Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Forum  /  Couple of questions from a newb
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As (I assume) we all here I love Diablo 2 and have decided to try my hand at speedrunning. I tried speedrunning the Paladin in the past but after 2-3 tries something else got my attention, and now I'm coming back to try out the Barbarian, I do have a couple of questions though:

1. The Paladin uses a Scimitar with Steel, where Barbarian uses Scepters (arguably a Paladin weapon?) and then Flails with Malice and TalTalTal. What is the reasoning behind this?

2. Again, the Paladin uses Javelins at very early game but none of the Barb speedruns I've watched utilised them. I've grown to like having Javs on W switch very early on and was wondering why are they considered good and used on Paladin but skipped on Barb.

3. What item should be imbued IF I get lucky enough to get Hsarus boots? Gloves? And can I imbue a white Jawbone Cap even if it has some Barb related bonuses? Would that be essentially "rerolling" it in hopes for getting Mace Mastery or some other useful stuff?

4. More of a general question, but my game stutters very much. Everything is fine then my FPS drops to 0 for a second then picks up, all at random, and it happens pretty often. Does anyone have an idea how to combat this? I am already using compatibility with XP Service Pack 3.

Edit: 5. From d2speedruns site mentioned in the Guides section I can read that the Malice Flail should go to the Right weapon slot. Why is that?

Thank you very much!


Bump, added one more question and looking for answers! Thanks 🙂

(edited: )

Scimitar is a fast weapon that is easy to acquire early on. The Steel runeword adds some extra attack speed.

The paladin uses Holy Fire until level 18 as his main damage source so attacking as fast as possibly to apply the holy fire damage as often as possible is good for him.

Also Steel only requires level 13 instead of 15 from Malice, so the Paladin can use it longer.

The Barb doesn't have a huge damage boost like the paladin with Holy Fire, so he uses weapons with high base damage - sceptres early on (The Paladin probably doesn't say no to a scepter until he can use holy fire)

The barb uses Flails because flails are fast weapons that are easy to acquire from vendors in Act 2 Normal with 3 Sockets.


idk. use what you feel like using.
Throwing Javelins is high damage, but fairly early on (level 6) the barb gets double swing and can utilize his ability to yield 2 melee weapons thus increasing his DPS.


What you want to imbue highly depends on the character you are using. I would maybe not imbue a helm since you can use a 2-socketed helm with gems/runes/jewels of your choise quite well in some parts of the game (like the Ral-Ral helm in Act 3+4)
I don't think gloves really get any interesting mods early on... Maybe a belt and hope for hit recovery?

Since the barb is a melee class and his main damage scaling comes from the weapons he is using and not from skill levels even hitting good skills on a barb helm will probably not be a huge improvement.
Also note that if you imbue something that can have automods the automods get re-rolled so you wouldn't imbue a +3 to Nova orb as a Sorceress for example.


Are you playing in window mode?
You could also try using the glidewrapper to play around with the graphics settings a bit more


Some skills only use the mainhand weapon, others alternate between weapons. I don't know which from the top of my head. I don't know what other weapon you would use either (maybe something with crushing blow?). I assume since you have read the guides you know which skills and which weapons are used in the situation so you should do some reading up on knowledge bases on the skills' behaviour.

CrystalpallCrystalpall, ZabaZaba and 327327 like this. 

at 1)
Scepters + flails also both count as Mace weapons, so you get that early Dmg/Attackrating boost.

2) I like Javs/Throwing Knives for the Den in palaruns (snipe shamans, just throw instead of run after the fallens)
For the barb: Lvl2/3 macemastery already gives ~40% Attackratingboost which is quite noticeable. Nothing wrong with using them, keeping enough around to be useful might be a timeinvestment, which is why i usually dont use them (go to charsi -> buy -> back to action is like 20 seconds)

3) For a barb I`d go for gloves. Leather gloves can roll attack speed if you wait to lvl 17 with imbue. Helm is your easiest slot to get Res (RalRal) or dmg (in case you find +maxdmg jewels, this can add a lot)

For a pala I`d probably go for a scepter to get an additional chance on the +3 hammers

5) Maybe Right hand hits first? Malice reduces enemy defense by 100 per hit, so if it hits first, it increases the chance for your tal-flail to hit. In the long run it shouldnt matter unless your weapons have different speeds

CrystalpallCrystalpall likes this. 

