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What To Do When You Hit 70

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.
Act I
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.

Act II
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.

Act III
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.

Act V
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
– S

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Tips for a New 70

So, while I play my blog dedicated Barb, I figured I’d write up an article covering things most newer players should know.  Think of them as helpful tips to guide you on your way.

1. Always push your limits.

This is going to come first, as it lends itself more towards progressing in this game than anything else I can think of.  I see far too many people hit Torment 1, then just farm, and farm, and farm…

Torment 1 is by no means a bad place to be, but if its at the point you can reliably clear a Torment 1 rift without dying, crank it up to Torment 2.  A good rule of thumb is this – If you’re clearing without dying, and in under 15 minutes, turn up the difficulty.  The drop rate increase between difficulties is pretty substantial, so adding 5 minutes to each rift run may seem less efficient, but trust me, you’ll see more drops in the long run.  The fact you get more blood shards by cranking up the difficulty helps here too.

2. Don’t sweat enchanting.

This is another thing I see a lot.

“I got this sweet looking sword! I should try re-rolling something!”

Stop.  First, ask yourself if you have the materials to properly re-enchant it.  If you can only do 3-4 enchants, its probably a bad idea to re-roll that sword.  Second, is the item even worth enchanting?  Quite often, a weapon can seem good, but is quite lacking in multiple areas, and as such, is best left as is until a replacement invariably comes along.  When looking at your items, press left on the d-pad to bring up stat ranges.  If it appears to be on the lower end of most of your stats, don’t bother enchanting it, it’ll ultimately be a waste of materials and gold.

If you’re unsure on what stats to look for on gear, I have a handy guide about that here.

3. Keep playing (alternatively – don’t get discouraged).

Diablo is a pretty feast and famine games sometimes.  Some sessions, it’ll feel like the legendaries are raining down on you.  Other sessions, it feels like you never get anything-why-do-I-still-play-this-stupid-game.

That’s totally okay!

RNG is the name of the game in Diablo, but Blizzard has put in some measures to stop the game feeling fucking awful.  IF you continue to play for a period of time, you’re eventually guaranteed a legendary.  Yeah, you read that right.  While the exact window of time is something Blizzard has kept under tight wraps, they have confirmed that there is a system in place that basically looks to see how many drops you’ve had recently, and if you haven’t had any, it’ll eventually drop a legendary for you.  The window of time this mechanism kicks into gear is estimated to be about an hour to three hours.  However, this isn’t the only reason you should keep going.  I’ve noticed that, true to the nature of RNG, legendary drops tend to balance out the longer your session is.  If you’re hitting rifts/bounties back to back to back, you’ll find yourself swimming in legendaries before you’ve noticed what has happened.

This is further assisted by Blood Shards, and gambling at Kadala.  While it can be expensive to do so (good lord, Weapons anyone?), her legendary drop rate is substantially high, and you’re *going* to get something good from her if you keep going.

Don’t get yourself down because you don’t feel like you’re not getting drops. 🙂

If it gets really bad, and you’re feeling like that bitch Kadala is never going to give you that one set piece you want…

4. Play with friends!

Better yet, get your scrubby ass carried 😀

Seriously though, Blizzard has added heavy incentive to playing as a group in this game, with drops being significantly more common with a group of 4 players (not to mention heavily boosted xp).

I’d say join a public group and play there if you have no friends, but unfortunately hacking is prevalent on console diablo, so if that isn’t your cup of tea, you’ll want to track down some friends.  Thankfully, there is an awesome subreddit, d3ps4.reddit.com, where you can find other folks to play with.

The other benefit to playing in groups is that you can often tackle content that would be out of your scope of viability solo.  If you’re clearing Torment 3-4 on your own, running with a group of folks in similar gear could mean clearing Torment 5 without too many issues.

5. Have Fun.

This is the big one.  If you’re grinding rift after rift while hunting for gear, but you’re really not enjoying yourself, stop.  You’ll likely burn yourself out if you continue pushing without enjoyment.

What to do though?

There are a couple of ways you can combat this.  You can try rolling a new character for a change of pace.  While you could argue that the time spent leveling and gearing this toon could go towards gearing your ‘main’ character, remember Blood Shards are account bound, and as such, any you earn on this secondary character can be used on the main character.  Furthermore, you might actually enjoy this new class more than the original.

