Recent Features

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.

Read More & Comment >>
How Diablo 3 Auction House Botters Got Rich

news-d3ah-botters-richFascinating and very long article by a self-confessed Diablo 3 Auction House botter, talking about how he made over 100k Euros in a year, entirely through buying low and selling high on the AH and RMAH. The article is huge and goes into great detail about everything, including the scripts he used, the multiple machines he had running, and how easy it was to avoid Blizzard’s very lacking anti-botting measures.

The botter’s first attempts were by using a very simple script to scan Auction House listings, one item at a time, and automatically buy ones with stats that exceeded his set parameters, and with a price below his maximum value. This required him to know which items were powerful, what the best stats on them were, how much they’d sell for on the RMAH, etc. It took a lot of work and daily updates to the search scripts, but with millions of players using the AH, many of them without a clue about the actual value of their items, it was shooting fish in a barrel.

I remember in these months I used to search a lot for rare rings or rare amulets. What still comes to my mind is a criteria searching for rare amulets with more than 7 critical hit chance and more than 50 critical hit damage and buying any that cost below 1 or 2 million gold. I sold amulets with these criteria on the RMAH (Real Money Auction House), for tens and sometimes even 100+ euros. Stuff like 7+ crit chance, 50+ crit damage and a high main stat like strength or intelligence + vitality was considered pretty good back then. Trifectas ( crit chance + crit damage + increased attack speed) was even more rare and expensive.

Another popular thing I remember botting the old fashioned way was Chantodo’s force wizard sources. These were great because almost no one seemed to know that the property “Arcane power on critical hit” was actually rare and very valuable. So you could just adjust your bot to search for chantodo’s force sources with arcane power on crit and above a specific damage, choose the minimum price under which the bot would buy any item it found, and you were good to go.

That was the very earliest version of the system, which was active in late 2012. The technology was quickly improved and with better coding his bot became able to search many types of items at once, all with different selected stats and minimum values in them, with different pricing criteria, and he figured ways to keep it refreshing constantly, so it would scan literally every single gold item sale that appeared within seconds of it going on the market.

On January 1st I started selling those sweet sweet presents. And the results were staggering. The money started flowing in immediately. Before, I was searching for 1 variation of 1 single item, for example any Mempo of Twilight with Critical Hit Chance, below the price of 1 million gold. Now, I could search for 100 different variations of Mempo of Twilight, plus hundreds of variations of all other worthwhile items. In the first days though, I only had one bot account, which I was using to bot some legendary items in the “armor” category. Even with this small sample of all possible items though, it was soon obvious to me that I had to buy a very powerful PC which could run more than 1 diablo window, and would also search the Auction House which much higher FPS (Frames per second).

He also made a fortune buying items that people mislisted in gold instead of RMT. That seems impossible, but the article has literally dozens of screenshots of spectacular items listed at 150 or 200 gold, when clearly the seller meant to list them at those prices… in EUROS! And no, the conversion rate of Diablo 3 gold to real money wasn’t exactly 1-to-1…

First I bought one more account and started using 2 accounts which were botting for legendary Armor. Why another one botting the same subset of items? Take another look at the screenshots above.

Read More & Comment >>

Reaper of Souls Nephalem Rifts Hands-On Report from Blizzcon

Posted 9 Nov 2013 by

Diablo Podcast Reaper of Souls at BlizzCon with IncGamersHere’s some first hand info on DiabloWikiNephalem Rifts, formerly known as Loot Runs. They are bonus dungeon/events accessed via yellow portals enabled by finding Rift Stones from killing Bounties in Adventure Mode. See our Hands-On Adventure Mode article and Friday’s panel transcript for full coverage of that new game type in RoS.

Nephalem Rifts

Nephalem Rifts (AKA Loot Runs) are special dungeons accessed via yellow portals found near a special altar in town in Adventure Mode. They are *not* found in Campaign Mode (and they are not the same thing as Nephalem Trials, which are small bonus dungeons with short and intense Jar of Souls-style events found in Adventure Mode or Campaign Mode), which I have not yet encountered in this Blizzcon Demo).


Nephalem Rift

Each Rift is randomized in tile set, layout, and monsters, and presents a unique challenge. Literally; you never know what combo you’re going to get and it makes a difference. As someone (Rankil, I think?) mentioned during the live Podcast we recorded Friday night, he got a mixture of enemies on one level, entered a room, and found that he had Fallen Fanatics on the level too… when five of them detonated right on top of him.

I had some close calls with Desert Wasps in one of my levels too, as a dozen little green BBs came shooting down a narrow hallway at me before I knew what I was dealing with. Once we’re playing Nephalem Rifts for real, especially with Hardcore characters, it will be a very good idea to go cautiously at the start of each new level until you see what types of enemies are spawned there.


Click through for the rest of the article, covering randomization, triggering the Rift Guardian, earning access to Rifts, and more.


