1/17 - Added #15,#16
Word. TL:DR - My Beta experience, in detail.
So here is a "couple hundred hours" synopsis of beta. It's all I play now.. And to answer Jaetch's question of, "What exactly are you doing in Beta, Melkor?", to which I originially replied, "I have no idea," I'm hoping this thread will lead to a better answer.
1. Don't come into ROS broke. Just...don't do it. It will severely slow your progress, by forcing you to make very selective decisions at the mystic for one, and by severely slowing your upgrading of gems. And if you haven't gem-ed in a while, its' pricey. Sure, if you're thinking of coming into Beta with a couple of billy, this entire comment section will seem irrelevant. It's not. I burned through 100 mil in 5 days on beta, rolling and re-rolling my gear at will. Gem-ing in it of itself is a couple hundred thousand per gem, sure, but it's the UNSOCKETING of gear that can get you. Better to wait until you can upgrade two or three tiers before unsocketing. Deal with it until you can make a real change to your stats.
2. Use the story line to get to 70 - Act 5 has the highest density in the game. In particular, you will enter "keeps-like" dungeons that have these "crawlers" that ambush you by the hundreds. I used an arc-lightning build, because that skill does 310% weapon damage and has a nice, broad AOE. Don't force higher difficulty on yourself..as of now, I can't see a terrible reason to struggle on your way to 70. All the gear at 70 is light years beyond what you drop on the way from 60-70. I did, in a previous thread, mention running KD2 as the fastest way, but last night I solo-ed a character from 60-70 in about 3.5 hours by running Act 5, Torment 1. That's not bad. Act 5 is awesome, by the way. Only criticism/compliment (<--yeah both) is that areas like "Paths of the Drowned" are HUGE. Like 4-6 times the size of the Fields of Slaughter, and longer than 2 Rakkis runs. That's both great and painful sometimes.
3. Critical What? As we've all discussed, and most of us old timers embrace, Critical Mass has gone the way of the DoDo. But what we've been given the opportunity to do, is rediscover our class. This is incredibly unique to the Wizard (and arguably the Barb) classes. Your face tanking days are over-ish. I don't believe you or I will be able to face tank immediately...but, "it ain't over. I've built a lightning build with 12,000,000 toughness, 1,250,000 DPS, and 500,000+ life. There is potential. But coming out of the gate, face-tanking is a nice way for you to get your face pushed in, LOL status. And you know what I mean. (as your poison ridden body gets catapulted across the screen)
4. Figure out a system for organizing your stash that has flexibility - I wasn't going to include this section but I figured that there are lot of us that are pack rats. I would never suggest that my way of organizing my materials/gems is better than most - in fact, my system collapsed and my stash ended up looking like Void's. But I have learned the value of anticipatory space. Leave spaces empty...figure 25-30, for crafting materials (NOT counting gems). Don't crowd their space. You will need that page.. you will need it, indeed.
5. Melt. Melt. Melt. Sell your blues. I have never had a hard time farming the "exquisite essence" equivalent (Arcane Dust) from bounties and rifts - but the "iridescent tear" equivalent (Veiled Crystal) is a lot harder to come by. You'll need 3 crystals per re-roll, 10 to re-roll a leg, and as many as 20 to craft certain legendaries.
6. The value of crafted legendaries is NOT absent. No, I have not crafted a legendary piece with one of those fancy shmancy affixes that all this new gear is boasting. The advantage to crafting a say, level 70 bracer is simply...higher stats. My leg bracers, crafted at the blacksmith rolled well over 450 for both int and vit. I have yet to find a rare over 415 on either of those stats for the bracer slot that was NOT legendary. My crafted leg bracers rolled close to 500 int. Keep that in mind.
7. If you are short on funds, Nephalem Rifts are a bad choice. They are long, they are markedly more difficult than the content at the same difficultly level outside the rift, and their end reward is...debatable. Normally, a Rift Guardian kill will result in you getting a purple bag of goodies in town, but I understand that moving forward, the Guardian himself will drop the loot. Either way, the amount of gold you get from completing a rift vs. the time it takes to complete one is not so fantastic. For funds, you are better of farming bounties. Much faster, and much bigger pay offs per hour than rifts.
8. If you are going for XP...I'm going to guess that the Rift is the way to go.. higher density, multiple levels (sometimes). Not gonna lie, there are some rifts that are extremely short, and aren't any more dense than KD2. But they are typically more dense. Just remember, the difficulty levels of Rifts seem to be higher than the "normal world you were in" equivalents.
9. As I said in my "melt it" thread yesterday, don't melt a legendary just because you don't have a need for it at the moment. That need may in fact change. Be wary of the melt.
