c. Armor and Weapon Crafting
You've stayed awhile and looted things, but you just can’t find an upgraded set of bracers. Or you’re running a new character and you hate that its not geared out early on. Fear not, the blacksmith is there to help!
As mentioned earlier, you can salvage purple or better items at the blacksmith. By doing so you will gain crafting materials. Early on, the blacksmith only has a few plans, but you can buy him upgrades and he will learn new plans. At first the cost is just gold, then once you’re on Nightmare Mode, it’s gold and pages of blacksmithing. Hell mode changes the pages to tomes of blacksmithing, and Inferno ups the tomes of blacksmithing to tomes of secrets. Each game mode adds those additional items to the loot drops, so don’t fret when at the end of Normal, you don’t have any pages of blacksmithing. You’ll be swimming in them by the end of Nightmare.
Also, when you’re upgrading the blacksmith, you’re not picking ONE of the plans listed there during the upgrade. I thought I was and was kind of freaking out that I was possibly ruining my future plans or that I had to coordinate with Hog to make sure we covered the items we’d need between us. You’ll actually get all the plans, they’re just listed there so you can see what’s coming in that upgrade.
To craft an item, talk with the blacksmith and hit the button with the anvil icon. Then select between armor and weapons. You can cycle around and pick out any weapon/armor you like. When you highlight an item, it will show you below the blacksmith’s picture exactly what’s needed and how much of it you have. You can also compare that item’s base stats to the item you currently have equipped in the matching slot.
Each time you craft something, it will be allocated a number of random properties. You can find the amount of properties listed in the compare screen, along with any attributes that are standard. Because of the random nature of crafting, you may want to craft a couple of times to see if one is better than the other. It’s essentially a loot drop, you just have a say in what type of item drops.
Of note, blacksmith plans are shared across all of your characters. So once you teach him a plan, your new guys can craft up stuff from the get go.
Gemcrafting differs slightly in that you can keep upgrading gems by combining them with one of the same type and a page or tome of jewelcrafting, or tome of secrets for higher level gems.
Once you find the gemcrafter, he will be available in all of your main towns across all characters. And just like the blacksmith, his designs are shared across all characters as well.
Gems can be fitted into sockets on items to further customise them to your liking. Adding a gem to the helmet and weapons have different effects than adding them to any other item.Emerald - Green
Helmet: Bonus Gold find Ruby - Red
Weapon: Critical Hit Damage
Helmet Bonus XP Topaz - Yellow
Helmet: Bonus Magic FindAmethyst - Purple
Weapon: Damage to melee attackers
Weapon: Life per hit
The common opinion is to put greens in your weapons for big critical hits, purple in your helmet to boost your life (since there’s no damage boosting gem here), and primary stat everywhere else.
In both gem and weapon crafting, you will start looting plans later in the game which allow you to craft legendary items, sets, and top tier gems.
See crafting in action, along with some tips not covered in this post here:http://youtu.be/coSMzRtM4IM
3. Advanced/End game
So you’ve reached 60 and defeated Diablo on Inferno mode, now what?
a. Nephalem Valor
You may have noticed this happen, you might not have, but it’s pretty integral in the endgame gameplay, so we need to make sure to cover it. Once you’re level 60, every time you kill a pack of elites, open a resplendent chest, or complete an event, you’ll gain a buff called Nephalem Valor. On consoles this buff can stack up to 3 times, and each stack of it gives you an additional 35% Magic and Gold find. The buff lasts 30 minutes, and can be extended by killing another pack, opening a resplendent chest, or completing an event. You cannot gain more than 3 stacks though. Whether farming for loot, xp, keys, or ring parts, you’ll want to have “full stacks” at all times. Note: If you change a skill, a skill rune, or start a new game, your stacks will drop.
b. Difficulty levels
You might wonder why this is down here in this section. Beating the game earlier on, you should be fiddling with the difficulty to your liking in our opinion. Burn through it on easy, or up the challenge every time you think an area is too easy, it’s up to you. But once you’re doing “farming”, this information is rather important. Here’s a chart breaking it down:
According to this blue post: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/9281758533#17Easy = Equivalent to Monster Power 0Normal = Equivalent to Monster Power 2Hard = Equivalent to Monster Power 4Master I: +60% Magic Find, +60% Gold Find, +120% XP Bonus (MP 6)Master II: +70% Magic Find, +70% Gold Find, +140% XP Bonus (MP 7)Master III: +80% Magic Find, +80% Gold Find, +160% XP Bonus (MP 8)Master IV: +90% Magic Find, +90% Gold Find, +180% XP Bonus (MP 9)Master V: +100% Magic Find, +100% Gold Find, +200% XP Bonus (MP 10)
What this means is that once you’re trying to get better loot and better XP, you’ll want to be running higher Master Levels since it boosts your base XP, gold, and magic finds.
c. Loot and Paragon farming
You’re now going to want to farm for more and better loot and raise your Paragon Level. Your Paragon Level is shared account wide, so all characters will receive its benefits. Each level you gain 3% bonus Gold and Magic and a slight stat boost. You can see your current Paragon Level as a blue number to the left of the XP bar, and the blue XP bar now tracks your Paragon Level. There are 100 Paragon Levels, each one taking more XP than the one prior to it.
To farm Paragon Levels, you want to be gaining as much XP as you possibly can, so you should be farming on the highest Master Level that you can handle. Loot is a bonus, but what you’re after here is big XP.
