Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Blizzard Hiring. What's Cooking in the Diablo Universe?

Patches have been squeezed out at a very alert pace lately for Blizzard's Diablo III, which has been riding its first expansion, Reaper of Souls, for more than a year now. The popularity of the last expansion and the continuously tweaked features have managed to keep the game very relevant to this day, but it now looks like Blizzard are ready to pull the trigger on a second expansion pack, before some of the existing players lose interest and move on.

A couple of days ago, a posting popped up on Blizzard's careers website, a posting according to which, the company is looking for an Art Director for a Diablo-universe based, as yet unannounced project. Although no one has said specifically it was for Diablo III's second expansion, logic says that's all it could really be.

For starters - as said above - Reaper of Souls landed more than a year ago. Secondly: Blizzcon is drawing near fast and all the other major company franchises have already had their big announcements, essentially meaning that Diablo is now the only one that could produce some hype through an expansion announcement of its own.

 Another fact to consider is that in the wake of all the patches and its first expansion, Diablo III is better than ever, something not lost on players as the fan/player-base of the game keeps on growing. In light of all that, bringing out Diablo 4 now wouldn't make a lot of sense.

If it really is the second expansion-pack we think it is, what could we possibly expect from it? Reaper of Souls set quite a solid benchmark in this respect: it brought in a new class and it upped the max level to 70, to make a long story short. This is in line with what we might expect from a second expansion, as one or two of the "traditional" Diablo classes (Necromancer, Druid and Assassin) may be brought back into the fold in a straightforward move that - given the level of player interest - would be a guaranteed home run.

All the above is just speculation at this point though...and the hiring may only be a herald of much more modest significance for a mobile project.

Philip Thalberg works for eSportslistings, the web's top destination for esports odds.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

An in-depth guide on how Vyr's Amazing Arcana wizards work

This is a guide for greater rift gameplay for Archon wizards using the reworked Vyr's Amazing Arcana set. I consider this guide to be for advanced players.

If you have not read my in-depth guide on Bane of the Stricken yet, I highly suggest doing so before reading this guide.

This guide will explain the Archon wizard and its mechanics in detail and will hopefully clear up some of the partially false rumors I have seen spreading on the forums.

Archon wizards have little gear choice, so here is what you need.


The mandatory items
Vyr's Amazing Arcana (6 pieces)

Stack gain rate is limited to 3 stacks per cast and only works with the Archon Strike and Disintegration Wave abilities
You still gain 1 stack per kill, which is not limited at all
Chantodo's Resolve (2 pieces)
Your main damage dealer of up to 7,000% weapon damage per second
Stack gain is limited to 1 stack per attack, so even with capped attack speed at 5 attacks per second you still need at least 4 seconds to get to 20 stacks
Ancient Parthan Defenders
Freezes count as stuns, so this offers isane survivability with Halo of Arlyse
Fazula's Improbable Chain
Halo of Arlyse
Jewelry Slot in Kanai's Cube: Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac
Armor Slot in Kanai's Cube: The Swami
Stacks can overlap into Archon form and are additive with normal Archon stacks
Weapon Slot in Kanai's Cube: Aether Walker
Also works in Archon form, where Teleport then does have no cooldown or Arcane Power cost at all

The optional items
Either Unity for a more defensive setup or Convention of Elements for more damage
Eye of Etlich is preferred as an amulet, but immunity amulets like Mara's Kaleidoscope or The Star of Azkaranth also work

Legendary Gems
Bane of the Stricken
Helps you against the boss and works very well with high sheet attack speed, especially when snapshotting the internal cooldown to a lower value using a potion
Bane of the Trapped
Best damage gem in the game, since it is in its own damage buff category
Enemies get slowed by the Archon Slow Time ability when inside of Archon and by the slowing aura of the gem when outside of Archon
Pain Enhancer
Highest damage proc off all legendary gems, considering most wizard skills have bad proc coefficients
The additional attack speed helps with Archon stack gain before you are capped at 5.0 attacks per second

Stat priority

To see the stat priority on the items, check out the build on d3planner.com.

I prefer Attack Speed over Cooldown Reduction or Damage Increase on weapons because attack speed on weapons is multiplicative with attack speed on gear and thus allows you to get more value out of Archon stacks and Pain Enhancer, but you are goig to reach the cap of 5.0 attacks per second faster with this.

Paragon priority
Core: Intelligence
Offense: Cooldown Reduction > Critical Hit Damage > Critical Hit Chance > Attack Speed
Defense: Life > Armor > Resistance to All Elements > Life per Second
Utility: Life Per Hit > Area Damage > Ressource Cost Reduction > Gold Find

Yes, you actually do not need any movement speed. Because why walk when you have teleport without cooldown?


Active Skills
Arcane Torrent - Static Discharge
  • Spender for Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac with an internal attack speed scalar of 3.0 for faster reset of Archon cooldown
  • Has the best proc coefficient of all usable channeling spells, so 4 Arcane Power on Critical Hit is enough
  • The delay on the bullet allows you to gain 1-2 more Chantodo's Resolve stacks after you enter Archon
Spectral Blade - Flame Blades
  • Insane temporary fire elemental damage increase
  • Scales well with your attacks per second
  • You gain all runes from the Vyr's Amazing Arcana set
  • Obviously used in an Archon based build
Frost Nova - Deep Freeze
  • Halo of Arlyse uses the Frost Nova rune on your bar, so this is permanent 10% Critical Hit Chance
  • Do not ever use this skill yourself, since doing so will lower the amount of Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac procs going towards the Archon cooldown
Teleport - Safe Passage
  • Provides 25% damage reduction when outside of Archon
  • Insane mobility without cooldown because of Aether Walker (also works when in Archon)
Ice Armor - Crystallize
  • Ice Armor is needed for Halo of Arlyse
  • Crystallize rune provides 60% armor, which is a needed defensive boost
  • Passive Skills
  • Extra damage reduction, needed so you do not die
  • 20% free cooldown reduction which are definitely needed in a cooldown-based build
Unstable Anomaly
  • Dying sets you back quite a bit, so this cheat death helps you not to
  • Audacity is one of the strongest damage buffs in the game, because it is in its own buff category and thus multiplicative with every other buff

Gameplay and Mechanics

The rest of this guide is done in my usual Q&A style, which should hopefully make this guide easier to follow.