10. When choosing bounties - choose the Acts that offer double rewards, from the world map page. After those two acts are clear, reset. Always check the full list of bounties for the act you're considering before entering. You only get that sack of loot from Tyrael (which contains a rift key), if you are able to complete the entire act's worth of bounties. I sometimes would choose harder difficulty levels than I should have, go to Act 2, clear 4 out of 5 bounties, only to hover my mouse over the last one and have it read, "Kill Belial". At that point, I'm forced to lower the difficulty, and therefore lower the bounty reward (the Bloodshard pay out is still double no matter what, if the act is a double rewards act), lower the xp reward, and lower the gold reward. And then, if that's not bad enough, I will receive a loot sack from Tyrael now that reflects the lower difficulty...meaning the 4 bounties I cleared at the higher difficulty have their benefit significantly mitigated. Sucks.
11. Dump your Para points into Life Regen and Life on Hit. Don't skimp out for some other tempting stat, in my opinion. Life Regen/point and LoH/point scale pretty dramatically as you level. And frankly, even at 70, you are going to need all the sustain you can find. My level 70 has 50 points in Life Regen (so like 8,752 lps) and 50 points in LoH (so like 4,200 LoH) before gear stats are factored in and it has been super helpful. Even so, what do yo think even 10,000 lps feels like when your health pool is 500,000? Lol. LoH is super important.
12. You will need a legendary piece of gear to bump difficulty. Plain and simple. Find the best rares you can, and you'll never get beyond "X" difficulty level - UNLESS a synergy that I have yet to discover is unveiled. That's totally different.
Speaking of synergies, here is a list of my currently equipped bonuses from gear:
I can cast 2 hydras (wand)
My frost hydras cast frost nova (helm - the leg affix really should read, "Your Frost Hydras cast Frost Hydrogen Bombs")
When I break an object, I run faster, much faster, for 5 seconds. (bracers)
When I flip open a chest or turn a dead body, or hit an armor rack, my DPS is increased 100% for 10 seconds. (belt)
I cast two additional magic missiles (source)
So, with all that stuff, I can now solo Torment 4. I also would like to add that my frost hydra is so broken it's not even funny. You probably have heard me say this before. But what is important to note is that my build DOES NOT WORK without this stuff. Take away even the "running bracers" and I die 2x as often. Take away the magic missile and my dps drops. Don't get me started on the hydras.
Anyway, I'll add more to this list, and if you actually took the time to read this most verbose posting, I thank you :)
Mel - Mel - Mel - Melkorious
13. The Value of Cool Down Reduction on Gear/Para Point Allocation.
Cool down reduction from Paragon Points is not functioning on Beta - but I went through an interesting thought process regarding CD reduction. Going into Beta, I was a pure CM player - and that means that I felt most comfortable when things were spammable. But let's look at the skills we currently have in Beta that have cool downs:
One rune of Wave of Force (the only rune that causes knockback now)
To get your cool downs cut down to real "noticeable level", you'd better take Evocation, and take the para points, and get it on gear. Doesn't that already seem like a major investment in stats and points? I mean, you're never going to spam Diamond Shards to the point where it is in Live, ever again..Teleport/Mirror Image can get reset much faster with Illusionist, PLUS you now get MS bonuses when it procs. If you need Black Hole THAT often for crowd control, you're playing too far above your gear level. If your Diamond Skin is cracking to the point where you need to re-cast it every 5 seconds, you're probably playing above your difficulty level. Slow Time is typically re-castable while your bubble is still up with little CDR on gear, so you don't have to overkill CDR on behalf of that skill. The WOF rune is useless if spammed. We already know that from Live. Unless you're building a Troll build. Molten Impact's damage is dwarfed by simply spamming meteor with no rune. That's an APOC issue, not a CDR issue. Archon cooldown? From what? Two minutes to one minute? Again, what are you gonna give up to make that a reality? Frost Nova freezes your enemies for 2 seconds. TWO. You would need to reduce cooldowns by 84% to make it spammable for perma-freeze. That's ridiculous (and impossible).
On top of all that, if you're stacking CD reduction on shoulders, rings, ammy, gloves, etc, you're giving up major rolls...which in turn forces you into lower difficulty levels.
If major CDR was part of your ROS plan, re-think your plan.
14. The value of Resource Reduction costs -
THIS stat has legs. You can pair higher APS with channeling spells and still keep the well full. I haven't done the math in regards to what you need to make this a reality, but I imagine we will see people running daggers and ias swords with channeling spells if you can get resource reduction % to that "sweet spot". This is great for LoH returns, eDPS, etc.
15. When to Add % Elemental Damage - I'm no mathamagician (the understatement of the century), so when I first got into Beta, i I was swapping % elemental damage bonuses for int and crit in hopes of not affecting my ehp/mit. Truth is, if you want to use a +% to an elemental damage type, you need to "commit".
Where % Elemental damage bonuses come out ahead is when you are adding them to a slot that already has every other damage roll you could get there anyway. That's the only way I really see a % to elemental damage coming out ahead. That makes the amulet a verryyy interesting discussion piece, as it boasts some super high stats as potentials:
Not sure if % to elemental damage can outpace any one of these stats (maybe IAS?)