Alternatively, you can try a new spec.  For example, right now, the most powerful spec for Barbarians is Furious Charge, which makes use of the Raekor’s set bonuses to deal immense amounts of damage.  However, it can get super boring and tedious over time.  You could switch it up to a whirlwind build, enabled by the new Wrath of the Wastes set.  While it may not necessarily be as powerful, unless you’re pushing the most extreme of the extreme limits of content (55+ greater rifts), you’re probably not going to need that extra power, so mixing it up isn’t going to lose you too much.  This goes for any build.  Tired of running a fire wizard?  I’m gonna mess around as a frost wizard for a while.  Pet WD not doing it for you? Try out a DoT WD.

Remember, the most important thing when it comes to games is that you’re enjoying yourself.  If you’re not enjoying yourself, its not time well spent.

That’s it for now.  I’m currently playing my Barbarian I created for this blog, and slowly getting her geared (school/work eats a lot of time).  You can check out her starter gear here.

Fresh 70, gear review

So, as I mentioned in my prior post, I’ve made a brand new account on the PS4 in order to have a fresh start in Diablo.  I’ve got my first character to 70 (with a little power leveling help from my main account).  After a single run through of Act 1 Bounties on Normal, I’ve captured the gear I have so that we can go over whats good, whats bad, and what we should be looking for.  It’s worth noting I don’t have any legendaries here, as I power leveled.  Odds are, if you hit 70 by playing normally, you’ll have a legendary or two, which is fine.


 

Helm

Snapshot_20150302_144302

 

Stats: 611 Vitality (out of 625) // 6% Crit Chance (out of 6%) // 134 Lightning Resist (out of 140) // 1661 Thorns (out of 1817) // +15% Whirlwind Damage (out of 15%)

This is a pretty mediocre helm.  It would be an awful helm if it didn’t have perfect crit on it, with crit being a big contributor to damage.
The first issue is that it only rolled 3 out of 4 possible primary affixes (an item can roll up to 4 primary affixes, and 2 secondary).  That in and of itself is an issue as it means its inherently less powerful than it could be, and limits our enchanting potential.  Following that, the helm is missing core stat (for our Barb, Strength) and a socket.  If we wanted to salvage this helmet, we’d reroll the Whirlwind damage into Core Stat, as we don’t use Whirlwind, and a socket would give us less overall than raw core stat.  The secondary affixes (Lightning Resist and Thorns here) don’t matter.

 

Shoulders

Snapshot_20150302_144254

Stats: 401 Strength (out of 415) // 411 Vitality (out of 415) // 15% Area Damage (out of 16%) // +14% Overpower Damage (out of 15%) // 123 Physical Resist (out of 140) // +1 Pickup Radius (out of 2)

These shoulders are better than our helm in terms of what we want.  It has both Core Stat and Vitality on it, and both rolled near perfect too.  The Area Damage and Overpower damage aren’t really that helpful, but at least we got 4 primary affixes.  Unfortunately, it did roll a secondary resist, which means we can’t re-roll to All Resist as a primary.  Since that is the case, we’d re-roll Overpower damage to % Life on these shoulders.  Area damage, while not necessarily something you want to hunt for on gear, can be useful on Barbarians.

Chest Armor

Snapshot_20150302_144258

Stats: 402 Strength (out of 415) // 382 Vitality (out of 415) // +14% Life (out of 14%) // 10% Falling Sword Damage (out of 15%) // 122 Cold Resist (out of 140) // +1 Pickup Radius (out of 2)

This chest armor is actually pretty solid.  It rolled 4 primary affixes, 3 of which are stats we’d keep.  The core stat roll is super good.  Generally, I like to at least be within 10-20 of the max stat when it comes to core stat/vitality.  Given that, the Vitality roll is a pinch too low for me, although it’ll work, as we’re going to be enchanting something else on this chest armor.  The +Life % helps with the Vitality roll being lower than I’d like (perfect %life roll no less).  The Falling Sword damage is what we’d enchant here, given that its not even a skill our class has.  Re-rolling Falling Sword into 3 Sockets is the ideal course here, with those sockets being filled with core stat gems.