What does the set even do?

I suggest you to read the item descriptions.

What does the gameplay look like?

If you want to see high-level wizard gameplay, I highly suggest checking out Quin69's GR70 clear.

Archon gameplay consists of six phases. After phase 6, go back to phase 3. If you die (which is basically game over), go back to phase 1.
  1. Build up 20 Chantodo's Resolve stacks
  2. Enter Archon form and try to get as many stacks as possible
  3. Reset Archon cooldown using Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac
  4. Build up the remainder of the 20 Chantodo's Resolve stacks using Flame Blades
  5. Enter Archon form with still overlapping stacks from The Swami, this is where your damage is the highest (since you have overlapping stacks and for part of this phase also the Flame Blades stacks)
  6. Remaining time in Archon without overlapping stacks from The Swami is spent trying to group up mobs while still trying to damage them, may also be spent for going to the next group of mobs

What exactly does one Archon stack give me?

Every Archon stack is equal to 1% to all resistances, 1% to armor, 1% to attack speed and 6% damage in the DIBS category (Damage Increase By Skill).

What is the DIBS category?

Damage buffs in Diablo III are sorted into categories. Buffs in the same category are additive with each other, while the sums of all categories get multiplied with each other.

Archon being in DIBS is bad, because most damage buffs are in the DIBS category. This makes Archon wizards benefit less from group buffs or certain skills, since they diminish in value. It also makes power pylons have almost no effect for Archon wizards.

When do I use either Arcane Strike or Disintegration Wave in Archon

Arcane Strike freezes enemies, which makes enemies resistant to crowd control even faster. There is no value in using Ancient Parthan Defenders if all enemies around you are resistant to crowd control, so you should use Disintegration Wave when enemies are not yet crowd control resistant.

If you intend to ramp up Bane of the Stricken stacks, you should use Arcane Strike, since it hits more often (and also does slightly more damage most of the time, depending on the attack speed breakpoint you hit).

When using the Disintegration Wave ability, make sure to describe a cone with the beam that hits as many monsters as possible within one attack cycle. Since Disintegration Wave is a channeling ability, you can animation cancel it with a non-channeling ability like Teleport to move around without wasting any attack cycles you could have gained archon stacks in. This is not possible when using Arcane Strike, since it is not considered a channeling spell.

What about the other Archon abilities?

You enable Slow Time once you enter Archon form and you use Arcane Blast as often as possible. I highly suggest numlocking the latter.

Teleport is used for mobility, survivability and gathering mobs. It can also be used to skip bad maps completely when used in conjunction with Aether Walker, which makes you need less Greater Rift keys when fishing for the perfect rift.

Why do you suggest using Aether Walker over The Furnace or other items?
  • Fishing for the perfect rift: More mobility means you need less rift keys
  • Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac procs are not being wasted on Teleport when outside of Archon
  • Being able to constantly teleport around allows you to control what mobs get resistant to your freezes and reposition yourself better and more frequently to adjust to their crowd control resistance

Crowd control resistances? What is that?

As explained by Wyatt Cheng in this post:

When monsters are CC'ed, they get 10% CC resist for every second they are CC'ed. If you CC them for 2.5 seconds, they gain 25% CC resist.
Prior to 2.3.0, this capped out at 65%, so if a monster had been CC'ed for 8 seconds, it would still only apply 65% of it's CC resist. As for 2.3.0, this now caps at 95%. In other words, monsters can reduce the effectiveness of your CC abilities to 5% of their full duration IF they had already been CC'ed for 9.5 seconds or more prior to that.
This CC resist naturally decays at a rate of 5% per second while the monster is NOT CC'ed and free to act.
Note 1: soft" CC's such as movement speed slows are not affected by, nor do they effect, this CC resist in any way.
Note 2: When CC resist was initially implemented it decayed by 10%. This was changed to 5% in Reaper of Souls Note 3: We experimented with a 20% minimum during PTR but did not like it, so that change did NOT go live.

This means that your survivability is based on your constant repositioning and that you will have to gather new mobs all the time using teleport, because you will at all times want mobs around you that are not resistant to crowd control yet.

What is animation cancelling channeling abilities?

Wizards channeling abilities can be cancelled by some spells, so you can effectively cast two spells in the same attack speed cycle.

This can be abused so you can gain Archon stacks while teleporting and using Disintegration Wave at the same time.

In an alternate version of this build where you swap Frost Nova for Blizzard - Snowbound, you can spam Blizzard while channeling Arcane Torrent to animation cancel it so you get two Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac procs in only one attack cycle.

What do I do with each pylon?
  • Allows you to recover from death more easily by resetting Archons cooldown
  • Allows you to get more Flame Blades stacks
  • Gather density, take conduit, kill stuff
  • More damage, but value diminishes the more Archon stacks you have
  • Best to take in phase 6, because you will then have the most uptime on it when you have no overlap
  • Very good in phase 1-5, when you are the squishiest
  • Good to kill mobs that are fully resistant to crowd control
  • Movement speed effect is basically useless, because you ever only move using the teleport skill
  • Knockup effect counts as crowd control, and thus makes mobs become resistant to crowd control faster
  • Only take when fighting bosses, because the knockup hits count as hits for Bane of the Stricken

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

An in-depth guide to Bane of the Stricken

I decided to do this in a Q&A style. If you have anything to add or correct, post below.

What is a frame?

Diablo III servers run at a constant 60 frames per second (FPS), with a frame being the smallest step made in any calculation. This also is the reason attack speed breakpoints exist: Getting above certain attack speed thresholds reduces the frames per attack (FPA) needed.

