Diablo® III

[GUIDE] TianZi's Guide to Strafe:Demolition

I've been running this and luving this for quite some time. I use the rockets though over demo, due to having enough DPS to not need demo at low MP. I don't like the demo grenades, either.
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Hi Tianzi!

Great great, thanks for this. I was watching your videos i searched on youtube but this guide is so much clearer :)

Can you comment on value of using a legacy Nat set for this build? Does it help?
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Hi Tianzi!

Great great, thanks for this. I was watching your videos i searched on youtube but this guide is so much clearer :)

Can you comment on value of using a legacy Nat set for this build? Does it help?


Help = Yes.
Major Difference = No.

Wearing about 100k of DPS (like the first video I have) that based mainly off of CritChance/Dex allows me to farm at rates of around 70m exp/hour. Wearing like 180k DPS + a Leoric Signet got me to around 85m exp/hour. Basically adding damage (mainly CritDamage) gave a rather small amount of "returns" for the much higher DPS.

In the situations where I wore my Legacy set at 180k DPS, I managed to pass 100m exp/hour on some runs, though my average run was still in the low to mid 90s. Basically gear is getting a lot better, but the kill/exp rate doesn't really scale nearly as well.

With night stalker, you really don't run into any disc "issues" when vault farming. Which means Legacy basically gives you 2 options:

1) You can use ToC instead of tumble. Basically you'll get a few more kills off stragglers at the end that might not have died. However, Strafe already does a fair job cleaning up mobs, so it isn't really a major gain.

2) You don't actually need nightstalker anymore and free up a passive slot. On the downside, there aren't really any "great" passives that you need for strafe farming Aside from TA and Vengeance. So basically you can "gain":

a) Perfectionist (which you should have gotten enough eHP from gear)
b) Archery (I already dropped 228% Crit damage from my standard gear in my sub-100k dps video and managed 70m exp/hour since CritD isn't the best source of strafe DPS due to overkill)
c) Sharpshooter (You'll get the 3% base crit that isn't shown on the tooltip, and that's all you'll really get since strafe is more or less constantly shooting).

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The situation where Legacy might help a little more is for players using Rocket Storm, since they can take the increased rocket damage passive instead of night stalker. However, Rocket storm is also slower in raw efficiency and more gear dependent then Demo, where the only real benefit is that it's easier to play if you're geared for it (I actually use it sometimes when farming while not really paying attention).
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@TianZi

Thanks for such a detailed answer....really helpful so much appreciated :)

While I understand the benefits you list of using a legacy Nat set, in your initial paragraph you state that your results were low to mid 90's with it, as opposed to a normal Nat set with Leoric ring yielding average 85M/hr - is that right?

Based on that results, it seems that those benefits you list gives an additional 5-10M XP per hour which actually sounds quite big considering hundreds of hours goes into levelling to 100. Would you agree?
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@TianZi

Thanks for such a detailed answer....really helpful so much appreciated :)

While I understand the benefits you list of using a legacy Nat set, in your initial paragraph you state that your results were low to mid 90's with it, as opposed to a normal Nat set with Leoric ring yielding average 85M/hr - is that right?

Based on that results, it seems that those benefits you list gives an additional 5-10M XP per hour which actually sounds quite big considering hundreds of hours goes into leveling to 100. Would you agree?


I'm getting an additional 10% exp or so, yes. However, cost wise a Legacy set like the one I'm wearing sacrifices a LOT of DPS compared to an equivalent cost set of non-legacy gear. The highest end non-legacy gear I've tested was basically the same DPS as I have with my legacy set. Basically a fairly cheap new nats set.

So DPS for DPS, Legacy is an advantage. However, In a cost to cost situation, it's difficult to say since I no longer own any high end non-legacy armor to compare with. Even with the diminishing returns of higher DPS, it's still very possible that the 10% or so difference can be made up by higher DPS.