Gloves

Snapshot_20150302_144250

Stats: 86 Resist All (out of 90) // 31% Crit Damage (out of 50%) // 5664 Life Per Second (out of 6447) // +1 Pickup Radius (out of 2)

These are some awful gloves.  First and foremost, only 3 primary affixes (and 1 secondary, but secondary affixes are basically Meg affixes as far as we’re concerned at the moment).  Of the three affixes we rolled, we didn’t get core stat or crit chance.  Gloves are one of those slots that are ideal for a more offensive focus (alongside amulets, rings, and to some degree bracers), and these particular gloves just don’t cut it.  I personally wouldn’t even re-roll these, as you’re likely to find more workable gloves just by playing.  Look for high core stat on your replacements, then re-roll them to at least 8% crit chance, they’ll be better than these gloves.

Bracers

Snapshot_20150302_144315

Stats: 394 Strength (out of 415) // 4940 Life Per Second (out of 6447) // 4408 Life per Hit (out of 7736) // 130 Cold Resist (out of 140) // +125 Exp per Kill (out of 139)

These bracers are pretty bad.  While they did roll core stat, they only rolled 3 primary affixes, and each one of them is under the threshold I’d consider good.  Strength should be at least 400, and Life Per Second should be at least 6000.  Life Per Hit is strictly worse than Life Per Second for melee classes, so if you wanted to try and fix these, you’d roll it into 6% crit chance.

Pants

Snapshot_20150302_144318

Stats: 389 Strength (out of 415) // 362 Vitality (out of 415) // 4504 Life per Second (out of 4642) // 139 Lightning Resist (out of 140) // 1784 Thorns (out of 1817)

Pretty mediocre pants.  While they rolled pretty nice stats, they only rolled 3 primary affixes, and only the Life Per Second is in an acceptable range.  The Strength and Vitality is under our desired 400 roll (with Vitality rolling near minimum).  I wouldn’t try enchanting these at all, as Pants are one of those pieces where 4 affixes are super useful.  If we had 4 affixes, my ideal final affix would be 2 sockets, filled with core stat gems (rubies for Barbarians).

Boots

Snapshot_20150302_144322

Stats: 381 Strength (out of 415) // 378 Vitality (out of 415) // 361 Armor (out of 364) // +12% Whirlwind Damage (out of 15%) // +2 Pickup Radius (out of 2)

Well, we got 4 primary affixes at least.  The Strength and Vitality rolled lower than I’d like, and the Armor/Whirlwind rolls are useless to me.  Armor is a weird stat, as I usually find that you get enough from gear alone.  Barbarians, Crusaders, Monks and Demon Hunters also gain armor from their core stat, so it should never be something you’re too short on.  I’d personally re-roll the Whirlwind damage into +12% Movespeed.

Amulet

Snapshot_20150302_144306

Stats: 529 Strength (out of 625) // 563 Vitality (out of 625) // 6% Attack Speed (out of 6%) // 125 Arcane Resist (out of 140)

A mediocre amulet at best.  While it did get core stat and Vitality, it rolled them low, ignoring the fact we don’t want vitality on our amulet.  I’d personally look for a new amulet, one with Strength (at least 600, although high 500s will do if you get the following), Crit Chance (at least 8%) and Crit Damage (at least 80%).  The fourth affix should be a socket or attack speed, with a socket being preferred for preparation for legendary gems.

Rings

Snapshot_20150302_144325

Stats: 399 Dexterity (out of 415) // 6% Attack Speed (out of 6%) // 4.5% Crit Chance (out of 6%) // 5552 Life Per Hit (out of 7736) // 140 Lightning Resist (out of 140) // 1490 Thorns (out of 1817)

 

Snapshot_20150302_144329

Stats: 48-103 damage (out of 120) // 397 Strength (out of 415) // 5% Crit Chance (out of 6%) // 10% Area Damage (out of 16%) // 3916 Life after Kill (out of 4251)

Both of these rings are pretty mediocre.  One of them didn’t even roll the correct core stat for our class (gg smart loot?).  While the crit chance on both of them is nice, its not quite enough to make them worth using in the long run.  Ideal replacements are much like the amulet – Strength, Crit Chance (at least 5.5%), Crit Damage (at least 45%), and a socket.

