Jump to content
FORUMS
Starym

The Paradox of Diablo: Why "Optimal Builds" Hurt the Game

Recommended Posts

iHDOSGS.jpg
 

A lot of the comments on my last article got me thinking (and btw, thanks to everyone for reading and hopefully enjoying it) and opened up a whole lot of ideas for followups. But the biggest takeaway from them has to be something I've been struggling with for a long time now: the paradox of Diablo-likes, as I like to call it. Just to put a huge disclaimer at the top here: all of this is my personal opinion and preference, obviously, and there are many people who prefer to play differently, be it use the same build over and over (WW Barb comes to mind) or just push to the maximum GR every single season no matter what. This article is for the rest of us who are at least somewhat conflicted.


The what of Diablo-likes??

Ok, so bear with me here. A Diablo game is composed of three basic parts: the combat, the skills and the loot. Everything else is set-dressing and enhances (or diminishes) those three parts. I've already gone over how Diablo 3's combat is almost pitch-perfect and hasn't been matched yet in the genre (sorry Lost Ark), the skill system is problematic in most games in the genre so we'll skip that, which leaves us to focus on the real problem of (current) Diablo 3 instead - the itemization.

We all want the best gear. We all want to be optimal. We all want to push the hardest difficulties and feel powerful and awesome. That's what the game is about - power fantasy, killing demons, getting powerful rewards to kill more demons with etc. The problem arises when obtaining and using that best optimal gear becomes more important than everything else. When it becomes more important than fun. Think about that for a second. Something in a GAME you're playing is more important than having fun with said game. When you look at it from an outside perspective, it's a ludicrous statement. You play games to have fun, why on earth would you instead have less fun just so you can get better items and be more optimal? It makes no sense. And yet it's what I'd wager happens to most players. It's absolutely what happens to me every time I come back to the game. It certainly happens to anyone that goes "hardcore" (no, not the game mode) in these types of games. Now, obviously for that contingent of players that goes hard at the actual leaderboards and only wants to push themselves to ever higher Greater Rifts, THAT'S the fun in the game, but I feel pretty certain there are builds they'd rather play if they could push with those.

So the paradox here is that the point playing the game is to get better gear, but getting the better gear can make the game less fun at high levels of gear optimization, as it forces you into specific builds.

2rnwuwb.jpg


The Loop

In Diablo 3, it goes a little something like this: you get the set that buffs you with infinity-gillion% damage and it's really fun to play, whether it's from the seasonal journey or from farming it the regular way. Then you play it some more and more and it gets less fun, as every repetitive activity does. Now if the set you have isn't the MOST optimal one you get to farm for the next one and when you get it, the loop repeats. But it only repeats once. Now you're stuck with this optimal set, and, ok, you can now search for the ancillary pieces of the build, the few legendaries and cube items that complement the set. Usually though, these don't add much to the build in terms of gameplay, they just make that way of playing more powerful. This is the end of the loop in terms of gameplay gains, unfortunately, as you're now farming for small percentage upgrades, that perfect roll with the maxed affixes that give you that +137 Strength or 1.5% crit chance that will push you to that next GR level (don't even get me started on Greater Rifts and their litany of issues). Now, don't get me wrong, this issue isn't related to just Diablo 3, it's a problem in all loot-based games. The better ones manage to distract you from the issue and possibly downplay the need for being optimal.

For Diablo 3 specifically, the issue really only appeared after Reaper of Souls, because that's when the excellent new legendary system was introduced. This is one of the best additions in an expansion I've seen to any game I've ever played, as it took the potential of ARPGs and put it into overdrive. Until then we had stat sticks for items and that was fine, that was the way it's always been, with the very occasional legendary that actually had an ability (ah, MaximusMaximus, you were ahead of your time), or sets that gave you just more of the same stats. But with RoS, every single slot you had was now an option for deep customization of your gameplay style. Sure, not all legendaries had gameplay changing abilities, but they all added something to your build, at the very least visually. I'd say that initial Reaper of Souls period was the absolute best in terms of itemization and build diversity (although I'm sure there were plenty of optimal and "must-have" builds even then), because legendaries were pretty scarce so you had to make do with what you had and create builds based on that.

