule dump (Nihlathak setup)
Code:
Name:       HelpYourself
Class:      Sorceress
Experience: 3520485254
Level:      99

            Naked/Gear
Strength:   136/156
Dexterity:  25/25
Vitality:   384/406
Energy:     35/35
HP:         946/1414
Mana:       231/367
Stamina:    546/746
Defense:    6/1572
AR:         75/104

Fire:       183/143/83
Cold:       144/104/44
Lightning:  179/139/79
Poison:     179/139/79

MF:         65       Block:      2
GF:         147
FR/W:       40
FHR:        60
IAS:        20
FCR:        119

Fire Bolt: 0/0
Warmth: 1/10
Inferno: 0/0
Blaze: 0/0
Fire Ball: 0/0
Fire Wall: 0/0
Enchant: 0/0
Meteor: 0/0
Fire Mastery: 0/0
Hydra: 0/0

Charged Bolt: 20/31
Static Field: 5/16
Telekinesis: 1/12
Nova: 20/31
Lightning: 20/31
Chain Lightning: 20/31
Teleport: 1/12
Thunder Storm: 0/0
Energy Shield: 0/0
Lightning Mastery: 20/31

Ice Bolt: 0/0
Frozen Armor: 1/9
Frost Nova: 0/0
Ice Blast: 0/0
Shiver Armor: 0/0
Glacial Spike: 0/0
Blizzard: 0/0
Chilling Armor: 0/0
Frozen Orb: 0/0
Cold Mastery: 0/0

Arachnid Mesh
Spiderweb Sash
Defense: 136
Durability: 8 of 12
Required Level: 80
Required Strength: 50
Fingerprint: 0x5393e9e7
Item Level: 99
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to All Skills
+20% Faster Cast Rate
Slows Target by 10%
+117% Enhanced Defense
Increase Maximum Mana 5%
Level 3 Venom (11/11 Charges)

Harlequin Crest
Shako
Defense: 141
Durability: 12 of 12
Required Level: 62
Required Strength: 50
Fingerprint: 0x9b6acb4e
Item Level: 87
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
All Stats +2
+148 to Life (Based on Character Level)
+148 to Mana (Based on Character Level)
Damage Reduced by 10%
Damage Reduced by 7
50% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
1 Sockets (1 used)
Socketed: Sol Rune

Sol Rune
Required Level: 27
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: +9 to Minimum Damage
Armor: Damage Reduced by 7
Shields: Damage Reduced by 7

Raven Wing
Amulet
Required Level: 89
Fingerprint: 0x5df29f35
Item Level: 90
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to Sorceress Skill Levels
+9% Faster Cast Rate
8% Mana stolen per hit
+12 to Mana
Regenerate Mana 4%
+20 Maximum Stamina
All Resistances +10

Griffon's Eye
Diadem
Defense: 212
Durability: 19 of 20
Required Level: 76
Fingerprint: 0x49c6528b
Item Level: 86
Version: Expansion 1.10+
100% Chance to cast level 47 Chain Lightning when you Die
+1 to All Skills
+25% Faster Cast Rate
Adds 1 - 74 Lightning Damage
-24% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
+20% to Lightning Skill Damage
+160 Defense
1 Sockets (1 used)
Socketed: Rainbow Facet

Rainbow Facet
Jewel
Required Level: 49
Fingerprint: 0x472bcd23
Item Level: 87
Version: Expansion 1.10+
100% Chance to cast level 47 Chain Lightning when you Die
Adds 1 - 74 Lightning Damage
-5% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
+5% to Lightning Skill Damage

Magefist
Light Gauntlets
Defense: 25
Durability: 18 of 18
Required Level: 23
Required Strength: 45
Fingerprint: 0xe6811b62
Item Level: 49
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Fire Skills
+20% Faster Cast Rate
Adds 1 - 6 Fire Damage
+30% Enhanced Defense
+10 Defense
Regenerate Mana 25%

Tome of Identify
Fingerprint: 0xcd9de07
Item Level: 9
Version: Expansion 1.10+

Stone Gyre
Ring
Required Level: 43
Fingerprint: 0x83446a4f
Item Level: 71
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+10% Faster Cast Rate
+28 to Life
+18 to Mana
All Resistances +4
Lightning Resist +14%
Damage Reduced by 1

Chains of Honor
Superior Scarab Husk
DolUmBerIst
Defense: 869
Durability: 26 of 28
Required Level: 63
Required Strength: 95
Fingerprint: 0xa3e946d5
Item Level: 84
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
+200% Damage to Demons
+100% Damage to Undead
8% Life stolen per hit
+83% Enhanced Defense
+20 to Strength
Replenish Life +7
All Resistances +65
Damage Reduced by 8%
25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: Dol Rune
Socketed: Um Rune
Socketed: Ber Rune
Socketed: Ist Rune

