Those of us who played Diablo back in the days, when internet connections cost a lot of money and things like maphacks seemed totally normal, remember them: boss runs. From endless hours of Meph runs, over to Baal runs, cow level runs, Andariel runs – you name it. With the introduction of the Nephalem Buff and the way loot on champion/rare packs and bosses works it seemed like those days were over. Luckily they’re not. They just changed from being a tedious chore to actually being interesting and challenging.
But why do runs? Why not just start up an Act and play through it? There are a few things that make runs attractive.
Aside from the way between the last waypoint to the location of the boss, you pretty much decide on which areas to tackle. And if you encounter a champion pack you don’t like – just move on to another area. You don’t have to bite your way through lots of content or die over and over again. Simply move on to a different waypoint. Another positive side of a run is time. After getting used to a route, you’ll have an idea of how long a certain run will take you. Just have a few minutes of lunchbreak left until you’ll have to go back to work? Do a quick previous content single boss run. Got an hour to kill and a friend to tag along? Go for the normal content 2 boss run. Looking for a challenge and some meaty rewards? Do a progression content run and farm some champs afterwards. It’s your choice.
MAXIMIZED REWARD VS. TIME VS. FUN
There’re other ways to spend your time in Diablo 3. But boss/champion runs are pretty much what the game is build around. If you’re looking for the best way to spend your time, looking for upgrades or stuff to sell in an comprehensible time frame without feeling like having another job – runs are your thing. And they’re a perfect group activity. Not every one of your friends might find the time to play through an Act, but who doesn’t have half an hour for a quick butcher run or two?
Basics of a run
It’s fascinating really how similar all the runs you can do (that actually make sense) are to each other. We’ll go into more details in the next few days, but for now I’ll give you the basic framework every type of Diablo 3 boss run seems to follow.
STEP 1 – FIND A BOSS THAT’S ACCESSIBLE AND KILLABLE
Luckily those are most of the bosses in the game. A few of them have random dungeons between the last waypoint and their entrance. Other bosses place you right in front of their crib. Getting used to the area before the boss will give you a feel for the run and after a while you’ll get through them without any orientation problems, instinctively choosing the right way through the area.
STEP 2 – CLEAR THE WAY TO THE BOSS
I don’t like to waste time on a run. Fighting more than five packs before visiting the boss might net you a few more items, but if you’re aiming to do those runs as fast as you can, you don’t want that. Most of the times you’ll get a few stacks of Nephalem Valor on your way. Don’t waste those. Clear the way to the boss and teleport back to town. As soon as you got your five buffs later you can use the portal to place yourself in front of the boss again – and hit that Piñata.
STEP 3 – GET TO AN EASY TO FARM AREA
Play styles vary. While my buddy Sapphirus likes open areas, I’m more of a dungeon guy myself. Different enemies inhabit different areas - presenting you with different flavours of champion packs. Find an area that suits your play style and fill up those NV stacks. Use the waypoint back to town afterwards.
STEP 4 – FARM SOME MORE
Once you downed the boss you don’t have to stop there. On the contrary. With 1.0.3 and its changes to how rare drops with Nephalem Valor work, boss kills are really secondary to killing champions and rares. If you got some more time to kill go back to areas you haven’t been to before and grab some more shinies.
That’s it for today. In the next few days I’ll show and analyze the most popular runs and add a few thoughts and tips.