What is a proc?

Proc is an abbreviation that refers to a weapon, item or ability activating on hit or on cast. Abilities in Diablo III have so-called proc coefficients, which describe the chance of a proc to occur. This has been introduced to balance item procs for abilities with a large area of effect.

What is an internal cooldown?

An internal cooldown (ICD) is the amount of frames that need to be between two procs of the same kind. For example, the ICD of Thunderfury is defined as ⎡(60 frames/second) / (attacks/second)⎤ (always round up). If you have an attack speed of 1.4 attacks per second (base attack speed of Thunderfury), the ICD of its proc is 43 frames. This means that once an attack procced Thunderfury, it cannot be procced again for 43 frames.

Some ICDs scale with APS, others don't.

How can I proc Bane of the Stricken?

Bane of the Stricken is independent of proc coefficients, but does not proc off skills with a proc coefficient of 0% (Damage over Time ticks, Pet attacks, Some other attacks like Sweeping Wind) or skills that do not deal damage. It always procs on the first target hit per cast.

For some reason, Bane of the Stricken can also be procced using the Bottomless Potion of Fear.

What is the ICD of Bane of the Stricken?

The ICD of Bane of the Stricken is just like the ICD of Thunderfury, which means it actually scales with your APS displayed on your character sheet. Please note that this does not include attack speed modifiers for skills or attack speed buffs that do not appear on your character sheet. This means that if you get non-sheet APS or use skills with an attack speed modifier that is greater than 1.0, your hits and the ICD may get out of sync.

The ICD on your Bane of the Stricken is snapshotted when you enter a zone, use a health potion, or revive.

How does the damage calculation of Bane of the Stricken work?

The base effect of the gem is multiplicative with other buffs but stacks additively with itself. There is no cap on this buff.

The secondary effect of the gem is multiplicative with other buffs.

Bane of the Stricken falls off when you switch zones.

How can I maximize the value I get out of Bane of the Stricken?

If your sheet APS scales dynamically (Archon/Pain Enhancer/Group Buffs), make sure to re-snapshot the ICD to a lower value when possible by using a potion. Sheet APS is maxed out at 5.0, so the lowest ICD you can get is 12 frames (= 0.2 seconds).

When using attacks where you can control what enemies you hit first, make sure to hit the target with the most health first.

Where did you gather this information?

Most of it comes from my own testing and some testing found in the PTR Bug Report forums (which are down as of this edit). You can find some more information here:

Monday, 28 September 2015

A single screenshot to show how utterly broken Ghosts are

I just saw this one in a video of a barbarian run on a 72 Greater Rift

The ghosts are channeling while he is in the "reviving-state" and as soon as he's alife he has roughly half a second to attack enough enemies so the first tick of the ghosts won't instagib him right after reviving.

Just seeing this shit made me so angry again at the design of ghosts. It has been mentioned several times in here and I feel it is important that we keep it up. That way at least next season we hopefully won't have to deal with this level of brokenness anymore.

As disclaimer, here is also the full video:


Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Patch 2.3 Brings Back Diablo III Archon Build

The Diablo III community will probably agree that patch 2.3 was a superb addition to the game. Besides all the more obviously positive accomplishments it has logged, patch 2.3 has apparently also resurrected one of the most popular and arguably most interesting character builds: the wizard archon build. The archon has apparently been made capable of tackling high 60 Greater Rifts and even more.

Wizards as a general rule hadn't received much love from the devs prior to this patch, but they're now right back in the thick of the action as the archon build by itself has made it worth giving the new patch a go. Playing the archon is quite an experience indeed. It is about giving up the advantage of range and literally getting into the thick of the mobs, playing a very rewarding hybrid-melee style.

The archon is a very item-heavy build (as are most other D3 builds - as some will no doubt be quick to point out). It requires tons of gear, like Vyr's Amazing Arcana set, in addition to Chantodo's Resolve, Ancient Parthan Defenders and Fazula's Improbable Chain. Because of the Vyr's set, archon stacks become the most important character-building currency in this instance, increasing player survivability while allowing the character to kill mobs faster. Interestingly, they also allow the player to gain additional stacks faster and to refresh archon faster too. As an archon, the player should therefore move his/her primary focus from killing mobs to gaining stacks.

Also part of the "compulsory" archon gear is the Halo of Arylse, which I failed to mention above and which acts in synergy with the Ancient Parthan Defenders, allowing the players to freeze mobs and thus to take drastically less damage when up close. The 3-second cool-down teleport is a major part of the deal as well, allowing the player to be constantly on the move and to land near freezable mobs all the time.

The bottom line: regardless of the play style you enjoy, with the right gear, the newly revived archon build is a lot of fun and well worth giving a shot.

Philip Thalberg works for Gosugamers, the web's top eSports destination for everything from stats to odds.

I would like to raise torches and pickforks to get Blizzards attention on the design of ghosts...

... I am incredibly fed up. Everytime I try to progress the only thing that keeps me from reaching higher rifts are those goddamn ghosts.

It's not like I dont like challenge - pushing into ladder with mainstream chars is challenge enough. But having to deal with broken mechanics is just messed up.

Keyfacts that make me feel they are broken:
  • no possibility to avoid an actual hit (no projectile to evade, no indicator of where it will hit)
  • unavoidable damage (lock on channeling, no possibility to flee)
  • ridiculous range (sometimes they are off screen, no possibility to flee)
  • goes through walls (especially doors you haven't opened yet)
  • no line of sight interruption (some sprite animation coming through a wall - lookin' really good thumbsup)

/rant I can live with exorcists, they are PITA but managable, but ghosts... well.. can only pray they will be tuned.

Monday, 21 September 2015

The Way Things Were: 10 Forgotten Aspects of Diablo III's Past

10) Rift it Forward - The idea was simple, but brilliant: You let me loot your Rift Guardian, and I pop open the next Rift for you. Back when Rifts were first introduced, it costs FIVE rift keys from a single player to open a rift. RIF allowed the community to cooperate by splitting up the work - you farm rifts, and I farm bounties for rift keys. Today, RIF is still one of the largest communities in Diablo despite the fact that rifts are now free to open.