Dol Rune
Required Level: 31
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Hit Causes Monster to Flee 25%
Armor: Replenish Life +7
Shields: Replenish Life +7

Um Rune
Required Level: 47
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 25% Chance of Open Wounds
Armor: Cold Resist +15%
Lightning Resist +15%
Fire Resist +15%
Poison Resist +15%
Shields: Cold Resist +22%
Lightning Resist +22%
Fire Resist +22%
Poison Resist +22%

Ber Rune
Required Level: 63
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 20% Chance of Crushing Blow
Armor: Damage Reduced by 8%
Shields: Damage Reduced by 8%

Ist Rune
Required Level: 51
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Armor: 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Shields: 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Sparking Grand Charm
Grand Charm
Required Level: 42
Fingerprint: 0x3961300
Item Level: 94
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Lightning Skills (Sorceress Only)

Call to Arms
War Scepter
AmnRalMalIstOhm
One Hand Damage: 39 - 66
Durability: 70 of 70
Required Level: 57
Required Strength: 55
Fingerprint: 0xe759edba
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to All Skills
+40% Increased Attack Speed
290% Enhanced Damage
+150% Damage to Undead
Adds 5 - 30 Fire Damage
7% Life stolen per hit
Prevent Monster Heal
+1 to Salvation (Paladin Only)
+6 to Battle Command
+3 to Battle Orders
+2 to Battle Cry
Replenish Life +12
30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
5 Sockets (5 used)
Socketed: Amn Rune
Socketed: Ral Rune
Socketed: Mal Rune
Socketed: Ist Rune
Socketed: Ohm Rune

Amn Rune
Required Level: 25
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 7% Life stolen per hit
Armor: Attacker Takes Damage of 14
Shields: Attacker Takes Damage of 14

Ral Rune
Required Level: 19
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Adds 5 - 30 Fire Damage
Armor: Fire Resist +30%
Shields: Fire Resist +35%

Mal Rune
Required Level: 49
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Prevent Monster Heal
Armor: Magic Damage Reduced by 7
Shields: Magic Damage Reduced by 7

Ist Rune
Required Level: 51
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Armor: 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Shields: 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Ohm Rune
Required Level: 57
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Enhanced Maximum Damage
Armor: +5% to Maximum Cold Resist
Shields: +5% to Maximum Cold Resist

Amber Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xe8a07e63
Item Level: 86
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+19 to Life
Lightning Resist +10%

Beryl Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x97ec5aa1
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+19 to Life
Poison Resist +5%

Sparking Grand Charm
Grand Charm
Required Level: 42
Fingerprint: 0xd11681ac
Item Level: 95
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Lightning Skills (Sorceress Only)

Garnet Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x346e4bd3
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+16 to Life
Fire Resist +9%

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x8647b4cc
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x30d7941f
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x2f6e1088
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x2e9a8692
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x2db35f6b
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x53d702d7
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xa634e423
Item Level: 84
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x8f64cc4b
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+19 to Life

Fine Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xc7d46d4d
Item Level: 64
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+3 to Maximum Damage
+17 to Attack Rating
+20 to Life

Fiery Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x63d43039
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Adds 1 - 3 Fire Damage
+20 to Life

Sparking Grand Charm
Grand Charm
Required Level: 42
Fingerprint: 0x87c9ac3c
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Lightning Skills (Sorceress Only)

Amber Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x3a01c108
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life
Lightning Resist +11%

Bronze Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xc0297370
Item Level: 99
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+12 to Attack Rating
+20 to Life

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xbaed94e8
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Garnet Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x7936e154
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+18 to Life
Fire Resist +8%

Smoking Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 56
Fingerprint: 0x244b862a
Item Level: 95
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Adds 9 - 17 Fire Damage
+19 to Life

Ruby Small Charm of Balance
Small Charm
Required Level: 32
Fingerprint: 0x3574ca8b
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+5% Faster Hit Recovery
Fire Resist +10%

Stout Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x512fcb92
Item Level: 95
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 Defense
+20 to Life

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x29ebd64a
Item Level: 88
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Nature's Peace
Ring
Required Level: 69
Fingerprint: 0x77867fe5
Item Level: 95
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Prevent Monster Heal
Slain Monsters Rest in Peace
Poison Resist +30%
Damage Reduced by 11
Level 5 Oak Sage (27/27 Charges)

Aldur's Advance
Battle Boots
Defense: 46
Durability: 16 of 18
Required Level: 45
Required Strength: 95
Fingerprint: 0x5a8a029a
Item Level: 88
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Indestructible
+40% Faster Run/Walk
+50 to Life
+180 Maximum Stamina
Heal Stamina Plus 32%
Fire Resist +47%
10% Damage Taken Goes To Mana
Set (2 items): +15 to Dexterity
Set (3 items): +15 to Dexterity
Set (4 items): +15 to Dexterity


