Ask Myriam – Diablo 3 2.3: After the Campaign

Along the same vein as my Efficient XP & Materials Gathering guide, I keep getting questions from newer players that have just completed the Campaign and are at a loss on how to get started in the Diablo 3 endgame.

Last Updated: Monday, Nov 9, 2015

Set yourself a goal

After beating the campaign, I would recommend setting yourself a goal.

Here’s my recommend list for Patch 2.3:

  • Complete the current Season Journey.
  • Attain the highest 2/3/4-player Greater Rift ranking with friends you can before the season ends, even if playing non-seasons.
  • Complete as many of the achievements in the game as possible.

It is important to stop when you get tired of the game, or when it starts to feel like too much of a chore. Don’t burn out, take a break, go play something else, come back next season with the newest patch.

Newer players should steer clear of the following goals

  • Complete a specific build / gear set
    Make the gear or build the means to an end, not the goal itself. If you don’t, you may not have a reason to play your powerful character anymore.
  • Attain highest solo Greater Rift ranks
    Diablo 3 rewards group play above solo play (even if they are shrinking that gap), and is designed as a group game. Take advantage of group synergies and rewards, including socializing! Don’t be afraid to play with strangers or join a clan. If you’re truly a lone ranger, then this goal can be acceptable compared to the group one above.
  • Complete a farming or joke build
    Veteran players may find creating extra characters with specific farming builds or even a joke build an enjoyable distracting from the main game. New players however will just get frustrated that they don’t have a powerful endgame character. Focus on power at first.
  • Compete on the leaderboards
    Don’t set your goal too high, if you want to aim for a specific Greater Rift level, go for a full 10 to 20 lower than what the current leaderboard is at. Leaderboard competition involves a lot of grinding, trial & error, and luck. Keep your frustrations low and be relatistic at first. Once you’re more comfortable you can reconsider if you want to make this kind of commitment.

Should you play hardcore?

Irrelevant of how you completed the campaign, you should seriously consider if playing a hardcore character is right for you. When a hardcore character dies, you have to start over from level 1 again, including any gear your character was wearing. Your stashed items, gold and paragon levels are preserved. If the thrill (and stress) of dying at any moment sounds appealing to you, give it a shot. It really is an experience all to itself that can greatly increase enjoyment in the game for the right person.

If that sounds really stressful and you want to lay back and chill, then skip over this mode, especially in the endgame. If you do decide to go for it, you will have to put in a bit more work to learn how to communicate with the community chat channels for powerleveling, to make the Level 1 to 70 grind when you do die less of a chore. And you will die. Plan for it. Carry extra sets of your gear in your stash. Only play difficulty levels and Greater Rifts where you are comfortable. Lag will kill you. It’s unavoidable. Live with it and accept it. Or play softcore.

Should you play seasons?

Seasonal Characters start over from scratch, Level 1 again, but don’t have access to your non-seasonal paragon, gold or stashed gear. In exchange you can get new portraits, pennants and pets from the Season Journey achievements. Completing them is usually short and pretty fun to do each season. You will not be able to get these rewards once the season is over, or in non-seasons.

It can also be a good excuse and opportunity to try a new class or build you might not have otherwise tried. However once you complete the Season Journey, reasons to keep playing your seasonal character start to dwindle quickly. Starting in Season 5 there will no longer be season-exclusive gear, only cosmetics rewards. People who chose to compete on the leaderboards will relish the opportunity to “start over” as it levels the playing field with players who have been playing for longer. However if you’re not prepared to put in the time to gain the Paragon and Legendary Gem levels required to complete here, it is a poor reason to stick around.

It is perfectly OK to hop back into non-seasonal after completing your Season Journey.

If you do chose to play seasonal, even if just for the Season Journey, and did not complete the campaign on seasonal, consider joining a powerleveling community and level in adventure mode rifts instead to hit level 70 quickly.

I’ve got my goal, but how do I get geared up?

The first thing you’ll want to do if you haven’t already is hit max level 70. Hop into adventure mode and run rifts at the highest difficulty you can until this happens. Alternative join a powerleveling community and hit level 70 from level 1 in about 20 minutes of T6 rifts.

Summary

Pick a build
  • reddit, diablofans and youtube help here.
Ancient Weapon
  • Kanai’s Cube Rare Upgrade Recipe using Death’s Breaths from 3min Rifts
Non-ancient Armor
  • Kadala Gambling using Bloodshards from 3-4min Greater Rifts, Rifts
Non-ancient Rings
  • Kanai’s Cube Rare Upgrade Recipe using Death’s Breaths from 3min Rifts
Non-ancient Amulet
  • Keywardens for Hellfire amulets
  • Kanai’s Cube Rare Upgrade Recipe using Death’s Breaths from 3min Rifts
Kanai’s Cube Legendary Powers
  • Kanai’s Cube Rare Upgrade Recipe using Death’s Breaths from 3min Rifts and Cube Mats from T7 Bounties
Paragon and Legendary Gems
  • XP and upgrades from 3-4min Greater Rifts, Rifts
Ancient Armor / Rings / Amulet
  • Keywardens for Hellfire amulets
  • Over time from Greater Rift, Rift drops and continued Bloodshard Kadala gambling
  • Kanai’s Cube Rare Upgrade Recipe using Death’s Breaths from 3min Rifts
  • Kanai’s Cube Legendary Reroll Recipe using Forgotten Souls from 3min Greater Rifts

Pick a build

Once you’ve decided on a goal and have a Level 70 character, you will undoubtedly end up having to pick a build and gear up. Much of the information presented here is from the Efficient XP & Materials Gathering guide.