9) Chest Runs - For a brief time during 2.0, running through Arreat Core in Torment 6 and popping open chests was the most efficient way to find legendaries in the game. Players would stack HP and run pass monsters with skills like Dashing Strike or Vault, finding tons of items without killing a single monster. This quickly prompted Blizzard to nerf drop rates on chests.

8) Swapping into Magic Find gear - putting on MF right before killing a boss or popping a chest increased your chances of getting legendary items. Needless to say, this was extremely tedious and annoying because you needed to have a set of MF gear in your inventory at all times. Eventually, Blizzard decided to nerf Magic Find altogether.

7) Nephalem Valor - Remember when every game began with gathering 5 stacks of Nephalem Valor? Each stack of NV gave you additional gold find and magic find... until you changed skills or left the game. This was Blizzard's way of discouraging players from killing bosses over and over again. NV was eventually replaced by its successor:Nephalem Glory, that yellowy icon that takes up one of your eight buff indicators slots and doesn't do anything.

6) Memorizing Names of Rare Items - In the early days of Diablo III Vanilla, most legendary weapons were lame and rare weapons with %life steal were Best in Slot. There was one problem with this: picking up and inspecting every single rare item consumed way too much time. Players eventually came to recognize the names of certain types of rares- namely one-handed weapons and jewelry - and became more selective when picking up yellow items.

5) Legendary Crafting Mats - No, we're not talking about the Act I-V crafting mats you now get from cache bags. There was a time when every single crafted legendary or set had its own legendary material that dropped from certain unique (purple) monsters. Want to craft Born's Set? Better do some Defiled Crypt runs. Want to craft a decent Reaper's Wraps? Go kill Malthael 1000 times. This was eventually removed in 2.06 for some reason, and players were compensated for their hard work by a measly 50000 gold per mat.

4) Auction House Sniping - For many players, the most efficient way of "farming" in Pre 2.0 was buying items on the AH for cheap, and selling it for profit. Auction House Sniping was the practice of refreshing the screen for new items, hoping to snipe a good item for below market value. (I once bought a 600 damage socketed Horadric Burger for 1M and sold it the next day for 500M!)

3) Greater Rift Trials - In my opinion, removing the GR trial is one of the single most significant QOL improvement in the history of D3. Until the most recent patch, pushing GRs required players to: Farm bounty for Rift Fragments, Farm Rifts for Trial Keys, and then do Trials for Greater Rift tokens. On top of that, GR tokens took up a lot of inventory space because every Tier of GR had its own individual GR token. Yikes!

2) Real Money Auction House - Back in the day, gearing in D3 was far more time consuming than it is now. Some players would play for months and never complete a single class set. Luckily, they had the RMAH! In its hayday, Radiant Star gems were selling for $2 a pop, and decent Echoing Furies fetched anywhere between $50-$250! Blizzard eventually realized that the RMAH was doing more harm than good to the game and removed the Auction House completely. (That, and they were probably doing it to spite the gold farmers who cut into their profits by selling gold for below AH prices)

1) Trading - When the Auction House went, so did item trading. All legendary/set items became account-bound the instant it drops. This upset a lot of people who believed that Diablo was a game about hoarding loot and amassing wealth. Since the removal of trading, Diablo had taken on an entire new direction. Legendary drop rates were greatly increased, allowing players to spend less time farming gear and more time optimizing their build. In hindsight, I think Blizzard's decision to remove trading worked out quite well for the game.

And that's my dose of nostalgia for today. Do you have anything you miss/don't miss from the early days of D3? Feel free to add to the list!

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Season 4 is the most fun I've ever had in a Diablo game

Seriously, this is the most fun I've had in any Diablo game. I've enjoyed the game on and off from release, but Season 4/Patch 2.3 has taken it to a whole new level for me.

Between the sheer variety of legendaries and sets, the wide array of viable builds, and the amazing tuning of the difficulty curve, and drop rates...man, this is some good s***. And that's not even mentioning the brand new area in adventure mode, and the Cube! Oh my goodness, the Cube!

Not only has it blown the door open on build possibilities, I now truly feel that every minute I play, every rift I run, is working me towards that next upgrade. The available Cube recipes let you target a specific upgrade like never before, and that's just awesome as it's the one part of the game I've been really missing. Bloodshards were a nice step, but there was still too much RNG involved for my tastes.

On top of all of that amazingness, this latest patch/season has also gotten several of my friends interested in the game again. Playing together, and managing our builds around each other depending on what drops we're getting just adds this whole extra layer of depth and complexity to the game that I've really missed since the old D2 days.

It's been a long time since I've watched the clock at work, counting the minutes until I can get home and play more Diablo. Well done, Blizzard.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Blizzard to Rethink Diablo 3 Seasons for PS4 and Xbox

Diablo 3's Seasons feature is one exclusive to the PC version of the game and the reasoning behind why that is the case seemed to be rather sound: the way consoles are set up and work does not really favor leader-boards and community interaction - or at least that's what producers of the game thought. Apparently, the decision to focus the console versions of the game on couch co-op play looks a bit rash in hindsight and according to senior game producer Rob Foote, it may be revisited in the near future. Translation: PS4 and Xbox players of the game will probable get the Seasons feature soon.

Foote said that the Seasons experience turned out not to be so much about leader-boards but rather about experiencing the game from a new perspective and about belonging to a larger community.

Diablo's Seasons feature is indeed an interesting take on the game: it lets players create new characters which can then only interact with other players' Seasons characters. More interestingly though, these seasonal characters benefit from unique drops, as well as the above said leader-boards and achievements. At the end of a season, the characters are done away with as they melt into players' regular characters.

While the community is generally excited to have Seasons on console, there are players who worry about the always online requirement that such an addition would no doubt bring about.