Skin of the Vipermagi
Wyrmhide
Defense: 970
Durability: 24 of 24
Required Level: 57
Required Strength: 84
Fingerprint: 0xbae8f4cb
Item Level: 87
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to All Skills
+30% Faster Cast Rate
+120% Enhanced Defense
All Resistances +35
Magic Damage Reduced by 13
Required Level +7

Heart of the Oak
Superior Flail
KoVexPulThul
One Hand Damage: 1 - 40
Durability: 16 of 16
Required Level: 55
Required Strength: 31
Required Dexterity: 25
Fingerprint: 0x49d935b8
Item Level: 88
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+3 to All Skills
+40% Faster Cast Rate
13% Enhanced Damage
+75% Damage to Demons
+100 to Attack Rating against Demons
+150% Damage to Undead
Adds 3 - 14 Cold Damage Over 3 Secs (75 Frames)
7% Mana stolen per hit
+10 to Dexterity
Replenish Life +20
Increase Maximum Mana 15%
All Resistances +31
Level 4 Oak Sage (25/25 Charges)
Level 14 Raven (60/60 Charges)
Ethereal
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: Ko Rune
Socketed: Vex Rune
Socketed: Pul Rune
Socketed: Thul Rune

Ko Rune
Required Level: 39
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: +10 to Dexterity
Armor: +10 to Dexterity
Shields: +10 to Dexterity

Vex Rune
Required Level: 55
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 7% Mana stolen per hit
Armor: +5% to Maximum Fire Resist
Shields: +5% to Maximum Fire Resist

Pul Rune
Required Level: 45
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: +75% Damage to Demons
+100 to Attack Rating against Demons
Armor: +30% Enhanced Defense
Shields: +30% Enhanced Defense

Thul Rune
Required Level: 23
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Adds 3 - 14 Cold Damage Over 3 Secs (75 Frames)
Armor: Cold Resist +30%
Shields: Cold Resist +35%

Beast Turn
Ring
Required Level: 66
Fingerprint: 0x33b10036
Item Level: 88
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+31 to Attack Rating
+20 to Strength
+27 to Life
+18 Maximum Stamina
All Resistances +3
Level 5 Fire Bolt (18/32 Charges)

Nature's Peace
Ring
Required Level: 69
Fingerprint: 0x6244bee7
Item Level: 86
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Prevent Monster Heal
Slain Monsters Rest in Peace
Poison Resist +22%
Damage Reduced by 11
Level 5 Oak Sage (27/27 Charges)

Gheed's Fortune
Grand Charm
Required Level: 62
Fingerprint: 0xd3204c62
Item Level: 95
Version: Expansion 1.10+
147% Extra Gold from Monsters
Reduces all Vendor Prices 12%
40% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Spirit
Monarch
TalThulOrtAmn
Defense: 138
Chance to Block: 0
Durability: 86 of 86
Required Level: 54
Required Strength: 156
Fingerprint: 0xd284b43b
Item Level: 82
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
+35% Faster Cast Rate
+55% Faster Hit Recovery
+250 Defense vs. Missile
+22 to Vitality
+98 to Mana
Cold Resist +35%
Lightning Resist +35%
Poison Resist +35%
+6 Magic Absorb
Attacker Takes Damage of 14
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: Tal Rune
Socketed: Thul Rune
Socketed: Ort Rune
Socketed: Amn Rune

Tal Rune
Required Level: 17
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Adds 75 Poison Damage Over 5 Secs (125 Frames)
Armor: Poison Resist +30%
Shields: Poison Resist +35%

Thul Rune
Required Level: 23
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Adds 3 - 14 Cold Damage Over 3 Secs (75 Frames)
Armor: Cold Resist +30%
Shields: Cold Resist +35%

Ort Rune
Required Level: 21
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Adds 1 - 50 Lightning Damage
Armor: Lightning Resist +30%
Shields: Lightning Resist +35%

Amn Rune
Required Level: 25
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 7% Life stolen per hit
Armor: Attacker Takes Damage of 14
Shields: Attacker Takes Damage of 14

Full Rejuvenation Potion
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Replenishes Mana 100%
Replenishes Health 100%

Full Rejuvenation Potion
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Replenishes Mana 100%
Replenishes Health 100%

Full Rejuvenation Potion
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Replenishes Mana 100%
Replenishes Health 100%

Full Rejuvenation Potion
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Replenishes Mana 100%
Replenishes Health 100%

Full Rejuvenation Potion
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Replenishes Mana 100%
Replenishes Health 100%

Horadric Cube
Fingerprint: 0x16dcbb7
Item Level: 13
Version: Expansion 1.10+

Full Rejuvenation Potion
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Replenishes Mana 100%
Replenishes Health 100%

Super Mana Potion
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Replenishes Mana 250%

Super Mana Potion
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Replenishes Mana 250%

Super Mana Potion
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Replenishes Mana 250%

