Thursday 12 July 2012

Damon Hunter Beginners Guide to Act I Speed Farming

Hello there, I just hit level 60 on my Demon Hunter about a week and a half ago. I've been farming Act I every day since. Thought I would share some knowledge that would have been helpful for myself to have as a fresh level 60 DH.
Here's the stats that you want to shoot for to be able to do this comfortably:
  • 45-55k DPS
  • 650+ vitality
  • 175-200 all resist
I currently have 55k DPS (unbuffed), 690 vitality, and 170 all resist. I also run with the Scoundrel for the extra 3% crit chance which bumps me up to 59k DPS. This run takes me about 20-25 minutes and has netted me a decent amount of gold from items (about 45 million to be exact) over the last week and a half (30-60 minutes a day).
This is the build I have used and the build that I believe will maximize your speed and efficiency, while also keeping you alive:
  • Devouring Arrow: Pretty straightforward, best single target DPS
  • Ball Lightening: Also straightforward, great hatred-efficient AOE DPS
  • Vault w/Tumble: Vault lets you get around quickly and skip the trash, tumble for reduced discipline cost
  • Smoke Screen w/Lingering Fog: Obvious choice, use to break CC
  • Gloom: Allows you to efficiently deal with reflect damage mobs
  • Preperation: Use it to Vault more, and get out of sticky situations
  • Passives: As far as passives go, feel free to switch out Archery or Steady Aim for Sharp Shooter if you have low crit chance (I have 40%), however I would suggest keeping Tactical Advantage as it allows you to go further with each Vault
As far as items go, I use these guidelines on what to pick up and what to ignore:
  • Pick up all: Yellow rings, yellow amulets, yellow ilvl 61+ armor, and yellow ilvl 62+ weapons
  • Ignore all: Other yellows, blues, tomes, gems, etc.
Tip: Alt hover over an item to see it's ilvl before picking it up.
This is my philosophy. Some people disagree, but to me picking up the blues and crap yellows really breaks the pace of the run. And the essences and vendor gold that you receive does not make it worthwhile IMO. Additionally, I ignore all chests, vases, and containers. The gold they drop is definitely not worth the time.
To start the run change your quest to Act I, quest 9, "The Cursed Hold" checkpoint, try to skip all normal white mobs where possible as they just slow you down:
  • Use the waypoint to Northern Highlands, and immediately vault north west and search for the Watchtower. Sometimes a pack of elites can spawn very close to the waypoint, wait to fight them until you've made sure the Watchtower spawned. As soon as you can see that it did, teleport back to town or Vault back to the waypoint. If the tower didn't spawn, exit the game and remake. We're are waiting to clear the tower because there is a decent chance for a goblin to spawn, and since goblins are effected by NV stacks we want to make sure we have 5 just in case.
  • Waypoint to Leoric's Manner, vault/run backwards into the manor and out into the courtyard. There will occasionally be a pack or two inside, but there is always a guaranteed pack in the courtyard. After killing port back to home.
  • Waypoint to Festering Woods, just pick a direction (left or right) and just vault until you hit one of the two dungeons, these are tiny and have a guaranteed elite or pack. After clearing both dungeons it is worth it to do a lap around to check for more elites. You can easily find at least two more in addition to the ones you found in the dungeons. King of the Hill event will guarantee a are if you are over 5 stacks. Port back to home.
  • Waypoint to Cemetery of the Forsaken, occasionally a pack will spawn outside the crypts, kill it, and move on to the closest crypt. Once inside look for a pack (there is always one guaranteed) and once you've killed one, port back to town, waypoint back to Cemetery of the Forsaken, and move on to the next crypt. It's simply not time efficient to search through the entire crypt looking for a second pack that may or may not have spawned. After clearing all three crypts, port back to town. If you find the two events and you have 5 stacks go ahead and do it as there is one guaranteed rare for each.
  • At this point you should have 5 stacks, waypoint to Northern Highlands and clear both levels of the Watchtower. Port to home.
  • At this point, if you are undergeared, are running with very high magic find gear, or have pretty low DPS, it might be best for you to restart the game and do the run up to this point. Butcher runs can be tough without adequate DPS.
  • Waypoint to Halls of Agony level 2, and then immediately port to Leoric's Manor. I do this for a couple reasons: 1) I want to clear all three levels of HoA, and 2) When you get to level 2 you will be able to see the where the waypoint is, and thus will be able to avoid running into a dead end and wasting time. From Leoric's enter HoA level 1. Clear through to level 2, and the Highland passage. Once at the Passage, literally just vault through everything, popping Gloom, and shooting some balls of lightening if you're health is in danger. It's always fun to see how fast you can get across the bridge to the door :)
  • Once I enter the Cursed Hold and accept the quest, I run down immediately to the bottom right corner and weave in and out of the rows to check for the prisoners to minimize backtracking, probably a simple tactic, but something that can save you a lot of time. Once the bottom is clear do the same to the top. Kill the Warden and Vault your way down to HoA level 3. Kill the butcher.
  • Start over.
With a little bit of practice this run can go by real fast. A l