In other Diablo-related news: a new patch, patch 2.3.0 is due to come out soon. Although its release date is not yet known, it is available for public testing. It will bring a new zone, tweaks to crafting, more difficulty settings as well as a new item through which players will be able to extract the powers of their legendaries and to re-roll them. New legendaries will apparently also come with the patch.

Use esportslistings.com for all your eSports betting needs. Log on to the site now and take a look.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

[2.3] Season 4 Build List for the lazy people

If youre not playing on PTR and want to copy paste some pretty decent builds for 2.3 Season-4 patch, there you go!

Keep in mind i didnt entirely min max the builds gear-wise BUT its really close to the best there is! The builds are only tested in solo or 2 player GR60-65! If you have any Questions My BattleTag on EU and PTR : Inglorious#2258

IMPORTANT for those who dont know, if you click on the Skills/Effects Tab on the D3Planner Build Website you can scroll down in order to see the Cubed Legendary Items!

High CDR Whirlwind Barb The build is pretty simple you keep up your warcry/ignore pain/battle rage/wrath of the berserker and threatening shout big mobpacks/elites/champs/bosses as often you can while constantly using whirlwind, you just dont stop, ever. In GRifts you need a very high white mob density in order to complete 60+ without 5 damage or 5 conduit pylons.

Area Damage WW Barb Similiar to the CDR version but stacking alot of Area Damage on gear and running resistance gems in chest and pants also running resistance shout instead of dodge. build for high grifts. use your ancient spear to build up huge mobpacks to take advantage of your stacked area damage.

2 Player GRift zDPS Barb The idea of this build is you just run around with almost 700 million toughness and grab mobs together with your ancient spear while buffing your partymember with 20%armor increase and 30% increased dodge chance AND your Ignore Pain for another 50% damage reduce on top of that. Obviously debuff the mobs with your threatening shout and rend to increase the damage of your partymember. The build plays best with a high dps glasscannon like Demonhunter. Exploding palm Monk is also a really good choice.

Immortal Kings Rend Barb Tricky to play but ridiculous damage output. Main goal is to generate as much fury as possible with your furious charge and spend it quickly to reduce your cooldowns of your wrath of the berserker. You can also swap out mara's kaleidoscope for a hellfire amulet.

HoTA Barb Solo Solo player hota build with unity and follower cant die on merc obviously. did test the build on my own now and did a 60 grift on ptr with pretty crappy gear heres a link to the video. this exact build cleared solo 65 grift and has potential for more.

Blessed Hammer Crusader aka Hammerdin Well not much to say you use your cooldowns when you need them and spam blessed hammer like sonic on acid. Protip: rebind your Force Stand from shift to another button (preference) you just hold down left mouse button and spam the force stand since youve cubed Hexing Pants of Mr. Yan and need to move constantly.

Acid Cloud Witchdoc My favourite build so far fun-wise. The build is all about positioning and keeping up your buffs while doing a really good amount of damage and party support. Without the perfect gear a pretty squishy dps build but fun to play. Pretty important for gearing is that you need the armor roll instead of all resist and stack the single resists on secondary stats plus the gold and health pickup radius to increase the radius of your passives Grave Injustice & Swampland Attunement!

Seven-Sided-Strike Exploding Palm Monk This Build stacks tons of Crit-Damage and uses Broken Promises in the Kanai Cube to get 100% critchance for a few seconds to burst down everything. If it doesnt get nerfed it will be the strongest build overall in the upcoming patch for sure. Protip: Do not spend any Paragon points in Crit-Chance it will nerf your damage. Also you dont want any critchance on your gear at all. You can swap out Way of the hundred fists for Crippling Wave with the Tsunami rune for more defense but id recommend rolling with WotHF in Softcore. Also i am not 100% sure how Seven Sided Strike and Exploding Palm works with Dual wielding and how the damage gets calculated because i am done testing Monk atm. Lets just pretend the skilldmg gets calculated off from the mainhand and the offhand is just there for bonus stats but dont be upset if i am wrong on that one. If i am wrong just swap out the VIT on the offhand for 10% damage roll or 24% area damage. You could also swap out Madstone from the Cube for Spirit Guards if u really need that extra 40% damage Reduction. For the Passives you could swap out Guardians Path for Sixth Sense if u feel like you need more NON-Physical Damage Reduction but overall i like 35% dodge more than 25% elemental damage negation.

Multishot Demonhunter did not test this build on my own yet, but some people requested it so ive added it to the list. you can swap out bane of the stricken for taeguk. also some people cube hexing pants of mr. yan instead of cindercoat.

Archon Wizard Did not test this build on my own but since theres alot new stuff added to wizard on ptr ive wanted to share you the most common build on ptr ladder atm.

Last but not least i wanted to say sorry for my bad england my native language is not english and my grammar is terrible dont get mad at me.

And yes this is a build list/walloftextlol and not an in-depth how to play diablo3 every button explained guide so i just wrote down what i think its important to point out.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

[2.3] Guide: The Demon Hunter Builds for Torment 6-10

Hey everyone,

here is a guide I made for the Patch 2.3 DH farming builds. Keep in mind this is mostly focused on Torment farming (which is something we're going to do a lot, like it or not), but can be applied to speed GRs almost the same up to around tier 50-55. For GRs specifically, I will make other videos once the new meta has settled a little during Season 4, right now it's very difficult to predict what tiers and party compositions are going to be the preferred choice.

The Video is split into the following parts:
  1. Intro
  2. Difficulty scaling + general considerations
  3. Unhallowed Essence setup + runs
  4. Embodiment of the Marauder setup + runs
  5. Natalya's Vengeance (Strafe) setup + runs
  6. Natalya's Vengeance (Vault) setup + runs
  7. Outro

 I've tried to keep it as short as possible while still including all the vital information, even to players new to the Demon Hunter class or the game in general. Feel free to skip the parts / builds you don't need to see, this video is intended to give an overview of the different options and to be a place to go back to once you decide to try some of the other builds. Torment builds are something that can never be set entirely in stone, and personal experimentation is definitely encouraged. Especially with the new Kanai's Cube we have a lot of new and exciting options to either boost our damage, mobility or utility, and many choices bring their own advantages and disadvantages.