Perfect Ruby
Required Level: 18
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Adds 15 - 20 Fire Damage
Armor: +38 to Life
Shields: Fire Resist +40%

Full Rejuvenation Potion
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Replenishes Mana 100%
Replenishes Health 100%

Full Rejuvenation Potion
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Replenishes Mana 100%
Replenishes Health 100%

Full Rejuvenation Potion
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Replenishes Mana 100%
Replenishes Health 100%

Rejuvenation Potion
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Replenishes Mana 35%
Replenishes Health 35%

Call to Arms
Double Axe
AmnRalMalIstOhm
One Hand Damage: 26 - 71
Durability: 13 of 13
Required Level: 57
Required Strength: 33
Fingerprint: 0x68476366
Item Level: 88
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to All Skills
+40% Increased Attack Speed
275% Enhanced Damage
Adds 5 - 30 Fire Damage
7% Life stolen per hit
Prevent Monster Heal
+4 to Battle Command
+5 to Battle Orders
+2 to Battle Cry
Replenish Life +12
30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Ethereal
5 Sockets (5 used)
Socketed: Amn Rune
Socketed: Ral Rune
Socketed: Mal Rune
Socketed: Ist Rune
Socketed: Ohm Rune

Amn Rune
Required Level: 25
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 7% Life stolen per hit
Armor: Attacker Takes Damage of 14
Shields: Attacker Takes Damage of 14

Ral Rune
Required Level: 19
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Adds 5 - 30 Fire Damage
Armor: Fire Resist +30%
Shields: Fire Resist +35%

Mal Rune
Required Level: 49
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Prevent Monster Heal
Armor: Magic Damage Reduced by 7
Shields: Magic Damage Reduced by 7

Ist Rune
Required Level: 51
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Armor: 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Shields: 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Ohm Rune
Required Level: 57
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Enhanced Maximum Damage
Armor: +5% to Maximum Cold Resist
Shields: +5% to Maximum Cold Resist

Spirit
Monarch
TalThulOrtAmn
Defense: 133
Chance to Block: 0
Durability: 86 of 86
Required Level: 54
Required Strength: 156
Fingerprint: 0x72fa7708
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
+30% Faster Cast Rate
+55% Faster Hit Recovery
+250 Defense vs. Missile
+22 to Vitality
+105 to Mana
Cold Resist +35%
Lightning Resist +35%
Poison Resist +35%
+3 Magic Absorb
Attacker Takes Damage of 14
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: Tal Rune
Socketed: Thul Rune
Socketed: Ort Rune
Socketed: Amn Rune

Tal Rune
Required Level: 17
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Adds 75 Poison Damage Over 5 Secs (125 Frames)
Armor: Poison Resist +30%
Shields: Poison Resist +35%

Thul Rune
Required Level: 23
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Adds 3 - 14 Cold Damage Over 3 Secs (75 Frames)
Armor: Cold Resist +30%
Shields: Cold Resist +35%

Ort Rune
Required Level: 21
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Adds 1 - 50 Lightning Damage
Armor: Lightning Resist +30%
Shields: Lightning Resist +35%

Amn Rune
Required Level: 25
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 7% Life stolen per hit
Armor: Attacker Takes Damage of 14
Shields: Attacker Takes Damage of 14

Crescent Moon
Crystal Sword
ShaelUmTir
One Hand Damage: 20 - 64
Durability: 11 of 11
Required Level: 47
Required Strength: 33
Fingerprint: 0xd4c479d
Item Level: 81
Version: Expansion 1.10+
10% Chance to cast level 17 Chain Lightning on striking
7% Chance to cast level 13 Static Field on striking
+20% Increased Attack Speed
192% Enhanced Damage
Ignore Target's Defense
-35% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
25% Chance of Open Wounds
+9 Magic Absorb
+2 to Mana after each Kill
Level 18 Summon Spirit Wolf (30/30 Charges)
Ethereal
3 Sockets (3 used)
Socketed: Shael Rune
Socketed: Um Rune
Socketed: Tir Rune

Shael Rune
Required Level: 29
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: +20% Increased Attack Speed
Armor: +20% Faster Hit Recovery
Shields: +20% Faster Block Rate

Um Rune
Required Level: 47
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 25% Chance of Open Wounds
Armor: Cold Resist +15%
Lightning Resist +15%
Fire Resist +15%
Poison Resist +15%
Shields: Cold Resist +22%
Lightning Resist +22%
Fire Resist +22%
Poison Resist +22%

Tir Rune
Required Level: 13
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: +2 to Mana after each Kill
Armor: +2 to Mana after each Kill
Shields: +2 to Mana after each Kill

