Personally I have 53.8k dps, 110 AR and 28k life. I can farm ALL of A3 (starting at azmo quest because I quit doing Cydaea fuck that bitch) I will go through keep, rakkis crossing, to under bridge, then through all of arreat minus the actual crater ( I hate the fucking snakes) in about an hour if I am paying attention and trying. It's all about play style and doing what you enjoy and what you're good at. I spend so much time stutter kiting and just blowing BL around corners on the off chance something is there. I don't have MS on anything, and just use vault on fast mobs. Usually if I do it right, I can kill them by the end of my prep vaults. Just my own 2cents.
I was farming Act3 yesterday, my usual route starting at Siegebreaker going backwards all the way to Bastion, porting to Rakis and then pressing forward until Azmodan. I was using AE: NT this time rather than the usual AE:BL to keep it fresh--oh yeah, slow blue ball was getting boring so I switched to slow hairy purple ball.
I had unusual trouble with Cydaea during this run. I died 5 or 6 times because I got overwhelmed by the spawn at the end. The only difference compared to previous days, where I always killed her on first try, was AE: NT instead of BL. I have realized how ineffective NT is in open spaces where AOE damage is required to kill lots of spread targets. BL is a lot better for this fight, definitely if you have troubles with the adds.
I almost never see anyone saying this but... The easiest way to defeat mortar is by running sideways. They're thrown in a straight line - it's a lot harder to judge the distance they're going, than the direction. Especially if you have someone to tank, just move in a circle around your target. See the following for a funny example of this concept
I m o you need to switch out either shadow power or spike trap for preparation. You have absolutely no need for both SS and Shadow power when you have no disc to use them. Personally I always run with both shadow power and SS when playing with my barb friend since reflect packs are a pain in the ass without shadow power. I also have +max disc on both quiver and cloak giving me a total of 49 disc. That means if you´re not SSing like crazy you pretty much have 4 SS instead of the usual 2 and twice that with prep, This to me is worth more than a couple thousand more dps. Vault is not necessarily needed at all. For teleport mobs, they often start their animation more or less instantly after teleporting, so vault will not save you while SS will. Tactical advantage is more than enough to gain distance without the use of vault i m o. Mortars can be a bitch, but I find it easier to be close enough to the mobs where I can see them do the mortar. If they do them offscreen you won´t be able to see them until they´re already on their way down and they fall so fast that it´s very hard to hit SS before the first one lands. Standing so close that they can´t even mortar you is also an option while playing with a tank and just hit shadow power or SS as soon as they´re about to hit you.
Are you joking or you don't farm act 3 but teorycraft here. How you stand close to missle creatures ??? And why you all are so scared about mortar ? Vault help you to avoid mortar and you will recive mortar if you goes static in the battle Vault is not to survive against mortar but avoid it you can do like this 2 shot vault, 2 shots vault and with prep and acrobacy rune you can handle this 20 times. I don't know how you play Act 3 without Vault or 4 pieces Nataliya. I don't know how you deal when you enter tower of damned and there is elite pack when you have no place of kite how you kite there without Vault and how you kite elite pack with fast prefix. Also without vault you can't get range this simple mean that in most of the time your steady aim do not work why you pick it then only for DPS show off ? If you don't pick Vault this mean that you are Wizard without teleport ....
Getting close to mortars work if they are generally melee if you try this against shamans or something other missle I don't get it how you dodge their normal attack ? Mortart is easy affix you just need to run all the time shoot and run shoot and run but affixes as Fast, Teleporter, depend on the place arcain, waller are thoose that make you die.
And last about mortar you can hear it way before you see it just play with sound and when you here it launching just change your possition.
You definitely don't need vault in any area of act III and be fine as long as u're quick with your caltrops and smokescreen. I however do have 23% movement speed, running SS, Archery, Steady Aim. Either solo or with barb tank, works fine with 60K DPS non ss. BL does wonders in just destroying trash, and either devouring arrow or more BLs for elites. SmokeScreen, Ball Lightning, Devouring Arrow, Prep, Mark of Death and CalTrops are my talents.
Have about 20K HP and 300 AR, which is enough to take an arrow or quill shots, but not a mortar in the face. And like everyone else says, u have to shoot and move for mortars, just one shot, and move. Better if u're the only range, otherwise u can walk into someone elses mortars.
There is a very simple solution to the Act 3 farming problem. Do Act 2 instead. Drops exactly the same loot, and you can kill 3 times as much in the same amount of time, with 0 deaths. I was farming Act 3 forever, and then I stepped foot back into Act 2. I found out that Act 3 is a total waste of your time. I had no trouble clearing Act 3 by the way, but I did need to keep my eyes open, and was unable to watch TV shows while I did it. In the time it would take me to do act 3 I could do act two, and just from counting how many 63 rares I have gotten. If you full clear both acts, you will almost always get more lvl 63s from Act 2. Isn't that awesome? Which run will take more time? They both take about the same time really, assuming you only die like 3 times in act 3 for the entire act. If you die any more than 5 times in Act 3, you should not even look at it. The only way to do effective act 3 clears is to have a tank friend who just runs through the entire act and only fights elites. That is the only time Act 3 MAY be better to do.
I personally don't farm the content (since farming AH is way more profitable), but if I wanted to do that I'd swap all my survivability gear (chest, pants - everything that doesn't have CHC and CHD) for insane +MF and and faceroll A1. It's super fast even half naked, so with tons of MF I'm pretty sure you can farm very effectively there.
P.S. It also doesn't have those fucking bees, lacuni, invisible snakes and underground crocodiles, which is alone enough of a reason for me to go A1 instead of A2.
I do agree with above posters that moving from Act3 back to Act2, or Act1 but who is not fed up with it already at this point, can be beneficial for a player. I still die in Act2 from time to time, however, it is happening sporadically and I yet have to find a pack I had to skip--skipping in Act3 is happening for me at least once in a full clear.
Act2 farm route for me is as follows: Black Canyon Mines>>Stinging Winds (hope for Ruins dungeon)>>fast sweep around waypoint in Dalghur Oasis>>Desolate Sands to find Vault of the Assassins (clear any other dungeon on the way)>>Zoltan Kulle>>start event in Caldeum market>>Road to Alcarnus>>Belial.
I probably clock it around 45-60 minutes with up to 5 deaths. I wear around 80 MF and I swap another 50 before kills. I do see a lot of 2+ rare drops per pack with this approach.
Still, I only farm Act1 or 2 when I dont feel like playing for too long or I am too tired to properly focus on Act3. I dont kill in Act3 even remotely close to Act2 but I enjoy it a lot more because it is a challenge and it keeps you on your toes. I also, pure subjective feeling, believe I get a better drops in ilvl terms than in earlier acts. My best drops were all from Act3--some of which can only drop there such as 6attribute patterns that dont drop earlier I believe.