So, I’ve given you a gear overview, I’ve given you tips, I’ve given you stat advice. I haven’t covered what the hell to actually do when you hit 70. Let’s remedy that right now.
Note – This guide assumes you have completed Story Mode, and unlocked Adventure Mode. Adventure Mode is superior to story mode for farming and grinding due to the freedom it gives you to travel through the game world. If you haven’t beaten Story Mode yet, focus on finishing that before worrying about this guide.
Let’s set a few goals, firstly.
Initial Goals – Gear up, Get into Torment 1.
First things first, you want to get into Torment. I know, for a blog dedicated to getting to torment, that seems like to early goal, but the majority of your grinding will be taking place in those difficulties, so the sooner we can get there, the better.
There are a couple of ways you can go about this, but if you’re playing solo, or with an equally ungeared group, the best way to gear up is running Bounties on Normal difficulty. You can either run the bounties together for fast clearing, or split up to get to the Horadric Cache you recieve for completing all 5 bounties in an act. How you approach this is up to you, but I’d recommend splitting up to get caches faster. You also get rift keys for clearing bounties.
The side benefit to doing this is you get started on your paragon levels. You likely won’t much further than level 25-30, but leveling is leveling. Your stat allocation at this point isn’t immensely important (nor will it be until you hit Paragon 200 or so, as prior to that you really won’t have stat points in any meaningful amount), but put all the points you can into Movement Speed under core points, as moving faster means getting more stuff done.
Here are a couple of items to look for out of the caches. Note that each act gives different items, barring Act IV, which can give items from the other four acts.
Golden Gorget of Leoric – This thing is usually an upgrade for me 99% of the time when I get one early on. It’s guarenteed to roll a core stat, All resist, and %crit chance. Those three stats alone ensure this thing is good. It’s legendary ability is neglibible at best.
Mad Monarch’s Scepter – A *fantastic* early game weapon for those lucky enough to get one. It is guarenteed to roll core stat and +% damage, meaning its dps will always be above average for one handed weapons. If you can get a 2200 dps or higher one, this item alone could put you into torment viability. It’s legendary power is insanely strong, often wiping out entire groups of enemies when it procs. The only downside to this weapon is that it is one handed, with one handed weapons falling by the wayside in viability after the two handed weapon buff.
Ring of Royal Grandeur – The ring itself is pretty mediocre (it can only roll one random affix, meaning you cannot get the dream Crit %, Crit Damage, Socket ring). However, all of that can be ignored when you look at its legendary affix: Reduces the number of items required for Set Bonuses by 1 (to a minimum of 2). Until recently, this was easily the most powerful ring in the game. This means you can get your 4 piece set bonus when you only have 3 set pieces, and seeing as sets usually start shining at 4 pieces, this is huge. If you have enough set pieces already, getting this ring early can push you into torment.
Gloves of Worship – These things are pretty janky, which is awesome. While they can only roll one random affix, they do roll Crit Damage by default, which is superb. However, they really shine with their legendary affix, which makes shrine effects last for 10 minutes. Yes, 10 minutes. They’re crazy fun to play with, so if you get a pair early, be sure to put them to good use. (NOTE: these only work on shrine effects, *not* Pylon effects)
Illusory Boots – I rarely see people talk about these boots, which is doing them a great disservice. They automatically roll with core stat, all resist and movespeed, which makes them good boots by default. However, their legendary affix allows you to move through enemies, which means you can’t get blocked in by enemies anymore, which can be the difference between life and death. What isn’t noted, and is even more awesome, is the fact that these boots let you walk through Waller-affix walls, rendering that entire affix powerless against you.
Coven’s Criterion – A shield that rolls with Vitality, All Resist, and %chance to block naturally. On top of that, it reduces the damage from blocked attacks by 45-60%. A very solid shield.
Burst of Wrath – Guarenteed core stat roll and socket, which makes this weapon pretty solid. Its legendary affix is pretty solid too, and can often solve early resource issues. Two handed meaning it can roll very high damage values.
Salvation – It’s a shield that heals you and your allies for blocking. Do I really need to say more?
Soulsmasher – Two handed mace that causes enemies to explode for 450-600% of your life per kill. While it seems pretty lackluster, Life per kill is one of those secondary stats that can get extremely high without you realizing. My Barbarian, for example, has 12,344 life per kill, meaning that this weapon would cause enemies to explode for 55k damage at the bare minimum. The weapon itself also comes with a sizeable amount of life per kill (between 9142-13371). Do note, however, you stop benefitting from this stat when using this weapon.
