This Diablo 3 player has spent over 2,000 hours chasing a perfect solo speedrun

Diablo 3's Necromancer looms over skeletons
(Image credit: Blizzard)

A Diablo 3 fan has spent over 2,000 hours across two years chasing a first-of-its-kind speedrun that would see them truly complete the game solo. 

As Twitch streamer The Travelling Inquisitor (opens in new tab) lays out on the Speedrun forums (opens in new tab), that means completing everything across categories like campaign, classes, and challenges – naturally, co-op accomplishments don't count. For some added spice, the run is "non-seasonal", meaning you wouldn't benefit from the temporary buff of the moment – like increased damage for equipping an Ancient Item. 

The Travelling Inquisitor tells me that watching a runner called Baffan perfect a 2003 RPG called Baten Kaitos sparked their interest in grandiose 100% completion challenges. They started small with Castle Crashers and Until Dawn before moving on to more significant time commitments like Digimon World Next Order and Hyrule Warriors. Seeking a bigger challenge still, they then found Diablo 3.

"I wanted to attempt a run which would be a true test of endurance and sanity," they say. "My first estimate of Diablo 3 was 6,000+ hours, but now, re-evaluating and adding new parts into the run, it's more 20,000+ hours due to grinding and extreme RNG."

Alongside streaming their marathon run on Twitch and uploading VODs to YouTube (opens in new tab), The Travelling Inquisitor has also been documenting their progress on Reddit (opens in new tab) after every 1,000 hours (opens in new tab). Progress has inevitably slowed as the easier achievements make way for the harder ones, though it's also because feats once thought impossible have been figured out. For example, The Travelling Inquisitor's challenge completion percentage jumped from 99% to 100% between reports as they discovered a co-op-focused task called Savior was doable solo – it was just a "massive pain in the ass".

Some of Diablo 3's items, though, are equally a pain in the ass to get. The Travelling Inquisitor tells me that obtaining a vanity item known as the Cosmic Wings was a worry as there are three layers of RNG at play. You first have to hope that a Rainbow Goblin will spawn in a Nephalem Rift and that they will then open a portal to a different realm called Whimsydale once killed. If you're lucky enough to get that far, you then have to hope that a mystical unicorn called Princess Lilian is around, as they're the ones who drop the item.

"I got extremely lucky very early in the run - 129 hours in I believe," they recall. "I was worried they would take thousands of hours alone to get, as some players have been looking for them for years."

As of right now, the speedrunner reckons they're "70-80%" done. You might think the end of their run is in sight, though it appears there's still plenty of work to do.

"The last two things on my to-do list are the Primals and Paragons, which take the longest to achieve," they say. "Primals have a 1/400 chance to drop; even then, they can be duplicates. Paragons increase after each level, so the amount needed becomes crazy."

The Travelling Inquisitor then shows me a screengrab of a particular Paragon calculator tool that estimates how long it would take them to reach their goal. "On my current level, it would take 74,512 hours or 12,418 days," they say.

The hunt for loot is one of Diablo's greatest joys, inspiring plenty of community traditions in testament to it. For example, a popular one from Diablo 2 is the Holy Grail, which involves finding every unique item in the game. With that in mind, I ask The Travelling Inquisitor what the appeal is, given the time commitment of their run.

"For me, my draw with any kind of random loot-based game is the excitement of finally getting the item you've been after for hours, days, and even weeks – in some cases, the rush of dopamine can be very fulfilling," they reply. "One item took me an entire month of grinding. It's Wirt's Original Leg, and it has become a staple of my stream from just how happy I was to finally get it."

When they do eventually finish the run, The Travelling Inquisitor hopes to journey to games like Hades and Monster Hunter and do “more relaxed 100% marathons in support of charities”. They may even check out Diablo 4.

“I 100% will not be finished by the time Diablo 4 comes out,” they say. “I hope I have the time to play it, but Diablo 3 is a demanding beast.”

Check out our new games 2023 feature to see when Diablo 4 and all the other big hitters release.

Deputy News Editor

Iain joins the GamesRadar team as Deputy News Editor following stints at PCGamesN and PocketGamer.Biz, with some freelance for Kotaku UK, RockPaperShotgun, and VG24/7 thrown in for good measure. When not helping Ali run the news team, he can be found digging into communities for stories – the sillier the better. When he isn’t pillaging the depths of Final Fantasy 14 for a swanky new hat, you’ll find him amassing an army of Pokemon plushies.