Thursday, August 20, 2015

Diablo 3 Guide - Fastest 1-70, Gearing and Paragon farming strategies by Garfm

How to start a new season (season 4)

In this guide I will discuss every topic you could imagine for getting started and getting started FAST most importantly in a new season. I will be covering how to prepare for the season start, different strategies for leveling from 1-70 plus my own strategy for leveling, level 70 gearing strategies, and paragon farming.

TLDR/TLDW : Prepare by writing down skills for 1-70, Level by Cursed Chest bounties, Halls of Agony Level 3 and Rifts, collect Kanai’s cube mats while gearing to gear faster, gear pool to gear even faster(read the post if you wanna know what that means), 2-3 xp/leech builds most efficient for farming paragon levels.

Video Guide: https://youtu.be/HZuJ6OftFbU
Bounty Map: http://imgur.com/j08EaYG
DH notes/cheatsheet: http://imgur.com/Zgjsv61

Preparing for the Season
1-70 Leveling Strategies
Level 70 Gearing Strategies
Paragon Leveling Strategy

I realize many of you may have heard some of these tips before and while I will be combining ideas and information that has been spread out into one place. I will also be providing my own insight on existing ideas and providing to my knowledge "original" tips, tricks, and strategies or at least ones that have been kept somewhat secret. For those interested in reading something (I hope) you have read no where else before skip to Hybrid leveling strategy and gear pooling.

Preparing for the season is mostly about cutting out the time you would normally spend in game wondering what to do next, you might think it is not important but that time will start to add up if you don’t prepare. So to prepare for the new season I suggest doing a few things. First of all knowing when the season will start. Season 4 starts Friday August 28th at 5:00 p.m. PDT for North America. Europe and Asia start times can be find here: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/blog/19842943/season-3-ending-soon-8-7-2015 . Next you will want to figure out what class you will be playing and who you will be grouping with whether it be friends, clanmates, or random players. I highly advise forming a 4 man group for fastest leveling (sorry solo players), because of the group xp buff. Knowing what class and who you will be partying with ahead of time will allow you to get started on your journey from 1 to 70 the second the season goes live, instead of fiddling around with that once it has already begun. Additionally you may want to form a party or pick your characters based around group synergy as well. Having a person dedicated to bunching up mobs will be nice, could be a monk, crusader, or witch doctor (however wd pull comes very late into leveling). Probably the most important thing you can do to prepare though is to write out a detailed list of what skills and keys tasks you will be doing and at the levels you need to assign those skills or do those tasks. This will help cut down a lot of time wasted checking your “new” skills every 5 levels and wasting time deciding what skills to change. You can check my DH notes/cheatsheet http://imgur.com/Zgjsv61. I list out every skill and rune I will take, what level I will take them at, and which key they will go on. I also have other key tasks in that list which I will discuss later. Two finals things to do for the season is to know what difficulty you should be playing on and what leveling strategy you want to do, doesn’t matter too much which strategy as long you know what you are going to do once you enter the game. As for the difficulty you should be on a difficulty where you 2-3 shot most white mobs and also note that expert is the least efficient difficulty so its advised to either bump it up one above or drop one below.

1 to 70 leveling strategies
There are 3 fairly well known strategies to level from 1-70 at the beginning of a season. I will explain all of the strategies and my own hybrid strategy that involves using all 3 of the strategies. I will also include the “Key tasks” that are on my list that I mentioned early when I explain my hybrid strategy.

Cursed Chests
Pros: High Density, Completion Reward(chest, handin xp & gold)
Cons: Inconsistent (don’t always spawn)
This method involves doing cursed chest bounties over and over until you reach level 70. The reasoning for this strategy is that the cursed chests you will be looking for provide a lot of easy to kill mobs and are generally harmless and you get the resplendent chest, and bounty xp and gold. The cursed chests you will be looking for include: Cursed Chapel act IV, Cursed Bellows act I, Cursed Cellar act I, Cursed Court act I, Cursed Grove act I, Cursed Hatchery act I, and one that most people don’t mention but I really like it Cursed Peat act V - Paths of the Drowned. All the waypoint locations can be seen in the Bounty Map http://imgur.com/j08EaYG. So you look for the corresponding bounty(ies) in each act (only one should spawn per act as a bounty). If they spawned go complete the bounty if not remake the game and look again. Repeat until level 70.