While you’re running these bounties, you’re probably noticing a lot of legendary and set plans dropping. Firstly, no, don’t worry, these don’t take up legendary drops. If you see a plan drop, its not that you’re unlucky and got the plan instead of an item, plans have their own separate drop tables, and are far more common than legendary/set items. Crafting some of these sets is a fantastic way to break into torment, provided you have enough Forgotten Souls to do so. In particular, the Born’s Command, Aughild’s Authority, Asheara’s Vestments, and Captain Crimson’s Trimmings sets are all superb for this particular goal. Paired with the Ring of Royal Grandeur mentioned earlier, you can mix two or three of these sets together for greater effect, or maybe even all four (Captain Crimson’s Silk Girdle + Thrust, Asheara’s Finders + Ward, Born’s Frozen Soul + Privilege, Aughild’s Spike + Search, alongside a Ring of Royal Grandeur, will enable the three set bonus for all four sets without using up the weapon slot. Subbing out the Born’s Privilege for Asheara’s Custodian and adding Born’s Furious Wrath will enable the 4 set bonus for Asheara’s set.)
After all of that, you’re comfortable clearing in Torment 1. Good for you! Time for some new goals.
Next steps – Gear up some more, get some legendary gems.
Start running rifts on Torment 1, maybe Torment 2/3 if your group can handle that (entirely possible if your group got lucky/has the right composition). Your goal here, other than loot, is finding a Keystone of Trials. At Torment 1, these things are pretty rare, but rest assured, if you are running in a group, when one drops, everyone will get one.
Now that you have a trial stone, go ahead and throw it into the Nephelim Obelisk. Once you’re in the trial area, teleport back to town right away (There is a countdown timer before the trial begins that provides more than ample time to get out.) Later on, you’ll want to actually take that trial, but for now, you want to get a Rank 1 Greater Rift Key, and the fastest way to do that is to throw the trial. Once the timer bar empties, talk to Orek, and get your Rank 1 rift key. Throw the Rank 1 key into the obelisk, start a 15 minute timer, and start clearing.
You’ll notice a few things right away. Firstly, there is no loot! Don’t panic, that’s normal for greater rifts. Secondly, you have a timer. Greater Rifts are basically time attacks, and a great way to measure your progress/race against your friends. On the PC, there are dedicated leader boards to this, but since the consoles are a decentralized system, we unfortunately get no such thing. Oh well.
You’ll want to clear the greater rift (picking up the skull orbs that elite packs drop) until the Rift Guardian spawns. Now, Rank 1 is equivalent to normal difficulty play, so you probably got the boss to spawn with about 10-13 minutes remaining (if you took more time, don’t worry!) That timer I had you setup comes into play here. Note your time remaining in the rift to ensure your timer is roughly lined up (a few seconds off is fine, make sure to correc the timer if its more than a minute off), and have everyone TP out without killing the boss. The goal here is to pass time until you have less than 4 minutes remaining in the rift, then kill the boss. This will ensure you only go up a single rank. Why we’re doing this, I’ll cover in a little bit.
So what to do while you pass the time? I like to do bounties while we wait for the timer to tick down, but you don’t want to lose your town portal back into the rift. The way to get around this is to use the built in map system. Hit down on the d-pad to open up the map, and tab over to the ‘ACT’ tab. Then simply select the bounty you wish to warp to. You can use this out in the field too, so you can warp back to town without using up your town portal into the rift. It’s important to note you cannot teleport ontop of players in Greater Rifts, so you’ll want everyone to keep their portal. Doing this, you can ensure you’re getting bounty bags AND rifts done.
Okay, your timer has less than 4 minutes left. Pile back into that portal and kill that boss. The boss will drop a *ton* of stuff (to compensate for no loot in the rest of the rift), including at least one legendary gem. These are the reason we’re slow balling these first rifts. At the time of writing, there are 19 legendary gems, meaning you’ll want to slow ball at least 18 rifts (with the final gem acquired elsewhere, maybe, there will be a guide for that at some other time).
Why are we slow balling rifts? I mean, if a gem is guaranteed to drop until you have them all, shouldn’t we just power through them? After all, higher rifts give better rewards.
