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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.
 DiabloWikiEnforcer
 enforcer
  • 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.
 DiabloWikiMoratorium
 Moratorium
  • 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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Diablo 3 Console Itemization Hints at Diablo 3′s Future

Posted 12 Jun 2013 by

Every time Blizzard talks about the changes they’ve made to the console version of the game we get a burst of QQing about “PC version wuz 18 month beta test!” and the like. It’s hard to take those arguments on good faith, since you know if the console was exactly the same game then the same haters would be QQing about, “Lazy Bli$$ard maed no improvs in 18 moinths!”

That aside, it is interesting to see what sort of changes the console version is getting, and trying to interpret what that tells us about upcoming changes to the *real* version of the game. Lylirra offered a lengthy reply to a thread on that topic today:

Fixing itemization (which needs to be done on PC) is one thing. Applying console-based itemization to the pc version is quite another.
Lylirra: Interesting quote! (Also, apologies in advance for the TL;DR response.)

While the core of the console game is based on the PC game — you get all the same content, systems, classes, skills, and runes on the console as you do on PC — the console version of Diablo III is really its own thing. It’s a familiar, but ultimately unique experience. Our goal when developing Diablo III for console was to deliver that same visceral gameplay you get with a mouse and keyboard, but at the same time feel completely natural when using a controller. (Basically, whichever platform you prefer for gaming, you can pick that version and know that it was tweaked to be best suited for the platform of your choice.)

In order to achieve that, we’ve made a variety of tweaks to the the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions, including a complete re-design of the UI and character controls, inventory management, as well as combat pacing and boss fights. The item game is predominantly the same, but we’ve also made some minor adjustments to itemization. Items will drop less frequently, but will typically be of higher quality. There’s a chance that when a white or gray item drops, that it will be automatically converted to gold too. These changes were made to help manage the flow of gameplay and keep players in the midst of combat (and out of their inventory screens) as much possible. Inventory management is a little more difficult on the console version than it is on the PC, where you have a mouse to quickly navigate through menus, so this was a pretty key tweak for the PS3 and Xbox 360.

Many of these adjustments inspired future changes we’d like to make to PC, and many of them were inspired by plans we already had for improving itemization as a whole. Since we use staggered development (meaning, the PC and console games more or less have separate teams and development cycles), though, it’s possible that one game will receive changes before another. Over time, which game that is may switch back and forth. Even so, PC will always be the lead platform.

Regardless, here are a few interviews and hands-on reviews from PAX East you may want to check out. I’ve only highlighted ones where itemization on console gets addressed, but I figured this was kind of important, as it lets you get the information directly from the developers. :)

  • Penny Arcade Report
  • Kotaku
  • IGN (Skip to 5:25)
  • All of those media pieces linked to are from March and April, so none of the info is newly-revealed. (Like I said at the start, this same issue comes up every time we get a burst of console news.)

    There is something new today, though. I spotted it in one of the new Diablo 3 console screens released at E3. As you can see in the screen crop below, it’s a Calamity. In the PC version this is one of the best Demon Hunter weapons in the game, with blazing fast firing speed, inherent Critical hit Damage, and the highest possible DPS for a hand xbow. Naturally, it’s a level 63 item and can only be found in Inferno.

    In that console screen though, the Calamity has the same inherent properties, but the values are much lower and it’s an item level 31 item. Que?

    Well, one idea we’ve heard repeatedly from Travis Day and others is that they want to allow lower level legendaries to drop later in the game, with appropriately scaled up stats. (Which wouldn’t seem to work, unless they redid their inherent bonuses as well.) As far as I know, they haven’t publicly said anything about high level legendaries going the other direction though, with ilvl 60+ items dropping earlier in the game, with appropriate scaled down stats. And yet that’s exactly what this console Calamity seems to be doing.

    Ironically, given all the talk about improved legendaries and changes to itemization on the console… that lvl 31 Calamity sucks. I base that opinion not on the PC version (since we don’t know how precisely DPS and other stats can be translated between platforms), but on a comparison to the hand crossbow the character already has equipped. That one’s not any good, just a blue with some bonus poison damage, but it’s the same Ilvl as the Calamity, has considerably higher DPS, and it’s not even socketed! Stick any level of DiabloWikiRuby in there and it’ll be vastly better.

    That aside, what do you guys think about not only finding lower level legendaries (with bumped up stats) in Inferno, but also finding higher level legendaries (with bumped down stats) earlier in the game? I’m not a huge fan of either possibility. It’s already so hard to find any of the good legendaries that adding even more low level legendaries to dilute the pool seems treacherous. I’ve found something like 30 Andy’s hats vs. 2 Mempos ever. Given that, the prospect of having to wade through upgraded versions of Broken Crowns, Giant Skulls, Blind Faiths, and Leoric’s Crowns doesn’t exactly thrill me.

    Of course I’m thinking of the current version of those items. The real hope is that Bliz does manage to improve legendaries across the board. If they pull that off then my objection goes away, since every time you found a legendary you would get excited for the potential ID, and not just pray to find one of a few specific legendary items, then double-pray to the Malicious Lord of RNG for a great roll on top of that.