DH is really good for speedfarming, UE and Natalya are almost equal with different strengths and weaknesses; M6 is usable if you are a fan but a little behind the other builds. Going for Torment 10 is not always the best choice if you have to sacrifice too much mobility, so lower difficulties might be more efficient (especially when soloing).

As for Kanai's Cube: In-Geom is definitely a good addition to almost any build, we don't have many compelling choices for the weapon slot. For jewelry, RoRG or Obsidian Ring are the way to go, Convention of Elements is not really good because it's just not consistent (you want to nearly oneshot anything even without the buff anyway). For the armor slot, we have a lot of good options: Cindercoat / Pride's Fall for resource heavy builds, Goldwrap + Boon of the Hoarder for invincibility, or just some nice bonuses like Nemesis Bracers / Warzechian Armguards / Gloves of Worship.

Friday, 31 July 2015

Monks: Season 4 Leveling Guide

Monk Leveling Guide for Season 4

Please feel free to critique or suggest ways to improve! I've run three L1-70 characters using this method and a couple using older approaches (HoA/Bounties). I think this is the best approach for minimizing the time involved in getting a fresh season character going.


Patch 2.3 introduces a few mechanics that influence how to efficiently make a new character for Season 4. The first major change is that regular Nephalem Rifts are available for “free” (i.e. no fragment requirements) and immediately at Level 1. Nephalem Rifts can have nice mob density and have an inherent boost to legendary drops, on all difficulty levels and at all levels. This opens up a potentially new L1-70 pathway, one that has been explored by myself and others repeatedly on the PTR. The second major change is the introduction of Kanai’s Cube, which has broad implications for gameplay, builds, and strategy in Diablo 3. What is relevant to a freshly started Season 4 character is the mechanic allowing Legendary drops to be absorbed by the cube and their passive effects used by the character. Specifically, there is now value to legendaries that are below L70 in that they can be consumed by the cube.


We will utilize the following L1-70 zone flow in order to be efficient with leveling and gearing our Monk:

L1-11 Adventure Mode: Startup and Halls of Agony runs

L11-20 Adventure Mode: Nephalim Rifts

L20-22ish Story Mode Act 1: Run Story Up to Skeleton King and Leoric’s Crown

L22-70 Adventure Mode: Nephalim Rifts

In contrast to other Seasons and other guides, I recommend sticking with Nephalim Rifts over a Halls of Agony or Cursed Bounties strategy. Methods using these have been measured faster, but not appreciably so. The upsides to the Rift-centric approach, which does not have the same density (reliably) as a HoA-only strategy, are that the legendary drops that you will get in Rifts can dramatically increase your power and these drops will be available to your Kanai’s cube when you are beginning the post-70 phase of character development. Additionally, several testers have noticed that the average gear level of a “fresh 70” from Rifts is appreciably more powerful than that of a HoA-levelled character.

Finally, this method involves exiting the game only a couple of times. This makes it suitable for use by groups with less headache and certainly more viable should servers be crowded and cause a game creation queue.
It is important to not Salvage any legendaries you may want to absorb into your cube. If you are following my approach, I recommend paying close attention to what you may want to cube and putting those items in your stash as you outgrow them. Alternatively, just throwing old legendaries in the stash and sorting them out at a later date may be safest.

Difficulty Level

We will start the game in Master mode, and generally remain there unless a string of poor drops forces us to drop down to Hard mode. Expert mode should generally be avoided, as the math around HP and XP for mobs is goofy and it is not as efficient. Generally speaking, if you die, you probably need to drop down to Hard from Master mode. In my 3 runs from 1-70 using the Rift approach, I’ve found that I can do Rifts in Master mode up until the 45-60 range, and then occasionally a lack of good gear drops will force me back into Hard. The Story Mode segment in Act 1 to get Leoric’s Crown is recommended to be run on Hard, for the sake of speed. You can drop the Skeleton King down as low as you want for a fast kill, which is guaranteed to drop a socketed Leoric’s crown at L18+.


I don’t recommend bothering with any crafting other than upgrading weapons (if needed). I have included key levels for yellow 2H axes/swords in the guide in case you have had a lull in legendary weapons and want to consider crafting an upgrade. You should salvage any gear you do not wear, with the exceptions of legendaries (see above).

For Gems, you should have a red gem early in your weapon if it has a socket, and a red gem in your Leoric’s crown at all times. I did not bother combining red gems as I have recommended in the past, because the new gem levels generally provided me with a fresh supply of high level gems as I was speeding through rifts. Use your Gem station to un-gem old versions of red gems from your Leoric’s crown and simply Salvage outdated weapons to recover the gems you place in them. Red gems in weapons taper in the effectiveness the closer you get to L70, so feel free to switch to Greens in your last hour or two. They are fantastic below L50, however.


For weapons, you will generally use only slow 2H weapons. In three trials, I had a useful supply of Legendary drops that kept me well equipped and able to pump out the damage. You’ll rely on Exploding Palm and other skills that care about damage range and not attack speed, so the slower the better. For armor, +XP gain per kill is king, and you should prioritize that in your gearing choices. Next, you should look at damage increasing stats to decide whether to replace an item. Movement speed on boots is helpful and competitive with +XP.

Consider the value of the legendaries you’re using. Leoric’s is guaranteed with this plan, and you’ll keep your low level version equipped (with a red gem) until L70 regardless of the XP or damage you find on a helm. You may come across a Gungdo Gears that is worth keeping equipped for the flavor text even if it is sub-par in stats. There are legendaries that aren’t so great at end-game that may appeal to you as a speedy leveler. E.g. the Pox Faulds pants are incredibly useful for dashing into a group, EPing one, and then letting the Pox Faulds damage kill the group. Finally, survivability should be boosted should you start having trouble post L40. I’d give up 1-2% sheet damage for 15-20% toughness, but be mindful not to trade off more than that.