Randomization of Dungeons and Monsters

The levels are fully random; my first Rift I entered from Tristram and got a Desert tombs dungeon for level one. Level two was an Act One Leoric’s Dungeon. Level three was an Act Three Keep type level. Level four was an Act One jail type level. And every one of those levels had a fully random assortment of enemies; not tied to the act of the tile set, or the monsters limited to just one act, etc.

I’m sure there are some spawning requirements and some enemies that won’t spawn together, or that are more likely to appear with each other (Diablo I’s randomized monster selector worked like that, with weighting values assigned to each monster type and more dangerous ones getting higher numbers so you couldn’t get 3 of the big guys on the same level).

One oddity: As I said, my first Rift had an Act Two tombs dungeon for level one. After I finished that Rift (or at least killed the Rift Guardian) I portaled back to town and appeared in Tristram. I then went back into the rift to see if it was reset or changed. It was not, I was just standing in that same Act Two desert tomb. So I went back through the portal… and found myself in Act Two town. Where I had not previously been in that game. Not that it really matters, since in Adventure Mode you can travel freely between acts.


Triggering the Rift Guardian

When you enter a rift you gain a progress bar on the right side of the screen just below the minimap. It says percent of monsters killed, and steadily increases as you kill more of them. The counter goes by kills, not some weighted system of monster hit points, which makes it count up much faster on some levels. I got the Act 3 Scorpions in an Act 1 Jail tileset on my 4th level, and with them appearing in big bunches of 10-20 my % killed counter was jumping up 2 or 3% with each group, which I was one-shotting with a great AoE Crusader skill.

Once you reach 100% the Rift Guardian appears. The devs stressed this during Friday’s panel, and they weren’t kidding. It explodes into life the instant you kill that last monster, and it doesn’t matter what you’re doing at the time. I saw my first while in an Act One Jail dungeon, and when I was in the middle of fighting a boss. One of the minions or some trash monster in the area triggered the 100% and suddenly I had the boss and the Rift Guardian at once. Some strategic repositioning was soon required. (I ran like a bunny.)

Rift Guardians are randomized as much as everything else in Nephalem Rifts, and they range from big powerful purples (I got one of a new Act 5 Angel type of monster in my first Rift.) to D3V act bosses. There are even pairs of them sometimes. See the full (very long, subject to change) datamined list on the Nephalem Rifts article.


Entering a Rift

To enter a Nephalem Rift you need to find Rift Stones, which have a chance to be earned by completing Bounties. That’s what the devs say, at least. I’ve killed a lot of bounties thus far during testing at Blizzcon and haven’t found any Rift Stones, so maybe they drop very rarely or maybe they’re disabled in this demo? It doesn’t matter though, since the pre-made chars have 10 Rift Stones in their inventory, and thus in each new Adventure Mode game there is a rift open in town. It’s actually open in each town, as far as I could tell. The same yellow portal with the same name on it (Something like “Josef’s Planes Dungeon” as best I recall. I’ll note the name more carefully next time.)

The datamining refers to opening a new rift once you’ve cleared out the previous one, so perhaps if you reach some final room or exit on the lowest level that Rift is completed and a new one can be done in the same Adventure Mode game? The devs have referred to a special reward if you complete a full Rift. I don’t know; I didn’t have time to clear out an entire Rift, though I did get through the Rift Guardian both times I’ve tried it thus far. (I shall sample anew come Saturday’s show.)


Loot and Bosses and Experience

The Rift levels are randomized in monster types and density, so they are not necessarily the best place to earn EXP. They might be, but it all depends on the roll of the RNG dice. As the demo characters are only level 32 and on the easiest difficulty (under the new 0-5 difficulty system), it’s impossible to project how the density and exp gain will compare to doing the best farming areas in Inferno on Campaign Mode.

One thing I did notice on every Nephalem Rift dungeon level was a lot of bosses. I didn’t clear out entire dungeons (just took the stairs down when I found them, while trying to avoid wasting time in any dead areas of the map) but I still found 3 or 4 random Elites on each level, with a steady array of trash mobs between them. The Rifts were definitely as or more populated than most areas of the game are now, especially for a sub-Inferno character, and the Elites came as quickly as or more quickly than you see them in most areas of the game today.

I did not see any Golden Chests in the rifts, but that might just be RNG and my limited exploration time. I did get one random Treasure Goblin. But not the room full of them that’s shown on the RoS B-roll video. That’s perhaps a super rare spawning room? Or a reward level if you complete a full rift?

As with other features in RoS, this one remains under development and we can expect changes before the final. It’s a lot of challenge and profit even now though, and the variety of enemies and levels really makes for a fun and varied play experience.


Questions? Stick them in comments and I’ll reply when I get a chance. I will definitely run some more Nephalem Rifts on Saturday at the demo and see if I can figure out more about this new feature.

Keep an eye on the BlizzCon Coverage Section for the full transcripts (not bullet point lists) of the Diablo 3 Panels, videos, hands-on reports, photos, screenshots and more.