Since I finished up Baldur’s Gate 2 recently, I’ve started thinking about Diablo 3 Season 23, which probably will start during the first week of April. I have a few ideas of what I want to do and decided to put some of that down on a post.
Obviously, followers are going to be a huge part of this coming season, more than anything else. So to truly take advantage of them, one probably will solo a good chunk of the game, which is what I plan to do unless a friend or two decide to join up. If that happens, my strategy may alter a bit but in reality I’ll probably end up being the first person to hit 70 in my clan.
That said, my character of choice to start off this coming season is the wizard. Obviously, the biggest change is the update to the Firebird set, which isn’t the seasonal set, but from my testing in the PTR quite powerful. Originally, I had planned to do a Tal Rasha 6 / Firebird 4 piece build but with the massive damage change from the 4 piece to the 6 piece bonus, it effectively rendered my original build into the ground.
However, I am a pretty big fan of the Tal Rasha set as a starter because it has a few good starting perks, including auto casting meteors and elemental resistances as a 4 piece defense. Unfortunately, it isn’t a top tier set so I will need to transition eventually towards Firebird, LoD or Hydra.
Yet because of the update to followers, one thing I will go for immediately is crafting a Sage’s Journey set asap. This will be a critical initial step as a solo player to start building up a collection of Death Breaths. Luckily, you only need three pieces for the set bonus to activate and I will prioritizing belt, boots and gloves to start.
Another thing that I look to do early on is get a Legacy of Dreams legendary gem. From what I read, this is the 2nd legendary gem to drop during Greater Rifts, so even a low level one should help greatly before one gets their starting set. With some luck, combining an LoD gem with whatever legendary items you found along the way and possibly crafting remaining pieces will help provide some great generic bonuses to help boost your torment level up fast.
During the early leveling process, I plan to do Act 1’s Halls of Agony 3 until I hit level 10. After that, I start to do a few rounds of Act 1 Adventure Mode quests to build up my gold and crafting material supply while pushing my Blacksmith level up. I try to do as many bounties as possible to obtain the Cain and Captain set for the XP boost while searching for ruby gems for my helmet slot.
I usually keep doing Bounties between acts 1-4 until close to level 50-60 where I start doing act 5s and get the full run achievement that I would eventually need to unlock for my set. Also, doing these Bounties early on means I’ll have crafting material ready and many crafting plans (I tend not to do Challenge Rifts even though that’s probably a better source for starting off).
Once I hit 61+, I start doing rifts and search for Death Breaths to do my final upgrades to my crafting stations. Before that point, around 40-ish, I might try to go for a Kanai’s Cube as I’m doing bounties in Act 3. That way, I minimize my backtracking and try to get everything done in a single shot.
Around 61+, I’ll start to discard the leveling gear since damage starts to scale up big time. Obviously, weapons are the most important thing to boost your damage. But one of the best things to go for, if you can handle it, is a level 70 weapon where you reroll a secondary property. That can boost your damage up quite a bit but it’ll cost you quite a bit of gold and materials so you want to take care not to break the bank in that process. The alternative is to craft a few level 70 weapons in the hope that you can hit a lower level item for use.
I might bring up the difficulty at this point to Hard (I start with normal since I want to get through as much content as efficiently as possible; this difficulty might be adjusted depending on your group composition). It’s pretty much a grind at this point in doing tons of rifts. Sometimes, just to vary things a little, especially as I approach level 70, I might hit the Fields of Misery to get XP bonuses. It’s not necessary but it does help break the monotony.
At 70, I hope that I have enough Death Breaths by this point because I want to make an attempt to craft my first end game type of weapon. It doesn’t have to be ancient, but I hope that whatever I make is useful for the planned build (like Energy Twister). I prioritize weapons above anything else just because of the cost to benefit ratio.
I think with Tal Rasha as the starting set, I might try to go for a Twisted Sword or a Deathbringer. Either one would be useful early on, although I think a Deathbringer generically is more versatile. Also, by this point if I had been doing enough rifts, I should be able to begin gambling through Kadala.
Here’s where being a wizard as a starter is great. The offhands can be quite useful. Obviously, the best option here would be an Etched Sigil. That plus a Deathbringer alone as starting gear would be a HUGE boon in a season.
If I have remaining Death Breaths, I would try to conserve some for crafting that Sage’s set. While cubing items would be great, the Sage’s set’s potential for the upcoming season is massive especially when you’re coming in Torments and desperately in need of crafting materials. Don’t forget you can just cludge together a crude bunch of legendaries in preparation for a cheap LoD set to push you up a torment or two and that’s huge.
Another key thing is to do Act 2, 3 and 4 bounties for the Gloves of Worship and Avarice Band. Even lower level versions of these acquired during leveling will be massive boons because of how followers can employ them.
Depending on how the Wizard works out this season, I might quickly switch to a monk for doing my Primal Ancient unlocking rift. I’m sure that either a Hydra or Firebird build ought to handle a GR70 easily, but I’m far more comfortable with a Patterns of Justice monk. That might end up being my go-to class since DH GoD got nerfed. Nonetheless, I’m pretty certain at this point that I’ll switch to one.