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Wizard Guide: Inferno and Leveling Builds (skills, runes, gear, playstyle, etc.)

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While this guide will present only a few talent builds, those that are proven to work and that we consider optimal, note that there is a large number of possible viable combinations. Feel free to try out different spells at your leisure.


For all of the builds here, you must enable Elective Mode in Options > Gameplay. This allows you to have multiple skills from the category active at the same time.


Lastly, keep in mind that, at level 60, each time you kill a group of elite mobs, you gain a stack of Nephalem Valor (up to 5 stacks), which increases your gold and magic find percentage. These stacks do not disappear when you die, but they do get reset each time you change one of your skills. The implication of this is that you should try to find a suitable build and stick with it as much as possible.


Inferno Solo Build

For soloing the trash in Inferno mode, you will need a mixture of survivability and DPS, in both your gear and your talents. You will spend the majority of your time kiting (so you need a way to slow enemies) and not getting hit. However, there are times when it is impossible not to get hit (teleporting mobs, vortex, jailer or even waller elites, etc.), for which you need some means of survival.


We will present you with what we deem to be the best talent build, and we will also provide several viable alternative talents and skills. Moreover, we include what we feel are the best gearing options you can make, for both DPS and survival.


Build

This [d3link=http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#blXRSO!Yaf!bbabZY]build[/d3link] is a viable means of farming mobs in Inferno. It provides you with:

  • DPS (aimed at multiple target/AoE DPS, but still performs decently in single target):
    • [d3askillicon=wizard_hydra][d3skill=wizard/active/hydra]Hydra[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] ([d3runeicon=c]Venom Hydra[/d3runeicon])
    • [d3askillicon=wizard_magicweapon][d3skill=wizard/active/magic-weapon]Magic Weapon[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] ([d3runeicon=c]Force Weapon[/d3runeicon])
    • [d3askillicon=wizard_shockpulse][d3skill=wizard/active/shock-pulse]Shock Pulse[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] ([d3runeicon=c]Piercing Orb[/d3runeicon])
    • [d3askillicon=wizard_blizzard][d3skill=wizard/active/blizzard]Blizzard[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] ([d3runeicon=d]Snowbound[/d3runeicon])
    • [d3pskillicon=wizard_passive_glasscannon][d3skill=wizard/passive/glass-cannon]Glass Cannon[/d3skill][/d3pskillicon]
  • Survivability/utility:
    • [d3askillicon=wizard_diamondskin][d3skill=wizard/active/diamond-skin]Diamond Skin[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] ([d3runeicon=c]Crystal Shell[/d3runeicon]), helps surviving unavoidable melee hits/bad situations;
    • [d3askillicon=wizard_energyarmor][d3skill=wizard/active/energy-armor]Energy Armor[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] ([d3runeicon=c]Force Armor[/d3runeicon]), increases your armor, provides you with health regen and provides you with the Force Armor effect, which we explain below;
    • [d3pskillicon=wizard_passive_blur][d3skill=wizard/passive/blur]Blur[/d3skill][/d3pskillicon], reduces melee damage taken
  • Kiting ability: [d3askillicon=wizard_blizzard][d3skill=wizard/active/blizzard]Blizzard[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] ([d3runeicon=d]Snowbound[/d3runeicon])

There are several changes you can make to this build, depending on your personal preference:

  • Use [d3askillicon=wizard_arcaneorb][d3skill=wizard/active/arcane-orb]Arcane Orb[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] ([d3runeicon=b]Arcane Nova[/d3runeicon]) in conjunction with [d3pskillicon=wizard_passive_temporalflux][d3skill=wizard/passive/temporal-flux]Temporal Flux[/d3skill][/d3pskillicon] to slow and kite enemies, instead of [d3askillicon=wizard_blizzard][d3skill=wizard/active/blizzard]Blizzard[/d3skill][/d3askillicon]. This produces slightly more AoE DPS but less control on the enemies. It also requires that you spend a talent point for kiting, which may be excessive.
  • [d3askillicon=wizard_mirrorimage][d3skill=wizard/active/mirror-image]Mirror Image[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] ([d3runeicon=b]Duplicates[/d3runeicon]) or [d3askillicon=wizard_teleport][d3skill=wizard/active/teleport]Teleport[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] ([d3runeicon=b]Fracture[/d3runeicon]) instead of [d3askillicon=wizard_magicweapon][d3skill=wizard/active/magic-weapon]Magic Weapon[/d3skill][/d3askillicon]. This provides more survivability/an extra tool to get you out of trouble, at the expense of added DPS.
  • Use [d3pskillicon=wizard_passive_astralpresence][d3skill=wizard/passive/astral-presence]Astral Presence[/d3skill][/d3pskillicon] instead of [d3pskillicon=wizard_passive_blur][d3skill=wizard/passive/blur]Blur[/d3skill][/d3pskillicon]. This will give you more DPS at the expense of survivability.

