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Diablo 3 Strategy: Gearing Up for the New and Poor

One day soon, you will be penniless.

One day soon, you will be penniless.

A forum question from VeeSe spurred an interesting forum discussion; what’s the best way to gear up for a new player in Reaper of Souls? It’s largely a hypothetical question for most of us now, but that’ll change when Patch 2.1 goes live and and Ladder Seasons begin. If you create a seasonal character you start with nothing; no gold, no materials, no gems, no gear, paragon points, no leveled up artisans… you’ll even be scrounging for gold to buy your stash tabs!

Here’s the question from VeSee in our Diablo 3 community forum. Diablo 3 Strategy: Gearing Up for the New and Poor?

I was just wondering what the best way to build wealth was for someone who was new and didn’t have great items yet. I read a lot of these threads and guides and the recommended items are just so far out of reach, like I don’t have any of them pretty much. I have one character up to 70 but he’s not strong enough to really do anything besides Normal bounties and rifts.

Is the best way of building wealth just to keep grinding bounties and the occasional rifting in Normal? I’m at the point now where if I try to enchant a legendary I have, I better get it in 2-3 tries because I don’t have the materials to keep going after that and I have to grind for awhile to get enough to try again a couple times, and that doesn’t seem too productive. I’m still expecting the answer to be just to keep grinding bounties since they are the most rewards per time spent and at some point it will exponentially get better once I am able to get to do Torment rifts or something.

So what’s the best way to go about it? Where are the fastest places to level, what are the best ways to find gear, and where can you earn the most gold?

RoS =/= D3v

Considering the question made me to realize how much different the answer is in the current version of the game, whether Reaper of Souls or D3v2. Back in D3v the best way to gear up was via the Auction House (though that would have been different if we’d had seasons then). I spent my first couple months of D3 playing softcore, and when I switched over to Hardcore the best way to gear up was… to grind Act One Inferno on MP0 and collect gems and Tomes of Secret, which sold for very large amounts of gold in the Auction House. I could play a dozen hours like that and find 1 or 2 good items, while earning enough gold to buy good items for all my other inventory slots. (Which is why going DiabloWikiIronborn in D3v was such a bold commitment.)

That economic model is entirely gone in the game today. Not only is the Auction House gone, but everything you find that might be worth selling is BoA. Hell, even the gold itself is BoA. On the other hand, you find good gear about 50x as often as we did in D3v, which was the whole point in Blizzard making those changes. Because it’s more fun to farm your own gear and use only what you find yourself, than it is (was) to find gear and sell it for the gear you really wanted. (At least that’s the theory.)

Reaper of Souls Gear-Up Tips

So for the OP’s question… there’s no simple, obvious answer, but it’s interesting to consider. The overall key to gearing up in RoS is difficulty level. In D3v players needed a lot of DiabloWikiMagic Find to start finding a decent amount of legendary items, and characters could boost their MF by raising the difficulty level, and/or via Paragon Levels + gear. In the current game, MF is pretty much irrelevant, and almost all increased gear benefits come from higher difficulty level. Thus the question, “how do I gear up past level 70?” is really asking, “how do I survive on higher difficulty levels past level 70?”

Some question suggestions:

Stick to one Character
Smart Loot means that most of the gear you find will be themed for your class. That means regular upgrades, and also more Souls, since you’ll be salvaging redundant gear, rather than spreading legendaries around to multiple different characters. Plus with all the game rewards tied to difficulty level, you can get one character up in Torment and build wealth quickly… then your alts can gear up very quickly with plenty of Souls and Shards at their disposal.

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Guide: Legendary Gems

legendary gems guideLegendary Gems were first officially revealed in the Patch 2.1 preview blog back in June of this year.   They will be added to Reaper of Souls in Patch 2.1, and are currently undergoing testing on the PTR.

The gems add special bonuses when socketed in rings and amulets (only on Characters and not on Followers), and can be upgraded in power via DiabloWikiUrshi, the NPC who appears after Greater Rifts are cleared.

While the developers are calling them “legendary gems” these socketables have nothing in common with regular DiabloWikigems in stats or appearance, and are more analogous to the Rainbow Facet unique jewels of Diablo 2. The main difference in Diablo 3 is that these gems can only be socketed in jewelry, and the way the gems can be upgraded to improve their functions over time.

Legendary Gems Listing

While the Legendary Gems are still undergoing development on the DiabloWikiPTR, their stats and bonuses are changing constantly. A major revision was created on July 15, 2014 with new or upgraded stats for almost every gem. The following are the most current details about Legendary Gems.