Then came the enemy. The sets system in Diablo 3 is just bad, there's no way around that. It takes the loop and just speeds it up infinitely. When the change to sets to make them actually viable was first announced, I was thrilled. Permanent Call of the Ancients with a 6 set for Barb? Sign me up! I didn't even think of the fact that that was 6 slots immediately gone, with additional ones having to bend to the now Ancients focused build. The deathblow came when sets became infinitely powerful with the various nonsensical +28193463184327423% buffs and legendaries weren't buffed alongside them.

Shadows-Mantle.jpg
The bonus is now 75,000%.

Now look, obviously a lot of this isn't the developer's fault. The team is ridiculously small and was getting smaller ever since RoS, so tweaking % numbers is an easy way to make it seem as if something is being added. I get that, that's fine, you do what you can with what you have. But it's not just Diablo 3 that has this issue. The more power vs. more fun is an eternal struggle in the whole genre. The glaring thing with D3 isn't that its itemization is bad, it's that it has SO much potential with all of these legendary powers that's being squandered.
 

Unsolvable?

Is this even a solvable issue though? Yes and no, unfortunately. The basic loop I mention above will always be there, there will always be an optimal build, no matter how hard developers try to avoid it. However, there are things that make it either last longer, make it a more smooth loop or make it less noticeable. There are plenty of potential solutions, too many to write up here, but the below are the ones I feel are most relevant (and easy to explain).

  • The easiest way to resolve the issue is to simply not care. Take whichever combination of items you enjoy playing, head to the difficulty those items allow you to play and have fun! I'm sure plenty of people do this already, but I've tried many times and everyone I know has as well - we never keep at it. We always end up defaulting back to the "good" builds.
     
  • Items HAVE TO be hard to get. Of course everyone wants to get to play with the big toys and it's not actually fair that only people that spend insane amounts of hours in a game get to use the most powerful items. But, once you remove rarity as an issue, other than small % upgrades, the system collapses in on itself. Once the powerful builds become easily available to all, those are the ones that will be used. By all. They are supposed to be the goal, the carrot that keeps you playing and farming and enjoying the gameplay.

    Now of course the reason things are as they are in D3 at the moment is because it's a 7 year old game and the hardcore players (again, not the game mode) have already had all the powerful items, so it's completely ok for more casual players to get them too, but I'm talking in general here. Making tiers of power (not tier sets, mind you) as incremental goals is the way to go. So casual players get to play with powerful things, but they know there's more out there. Getting one full complement of gear from a single tier allows you to start going for the next one and so on. Just to clarify, by tier I don't mean the same items with bigger stats, but you take your legendary pool and see which are more or less powerful and sort them that way. This is already a thing, as you can always find tier lists for items in any game, ranking them by their power. The problem there is that you can skip huge parts of that if you get lucky with a drop. So, if you get a really good top tier item, that's it for that slot, you just completely ignored the other options available there. There are so many fun and interesting legendary combinations in D3 that are simply ignored because they aren't powerful enough.

latest?cb=20141009005449  

  • Content helps out a lot, as doing various different things to obtain gear keeps it feeling fun. Specific game modes or dungeons can completely revitalize a game. For example, if you came across a dungeon with really good rewards, but weren't allowed to use any of your top items, that would make you instantly have to change your build and playstyle, play with what you have available and adapt. Balancing said dungeon would be a nightmare, but it would be doable. Even separating the loot pool into different game modes is an option, so certain content is only accessible with the "worse" loot. It still rewards you with desirable items, but in order to get a chance at it you have to make sub-optimal builds with items that are weak. There are many different ways to do this and use content to liven up the itemization game, force players out of their comfort zone and get them thinking.
     

My solution

While most of the above is only applicable to a new game I've found a solution that works for me in Diablo 3 specifically. It's still a tough sell to some of my more hardcore-minded friends who physically can't have fun unless they're pushing the absolute highest GR possible, but I'll force/threaten convince them of this new way eventually. So what is it? Well it includes a bit of patience, unfortunately, but basically you make your own tiers and see how far you can get with them. If I stumble upon Ancients for my old reliable Cyclone + every single passive legendary possible that deals damage to everything around you Monk build I'm going to play it until it's no longer fun and try to see what GR level is the maximum I can get with it. Basically that Cyclone set is my own endgame. But here's the thing - I can have MANY endgames this way. Whenever I stumble upon an interesting combination of legendaries that might work well together, I'm going to try them out (or keep them in the stash because I need one or more additional legendaries to make it work) and if it's a fun build, then bam, I have another endgame goal for myself - take THAT build to it's maximum potential and gather items for it.