Spirit
Monarch
TalThulOrtAmn
Defense: 145
Chance to Block: 0
Durability: 84 of 86
Required Level: 54
Required Strength: 156
Fingerprint: 0x24d16ecc
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
+35% Faster Cast Rate
+55% Faster Hit Recovery
+250 Defense vs. Missile
+22 to Vitality
+106 to Mana
Cold Resist +35%
Lightning Resist +35%
Poison Resist +35%
+3 Magic Absorb
Attacker Takes Damage of 14
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: Tal Rune
Socketed: Thul Rune
Socketed: Ort Rune
Socketed: Amn Rune

Tal Rune
Required Level: 17
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Adds 75 Poison Damage Over 5 Secs (125 Frames)
Armor: Poison Resist +30%
Shields: Poison Resist +35%

Thul Rune
Required Level: 23
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Adds 3 - 14 Cold Damage Over 3 Secs (75 Frames)
Armor: Cold Resist +30%
Shields: Cold Resist +35%

Ort Rune
Required Level: 21
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Adds 1 - 50 Lightning Damage
Armor: Lightning Resist +30%
Shields: Lightning Resist +35%

Amn Rune
Required Level: 25
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 7% Life stolen per hit
Armor: Attacker Takes Damage of 14
Shields: Attacker Takes Damage of 14

Mercenary:

Name:       Fazel
Race:       Desert Mercenary
Type:       Def-Nightmare
Experience: 114103188
Level:      98
Dead?:      false

            Naked/Gear
Strength:   209/209
Dexterity:  169/169
HP:         2287/2287
Defense:    1671/3169
AR:         2066/2066

Fire:       162/122/62
Cold:       192/152/92
Lightning:  162/122/62
Poison:    162/122/62

Treachery
Wyrmhide
ShaelThulLem
Defense: 1030
Durability: 13 of 13
Required Level: 50
Required Strength: 74
Fingerprint: 0x60fa3212
Item Level: 81
Version: Expansion 1.10+
5% Chance to cast level 15 Fade when struck
25% Chance to cast level 15 Venom on striking
+2 to Assassin Skill Levels
+45% Increased Attack Speed
+20% Faster Hit Recovery
Cold Resist +30%
50% Extra Gold from Monsters
Ethereal
3 Sockets (3 used)
Socketed: Shael Rune
Socketed: Thul Rune
Socketed: Lem Rune

Shael Rune
Required Level: 29
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: +20% Increased Attack Speed
Armor: +20% Faster Hit Recovery
Shields: +20% Faster Block Rate

Thul Rune
Required Level: 23
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Adds 3 - 14 Cold Damage Over 3 Secs (75 Frames)
Armor: Cold Resist +30%
Shields: Cold Resist +35%

Lem Rune
Required Level: 43
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 75% Extra Gold from Monsters
Armor: 50% Extra Gold from Monsters
Shields: 50% Extra Gold from Monsters


Delirium
Demonhead
LemIstIo
Defense: 468
Durability: 11 of 11
Required Level: 55
Required Strength: 92
Fingerprint: 0x4e69d0da
Item Level: 88
Version: Expansion 1.10+
1% Chance to cast level 50 Delirium when struck
6% Chance to cast level 14 Mind Blast when struck
14% Chance to cast level 13 Terror when struck
11% Chance to cast level 18 Confuse on striking
+2 to All Skills
+261 Defense
+10 to Vitality
50% Extra Gold from Monsters
25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Level 17 Attract (60/60 Charges)
Ethereal
3 Sockets (3 used)
Socketed: Lem Rune
Socketed: Ist Rune
Socketed: Io Rune

Lem Rune
Required Level: 43
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 75% Extra Gold from Monsters
Armor: 50% Extra Gold from Monsters
Shields: 50% Extra Gold from Monsters

Ist Rune
Required Level: 51
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Armor: 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Shields: 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Io Rune
Required Level: 35
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: +10 to Vitality
Armor: +10 to Vitality
Shields: +10 to Vitality


Infinity
Thresher
BerMalBerIst
Two Hand Damage: 72 - 846
Durability: 33 of 33
Required Level: 63
Required Strength: 142
Required Dexterity: 108
Fingerprint: 0xd3491066
Item Level: 84
Version: Expansion 1.10+
50% Chance to cast level 20 Chain Lightning when you Kill an Enemy
Level 12 Conviction Aura When Equipped
+35% Faster Run/Walk
301% Enhanced Damage
-47% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
40% Chance of Crushing Blow
Prevent Monster Heal
+49 to Vitality (Based on Character Level)
30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Level 21 Cyclone Armor (30/30 Charges)
Ethereal
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: Ber Rune
Socketed: Mal Rune
Socketed: Ber Rune
Socketed: Ist Rune

Ber Rune
Required Level: 63
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 20% Chance of Crushing Blow
Armor: Damage Reduced by 8%
Shields: Damage Reduced by 8%

Mal Rune
Required Level: 49
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Prevent Monster Heal
Armor: Magic Damage Reduced by 7
Shields: Magic Damage Reduced by 7

Ber Rune
Required Level: 63
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 20% Chance of Crushing Blow
Armor: Damage Reduced by 8%
Shields: Damage Reduced by 8%

Ist Rune
Required Level: 51
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Armor: 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Shields: 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

For general purposes she was mostly running a [email protected] Hoto, Bloodfist, Mara's and BKWB + SoJ in the respective slots. Standard Merc setup was Andy's with IAS jewel and eth bugged Fortitude Scarab Husk along with Infinity.