DiabloWikiBane of the Powerful
bane of the powerful
  • Gain 30% increased damage for 20 seconds after killing an elite pack.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +1 second buff duration.
  • Rank 50 unlocks: Gain 20% bonus damage to elites.
DiabloWikiBane of the Trapped
bane of the trapped
  • Increase damage against enemies under control-impairing effects by 20%.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +0.5% damage.
  • Rank 50 unlocks: Gain an aura that reduces the movement speed of enemies within 15 yards by 30%.
DiabloWikiBoon of the Hoarder
  • 30% chance on killing an enemy to cause an explosion of gold.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +1% chance on kill.
  • Rank 50 unlocks: Gain 30% increased movement speed for 3 seconds after picking up gold.
  • Increase the Critical Hit Chance of your pets by 20%.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +0.4% Critical Hit Chance. Max +20% upgrade (+40% total).
  • Rank 50 unlocks: Your pets are unkillable.
Bliz Note: As was discussed in another thread, allowing this this gem to rank up to +100% pet Crit would likely cause undesired gearing issues and probably be a little out of line.
DiabloWikiGem of Efficacious Toxin
gem of efficacious toxin
  • Poison all enemies hit for 1000% weapon damage over 10 seconds.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +20% weapon damage over 10 seconds.
  • Rank 50 unlocks: All enemies you poison take 10% increased damage from all sources.
DiabloWikiGogok of Swiftness
 gogok of swiftness
  • 50% chance on hit to gain Swiftness, increasing your Attack Speed by 2% for 3 seconds. This effect stacks up to 10 times.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +1% chance.
  • Rank 50 unlocks: Gain 2% Cooldown Reduction per stack of Swiftness.
 DiabloWikiInvigorating Gemstone
 invigorating gemstone
  • While under any control-impairing effects, reduce all damage taken by 30%.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +1%. Maximum +50% upgrade (80% total).
  • Rank 50 unlocks: Heal for 20% of maximum life when hit by control-impairing effect.
 DiabloWikiMirinae, Teardrop of Starweaver
 Mirinae, Teardrop of Starweaver
  • 15% chance on hit to smite a nearby enemy for 1000% weapon damage as Holy.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +20% weapon damage.
  • Rank 50 unlocks: Smite a nearby enemy every 5 seconds.
  • 30% of all damage taken is instead staggered and dealt to you over 3 seconds.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +0.1 second to the stagger duration.
  • Rank 50 unlocks: 10% chance on kill to clear all staggered damage.
 DiabloWikiPain Enhancer
 Pain Enhancer
  • Critical hits cause the enemy to bleed for 500% weapon damage as Physical over 3 seconds.
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Blizzcon 2011 PvP Demo: The Demon Hunter

Posted 28 Oct 2011 by

There’s been general agreement among fans who tested the Clvl 60 chars in the Blizzcon PvP demo that the DiabloWikiDemon Hunter was the weakest class. (Just as most agree that the Witch Doctor was the strongest. Opinions differ on the Barb, Monk, and Wizard.) Both The Eliminator and Wolfpaq were down on the Demon Hunter during our during our podcast earlier this week, but why? What were players doing wrong with the DH in the Arena demo, or was the problem with the character build itself? (Which players could not adjust.)

This report should go some distance towards answering that question. It’s by The Eliminator, and he runs down all of the Demon Hunter’s skills and runes, talks about what they did right and wrong, and offers suggestions to improve the build for the future. (Most of which involve MOAR DMG PLZ!)

Here’s the introduction; click through for the full report, and his improved Demon Hunter PVP build.

The Demon Hunter

The class that most thought was the weakest was the Demon Hunter. Although she did the least amount of damage she was extremely good a escaping danger. I didn’t die a whole lot as the DH because I always tried to keep enough DiabloWikiDiscipline to DiabloWikiVault to safety, to use DiabloWikiSmoke Screen, or even DiabloWikiEvasive Fire to retreat out of combat. Using mobility was where the Demon Hunter shone. If you paid attention, you could almost always get out of trouble.

Where the DH was weak was her damage output. I think that was mainly because the build itself could have been better. Some classes could get anywhere from 4-6k damage with DiabloWikicritical hits, while the Demon Hunter was lucky to get a 1k hit, and even that only worked when the target was already weakened by being hit by a Wizard’s DiabloWikiFrost Nova.

Lets review the DiabloWikiDemon Hunter skills and DiabloWikirunestones used in the PvP demo.

Evasive Fire

DiabloWikiEvasive Fire with Alabaster runestone: “DiabloWikiTumble

As the only DiabloWikiHatred Generator it was a skill I used a lot. This skill did about 200-400 on a normal hit and 500-750 for a crit (around 1k when someone was already debuffed by Frost Nova). The damage wasn’t terrible because there was no cooldown the hits were just about instant (unlike most projectile attacks of the other classes) You could pop off 7 hits with this skill in about 2 seconds, which works out to an average of around 1575 damage/sec.

I used this skill to frustrate Monks and Barbs, because every time they got into melee range, the backflip portion of the skill would kick in. One or two backflips was all I needed to get way from a Barb because both of his distance closer skills (DiabloWikiAncient Spear and DiabloWikiLeap Attack) had 10 second cooldowns. The Monk on the other hand was a test of how long they wanted to chase me until I had enough and used Smoke Screen to escape.

Evasive Fire is a descent skill, though the damage is a little on the weak side. If it did just a little more, it would be awesome. Would I wanted a different Hatred generator in the Demon Hunter’s build? Maybe DiabloWikiHungering Arrow would have been better, because it could have been fired from behind cover, and since the shots could have homed in on enemies, and hit more than one target each. Furthermore, it has a higher damage potential with proper runestones.