Weapon

 

Snapshot_20150302_144228

Stats: +1074-1283 damage (out of 1556) // +7% Damage (out of 10%) // +905 Strength (out of 945) // 18% Area Damage (out of 20%) // +120 Exp per Kill (out of 139) // Ignores Durability Loss

Okay, this is a super good weapon, easily the best piece of gear we have, currently.  The damage roll is pretty respectable (even if it is just shy of 300 below the cap), we scored % damage on it (which is a huge contributor to raw weapon dps), AND core stat close to our acceptable range.  I plan on re-rolling the area damage into a socket when I have the resources to do so, and placing an Emerald into that socket for more crit damage.  A weapon upgrade would have higher damage rolls, 10% weapon damage, 930+ strength and a socket.


 

That about covers the gear review.  My max damage lists on the ring and the weapon are a bit off (seeing as the tooltip for damage range is broken), I’ll have more details on those later, probably in their own post, or failing that, a post listing the maximum ranges for every stat in the game on both rares and legendaries for every single item.

The skills I’m using on my Barbarian will get their own post, when I’ve got my skills figured out, as I’m still ironing out the build.

– S

Inactivity and starting fresh

Hey folks,

First, and foremost, I want to apologize about the lack of content here.  I started something I thought tons of folks could find useful, and I let it go to waste.  The first issue was that everything I was writing was basically rendered moot by the, at the time, upcoming 2.1 patch.  They increased healing ten fold, which rendered many of my guides useless, as you could stack life-per-hit and life-per-second and do fine wearing just about *anything* in Torment I, in some cases even Torments II and III (hello Demon Hunters).  I had started playing 2.1 on the PC at the time, and I was looking forward to the release on PS4.  I waited…and waited…and waited some more, only to be told we’d basically get a stripped down version of 2.1.

That was about the time I stopped playing on my PS4.  I really should have left a note here, but it honestly slipped my mind, and for that I apologize.

Now lets fast forward to where we are today.  The PS4 version is back on par with the PC version, receiving the 2.1.2 patch not too long after the PC did, and the legendaries for both Seasons 1 and 2 with that.  We don’t get seasons on console, but I’m fine with that.

Going forward, I’m going to try to maintain this blog again, covering topics folks ask about or I think require coverage in general.  For those who haven’t seen what little content I have put out, my goal is to aid those who are fresh faced level 70s, without a good sense of what they should be doing or why they’re doing it.  If you want a guide comparing the benefits of Wizard builds in high level greater rifts, unfortunately this blog isn’t for you.  If you want to know what the hell Greater Rifts even are, and how you should approach them, then stick around, I’ll do my best to make getting to the mythical ‘end game’.

It’ll be a few days at most before the next content post, as I’m making a new account specifically for content relating to this blog, so I won’t have a wealth of gold, paragon levels, crafting materials, or keys to start with, just like many players hitting 70 for the first time.  Barbarian is going to be my first character, so expect the first build guide to cover that.  I’ll be moving down the classes alphabetically following that.

That’s all for now, and I apologize again for anyone who was holding their breath for my barbarian skill guide before.

– S

Choosing Your Stats

This isn’t your standard ‘gear guide’.  I’m not going to list off a bunch of legendaries that you should go track down or trade for.  The idea behind these guides is that you can do Torment in more generalized gear, and as such I’ll be publishing here will be far less specific than most gear guides.  The stat choices are honestly pretty consistent across the builds and classes, so I’ll be covering this in its own article, which will then apply to the builds for each class.  Any special accommodations that need to be made will be detailed in the specific class guides, as well as class specific items.

Furthermore, I’m not going to be listing a general stat weights, as it honestly varies across gear pieces.  You can get away with not having crit on your bracers or rings, for example, but you most definitely want it on your gloves and amulet, as each can roll 10% crit, verses the 6% possible on bracers/rings.


Glossary
CS – Core Stat
CC – Critical Hit Chance
CHD – Critical Hit Damage
AS – Attack Speed
AR – All Resist
CDR – Cooldown Reduction
LPS – Life per Second
LPH – Life Per Hit
Jewelry – Rings and Amulets

Core Stat Break Down
Strength == Barbarian, Crusader
– Dexterity == Demon Hunter, Monk
– Intelligence == Witch Doctor, Wizard

Important Stats for surviving Torment.

