Friday, 21 November 2014

Demon hunters: A Quick DPS Comparison on Steady Aim vs. Custom Engineering

To compare the two passives, I put together a DPS model that simulates a 180s fight on a single, elite target using the standard M6 cold build.

I modeled the numbers using my DH in particular, and assumed a CD time of 5s on sentry drops (due to CDR).

Additional assumptions would include: target being in sentry range 100% of the time, 100% sentry uptime, highest possible uptime on wolf companion activations, etc, etc (basically perfect conditions).

The results are as follows:

Spreadsheet link


Ramp Up Period [0-20s]
This is the stretch of time when sentries are deployed in 5s intervals, the first being dropped at 0s.

As expected, Steady Aim comes out ahead with a 16% damage bonus over Custom Engineering. Resulting (in my particular case), a damage differential of a little over 500 million by 20s.

Steady State [15 or 20-180s]
The period of time from the last sentry drop to the end of the engagement.

After the fifth turret is dropped (@20s), Steady Aim's lead over Custom Engineering slowly diminishes at a linear rate, until it hits the break point at 40s. From 40s onward, Custom Engineering has a DPS advantage over Steady Aim.

  • At 60s, Custom Engineering has a 3.0% damage advantage over Steady Shot.
  • At 120s, Custom Engineering has a 5.5% damage advantage over Steady Shot.
  • At 180s, Custom Engineering has a 6.2% damage advantage over Steady Shot.

In Grifts, I find it very difficult to have all five sentries up at one time, within range of my intended target. So I prefer to use Steady Aim due to the quicker ramp up, for faster clearing of trash mobs and elite packs.

Rift Guardian fights, and high density areas with abundant choke points is where Custom Engineering really shines.

In the end, I think that the numbers are so close that it really all just comes down to personal preference.

Here's some more tables,

Note: "By skills" includes Cull of the Weak (20%), Steady Aim (20%), and Wolf Companion (weighted value based on uptime, 8.75%)

Sentry DPS table w/ Steady Aim:

Sentry DPS table w/ Custom Engineering:

Monday, 17 November 2014

Witch Doctors: Stay a while and listen: 92 Fetishes in Grift 40+

Since I browse the whole sub on a daily basis and like the awesome community here is it time for me to contribute some smut and keep you guys busy. At this point is the whole concept pure theory crafting and hasn't been tested yet.

The most common 4 man team for high Grifts consists of 2 DH doing all the dmg, 1 tank Monk for gathering up creeps and 1 tank WD to keep every creep locked down. My idea on the contrary is to have a 4 guys doing all dps with low toughness. The gear set-up is based on the highest solo pet build by Raijin with a few changes. I recommend reading it now since I will only discuss the differing set-up. Raijin was able to beat Grift 40+ solo with his set-up and I think that 4 of us can perform even better.

So why 4 pet WD?
We can move incredible fast: The combination of Rechel's Ring of Larceny and the Tiklandian Visage gives us a perma speed boost of up to 60%. The Illusory Boots enable us to run through every monster, this is like a perma spirit walk just faster! The combination with jaunt on top of that and we are able to run from elite to elite in no time. Screw map density, we don't care!

We can lock down every creep (except RG): Well known and no news here but the 24 yards of Face of Death is often not enough due to mean and horrible ranged attacks. But 4 guys with each 24 yards will enable us to cover the whole room no matter how big it is. Furthermore if one group member dies are the elites still locked down, hence resurrecting whilst our minions keep on fighting is not that difficult.

We have crazy single target dps: We skip every trash mop, screw them, we rather have them alive so we can fear them again in case we took a wrong turn and need to boost back. We solely focus on elites and killing them quick. Despite the fact that we suck at killing trash mobs anyhow are the elite kills more effective in order to beat the timer. And on top of that are we already very strong vs. single targets.

The Profile

Gear: Insted of Unity Rechels and travellers set/soj. Since we don't use the MoJ is the elemental dmg quite nice. A well rolled travellers set might be better though.