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Another thign to note is that Paragon 1-100 actually only takes about 100 hours if you are grinding non-stop at the 100m exp/hour rate. It's the little things like stopping to ID items, chat with people while in game, go AFK, make hellfire rings, etc that adds up to make it seem like a few hundred hours grind.
Edited by TianZi#1634 on 1/28/2013 2:29 AM PST
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@Tianzi

Great that makes a lot of sense, I think cost-wise then I will probably try go for a higher end non-legacy set!

Wow, 100hrs to p100 would be fantastic! But im guessing that the real average is more like 90M? So would be a bit over 100hrs but still thats really good.

Aside question, not sure if you tested PTR with new XP rates, but do u think this build will be redundant later when it may be better XP-wise to clear higher MPs, therefore needing higher DPS gear and builds? I honestly know nothing about it, but was just a side thought because it sort of sounds like the strafe build has a DPS-cap because you need a fair amoutn of eHP to make it work.
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I strafed my way from paragon 40 to 100 after doing BL for the first 40 levels. My lessons learned are:

- Replace your legacy nats, especially now that good stat new nats are pretty cheap. You really dont need to worry about resource management.
- Get at least 2 pieces with pick up radius, gloves and bracers seemed best slots for me. Gloves with PU and Dex/CC/CD are surprisingly cheap, same goes for Dex/Cc/PU bracers.
- Make sure to run with 350AR and 35K vit, death slows down too much. Its easy and cheap to get there and still run with 140K dps. Things get expensive above that.
- Cheapest DPS boost comes from +dmg on rings and amulets.
- For the item hunt MP0 is still best

Check out my profile for gear and skill setup. Am now at 255K dps and 590K EHP. Now I am at paragon 100 its all about maximizing legendaries per hour and fine tuning my strafe build.

Edit: after a lot of experimenting I ended up with shuriken cloud and rocket storm instead of demolition and other hatred spenders. I think FoK was great for elites tilll I got my CC/CD to the level where elites were going down super fast. Shuriken cloud is just really great for speed twirling through groups and elites.
Edited by Philler#6216 on 1/28/2013 6:03 AM PST
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I am now hooked on strafe. However having troubles getting above 60m/hr

Based on my stats and the conversation in this thread 70 or 80m/hr should not be a problem.
I have not yet tried Fan of Knives which may provide a large boost

My current run is *Core, Tower 1, Areat 2, Rakkis and Fields*
I average just under 10 minutes for that run...and about 9mil exp/run

Any tips to get me up above 70/hr?
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@Zaminder: cheapest upgrade would be a two socket manticore. An 1100K dps one should be about 25M and should give you a pretty good boost I would think
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@Philler,

Thanks for the response,

It is my opinion *i think also stated in the original posts* that additional crit damage is overkill because with the exception of Mobs Crits are 1hit kills.

Also higher damage Manticores have IAS which will increase hatred spending. I dont have a problem spamming Stafe non stop now but another 10 or 20ias and i probably would

My opinion may not be correct, however i chose this bow due to its very slow attack speed, as well as the dex..and it was extrondinarely cheap
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Can you guys review my current build? I and doing fine with my paragon leveling, but now that I am getting toward paragon level 80 I want to make sure that I am doing whatever I can to improve my exp gain.

Things that I am not sold on:
*Is Leoric’s Signet worth it? I have it equipped now. Or am I better with another ring that will give me more damage?
*Is Stone of Jordan worth it w/cold damage? This doesn’t seem to really kill the elites that much faster.

Things that I am beginning to like:
*I like the weapon I am currently using over my 2 socket’d Manticore. I can sustain Strafe better. Plus the black damage is nice with the Inna’s belt and Cold Damage Stone of Jordan.
*Having 41 pick-up radius. To me this seemed to have the biggest impact on my runs. It is a nice bonus that it grabs all the gold on the screen. I typically will pick up about 5mil in gold after a couple hours of paragon leveling.

Things that I want to try after reading this thread:
*Since I switch between my Mempo and a normal rare helm with +Magic Find I think the new Nat’s helm is a good option. I do find myself running out of Discipline due to tumble. So getting a 4pc set is not a bad idea. Plus I am not too crazy on having iAS on the Mempo.