Playstyle

This is a brief overview of how to play this build:

  • Always keep up [d3askillicon=wizard_energyarmor][d3skill=wizard/active/energy-armor]Energy Armor[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] and [d3askillicon=wizard_magicweapon][d3skill=wizard/active/magic-weapon]Magic Weapon[/d3skill][/d3askillicon].
  • Always place your [d3askillicon=wizard_hydra][d3skill=wizard/active/hydra]Hydra[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] ([d3runeicon=c]Venom Hydra[/d3runeicon]) in range of the targets you are attacking. You may need to re-place it often.
  • Always keep your targets slowed, either through [d3askillicon=wizard_blizzard][d3skill=wizard/active/blizzard]Blizzard[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] or [d3askillicon=wizard_arcaneorb][d3skill=wizard/active/arcane-orb]Arcane Orb[/d3skill][/d3askillicon].
  • If you cannot avoid a damaging situation, use [d3askillicon=wizard_diamondskin][d3skill=wizard/active/diamond-skin]Diamond Skin[/d3skill][/d3askillicon].

Obviously, you should also DPS your enemies with [d3askillicon=wizard_shockpulse][d3skill=wizard/active/shock-pulse]Shock Pulse[/d3skill][/d3askillicon].


Notes on Mechanics

Whenever possible, attempt to keep the targets in one place so that they remain in the puddles left by your [d3askillicon=wizard_hydra][d3skill=wizard/active/hydra]Hydra[/d3skill][/d3askillicon]. The damage of several puddles stacks, so this is optimal for maximising DPS.


Neither the damage nor the slowing effect of [d3askillicon=wizard_blizzard][d3skill=wizard/active/blizzard]Blizzard[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] stack within the same area. Therefore, it is pointless to spam Blizzard in the same place.


Despite what the tooltip says, the damage absorption offered by [d3runeicon=c]Force Armor[/d3runeicon] to [d3askillicon=wizard_energyarmor][d3skill=wizard/active/energy-armor]Energy Armor[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] is capped at 100% of your maximum health. This means that Force Armor will provide absorption, reducing damage, when you take attacks that deal between 36% and 199% of your health. Anything that is below 36% will not trigger the effect, any attacks that deal 200% or more of your health will instantly kill you through Force Armor. This has some repercussions on your gearing, which we will discuss below.


Gearing

To increase your DPS, your most valuable statistics are:

  • Weapon Damage
  • Intelligence;
  • Attack Speed;
  • Critical Strike Chance.

Choosing items that improve your DPS is made very easy by the comparative in-game tooltips, which show exactly how much of an increase to your DPS a certain item is. The tooltips account for things other than raw damage, such as attack speed.


To increase your survivability, which is sorely needed in Inferno mode (but not very much prior to Act 2 of Hell), your most valuable statistics are:

  • Armor and/or All Resists;
  • Intellect (which also increases all resists) and/or Vitality;

In order to maximise the benefits of [d3runeicon=c]Force Armor[/d3runeicon] there are a few things to keep in mind regarding your gear. You must always have an EHP of X, where X is the average damage mobs deal with a single hit, divided by 1.35. Your EHP is a combination of your hit points and the various types of damage reduction you benefit from (armor, resistances). Keep in mind that your EHP will be different in relation to the different types of attacks you must encounter, such as melee attacks versus magic attacks. We have found this tool to be very useful in determining your EHP.


In practice, this will depend on the stage of the game you are playing. You will have to empirically determine the amount of damage the mobs you are facing deal, and adjust your EHP accordingly. To simplify things, for Acts 2, 3 and 4 of Inferno (the only ones challenging enough to warrant this degree of gear optimisation), you should aim to have about 125,000 EHP. If you are gearing for survival in the way we suggested above, this means you should have about 30,000-40,000 hit points and 170-220 in resistances. Again, you can use the tool mentioned above to calculate this more accurately.