Skills: Instead of all 4 players using Jaunt might it be better if 2 use the Zombie Dog - Final Gift, since we all get the bonus from Gruesome Feast. This is quite some extra dmg, I get about 4.7k more Int!

Play style: Run Forrest run! If there is no creep to fear we use Jaunt to give us a 3 sec boost. This should be enough to find one to fear and give us the sweet sweet speed boost. As soon as we see an Elite pack do we use spirit walk again to reach them as fast as possible. They wont be able to cast anything since we approach them so fast and left our physical body before they see us. Everyone casts there fetishes next to them and spreads out a bit (depending on the creep density etc.). One BBV underneath the pack to give the fetishes the AS bonus, the other 3 BBVs wherever we are standing. After that we make it rain toads to get more fetishes. It might even be a good idea to split up in 2 groups. Each of us with one jaunt guy (to sprint forward and lock down the pack) and one zdog guy to quickly follow and start the health globe production. This way can we cover huge areas very fast and avoid that our fetishes block each other from surrounding/ hitting the same target.

Cons: Well we are no DH after all, not sure if our dmg output is good enough. Also the RG might give us a hard time. I would love to test this, a two man team could be enough for that. So add me in case you want to: RaphaFluffa #2887, EU SC Season.

New Wizard (Experienced Player) - Some advice, if you will.

Hi Wizzies. I'm paragon 560, all of which on DH. After picking up some Firebirds pieces on DH (RNG) I decided to spend shards at Kadala to complete the set with some other lolRNG items I've accumulated.

I've scoured the sidebar, read every Bnet page of the Dot mechanics and read most of the posts in this subreddit. However, there's one or two things I'd like clarifying if you will:

Is there a be all end all specific variation of Firebirds? I understand that it's highly customisable based on your RNG, but if you could hand pick an optimum skillset and equipment - what would it be?

Secondly, wouldn't a two-hander (Furnace, Maximus) automatically mean more damage on your Dot, if rolled well? Or is Serpent Sparker/Sunkeeper FB Source equally effective?

Slow time - better to self cast and run Teleport with Illusionist or run Mirror Image for Slow Time proc?

How do you approach a pack of mobs? Elite or otherwise? From the few hours I had with the build today I casted Slow Time > Black Hole > Apocalypse > Teleport > Black Hole > Slow Time.

Any other tips that would help me out in transitioning from the repetitive Sentry spec, as I'm genuinely excited about playing wizard and the options available to the build.

Many thanks!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

"It seems like everyone in this sub wants the best gear, but doesn't want to farm for it."

This is an actual quote from a post I saw this morning. I see this sentiment a lot and I think it's both overly-simplistic and destructive. The truth is more nuanced:

People who play Diablo are happy to farm, but not to farm forever. Everybody has a different threshold for how long they are willing to farm without any seeing progress. No, your players can't expect upgrades every 5 minutes, but neither can you expect all your players to be Alkaizer. There's a sweet spot somewhere.

But, remember, when a system is entirely RNG, it's always possible that players will put in a bunch of time and see zero progress. Enough time with zero progress, and players quit.

You can shrug and say "RNG is RNG" or you can look for an opportunity to improve the game and make it more fun for more people. This is where the oft-reviled idea of "guaranteed progression" comes in. The thing is:

Guaranteed progression does not have to mean faster progression

You already see this with the "pity timer". The pity timer creates a minimum legendary drop rate for the unlucky. The vast majority of players never hit it, yet it exists.

Now, take something like the Furnace. If most players can expect to get one Furnace in every X hours of gameplay, Blizzard could create a crafting system that lets you gather special things and make a single Furnace after Y hours of gameplay (where Y is much greater X).

