• Which Gems Should You Pick Up

    Gems in Path of Exile and their values

    With the recent influx of new players I see this question asked multiple times in chat channels, including my guild chat. There’s a ton of different gems and understanding their value when you’re just beginning with the game can be confusing for newbies. This post will provide you with some basic rules about (non-quality) gems and their value in Standard league so the next time you’re offered a choice after finishing a quest you’ll know exactly what to take.

    High(er) value gems

    Most gems in Path of Exile can be obtained from quests but some only drop from monsters, therefore they usually have higher prices.

    • Portal – drop-only gem, not particularly useful since Portal Scrolls drop in abundance but they can usually be sold for 1-3 Chaos Orbs.
    • Cast When Damage Taken – only rewarded from one quest in the game, “A Fixture of Fate” in Act III Merciless difficulty. Basically means that unless it drops for you (still rare), you can only get one of these gems on each character, so they are constantly being traded. Having a level 31 requirement also means it will take quite awhile until you’re able to get it, so the price is usually around 4-6 Chaos.
    • Chain – drop-only gem but only useful for very few builds in the game. The cost is typically 1 Chaos.
    • Multistrike – rewarded from “A Fixture of Fate” quest, otherwise a drop-only gem and fairly rare. It’s being used by almost every melee build in the game, but fortunately that doesn’t reflect its price: it can be obtained for 3 Chaos only.
    • Cast When Stunned – typically you’re able to sell it for 2 Chaos, although it’s much easier to obtain one yourself.
    • Empower – 10-20 Chaos
    • Enhance – 8 Chaos

    What about other gems?

    • Auras are generally sought after and can easily be sold for 1 Fusing or even 1 Chaos each, or 2 Chaos for Purity which is a bit less common. Grace, Hatred and Clarity are likely the most popular ones and easiest to sell.
    • Most attack and similar skill gems (such as Dual Strike, Cleave, Heavy Strike, Raise Skeletons etc.) are extremely easy to come by from the first few quests in the game and you’ll have a tough time trying to find buyers for those.
    • Curses generally can be sold for 1 Alchemy in case someone’s looking for a specific one, but stashing dozens of them and waiting for a seller is usually just a waste of time and space.
    • Support gems are generally what’s being traded the most, even though a majority of them are easy to come by. Players often need multiple so the demand is always there. Support gems that I see sought after on a daily basis are:
      • Reduced Mana
      • Blood Magic
      • Faster Attacks
      • Melee Splash
    • All of the above can fairly easily be sold for 1 Chaos Orb each fairly easily.
    • Slightly less used support gems are Fork, Culling Strike, Mana Leech, Faster Casting, Lesser Multiple Projectiles and Greater Multiple Projectiles, Life Leech, Item Quantity, Item Rarity, Melee Physical Damage, Multiple Traps, Curse on Hit. Most of these sell for 1 Fusing each.

    Note about prices

    As with all things in Path of Exile gem prices are determined by the seller and the buyer, and you may be able to sell them for either lower or higher amount of currency. Trading values (based on Standard league) I provided are just to give you a basic understanding of their potential value in general, so hold your horses.

    What does it all mean?

    If you come across some of these gems or are presented with a choice from a quest, this is roughly your priority:

    1. Gems you need or will use later on
    2. Any higher value gems you can sell
    3. Support gems
    4. Auras

    Hope that helps. If you have any questions, shoot them in the comments below!

  • Shredder: Dual Wield Physical Damage Build

    After patch 1.0.0 (PoE release) my old build got nerfed significantly. It required quite a lot of changes to be viable again and just didn’t have the same flavor. Nevertheless I decided to stick with it as pretty much every other build is boring to play for me. The old goals of the build are still the same: making a strong melee character with high survivability who is able to solo any content in the game. Despite strong nerfs the build still manages to do plenty of DPS and is even stronger than before in terms of survivability, but does require more expensive equipment to work as well.

    I based the build on the Duelist class, but you can also adapt the skill tree slightly to work with Marauders, Templars, Scions and even Rangers.

    Shredder - Dual wield physical damage buildContents:

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  • Using Orbs of Chance For Loot

    Orb of ChanceThere’s only one way of getting great loot in Path of Exile: get lucky. Loot is in integral part of the game and has its value, and we all want the best equipment possible for our characters. The only consistent way to get great endgame items is to craft them, which requires an enormous amount of currency but is somewhat less RNG based, depending on how much you’re willing to invest.

    If you’re hoping for an item to drop for you then you’re in for a rough ride. Items which are worth over 10 Exalted Orbs are of course extremely rare and while they seemingly keep dropping for other players more than they do for you there is a way to increase your chances of getting one. Chance Orbs have a miniscule possibility to turn a white item into a Unique one, so using the orbs on particular whites can be a good strategy to maximize your farming time.

    There are several high-value items that I almost always “chance”, and they include:

    • Glorious Plate – Turns into Kaom’s Heart (value over 30 Exalted)
    • Occultist’s Vestments – Turns into Shavronne’s Wrappings (value around 50 Ex unlinked, up to 80 if 6L); also chances in Infernal Mantle which is worth far less
    • Siege Axe – can be chanced for Soul Taker, valued at 50+ Exalted depending on roll
    • Spine BowVoltaxic Rift bow, valued at over 50 Ex

    Note: approximate values are based on Standard league prices.

    These are all some of the best items in game and highly valued by many skill tree builds, and rare enough to warrant their extreme prices. When farming Merciless Docks you should see at least 2-3 Siege Axes in a solo run, and Occultist’s Vestments are a bit more rare but still rather frequent. Glorious Plates and Spine Bows can drop in Docks or Lunaris as well but they drop more regularly once you get into 68+ map farming.

    Other higher valued items still worth chancing are Hubris Circlets for Crown of Eyes, Nightmare Bascinets for Bringer of Rain & Devoto’s Devotion, Chain Belt for Auxium, Murder Mitts for Thunderfist, and Amethyst Ring for Ming’s Heart and Death Rush. All of these are worth between 10 and 30 Ex on average. There’s even more items you could try your luck with: Champion Kite Shield for Aegis Aurora, Sinner Tricorne for Alpha’s Howl, Gold Ring for Andvarius, Archon Kite Shield for Prism Guardian, Prophecy Wand for Void Battery, Slaughter Knife for Bino’s Kitchen Knife, Imperial Bow for Lioneye’s Glare and Sapphire Ring for Dream Fragments, though some of these may not be worth as much to make it worthwhile. Some of these items have certain iLvl requirements (see wiki), so for example to get Thunderfist as a drop you’d need iLvl 76: using Orb of Chance ignores these requirements so you could chance Thunderfist even on lower item levels.

    It’s been said there’s about a 1:1000 shot to Chance a unique item. While I’m personally way beyond that number and have yet to see one, considering the ratio of Chance to Exalted (at the time of writing this 220:1) it’s a gambit I’m willing to take. Even if it was a 1:4000 chance it would at the very least be even in value, therefore making this a legitimate effort to obtain highly valued items. The probability of these Unique items dropping is likely not any better either, so you’re basically just doubling the possibility of getting them.¬†Another upside to chancing is that you might even get a decent Rare item.

    Tip: I usually carry 10-15 Chance Orbs in my inventory along with Wisdom/Portal Scrolls so I can immediately Chance the items and drop them so they do not take any unnecessary space.

    The next time you pass by these Plates, Vestments, Axes or Bows consider the numbers and make use of all those Orbs of Chance you hoarded. There’s a possibility it will be worth it. And one day when your character is all shiny and rich be sure to remember to give me a cut of your profits. Or else.

  • How Increased Item Quantity and Rarity Works

    Increased Item Quantity and Rarity

    Increased Item Quantity and RarityI got asked recently about Increased Item Quantity and Increased Item Rarity stats and how they work so hopefully this short post will explain some basics to new players. It’s one of many game mechanics that new players seem to have a hard time figuring out at first although it isn’t as complicated as it may seem.