Let's go through the highlights of her drops and other gear quickly to get that out of the way. It was a lot of stuff :) but of course that's not what this was all about. A brief summary of her journey will follow, including some details here and there and an explanation of the gearing choices.

Runewords and runes:
Runewords made:
2x Infinity (eth CV, eth Thresher)
1x Chains of Honor (superior 13% ED Scarab Husk)
1x Fortitude (eth bugged Scarab Husk)
6x Call to Arms (one +5 BO, others 1-3 BO)
2x Heart of the Oak (Flail [email protected], eth Flail [email protected])
1x Crescent Moon (eth Crystal Sword)
1x Delirium (eth Demonhead)

Mid/low level runewords for sake of completeness:
3x Insight (non-eth Thresher, lower lvl bases)
1x Stone (eth bugged Hellforge Plate)
2x Treachery (eth bugged Wyrmhide, eth Dusk Shroud)
4x Spirit (35/35/30 FCR Monarchs, 32 FCR Broad Sword)
1x Edge
1x Stealth

Further/leftover HRs (Gul+)
3x Gul
3x Lo
5x Sur
1x Ber
1x Cham

EDIT: See post below for where the remaining HRs ended up.

S&U highlights:
Griffon's Eye (+15/-19)
Eth Death Cleaver (271 ED)
Mang Song's Lesson (grailer)
Windforce
Stormlash (miserable 241 ED, but also a grailer)
Grandfather (248 ED)
2x Azurewrath (one 11 aura/267ed)
Earth Shifter
2x Schaefer's Hammer
Ravenlore (-13 EFR)
3x Tomb Reaver (one 3os, one eth 1os)
5x Stone Crusher
Natalya's Mark
2x Giant Skull (1os and 2os, first was a grailer)
6x Nightwing's Veil (one 15% CSD, one eth)
3x Head Hunter's Glory (one 3os)
Griswold's Honor
Griswold's Valor
4x Mara's
3x SoJ
3x BKWB
Blizzard Ormus (+8 others, i.a. Meteor)
4x Eschuta's Temper (best one +3/17 F/13 L, three low/average ones)
2x Boneflame (+2/+3 skills)
Stormspire
Steel Shade
11x RBF (plus one lost when Delirium bug crashed the game - the only item lost by it)
4x Arach
2x eth Demon's Arch
Eth Kelpie Snare
3x Lacerator
2x Warshrike
Viper [email protected] (upped to Wyrmhide and used before CoH was made)
Eth Blinkbat's Form (eth grailer)
Torch of Iro (grailer)

Rare/craft/charms highlights:
2 Sin/20 FCR/47 life/[email protected] (47 FR) Tiara
2/20 P&B craft amulet
2/20 Amazon craft amulet
2/19 Pally Combat craft amulet
2/9/[email protected] Sorc craft amulet (the one she used)
2 Amazon/8 ML/@ Tiara
2 Amazon/20 FCR/30% ED Circlet
+5 Tornado Pelt

Charms:
Skillers: 53 total, 7 with life
15 Sharp GCs (including 2x Sharp GC of Vita)
2x Shimmering GC of Vita/Life
2x 250+ psn SCs
13x life/resist SCs
6x FHR/resist SCs
5x fine SCs with life
2x life/mana SCs

Fun facts
  • No level 85 area running! After running Meph, LK and Pindle until the Griffon's drop (and subsequent decision to go pure Lightning), I realized that there were no further S&Us to be obtained but merely runewords. She spent less than 20 minutes total in areas like AT or Pits.
  • Forgetting about the 5/5 facet (see below). She was so sure about being a Blizzy when it dropped, that I failed to remember it for days after the Lightning respec decision was made and Griffon's was socketed. It was only after finding another facet days later and dropping it in GoMule that I thought "wait a minute"...
  • Rolling six CtAs. The 5th one (+5 BO) was the first that rolled higher than +3 BO. She rolled a sixth one just because why not, which rather failed again at +2 BO.

With that out of the way, let me recap her journey (I'll try to be brief ;)).

