Hi, I am Armagoden. Since the new season will start in a couple of days, I wanted to make a guide for starting fresh in a season. In this thread I will cover my ideas, plans and theory behind starting off in a new season as efficient as possible. I'll include how to level fast and fun and how to start gearing yourself for end-game. This guide is mainly for new and/or casual players, who do not know every detail of the game. Even if you consider yourself a very good player, you might want to scan through it in case you find something useful!
These subjects I will cover:
- This to note before we start
- Leveling and a quick summary
- Tips and tricks while leveling
- Rough guidelines and stat priorities while leveling; things to look out for
- Fresh 70
- Gearing towards end-game
So, let's get started.
1. Things to note before your adventure:
Before you start the season, you have to plan a couple of things to make your leveling process as pleasent as possible. For example, what class do you want to play? Do you like being ranged and being mostly squishy, or do you like to be in melee range, smacking monsters in their faces? I would suggest watching some class guides and test the classes, if you haven't already, in non-season.
So, you know what class you want to play. There are, however, some extra things to consider before you start the season. For instance, playing in a group is more effecient than leveling/gearing on your own. Maybe you have clan members starting out at the start of the season, or you have some real life friends, who knows. Make a party if you want and can! It's is more effecient to play in a group, because with every member your damage increases by 100%, while the monsters health only increase by 50% for every extra member. You also get a nice magic/gold find and experience gain bonus for being close to your party members. The best thing is to play with people who play the same class, to lootshare, or the same mainstat, like Monk and DH, also for lootsharing purposes.
The next thing before you start to venture into Sanctuary is knowing your build, skills, runes and such. If you know up front at what level you are changing your actives, passives and runes, your leveling speed increases, since you will not need to read everything when you level up. Shinobi(Youtube and twitch) made class guides for starting a new season for Season 2. Some stuff, like end game builds, are a tad outdated but the general idea is still there. Here you can find class guides which he made with other Diablo 3 youtubers/streamers:
If you by any chance have no clue what skills to choose while leveling, there are a couple guidelines you can follow. Your passives should be mobility first and after that damage and rescource generation go mostly even for most classes. If you find yourself at max rescource most of the time go for a damage passive, but if you are craving rescources and feel you always have to generate, go for a damage passive.
2. Start of the leveling process:
Now you know what skills you want to use at what level, it's time to think about how you want to level. There are several viable ways to level up fast and fun, but I will share with you my plans. In my opinion this will be the most fun and versatile leveling method.
Create a new character, give her/him a cool name, check the box seasonal, maybe hardcore, and go. Select adventure mode, invite some party members and select Hard difficulty. If you feel after a couple of levels hard is not effecient enough, play on normal, if the mobs are dying way too fast, play at master. Monsters should die in a couple of hits and skeletons in Halls of Agony in around 1 or 2. This is a rough guidelin but you should just play on the difficulty you feel comfortable playing on. Skip expert, since the experience to monster health ratio is terrible. Never play on expert.
When starting your game at level 1, do the Halls of Agony (all levels, starting with level 3) untill you reach a dead end, and teleport to town. Also, its not worth killing the Butcher unless you do not have the achievement yet. This is how you should clear this area. After that, you can search for good bounties. The best ones are all the cursed bounties in act 1, the kill this or that quest in the wheeping hollow (act 1), Clear the Hell Rift (act 4), event and kill quests in the Festering Woods (act 1) and after level 15 or so, The Cursed Dais(act 4). These bounties have events tied to them which grant extra experience for faster leveling. The Festering Woods bounties are questionably worth it, but due to it being a nice open map with good density and many events, I'd say its worth it. It also brings more diversity to your leveling progress.
Now, in patch 2.3 Nepheleam Rifts, or "Normal Rifts," do not require keystone fragments anymore. This means that those rifts are free to open. The experience gain from these rifts are at least comparable, if not better, to doing those specific bounties and the Halls of Agony.
What I am going to do is run a rift at the start of each game and in the 30s downtime you can do a good bounty or halls of agony clear. From level 40/45 onwards I am only going to run rifts since you will then have good skills and runes. I wouldn't suggest going in rifts before level 15, since the monster spawns are random and you can start with for instance difficult act 5 mobs in the start. If you want to farm materials while leveling, rifts are also the way to go.
So to summarise the leveling, these are the things to look out for:
Old ruins - cursed
Any Halls of Agony bounty( level 1 2 and 3)
HOA3 - cursed!! Juicy
Fields of Misery - cursed
Spider Cave - cursed
Cathedral level 2 - cursed
Clear the Hell Rift
Festering Woods - killing and or events
Wheeping Hollow - killing
Do rifts when you feel like it or for mats and gear
Always clear HOA 3 and/or 1 and 2 depending on bounties
3. Tips and tricks while leveling:
There are several tricks to increase your damage and thus leveling speed by a big ammount while leveling. When you enter a game at level 1, you would want to steal your follower's weapon(s). If you are a DH, steal your Scounderl's weapon and if you are any other class, steal your templar's/enchantress' weapon(s). If you can dual wield, steal both. This will give you a nice damage boost right at the start. When you hit level 8, you can buy rings from the vendor in tristram(the furthest one).You should to buy the rings with average damage. At level 11 you would want to buy a neck with average damage, too. This will increase your damage significantly. When you hit level 42-43 you would want to upgrade your blacksmith to level 10. You can now craft level 60 weapons. These weapons can roll a secondary stat which reduces the level requirement to wear that item, up to 18 level below 60 (so level 42). Crafting 2 one handers or 1 two hander increases your damage by such an ammount, that you can increase the difficulty of your game to torment difficulty (mostly 1-3). Bump the difficulty down when you feel the mobs are hitting too hard. When getting closer to 60, you will most likely go back to hard mode difficulty. At level 61, you should up your blacksmith to level 12, and craft yourself a level 70 weapon, again with level reduction as secondary. Continue doing rifts and the best bounties untill level 70.