Halls of Agony
Pros: Consistent, High Density, Low threat.
Cons: Boring, No guaranteed bonus rewards.
This strategy is to go to Halls of Agony level 3 in act I and clear out the entire floor leave the game and repeat. This is claimed by many to be the fastest although I think it is very debatable I think all 3 strategies are nearly equal each having its pros and cons. Pros to this strategy is its consistency since it is always there and the high density low threat mobs that Halls of Agony level 3 provides. Its packed with mostly slow moving skeletons.The con to this strategy is that it becomes boring as hell when done repeatedly for hours. So once again you just clear the entire floor back out and remake. Some people choose to do Halls of Agony levels 1 and 2 as well but they tend to have lower density.

Pros: Increased Legendary droprate, Bloodshards, Hand in Bonus.
Cons: Random Density, Random Mobs.
This strategy explains itself fairly well you just do rifts until you hit level 70. Since you no longer needs keys to enter rifts you can now just do rifts back to back until 70. Reason behind doing rifts is for the increased legendary drop rate in rifts so you can upgrade your gear faster than you normally would, which can make a big difference. If you have ever gone for a couple levels without finding any major upgrades you know that feeling of the monsters becoming increasingly difficult to kill. Doing rifts should help prevent that from happening. However the drawback to rifts is the random mob types and random density which can slow things down.

Hybrid Strategy
Pros: Somewhat Consistent, Bloodshards, Hand in Bonuses.
Cons: A lot of teleporting around.
Ok so I am going give a brief overview of the rotation and reasoning behind the strategy then go into detail of the exact plan and key points I’m going to hit while leveling from 1-70. So the rotation will be go into a Rift and start clearing as normal. Once 1 or 2 people find big upgrade getting a big power spike we will then teleport back to town. I’m sure someone will ask for me to define a “big upgrade/power spike” while it all depends on how you and your group feels so adjust the following example to something that feels right. Here is an example: If your progression is <25% look for 75% dmg increase combined among members (ie 3 people each find weapons increasing damage by 25%), progression <50% 50% dmg inc, <75% 30-40% dmg inc, <100% 20%dmg inc, if you find no dmg increase proceed to the next step after finishing the rift. From there we will look for the cursed bounties I listed in the cursed bounty strategy and clear any of them if any spawned, once we do that we will also go clear halls of agony level 3. Then we will head back into the rift finish it hand it in and reset the game. Philosophy behind this strategy is that you gain the benefits of getting increased drop rates and once you hit a power spike you can take advantage of the guaranteed easy xp of Halls of Agony and easy xp and loot of potential cursed chest bounties. Only downsides are the extra time spent teleporting around and again the uncertainty of rift mobs and density. Here are the exact steps I will be doing while trying this strategy.
LVL 1: Steal Follower Weapons & Find Cursed Chest Bounty or Easy Boss Bounty.
Why?: The chests rewarded at the end will provide initial blues/yellows to get you started.
LVL 1-12: Do cursed chest bounties and halls of agony.
Why?: Guaranteed easy mobs to get through the first few levels.
LVL 6-7: Check Fence Merchants in Act I and Act II for rings.
LVL 10-12: Check Fence Merchants in Act I and Act II for amulets.
LVL 10 -14: Switch to Campaign go through until you can kill Skeleton king.
LVL 18: Kill Skeleton King.
Why?: First time killing SK guarantees a Leoric's Crown being lvl 18 ensures socket. Put ruby in the socket.
LVL 18-70: Run Hybrid Strategy rotation.
LVL 45: Craft lvl 60 Weapon roll reduced lvl req on it.
LVL 60: Craft lvl 70 Weapon roll reduced lvl req on it.