[HIGHLIGHT]The Beginning[/HIGHLIGHT]

She started out as a Blizzballer when I entered her into @Kitteh's reboot of the untwinked 99er challenge last June. After questing through the game (which wasn't that easy to be frank, not having played untwinked in many years), she ran LK for a bit and was quickly able to make her (first) Hoto, which rolled a nice [email protected] (update post). She also ran Mephisto and picked up her first decent pieces of gear such as Naj's Light Plate and Skullder's Ire. A [email protected] Viper followed soon, together with her first CtA (+3 BO) and an eth bugged Stone for the Merc. She was lucky with Meph moreover being kind enough to drop further essentials, in particular Arachnid Mesh, Shako, War Travelers and Tal Rasha's amulet. She spent her first socket quest on the Shako, naturally assuming it would be used as part of her end-game gear (which turned out not to be the case though).

At this point she was level 91 and I was pretty happy with her untwinked journey up to that point, but didn't think I'd see her through to 99 to be honest. Instead, I took a long break from the game when summer came around. I eventually got back to her in September, hitting LK again as she was only one Sur away from CoH.

[HIGHLIGHT]A Decisive Drop[/HIGHLIGHT]

Everything changed for her when this happened shortly after coming back, after literally just a handful of Pindle runs: Not only a Griffon's Eye, but an almost perfect one at 15/19. She had found a 5/5 Lightning facet before from Mephisto (it was kind of funny as I've realized that only a couple of days after the Griffon's drop), which of course became part of the core piece of her equipment that dictated the remainder of her journey:

Code:
Griffon's Eye
Diadem
Defense: 212
Durability: 19 of 20
Required Level: 76
Fingerprint: 0x49c6528b
Item Level: 86
Version: Expansion 1.10+
100% Chance to cast level 47 Chain Lightning when you Die
+1 to All Skills
+25% Faster Cast Rate
Adds 1 - 74 Lightning Damage
-24% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
+20% to Lightning Skill Damage
+160 Defense 1 Sockets (1 used)
Socketed: Rainbow Facet

Rainbow Facet
Jewel
Required Level: 49
Fingerprint: 0x472bcd23
Item Level: 87
Version: Expansion 1.10+
100% Chance to cast level 47 Chain Lightning when you Die
Adds 1 - 74 Lightning Damage
-5% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
+5% to Lightning Skill Damage


After some initial hesitation, and a little convincing to be credited to @T72on1 and @PhineasB, I decided that this drop on an untwinked Sorc had to be put to use. So I prepared to respec to pure Lightning and farm Infinity. In hindsight, this was probably the moment when I thought I might get her to 99. Shortly after she crafted a nice FCR amulet which she used for the majority of her journey (including 98-99) and worked on getting more runes.

After another break in October, she went back to running and farmed the remaining runes for Infinity rather quickly. She wasn't too lucky in terms of a good base though. After looking for racks until I almost went mad, I settled for a CV when I found a rack to keep things moving, and made her first Infinity.

More LK running then led to an eth bugged Fortitude for Merc and CoH for herself, while still failing multiple times to improve over her +3 BO CtA. :mad:

[HIGHLIGHT]Transitioning to the XP Grind[/HIGHLIGHT]

At this point she was already mixing in XP runs. When running the numbers while running CS and Baal until 94, it turned out Baaling was the way to go for her after the Lightning respec. I dug out and relied heavily on a post by @NanoMist including XP tables, which was hugely helpful in quickly determining where the highest efficiency was for her. She also did dedicated Andariel runs in order to get a +1 ring, which actually worked, netting her first BKWB. Around this time she also finally got a good CtA (+5 BO) with her fifth try, performed some more XP gain tests, and subsequently fully transitioned to XP runs.

She ran Baal/waves for 94 to 98, starting to include Baal himself from level 95 onwards, which coincided with winter MFO coming around. She signed up for that and ran with a higher MF setup in the Baal category and, inter alia, found a SoJ (update post). Generally, despite Baal being notoriously stingy, drops turned out to be surprisingly nice in particular from 97 to 97.50, picking up a Windforce and an overall grailer addition in Mang Song's Lesson.

[HIGHLIGHT]The Final Stretch: 98-99[/HIGHLIGHT]

Due to a massive work schedule for me in November and December, progress slowed down significantly around that time, but she picked up speed again towards the end of the year.

When she hit 97, I began to think about the 98-99 stage as well, and started to compare Hoto and Crescent Moon setups. While edging closer to and after eventually hitting 98 just before New Year's, there was another crucial stretch of theorycrafting and fruitful discussion, in particular with @PhineasB and @NanoMist weighing in on several topics such as XP shrines and frequency of immune rolls. As a result I concluded that a Crescent Moon setup for Nihlathak would have strong potential, given that Nihl rolls LI about 1/6 times, and having determined how CM outperforms Hoto by about 50% vs. broken LIs after running the numbers for her. The main idea was to take advantage of the fact that the massive amount of -ELR from faceted Griffon's and CM is applied in full after Conviction breaks an immunity. The aura only works at 20% efficiency when facing an immunity, thus barely breaking it, and therefore runs would often be too slow and troublesome to finish with a Hoto setup (resulting in aborted runs which hurt the average).