Priority Helm Stats
– CS // AR // CC // Socket
Secondary Stats
– Vitality // %Life // LPS // LPH

Helmets are a pretty weird slot.  I settled on the four listed stats as priorities as they seem to be the most efficient.  Core Stat should be on *just about* everything, bar maybe jewelry (we’ll get into that later).  All Resist is super important, and quite honestly its better to get it here on the helmet over Vitality or %Life as those stats are supremely easy to get elsewhere.  Crit Chance is a fantastic way to boost your dps, not to mention the helmet is one of the few slots that can have it (Helmet, Gloves, Bracers, Jewelry, Shield).  Lastly, you want a socket.  You almost always want a socket in your helm, as the helm socket has different gem effects than the rest of your armor.  Socketing for specific gear is covered a little further down.

Priority Chest Stats
– CS // Vitality // LPS // Sockets (3)
Secondary Stats
– %Life // AR // -%Damage from Elites

The chest slot is one of the more mundane slots, and as such is a little bit easier to get gear for.  Aside from the typical Core Stat+Vitality combo you’ll want on plenty of gear, Life Per Second is really good on the chest at this level.  The amount of All Resist you can get from the armor itself is actually lower than you could get from socketing 3 diamonds into a chest piece, and the healing you get from the life per second here is actually huge in surviving the lower torments.  Lastly, you want to ensure your chest armor has 3 sockets.  Having 3 sockets is going to be fairly standard for all the chest pieces you’ll ever want, honestly, regardless of what you put in said sockets.

Priority Shoulder Stats
– CS // Vitality // AR // LPS
Secondary Stats
– CDR // %Life // %Skill Damage

The shoulder slot, like the chest, is a pretty mundane slot when it comes to stat choices.  I like to go with a pretty standard Core Stat + Vitality setup, as well as All Resist and Life Per Second on the shoulders.  If you feel like you have some wiggle room in regards to healing (and some classes definitely do more than others), you can roll the Life Per Second into a damage bonus for one of your classes skills.  Obviously the skill choice is personal preference.

Priority Bracer Stats
– CS // Vit // LPH // CC
Secondary Stats
AR // %Elemental Damage

Bracers are pretty interesting.  They’re one of the few places you can pick up %Elemental damage, which is one of the biggest ways to increase your DPS.  So why don’t I have it listed as priority?  Because its not necessarily useful in every build.  If you have all of your skills sharing a single element, then stacking elemental damage is immensely strong.  However, if you have a decent variety of elements in your skills, stacking a single element might not be the best idea.  I’ll detail what builds will benefit from building %Elemental Damage.

Priority Glove Stats
– CS // CC // CHD // LPH
Secondary Stats
– CDR // AS // LPS

Gloves are one of the more interesting slots, and due to its unique stat pool, is generally tuned towards offense over defense.  If you’re lucky, you can actually get what are referred to as ‘trifecta’ gloves, which have Attack Speed, Crit Chance and Crit Damage.  In general, these three stats are the fastest way to increase your DPS, thus the name ‘trifecta’.  My personal preference favors Life Per Hit over Attack Speed, at least when breaking into torment, as gloves can roll fairly high Life Per Hit compared to some other slots, and Attack Speed is generally the least effective at increasing your DPS relative to the other two stats, which scale off of each other, not to mention there are some builds that actually want slower attacks to balance out resource spending to generation.

Priority Belt Stats
– CS // Vitality // AR // %Life
Secondary Stats
– %Skill Damage

Belts are pretty vanilla in their stat availability, and as such its a great place to pick up some survivability and healing.  Standard Core Stat, Vitality and All Resist go well here, as well as some %Life to further boost your life pool.  If you want to pick up some more damage, you can sub out %Life for %Damage on a single skill.

Priority Pants Stats
– CS // Vitality // LPS // Sockets (2)
Secondary Stats
– AR // % Skill Damage

Pants are pretty standard (I feel like I’m repeating myself about certain armor pieces), so as usual you wanna pick up the usual Core Stat+Vitality, alongside some Life Per Second.  Pants do have one unique aspect, however, sockets.  Get two sockets and put diamonds in them for some more all resist.