4. Rough guideline:
This cheat sheet, which I stole from GameByNumber (check his videos on youtube), will help you if you are forgetting something: (CAUTION, doesn't include my personal ideas, since I stole the imgur) It contains the good act 1 bounties and at what level you would want to buy/craft something: http://i.imgur.com/ZWdMdmP.jpg
5. Rough stat priority:
Since we were talking about gear while leveling, I should note some stats you should look out for. There are three very important stats while leveling. The first is a socket in your weapon. Put a red gem in it. This increases your damage by quite a lot, and with the new gem changes (read patch notes for more info) the difference is bigger than before. The second is a socket in your helmet. Again, put a red gem in it. A red gem in your helmet will increase your experience gain by X% which obviously makes your leveling process shorter. You should ALWAYS have a red gem in your helmet, except when you find a new helmet that increases your damage by such an amount, that it outscales the helmet. For example, your current level 16 helmet has a socket and some stats and the gem in it increases experience gain by 20%. If you find a helmet which increases your damage by 20% or more but doesn't have a socket, equip it. If not, do not equip it.
For the rest of your gear, gear for damage while leveling, use common sense with this one. A 0.1% damage increase does obviously not beat a 25% toughness increase, but I am sure you are smart enough to figure that out by yourself! Gems in your legs and pants can be anything. The best for melee are Diamonds, for toughness, and for ranged I would say either Diamonds or main stat (Topaz for Wiz and WD and Emeralds for DH) since as ranged you do not take damage that often.
6. Your fresh 70:
Now you hit level 70 (grats!), it is time to gear yourself for the higher Torments.
If you play in a group, you are most likely starting in torment 1 when you all hit level 70 and crafted yourself a decent weapon. You can use your blacksmith to craft some great small sets which can help you a lot. Some items to look out for while crafting are Weapons(mostly 2-handers since the materials to damage ratio is better than crafting 1-handers), Reaper Wraps (dropped by Maltheal, every difficulty, at level 70) and Aughilds. Aughilds increases damage done against elites which at the start you will find yourself struggling with the most.
If you are playing solo, start by doing some normal or hard rifts untill you have decent/good yellow gear to clear Torment 1. Do not farm expert or master for gear at the start.
Talking about the yellow gear, there are some things to keep in mind. Do not spend all your crafting materials reforging mediocre yellows. You will replace them very quickly. Try to look out for yellows with the max amount of primary stats, 4, and reforge those using the mystic, but not too often. You are going to need those materials later on! Since you are leveling in rifts the last ten or twenty levels, you will be decently geared right away. The go to damage for torment 1 while playing solo is around 400k and 275-300k damage for groups.
7. Gearing up:
So, we are doing rifts now. We are farming for those sweet set pieces and legendaries. The best thing to do is get a couple of specific legendary gems from greater rifts. You can enter greater rifts by aquiring greater rifts stones from Nepheleam Rifts. Note that these grift keys now have a chance to drop in the all difficulty levels, with increasing drop chances each difficulty. T6 provides 100% a grift key and after that (T7-T10) you have a chance to drop and extra grift key. When you have farmed some keys, do greater rifts for legendary gems. Gems to look out for are the Gem of Efficacious Toxin, the Pain Enhancer and possibly the Bane of the Powerfull. The Pain Enhancer and Toxin gem are strong enough to blast you through the Torment levels and when everyone in your party has acquired those, you can play on the difficulty on which you feel most comfortable playing on. Make sure lower health monsters die in 2 or 3 hits but not more than a couple. You do not want to be striking at the same monsters for too long.
When in lower or mid Torment levels you will start to get a lot of legendaries and set items. If you are farming a specific set, try kadala. When gambling, try to gamble for boots, shoulders and pants first. If your set doesn't have shoulders, go for gloves. Most of the time you want to save the helmet or chest for last while gambling.
Whenyou have acquired most of your set pieces and legendaries, you can go farm for whatever you like. If you need crafting materials run bonus bounties, if you need gear do (greater) rifts. If you have your set pieces and all your legendaries you can optimise your items, build and playstyle to whatever you like. Leveling your legendary gems is best to be done if you can farm greater rifts 30+ decently fast. This way your gems level up quickly and your damage will increase big time. After that, it is all up to you!
Thanks for reading, and I'll see you around, bye bye.
I wrote this guide to help new players or just casual players on their way to becoming more competative or more effective. The information I got from all sorts of different sources, including my own theories.
These youtube channels/videos gave me great ideas and I would like to include them in these credits: