After the mild success of my season 17 “Zero to Hero seasonal Guide” I decided to re-write and update in time for season 18 launch on august the 23.
The point of this guide is to provide an easy-to-follow list of tips and tricks detailing all the steps I take from level 1 to endgame on my first seasonal character.
It’s important to keep in mind that this is not written for casual players and first-timers (although it might prove useful to both), but rather for intermediate players – or returning players – that already know the basics of the game. As such I will be retaining the same overall theme of efficiency.
Before I get into the guide proper I highly recommend reading the patch notes if you have not done so yet, I will be mentioning information from these quite often.
- S18 Patch Notes (
So, with that rather excessive introduction out of the way, lets get stuck in.
Not much has changed in terms of the leveling process from last season. Of course with the new seasonal buff we have a cool new mechanic to play around from level 1. The Triune:
- Triune of Love (Power): Players in the circle receive a 100% damage bonus while active
- Triune of Determination (Resource Reduction): Players in the circle receive a 50% discount on resources spent while active
- Triune of Creation (Cooldown Reduction): While standing in an active circle, any skills currently on cooldown come off of cooldown more quickly
-as well as a moderate collection of reworked legendary items that in some cases (example: Squirt’s Necklace) can drop, or be rolled at Kadala, from level 1 for some extra damage boost.
- Create Seasonal Character
- Enter a Game and instantly return to menu (to register character creation)
- Complete weekly challenge rift with your seasonal character (For bounty mats, Death’s Breath (DBs) and gold).
- Start new game at anywhere between hard and master difficulty (you can lower difficulty at any time but not raise it) and open your challenge rift cache (crc).
- Depending on your class you might want to roll specific items at Kadala at level 1 (this link will give you an overview of Kadala drops).
- Grab weapon from the templar companion.
- Optional: Find a boss bounty that is easy to reach – for example: Kulle, The Skeleton King or Maghda and kill it (For guaranteed rare drops from the chest).
Early Cube Items
- Go to Act 3 and grab Kanai’s Cube.
- Fully upgrade blacksmith and forge a level 70 weapon or armor (depending on what class you are playing).
Since s17 it is possible to fully upgrade blacksmith, craft a level 70 item, upgrade a rare item to a random legendary item of the same base in cube and cube that item from level 1.
Challenge Rift Cache DB Break Down:
- 2 DB to upgrade mystic and Blacksmith
- 5 DB to extract a legendary power
- 25 DB to upgrade a rare
- 3 DB for possible rerolls
The reason I stress the last three, is if you get lucky and get a level 70 Ancient with CC secondary on your upgrade, you can try to roll reduced level requirement, and ancients actually can roll up to 40 levels, meaning you can use a level 70 ancient at level 30 if you're lucky, which is far better than cubing it. – TheRazorX
Now, the discussion of which items to upgrade in cube for the leveling process is one that is very much up to debate – in the case of some classes upgrading a rare might not be worth it at all. The following are my convictions on what upgrades to gamble on each class. I have tagged each class with a bet-safety level, depending on how RnG dependant each class is on the first roll.
Obtaining cube – level 24
|Class||Items to Roll||Chance of Success|
|Demon hunter||1h Dagger||100%|
|Crusader||2h Flail||50% of multiplier (counting double bombardment)|
|Monk||Fist Weapon||42% chance of useful drop|
|Barb||2h Mighty Weapon||60% chance of useful drop or multiplier|
|Witch Doctor||Ceremonial Knife||50% chance of useful drop|
|Wizard||Wand||60% chance for useful drop|
The above link to Kadala Drops shows all the items within the item types for more information. As mentioned what items to roll (if any) is very much up to debate on all classes excluding DH and Necro.
- You can either do massacre bonuses in Halls of Agony 1-3 or start doing normal rifts (NRs). Massacre bonuses are fastest for soloing, and in groups I'd recommend doing these until you hit between level 20 and 30, then switch to normal rifts for mats and easier group play.
- Every 8-10 levels you should check smith for better craftable weapon, depending on how often you are in town (this is not a priority).