The entire aim of this practice is to ensure that your EHP is not:

  • too low for the damage you are taking, making it possible to get 1-shot.
  • too high, effectively wasting the benefits of Force Armor, which only procs on attacks that are at least 35% of your health.

Gems

Gemming your gear is not exactly straightforward, as it depends on the type of content you are doing and the level of your gear. Here are your options:

  • Helm sockets: Amethyst for survival (+ % Life), otherwise Topaz (+ Magic Find).
  • Weapon sockets: Amethyst for survival (Life Steal), otherwise Emerald (+ % Critical Damage). Ruby is better than Emerald at low gear levels (under 15% chance to crit).
  • Other sockets: Topaz (Intelligence).

Single Target Build

For single target fights (such as the Butcher or Azmodan), you can afford to take more DPS talents and you should also take single target attacks rather than AoE ones.


This [d3link=http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#aZRSXj!YWX!cZbZaa]build[/d3link] is adequate for boss fights without adds.


[d3askillicon=wizard_magicmissile][d3skill=wizard/active/magic-missile]Magic Missile[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] ([d3runeicon=e]Seeker[/d3runeicon]) will provide good single target DPS. Moreover, thanks to the Seeker rune, the missiles will follow the target on their own, so you can no longer miss with your attack. Finally, this allows you to stand at maximum range (where the boss is off your screen) and the missiles will still find their way to him.


[d3askillicon=wizard_rayoffrost][d3skill=wizard/active/ray-of-frost]Ray of Frost[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] ([d3runeicon=a]Snow Blast[/d3runeicon]) provides very solid single target DPS and also slows the target, which can help you move around avoiding the boss's attacks.


Thanks to [d3runeicon=a]Sparkflint[/d3runeicon], your [d3askillicon=wizard_familiar][d3skill=wizard/active/familiar]Familiar[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] skill will further increase your DPS by a percentage.


[d3askillicon=wizard_diamondskin][d3skill=wizard/active/diamond-skin]Diamond Skin[/d3skill][/d3askillicon]'s absorption does not scale with your gear or the enemies' attacks, so at a certain point, it will become overwhelmed. At this stage, you should change Diamond Skin with [d3askillicon=wizard_energyarmor][d3skill=wizard/active/energy-armor]Energy Armor[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] ([d3runeicon=c]Force Armor[/d3runeicon]), which scales well with your health.


Playstyle

This is a brief overview of how to play this build:

  • Always keep up [d3askillicon=wizard_energyarmor][d3skill=wizard/active/energy-armor]Energy Armor[/d3skill][/d3askillicon], [d3askillicon=wizard_magicweapon][d3skill=wizard/active/magic-weapon]Magic Weapon[/d3skill][/d3askillicon], and your [d3askillicon=wizard_familiar][d3skill=wizard/active/familiar]Familiar[/d3skill][/d3askillicon].
  • Always place your [d3askillicon=wizard_hydra][d3skill=wizard/active/hydra]Hydra[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] ([d3runeicon=c]Venom Hydra[/d3runeicon]) in range of the targets you are attacking. You may need to re-place it often.
  • Spam [d3askillicon=wizard_magicmissile][d3skill=wizard/active/magic-missile]Magic Missile[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] and [d3askillicon=wizard_rayoffrost][d3skill=wizard/active/ray-of-frost]Ray of Frost[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] on the boss.
  • If you cannot avoid a damaging situation, use [d3askillicon=wizard_diamondskin][d3skill=wizard/active/diamond-skin]Diamond Skin[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] to survive it.

Gearing

Your gearing priorities while playing using this build are the same as the ones mentioned above.


Leveling Build

While leveling up, especially in the first 30 levels, your skill choice will not be very crucial. This is because the difficulty of Normal Mode is extremely low and you can complete it with any talents you desire. That said, here are the talent builds you should have at various levels:

After level 30, survivability becomes much more important, and you should pick up various end-game talents as they become available. Most importantly, you should change your level 30 build with the following talents, when they become available:

  • Choose the [d3runeicon=d]Absorption[/d3runeicon] rune for [d3askillicon=wizard_energyarmor][d3skill=wizard/active/energy-armor]Energy Armor[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] at level 32.
  • Choose the [d3runeicon=b]Arcane Nova[/d3runeicon] rune for [d3askillicon=wizard_arcaneorb][d3skill=wizard/active/arcane-orb]Arcane Orb[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] at level 32.
  • Choose the [d3runeicon=c]Piercing Orb[/d3runeicon] rune for [d3askillicon=wizard_shockpulse][d3skill=wizard/active/shock-pulse]Shock Pulse[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] at level 33.
  • Choose the [d3runeicon=c]Force Weapon[/d3runeicon] rune for [d3askillicon=wizard_magicweapon][d3skill=wizard/active/magic-weapon]Magic Weapon[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] at level 35.
  • Take [d3askillicon=wizard_hydra][d3skill=wizard/active/hydra]Hydra[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] ([d3runeicon=c]Venom Hydra[/d3runeicon]) at level 38. You will remove Familiar in order to make room for Hydra.
  • Choose the [d3runeicon=e]Pinpoint Barrier[/d3runeicon] rune for [d3askillicon=wizard_energyarmor][d3skill=wizard/active/energy-armor]Energy Armor[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] at level 41.
  • Choose [d3askillicon=wizard_blizzard][d3skill=wizard/active/blizzard]Blizzard[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] ([d3runeicon=d]Snowbound[/d3runeicon]) at level 47. The skill you should be replacing is [d3askillicon=wizard_arcaneorb][d3skill=wizard/active/arcane-orb]Arcane Orb[/d3skill][/d3askillicon].
  • Choose the [d3runeicon=c]Force Armor[/d3runeicon] rune for [d3askillicon=wizard_energyarmor][d3skill=wizard/active/energy-armor]Energy Armor[/d3skill][/d3askillicon] at level 54.

Gearing

While leveling up, your gearing should be done as follows, depending on the difficulty you are playing in:

  • Normal difficulty: look for any damage upgrades you can find (Weapon Damage and Intelligence, mostly). Survival is not an issue.
  • Nightmare difficulty: gear mostly for damage, but try to pick up pieces of gear that offer Vitality and/or resistances.
  • Hell difficulty: gear more aggressively for survival, prioritising Vitality and resistances over Weapon Damage or other damage increases. Judge this yourself, meaning that if you are surviving without any problms, you should boost your damage.

Followers - All Builds

Before Act 2 of Hell, having a Follower is not required. Even well into Inferno, you can manage without a Follower, albeit with more difficulty. You do not need to level up your Follower as you play along. If you first talk to your Follower at level 60, it will instantly be level 59, and it will have access to all its talent points and item slots.


We recommend using a Templar as your Follower, with this [d3link=http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/follower#0100]build[/d3link].


You should provide your Templar with tanking gear, that is to say Vitality in particular. Additionally, you can choose to put Magic Find items on him. You should equip the Templar with a shield.


He will provide the role of tanking for you, although it is more soaking a few hits and dying horribly rather than tanking.

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A nice tip while leveling is getting a head item with a socket. You should put a red gem in this socket which gives you a huge increase to experience gain. Currently I have a [d3normal=radiant-square-ruby]Radiant Square Ruby[/d3normal] in my head item and leveling is super fast.

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Thanks for the post Posted Image

I am a first time player of Diablo III and picked a Wizard as my first char role. I found the tips of talents, runes, etc very helpful and the mobs seem to be dropping even faster now Posted Image

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      The Great
       

       
      Empowered Rifts/Caldesann's Despair: While Wyatt Cheng (@Candlesan on Twitter) might hide his despair of this change behind a weak anagram, finally having a viable and impactful gold sink enter the game has many of the Diablo 1% jumping for joy. With so much gold coming from regular farming of high torments, and trips to The Vault, the community saw gold inflation in the highest order. With so many sources of generation, and few sources of loss, the amount players had stashed away became looney (Canadian money jokes). The idea of slightly lessening the time needed to level gems, and thus getting to imbue gear with the new enchanting recipe in Kanai's Cube faster, all while making gold worthwhile again was a massive victory for Team Diablo. It addressed an issue in a creative, fun, and engaging way that had players wanting to play the game more. It also diversified to a greater extent what players did while playing at endgame, and I think it is easy to classify this as an example of creative game design which resulted in a victory.   