    Note: IIQ and IIR combined is often referred to as MF – Magic Find.

    What’s Increased Item Quantity?

    Increased Item Quantity (IIQ) affects the number of items dropped by monsters you slay. As a basic example having 100% IIQ would mean you get twice as many items. IIQ affects not only equipment drops but also currency, and is generally considered much more valuable than IIR.

    What’s Increased Item Rarity?

    Item Rarity (IIR) basically determines whether the item dropped will be normal (white), magic (blue), rare (yellow) or unique (brown, orange, or whatever it looks like). Having 100% IIR would mean you get twice as many rare and magic items than you normally would.

    The main difference is that IIQ increases all drops, while IIQ only increases your chance to get rare/unique items.

    What about item Quality?

    There is no stat that affects item quality! The wording in Path of Exile can take awhile to wrap your head around at the start but there is no stat that affects whether items dropped will have +Quality on them. Whether gems, items and flasks have +Quality on them is pure chance. Although technically having more IIQ would increase the amount of items dropped thus increasing your chances to get more +quality items.

    Is IIQ better than IIR?

    IIQ is generally considered better than IIR, most importantly because it affects currency drop rates as well as equipment. However if you’re focusing on high MF you should try to get a good mixture of both stats, so if you have about 50% IIQ try to get at least 150% IIR to go with it. Having a high amount of either IIQ or IIR rather than both can be beneficial but rarely as much as having both.

    Do note that if you’re mostly farming in groups having more IIR is better since a full group already has +250 IIQ (excluding any map bonuses if applicable). If you prefer to farm alone then either get a mixture of both stats, or consider getting high IIR if you want an increased chance to get rare rings and amulets for the Chaos vendor recipe.

    How much IIQ/IIR should you have?

    Dual Spark Totem is currently the main build that focuses on high MF. Most other skill tree builds have to focus on far too many other stats to be able to afford high MF as well. Players with some of the best gear available have +150% IIQ and +450% IIR which is considered an extremely high amount. It is possible to reach high amounts of IIQ/IIR on other builds but it’s ridiculously expensive and to most first-time players well out of reach.

    On most characters/builds having any MF is not considered mandatory in any way. High-level players typically farm in groups where only one player has high MF and he’s the one who finishes most monsters, while others focus on damage. You should always prioritize high defensive stats followed by damage, and any MF you’re able to get is helpful but secondary.

    Yes, IIQ+IIR of the player who deals the killing blow on a monster is the only one that counts!

    Typically when you hit a certain threshold where you can clear Docks or low-level maps with ease you can consider getting MF. Even having 50% IIQ and 100% IIR will give you a noticeable increase in items and currency: the easiest way to notice it is when you start running out of Wisdom Scrolls.

    Conclusion

    Although there are diminishing returns on high amounts of IIQ and IIR there is no sweet spot: the more you have the better. If you can choose to have either IIQ or IIR, IIQ is at least twice as valuable, but if you decide to build a character with high MF then focus on getting both not just one. For solo play IIQ is better than IIR.

    I hope this short guide helps you understand Quantity and Rarity better. If you have any questions or thoughts shoot them in the comments below!

  • Vendor Recipes You Should Be Using

    Chaos vendor recipe

    Chaos vendor recipeThere are quite a few vendor recipes in Path of Exile and some are more useful than others. Most are in fact not worth using consistently but there are a few that are easy to use and produce more valuable currency. I’m not a big fan of having 10 or more stash tabs dedicated to useless rare items that I might one of these days turn into an Alchemy Orb, but some recipes are just too good to pass. Below is a basic list of vendor recipes you should be using to increase your wealth.

    1. Chromatic Orbs

    It’s possibly the easiest of recipes: you simply vendor an item (of any rarity) with 3 linked gem sockets of different colors (RGB) and you’ll get a Chromatic Orb. While it’s definitely not the fastest way to riches in PoE you will constantly find them while leveling and farming. Many players don’t even bother picking these items up so be on the lookout for them while farming in groups.