Long story short: prioritize XP gains, don’t let your damage suffer, and monitor your legendary affixes for things that are helping your kill efficiently.

The Build

You are going to end up with a build that will look like a very traditional “Starter Monk” build as recommended by a great number of folks, including Quin C and other Twitch/YouTube contributors. There are a few tweaks as you level, however. If you are an experienced Monk, you are going to have a feel for what you like and what will work for you.

Core skills that I absolutely recommend are:

Any Generator/Primary (I like Fists of Thunder, because it gives more Spirit)

Dashing Strike

Exploding Palm

Sweeping Wind

Mantra of Salvation

My build progression uses a few abilities and runes that you may not normally use end-game, but can be incredibly useful leveling. For instance, I utilize Breath of Heaven – Circle of Scorn for a long time in the process, because both the heal and the 500% weapon damage pop can be useful. One EP on a pack and then a BoH activation can be quite effective, for example. I also like Exploding Palm – Strong Spirit, almost never recommended in a L70 build, for leveling due to the spirit recovery.

You should feel free to swap out what works best for you based on your preference, ability to regain Spirit (which is critical pre 70 using questionable gear), and what’s working for you in game. However, be incredibly mindful that you can waste large amounts of time fooling around with rearranging your abilities. I have arranged the level guide in such a way that you can ignore many decisions and focus on killing efficiently.

If you want to make tweaks based on personal preference, take note of when certain skills/runes become available and modify the plan to avoid wasting time. The difference between stopping every level, tweaking your build with runes that may have opened up and sticking to a predefined plan can be an hour or more.

Execution – L1-11 Adventure Mode: Startup and Halls of Agony runs

Start Adventure Mode in Master Difficulty

Hire the SCOUNDREL (You’ll ditch him later)

Take the Templar’s Spear and equip it in your main hand

Take the Enchantress’ Dagger and equip it in your off hand

Run Halls of Agony 3 until Level 7. Certain new abilities (Lashing Tail Kick, Blinding Flash) will auto-equip on your bar.

Return to town at L7 and buy +Damage Rings from vendors, reset game until finding one.

7 Lashing Tail Kick: Vulture Claw Kick

8 Breath of Heaven (replace Blinding Flash)

9 Dashing Strike

10 Passive: Fleet Footed

11 Return to town and buy +Damage Amulet

12 Wave of Light (available to replace Breath of Heaven, if you want)

13 Exploding Palm

13 Passive: Exalted Soul

14 Cyclone Strike (automatic equip)

14 Breath of Heaven: Circle of Scorn

14 Fists of Thunder: Wind Blast

15 Dashing Strike: Way of the Falling Star

15 Craft Available: 2H Sword

18 Exploding Palm: The Flesh is Weak

19 Mantra of Salvation (automatic equip)

19 Craft Available: 2H Sword

20 Passive: Chant of Resonance

20 Return to Town, Hire Templar, Equip him with any 1H+Shield weapons you may have found so far

20 Train Templar with Inspire + Other skills (All Left-most skills works well)

Exit game and switch to Act 1 Story Mode, Hard mode difficulty.

Execution: L20-22ish Story Mode Act 1: Run Story Up to Skeleton King and Leoric’s Crown

Run the story as fast as possible, kill the Skeleton King. There is a L21 Craft available for a 2H Axe should you desperately need it. Equip the socketed Leoric’s crown and gem it with your best red gem now and throughout the rest of the journey to L70. Switch back to Adventure mode, Master difficulty after the kill.

Execution: L22-70 Adventure Mode: Nephalim Rifts

24 Mantra of Salvation: Hard Target

25 Exploding Palm: Strong Spirit

27 Sweeping Wind: Master of Wind

27 Craft Available: 2H Sword

29 Craft Available: 2H Axe

30 Passive: Guardian’s Path

32 Dashing Strike: Quicksilver

33 Sweeping Wind: Blade Storm

38 Sweeping Wind: Fire Storm

39 Mystic Ally: Air Ally (replace Breath of Heaven with this for more spirit regen)

45 Passive: Harmony (available, but I do not take it unless I am having survivability issues)

50 Mantra of Salvation: Perserverence

50 Craft Available: 2H Axe/Sword, Might want to check on armor pieces that could be 20+ level upgrades

57 Wave of Light: Pillar of the Ancients (depending on your spirit regen, you may be able to go Generator-less here, Rift Guardians might become tedious depending on gear, however)

58 Mantra of Salvation: Agility

61 Epiphany (available, or you can stick with Air Ally)

61 Craft Available: 2H Axe

67 Epiphany: Insight (available, and you can probably convert to a “L70 Starter Monk Build” at this point)

Final crafting note: Once you can get Death's Breath material drops, it can be very worthwhile to craft a L70 weapon and hope/enchant for a "Reduced Level Requirement". L70 weapons are a massive increase in damage and this can significantly speed up the final few levels.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Here's a chart that shows a big issue with Paragon XP scaling per level


Feel free to verify your own level.

At paragon 1500 you need ~109,074M XP, which, if you farm at 100B/h takes you 1h5m26.7s. The next level requires ~109,197M which at the same rate as before will take you 1h5m31.1s. A whopping 4.4 seconds longer than the previous level took... and this is true for all levels from 750 and up since the increase in XP needed per level is a static 122.4M XP.

The small peaks at the very low end of the scale are from lvl 59 to 72. I expected to see artifacts around 100 since we had a cap at Paragon 100 at some point, but I can't explain the variations from 59 to 72.

From paragon 500 to paragon 750 there is an increase of 20.4M for every 50 levels in steps. These are easily seen on the graph. For some unknown reason that trend stops abruptly at paragon 750 and becomes a steady increase of 122.4M until at least paragon 1900+.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Diablo 3 Necromancer concept/ideas

I love the idea of his proposed Resource so much that I based the whole class around it.