       
      Haedrig's Gift: The thorn in my side, (I played Invoker's Burden Crusader this Season) I have to admit that this feature was a success from the community perspective. I will freely admit that I was bent out of shape with the announcement of this feature, and still question its merit. However, I was shown how my opinion here is narrow, and needs broader context. As a gamer who loved the early adventure games such as Sierra's King's Quest line, or the amazing LucasArt's Monkey Island series, I lamented the inclusion of "free sets" as a softening up of gaming culture, and an attempt to cater to those who want things without working for them. I also still question if this sped up the progression of seasonal character too much, leading to faster burn-out or season completion. The second point I hold true to, the first, I was gravely mistaken on. While I can be crusty old gamer who complains about walking uphill to school both ways "back in my day," I also have my scope wrongly adjusted to those old games. Many old computer games are famously confusing and difficult at times, and often lead to out-of-the-box or just plain weird solutions. These games also could often be played, once you knew what to do, in a matter of hours. You might sink lots of time into solving the puzzles initially, but the actual game length is relatively short. Now, we have a whole genre of game with the word massive in its title. These are games where a player can take an hour just to make a character's appearance right if they so choose. In this wave of massive gameplay comes things like Diablo, which actually never end. Sure you can beat the game, but that's not the goal for most. Set dungeons still leave the stopping point role unfulfilled. Instead we continue to push hard, faster and further a group each season, and many players were not having fun anymore trying to keep up. Enter the Gift, and now player who might have never even owned a full set before are getting a chance to explore the game in new and exciting ways. This is obviously a positive, and something that is good for the health of the game. In practice my Softcore Crusader who received Invoker's Burden through the Gift, and my Hardcore Crusader who farmed the pieces had very little difference of experience. It was a small gap in time spent between their progression, several hours to be fair. My enjoyment was no less on my softcore crusader, and progression only felt slightly slower on my hardcore one. The upshot? It let players with limited time, or perhaps those who don't spend hours talking theorycraft on the forums to be able to get moving faster and enjoying themselves sooner. Thus, I have to concede this to the clear win category. 
      Diablo Unannounced Project/Job Postings: While this isn't anything related with the Season, it did come to light during the season, and had a measurable effect on the community. The posting of various jobs to Blizzard's career page, and the mention in those posting about a "Diablo Unannounced Project" have many speculating. With the possibility of another Diablo III expansion, to another game set in the Diablo universe, to Diablo IV, the community is abuzz with theories. Only time will tell exactly what it is that Blizzard has up their sleeve, but many remain exceptionally excited for whatever that could be. More Diablo is always welcome.
      Kanai Event: Like the previous entry, this is more something that merely came to light during Season Five, and is not a direct product of it, but it certainly merits mention. The event consisted of a longstanding mystery of Kanai's Throne Room finally being revealed. Since the arrival of Ruins of Sescheron in Patch 2.3, there were cryptic in game clues and references to the "right time" in Kanai's Throne Room. The right time turned up in Season Five, with the Kanai's Stomping Ground event coming to life in March. This tribute is touching and tasteful on behalf of Blizzard, and is set to outlive this past season, by coming around each March. More can be read about the event and the person it honors here. 
      Legacy of Nightmares/Invoker's Burden: These two sets might not share anything in mechanics, but what makes their birth in the Season 5 meta important is that both represent a paradigm shift in what makes a character powerful in Diablo. Firstly, let's examine Invokers. This set, also known as the Thorns Set, offers a look into a world where Crit Chance/Crit Damage stats and Sheet DPS are utterly irrelevant. This change was lauded by many long term pundits of the game, who often argued that Crit was a stat too crucial to DPS output. This new way of thinking about how you get your damaged threw convention out the window, and did so successfully. 97,786 is how much DPS when my Invoker Crusader cleared his first 70 Greater Rift, something I know because I immortalized it via screen capture. With DPS figures ranging in the 2-3 million range for well-geared and high paragon toons, the idea that 97,786 could do anything of impact seemed astounding. It still is, if you think about Diablo convention to this point. This brings us to Legacy of Nightmares, another fly-in-the-face of conventional Diablo 3 Since the Loot 2.0 revamp, sets have been king of DPS. Some argue the lack of true diversity is gone in builds, something Vanilla had a surprising amount of in contrast. Few arguments could be mounted for anything but set based builds of late, and enter The Legacy of Nightmares . The "No-Set Set" gave rise to a new and exciting branch of gameplay that satisfied many of the prior complaints of too heavy reliance on set bonuses. While the issue is still not dead, after all Wizards couldn't seem to materialize a competitive build with LoN, it went on to dominate the solo leaderboards for classes like Crusader and Demon Hunter. I will state there is much work to be done here, but like Apollo 11, this was a "Giant Leap" for Diablo III.   
      Now, the heart of article is revealed. We have made it this far, and now the rock bottom and the sky-high aspects of Season Five come to light. 
       