DiabloWikiCaltrops with Indigo runestone: “DiabloWikiHooked Spines

I don’t know what it was with this skill but it just didn’t seem to slow targets down as much as it says it was. I guess it has to be the tiny 12 yard radius. The skill only slowed targets down for one to two strides. Comparing it to the effectiveness of the Witch Doctor’s DiabloWikiGrasp of the Dead it was a joke. Although Grasp of the Dead’s debuff was a lot less, its radius of effect was twice as big and it did damage over time. This skill would have been more useful if it was runed with any other rune besides Golden. They need to either make the trap radius bigger or when an enemy crosses the trap gives them a debuff that stays for a few seconds.

Rapid Fire

DiabloWikiRapid Fire with Obsidian Runestone: “DiabloWikiFire Support

This was the only Hatred spender of the build, and although the skill looked cool it really lacked the punch it needed to be an effective skill. Hits with this skill averaged a measly 50-125 on normal hits and 100-200 crit. (Like I said earlier, they did a bit more if a target was debuffed by Frost Nova) Although the projectiles from this hit very rapidly, around 10 per second, perhaps a third of them were usually blocked or dodged. Considering that, only 7 hits per second for about 100 per hit = 700 damage a second, which was not sufficient.

The homing missiles that Fire Support gave you had very little added bonus. In fact the skill would have been much better off with the Alabaster or Indigo rune, for this build. The only time this skill came into its own was when you used DiabloWikiShadow Power with it. Would I have picked another skill instead, maybe but if I did most of the skills would have had to be changed as well. This skill needs more DPS.


DiabloWikiVault with Indigo runestone: “DiabloWikiAcrobatics

This skill was great for getting way from danger. Two uses of this skill put you on the other side of the map. So long as you didn’t put yourself in a corner or run into one of the high walls, you were safe and free to try to find a DiabloWikihealth globe. When using this skill the Demon Hunter could cross over enemy traps and not be slowed at all. If a Barb tried to use his Ancient Spear to pull you in you could just Vault and it wouldn’t hit you. Vault could also be used to chase down enemies that were low on health, which I did do a few times. The skill was a little redundant with “Tumble” (Evasive Fire) but it still came in handy. If I was making this build I probably would have taken Vault and left out Evasive Fire.

Shadow Power

DiabloWikiShadow Power with Alabaster runestone: “DiabloWikiBlood Moon

This skill increased the damage output, and was also the only source of healing for the Demon Hunter. Without this skill Rapid Fire would not have been worth using. The life regen from this skill was not as good as it could have been, had the Demon Hunter had bigger DPS skills.

I will say this, the skill looks fantastic and even though the damage addition was marginal, it just was a fun skill to have going. It came with psychological benefits as well, since other players would see the Demon Hunter’s appearance transform and run, expecting attacks as dangerous as those the Wizard dished out in DiabloWikiArchon form. Sadly, that was not the case.

For this build “Blood Moon” was the only way to go. If you used this skill with Smoke Screen and shot up a few targets with Evasive Fire you could heal yourself and deal damage while completely invisible to the enemy.

Smoke Screen

DiabloWikiSmoke Screen with Indigo Runestone “DiabloWikiLingering Fog.” (Not 100% certain on this runestone.)

One of these best escape skills in PvP. Not only did this skill break the Demon Hunter out of any DiabloWikicrowd control debuff, but you could attack for the duration of the skill while remaining invisible. The mistake most players made was when they used it with Rapid Fire, since the stream of glowing projectiles gave away their location. Better was to use Evasive Fire, since it did not show your location.

With no cooldown the Demon Hunter could use this skill repeatedly, to remain invisible for an extended period. This was the DH best skill of this build. If this build had Impale, Evasive Fire and this skill, the reactions to the class would have been much different.

Passive Skills

DiabloWikiDemon Hunter passives
Unfortunately I don’t remember the Passives so I can’t talk about what impact they might have had on the build. That’s what I get for playing the class first and only one time.

In Conclusion

The Demon Hunter PvP build at Blizzcon was high on survivability and movement and low on damage. I have to question most of this build though. Why so many discipline skills? Why not have one less and have one more DPS skill? Even if the runes were changed the Demon Hunter would have had a better build. In the end the class just didn’t do what you would want in a PvP build… big damage, of course. I see potential in the class and that’s good. I can’t wait to get my hands on the class and make some bad ass assassin that shoots from the shadows and everyone wonders where death is coming from.

Here’s how the Demon Hunter was built in the demo, as best I can remember.
My PvP build would look like this. The Assassin.

Blizzcon 2011 PvP Arena: Hands-On Reports:

  • The Diablo Podcast #48: Forty minutes of Arena demo conversation with Wolfpaq and The Eliminator.
  • The Barbarian, by The Eliminator.
  • The Demon Hunter, by The Eliminator.
  • The Monk, by Adivirgi.
  • The Witch Doctor, by Adivirgi.
  • The Wizard, by The Eliminator.