Saturday, 4 July 2015

How to prepare for 2.3

I've played a fair bit on the PTR over the last 24 hours (Torment 8/9/10). It's pretty fun (albeit incredibly laggy). There are a lot of changes, and I thought I'd write up some advice for people who aren't going to play the PTR (or can't get into a game).

Note: while there may or may not be an overlap where 2.3 is live, but S4 hasn't started yet, much of this does not apply if you're playing seasons, however some of it is still good to keep in mind :)

1. Don't do any Ubers until 2.3

Any effort you put in now, could be 4 times more effective once 2.3 goes live. Currently, in order to craft 1 x Hellfire Amulet (HFA), you need to farm 4 x keys from each of the 4 keywardens. You use 1 of each key to craft 1 infernal machine. You need 4 machines to get enough mats to create 1 HFA. This means creating at least 4 different games (to respawn the wardens). So 1 HFA = 16 keys. In 2.3, any keys you have in your stash get converted to infernal machines. This means you're getting 4 HFAs in 2.3 for the same effort you're putting in now. Farm keys now, store til 2.3, then create HFA's til you get a good one.

2. Use your Rift Fragments
In 2.2, you need to do a bounty to get a rift fragment, then you use that fragment to open a rift. In 2.3, rifts are free. You just click the stone, and start a Nephalem Rift. So awesome. If you have rift fragments now, you might as well use them up now. In 2.3 they just become "grey" items that you can sell to a vendor for gold.

3. Collect Death's Breaths and Forgotten Souls

Currently most people have a lot of Veiled Crystal (the yellow crafting mat), and hardly any Arcane Dust (the blue one) or Reusable Parts (the white one). In 2.3 you can convert crafting mats from one type to another. This will make people with tens (or hundreds) of thousands of Veiled Crystal very happy. The bounties and goblins also seem to drop a lot more crafting materials as well, however they don't really drop a lot of Death's Breaths (DB). I noticed we were getting 2 DB per elite pack instead of the 1 we might be lucky to get currently on T6. If you can fit the Sage set into your build (it doubles how many DB drop), then definitely start picking them up. Many of the cube recipes only use 5 of them, but I think some used 50. Same for Forgotten Souls. Pick up those legs and salvage them in town.

4. Make crafted items now

If you need crafted items, and you don't have ancient ones already, make them now. Things like Reaper's Wraps, Aughild's, Born's, Sage's, Cain's, Asheara's, Captain Crimson's, etc will cost the new precious crafting mats which you get from doing bounties. These mats will most likely be in demand for rerolling things. Make these items now while they only use the Yellow/Blue/White mats.

5. Use your high GR keys

In 2.3 all unused trial keys (the ones with the infinity loop symbol on them), and every GR key you have (no matter the level) all become one and the same. They simply allow you to start a Greater Rift. You can choose to start up to a level which you have cleared while playing solo. Yes, this means that those 1200 trial keys you have in your stash are all potentially GR56 (or even higher) keys.

6. Clean up your stash/mules

Considering you can make all your trial keys into GR keys, and the fact that the Cube makes your character a lot more powerful, you'll be able to speed clear GR45 in 1-2 minutes, just like you're doing with GR35 now. This means more blood shards and more loot drops. If it's not mentioned in the patch notes, and you're not keeping because you're a hoarder like me, salvage it. Be ruthless. Keep 1 of each rare item (non-ancient) to go into the cube. I'd only do this for things with a low drop rate like Furnace, SMK, Krider, etc. All those other ones you're keeping "in case it's useful in some new build Blizz creates" will go into the cube, just in case that new build does exist at some point. The cube means we can use Legendary Affixes to supplement/alter how the sets work. Keep greens, trash dupes of orange items that have affixes.

7. Put together a fast bounty build

When 2.3 lands, everyone will be doing bounties. Well at least for a day or two. Bounty caches drop the crafting materials which allow you do perform the transmutations provided by the Cube. Bounties will also allow you to effectively reroll existing items. If you have horrible RNG luck and don't get an ancient, say Flying Dragon/Serpent Sparker/Kridershot/etc, but you get a non-ancient one, just do heaps of bounties and then reroll the item. This essentially changes the one you put in the cube into a brand new one, as if it has just dropped again. This means it could possibly be ancient. If you put an ancient one in, it can also (most 90% chance) end up as non-ancient. Either way, you will need to do quite a few bounties in order to reroll an item. Monk/Wiz have the fastest builds due to dashing strike and teleport travelling over terrain/through walls. Barbs/DH can usually keep up. Crusaders are ok with Swiftmount. Witch Doctors might have some viable speed builds in 2.3.

8. Save your Puzzle Rings and Bovine Bardiches

If you're short on cash, save any Puzzle Rings/Bovine Bardiches you get now. In 2.3 you can stick them in the cube and they'll open a portal to the Goblin Greed realm or the Not a cow level. Both of these are excellent sources of gold and gems. Currently these portals are quite random, so no one really sticks any gold-find gear on to maximise them. In 2.3 you'll be able to set up a char with heaps of gold find on, then pop a Puzzle Ring in the cube, and probably walk away with 500m-1billion gold. This will be excellent for people who have only just started the game and don't have billions of gold at their disposal.

9. Save some set items for rerolling

If you are really struggling trying to get those last 2 ancient versions of set pieces (or even just those last 2 pieces of a set), but the RNG gods are being unkind, simply hold onto any non-ancient versions of the set and you can convert them in the cube. EG: if you don't have ancient Raiment shoulders, keep all set pieces and when the patch lands, put the non-shoulders into the cube and convert them to another piece in the set, you might get shoulders, they might be ancient. If you have saved up some shoulders then reroll them. Rerolling essentially spawns a brand new item of that type, just as if it had dropped. All stats change, and it has a chance to be ancient. Rerolling is expensive material-wise, but it'll be the best chance of getting an ancient version.

The PTR has only just gone live, so some of these things might change. However I think most of the above will end up making it to live.

Try the PTR out (if you can). Play with new builds. Perma CC will be gone, so think up new and exciting ways for groups to survive. Most of all, just have fun :)