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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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Ring of Royal Grandeur Farming Exploit?

You want? You take!

You want? You take!

The DiabloWikiRing of Royal Grandeur (armory) has become the most sought after item in Diablo 3, as its legendary affix is basically mandatory for all end game gearing decisions, given the power of partial Item Set bonuses. The hard part is finding one, as it’s one of the five legendary items that can only be obtained from Act One Horadric Caches. This is good in a way, as it’s the sole remaining item/profit-based reason players have to do *anything* other than RiftRiftRift. (Given the game’s design direction in recent months, I’m frankly surprised the RoRG hasn’t been turned into a Greater Rift Guardian drop.)

Most players hunt RoRGs with brute force, by grinding hundreds of Act One bounties as quickly as possible, which usually means split-farming on Normal difficulty. That’ll work, eventually, but is there a better way? A user in our Diablo 3 community forum named Horadrimm says yes, there’s a trick to it, by following a method players are calling the “Junger Rules.” Quote:

I got 5 RORGS with very minimal effort and so can you!!

How it works: The game has a pity timer, meaning that if you don’t get a legendary within an hour or so it drops one for you automatically. The goal the aforementioned method of farming is to ensure that pity drop is in your horadric cache and not in the world.

What to do:

  • Do not kill any mobs except those required for objectives.
  • Do not kill goblins.
  • Do not open chests including resplendent chests.
  • Do not destroy breakables (pots, barrels, looting bodies etc).
  • Do not pop fortune shrines.
  • Do not kill mobs from required cursed chest and shrine event objectives until the timer has run out.
  • Avoiding a legendary drop in the world increases the chance the pity timer drops one in your cache.

    First off, the guy who invented this was apparently named Junger, so now it’s called the “Junger Rules.” Which is fine, but how the hell did they avoid the obvious pun and call it the “Junger Games?” So that’s what I’m calling it, since I’m all about obvious puns.

    As for the technique, the theory is that since the game has a “pity timer” that increases your chances of finding a legendary item the longer you go without finding one, you can exploit this by obtaining a Horadric Cache after not finding any Legendaries for some time. Hence not killing Goblins, not opening golden chests, avoiding random Elites, etc. This is a sacrifice since it’ll lower your total legendaries found, but boost your chances of finding that all-important RoRG.

    Does it work? Some players swear it does, others say it doesn’t. And thus we’re plunged back into the conspiracy theories that are inevitably spawned by item hunting in a game where we don’t know exactly how item drops work. I think the principle is sound, as the pity timer is real, but I’m not at all sure the stated rules are how it should be done.

    First of all, we don’t know when items in a Horadric Cache are determined. The Junger Gamers say the legendary pity timer works when you find the Cache, but that seems contrary to what we know about how Horadric Caches determine their item drops. Remember early in RoS, when players were storing Caches up in Normal and opening them on Torment 6? That was a real exploit, easily observed since it caused Imperial Gems to drop from Caches found in Normal. (Which made it seem that items in Caches were determined when the Cache was opened. NOT when it was found.)

    Blizzard confirmed that exploit by hotfixing it and adding an internal tag to unopened Caches that tracked what DiabloWikidifficulty level they were found on, and the level of the character that farmed them. (So if you find bags with a lvl 70 and open with a lvl 60, all the items will be lvl 70.) Bliz later expanded on that in Patch 2.0.5 when they boosted the chances for legendary items to drop from Caches found on Torment 2 and higher.

    Furthermore, Bliz recently confirmed that items from Caches roll their smart drop according to the class of the character that opens the cache. It doesn’t matter who farms the cache in terms of what items drop. That matches my experience and testing as well, as I once farmed a bunch of caches with my DH and my Barb, and then opened them with a WD and got almost all INT gear, plus several Witch Doctor-restricted items.

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    Diablo 3 Patch v1.07 Crafting Plans Strategy

    Posted 15 Feb 2013 by

    We’ve had nearly two days to explore the patch and much of the early player interest and conversation concerns the Diablo 3 Patch v1.07 crafting plans/designs, where to find them, and what to craft from them. We posted all the official details about plans, Demonic Essences, and more in the patch analysis article yesterday, so I’m not going to restate all of that here. There is some new info though, or at least clarification to stress.

    Cydaea double plan drop.

    Cydaea double plan drop.

    1) A Blizzard CM assured me that Siegebreaker is *not* one of the bosses getting a bonus chance to drop the new Crafting Plans. Only Ghom and Cydaea get that bonus in Act 3, so I guess my RNG has just been weird, since I’ve done about 6 fast runs of Ghom-to-Azmodan in Act 3, and Siegebreaker remains my best source for the new plans, having dropped 5 or 6 of them thus far. (Ghom and Cydaea have coughed up 4 or 5 each.)