      The Worst
       

      A Support Meta/Single DPS Gameplay: This is probably not a twist(er) to those who played Season Five, as we saw a worrying trend that began in Season Four take a whole new level of notoriety in Season Five. In a game that is all about smacking skeletons until they collapse, a striking meta emerges where 75% of a Four-man group are not doing it. David Brevik (you know, the guy who envisioned Diablo and worked so hard to make the game a reality) stated fondly of working on the first Diablo "I clicked on the mouse, and the warrior walked over and smacked the skeleton down. And I was like, ‘Oh my god! ...That was awesome!'" Thus was born the Action Role Playing Game, or ARPG. This quote characterizes what makes the arpg so special, and for many what their first Diablo experience was like. With this in mind, consider a situation where only one out four in a party are doing the skeleton smacking. Change might be good, but such a dramatic shift away from what seems so core to the arpg and the Diablo experience is nearing criminal. The reaction from the developers behind the game seems to be in vein with my own take on the situation, as they have mobilized en masse to try and cull this type of gameplay. Even well-known community figures admit that they only partake in it because it is the most efficient, not because it's what they enjoy. It is how to climb the leaderboards, for better or worse. Worse, really. This will likely be the most remembered aspect of Season Five looking back. Actually, strike that. The most remembered thing about Season Five, the thing that will put it down in the history books as what went right is:   
      The Win
       

      Season Five saw the purge of the Botter, and humans attaining victory. An update to Blizzard's Warden, in conjunction with well timed and decisive waves, saw the leaderboards all but purified of those who chose to break the Terms of Service by utilizing suspect third party softwares. Whether you and Brother Chris played Diablo 24/7, or you used a software which rhymes with MurboMud, or maybe plotted your trips through Sanctuary using some GPS, you probably saw the boot. While not all elicit software users were burned by the righteous fires of the purge, a great chunk saw, and thus now fear the Light. Whatever this means moving forward, the message has been sent, and the result are clear for all to see: Play by the rules, or risk consequences. Exceptionally well played on Blizzard's part with timing and deployment, the banwave has many of the jaded questioning if perhaps there is much to be said about the game after all. Excellent work to Blizzard, and I personally hope that you keep this momentum you've gained.   
       
      Conclusion:
       
      Season Five has come and gone, and with it a new legacy was born. What the full effect is still remains to be seen, but we can assess some core principles in the immediate. What we know is that like any Season, there are going to be bad aspects, and those that make us remember exactly what has us logging in again and again and again. Season Five seemed to polarize the issues, making the extremes of the bad, as well as the good, more apparent than ever. In the end there more good than bad, and this should have all fans of the franchise reaching for that mouse.
       
      Personally, I had a great time in Season Five, and I am looking forward to Season Six, which will begin as follows: 
      North America: Friday, April 29 @ 5:00 p.m. PDT Europe: Friday, April 29 @ 5:00 p.m. CEST Asia: Friday, April 29 @ 5:00 p.m. KST  
      I want to thank readers, and now that I have said my piece, I open the comment box to all of you below. Do you agree or disagree with my take? Let me know! 
       
      In the meantime, happy farming! 
    • By Realbookwurm
      Community member Meathead Mikhail regularly puts out helpful Diablo videos, and his latest covers a  very important mechanic which many players may not be aware of.
       
      I was made aware of this mechanic sometime back in 2012, but only because I am the guy who loves diving into a spreadsheet on the numbers behind a game. I also want to concede that most do not find reading up on the maths behind their favorite game quite as exciting as I do. However, since the nature of the mechanic is not referenced anywhere in the game itself, and has come about solely by the efforts of the theory-crafting community, it is still largely unknown to the player-base. 
       
      While some might see this as information for the Min/Max crowd, it is truly amazing how small tweaks like this can make your character so much more viable. I have invited many people in my life to try Diablo, and small tips such as this one have vastly improved their experience. It seems players tend to have more fun when they don't die often. Rambling aside, I am really happy to see such a quick and easy-to-understand explanation of the mechanic being made available. Thanks Meathead MIkhail!
       
      Please take the time to give it a watch, and I hope that players find this useful. I know that I have over the years! 
       
