Diablo® III

The Poorman's Guide to Inferno:No Blizz, No $

Updates
Extra links added
Added slow stacking
Added other builds from users
Changes marked with *

Intro
Hey guys, I'm N00bius Maximus and I'm having some fun clearing inferno atm. I noticed on the forums alot of people talking about gear checks and difficulty progressing through inferno. I'm here to provide a bit of help for those struggling through act 2 since I am currently progressing through act 3 (I know, I'm slow).

This guide is for the following individuals:
-Don't have 100k dps
-Don't have 900 resist
-Have no gold
-Hate Blizzard/Hydra specs
-Struggling with inferno difficulty

This guide is not for the following individuals:
-Suffering from massive lag issues
-Low APM players
-Enjoys blizzard/hydra specs

I'm willing to give many more details on the spec/playstyle/fears/ect if people are interested, but to keep things relatively "short," I'll only detail a few important factors.
*More details can be found here: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5621027826?page=6#103

The Spec
This is my primary farming spec for act 1, 2 and 3 so far.
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#WZXQSO!aWd!cbaYZY

There are additional variants of this build that are possible, particularly if you do not possess a 'cold damage' type weapon. Using Temporal Flux with an arcane weapon and Disintegrate+Chaos Nexus/Arcane Torrent+Disruption is also possible. However, these builds will produce vastly less damage output than the above spec.

The reason is they lack the unlisted 20% damage bonus provided by Cold Blooded. Furthermore, Disintegrate often produces comparable damage to Spectral Blades due to base damage being low and requiring 40% damage lasers to proc on the desired target. Intensify 202% damage ramp-up is not realistic in solo play. Arcane Torrent is comparable to Ray of Frost at 201.2% damage before passives, but misses out on the "free" +20% passive.

Note: Cold damage type weapons are supposed to have lower maximum damage than other damage types. I assume the passive helps alleviate some of that difference.

*It appears that Arcane and Cold snare effects stack. If you need even more slow, mix and match skills with Temporal Flux. Tested and verified.
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5621027826?page=4#69

*Don't like the spec? Having a hard time using this or confused? More info and other versions by users here: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5621027826?page=6#103

Killing bosses for the first time required a bit of experimentation until I possessed better gear and solid understanding of mechanics for 100% reliable kills in this spec. I still only used slight variations of the above spec to clear the first time. If you're interested, I can post those as well.

Kiting with Blizzard vs Spectral Blades
I find that kiting with Spectral Blades is significantly easier to perform than with Blizzard for multiple reasons and one speculation.

Reasons:
-Mob AI behaves differently depending on distance to the mob. This means mortar mobs are easily defeated as you whittle the group down. Vortex mobs pull you in significantly less when you are around 20 yards. The list goes on... (Think hunters from vanilla WoW 8-10 yards for you blizzard gamers)
-Blizzard's cast animation is very long. I cant tell you how many times I've been chain casting blizzard only to get smacked from fast mob types or fast affix mobs. This defeats the purpose of kiting... (Note: I only have 12% move speed and 1.25 AS atm and could be the reason for this issue... maybe when I get those epic items...)
-Contrary to Blizzard, Spectral Blades cast animation is very very short. It's so short, you can actually move while the blades are still hitting the enemies. Furthermore, you dont need alot of AS to chain-kite the mobs.
-Cold/Arcane(+Temporal Flux) damage weapons provides a slow on hit with Spectral Blades (the only "melee attack" mage ability).
-Damage on Spectral Blades is significantly higher than Blizzard (135% vs 35% per second on a 1 second AS weapon). You can cut fight times significantly if you're hitting enrage timers or want to reduce the time frame for user input errors or lag.

Speculation:
-The snare effect from a melee weapon's cold damage appears to be greater than 30% (the value for Blizzard). It seems like mobs move slower than when they are hit by Spectral Blades than Ray of Frost, Blizzard or Spectral Blades+Temporal Flux... Any confirmation on this somewhere would be cool!

Cons:
-Blizzard is long range
-Cold-damage slow is only 0.5 seconds while Temporal Flux is 2 seconds

If you can get past the fact you are standing within 20 yards of a mob to do significant damage, Spectral Blades can be a great alternative to Blizzard.

*Don't know how to kite or how to kite in close range? More under kiting(intro) and spec details: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5621027826?page=6#103

The Gear/Stats
I'm currently running the following stats in act 3. I play the 2 different sets depending on how I'm feeling atm. I rely on set 1 for everything prior to act 3, since the second set provides a little more wiggle room from incoming damage types. I can tank a Belial fist hit or elites in act 3 using Set 2 without diamond skin.

I find hp/s and hp/hit to be rather valuable stats on gear, since it allows this gear/spec to get alot of mileage (read: not dying).

Set 1 (Damage?):
(Buffed)
274 Str
941 Dex
1244 Int
330 Vit
4090 Armor
17361.73 Dps
239 All resist
357 Phys resist

That's 11826 HP...

Set 2 (Tank?):
(Buffed)
293 Str
888 Dex
1090 Int
495 Vit
4189 Armor
15246.61 Dps
321 All resist
449 Phys resist

That's 17601 HP...

All of this gear is attainable within act 1 and act 2. I have not purchased items on the AH that were outside of my act's difficulty. I also did not spend more than 100k on any individual item. I've only purchased around 30% of my gear from the AH purely as a method to speed up random rolls. To drive the point home, I got my primary weapon I used through all of act 1 and act 2 (700dps) for just 160g on the AH!! Yes, one hundred and sixty gold... You could get a comparable one for just 30k or so easily.

*More gear information can be found here: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5621027826?page=6#103

Act 3+
Obviously I haven't beaten Diablo yet. This spec, geared the way I'm currently adding stats, should have no realistic issue defeating anything along the way. The hits are getting stronger, but even now I'm only taking ~4-5k damage on hit from white mobs, which is exactly where I want it to be. Using Set 2, I can take hits from elite mobs without any issues. Adding resist/armor goes a long way to keeping this medium before sacrificing much from the vitality stat. Vitality is a cheap way to improve your effective hp and Force Armor 's maximum effect, but it reduces your survivability with hp/s, hp/hit and Diamond Skin.

I also realize that they are going to buff drops in 1.0.3. This means that you might not need to try this spec to progress. Until then, I hope this helps. Let me know if you want more details about close range kiting, kit development, skill rotation, defensive/offensive playstyle, ect.

*If you need some more more info/details: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5621027826?page=6#103

glhf, peace
Edited by N00bius#1803 on 6/8/2012 2:43 PM PDT
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Spectral Blade gains the damage type of elemental bonus' on your weapon?
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Hi buddy!

Very interesting thread.
I really need help to kind of gear up or sort of speak have right stats and focus on right things. I mean with gear and a good build along with that.
Would be really kind of you to have a look at my gear and build to help me through act 2.
Add me in game:
jens.carlgren@gmail.com
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yes spectral blades does not have a set damage type (it will deal the same element of damage as the stat on your mh weapon)
Edited by teek#1411 on 6/7/2012 1:32 AM PDT
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06/07/2012 01:18 AMPosted by Sean
Spectral Blade gains the damage type of elemental bonus' on your weapon?


Makes sense. All tooltips of other spells say "% weapon damage as XXX" converting the damage type of your weapon to something else.... however, the spectral blade juste say: "% weapon damage" without a type conversion, so it doesn't surprise me the damage type of the weapon is applied with it.

It opens some interesting thoughts about combos that could be done with... indeed.

Nice thread.
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06/07/2012 01:18 AMPosted by Sean
Spectral Blade gains the damage type of elemental bonus' on your weapon?