You need to pick a build. You probably won’t be able to use one of the leaderboard builds right away, so the “Class SubReddits” links on the right hand bar of the Reddit /r/Diablo3 community is a good place to start when looking at early Torment 1-6 builds. Each class subreddit usually has similar right hand toolbars with links to starting builds. Another good source of builds is the Diablofans Build database. Put in your search criteria and pick one and go! YouTube can also be a good source. Be aware some of the highest rated builds are often hard for new players to complete, so read the requirements of each build carefully.

Try to gear up quickly and head into Torment 1 difficulty as soon as possible. From there, work your way up slowly to Torment 6. Once you hit T6 you’ll find things speed up greatly, and you should focus on making one of the high rated builds that people on the leaderboards are using. You’ll find the power unlocked in the builds to be unlike anything you’ve played before, as people have done careful math calculations outside of the game to optimize the shit out of the damage. You’ll then be ready to do high Greater Rifts, T7 Bounties, and T8 rift runs.

Get yourself an ancient weapon

In almost all cases, this is the biggest single upgrade you can do. The best way to get an ancient weapon that you need for a build is not to gamble one, but to upgrade rares. Figure out what the weapon type you want is. For example “The Furnace” is a 2 handed mace. You would then either pickup or craft a yellow rare “2H mace”, and use Kanai’s cube to upgrade it to a random legendary 2H mace. There is a 1/10 chance that legendary will be ancient. Obviously your chances for an ancient quality item of the specific weapon you want is much lower. This is still the fastest way, and you will need a lot of Death’s Breaths from rifts to do this. So you will want to keep running Rifts up to difficulty T8 for this. T9 and T10 can be run, but only if you can clear them in an average of 3 minutes.

Equip non-ancient armor

To do this, you’ll want use bloodshards and gamble with Kadala on whatever non-weapon, non-ring and non-amulet slot you are missing a key piece. This is especially true if you are missing set pieces to get powerful 6 piece set bonuses. You will want to run Rifts before T6, and Greater Rifts after T6 for bloodshards. Remember that you will always need to run Rifts to get Greater Rift Keystones. Make sure to pick up all the Death’s Breaths! It will come in useful later. Once you have this, continue to gamble on armor pieces trying to get ancient versions, or start collecting pieces for another build, or even another character (by switching character to gamble your bloodshards). For Greater Rifts, run whatever level you can run in an average of 3-4 minutes.

Get your rings

Again, instead of gambling for these, upgrade rare yellow rings using Death’s Breath to get the rings you want. You may also find them randomly while running Greater Rifts.

Get your amulet

Again, instead of gambling for these, upgrade rare yellow rings using Death’s Breath to get the rings you want. If you need a Hellfire amulet, then you will need to go into Keywarden games instead and collect the machines, then go into Machine games to beat the bosses (preferably in T10).

Cubing Legendary powers

Kanai’s Cube also allows you to extract Legendary Powers from Legendary items. One weapon power, one armor power and one ring/amulet power. Most builds use this to augment your power and create interesting synergies. It is especially powerful because if there is a range on the power, say “50-70% icnreased damage” then the maximum will always be used when cubed.

This means that you don’t need to cube ancient versions, or even good versions of the item. Any will do. You’ll need to run T7 Bounties for the cube / act materials, and gamble for the item if it’s an armor piece, or kanai’s rare upgrade for weapons, rings and amulets. You cannot cube Hellfire amulet powers.

Paragon levels & Legendary Gems equal power

From here the biggest upgrade will be levelling up Paragon levels, which start when you hit Level 70. Paragons are separate from the usual character levels, and can be spent in the Paragon screen for increases in different attributes. The most efficient way to gain Paragon is to run Greater Rifts above 45, whatever you can run in 3-4 minutes. If you can’t do that, then run regular rifts that you can run quickly at T1 and above. Remember to pick up the Death’s Breath! Make sure you don’t burn out grinding XP, and upgrade your Legendary Gems as you go.

As your paragon levels approach the 600 mark, you’ll find that upgrading your Legendary Gems play a big role in how far you can progress and will become more important. You’ll probably find that you can run higher Greater Rifts (and hence upgrade your Legendary Gems higher) in 4 player groups, so seriously consider doing that.

Complete Ancient armor

The best way to do this is through upgrading rare yellow pieces that you find or craft using Kanai’s Cube. However you may find that while running Greater Rifts and spending all your Bloodshards to gambling for these, you will either find or gamble many of the pieces in ancient quality.

I hope you enjoyed this guide, and found it useful in your road towards whatever goal you decided to pick while playing the Diablo 3 endgame. You can also check out my Efficient XP & Materials Gathering guide, but I’ve tried to incorporate as much of the information directly into this guide.

If you have any comments or feedback, I encourage you to send me an email at ofbeaton@gmail.com.

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