This is a fantastic point, and one I initially forgot to address. It ultimately comes down to how many Trial keystones you can get your hands on. If you’re currently farming Torment 1 rifts, odds are you don’t have that many (unless you spent a few weeks farming Torment 1 and somehow didn’t progress out of it). If you have a low number of trial keystones, and a low droprate source for them (T1/2), you want to maximize the efficiency of each trial keystone, as each individual greater rift you run has a chance at good loot, not to mention certain gems will increase your power significantly.
In short, if you have a lot of keystones, feel free to speed through all the g-rifts until you no longer can. If supply is scarce, slow-ball it.
At some point, the rifts might get so tough that you cannot clear it within the time limit. That’s fine! If you hit the wall such that you cannot clear in time, and you don’t have 18/19 legendary gems yet, just grind more Torment rifts until you get another Keystone of Trials. Legendary Gems are guarenteed to drop until you have all of them on your current character or in your stash. This means if you have a legendary gem on another character, you will get another one to drop on the character you are currently playing. Seeing as these gems are something you can level, I’d advise against that.
In regards to the gems themselves, just about everyone can use Bane of the Powerful, Bane of the Trapped, Esoteric Alteration, Gem of Efficacious Toxin, Mutiliation Guard, and Pain Enhancer.
Barbarians, Monks, and Crusaders will love Mirinae, Teardrop of the Starweaver and Wreath of Lightning.
Demon Hunters, Wizards and Witch Doctors are partial to Zei’s Stone of Vengeance.
Beyond the generalized list above, each and every spec in the game utilizes different legendary gems (there is a frost monk that makes great use of Iceblink, for example), so when you’re working on your build, make sure you consider the different legendary gems, and what they can do for you. All of the legendary gems can be seen here.
The final legendary gem, Boon of the Hoarder, is a bit different. You can either get it by running regular Greater Rifts, or by tracking down the elusive Goblin Realm. It’s drop location seems to vary based on patch (In Season 1, it dropped in the goblin realm, in Season 2, it dropped in regular greater rifts, and now it seems to be back in the goblin realm? I’ll get confirmation.) However, regardless of where it drops, everyone will want this gem, as it causes enemies to explode into piles of gold, and a lot of it at that. If you need gold, this is the gem you’ll want.
Now, do note, Legendary Gems, for the most part, can only be socketed in Jewelery (all of them barring the Gem of Ease, which goes in weapons). From this point on, sockets in your amulet and rings is basically mandatory.
The nice side effect of slow balling greater rifts for these gems is that you’ll often get other legendaries on top of the gems, so its a neat way to gear up as well, although arguments can be made that rift grinding is still faster.
The final benefit to doing this is gauging roughly where you should be grinding. Below is a list of how Greater Rift levels pair up to Torment levels, roughly.
Level 1 = Normal
Level 4 = Expert
Level 7 = Master
Level 10 = Torment 1
Level 13 = Torment 2
Level 16 = Torment 3
Level 19 = Torment 4
Level 22 = Torment 5
Level 25 = Torment 6
So say you slow ball rifts until about Rift level 18, at which point you found it too difficult to clear before the timer expired (or indeed at all.) Looking at this list, you’d see that Torment 3 is probably your ideal difficulty, as Rift level 18 is closer to Torment 4.
So what now? You’ve got all the legendary gems, and a handful of set pieces.
That’s up to you. You’re basically past the ‘early game’, as it were.
You’ll probably want to push to Torment 6, as that is where most folks spend their time farming, although it is far from ‘end game’, nor is it the ‘best’ farming level in the game (high level greater rifts get progressively more and more rewarding, far beyond Torment 6). You can try leveling your Legendary Gems here and there, but its likely not something you’re going to need to focus on until you’re making that final push into Torment 6, as reliably leveling your gem to Rank 25, when they ‘power up’ as it were, requires pushing into Rank 30+ rifts, which are considerably harder than Torment 6.
You’ll definitely want to invest in completing a set for your class, as doing that alone is often enough to push you into Torment 6, or at the very least farming Torment 5 comfortably.
I might go into more detail on pushing into the higher level greater rifts at a later date (as that is super super end game), but you’ll likely see build guides before that, as specific builds are needed to push super deep into the end game.
I hopefully should have a good early-game barb guide up soon, as my Barbaian is pushing into Torment 3, and hopefully will have a set going here soon.
Talk to you soon