The River of Flame (Act 4) Farming Guide - Diablo 2
How to Reach: River of Flame (WP)
Zone Level: Nightmare: 57 -- Hell: 85
Golden Chest: No
Boss/Champ Packs: 3 - 7
Hell Immunities: Fire (Pit Lord), Poison (Blood Maggot, Blood Maggot Young & Maw Fiend), Cold (Grotesque & Grotesque Wyrm), Lightning (Abyss Knight & Strangler)
River of Flame is the very long zone that leads up to the Chaos Sanctuary which houses Diablo. Like the Chaos Sanctuary, the River of Flame is a level 85 zone on Hell difficulty which means it has a chance of dropping the best loot in the game off of the Champ/Boss packs. For more information about this check out my Magic Find Guide.
Any builds that do well in open areas and use Physical or Magic abilities will do exceptionally well in the River of Flame. Much like the previous zones in Act 4 this one is fairly open and great for Ranged/Casters who don't do so well in cramped spaces like dungeons.
There are technically two different parts of the River of Flame and the Waypoint separates these two parts as does the fallen angel Hadriel. Prior to reaching the Waypoint in the River of Flame the terrain is rocky and randomly shaped (pictured above). After the Waypoint the River of Flame consists of mostly narrow strips of land connected by bridges.
In the first part of the zone you'll find the Super Unique Hephasto the Armorer who protects The Hellforge which is part of Act 4 Quest 2: Hell's Forge. This part of the zone has extremely high mob density due to the larger bugs that spawn multiple little bugs and usually has 1 to 3 Boss/Champ packs. I would recommend you clear this part of the zone too unless you're solely looking for loot off of the Champ/Boss packs. Due to the high mob density in this area you'll have a decent chance of finding High Runes and White/Gray items that may be valuable.
An example of mob density in River of Flame.
As you get closer to the Chaos Sanctuary and the zones layout starts to change you'll begin encounter more Champ/Boss packs. In my experience you will frequently encounter two or three Champ/Boss packs in the second half of the River of Flame before you reach the Chaos Sanctuary (meaning between the Waypoint and Chaos Sanctuary).
This part of the zone is even better for Ranged/Casters since the enemies may be stuck on a platform away from you and unable to reach you (pictured below). You'll be able to attack them from an adjacent platform and defeat them this way without even taking a single point of damage!
Since the River of Flame is a level 85 zone like Chaos Sanctuary it's strongly recommended you clear the Champ/Boss packs here as well as inside of the Chaos Sanctuary when doing Diablo runs. The Champ/Boss packs in River of Flame can drop the best items in the game and have the same loot table as the Chaos Sanctuary packs.
Storm Caster is an enemy that you will encounter in the end portion of River of Flame as well as in the Chaos Sanctuary. If you get a Champ/Boss pack of these make sure you kill them overtop solid land or they will drop no loot for you.
The end portion of River of Flame with platforms.