General Tips for All Strategies
Keep an eye out for the following items.
Leoric’s Signet: %xp roll.
Puzzle Ring: save for lvl 70 put into cube for greed’s realm.
Bovine Bardiche: save for lvl 70 cow level.
Nagel Ring: Provide huge burst dmg while lvling.
Craft lvl 60 Weapon roll reduced lvl req on it.
Craft lvl 70 Weapon roll reduced lvl req on it.
Craft and wear Cains if you find the recipe for %xp.

Level 70 Gearing Strategies
Bounties First Strategy
So this first strategy for gearing up is definitely up for debate since I have not tested it. So once you have hit 70 spend your blood shards and go get Kanai’s cube. Use up your puzzle rings and Bovine Bardiches if you found any. The reason you may want to start bounties first depends on what items you found while leveling up 1-70. If you found something worth extracting right away you can start doing bounties otherwise doing rifts and greater rifts first will be the best to gear up. So do bounties until you have the item or items you want extracted early in the cube then switch over to rifts asap because they will give much more reward until you are ready to farm mats again at t6+.(Thank you to mhgd3 for replying and correcting me here).

Rifts First Strategy
Alternatively you could start doing rifts right away and start looking for a weapon and set pieces that way since there is the increased chance of finding legendaries in rifts and you get more blood shards. After obtaining sets and once you can do about t6 or higher you can start farming bounties for the mats to reroll legendaries and extract them.

Gear Pooling
This is a strategy that I almost never hear people talk about which surprises me because it is so strong. Maybe I am out of the loop or maybe people are just too greedy and that is why it has not caught on yet but here it is. Note that this strategy will work with either of the ones previously mentioned. So what you will do is get in a party with 2 or more players of the same class as you that you trust(clanmates or friends, usually best). Determine who is going to carry (I recommend whichever person will be playing the most) then everyone will pool all of their important set pieces to the carry. For example if it were DH’s the three people being carried would give the person who is carrying EVERY piece of Marauders, Natalya’s, and Unhallowed Essence. Pool set pieces into the carry until he has finished one then bump up the difficulty as high as you can, which will most likely be t6 to start and then ease your way up. The carry then carries (hence the name) the other 3 through t6 until they finish their sets. The carry should also be handing set pieces out to the group that he finds since he obviously already has a set. To restate the person carrying should be the one who plays the most incase people leave before they finish their sets the carry will hopefully be online when you regroup. This is a super effective method for gearing up fast if you have trustworthy people to do it with because even if just one person has a set finished it will be enough to crank up the difficulty and the entire party will find gear faster and level up faster.

Paragon Leveling Strategy
So as many of you may know %xp has changed from Season 3 to Season 4. The xp is now shared with the entire party instead of just the one person wearing xp gear. They also changed Greater Rift keys so you can no longer recycle keys. This means the paragon farming meta is going to shift. Now when you are running greater rifts you will want 2-3 people wearing “leech” setup even though now it would be more appropriate to call it xp build or something since they are no longer leeching but helping the entire party gain more xp. So the builds for an xp build will essentially be the same as they were last season give or take a few skills due to the cc changes. I have a feeling running 2 people with full xp gear and 2 dps (maybe with a few pieces of xp gear on them) will be the most efficient way to farm xp but it is still up in the air as things will shift once the season pans out. Also since keys were changed there will also need to be some experimenting with exactly which greater rift level will be the most efficient for most groups. Now that it takes longer to get greater rift keys, since you can’t recycle anymore, you have to find the sweet spot between doing grifts fast but also doing one of high enough level so you get the full value out of your greater rift keystone. I imagine having times between 7-10 minutes will end up being the sweet spot but it needs to be tested further.


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