I'm actually going to make a spreadsheet for this purpose (yes, it's a bit much, but I have to keep myself away from those damned optimal builds somehow), charting what builds make it how far and how I can improve them.

All of this might seem like a lot of work and mental discipline for just one game when there's so much else to play, but it's worth it for me. Diablo 3 has many flaws and issues, but at its core, it's still the best in the genre and if I have to put in a little effort on my end to get it fresh again I'm absolutely willing to do that. Having tried literally every alternative out there in the genre for significant amounts of time, I keep coming back to D3 and there has to be a reason for it. That's not to say the other games are bad, but they're just not what I'm looking for - perhaps I truly am a gameplay snob.
 

The real name of the game

Creativity. Creativity and build diversity are the one and only solution in the end. Everything else I wrote about is just trying to emphasize that one aspect. If a game's items spark your imagination, make you think "OMG, if I just combine these 2 legendaries, and add this third one in, and then another and another, it'll be amazing. I can't wait to get them and try it out!", that's it, the game has you. Discovering new ways to play and creating them by yourself is what makes these games fun in the long term. As good as the gameplay can be and as good as the individual items are, they all have a pretty short expiration date. Finding new builds that change the way you play extends that to the extremes. There's nothing better to me than finding an item or items for a different class that immediately has me thinking I HAVE to try this class out now, look at how great this item is! Then, every once in a while, hop on to your optimally built destruction monster and stomp some crazy high GRs and Torments for some catharsis, just for good measure.

NleT8YM.jpg?1


Conclusion

In closing, obviously you should play EXACTLY the way that you want to, and if pushing the high GRs and using the absolutely best gear that is available in a season is what's fun for you, then that's great, I'm actually envious of you! If using the same build all the time is what makes the game fun for you who am I to tell you different! This was just about my personal issues with the game and genre, and potential solutions to it. If you found any of this useful (or at all comprehensible), great! Let me know what you think of the whole thing above, from the paradox to the potential solutions and if I missed something in my reasoning. A big part of why I wrote this article (and hope to write more) is to see what other current Diablo 3 players think after 7 years, and to potentially be able to tell Blizzard what we want from Diablo 4, as they seem to not really have a firm idea themselves.

*Header image by PeterPrime.

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apologies for the length, I'm still working out what the best format for articles like these should be.

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the article, and I have to say I agree completely. I usually prefer to play on lower difficulties but with more creative and "off-meta" legendaries. Of course, it would be even better if we could equip most items and still be strong enough for the latter Torments, but that might be too much work for a small team.

In the end it's still a game, and IMO that means I should play to have fun.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The whole thing boils down to them adding "set items" and making "legendaries" a step-up from "rares". Very early in D3's lifespan, rare items were actually best, and the game was much better back then as far as character progression goes (but it had a lot of other problems which resulted in an overall poor experience anyway).

Look at PoE's item philosophy. There are "unique" items there instead of "legendaries" (think about the name!). All that makes a "unique" item special is that it has unique properties - they are 'building blocks' for builds, and they are generally taxing to run because they lack other useful stats along with the property, compared to running rares in the same slot. This is how it should be. You should struggle to piece the build together whilst still trying to get enough raw stats from the other (typically rare item) slots. THAT's what makes the item chase fun.

In many ways I still like D3, but character progression and customization are two things they completely missed the point of as far as ARPG's go. It's like, they totally misunderstood what made D2 fun for most people when designing D3 RoS (and D2 was similar to what I described about PoE in many ways, although using slightly different tools to achieve it [runewords and items with skills on them - which I believe is where PoE took their inspiration for skill gems]).

Edited by Thaya
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the old days i used to enjoy trying different combination of skills in diablo 2 LoD. Then came skill synergyes.... It's kinda fun for increase in complexity, but suddenly we are locked to certain combination and no longer free to mix and match.

Based on that i think somehow tired player that hates META set, META skill and META team composition will enjoy some chaotic moment. Something like season (or special mode) of no legendary/set effect but all dmg increased by xxx% and dmg reduction increased by yy% 😀

Maybe then we can see some crazy build like trap DH or clone Wizard (i know these build is not possible).