       
       
    • By Realbookwurm
      Get your cosmetic groove on with oodles of new looks coming in Patch 2.4.1!

      It is no secret that I am strongly looking forward to the new farmable cosmetic content that is due to drop with Patch 2.4.1. I even wrote a brief news about it featuring way too many caps in the title. The truth is while the game may still produce minor gripes here and there, let's not fail to celebrate that we finally are to the point with Diablo III where this type of development can take precedence. The gameplay has been tweaked, modified and perfected for nearly four years now, and the result is a patch that lets us focus on the finer things. 
       
      That isn't to say that Patch 2.4.1, and the Season 6 meta wont see totally new aspects. Many of the sets were once again tweaked, tons of legendary gems are changing, there was a massive effort from the devs to change the 1 DPS, 3 Support meta of Season 5, and even one or two massive tweaks to help out the solo players.
       
      Well if you are looking forward to the "small things" coming in the form a portrait frame made of rainbows, then check out the Cosmetics Preview that has just gone live on Battle.net. It shows a few of the items that will become attainable, including the new pet goblin and even some wings! 
       
      Don't forget to drop a comment or two in the box below and let us know what feature you are most looking forward to in Patch 2.4.1! I'm guessing the ability to wear a crab on your head is going to win any polls though... 
    • By Realbookwurm
      Well, China made my day. For more on how that statement makes sense, read this!
       
      The first step to recovery is supposed to be admitting that you have a problem. The truth is, I have a problem.
       
      It's just that I cannot stand romping through Sanctuary looking like a hot mess. There is some primal part of my being that cringes each time I swap new gear on and it throws off my Feng Shui. Luckily, my wife and closest friends understand this, and never mind affording me the extra time in town. Usually they're also busy picking out new looks. 
       
      That makes this news all the more exciting for us. Not only is the 2.4.1 PTR live, but it previews a surprising new addition to the game, farmable cosmetics! 
       
      The idea was teased with Lachdanan's Stormshield, a cosmetic item which is found in the Patch 2.4 addition, the Royal Quarters. Getting the shield unlocked a Transmog, and while many just assumed it was a one-off in Diablo nostalgia, it turned out to be a prophet of things to come. 
       
      Now to bring the header line into context, it would seem that players in the West are benefiting from the recent Asian Free-To-Play release of Diablo III, which is supported by an in-game store featuring cosmetics.
       
      It is also important to note that Blizzard is sticking to their vow to keep the store exclusive to the Asian market, and we are seeing the items added to the game in the form of free content. Well I was actually for the idea of implementing a cosmetics store-
       
      with purchasable stash space-

       
      I really applaud the way that the content is being delivered to us. For the small price of two box games, I have had thousands of hours of enjoyment, and the content continues to flow almost four years later. 
       
      Thank you Blizzard, and I suppose thank you to the Chinese market as well!
       
      Oh, and there was a cornucopia of balance changes too. Hit this link for more on the changes which are listed in the Patch Notes. I guess I was a bit carried away by the cosmetics. 
       
      Last item of interest for now is this thread over on Battle.net forums, which is documenting these changes via community effort. Thank you to Lumamaster for getting the ball rolling over there. 
       
      In the meantime, go nuts on the PTR! Also, don't forget to comment below and tell us your thoughts! 
       
       
    • By Realbookwurm
      East, Always... into the East. -Marius in Diablo II
       
      Well an interesting piece of Free-to-Play Diablo culture has just crept into our collective laps! 
       
      I would imagine that many Diablo 3 players, such as myself, are extremely curious about the "other" Diablo. The other Diablo being the totally Free-to-Play version made for the Chinese market. Many of us have heard the tales of being able to buy stash space, or a set of crazy wings. Well, Reddit user Apspd has managed to provide the Diablo community with some detailed pictures of the mythical shop. 
       
      What will probably strike many of you is the radically different look that most of the cosmetics have from those which we have in the paid Diablo. The wings, pennants and portrait frames look foreign (probably not a pun) and interesting. AIt is always the allure of what you cannot have I suppose.
       
      The original Reddit thread can be found here and I have linked the albums containing all the images below. 
       
      Wings
      Stash and XP Boost
      Pets, Pennants and Portraits Oh My!
       
      So what do you, the players, think about these transactions being offered? Would you happily throw money at the screen to have this option? Let us know in the comments below!