This entire guide comes directly from Bzmode- the winner of Path of Exile’s second one-hour hardcore race finishing at an astonishing level 20 in just 60 minutes of playtime.
Class and Build
Bzmode’s success is due largely to his overall strategy and playstyle and not so much to his build(although the fire trap/poison arrow shadow certainly has the best AOE capabilities out of any character out of the gate).
- Race along the beach. Pop chests that are convenient to pick up scrolls and items but don’t go out of your way to get them. Kill Hillock ASAP and race into town.
- When you are in town buy a coral ring for the added hit points and pick up quests in town.
- Race through the Terraces and only stop to kill large, well-grouped packs(packs of 6+ mobs that are grouped together).
- Ignore the medicine chest quest and race straight to Mud Flats. While in the Mud Flats just do the quest to open the Submerged Passage and be VERY careful here with the charging birds. They can very easily kill you since you skipped content and will be underleveled. Just avoid all mobs and play it safe here, open the submerged passage and be on your way.
- In the submerged passage take the waypoint back to town, finish the quest, vendor anything you don’t need and jump right back to the submerged passageway.
- Kill all large groups here in the submerged passageway - be wary of Merveil’s daughter’s, their cold attacks can one-shot your character.
- Ignore the quest to kill the giant crab. Go directly to the upper submerged passages, killing all packs of mobs that you come across while avoiding Merveil’s daughters/dangerous rare packs.
- The skeleton packs here are great to AOE down. RUN right past the big totem boss, he is too dangerous and not worth the risk of death.
- No need to farm The Ledge, just continue on into The Rocky Climb. – Go back to town with the waypoint in The Ledge and buy a Leather belt for added +hp.
- Your goal in The Rocky Climb is to continue to move as quickly as you can to the next map, killing packs of mobs that are grouped and easily but avoiding all difficult elite packs.
- Clear the prison in the same manner- AOE down grouped packs, skipping elites, and avoiding anything that even looks dangerous.
- Kill Brutus. Use town portals if you need to- one quick trip back to town will re-fill your life/potions and Brutus will not regenerate health.
- Once you kill Brutus you can log out from the game and log back in. Killing Brutus automatically gives you the waypoint for the next area- no need to run through the rest of his prison.
- In The Prisoner’s Gate – a VERY dangerous area. To play it safe just skip most mob packs- especially the hellhound, he will kill you very easily.
- The Ship Graveyard again skip most content. Another dangerous area for you. Completely ignore the Captain’s quest and ignore The SHip Graveyard Cave.
- The Coves – Great place to farm if you feel like farming. Not nearly as dangerous as the previous zones for your character. If you feel like you didn’t play as well or am behind and just want to play it safe and rack up points for levels you can farm The Coves until your hour runs out. Otherwise clear through as fast as possible, killing groups of mobs.
- Cavern of Wrath – When you find the waypoint here go back to town and buy Sapphire rings. These rings give you frost resist. You can also vendor one iron ring with one blue skill gem to receive a sapphire ring so it’s worth collecting iron rings from the ground and picking blue skill gems from quests where you don’t need any of the given skill gems.
- When you fight Merveil put on both rings. Fight her in the center of the room. Use portal scrolls as necessary to refill your potions.
- The Forest is a great area to farm, again if you feel inclined. The mob pack density is phenomenal. If you are trying to win the race fight straight-through, killing groups but otherwise moving as quickly as you can.
- When you get to town buy big health and mana potions and vendor anything you don’t need.
- Proceed directly to the WEST exit – to River Crossings
- Stick mainly to the road, be careful, avoid difficult rare packs and keep killing groups.
- From River Crossings move to the Dark Forest. Again just killing groups of mobs and moving quickly, stick to the road.
- Finally you should be in the Western Forest. You will farm this zone until time runs out. A good idea is to throw on two ruby rings for the added fire resist. Purchase these in town if you haven’t found any.
You’ll be using a bow and playing a very defensive shoot and scoot playstyle. For example you will drop a trap, then move a few steps to the side, then shoot a poison arrow, and move a few more steps. This keeps most mobs from damaging you and allows you to very efficiently AOE down packs.