Well that's my idea if number tweaking is all we can ask from Blizzard.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Risen said:

In the old days i used to enjoy trying different combination of skills in diablo 2 LoD. Then came skill synergyes.... It's kinda fun for increase in complexity, but suddenly we are locked to certain combination and no longer free to mix and match.

Based on that i think somehow tired player that hates META set, META skill and META team composition will enjoy some chaotic moment. Something like season (or special mode) of no legendary/set effect but all dmg increased by xxx% and dmg reduction increased by yy% 😀

Maybe then we can see some crazy build like trap DH or clone Wizard (i know these build is not possible).

Well that's my idea if number tweaking is all we can ask from Blizzard.

Yep, content pushing build variety is a really good solution, which is one of the things that have to make it into D4.

  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The idea of powerscale will always be a problem in a game with leaderboards, even if you don't play to be part of said leaderboards. You'll see your buddies pushing on higher GRs than you, and feel your pride hurt because you're playing with a less "optimal" build. You will always find yourself lacking power, at some point, even if you have near perfect itemization. And Tier Sets completely ruined that, as well. You use X Tier Set until you find Y, because it is better. It is quite frustrating.

I've been playing Leapquake Barbarian since they introduced it. I find the gameplay style extremelly enjoyable and hard to get bored of. Yet, it is a build considered mid-low Tier for GR pushing; and it is something I feel when I play with friends that use the "Top Tier" builds, cleaning stuff faster than I do, to the point I feel that my presence in the group is a mere placebo.

I've tried other Barbarian builds that are deemed better than Leapquake, but none of them felt good to me. So I stick with Leapquake because it is the way I have fun in the game. Same with Ulliana, another build that is deemed low tier compared to other Monk builds.

If Blizzard really wants to make an impact with Diablo 4, they will have to step-up their game and either change how the whole system works, or tweak it in a way that makes it enjoyable again and not a huge chore. But with the internet, things will always be tricky, because there will always have those threads with questions like "Which is the best build in the game?!?!?"

A lot of people will disagree with me, but I feel that if Blizzard really takes the supposed route and make the game like Dark Souls, replayability will become something more engaging. I played Dark Souls 3 over and over countless times because of how enjoyable it feels to fight those hard bosses again, but with full gear and spells and whatnot.

Edited by Valhalen
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the format, and the in-depth topic of game design. It would be wonderful to see more analysis' (analysees? analysi?) on topics such as skill systems and class structures. Keep up the good work.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/7/2019 at 5:42 PM, Starym said:

Diablo 3 has many flaws and issues, but at its core, it's still the best in the genre and if I have to put in a little effort on my end to get it fresh again I'm absolutely willing to do that. Having tried literally every alternative out there in the genre for significant amounts of time, I keep coming back to D3 and there has to be a reason for it. That's not to say the other games are bad, but they're just not what I'm looking for - perhaps I truly am a gameplay snob.

This, right there. I couldn’ta cared less about this season after straying off to Path of Exile, a suitably fun, suitably developed, suitably being-developed game, but then their season ended and they rolled out the new expansion, and starting anew in there seemed extremely unappealing. I still haven’t figured out how to stop these incessant, sudden deaths on my main character: Stepping on the wrong Pixels of Atrocity and Apocalypse and getting inexplicably one-shot into losing 10% of my total progress to the next level is not exactly my idea of a good time, considering that a single percentage point takes in the vicinity of five minutes to attain. I also read that it could be caused by a flaky server and tried to fix it with some manual sync command macros, the whole idea of which is as ludicrous as it is sad in a modern, supposedly powerful, spottily polished game engine. That game needs a combat log or at least anything in that direction; it doesn’t even have Diablo III’s simple “was slain by” messages.

Anyhow, after spending quite some time and, indeed, money on that game, I decided that if I were to start an ARPG from scratch, it might as well be ye olde faithful Diablo III. And despite picking my least favorite class, which I’ve blissfully ignored until now, I had a blast. The game has so many flaws, so many errors, which are all the more excruciating because it’d take a beginner programmer such as myself little more than an afternoon to fix. And yet there’s this strange attraction that keeps me going back to killing fruity, by today’s standards outdated-looking demons by the thousands. After months of making actual progress with a game that’s alive and well and tempting for a nerdy mind to crunch the numbers of its manifold possibilities, I find myself craving Diablo III’s fast food-like, greasy and sleazy and indubitably unhealthy (because short-lived) burgers, simply because their secret recipe – the combat – has never been copied by anyone outside the Krusty Krab: Guilty pleasure inludite.