I would really like to see a "dark", morally flexible class in Diablo 3 and I think the Necromancer would be a perfect fit. With a lot of people hoping for a class with a shapeshifting aspect, I also thought up something like this for a Diablo 3 Necromancer and I think it would fit the theme quite well.

Please post some comments on what to add/ change and I will edit this post.

Here is a quick mockup of the Resource:

100 Balance points.

Half black and half white. Some skills lower the balance while others raise it. You can't use certain skills anymore if there is an imbalance.

Main Stat: Vitality

At first I thought that a char with Vitality as main stat would be a bad idea, because the character would probably feel too tanky. After a quick check on d3planner.com it turned out, that even with all ancient items and Vit + Armor + AllRes on almost every piece you're only at ~27mio toughness. You have around ~2mio life, but you're really lacking Armor and AllRes compared to the other classes. This leads to a very low Recovery stat and probably would make the Necro a pretty bad melee character. With the help of some passives that reduce life by a certain percentage but increase your AllRes or Armor, this might be less of a problem though.


Skills can either raise the balance or lower it.

Skills that damage an enemy directly raise the balance (you take someones life away), while summoning skills lower the balance (you give life to something).

Bone and Posion Skills


Raise balance on hit.

Poison Nova

Bone Prison

Bone Armor

Your armor is increased by 20% for 60 seconds. Your balance is raised by 5 points everytime you are hit.

Curse Skills

I'm not sure how many curse skills there should be and what should be done with runes yet.

Amplify Damage
Increases damage taken of your target. Every cursed enemy raises your balance by 1 point every second.

  • Iron Maiden (Damage dealt is damage received)
  • Life Tap (Attacking a cursed soul gives you health)


Decreases the damage the target can do. Every cursed enemy raises your balance by 1 point every second.

  • Terror (Cursed enemy runs in fear)
  • Decrepify (Targets Speed is reduced)


The cursed enemies no longer hinder your movement. Your movement speed is increased by 15%. Raise balance by 5 points. Cooldown: 6 seconds.

This skill is something like a Spirit Walk curse, I can't think of a better mobility skill yet.


Curse your self by reducing your own life in order to restore the balance by 30 points.

Summoning Skills

Raise Skeleton

Raise a skeleton at the position of you cursor that fights for you for 10 seconds. Lowers balance by 20 points.

  • Skeleton Army (Raise 3 skeletons that fight for 12 seconds)
  • Skeletal Mage (Deal random elemental damage) This should maybe be a skill on its own.
  • Giant Skeleton (Raise one giant skeleton for 30 seconds)
  • Exploding Skeleton (Summon an unstable skeleton that explodes after 1 second)

Raise Golem

Passive: Raise a Golem that fights by your side. Lowers balance by 1 point every second.

Active: The Golem moves to the position of your cursor.

  • Clay Golem (More Damage)
  • Blood Golem (Life Leech)
  • Iron Golem (Maybe there is way for this to work with Legendary Affixes)
  • Fire Golem (Burns the Ground it walks on)
  • Teleporting Golem (Active attack teleports your Golem to the target destination)

Raise Demon

Raise a Demon that charges to the target position and deals damage on its path. Lowers balance by 20 points.

Would be a mixture of Phalanx and Zombie Charger. A skill that deals massive damage and "costs" resources.

Shapeshifting Skills


Inspired by /u/Ceek4y and the Trang-Oul's Avatar set from Diablo 2

Passive: Transforms the Necro into a Demon. Adds life leech and increases Movement and Attack Speed. Lowers balance by 2 points every second.

Active: Cast a Fire Ball. Raises Balance by 5 points for every enemy you hit.

I don't know about skills like fire wall and meteor. They might be too similar to the wizard skills

Edit: Below are my old suggestions for a shapeshifting demon, but maybe it doesn't fit the necro theme very well.

Inner Demon

Passive: Transforms the Necro into a Demon. Adds Resistance to all Elements and Attack Speed. Lowers balance by 2 points every second.

Active: Attack with a powerful melee attack for 400% weapon damage. Raises Balance by 5 points for every enemy you hit.

  • Fiery Demon (Attack becomes ~ Disintegrate - Orlash Style)
  • Poisoned Demon (You release a vile stench that deals 500% weapon damage as Poison every second to enemies within 8 yards.
  • Demonic Slaves (Summons two Demonic Slaves that fight by your side and are connected to you and to each other with a chain)
  • Behemoth (Bigger, more damage)

Winged Terror

When in demon form, you grow a pair of wings and charge through enemies to the selected location. Lowers balance by 10 points.

Fires of Hell

When in demon form, you release a gigantic wave of power, dealing damage to all enemies 15 yards. Raises Balance by 2 points for every enemy hit.


As mentioned above, there should be somne passives to help the Recovery stat of a Vitality based class. Passives that restore some percentage of your life or that lower your life but increase your Armor/AllRes.


I really like the idea of a set that doesn't support specific skills, but changes the way you play.

My idea would be a "Balance of Life" set, that increases your damage depending on how balanced your resources are. So if they are exactly 50/50, your damage is increased by 1000%, but if the difference is greater than 40/60 the damage increase is only 500%, down to 0% by 10/90.

This would probably be a 6pc set bonus, with the 4pc bonus balancing out your resources by 1 point every second or something like that.

Another set could be focused around your summoning skills, by making your Skeletons last until they die and increasing your pets' damage to cursed enemies. Supporting items could give Raise Skeleton the Skeleton Army rune or give your Golem the Teleporting rune.

I had a lot of fun writing down my ideas and I hope a lot of people join this discussion about possible skills for a Diablo 3 Necromancer. After hearing about the Witch Doctor in Diablo 3 I thought that there wouldn't be the need for another summoning class. But after writing down all this stuff I think that it would fit in the game quite well.

What are your thoughts?

Stuff around the net