Act 5 Quest 6: Eve of Destruction - Diablo 2
Quest Location: Worldstone Keep/Throne of Destruction
Quest NPC: N/A
Quest Goal: Defeat Baal
Reward: New Title & Access Next Difficulty
Flag: Can access next Difficulty
This is the final quest in Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction and like all of the boss quests before it, all you have to do to complete it is to take out the final boss in the game, Baal. First, you must reach Baal and to do that you'll need to travel through all 3 floors of the Worldstone Keep and enter the Throne of Destruction.
Worldstone Keep has a large variety of different enemies with all sorts of different Immunities that you can encounter but the deadliest by far (imo) is Burning Soul. These enemies only spawn on Nightmare and Hell difficulty and you'll be able to remember them by their Chain Lightning attack and how much damage they deal.
Players with very low Lightning Resist will get torn to pieces by the Burning Souls attacks due to how much damage they do and the fact that their attack stuns you. The stun makes it easy for a whole group of Burning Souls to blast you with Chain Lightning, which usually results in death. Burning Souls spawn on the floor with Baal too (Throne of Destruction) but they're called Black Souls on that floor.
If you'd like to learn more about the Worldstone Keep I recommend you check out my Worldstone Keep Farming Guide. That goes into much more detail than what is found on this page. Also, if you'd like to learn more about Baal than what is included on this page I recommend you check out my Baal Farming Guide.
Note: In the Worldstone Keep if you stay immobile for too long, you'll hear Baal's laugh and then be hit by a magical attack of a random element.
It's up to you how much of the Throne of Destruction floor you'd like to clear. You only have to clear Baal's room to get him to agro you and to start the fight, but it's recommended you clear more of the floor especially if you are a class that kites. Baal's 5th wave consists of a bunch of Minion of Destruction enemies that are extremely difficult to defeat for many Classes and Builds. You'll want to have some space to kite these enemies if you are a ranged class. More information on this is below.
There are two enemies you'll encounter in the Throne of Destruction that you need to be wary of regardless of your character's level and gear; the Black Soul and Undead Soul Killer. Black Soul is the same sort of enemy as the Burning Soul mentioned above which does insanely powerful Chain Lightning attacks. Undead Soul Killer you encountered earlier in the game in the Durance of Hate and in other areas too. These enemies have decent run speed and explode next to the player dealing (I believe) a percentage of your health in damage.
Baal always spawns at the central-northeastern most portion of this zone perched on his throne. When you approach Baal he'll laugh, pay attention to this laugh as it's the audio trigger for much of what Baal does throughout the fight. For the first part of this fight Baal will summon 5 waves of monsters, each wave represents each Act of the game that we went through in the monsters that are summoned.
A helpful tip to keep in mind is you do not have to defeat the waves of monsters that Baal summons. Technically all you need to do is pull them out of his room and then return to Baal; if no enemies are around Baal he'll summon the next wave or go through the Worldstone Portal, whichever is next.
Each Baal wave represents an Act of the game; the first wave contains Fallen enemies, the second wave contains Skeletons and Unravelers, wave 3 is Council members, wave 4 is Venom Lords and the fifth and final wave is Minions of Destruction. Below you will find a list of each Baal wave and any information I think you should know about.
Baal Wave 1: Fallen Enemies (No Immunities) with Colenzo the Annihilator as the Super Unique.
Baal Wave 2: Cold Skeleton Mages with Unravelers (Unravelers are Immune to Magic). Achmel the Cursed is the Super Unique.
Baal Wave 3: Council Members (No Immunities but highly Resistant to Lightning) with Bartuc the Bloody as the Super Unique.
Baal Wave 4: Venom Lords with Ventar the Unholy as the Super Unique. The Venom Lords and Ventar the Unholy are Immune to Poison.
Baal Wave 5: Minions of Destruction with Lister the Tormentor as the Super Unique. All of these enemies are Immune to Fire.
Baal Wave 5 on Nightmare Difficulty.
Once all 5 Baal Waves are defeated he will retreat into the portal that leads to the Worldstone Chamber. Before following him it is recommended you TP back to town, refresh your Potions if you need to and purchase a bunch more for the upcoming fight with Baal. He has abilities that will drain your Mana so it's recommended you stock up on enough Potions to be prepared for that.
As always a general tip for making all bosses easier in Diablo 2, drop Potions on the ground around the area that you'll be fighting the boss in. When you pick up a Potion from the ground it is immediately added to your Potion belt which makes it much easier than clicking it out of your inventory. Below you'll find a list of every ability Baal has:
Decrepify: Baal uses this one you during the 5 Baal Waves and during the fight with him in the Worldstone Chamber. It works the same as the Necromancer Curse and makes you slower, weaker and take more damage.
Incineration Nova: Baal unleashes a nova around him, similar to Diablo's Fire Nova ability. The further you are from Baal the easier it is to dodge. Compared to his other abilities, this one isn't that big of a deal.
Hoarfrost: This is the V shape blue wave that Baal shoots out that knocks you back. It will stun you when it hits you and damages you multiple times while pushing you back; this ability travels very far across the ground and usually doesn't stop until it hits a solid object. Out of all Baal's abilities this is probably his most annoying.
Mana Rift: Works as a Mana Burn, it does a percentage based drain, always lowering your mana by 50% of your current total Mana.
Vile Effigy (Clone): Baal creates a clone of himself that has the same exact attacks he does. The clone will start out at the same total health Baal has too, IE if you have Baal at 50% the clone will be created with 50% health. Baal's clone will take amplified damage and is easier to defeat than Baal himself. For the most part you should try to ignore the clone and focus on Baal.
Festering Appendages: Tentacles come out of the ground and attack anyone nearby them. This is Baal's main ranged attack and for the most part he only uses this when he can't reach you with his other attacks.
Teleport: Works the same as the Sorceress' Teleport ability.
Defensive Curse: This curse is only used on players with more max Health than max Mana (total Health, not current). It reduces your total defense by a significant portion.
Blood Mana Curse: This curse is only used on players with more max Mana than Health (total Mana, not current). It causes all spells you cast to consume Health instead of Mana.
For making the fight with Baal easier, it's highly recommended you keep him chilled/slowed. If you're a class with any ice attack that can chill try to rotate it between your primary attacks as it'll slow Baal down significantly and give you more time to react. Putting a weapon that can do this on your Mercenary or using a Mercenary from Act 3 that casts Cold Spells.
When Baal makes a copy of himself you can tell the copy apart from the real Baal by checking where 'Demon' is aligned under his HP. Real Baal has 'Demon' aligned in the center under his name, the same way it typically appears on all enemies. The fake Baal has 'Demon' aligned with the 'B' in Baal. Use my screenshots below to see exactly what I mean.
Real Baal HP.
Fake Baal HP.
Baal Clone Tip: Move at least one and a half full screens away from Baal and his clone and open a Town Portal. Go back to Harrogath for 8 seconds (minimum) then return to the World Chamber to depop Baal's clone. How this game works is it unloads monsters when they are off screen, the Town Portal counts as a 'presence' too which is why you need to open it far enough away from Baal's Clone to depop him.
Once Baal is defeated, Tyrael will descend from the sky and open up a portal to DESTRUCTION'S END. Following it will teleport you to Harrogath before exiting you from the game and showing you a screen with Deckard Cain. You'll be notified that your character earned a new title and that you've unlocked the next difficulty (whatever that difficulty may be).