I recall a similar situation many years ago when a far less popular game of a different genre, the real-time strategy–RPG hybrid Warlord’s Battlecry III, had this fascinating band of followers despite its endless flaws and, more importantly, its factually superior alternatives (Blizzard’s own Warcraft III, Spellforce, etc.). Not being a developer myself back then, I just admired its premise of never-ending progress, an utter niche but rewarding grind, long after it had been abandoned not only by the people who hated it from the start (and there were a lot), or those who liked it for a while and played it with me before shrugging it aside, but even by its own developers. So this tiny but glistening core humbly asked the company, at least what was left of it, for the custody of their misshapen, grotesque but all the same beloved game – and got it. After signing an agreement not to share the game’s code, they were allowed to make their own alterations and modifications to an already dead, zero-profit patient, and revel in whatever perverted homunculus might emerge.

If Diablo III ever found a fate like this, I’d gladly pour my spare time into raising this abandoned kid, for I know that with such coruscating potential at its core, one could develop something grand. Knowing it is about as likely as seeing a successful manned Mars landing in my lifetime, I get frustrated and consider equally frustrating options like Path of Exile again, simply because its many glaring mistakes have at least a mild chance of being fixed. Other developers would kill for an engine and combat like Diablo III’s, but Blizzard curses its offspring with a terrible sentence for the chubby son: Disregard.

  • Like 3
  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Think you nailed it on the head Infinal, Diablo III has the best engine / combat of the genre, while Path of Exile has the best itemization / crafting systems and a great on-going support, imagine what could be done if both's best parts were to be merged...Diablo III with actual support / innovation going on as well as a rewarding, long-term progression chase, and PoE without lag / rippy deaths all the time and more engaging gameplay.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/7/2019 at 6:04 PM, Valhalen said:

I've been playing Leapquake Barbarian since they introduced it. I find the gameplay style extremelly enjoyable and hard to get bored of. Yet, it is a build considered mid-low Tier for GR pushing; and it is something I feel when I play with friends that use the "Top Tier" builds, cleaning stuff faster than I do, to the point I feel that my presence in the group is a mere placebo.

I've tried other Barbarian builds that are deemed better than Leapquake, but none of them felt good to me.

Agree 100% and I have had the same experience but substitute "Leapquake" for "Whirlwind." That has been my favorite playstyle since D2. I love it.

A shame it caps out about 2-3 weeks into a season and pushing it beyond 100 is nearly impossible. And to do so basically requires grinding high rifts on another build (for me zbarb, which I enjoy but it gets old and requires a full meta group to be worth anything). 

My friends who like multishot DH, DMO frozen orb, and tons of other core, iconic builds that have FULL SETS designed around them have the same problem. There are playstyles and builds they really enjoy, but they very quickly max out and cannot be played in viable groups beyond GR100. 

And now we have "Season of Nightmares" that will just make 2 of the same top meta builds even stronger, while now making the other builds even WEAKER as they lose RoRG.

Season of Nightmares is right....... a nightmare for anyone other than the 2-4 super OP LoN builds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/7/2019 at 5:42 PM, Starym said:

A big part of why I wrote this article (and hope to write more) is to see what other current Diablo 3 players think after 7 years, and to potentially be able to tell Blizzard what we want from Diablo 4, as they seem to not really have a firm idea themselves.

I personally would like to see that in regards to itemization Blizzard goes back a bit more into the direction Diablo 2, where unique items (the legendaries of D2) had predetermined affixes and were also not limited to 4 primary and 2 secondary affixes like in D3.

Some legendaries in D4 could have 6 affixes, while others have 8 or even 10 different affixes, and not just one special affix, but maybe even two or three, if it fits the fantasy of these items.

Also, their special affixes shouldn't be like insane damage multipliers to a single skill (because as you said, it funnels everyone into the same builds in the endgame), but more generic and not just apply to a single skills, but be useful to various builds.