The point is that you're not getting loot meaningfully faster than before, but at least those long sessions without any special drops don't feel wasted. You know you made progress, even if just a little bit.

tl;dr - Stop saying people want handouts. Players already farm until they can't take it anymore. Guaranteed progression can provide rewards that keep people interested and playing without providing loot any faster than the average.

P.S. - You could make the argument that seeing a huge mountain to climb would scare people away. I don't buy it; I think people are more likely to get hooked by progression than scared by it.

Monday, 3 November 2014

BlizzCon 2014 Weapon Transmog GIFs

Here is a bunch of GIF images showing a rotating shot of each transmog in case anyone is debating buying a virtual ticket for them. The screenshots don't really show them off well enough, so here you are.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Demon hunters: Weapon Reroll Calculator

Here is a Google Doc that you can plug values into and see.

You can access it here:[1]

Save a copy of it, and you can fill it in and see which is best.

I currently have 4 scenarios setup and a column for custom;
  • Reroll the Damage to maximum (1199 - 1490)
  • Reroll the Damage to __% of maximum (ie 90%, but this is still being worked on - I need to check out the minimums on damage rolls and factor that in)
  • Reroll the % Damage (toggle to indicate whether you are rerolling IAS on the weapon to % damage, will remove the IAS if so)
  • Reroll the IAS (toggle to indicate whether you are rerolling %Dmg on the weapon to IAS, will remove the %Dmg if so)

Please take a look and give me feedback, I will update it if necessary!

There's also an IAS Calculator on the second tab. I haven't really cleaned it up yet, it's a work in progress at this point. I will post again once I have gotten it where I want it. It's usable though!

Friday, 24 October 2014

beginners/advance guide from top 10 wizard (seasons) (gear/builds)

There is only 2 builds i am only going to show the one everyone knows firebirds and the beginning one disintegrate.

Short range disintegrate

Use this until you achieve firebirds:!SigT!YbZZaa

It's fairly simple, i use this to lvl up and also use it to do t3/t4 rifts, i was able to do t3 very effectively i also got to grift 22 with this build.

Some notes

have to use a slow 2h, makes the build most effective, 3 items that make the build a tad better, moonlight ward/andarials visage/string of ears since you will be in melee range. and you simply go for crit/crit dmg/%ele/%distengrate/%hydra.

the hydra is really under-rated imo, people only are using it for firebirds but it's great for any build because of arcane dynamo.

you can switch familiar with teleport if you want, i only use teleport for higher grifts i don't find it necessary even when i'm doing t6 rifts.

My firebirds build!Zfhe!YYZZac

this is a tad different from others, like i said i only use teleport for high Grifts, use pinpoint barrier for lower torments/Grifts and use prismatic armour for higher torments/Grifts. and i never use illusionist, i rarely use teleport already so i don't find it much useful, but take out conflag if you do want to use it.

Some items that help

end game firebirds uses a furnace but since it's really rare you are always going to use 1h/off-hand until than, the off-hand being firebird's. the best 1h's are WoH/sun keeper > serpent wand > devastator/burning axe. i am currently using a devastator instead of a serpent wand simply because my wand rolled horrible and my devastator out dmg it by a good amount.

you want to try to use cindercoat as your chest and since blackthornes neck rolls really good now try to find one of those and use 2p of blackthorns neck/belt with RoRG for the 3set bonus. but unity/stone of jordan is superior, unfortunately i only have a unity/RoRG but still rolling my unity.

Also you want to go for area dmg on most items you can, it's not superior to CC/Crit dmg, but it's superior to %blizzard dmg or AS, for rings you want, int/socket/CC/crit dmg, neck you want either int/CC/crit dmg/%ele dmg OR socket, you don't want to trade either CC or crit dmg for the socket though.

Sockets on your rings are a must, socket on your neck isn't but it's still good. the 2 best gems at least imo would be "bane of the powerful" and "zei's stone of vengeance".

this is the end of my small guide, it's really just to help out all wizards on their gear/builds. hopefully it helps you.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

PSA: Don't salvage Harrington Waistguard without taking it for a test drive...