Priority Boots Stats
– CS // Vitality // LPS // Movespeed (12%)
Secondary Stats
– %Skill Damage

Boots have a very surprising trait to them.  You ready?  They make you run faster.  Mind blowing, right?  Bad humor aside, movement speed is pretty important.  It helps you get out of ground effects faster, and generally lends to faster rift clears, which ultimately means more loot in a shorter window of time.  When in only rares, your movespeed is going to be capped at 12% from your gear, although it can go as high as 25% from sources outside of skills.  Outside of movement speed, pick up the standard Core Stat and Vitality, and yet more Life Per Second.

Priority Amulet Stats
– CS // AS // CC // CHD
Secondary Stats
– CDR // Socket // %Elemental Damage // Damage (min-max)

Ah, Amulets.  You’ll come to find amulets the bane of your existence.  They have a massive range of possible stats, and the range those stats can roll is also pretty substatial; as such, you’ll find plenty of terrible amulets.  For now, the amulets you want to shoot for are trifectas, which unfortunately are pretty rare, although the existence of enchanting helps immeasurably.  You want your Core Stat, Attack Speed, Crit Chance and Crit Hit Damage.  In certain cases, you’ll want to sub out attack speed for %Elemental Damage, and as with other stats, I’ll note when this is the ideal choice in the specific build guides.

Jewelry Note – The difference between rare and legendary jewelry is pretty significant.  The priority stats I list here are not necessarily the ones you’ll shoot for on legendary jewelry, as they can have tons of unique effects (Stone of Jordan, for example).  As such, you can be a little more lax in trying to make legendary jewelry work for your build.

Patch 2.1 Note – Patch 2.1 brings Legendary Gems, gems that have extremely useful effects, but can only be socketed in jewelry.  As such, after you get your hands on some legendary gems, you’ll want to sub out Core Stat from priority stats in favor of sockets on your jewelry.

Priority Ring Stats
– CS // AS // CC // CHD
Secondary Stats
– CDR // Socket // LPH // LPS // Damage (min-max)

Rings are a lot like amulets, in that they have lots of stats available to them.  The key difference is that their stat ranges are quite a bit smaller.  Like amulets, you want to shoot for trifectas on your rings for maximum damage.

Priority Weapon Stats
– Damage (min-max) // %Damage // CS // Socket
Secondary Stats
– AS // CDR

Ah weapons.  These things will make or break your build.  In my testing, the ease of clearing torment depending significantly on the strength of the weapon I was able to find/craft.  I’ll be honest, this is going to be the toughest part of your setup, you’ll likely find a legendary weapon before you find a high end rare.  That said, you don’t need a perfect weapon to clear torment, it just makes it easier.  In regards to the stats on weapons, there aren’t many situations where it changes, and it won’t on rares.  The key thing with the stats on the weapons is to increase the DPS of said weapon, except in the case of Core Stat (which you want on just about everything).  Damage (min-max) is the damage roll on the weapon.  On one handers, the absolute max damage roll you can get is 1043-1296, on two handers it is 1252-1556.  Ideally, you want to get as close to those two numbers as you can, but as a general rule of thumb, you want to re-roll the damage stat last.  Bear in mind, this is a hard and fast rule, if you’re a stickler for numbers, use this tool.  It’ll help you figure out what to re-roll in order to get the max DPS.  After the damage roll, you want to get a %Damage modifier.  Lastly, socket.  A socket on a weapon can be make or break for a weapon, due to the existence of Emeralds.

Priority Shield Stats
– CS // Vitality // Block Chance // CC
Secondary Stats
– Socket // %Damage to Elites // %Life // -%Damage from Elites

Shields aren’t going to be used too frequently, but they’re usable by everyone (and near mandatory for Crusaders), and for the sake of completion I’m covering them.  The standard Core Stat and Vitality applies here, as well as crit chance, which can roll up to 10% on a shield.  This can push you well into the 50% range.  Lastly, you’ll want %Block Chance.  This only rolls 10%, but it’s an amazing stat.  Barbarians and Crusaders both have ways to regain resource by blocking, and furthermore Crusaders have abilities to harm enemies via blocking.
If you want to mix it up a little, or aren’t concerned with your block rate, there are a variety of stats you can fill in.  Sockets are always good for more core stat, %life for substantially more life, or increased damage to elites/reduced damage from elites.  Mix and match based on what you need.