The underlying reasoning for her setup turned out to hold true. She was able to constantly push through breakable LI rolls and became the first untwinked 99er in the reboot to eclipse 3 million XP/h. This was greatly aided by the fact that I didn't suffer from an annoying S&E lag when running Nihl, which adds several seconds to run times and which most players seemed to encounter. But I didn't know that she would improve upon this significantly later on.

Running Nihlathak also started out nicely in terms of drops, and I got lots of helpful advice from @PhineasB and @T72on1 when it came to running him reasonably safely after starting out (clumsily, I might add, as I was not experienced with running him at all), such as side-stepping vs. Vipers or holding Alt while teleporting.

It was not all fine and dandy though. In a couple of painful experiences, she died several times early on, including one particularly ugly instance just after getting down the first 10% of the level: After getting stuck while teleporting through Halls of Pain, she landed in an ugly pack and died, which was embarrassing enough on its own. The Delirium bug then caused the game to crash during corpse recovery (at least the only failed recovery for her), as I had forgotten to remove it from the Merc, resulting in the loss of 29m XP. In an attempt to quickly make up for the lost experience, I stupidly let her die again on her way to 98.25 shortly after reaching 10% (for the second time).

Things were not going so well at all. :oops: :mad: :rolleyes:

However, she bounced back like a champ and responded by improving her efficiency, getting to an unheard of XP gain of 4 million XP/h. :eek: From then on, and after adjusting my routine a little bit in terms of better safety, things went smoothly all the way to the end, and she didn't get into any other truly dangerous situation whatsoever for the rest of the level. In particular, apart from the numerous great tips from the untwinked 99er crowd, running with a finger resting on Esc proved to be the most significant safety improvement, much more so than any damage reduction gear or other defensive stats.

Around the 98.3 mark, she finally rolled 4 sockets into an eth Thresher and made another Infinity. Around this time she had some of her nicest drops with a Stormlash (grailer for me), a nicely rolled eth Death Cleaver and several other good drops and crafts, including two 2/20 amulets (P&B and Amazon).

Another period of way too much work came my way early this year, followed by a rather long vacation and eventually @Grape hosting the RFL, which I had to participate in of course. This resulted in barely any progress at all from February to April. I found more time to run again after RFL round 2 ended, and hit 98.75 with her.

In a Herculean effort, if I may say so, I then ran her all the way to the end, gaining ~95m XP in the last 10 days or so (and in the face of a ~60h work week ;)). In this stretch she also delivered her best run times, at least to the extent I timed her, getting up to ~4.4m per hour. :eek: :eek: Her incredible performance regarding pace of XP gain for the last level may be the aspect of her journey I'm most happy about. Recorded a batch of runs extrapolating to ~4.2m per hour (with exceptionally bad luck regarding XP shrines, i.e. none sticking around for the kill at all) in this video:


Her final upgrade was a third skiller at 98.8. She can't complain about her overall drops, but had not been too lucky with Lightning skillers. Overall drops continued to be good until the end, when she hit 3.5b and 99 the following day, finding a couple of grailers for her during the last stretch.

[HIGHLIGHT]Things to come[/HIGHLIGHT]

She will probably stay untwinked, and do whatever she wants without fear of dying. ;) I am planning a sept with characters using only items found by untwinked characters to make use of some of the cool stuff she found. She might also do a little bit of cheesy additional farming if a rune or two turns out to be required for that. :p

As for me personally, I will finish the RFL currently taking place and start the abovementioned sept, but probably will play quite a bit less in the near future. ;) I did start another untwinked 99er a couple of months ago, to have something else to go to when I needed some variation from grinding with HelpYourself: A Fishymancer called Ric who is currently at 93 and has assembled his core gear as well. I might play him more going forward and see where he ends up!

[HIGHLIGHT]Thank you![/HIGHLIGHT]

There are many people to thank, first and foremost the whole untwinked 99er crowd - @Kitteh for starting the challenge in the first place, but really everyone being active in it (past and present) and thereby providing a great deal of crucial information and motivation. Special shout-outs to @PhineasB, @T72on1 and @NanoMist, I'm 100% sure I wouldn't be done by now without their really invaluable comments and tips for this task in numerous phases of the journey. Other active runners like @Yng and @Grape simultanously running with Sorcs need to be mentioned also, and of course @Pb_pal whose vids and posts (especially regarding Nihl running) were a great source of information as well. There are many more SPF members past and present whose posts I've consulted in different stages, can't single out anyone -- so I guess final massive thanks to the SPF in general! :)

Thanks all, and thanks for reading, it has been a blast! :)

***

EDIT: Way too many typos :) also removed pics (somehow formatting was ugly and not necessary anyway as screenshots are in linked posts) and added some more details/drops and information. Fixed incorrect links; added use of remaining HRs.