Yes, but it doesn't have much of an effect. It only matters with certain passives (say Conflag, Cold Blooded, Flux, ect.). Cold damage is the only damage type to have a base on-hit property (snare) at the expensive of maximum damage. Aside from this synergy, there isn't much of a point to weapon damage types unless you like seeing zombies burn to death or poison clouds on the ground ^_^
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06/07/2012 01:39 AMPosted by Moonheart
It opens some interesting thoughts about combos that could be done with... indeed.


I agree. It's a nice tidbit left in the game after they scrapped the weapon damage type effects. I think wizard has some really nice potential with this.
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That is a pretty important requirement for the build to work. Ill try to find a cheap cold weapon, but I dont think it is going to be easy (just looked through 10 pages, not a single one had cold on them).

Providing us with an option to sell worn down items but not giving an option to search for weapons based on the damage type... sigh.

Also, do spectral blades proc critical mass or was it nerfed to the ground together with living lightning etc.?
Edited by Safka#2544 on 6/7/2012 1:51 AM PDT
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Posts: 120
Wait.. so the full spectral blades turns into cold damage? its not just the +dmg amount (thus making cold blood almsot worthless)?

Also, consider the ice armor aoe slow aura, might make kiting even easier.
Edited by Scrangos#1518 on 6/7/2012 1:58 AM PDT
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06/07/2012 01:27 AMPosted by SevenS
I really need help to kind of gear up or sort of speak have right stats and focus on right things. I mean with gear and a good build along with that.


I think there are alot of guides for 2 types of mage characters: glass cannon and tank melee. They detail what stats are critical for success. Personally I loved the idea of the since-release nerfed low-hp mage tank. This guide keeps that idea alive so far.

Imo, there are alot of good stats, but maybe not for min-maxers. If you just need to take a hit, I'd grab some extra resist (physical mostly), armor or hp. With this, you still need to dodge those elemental effects. Dex below 1000 seems to affect dodge alot up to ~30%. If you aren't doing enough damage, int, crit, crit damage (if you have enough crit), AS, and flat damage% buffs go a long way. If you are having sustain issues, hp/hit is very popular atm and a simple socket can give you 100+ hp/hit at this level (with each gem level adding another 90+). I can post some more detailed stats if you are interested but they cater to my current build atm.
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06/07/2012 01:40 AMPosted by Safka
Ill try to find a cheap cold weapon, but I dont think it is going to be easy (just looked through 10 pages, not a single one had cold on them).


Use the auction house feature for "added damage: cold" property to make it easier.
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06/07/2012 01:50 AMPosted by Scrangos
Wait.. so the full spectral blades turns into cold damage? its not just the +dmg amount (thus making cold blood almsot worthless)?


I'm not positive what % of the cold damage is applied for the spectal blades hits. I should run some tests, but it is noticeable from first cast to second in terms of damage output. It might be less, but I still like the passive for Ray of Frost, since that's my boss killing ability. Spectral blades already does alot of damage as a signature spell and it is AOE.
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06/07/2012 01:50 AMPosted by Scrangos
Also, consider the ice armor aoe slow aura, might make kiting even easier.


This is definitely possible. However, atm it seems that force armor is necessary for inferno (even without my low hp). If I wasn't running force armor atm, I would be 1 shot by almost everything in the game and I would lose the synergy of Diamond Skin. It might be possible later as I get better gear though.

-EDIT-
I also want to add that force armor has synergy with illusionist. I am expecting to get hit at some point in the game being this close to mobs, even if it is just a lag spike. If the attack animation occurs, most mobs will hit by design (excluding slow attack animations and dodge).

More importantly, I want to get hit at some points (think waller arcane frost jailer ect. in a bad spot) just so I can teleport again. I don't want to be jailed on a desecration pit, so I let the mob hit me to teleport away. Diamond skin works really well for this, too. I can use it to reset my teleport even if I have no hp in addition to a nice shield. It even allows me to take a really nasty hit I'm not geared to take.