1) You could also use Steel instead of Malice on barb if you dont have ith and eth, and make sure it's the second weapon equipped to give you a faster overall attack speed. Paladin also uses a scepter early game since it deals higher average damage especially to undead, but once you get a few points in Holy Fire, its damage is much better combined with a faster base weapon speed, especially once you start using Zeal

2) I use javs sometimes pre-lvl 6 on Barb, usually just to kill far away Den mobs (hell runs only) and Rakanishu (since he is the early-hardcore-ripper) but I don't go out of my way to get them. Pally can use them in combination with holy fire to deal ranged damage for extra dangerous mobs

3) for normal runs, I generally wouldnt bother wasting the 20-30 seconds or so on an imbue if you have boots already, unless you feel lucky with above suggested imbues. Personal preference. For hell runs, save the imbue for circlets or barb helms (circlets can have fcr and frw on them in addition to +skills, mana, sockets, res, etc, barb helms could spawn +4 war cry, BO, nat res, increased speed, etc in addition to mana, res, sockets, etc). White barb helms with skills already on them will not keep those skills / will be rerolled FYI

4) I used to have problems on my old computer but I got a new pc and it's much better now. This seems to vary system to system and I have not been able to pinpoint exactly why, but there are many things you can try looking into

5) if TalTalTal is your main hand, it swings first, and you know that the enemy your targetting will be poisoned (which deals more damage than the bleed) and you can target monsters easier to spread out the amount of enemies you have poisoned, killing larger groups faster (click on not-green monsters to take advantage of this). The second swing is always a different monster if they are close enough, and you can't guarantee your TalTalTal will hit a non-poisoned monster if it's your off-hand weapon, hitting a monster twice with the same poison source does not stack, it just refreshes the poison

CrystalpallCrystalpall likes this. 

Hey thank you guys for all the replies!

I've done two runs now, and the first one didn't go really well, but the second one was extremely lucky - I got Hsarus from Andariel, looted Nagelring off a beetle in A2 and found Choking Gas potions as well as plenty of xp shrines.

But both my runs ended in the middle of Act 3 where at around 2h 12 min my timer suddenly stopped. I don't know what causes it, I have the timer start/stop at a key far away that I don't click even on accident, and I don't even want to go complete a run if my timer will stop midway through it and I won't know the time

I'm using LiveSplit, did any of you guys also had it happen?


Are you using any sort of autosplitter for livesplit?

Have you tried a different timer like wsplit?

Did you double-check your global hotkeys in your timer settings?

(edited: )

I've watched my recordings and both times the counter stopped when I moved the map to look around. So I've tried to replicate it, but to no avail, which leads me to believe I did in fact stop it myself probably hitting num0 (which was my start/stop) when using arrow keys. I was so sure it can't be my error, but it seems like it was.

I've changed my hotkey to numpad - which is very far from the arrow keys.

Sorry for bothering you guys, I should've checked myself, but I was so upset after that happened I blamed the program instead of checking for my error.

I also have another batch of questions!

1. In one of the linked sites, in the "items of interest" section about Boots I can read "Only take Chain Boots if they have Faster Run / Walk". Do Chain Boots slow you down somehow that they are not advised unless they provide FRW themselves?

2. In the same node, I remember reading or hearing once that if you wear a "heavy" armor then your character runs slower. Is it ok to put Stealth into a Ring mail if I buy a 2os one? Or should I stick to lighter armor?

3. Why is Defense on items pretty much neglected? Resistance is one of the most important stats, but Defence, which I believe is like Physical Resistance (am I wrong here?) is neglected. I feel like most of the time as Barb I'm in the middle of action with all the archers and melee monsters bashing my skull and defence would help greatly. That ties in with the previous questions, I'm considering being extra on the lookout for chain boots for imbue and 2os Ring Mail when shopping at Charsi

4. Is the only way of obtaining Choking Gas potions Poison Shrine? And does Poison Shrine give them 100% of the time?

5. Can I somehow thaw myself at Duriel or will I be permanently frozen? I drink some before the fight for res, but during the fight the thawing effect doesn't seem to work.

Thanks in advance!

(edited: )

1. No boots doesn't slow you down. The idea behind that advice is probably that most of the characters in normal runs gets 25str to equip 3rows belt, chain boots requires 30str. So as barb runner you couldn't care less about that stuff.
2. Yes medium/heavy versions of armors/shields slows you down by 5%/10%, light version has no impact. Ring mail is medium armor so taking it as a stealth base isn't the best idea. Slightly better defence isn't worth it at all.
3. Defence tells how frequently monsters hit you but this is not the only factor. The more important one is difference between your lvl and monster lvl and since you are underleveled most of the time defence doesn't change much. Physical resistance comes with 'damage reduced by %' mod, not defence.
4. You can find on the way too, and yes poison shrine always drops potions.
5. Both cannot be frozen and thaw pots won't save you from chill which comes from holy freeze aura. Just stack thaws before fight as you do.

CrystalpallCrystalpall likes this. 
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