This may be common knowledge for some, but this thing was sitting in my stash for about 2 weeks before I decided to try it out. The Legendary Affix is "Opening a chest grants 100–135% increased damage for 10 seconds."

Doesn't sound that interesting for those of us not in-the-know. However, it turns out that, much like a 12 year old girl in a training bra, Blizzard has a pretty loose definition for what counts as a chest. They consider anything that could possibly give loot that requires a click rather than an attack as a "chest". Corpses, loose stones, armor racks, Khazra altars. Anything that won't open up if you swing a sword at it but could potentially give loot is a "chest". EDIT: Tsplodey informs me that chandeliers also proc it. Sounds like if you hover your cursor over something and it gives a blue "click me!" outline rather than a red "attack me!" outline (other than doors), it will proc the affix.

It turns out that there are surprisingly few levels that AREN'T littered with such things. I have taken to fighting elites and rift guardians by using "chests" as a mini-Power Pylon.

So consider that my PSA. Don't doubt the Harrington Waistguard.

Things it doesn't work on that are otherwise blue and clickable: Doors and satchels (things that give lore tomes).

Things it does work on that don't really give items: chandelier chains and lore items (like the Rygnar Idol).

Mechanism: It works just like a "+X% to Damage" passive, additive. Example images:

Before (20% skill bonus from Pierce the Veil): 

After (130% skill bonus summed from 20% PtV plus 110% from belt): 

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

How to: Shield Bash Crusader (Torment VI Detailed Guide)


"What is a better weapon? The sharp one your enemies expect, or the blunt one they ignore?" - The Art of Warrior, Chapter 9

It’s a good time to talk about a Shield Bash build. As former Rally-based Crusaders know well, no build lasts forever at the top, and it’s important to have other ideas beside Holy Shotgun and Fire Starter. Besides, Travis Day (lead game designer of Reaper of Souls) said himself, that Shield Bash is an important part of the Crusader fantasy and that the Diablo team is looking into improving the skill. In my opinion the skill is already strong, the numbers are big enough for Torment VI, and mostly things like the hitbox and wind up animation should be looked over. So if Shield Bash gets improved even further, it’s going to be a strong contestant for a top spot in the Crusader build variety. It’s capable of a lot even now!

Shield Bash with Shield Cross is going to be the primary damage dealer of the build. It delivers a massive blow of 700% weapon damage plus 300% of the shield’s Block chance as damage. On top of that, it erupts into a large, cross-like formation for additional 155% weapon damage and 100% of the shield’s Block chance as damage on any enemy caught within the area of effect. I think Shield Cross is the most reliable of all 5 Shield Bash runes. It lacks the problematic targeting of the other runes and since it shares the physical element of Pound (a stronger single-target rune), you don’t need to re-gear and can easily switch between the two right before the Rift Guardian, like I’ll do in the demonstration.

Condemn with Vacuum is the second damage dealer of the build, but it doesn’t fit the elemental bonuses of the gear and I’m using it mostly as a utility spell that draws enemies towards me and makes them ripe targets for my Shield Crosses. It has a suction range much larger than the 15 yard explosion area – I’d say it’s easily 25 yards – and you’ll see it draw enemies both large and small, which makes it one of the more reliable displacement skills in Diablo. To sweeten the deal, Vacuum procs the Strongarm Bracer effect, which fits perfectly in a build with a discounted spender that doesn’t really require Reaper’s Wraps. I’m using Blade of Prophecy in the demonstration to improve the damage of the build even further, but that’s a bonus rather than requirement.

Laws of Valor with Critical is my law of choice for the build, adding a nice bit of burst on top of our already sizable hits. With the improved uptime of Laws in patch 2.0.5 Critical is guaranteed to be up in any fight that matters. As I already mentioned – the Wrath requirements for the Shield Bash spam are so small that the Holy Shotgunner favorite Unstoppable Force would be a huge overkill.

