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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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Reaper of Souls Legendary Item Gallery #4, Plus Strategy

Posted 31 Jan 2014 by

We posted one, two, three big collections of legendary items earlier in the beta, but it’s been a while. So now it’s back, and bigger than ever! (As she said.) Glory in a fresh Reaper of Souls Legendary Item Gallery with over 100 level 70 legendary and set items, the majority of which were found by myself and other members of the INC guild in the past week since the new improved legendary drop rates went in.

Everyone loves a good nosy.

Everyone loves a good nosy.

Guilds have a very cool feature that anytime someone loots (but not gambles) a legendary everyone in their guild who is online at that time sees a notification in the text box, and they can click it to see the new score. Those announcements also go into the Guild notification messages, and anyone in the guild can scroll through those and see what the others found since you were last online. Handy, a conversation starter in-game, and helpful for someone like me collecting such images for gallery updates.

I’ll put all the pics in a huge gallery below, sorted by name, but first here are some of the more interesting finds with some individual commentary about how legendaries and the overall item game is going in Reaper of Souls.

It’s interesting to find the updated lvl 70 versions of some of the better (or the useless) Diablo 3 legendary items. This is the first Mempo I’ve seen in RoS (I didn’t find it) and it’s excellent, but the limits on primary stats keep any item from being as OP as this hat is in classic D3. So it’s got a big mainstat roll, res all, a socket, and the special bonus to IAS (which generally has smaller values in RoS than it did in D3). But the +10-12% life and the additional random roll that might pop to Critical Chance can’t be rolled in RoS. (Or perhaps the Res All and/or Mainstat are random?)

In any event, you’ll never get a Mempo with 5 primary affixes + the inherent IAS, as the old D3 version can roll. You could add Crit Chance to this, but you’d have to enchant one of the 4 mainstats into it, and of them the AllRes or IAS is the most expendable, in terms of making the least difference to your well-geared lvl 70 char.

Newly-found Mempo of Twilight in Reaper of Souls.

Newly-found Mempo of Twilight in Reaper of Souls.

Legendary Jewelery

Not yet enchanted...

Not yet enchanted…

The best piece of jewelry I’ve found so far in RoS is a Unity ring, and it’s spectacular. Aside from that, I’ve found maybe a dozen orange rings and amulets, and none of them have been better than my best rare jewelry, and that’s still true even now that more Legs + Forgotten Souls are dropping, which makes enchanting Legendaries much more possible than it was earlier in the beta.

My Monk is my best char, geared enough to handle Torment 1 pretty easily, and he’s wearing sets and legendaries in every slot… except for rings and amulet. What’s the problem with legendary jewelry, then?

Click through for that, plus the huge galleries of set and legendary items.

The issue with rings and amulets, and also with Gloves, is that you really want damage stats on those items, and with only 4 primary affixes, you pretty much have to hit all of them. There are 5 damage stats of most utility. In roughly descending value they are, Critical hit Chance, Critical Hit Damage, Mainstat, +damage, and Increased Attack Speed.

That’s not the classic DiabloWikitrifecta order of Diablo 3, since IAS is much less valuable (for paper DPS, at least) in RoS. There are a few reasons for that, but chiefly:

  1. Mainstat rolls much higher (500-800 in RoS vs 100-200 in D3).

  2. IAS rolls lower (4-6% in RoS vs. 8-12% in D3).
  3. And +damage is more impactful with so much higher mainstat leveraging it. (This goes for Crit Chance and Crit Damage as well.)

So, for a top quality ring/amulet you pretty much have to have CC, CD, Mainstat, and either +damage or IAS, and you get that, or even 3 parts of that with a 4th primary you can enchant, on a very tiny % of jewelry. And since you find or can gamble 100 rare rings/amulets for every legendary, it’s just an issue of RNG and probability. (Legendaries *should* be better long term, since they can roll higher values for mainstat than Rares can, not even counting their special legendary properties or affixes.)

The best legendary jewelry I see keeps coming very close, often with 2 of the quinfecta stats in the primary affixes, but usually some other useful stat like +vit or AllRes is crowding out the desired damage affixes. And sure, +95 AllRes or +450 Vitality is very useful, but you can get those stats from other armor pieces where you can not get the damage stats. Many of the rings and amulets can *never* be top quality, since they’ve got 2 or 3 inherent stats that aren’t the damage ones you need on a piece of jewelry.

Bul-Kathos’ Wedding Band, for instance.

The inherent life steal is pretty weak.

The inherent life steal is pretty weak.

The inherent life steal is pretty weak.

The inherent life steal is pretty weak.

There’s an inherent roll to mainstat (great) and Critical Hit Damage (great) but while Life per Hit and +Life% are very good mods, they’re not what you want on jewelry, and those all seem to be inherent stats with no variation allowed on this ring. You could enchant the +Life% into Crit Chance and make a very good ring, but it would never be truly top of the line on DPS, which is what most players want from their fingerlings.

The big exception to this trend is the Unity I thumbed above, since it rolled with a trifecta, the LpH can be enchanted to Crit Damage for a great quadfecta, the +damage roll is much higher than a rare can get… and the special property is a giant +12% damage to Elites which is not something a rare ring can roll. That’s a hugely-useful affix, especially in Torment+, where boss hit points are off the charts.

Enchanting Jewelry

The final problem with legendary jewelry is enchanting. It’s much better now than it was a week ago, when Forgotten Souls were so hard to come by (each enchant of a legendary or set uses up a FS), but they are still pretty scarce. Furthermore, the massive array of possible affixes on jewelry, that makes rolling a trifecta or quadfecta so hard in the first place, makes replacing a dud stat with one you really want… that much harder.

If you haven’t yet had the joy of burning up all 8 of your hard-won Forgotten Souls just trying to turn a primary affix into Critical Damage on an amulet… wait. Just wait. It’s such fun! (This is not hypothetical. Goddamned amulets.)

Set Items

One of the main complaints about BoA on legendaries and the limited stash space is that it will make completing Item Sets too difficult. That might be true, but finding all of any of the end game sets was a lot harder in D2, since almost every set had at least one ultra-rare item. That’s not the case in RoS; the items in the sets aren’t spectacularly hard to find, but you’ll obviously need some luck and patience to gather them up. And isn’t that how item sets should work? Play with friends so you can trade legs, and run a tab. Today you find an item from Immortal King that your Barb friend wants, next week he finds Inna’s helm that your Monk wants. BFFs forever! (Good luck on the mainstat rolls.)

In the last month of the RoS beta (most of which was played with much lower leg drop rates) I’ve found several single set items, plus 2 items from Blackthorns, and 3 from Natalya’s… unfortunately 2 of those were the Cloak, as you can see in the comparison image below. I really want a third one since that’s what enables the huge 7% Crit Chance set bonus. No more does that come with just two of the items. You need three now which means it is still attainable for non Demon Hunters, but you’ll have to wear the boots and ring, plus the helm, and with the Dex bonuses in there it’s probably only a real viable gear option for the Monk. (The Cloak and xbow in the set are DH-only.)

One thing I don’t so much like about sets is that almost all the set bonuses are very utilitarian. Functional and powerful to be sure, but they’re mostly just +stat, +res, +CD or CC or IAS, etc. Most of the quirky, flavorful, build-tweaking bonuses seem to be on individual legendary items, rather than set items, or from Item Set bonuses. I’d like to see a bit more flavor from set bonuses.

Torment Legendaries

Sadly, I have little to say here. I’ve played a fair amount of torment with my Monk and some with my DH (that’s where she found her second Natalya’s Embrace) and have thus far found zero legendaries that were any different or better or special, compared to the legs found in lower difficulties.

The legendary drop rate is supposed to be much higher in Torment, but since the killing speed is much slower (at least with my current gear) I find more legs per hour facerolling through Hard.

There are supposed to be special higher quality legendaries in Torment, but I’ve not found any yet. The legs I have found have been indistinguishable (in type and roll) from the ones I find in lower difficulties.

There are supposed to be special Legendary crafting plans that only drop in Torment and above, but their drop rate is so ultra-rare now I don’t know that you’d ever notice. I’ve found a total of one crafting plan since the last patch “fixed” their buggy-high drop rate, and it was from a Treasure Goblin knot in a Nephalem Rift on Hard difficulty. (And crafting legs/sets is of dubious value now anyway, with most of the results much too randomized and lacking in special legendary properties to be worth the time and expense to create.)

I haven’t played anywhere near enough Torment for my finds (and non-finds) there to be anything more than statistical noise, but if you’re planning to crash and crawl your way into Torment, spurred by a belief that once there you will swiftly and surely find uber items beyond anything you could get in lower difficulties… good luck, but I’ve seen zero evidence to support that strategy.

For now it’s best to gear up and zoom through Normal or Hard, racking up the most kills, the most Shards, and finding the most legendary items possible. If your goal is efficiency, don’t even think about Torment until you have good legendaries in almost every slot, and are able to blast it yourself. Unless you’re planning to party leech or you have friends who can pull you,

My Monk has nearly 800k DPS and most Elite fights still feel pretty slow, so I’d think 1000k is a good standard for pretty quick Torment 1 killing… though that varies greatly between the classes. Monks run pretty low on “paper” DPS since they don’t have any straight out +%damage passives. My DH in my Monks’ gear is over 1000k DPS standing in town, and she’s nowhere near his killing speed or survival in Torment.

Legendary Items Gallery

The full orange gallery. Enjoy.

Questions or comments on legs in RoS? Hit it.