I haven’t had the chance to test on the PTR yet beyond dueling. Has anyone been able to see if it is worth it to try to spec this build to go to MP1 or higher. Or is MP0 still the sweet spot for Strafe?
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@Sephiroth: Ive tried Multishot before, but after a few tries, really hated it compared to Strafe. I like the non stop running. When I strafe I can run from one end of the screen to the other with a crap load of trash inbetween and by the time i pass them all they are all dead.

That being said, my dps is up about 30K since i last tried Multishot and decided to give your bulid a try...and I have to admit, I like it very much. The one thing i had to get used to was turning to hit mobs that happened to get to my flank or behind me. Thats one thing strafe has an advantage over. I also miss my FoK 1 shotting elite packs. I do however never run out of Hatred, and my disc seems to always be topped off, even after tumbling around like a maniac.

Thanks for insight on another fun build. I will prob. do multishot for a few PLs and then go back to Strafe to switch things up!

PS- whered your weapon go?
Edited by CheekyMonkey#1660 on 1/28/2013 10:59 AM PST
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For anybody interested i tried FoK with Strafe briefly today at lunch.

Run time went down from 10min to 8min... This is definitely the boost i was looking for and should bring me up to or over 70m/hr

I am looking forward to trying this for a few hours tonight

Thanks TianZi!!

Edit: steady over 70mil...over a few hours of farming last night. FoK is awsome
Edited by Zamindar#1549 on 1/29/2013 5:38 AM PST
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01/28/2013 03:17 AMPosted by Bankai
Aside question, not sure if you tested PTR with new XP rates, but do u think this build will be redundant later when it may be better XP-wise to clear higher MPs, therefore needing higher DPS gear and builds? I honestly know nothing about it, but was just a side thought because it sort of sounds like the strafe build has a DPS-cap because you need a fair amoutn of eHP to make it work.


Didn't try exp farming on PTR (all I did there was duel, lol). I'd guess next patch double red gems should increase exp/kills per hour since we're moving CritD -> AverageD even if it's a slight loss on character screen DPS. Should allow players with higher DPS to use strafe in MP1 and possibly MP2 with fairly good efficiency.

For anybody interested i tried FoK with Strafe briefly today at lunch.

Run time went down from 10min to 8min... This is definitely the boost i was looking for and should bring me up to or over 70m/hr

I am looking forward to trying this for a few hours tonight

Thanks TianZi!!


Goodluck with it :)

The [Core -> Tower1 -> Rakkis -> Fields -> Arreat2] run is actually really nice. After a bunch of route testing a couple months back that's the one I settled on using since I liked it a little more then Alkaizer's route (which i previously used).

Most people like having Keep2 in their various runs, but for whatever reason(s) it always seems to hinder my exp/hour. You should probably just time a few different routes and see what turns out best for yourself.
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Thanks again Tian!
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good job, this is interesting. just re-started using DH for speed, and tried this out.

Finding it easy to die esp against reflect damage, molten and arcane, but managing for the most part.

Trying to preserve the magic find and be cost effective. If you have any advice for my gear happy to hear.
Edited by Thunder#1542 on 1/29/2013 6:10 PM PST
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@ TianZi i've been trying this build and i dont think "Snapshot" for gloom with SC works anymore. i use them and watch that stats after 5 sec go back to normal. can you confirm because dont work for me. can you add me in game maybe give me some tips etc. thanks

B1gEz#1586.
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Did not read all the post, but wondered why not use Templar for the extra Hatred gen?
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As above. For a build that is not too dependant on high dps why not use Templar's ability for hatred regen? Would it not be more efficient to use Templar for regen and ditch Vengeance & keep Nightstalker. I'm pretty reluctant to ditch Archery as a passive.

I think p/u radius also needs a MAJOR mention in this build considering Vengeance is a passive. P/u radius gear is getting pretty expensive and I have 13. Even without Vengeance to farm that quick you should have a min of 10 for the gold IMO. 12+ with Vengeance..
Edited by Beriberi#1882 on 1/30/2013 1:35 AM PST
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