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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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Power Leveling in Diablo 3 a Reality

Posted 21 May 2012 by

There has been some discussion recently about a few variations on an experience grinding route in Act 3 and 4, and the Incgamers strategy team wanted to put it to the test. The result is, quite simply, the most efficient route to leveling in the game. This is especially strong for new heroes – we took a brand new character to level 20 in about an hour without it ever leaving town.

Read on to learn how to satisfy your Baal run withdrawals – you may never play the same way again.

Edit: Blizzard has nerfed the exp returns from the Azmodan quests, its not good for rushing anymore.

TL;DRRepeated runs of the “Kill Azmodan” quest chain appears to be the best way to gain exp quickly, including rushing new characters (starting from level 1). Act 4 quest 1 is not worth the time for rushing, though it does provide very safe exp for high-level hardcore players in nightmare. Blizzard said they wanted to put an end to the 2min rush/farming runs, but seem to have overlooked the massive quest completion experience.

Video link of the run:

From the waypoint:
there is only one map between you and him, and it’s STATIC:

  • No wasted time exploring the map, you know where the exit is
  • if you’re rushing, you can skip the mobs easily
  • if you’re farming, there are 2-4 champ packs on the way to Azmodan each time, so you get a couple of neph buff stacks very quickly

Azmodan himself:

  • for combination rushing/farming, azmodan is the safest of the 4 bosses for a level 1, if you can dodge the slow moving fireball you can get azmodan exp and loot if you desire
  • for rushers, the exp boost from Azmodan is very small compared to the quest exp (Azmodan exp seemed to stay at around 10% of the quest exp), so you can just leave the level 1s in town and let them get 90% of the exp with zero risk

Things to note:

  • If Azmodan is tanked where he spawns, the low level MUST stay on that half of the room; If he goes further back than the central pillar, he won’t get loot/exp
  • As the lowbie levels the quest rewards increase as the total exp needed for leveling also increases. The number of required runs per level increases slowly, but remains better than alternative means of leveling.
  • It takes roughly an hour to take a hero from 1-20 with this method – we’re still testing beyond 20.
  • If you have a high level character capable of soloing nightmare content, Azmodan can be farmed from 50-60. Rough estimates indicate this would take somewhere between 8 and 10 hours.

Testing Methodology

  • Level 52 Barbarian with 1500 dps on character sheet
  • Level 1 Witch Doctor

Steps for rushing character

  1. Start new game (15 sec)
  2. Run to Azmodan (45 sec)
  3. Kill Azmodan (30 sec)
  4. Click soul
  5. Teleport out
  6. Quit and start new game
  7. Total Time: ~1:45

Steps for character being rushed

  1. Sort Loot In Stash
  2. Talk to Lieutenant Lavail
  3. Go to watchtower
  4. Teleport
  5. Quit and join new game (he’ll already be clearing to Azmodan)

Raw Numbers

Act 3 quest reward 1: 4,200exp (level 1) – 12,250exp (max)
Act 3 quest reward 2: 4,200exp (level 1) – 12,250exp (max)
Act 4 quest reward 1: 2,400 (level 1) – 7,000exp (max)

Time Trials
Act 3 start
00:00s take core of arreat waypoint
00:45 reached azmodan
01:15 azmodan dead
01:30 highbie left game (for azmodan only run)
02:00 quest 2 completed
act4 start
02:30s portal 1 start
02:50s portal 1 end

logout/login new game (takes about 15sec)

Total Time to complete
Act 3: 1:30 (+15s for new game) = 1:45
Act 3 and 4: 03:05 (+15s for new game) = 03:05

Final Numbers
Repeating Azmodan (BEST EXP/min)
24,500exp per 01:30 (run time) +00:15 (new game) = 14,000 exp/min

Repeat Act 4
7,000exp per 00:50 (run time) +00:15 (new game) = 6,461exp/min

Repeating act 3 and 4
31,500exp per 02:50 (run time) +00:15 (new game) = 10,216exp/min

How it degrades over time for lowbies:
lvl 4 was reached in the first run
at lvl 10, 60% of a level per run
at lvl 18, 35% of a level per run

What happens to my sanity after doing it for hours

Tagged As: | Categories: Strategy News