I favored Steed Charge with Endurance as the mobility skill in the demonstration – with its longer duration it will take you places faster than the other rune options. It’s by no means set in stone and if you feel this choice is deprived of flavor you can put inRamming Speed rune, which has the added bonus of knocking back the enemies you trample and proccing your Strongarms for additional damage.

Provoke with Charged Up is a rather unsurprising choice. Mechanics-wise Provoke is one of my favorite skills of the Crusader , with a trifold effect that is useful in every aspect. It’s the only cooldown that restores Wrath, it attracts your enemies so you have an easier time bashing their skulls in with your shield AND it adds a nice damage bonus for its 4 second duration. In case you’re dissatisfied with your survivability, you can go with the more defensive Too Scared to Run rune, that will limit the damage output and maneuverability of your enemy.

Finally, Akarat’s Champion with Prophet is going to turn us into a defensive juggernaut while still retaining the sweet 35% damage bonus that all Crusaders crave. I picked Prophet for two reasons. First, I wanted to prove that Shield Bash can hold its own without falling on Fire Starter to back up the damage department. Second, the way Shield Bash actually works will constantly put you in danger, right in the thick of the fight, and since we’re unable to maintain the distance that Holy Shotgun and Fire Starter allow, any additional protection is welcome. We won’t need the additional Wrath regeneration from Embodiment of Power, so Prophet is the logical third option.

As for passives:

Heavenly Strength doesn’t need much of an explanation in a two handed build, which is the case here since I’m using a Blade of Prophecy. If you don’t have a BoP but you have a decent Doombringer lying around, you’ll replace this passive with Fervor.

Finery is a nice damage boost, since seven sockets is the norm for most gear sets – it adds a nice amount of Strength.

Towering Shield is an obvious choice; you can hardly argue with a 20% increase to the damage of your main spender. If you feel that the 30% cooldown reduction to Shield Glare is wasted in my setup you can insert it in your own, it simply felt out of place for me.

I picked Vigilant as a defensive passive in the demonstration, which is not a very orthodox choice but the 20% damage reduction from non-Physical sources is noticeable in elite fights. If you’re not a fan, Holy Cause is also an option for the damage boost and the occasional healing from your Condemns. I would say though, that this build benefits little from Wrathful since our Wrath costs are very minimal, and we have to look for sources of healing elsewhere.

Crit Stats: As hard as it will be, try to maintain the 1:10 ratio between Crit Chance and Crit Damage. In my experience Crit Damage has a harder time keeping up with CC, so pay attention to it first.

Cooldown Reduction: Mandatory stat for this and many other cooldown reliant builds. Your sheet DPS will suffer because of it – don’t be fooled! The closer you get to the permanent Akarat dream, the better.

Physical Damage: It will serve you well if you can squeeze it in. You’ll likely have it on the amulet, ring and bracer.

Shield Bash bonuses: Gravy on top; you might get it, or you might not. You’ll most likely have it on your Shield, but you can get it on your Helm and Boots as well.

I won’t surprise anyone by saying that the six pieces set bonus of Akkhan is mandatory for Torment VI Crusaders. I’m using all six pieces – Helm (with Shield Bash bonuses, no less!), Chest, Shoulders, Gloves, Pants and Boots – granting me the 50% cooldown reduction of Akarat’s Champion without the need of a Ring of Royal Grandeur. Some additional cooldown reduction across your gear will be needed if you want to be permanently in Akarat’s Champion form.

I’m using a physical damage Stone of Jordan – with bonuses to an elemental damage of your choice and a huge boost against elites, it has turned into a standard ring for endgame specs.

My other ring is a Unity – the solo player’s other ring of choice. Aside from the bonus against elites, which is always welcome, it offers unrivaled damage reduction when used between yourself and your follower, along with an immortality relic for him. It has already been confirmed by Blizzard that this is intended interplay but if you’re still not a fan – or you play in groups more often – you can replace it with a Ring of Royal Grandeur and go for a crafted Captain Crimson 2 piece, or even a well rolled Justice Lantern for the additional block chance (since it translates into Shield Bash damage).

