So I'm bored waiting for the season start today, and I decided to do some testing to figure out the best way to get the best reduced level requirement weapon this season.
If you know a lot about this topic already, I'll give a short TL:DR now: I think it's very worth it to craft weapons until you get one with both life per hit as a primary attribute and CC% chance as a secondary. If you don't believe me, keep reading.
Ok, so to start off I want to fill in how this works for newer players. If you level your blacksmith using your challenge rift rewards to max level, you can craft level 70 weapons. If you craft those weapons and then reroll the secondary affixes at the mystic until you get reduced level requirements, you can be rocking a 3k DPS level 70 weapon at level 40 and level way faster. Here's an example of what I'm talking about:
The problem with this is that reduced level requirement ranges from 2-30 and is a very rare roll. Since we have limited resources early in the season, we want to make sure we craft for this as efficiently as possible or we might run out of either money or crafting materials. The widely recognized way to do this is to craft until you get weapons (like in the above picture) that have crowd control (CC) affixes like "% chance to X on hit" because all of those mods are exclusive with each other, so if you have that as one of your secondaries the other is much more likely to end up as reduced level requirement.
The thing is, there's another mod that helps roll reduced level requirement as well: having a weapon with life per hit (LPH) as a PRIMARY mod. Life per hit on the primary means that the weapon cant get life per kill as the secondary, which is one of, if not the, most common rolls. The other thing about this is that life per hit is the best mod in the game to have on your weapon while leveling. It can roll up to 20k, so when you're a level 40 you basically full heal every time you attack which is amazing. At these levels a lot of the time your damage isn't what stops you raising the difficulty, its survivability, so this mod is imo the absolute best one to have on your leveling weapon.
Ok, so, the numbers. There's two questions we need to answer here: how rare is it to craft a life per hit weapon with % chance to CC as a secondary, and once we get one how much more likely are we to get reduced level requirement as the secondary compared to the traditional CC% weapons without LPH.
To start off, one thing I learned is DONT USE CLASS SPECIFIC OR RANGED WEAPONS. They roll resource affixes (discipline, essence, etc) that are very common rolls that pollute the pool of rolls and drastically reduce your chances to get – level requirement. I highly recommend even crafting 1H melee weapons as a DH and just using chakram/impale/bolas and such because the difference is that huge.
So anyway, for this first question, I crafted 50 2H level 70 axes (maybe someone who bots can generate some more data here, but I only have so many materials!). Of those 50, 48% were only rollable with the old CC method, and 22% were perfect with life per hit and CC%. This of course means that about 70% of the weapons you roll are craftable one way or another, and the expected cost in materials is 20 of each if you want to do it the old way and about 100 of each if you want to get a LPH weapon (all statistics are based on an 80% chance to obtain the desired outcome, the same way https://www.d3planner.com/game/kadala works). So, the answer from my limited data is that we spend about 80 more of each crafting material to get our base weapon if we want LPH. Lets see if that's worth it.
I spent 150 rerolls on normal CC% weapons, and I rolled reduced level requirement 25 times on life per hit base weapons. I got reduced level requirement slightly more than half of the time on the life per hit bases, and 9% of the time on the traditional cc% bases. Using the same 80% confidence math as above, this means that the expected materials cost of rolling reduced level requirement is about 6 materials per roll on the LPH weapon and about 50 materials on the only CC ones.
So basically its about 10 times easier to roll reduced level requirements on LPH bases than normal ones. That's pretty huge.
At the end of the day, the numbers are pretty close but I think that the LPH method is the better choice. We spend something like 80 materials more crafting the base in order to spend 50 less every time we roll reduced level requirement on it. The important thing to remember here is that level reduction is a 2-30 range. It doesn't help us to get a 4 level reduction, we really want 20+ and ideally 25+. That's gonna take multiple level reduction requirement rolls.
Since I want to get the most out of that statistics class i took 10 years ago, it would take you about 186 crafting materials to have an 80% chance to get a weapon usable at level 50 or below with a regular CC% chance base.
A life per hit base is only 23 materials, resulting in a total crafting cost of about 60 less materials by the time you factor in the base weapon and the rolling for 20+ reduced level requirement. Plus, then you have a much better weapon because it both gives you way more damage and basically makes you immortal. Plus, if you want to save even more time, its actually realistic to go for 25+ reduced level requirement on the LPH base.
Real TLDR: You have a 22% chance to craft a level 70 item with life per hit and cc% that will roll reduced level requirement about every 2 rolls. A more traditional base with just CC% and not life per hit happens about 70% of the time, but you then only get reduced level requirement every 11 rolls. On an 80% confidence basis, getting a weapon with 20 or more levels reduced only costs about 60% as much if you go for life per hit, and life per hit also gives you a better weapon to use for leveling. I'd say that's the best way to go.
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