    You can sell about 200 Chromatics for an Exalted Orb, not including the fact you might even need them for your own gear. As I said not the best way to get rich but every little bit helps, and despite being cheap Chromatics are always in demand.

    2. Quality gems for Gemcutter’s Prism

    You know all those spammers who are constantly buying low-quality gems for 1 Alchemy? If you vendor multiple gems with a combined quality of 40% you’ll get back a Gemcutter’s Prism. If you do some simple math with the currency trading ratios you’ll notice that one GCP is worth about 15 Alchemy, so buying 8 gems with 5% +quality each would nearly double your investment.

    The simplest solution is to save all +quality gems in your stash until you have enough to sell for a GCP. Anything over 12% +quality can probably be sold for 2-3 GCP to players.

    3. Chaos Orbs

    There are three Chaos Orb recipes that I use almost on a daily basis. Both require you to sell a full set of rare (yellow) items: 2H Weapon (or 1H and Shield), Head, Gloves, Boots, Chest, Belt, Amulet, and two Rings. If all items have +20% quality you get back 2 Chaos Orbs, and you get 1 if you sell them without +quality. Since finding rare items with decent +quality is fairly rare I usually just use the non-quality recipe. Finding Armourer’s Scraps isn’t too difficult as well but you will burn through your stacks very quickly if you keep using them for the recipes.

    The third recipe consists of selling a full set of rare items (as mentioned above), however they all have to be un-identified. Again, you gain 2 Chaos Orbs for selling them all at once. You could also sell unindentified items all with +20% quality for 3 Chaos Orbs, but it’s usually far too difficult. It’s a bit risky to sell unidentified items but if you find yourself with plenty of items from Docks or low-level maps you might want to consider it.

    The biggest problem with these recipes for me are always Amulets. They drop sparingly which is why I typically pick up all near-max roll (18% or more) Gold or Onyx amulets and use an Alchemy Orb on them. By doing it I gain an increased chance for a decent item I can sell or use, and if it turns out to be bad I can always use it for the Chaos recipe. I sometimes do the same with Prismatic & Gold rings and Leather & Rustic belts, although I never seem to run out of those.

    Note that all items have to be iLvl 60 or higher for the recipe to work! You can check the item level by picking up an item from your inventory (don’t drop it) and typing /itemlevel into the chat window. If the zone your item dropped from has monsters of level 60, then all items dropped in it are level 60 or higher.

    4. Vendor everything else

    You get a bunch of loot in Path of Exile, that’s for sure. I hate leaving any rare items behind without at least identifying them first, but usually when I’m solo farming I don’t mind going back to town frequently to vendor all the useless rare items. I can usually get 2-4 Orbs of Alteration every map run and while it won’t solely make me rich eventually I get hundreds and sell them for a more valuable currency.

    Orbs of Alteration can also be traded to vendor for Jeweller’s Orbs which can further turn into Orbs of Fusing, so even these easily obtainable orbs have value in higher numbers.


    Don’t waste your time

    As I said at the beginning there are tons of vendor recipes but most of them are just a waste of time. If you want to maximize your farming time and income I suggest sticking with the three main recipes I mentioned above and ignore everything else. Picking up random +quality items or flasks and selling them for Armorer’s Scraps / Blacksmith’s Whetstones / Glassblower’s Baubles is basically a waste of inventory space and time. They are nearly worthless and if you miraculously end up needing that currency it’s extremely inexpensive to purchase.

    I even have a friend who used to pick up every single Magic (blue) item in Docks and selling them for Alteration Shards. I consider it a giant waste of time that could be better spent farming experience or rare items, not to mention the fact you will quickly run out of Wisdom Scrolls as well. Just having to back 4-5 times during every Docks run probably means you could clear it twice in the same time and get more valuable items and currency.

    Unless for some reason you find it convenient you should also skip Alchemy and Chance Orb recipes. It takes far too long to collect the necessary items and the value you get is far below the effort required: you can get nearly as much in currency value by simply selling those items for Alterations.

    If you think some other vendor recipes are worth using be sure to tell everyone about it in the comments below!

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