A Rondal’s Locket rounds out the jewelry – as you can see in the video, it rolled really well and there’s little more you could want from a physical damage amulet. It doesn’t have some amazing unique property, but the raw stats more than make up for it.

Strongarm Bracers are an excellent addition to the build – with a strong displacement skill at your disposal in the face of Condemn, and even an Ess of Johan on your follower if you have one, you’ll have the Strongarms proccing in fights constantly. You don’t need additional Wrath regeneration from Reaper’s Wraps so you’re free to use the bracer slot as a huge damage booster.

Rounding out the armor slots is the usual Harrington’s Waistguard choice – the only belt in the game that can have perfect toughness stats for Torment VI and double your DPS when you open a loot container, such as a chest, dead body, or even a loose tile on the ground.

As for the weapon and offhand; I’m using a Blade of Prophecy as my mainhand, which has the unique property of triggering additional Condemn explosions on enemies that you’ve initially Condemned. I would like to add that this weapon helps but isn’t mandatory for the build to work, easing the gearing requirements at least a little bit. I’ve had success with a Doombringer one handed sword, which has physical bonuses, or even a simple hard-hitting two hander like the Scourge.

The offhand is the true powerhouse of the build – the Piro Marella crafted shield that lowers the Wrath costs of Shield Bash between 40 and 50%. This turns the skill’s hefty initial cost of 30 Wrath to a very manageable 15, allowing you a lot of freedom to go for offensive skills and gear rather than utility. As you can see, I went for a pure damage roll on the shield, with Crit chance, cooldown reduction and Shield Bash bonus – and I’d advise you to do the same, since it’s a craftable shield and you can make them to your heart’s content until you get the desired rolls!

Core: Movement Speed to 25; the rest into Strength.

Offensive: max out Cooldown Reduction, Crit Damage and Crit Chance in that order. (Strive to maintain a 1:10 ratio between Crit Chance and Crit Damage.)

Defensive: max out All Resist; then go for Life % or Armor depending on your needs.

Utility: max out Resource Cost Reduction and Area Damage.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Diablo 3 “Reaper of Souls” Updated

Diablo 3’s 2.1 patch is here for the PS4 and Xbox and it doesn’t just contain some bug-fixes, it comes rife with new game elements and features. The announcement was made by Stephanie Johnson, Diablo III’s community manager, who called the patch the first major content update for Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition. Indeed, in the wake of the said patch, players will be able to level up their legendary gems, they’ll be able to explore the deepest and darkest nooks and crannies of the Cesspools, they will gain access to The Vault and the Greater Rifts will take on a new meaning for those looking to push their heroes as far as possible.

As far as new features go, there’s a whole list of these in the new update. When players log into the game, a “what’s new” screen pops up which fills them in on the plethora of novelties brought by patch 2.1.
The Vault, another new feature, is essentially a new area where lavish treasures can be collected. The Vault can only be entered after a Treasure Goblin is killed though. Treasure Goblins are small creatures perpetually after glittery/shiny things. Baroness Greed is the boss of the new area.
Vault portals cannot be found in the Nephalem Rifts or Greater Rifts, and they can only be accessed when playing in adventure mode.
New Greater Rifts have apparently been added through the patch as well, and they can be accessed through the Nephalem Obelisk.
The Cesspool is essentially a new environment, created for the Nephalem and Greater Rifts.
Ramaladni’s Gift is a yet another new feature, which allows players to add sockets to weapons without such sockets and last but not least, the Legendary Gem can be socketed into amulets and rings in order to give players new abilities.

Philip Thalberg works for Gosugamers, THE destination for LOL, Dota2 and Hearthstone stats, VoDs and rankings.

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