Halls of Pain & Halls of Anguish (Act 5) Farming Guide - Diablo 2
How to Reach: Portal in Harrogath or Halls of Pain (WP)
Zone Level: Nightmare: 63/64 -- Hell: 83/84
Golden Chest: Yes (Halls of Pain or Halls of Anguish)
Boss/Champ Packs: 4 - 8
(Pain) Hell Immunities: Fire (Blood Clan, Flayer), Lightning (Night Lord, Razor Spine, Blood Maggot, Zealot), Cold (Infidel), Poison (Blood Maggot, Blood Maggot Young)
(Anguish) Hell Immunities: Fire (Flayer), Cold (Tomb Creeper, Death Brigadier) Lightning (Night Lord, Returned, Scarab, Temple Guard), Poison (Returned)
The Halls of Pain, Halls of Anguish and Halls of Vaught are the 3 zones that make up Nihlathak's Temple; all three have a high Area Level and are good for farming. Anguish is the lowest with an Area Level of 83; Halls of Pain and Halls of Vaught both have Area Levels of 84. Vaught and Pain can drop from every Treasure Class in the game but Anguish won't be able to drop Treasure Class 87, the highest in the game. If you'd like to learn what this all means check out my Diablo 2 Magic Find Guide for more information about Treasure Class and Area Levels.
On the surface of Nihlathak's Temple you'll also find Pindleskin, one of the most famous Diablo 2 farms for how easy he is to reach. The Halls of Vaught won't be covered on this page, instead I will be covering that on the Nihlathak Farming Location page and Pindleskin will be covered in his own guide as well.
Despite these zones having a high Area Level they are not often farmed by many players due to how difficult the zones can be. You'll encounter every Elemental immunity in the game throughout these zones (Fire, Cold, Lightning and Poison). What this means is you'll need to be a hybrid caster class that can deal two different forms of damage if you plan to hunt here. Those of you with Physical or Magic damage will have the easiest time hunting here.
Halls of Anguish full Map with Vectors to Entrance/Exit.
Both Halls of Anguish and Halls of Pain can have a lot of different enemies spawn throughout these zones and it isn't always the same enemies with each map. Sometimes you may get a map with hardly any Lightning immunities and the next time there may be a ton of Lightning immune. Typically there are only 3 or 4 different types of enemies that will spawn on a floor; for example if you find Flayers, Tomb Creepers, Night Lords and Scarabs in Halls of Anguish it's unlikely you are going to see any other enemies. Every pack will most likely be one of these four enemies.
When you exit the game and return to this zone, you may not encounter the same set of four enemies from before, next time it may be Devilkins, Flayers, Night Lords and Returned. This same sort of pattern holds true too for Halls of Pain and Halls of Vaught.
Scarabs, Night Lords and Temple Guards are typically the hardest enemies that you'll encounter on this floor. Death Brigadiers can be a pain in the butt too if you're a cold Sorceress but their attacks are easy to dodge. The rest of the enemies you encounter are pretty easy so long as they are not immune to your primary element of damage. Devilkins are the only enemy you'll encounter with no immunities at all.
Death Brigadier can be an annoying enemy for Ranged if you don't keep on the move. Their attacks tunnel underground and are hard to spot if you have a lot of ground clutter or don't know what to look for.
Night Lord is probably the hardest hitting enemy throughout the Halls of Pain and Halls of Anguish. Casters will want to keep these enemies away from them at all costs and Melee will want to be extremely careful before charging into a pack of them. Be extra careful if you get a pack of Champ/Boss Night Lords.
Scarabs are just as difficult here as they are every where else in the game. Good Lightning Resist helps a lot.
In both the Halls of Anguish and Halls of Pain you'll find one Golden Chest on each floor and sometimes a Super Chest. Throughout my experience hunting here I almost always found these chests in the rooms that have pillars displayed on their maps; for more information about this check my screenshots below.
Halls of Pain completed map on Hell.
Halls of Pain has a few different enemies than the previous floor but works the same way in that you'll only get four or so different types at a time. Much like the previous floor, Night Lords will be the hardest enemies you encounter as well as Infidels, a new enemy on this floor. Both of these guys hit pretty hard and can mess you up if you're not careful and get surrounded.
Blood Clans, Flayers, Zealots, Blood Maggots are all very easy so long as they aren't immune to your primary spells. As for the Golden Chests that you'll find throughout this dungeon, you'll see a screenshot of one of them below. As you can see they have their own unique look which is unlike any of the other Golden Chests in Acts 1 - 4 that you may be used to. There are regular chests you can find too (the brown box ones) that can act like Super Chests.
Occasionally you will open one of these Golden Chests (pictured below) and it will only spit out 3 - 5 items, other times it spits out 10 - 15. If what you're aiming for is efficiency then you probably don't want to waste much time searching for these chests as the loot they drop isn't plentiful or good enough.
As you can see the room I am standing in has many pillars.
Most often you'll find the Golden Chests in a room with pillars.
All in all both Halls of Pain and Halls of Anguish are good zones to farm if you're a class that can handle it. I hate this zone on my Sorceress (any spec) but absolutely love it on my Summon Necromancer since he has no trouble with all of the enemies throughout.
This is one of those zones too that you'll mostly be farming for regular enemies moreso than the Champ/Boss packs. While each floor does have a decent amount of Champ and Boss packs on it there are many more regular enemies throughout this dungeon. For this reason too I would recommend setting your players level higher than 1 if you're on Single Player. It'll increase the amount of items that you find since you'll be taking out so many monsters at a time.