- Check vendors in town for jewellery with +X damage.
- Fill helmet and weapon sockets with red gems for bonus EXP and added damage (if any sockets are available on dropped gear).
- Start grinding normal rifts, change difficulty to an appropriate level based on any lucky legendary drops.
- Fully upgrade mystic.
- At level 40 craft a level 70 two handed weapon at the blacksmith. Keep crafting until you get a weapon with a “%” secondary roll (3% chance to fear, 2% chance to freeze, blind etc). Once you have a 2 handed weapon with a % secondary roll, go to the mystic and roll “reduced level requirement” on the other secondary stat – the goal here is to get as close to 30 as possible.
- Equip level 70 crafted weapon once possible and change difficulty to T6.
- You now have 1 cubed weapon and 1 level 70 two handed weapon with “reduced level requirement” + any lucky legendary drops or kadala items you have obtained.
- Keep grinding normal rifts (NRs) on T6 until progress gets slow, then start lowering difficulty.
- Continue grinding NRs until you hit 70.
- Optional: At level 67 start doing all bounties.
- Congratulations, you are now level 70.
Getting Started in Season
Probably my favorite part of any season are those span of hours between hitting level 70 and reaching your desired build. Its during this short interval that you’ll have to use your creativity to make whatever build you can with the items at hand.
For season 18 the classes are going to be more evenly matched during the opening sprint than season 17 – all classes Headring’s sets are reliant on the 6-peice. With no shadows set on DH for early-game group carrying there are strong arguments for other classes to be made – such as WD or Monk.
However, the process for gearing remains much the same as last season. Hit 70, you should have enough DB’s to roll yet another lvl 70 item in the cube (I had last season at least). Then simply start completing season journey until you reach the final Haedrig's Gift for that sweet 6-set bonus.
At this point, with a 6-set and a handful of miscellaneous legendary items it’s time to begin the grind for real:
- Set difficulty to T16 (any 6-set should be able to more or less breeze through T16 without too much trouble with some accompanying multipliers).
- If possible try and get some Sage items into your build; we want as many DBs early on as possible to upgrade rares to legendaries in the cube.
Personally I will be playing wizard, and I’m hoping to set up a complete Vyr-Chantodo build within 2-3 hours of hitting 70 – with the exception of a few items. I believe the wizard will have the strongest opening 12-hours out of all the classes and therefore my team will be running 1 support monk + 1 support barb / necro + 2 wizards ASAP.
- VyrChantodo build: https://www.diablofans.com/builds/104737-vyr-chantodo-4-man-dps-build
Once the wizards get their full chantodo build they can instantly start running GR 100+ in 5-ish minutes and simply level exponentially faster than any other meta-run in the game: I personally believe LoN Necro to actually be weaker than wizard for season 18 in terms accessibility and speed runs – not least because the seasonal buff suits the Chantodo playstyle like a dream.
The true endgame of Diablo 3 is all about grinding paragon levels and pushing GRs to the max. To achieve this, the meta has evolved around speed groups for the past 8 seasons to power up as fast and efficiently as possible.
What's the point of the speed meta?
Basically the speed-grouping-meta came into existence because being able to complete GR 100+ in 2 minutes average is the undisputedly best way to farm EXP, items and gem levels for augments.
The point of the speed meta is:
- To hit optimal XP/Hour numbers
- Upgrade as many legendary gems as fast as possible (for augments)
- Ridiculous amount of item drops (GR 100 drops as many items as GR150)
With the above in mind it's important to be able to sustain both gold and greater rift keys. For this a fully upgraded Boon of The Hoarder gem is paramount when paired with a T16 speed build.
It’s also a good idea to set up several different characters during a season; I for one always run a DPS class as my “main” character and a support builds – typically zbarb. With this I’m able to deal damage in certain groups whilst supporting in others, making me a much more desirable player for a party.
With all this said (and soon done) I hope all my fellow D3 players will enjoy season 18 to the fullest. Good luck!
Source: Original link
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