Loot farming is generally done by running through areas with large amounts of mobs so you can get as many kills as possible in as little time as possible. Difficulty wise, you want to be able to kill things at a decent rate, and they shouldn’t be killing you often. Hog and I stick with a rule that if you die twice on a run, you might want to back things down a difficulty level or check into your build’s resists.
There are various “routes” for these farming runs, always looking to maximize gains per hour played. Here’s the one we like taking currently (we'll add a couple more in the near future):http://youtu.be/GIfeX9kskxo
Added our VOA run for Act IIhttp://youtu.be/9nPFiq1i7hE
d. Infernal Machine and Hellfire Rings
On Inferno, there is a special NPC in each of the first three acts that is called a Keywarden. If you have full stacks of Neph Valor (3) the Keywarden has a chance to drop it’s key. In Act I you will find the Keywarden in the Fields of Misery. In Act II, the Keywarden is in the Dalhgur Oasis. The Keywarden for Act III resides in the Stonefort area. And Act IV’s Keywarden hides in the Silver Spire, level 1. The key will be a guaranteed drop on Master V, and the chance goes down as you decrease in Master Level. The Act IV Keywarden can drop any of the three keys as well as the plans to the device that uses the keys. This is device is called the Infernal Machine. It requires one key from each of the first three Acts to build.
Here’s a set of videos covering the Keywardens:
Act I - http://youtu.be/IjO4EndJWzU
EDIT: Great suggestion from Flachmatuch regarding getting the Nephalim Valor Stacks in Act I:
Edit: Also, one minor recommendation for the guide: the Festering Woods with the two super short dungeons with guaranteed elites is much, much faster for getting NV stacks than the crypts.
Act II - http://youtu.be/q-7dfsQnct8
Act III - http://youtu.be/X9s3NVMYWUg
Why do you want to make Infernal Machines? So you can make Hellfire Rings of course!
Once you have farmed the keys and made the machine you will need to go to Act I and select the last quest, "Return to New Tristram". Remember you need full stacks of Nephalem Valor before fighting the bosses, so head out and get three stacks and then return to town.
Behind the Healer in town is a closed door. If you attack that door, it will break and lead you to a new room. Using an Infernal Machine from your inventory while in this room will create a portal at random to one of the three “realms” that are a single room with two bosses from the game in it. Upon defeating a pair of bosses, there’s a spilling of loot and a chance for a part for the Hellfire Ring. After the fight, town portal back out and you can use another Infernal Machine in the room to generate a portal at random from the two remaining possibilities. You need one part from each realm, so having 3 machines to make a “Full Uber Run” is a good idea to make sure you get a shot at the part you are looking for.
You can purchase the plans for the Hellfire ring from Squirt the peddler right near Act II’s Hidden Camp checkpoint.
We recorded making the Portals and each of the battles here:http://youtu.be/aGAVRGIza2A
No, it’s not the cow level. There is no cow level.
You’ll need to craft the Staff of Herding in order to access Whimsyshire. You’ll find it’s plans as a random drop chance from Izual in Act IV. If you are specifically farming for the plans, load a new game at Act IV, Chapter IV, Prime Evil. Make sure you’re at the start of the quest. Take the checkpoint to the Crystal Colonnade, and then to the Gateway to the Silver Spire. Run past Leah if you don’t feel like fighting, then look for the Gateway to the Silver Spire 1. From there, seek out the Gateway to the Great Span. Here you will meet Izual and if you’re lucky, he’ll drop the plans. The plans are account bound. So if you find them a second time while your buddy is still trying to get his first set, make sure to drop the plans so he can see them and yell at you.
On the consoles, you only need three parts unlike the five you need on the PC.
First off, the easy one, Wirt’s bell. Squirt the peddler in Act II’s Hidden Camp sells it for 25,000 gold. Boom, 1/3rd of the way there.
The other two items are the Black Mushroom and Gibbering Gemstone. The Black Mushroom has a chance to be in the Cathedral level 1 in Act I. It randomly spawns there and your character will actually make a comment if they “see” it growing. It’s a small level, so just keep running through it until you find it.
The Gibbering Gemstone is a tad more difficult. There’s a cave that has a chance to spawn in Act III’s Fields of Slaughter called the Caverns of Frost. On level two of this cavern there’s a chance that Chiltara will spawn, and when it’s killed there’s a chance it will drop the Gemstone. As you can see, you’re going to need some luck to get that drop.
Once you have all the parts and the plans and some gold, take them to the blacksmith and craft up your Staff!
But wait, there’s more. You see, that staff is only good for “Normal” difficulty. You’re going to want to run it on inferno, aren’t you? Well, load up the last quest in Act III on Nightmare difficulty and go talk to the quartermaster in the NE corner of the keep (right by where the followers chat with each other). He’ll have the Nightmare quality plans for sale there. They require some gold and the Normal staff to upgrade. Once you’ve done that, repeat with Hell and Inferno modes and you’ll have an Infernal Staff of Herding. It will work for all modes below Inferno.
Now to venture to Whimsyshire. Load up Act I, we suggest the last quest. Take the checkpoint to the Ruins of Tristram and backtrack North West. You’ll find a big crack in the ground with a bovine skeleton near it. Approach the remains with the staff in your inventory and have a little chat. After the chat is done, ride the rainbow to a magical land of loot pinatas, unicorns, and happy little clouds.
Unique Items in Whimsyshire:Horadric Hamburger - Level 30 Legendary "dagger". Spectrum - Level 30 Legendary sword with rainbow blade.
Can drop from:
Killaire (Team Unicorn)
Maisie the Daisy
Maulin Sorely (Team Unicorn)
Miss Hell (Team Unicorn)
R'Lyeh (Team Unicorn)