• 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!

  • Path Of Exile Loot Guide

    Path of Exile Loot Guide

    Path of Exile Loot GuidePoE is a complex game. After the shock and awe caused by the passive skill tree, I think the second biggest impact comes from the itemization. PoE’s economy, even at this early stage, is convoluted and involves much more than just gear. Skills are itemized, hell, even places are going to be itemized soon in the form of maps. New players are overloaded with this information, which makes it very hard to tell what is worth keeping and what is vendor trash.

    I think it’s important to give newcomers guidance on what drops they should be paying attention to, and which aren’t worth keeping. This guide aims to do just that, offering a list ordered by pickup priority. It involves the obvious stuff (rares, uniques) but also the less immediate such as 3-color-links to trade into chromatics or max implicit jewelry.

    Obviously, this guide assumes you want to pick stuff up for its general usefulness / market value. Your personal character needs at the moment should be max priority, and if you feel a blue (or a white) is an upgrade over what you’re wearing at the moment, by all means pick it up!

    Understand this guide is a product of my own (limited) experience and doesn’t involve the endgame, just the route to MoC. If you have any suggestions or changes, feel free to post it in the comments =).

    Priority List

    So let’s say you are just born fresh (and soaked) into the world of Wraeclast. You might think that, just because you’re new, all the items you’re get are worthless. On the contrary! There are items of great value for newcomers too, that can be traded for high end Uniques. I recently got a +16% Whirling Blades gem in the very second area of the game, which sells for a substantial amount of high end currency. You should keep your eyes open!

    In order to know what stuff is actually valuable, here’s my personal priority list:

    Max Priority: Pick these all the time

    1. All Currency items. Every single currency item is worth picking up and stacking, with the occasional exception of Scrolls of Wisdom and Portal Scrolls. These last two are plentiful so it is fine if you skip them every now and then. The rest should be picked without exception, as end-game “crafting” uses them in great quantities and they are all valuable. Even the less obvious ones (such as Orb of Scouring) are worthwhile and shouldn’t be left in the ground!
    2. Quality Skill Gems. This is often overlooked by newbies, which leads to a lot of wealth wasted. Every time you see a skill drop, even if it’s extremely basic, take a second to hover your mouse over it and check if it has a Quality bonus. If it does, no matter how small, pick it up. These sell for high prices as they significantly reduce the number of Gemcutter’s Prisms you need to make them perfect, and high level min maxers will pay for them. They’re also good to use in place of the normal ones, even when underleveled!
    3. Uniques. Some uniques are better, some are worse, but they’re generally helpful to the appropriate build, and some times they’re extremely powerful (such as Charan’s Tipua Kaikohuru). If you see brown text on the ground, don’t pass. Even if it’s low level, it may come in handy for your next character or a strange build. I’ve made a build that abuses Crown of Thorns, which has been called the worst Unique ever, so remember this: There will be someone out there buying the Uniques you get, even if you can’t figure out how to use them.
    4. Three-Colour-Links. Knowing that you should pick 3CLs up is one of the best benefits of reading the Sales Recipe thread. 3CL is any item with one socket of each colour linked together (they may have more sockets). They are good because they sell for 1 chromatic orb, in one of the most direct recipes available, so it’s the equivalent to picking a (rather bulky) chromatic orb. Vendor it ASAP and collect your reward.