Sockets and Gems

I wanted to cover this in its own segment, more to cover what gems do, and where they might be useful in given situations.  In regards to the order you should upgrade gems, its typically Weapon > Helm > Armor

Helm
Diamond – Cooldown Reduction
Ruby – %Bonus Experience
Topaz – Magic Find
Emerald – Gold Find
Amethyst – %Life

There are basically two gems useful at max level: Diamonds and Amethysts.  If you don’t need more life, run a Diamond.  Obviously, the higher level the better.  Before you get ideas, by the way, Topazes in your helm are useless.  Magic Find is a severely neutered stat in Reaper of Souls, and you only benefit from 10% of it when it comes to finding legendaries, so the 41% Magic Find you get turns into 4.1% more Legendaries.  It is a massive waste of a socket, believe me.

Weapon
Diamond – %Damage to Elites
Ruby – +Damage
Topaz – Thorns Damage
Emerald – Crit Hit Damage
Amethyst – Life Per Hit

There is only one real option at max level – Emerald.  If you have no crit, Rubies might provide more damage, but realistically you won’t be progressing too far up the difficulty ladder without running crit.  Rubies are great for leveling though, so if you’re leveling up a new character, find a socketed weapon and throw a high level ruby in it, you’ll be able to level in higher torment levels rather well.

Armor (Chest, Pants, Shield, Jewelry)
Diamond – All Resist
Ruby – Strength
Topaz – Intelligence
Emerald – Dexterity
Amethyst – Vitality

In armor, gems have the most baseline effect.  Amethysts are nice, but by and large you rarely need to actually boost life via sockets.  Your go to gems are going to be Diamonds or the gem corresponding to your core stat (Rubies = Barbarian, Crusader, Topaz = Witch Doctor, Wizard, Emeralds = Demon Hunter, Monk).  While it may be appealing to stack core stat for days (and it can work), Diamonds are a fantastic way to get a free toughness boost, and when you’re geared in only rares, more toughness is always welcome.


Summary

Note that there are generally more stats available on items than listed, but if they are not listed here, they’re not worth running in regards to these builds, as you usually need more than what rares can give to make it worthwhile (see: Resource Cost Reduction).  That isn’t to say they’re bad, but rather that you cannot get a significant amount without set bonuses or legendary effects.

In regards to toughness, unfortunately the toughness stat in game is rather misleading.  You’ll generally be told you’re getting massive upgrades when you upgrade your Vitality stat, but unfortunately that isn’t true.  While having more life is good in most cases, you want a significant amount of All Resist and Armor too, as %Damage reduction (which you gain via armor and resists) will actually do more for your Effective Hit Points (EHP), which is an estimation of how much damage you can actually take.  Simply stacking life is not the best method for survival.

You might have noticed that I’m stacking a ton of Life per Second and Life per Hit on these items.  Excessive as it may seem (and it really is), its a fantastic way to survive Torment.  Balance Life on Hit and Life per Second where you can (which generally boils down to taking Life per Hit where possible over Life Per Second), because, while Life per Second is fantastic, mobs often will burst you down before you get that much needed second life tick.  As such, you want to be able to regain life by smacking them back.

Patch 2.1 Note – When patch 2.1 finally hits the consoles, you’ll note any Life per Hit and Life per Second you have on your gear will be substantially stronger.  It was buffed a fair amount in this patch, and as such attaining a solid amount of healing is a lot easier in 2.1.  30-40k healing is honestly enough to get to even Torment 6 in 2.1, so when that time comes, you can roll away extra LPS/LPH into one of the listed Secondary Stats.

I also favored crit and crit damage very heavily here.  There are other ways to get decent amounts of damage, but everything but stacking crit/crit damage generally requires specific items.  Also, crits are incredibly satisfying, lets be real.

That about sums up the stats article.  If you want to dive into creating your own builds and just want advice on how to gear at lower difficulty levels to progress upward, this article should help you immensely.  If you want advice on how to build your toons as well as gear them, stay tuned! I’ll have individual guides for each class coming up, each with a variety of builds tailored to different play styles.