Furthermore, there probably should be various Best in Slot legendaries for different purposes. There could be for example a really offensive oriented legendary Best in Slot weapon, then there is a defensive BiS legendary weapon, then maybe a BiS utility legendary weapon, or even several other BiS legendary weapons that provide offense and defense and utility in other ways than the previous ones.

==============================

If anyone is interested, I attached some concept art I made to this post to illustrate of how such legendaries could look like.

The numbers and so on are just examples for the purpose of illustration and if that would be a real game, the numbers might change.

There are a few more concept arts here:

https://imgur.com/a/Z5NswCo

==============================

Thanks for your article / blog post.

It very much reflects the thoughts and feelings I have about Diablo 3 as well.

Windforce - Kopie.jpg

Earth Shatter.jpg

Bloodfist.jpg

Vampiric Embrace.jpg

Heart of Ice.jpg

The Mahim Oak Curio.jpg

Lenymo.jpg

Blade of Time.jpg

Thundergod's Wrath.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice article. IMHO, set items should be the standard, like start sets to get that little extra bonus )not the insane bonus u get now, but not in DH..:D) while legendaries should be the real deal and primals only on "legendary" items, not set items. that would make the set builds usable to a certain level and from that point on, u must work on ur legendary (and add possibility for all pieces to have sockets and modify more than 1 affix/suffix, after all, why to we horder so much gold if there is nowhere to spend it beside paying for grs?

The opportunity to reroll and get better affix/suffix would change the face of D3, turning the legs/primals the real goal not set items....

Just my thoughts tho..

Brgds

GK

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

D3 hasn't had any major content update since RoS, - 4 years ago?  Content helps instill game-playing adventure, and peaks interest, which indirectly helps alleviate the continual grinding.

Content updates are needed for D3, and if not, then I hope they address this for D4 in a timely manner.

Edited by rickster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, rickster said:

D3 hasn't had any major content update since RoS, - 4 years ago?  Content helps instill game-playing adventure, and peaks interest, which indirectly helps alleviate the continual grinding.

Content updates are needed for D3, and if not, then I hope they address this for D4 in a timely manner.