If I was running frost armor before I had the act-appropriate gear, I cannot predict 2 things:
-I will take 15% or more of my max hp in an attack (possible in earlier acts or well geared)
-I will not take 100% hp in damage (possible in current or later acts)

There is a happy medium for this and force armor makes it easy to meet that threshold. In this case, any damage from 15-135% max hp procs illusionist normally and safely. Anymore, and I could be in danger, lol! It's especially important considering some mobs are completely unavoidable (tongue leapers in act 3).
Edited by N00bius#1803 on 6/7/2012 2:58 AM PDT
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I would love to see a video of this build in action. Act 3 farming maybe...
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Use the auction house feature for "added damage: cold" property to make it easier.

I think I wasnt fully awake, so i herp derped accidently =) Thanks for the tip

How do you use your RoF?
Just killed herald of pestilence mortar/waller/extra health champs and so far, looks really nice. I died a couple of times because I had to adjust to the 20 yard range vs melee range. Also, it took less time (even though i went from 42k to ~30sh k dps due to buying a cheap cold damage weapon). I will try it out more tonight, maybe try to squeeze a frost hydra in there somewhere.
Edited by Safka#2544 on 6/7/2012 2:39 AM PDT
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06/07/2012 02:19 AMPosted by Safka
How do you use your RoF?


I use it to kill mobs when I have some extra space (by design or by need). I also use it to kill bosses and nuke elites when I get the chance. The 210% base damage makes it a very powerful single target spell. Add on Cold Blooded and its a whopping 252% damage!

Some mobs are hard to melee and this works great. The low cost rune makes it practically spammable on my character and leaves me enough juice to teleport if needed. Try tanking w/ Diamond Skin and RoF an elite if you want to have some fun -_^

06/07/2012 02:19 AMPosted by Safka
so far, looks really nice.

06/07/2012 02:19 AMPosted by Safka
it took less time (even though i went from 42k to ~30sh k dps due to buying a cheap cold damage weapon)


Good to hear! Glad I can help. Keep it up and good luck!
Edited by N00bius#1803 on 6/7/2012 2:56 AM PDT
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Something I don't quite understand is : Why are you using the Cold Blood rune, since RoF is your only "Arcane spending" ability.

Snow Blast (280% damage) would probably be a better choice, don't you think ?
Edited by Aranthys#2694 on 6/7/2012 3:12 AM PDT
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06/07/2012 03:11 AMPosted by Aranthys
Something I don't quite understand is : Why are you using the Cold Blood rune, since RoF is your only "Arcane spending" ability.


This makes the ability spammable. I found using another rune made it slow to kill bosses or elites when range is necessary. This may just be my current gear level though. Also, I want to ensure I can teleport out of a sticky situation, which requires 15 power. Using another rune often juices that out and I have moments where I'm more vulnerable to attacks or affix combos. I'm only running 80 arcane power atm.

06/07/2012 03:11 AMPosted by Aranthys
Snow Blast (280% damage) would probably be a better choice, don't you think ?


I think Snow Blast is an interesting idea and has some impressive damage! However, I still need to kite with the gear I have. It also provides a ranged attack for me. Some mobs are difficult to approach for melee (tongue leapers in act 3, bugs in act 2, or any ranged mob) since they keep running away from you. You'll spend more time chasing them or getting hit than putting out damage. Spectral Blades does a good job for melee, keeping them just out of range. Snow Blast is even closer range than Spectral Blades. The kit needed a ranged attack in my opinion (and some extra punch when I had even less dps like ~10k in act 2) and RoF works very well in the existing kit.
Edited by N00bius#1803 on 6/7/2012 3:43 AM PDT
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don't forget to bring a non cold weapon with you or you will snare yourself with reflect dmg elites
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Posts: 79
I think I am missing something here. How are you slowing the enemies with Spectral Blades? Even with cold damage on them, does cold just have the natural ability to chance on slows? Or are you applying RoF real quick to get the Cold Blooded bonus?
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