So, to illustrate the original point, take a look at the following rare bracers:
90 All Res
6.0 Crit Chance
In the above example, you would be foolish to replace the intelligence or the crit chance with say, +15% to Cold Damage Skills. However, replacing the Vitality with a 15% to Cold Damage Skills is an aggressive damage buff. Of course, that's the trade off. If one of my mathematically inclined wizard brethren would be so kind to provide an example where even +20% to an elemental skill type would outshine a pure Int or max crit chance roll, I'm all ears.
16. Familiar - that old familiar..uh..familiar - I have found that Familiar is an invaluable skill on my bar. Since I'm slowly coming to the realization that even with Beta, high (I guess) quality rares dropping, and the occasional (awww crap I gotta change everything) legendary, it will take me quite a while to reach super high DPS. The additional damage from Familiar helps melt trash in a non, "this is taking forever" kind of way. I have been using Prodigy (which now gives 5 arcane power instead of 4) and electrocute, surge of power, which again does lightning damage and can hit up to 3 enemies. (Doly is still trying to understand why they're saying it gives 12 AP instead of 9 since it hits 3 enemies and they each give 3). I use ZERO APOC. This means, my AP well goes from bone dry to overflowing right quick - and then I'm back to spamming my favorite arcane spender, which at the moment is Lightning Bind. Familiar really does bump the "powerful" feeling of my sig spells.
17. Hellfire rings- There are two Hellfire rigns in ROS:
A) The "traditional" Hellfire Ring that we have all come to know. This ring now has a roll of 300-325 main stat of your choosing, + 4 random properties, as well as that 35% exp bonus and a chance to lob a ball of hellfire at your foes. You may obtain the organs in the way you have done in the past...except the keys required to make the D3V Infernal Machine no longer drop, meaning that whatever keys and machines you have in your inventory at the time of ROS will be the last you will be able to acquire. Those infernal machines will open the portal to the D3V Ubers...1 of 3 random levels that drop organs. How their drop rates will be affected by the Torment System is unknown to me.
I also would like to mention that it is unclear if people who stay in D3V will be able to hunt keys as they have in the past. It appears that the keywardens only appear at level 70(need to confirm) now. Has anyone in PTR found and killed the keywarden at level 60 and got a "legacy" key? If the keywardens no longer drop legacy keys for level 60 characters, or they only drop the new keys, those who remain in D3V will no longer be able to play Ubers. Bummer.
B) The "New (and improved?) Hellfire Ring...This ring requires level 70. It requires 3 keys and 1 mat to construct an infernal machine, which are acquired by killing one of FOUR Keywardens. Act 1,2, and 3 keywardens drop keys with new names. Act 4 keywarden drops a "universal key crafting mat." You take all three keys and the mat to the blacksmith and you can create an Infernal Machine. But wait! You no longer craft a Machine that randomly opens 1 of 4 portals...You CHOOSE which Infernal Machine you craft. There are 4 Uber scenarios - and you need 1 of each part to craft the new hellfire ring. The plan for the hellfire ring is sold by Squirt in Act 2, and costs 5,000,000 gold. These 4 Uber scenarios are aptly titled:
The Gluttony level is Ghom and Rakanoth - and the fight is pretty much the same as D3V.
The Bones Level is Skeleton King and Magda, and the fight is pretty much the same as D3V.
The War Level is Siegebreaker and Khulle, and the fight is pretty much the same as D3V, save for the fact that at 1.2 milly DPS, I can not chain cast sig spells on Siege. I personally think is reflect damage mechanic is overtuned - but that's just an opinion.
The Evil level...
This level starts with a Shadow Clone of Diablo. As his health drops, Skeleton King appears. A little more health drops...and Magda shows up...some more health off the Diablo shadow clone...and ANOTHER Diablo shadow clone shows up. Yeah, this is one helluva fight. I've done it though, on Torment 1. Fun as hell.
Get all your organs together and buy that plan and go to the jeweler to roll your new Hellfire ring...
This ring has NO guarantee main stat roll. It is a + 5 Random Props Ring with 45% bonus XP and a chance to cast a "Ring of Fire" that deals 200% weapon damage when it procs. The animation is straight up awesome.
But my two hellfire rings have been EHP/MIT powerhouses - with no DPS of any sort lol.
500 Vit (Double Roll..and the highest roll as well)
2000 Life Per Hit
150 Cold Resistance.
Whether or not that ring is good enough...I leave such judgments to you.
So in closing on this point, the final question is, which is better
300-325 main stat +4 randoms + 35%xp + fireball or...
5 Randoms + 45%xp + Ring of Fire.
And keep in mind, you could roll the following on a lvl 70
80-160 Average Damage
6.0 Crit Chance.
I also could become President of the USA. Just sayin.