While I agree that the continual grinding can get stale without updates, grinding is very much a part of Diablo and this style of game. No matter what they change, the grind will always be there and I do think it should be. I'd hope for a balance in Diablo 4, where you get content on a scheduled basis, but you retain that grinding element.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Stan
      This week, we have LoN Witch Doctors in both regions. Check out the latest community guides to complete your weekly clear!
      Challenge Rift 104 EU Guide
      Gear
      Mempo of Twilight Haunt of Vaxo + Mirinae, Teardrop of the Starweaver (Rank 30) Cindercoat Spaulders of Zakara St. Archew's Gage Cord of the Sherma Justice Lantern + Esoteric Alteration (Rank 30) Focus + Enforcer (Rank 48) Custerian Wristguards Zunimassa's Cloth Fire Walkers Shard of Hate + Stormshield Kanai's Cube Powers
      Soulsmasher Tasker and Theo Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac Skills
      Poison DartSplinters HauntPoisoned Spirit Summon Zombie DogsBurning Dogs GargantuanBruiser Spirit WalkSeverance Acid CloudSlow Burn Passives
      Spiritual Attunement Fierce Loyalty Zombie Handler Midnight Feast  You will be using Spirit WalkSeverance to rush through the rift. Don't forget to summon your Gargantuan and Zombie Dogs at the start of the rift, because they will be up permanently. Use Acid CloudSlow Burn to kill larger packs of mobs. Check out Mnemonic's clear for more info!
      Challenge Rift 104 US Guide
      Gear
      Blind Faith Mantle of Channeling Golden Gorget of Leoric Cindercoat Penders Purchase Ashnagarr's Blood Bracer Harrington Waistguard Unity + Gem of Efficacious Toxin (Rank 57) Krede's Flame + Pain Enhancer (Rank 71) Hexing Pants of Mr. Yan Illusory Boots The Barber + Gazing Demise Kanai's Cube Powers
      The Gidbinn Belt of Transcendence The Tall Man's Finger Skills
      FirebatsCloud of Bats Spirit BarrageWell of Souls Summon Zombie DogsBurning Dogs Soul HarvestLanguish Spirit WalkJaunt GargantuanBruiser Passives
      Fierce Loyalty Confidence Ritual Grave Injustice Rush of Essence Raxx advises everyone to kill enemies within 20 yards to reduce cooldowns of your spells with Grave Injustice. He rushed through the rift using mostly Spirit WalkJaunt, Soul HarvestLanguish for increased damage, killing enemies with Spirit BarrageWell of Souls. You can remove FirebatsCloud of Bats from the action bar. Summon Zombie DogsBurning Dogs and GargantuanBruiser are only used on the Rift Guardian.
    • By Stan
      In Challenge Rift 103, we've got Sunwuko Monk in EU and a Spirit Generator Monk in NA.
      Challenge Rift 103 EU Guide
      Gear
      Monkey King's Garb Set (6/6) Includes Sunwuko's Shines + Bane of the Powerful (Rank 45) The Witching Hour Bindings of the Lesser Gods Convention of Elements + Bane of the Stricken (Rank 28) Leoric's Signet Kyoshiro's Blade + Empyrean Messenger Kanai's Cube Powers
      Incense Torch of the Grand Temple Spirit Guards Ring of Royal Grandeur Skills
      Crippling WaveTsunami Wave of LightExplosive Light Dashing StrikeBlinding Speed Sweeping WindInner Storm Mystic AllyAir Ally Mantra of SalvationAgility Passives
      Seize the Initiative Sixth Sense Harmony The Guardian's Path In EU, we have a Sunwuko Monk and Mnemonic_1 will take you through the run in the latest video.
      Challenge Rift 103 US Guide
      Gear
      Raiment of a Thousand Storms Set (5/6) The Ess of Johan + Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard (Rank 70) Magefist Bindings of the Lesser Gods Sash of Knives Bul-Kathos's Wedding Band + Gogok of Swiftness (Rank 36) Leoric's Signet + Simplicity's Strength (Rank 70) Shenlong's Fist of Legend + Shenlong's Relentless Assault Kanai's Cube Powers
      Incense Torch of the Grand Temple Depth Diggers Ring of Royal Grandeur Skills
      Way of the Hundred FistsAssimilation Crippling WaveMangle Dashing StrikeRadiance Breath of HeavenInfused with Light SerenityAscension Mantra of SalvationAgility Passives
      Harmony Exalted Soul Alacrity Seize the Initiative To guide you through the Spirit Generator Monk we have Raxx. What you need to do is Dash often and use Crippling Wave on enemies. When elites explode pop Serenity for immunity and you're good to go. 
    • By Stan
      It's time for Challenge Rift #102! In Europe, we've got a Firebird's Wizard, and in the US, players need to complete the clear with a LoN Archon Wizard build.
      Challenge Rift 102 EU Guide
      Gear
      Firebird's Finery 6/7 Ouroboros Ashnagarr's Blood Bracer Bul-Kathos's Wedding Band Justice Lantern + Mutilation Guard (Rank 31) Wand of Woh + Orb of Infinite Depth Kanai's Cube Powers
      Azurewrath Leoric's Crown Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac Skills
      Arcane TorrentFlame Ward BlizzardApocalypse Magic WeaponIgnite Energy ArmorPrismatic Armor Explosive BlastShort Fuse Wave of ForceHeat Wave Passives
      Blur Astral Presence Conflagration Elemental Exposure In EU, we've got a Firebird's Wizard and Mnemonic_1's guide will help you clear the Challenge Rift.
      Challenge Rift 102 US Guide
      Gear
      Crown of the Primus Spaulders of Zakara Ouroboros Aquila Cuirass Gladiator Gauntlets Krelm's Buff Bracers Hergbrash's Binding Halo of Karini + Bane of the Stricken (Rank 8 ) Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac + Gogok of Swiftness (Rank 25) Vyr's Fantastic Finery Fire Walkers Genzaniku + Primordial Soul Kanai's Cube Powers
      The Furnace The Swami Manald Heal Skills
      Arcane TorrentStatic Discharge Black HoleAbsolute Zero ArchonSlow Time TeleportWormhole Energy ArmorForce Armor Magic WeaponDeflection Passives
      Paralysis Evocation Audacity Unstable Anomaly Here's the weekly clear by Zanthyst Gaming, running a LoN Archon Wizard build on the NA side.
    • By Stan
      The latest Challenge Rift #101 revolves around Barbarians. We have Immortal King's Barbarian in Europe and a Glass Cannon Barbarian in North America. Check out the video guides and claim your reward!
      Challenge Rift 101 EU Guide
      Gear
      Immortal King's Call (6/7) The Traveler's Pledge Mantle of Channeling Stone of Jordan + Taeguk (Rank 38) Avarice Band + Pain Enhancer (Rank 25) Bul-Kathos's Warrior Blood + Bul-Kathos's Solemn Vow Kanai's Cube Powers
      The Furnace Aquila Cuirass Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac Skills
      Ignore PainIron Hide WhirlwindDust Devils Wrath of the BerserkerThrive on Chaos Call of the AncientsTogether as One Sprint Battle RageMarauder's Rage Passives
      Berserker Rage Weapons Master Brawler Animosity Mnemonic is here with a guide covering the latest EU Challenge Rift.
      Challenge Rift 101 US Guide
      Gear
      Deathseer's Cowl Fury of the Ancients Mara's Kaleidoscope + Boyarsky's Chip (Rank 3) Magefist Tyrael's Might Vambraces of Sescheron Girdle of Giants Wyrdward + Bane of the Stricken (Rank 25) Rogar's Huge Stone + Simplicity's Strength (Rank 6) Weight of the Earth Blackthorne's Spurs Doombringer + Utar's Roar Kanai's Cube Powers
      Bastion's Revered The Undisputed Champion N/A Skills
      FrenzyManiac Ignore PainIron Hide Furious ChargeMerciless Assault Threatening ShoutFalter War CryVeteran's Warning Wrath of the BerserkerInsanity Passives
      Ruthless Berserker Rage Boon of Bul-Kathos Tough as Nails Raxx is back with his #2 NA clear of the weekly Challenge Rift.
    • By Stan
      With the Season of Nightmares in full swing, Blizzard posted a guide on Ancient and Primal items, where they highlight the difference between them and talk about the ongoing Seasonal bonus, which increases your damage dealt and reduces damage taken by a percentage for each Ancient you equip.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Ancient items truly shine in Season 17: so long as you have no Set bonuses equipped, each Ancient you equip will provide you with a massive 750% boost to damage dealt and 4% reduction in damage taken. For those of you who may have taken a break from gathering loot recently, we thought a quick refresher was in order to clear up any confusion about the differences between Legendary, Ancient, and Primal Ancient items.