    2) The new Marquise Gem Designs are *not* given a bonus drop chance from those Elite Eight special sub-bosses. That drop bonus only applies to the 4 new crafting plans for amulets, shoulders, gloves, and bracers. You might get a Marquise gem plan from one of those bosses (I did, an emerald from Ghom), but they have no specially-better odds to drop them.

    Vaeflare made both these points in a forum post, for the link or it didn’t happen. The big eight, to restate:

    • Act One: Skeleton King, Spider Queen
    • Act Two: Maghda, Zoltun Kulle
    • Act Three: Ghom, Cydaea
    • Act Four: Rakanoth, Izual


    Demonic Essences

    I didn’t ask why Demonic Essences are yellow when every other stackable crafting material in the game is light blue (color of the name when they drop), but it does seem odd. I also didn’t ask why they only stack to 100 when the other mats go to 1000, but I guess they’re more akin to jewels, which only stack to 100.

    demonic-essence-stack100That said, here’s a cynical theory. Unless you’re really into crafting (and self found players are justifiably wild about the new crafting recipes) and have tons of gold to burn on that gamble, you’ll soon have DEs stacking up way beyond anything you can do with them. You can’t sell them on the AH, they only vendor for 25 gold, all the crafting recipes that use them cost a lot of gold and other mats, etc.

    Basically, in a month (or less) Demonic Essences are going to seem like another useless rare item type which you’ll just leave on the ground when it drops. Thus yellow is the perfect color for them!


    Plan Finding

    The best way to get the plans quickly is to buy them in the Auction House. They’re all for sale and none cost that much, certainly not compared to how much you’ll spend in dozens/hundreds of crafting rolls required to roll an upgrade. (And their prices are falling very rapidly. I’d actually argue they drop too commonly, compared to how hard it was to find crafting recipes during the first 8 months of Diablo 3.)

    I stressed in the article yesterday that you shouldn’t buy now but should wait for prices to drop. Happily for my bank balance, most people didn’t take that advice and every new plan has been selling briskly. Though all of the plans are selling immediately, my biggest profit by far came from Emerald Marquise plans. I found one not long after the patch went live and it sold for 12m. I found a second hours later that night and it sold for 5m. I found a third the next morning and it sold for 2.1m. I’m no economist, but I bet you could plot those points on a graph measuring time/price, and get a textbook example of a supply and demand curve.

    So, how do you find plans from monsters, rather than the DiabloWikiAuction House? Kill the 8 special sub-bosses with MP turned up, and/or kill a lot of other monsters with as much MF as possible. I’ve found about half my new plans from regular bosses and even trash mobs, so it’s not at all just the Elite Eight that are worth farming. Those guys do have better odds though, and there are plenty of theories about the best runs.

    Remember that you must have 5 stacks for their bonus odds to kick in, so you can’t just use the waypoints right by their levels and endlessly farm DiabloWikiZoltan Kulle and DiabloWikiGhom. That said, those two are conveniently located right near waypoints, so it’s not hard to start a game on their quest, stack up earlier in the act, then leap to them once you’re five’d.

    If you want something more of a run, it’s easy enough to do an Act Three clear from Ghom on through. That’s what I’ve been doing since my TR Monk moves *very* quickly, and as I keep saying, Siegebreaker has been better to me, for new plans, than the other two. YMMV, of course.

    Another good option is to take advantage of the fact that DiabloWikiNephalem Valor stacks now persist between acts, and continue on into Act Four. Cydaea is very near the end of Act 3 and Rakanoth is very near the start of Act 4, which makes those two the closest (chronologically) of any of the Elite Eight. (Plus lots of players are citing Iskatu (the purple right at the start of Act Four) as another great way to get plans, and I’ve found a few from him myself. Regardless of Blizzard’s insistence that only those Elite Eight have a plan drop bonus, many players feel other special purple sub-bosses have the same bonus, or at least a much higher chance than regular random Elites.

    There are lots of other theories and first hand player reports in the big Patch v1.07 feedback thread in the forum, if you want additional ideas.


    Crafting Items

    As for making the crafting recipes, all you can do there is cross your fingers. There’s no skill or any way to influence the results, though fashioning an empty can of Dr. Pepper into a small and sticky dark altar devoted to the capricious gods of DiabloWikiRNG probably wouldn’t hurt. Various players on the forums have been posting pics or reports of their superb crafting luck, but that’s not real informative in terms of how many tries it took them and how many players have crafted a dozens of rolls with no success to show for it.

    Personally, I’ve done little crafting with no success. I rolled 12 of the Dex gloves and got 2 items that were almost decent, with maybe a 500k sale equivalence (if they hadn’t been BoA), but nothing I could consider using. Others have had more luck and/or persistence than I, and quite a few pics and reports have already been added to our new Crafted item showoff thread. Feel free to report your success or frustration and serve as an example and/or cautionary tale to others.