      In general, Ancient and Primal Ancient items are more powerful versions of Legendary items. They are identical to Legendary items except that their base attributes (damage or armor) and all non-percentile affixes roll higher values for both minimum and maximum possible rolls.
      Ancient & Primal Ancient Items
      The stats on these items will (generally) be tailored to the character class you are playing when the item drops Set items are also able to roll as both Ancient and Primal Ancient You can’t equip more than one item with the same name, even if one is Ancient and the other isn’t Any percentage-based affix will not be boosted (such as Attack Speed, bonus % to skills or % Critical Hit Chance/Damage) Ancient Items
      Only drop for characters who have reached level 70, and only on Torment level difficulties When dropped, Ancient items share the same orange glow as regular Legendaries You must identify the item to see if it’s an Ancient Once identified, Ancient items have an orange border (or green for Set items) around the item tooltip and say "Ancient" in the item description. They drop from all sources including monsters, chests, Kadala, Horadric Caches, Kanai's Cube, and even crafting at the Blacksmith or Jeweler Primal Ancient Items
      When dropped, Primal Ancient items have a red beam and glow Drops from any source of Legendary item in the game, including Horadric Caches, Kadala, and Kanai's Cube, but only after having successfully completed at least a level 70 Greater Rift solo These items are much rarer than Ancient items and have perfect Ancient-level stats on all affixes, including the item’s Legendary Power Primal Ancients & Developer Philosophy
      Primal Ancients are for players who have largely completed gearing for their build or finished their Season Journey but want to continue playing. They’re also for non-Seasonal players who have great gear and spend most of their time gaining Paragon Levels and upgrading Legendary Gems. We wanted to extend the excitement of seeing gear drop or spending Blood Shards at Kadala beyond obtaining Ancients in every slot. Primals provide an avenue for dedicated players to complete a build, without feeling like required upgrades.
      We hope that answers any questions you may have about Ancients and Primal Ancients. Now go get ‘em!
×
×
  • Create New...