    High Priority: You generally want to pick these

    1. Rares. More often than not, you want to pick rares up. What you do with them is another issue that I’ll discuss in another section of the guide, but they’re useful material. Identified, they may turn out to be quite powerful and sell for decent amounts, or serve as gear for yourself or your twinks. If they turn out not too decent, they can be turned into Sale Recipes to get special orbs, or outright vendored for shards. Left unidentified they can also net you some orbs thanks to Sale Recipes. How to “spend” your rares will be explained later on.
    2. Non-Quest Skill Gems. Many skill gems are awarded as quest rewards for the different classes. Others aren’t, and it’s a good idea to pick up the ones that can’t be easily obtained. You can probably obtain a list somewhere else in the forum, but quickly asking on the Chat will suffice. Having a couple copies of every non-quest gem is always good in case you roll a character that uses them, or a sale opportunity turns up. If they start piling up, you may want to skip some.
    3. High Links. High Links are items with many linked slots. They won’t start appearing until late Cruel, so don’t worry about this at first. 5-links should be picked up without exception, and if you see a 6-link you better dive like crazy for it: they’re extremely rare. 4-links depends on you, and how much storage space you have. They’re rare enough to be convenient, but won’t sell for much.
    4. Max Implicit Items. Some items (like Jewelry) have implicit bonuses: Those are the ones above the horizontal line before the magic stuff. Implicit values are important because they’re independent of the rest of the bonuses, so if you tinker with a piece of jewelry or belt that value will be left untouched, unless you use a special orb for it. This means items with perfect Implicit mods have an intrinsic value, as they are perfect tinkering material at any level (for example to twink characters). Since jewelry doesn’t take much space, picking up those 15% gold rings and 20 onyx amulets isn’t a bad idea.

    Medium Priority: You may want to pick these

    1. Magic Flasks: It’s always good to pick Flasks up and identify them, because some of their bonuses are valuable. Surgeon flasks sell for alchemy shards, and the ones that heal minions are decently rare. They usually aren’t trade material as most people seem to manage their own ones, but it doesn’t hurt checking them out.
    2. Weirdly Coloured Sockets: This may be a personal quirk of mine but I like hoarding items with very unlikely socket colours. This could be, for example, a bow with four red slots, or an axe with five blues. These proportions are statistically very unlikely, and if there is ever a build that requires precisely that layout, chances are they’ll be paying a lot for it. Given how specific these would get, I only suggest picking them up if you have a lot of stash space!
    3. Advanced Flasks: The weirder flasks, such as Resistance Flasks, Diamond and Granite Flasks are rare enough to warrant picking a 5-set of every one, if anything because they’re good to have around. I’d advise to pick them up until you have 5 of each, then keep them just in case.

    Low Priority: You usually don’t want these

    1. Whites without good sockets: There is little use for Whites without interesting socket layouts. Even if they have Quality, there is little point in picking them up, since Quality on a white is very easy to apply. Of course, whites with Implicit bonuses are subject to the Implicit criteria I explained above, but other than that, don’t pick them.
    2. Blues (although you may to ID+Drop): Blues are very common and picking them up without any criteria will clog your inventory and waste your time and scrolls. This problem is very common with Diablo 3 players, since they’re used to blues being valuable. Here, not so much. However, you might want to pick up blues you might be interested in and drop a scroll on them to see if they have good mods. If they do, they might be good material for promotion into rares with a Regal Orb, but since an effective promotion would probably require some Exalted Orbs too, this is something you should probably be doing in the endgame.
    3. Quest skill gems: Gems that are given as quest rewards are generally trash, unless you need them urgently.

    What do I do with my Rares?

    I am not going to replicate the Sales Recipe thread here, but if you haven’t read it yet, you really should =). There are plenty of useful recipes to be used. In my experience, the most interesting have been the 3CL one I explained before (which should be used whenever possible) and the Rare related recipes. There are recipes involving Quality Gems to get GCPs, but I think they offer a horrible return rate, so I wouldn’t advise to use that one.

    When it comes to Rares however, there are many options to cash your rares in for currency even when they suck completely. So unless your Rare is actually good, or you happen to get the legendary quiver Skin Flute, which you should immediately send to me, prepare to turn them into useful stuff.

    There are four recipes you want to aim for: Alchemy, Regal, Chaos and double Chaos.

    Chaos is the simplest one if you don’t want to bother. Just stash those rares trying to keep different item types, and when you get a full set of gear, vendor it for a Chaos.

    There is a twin for that recipe, which involves selling all rares unidentified. This will net you two Chaos instead of one, which is a great bang for your buck, but you won’t get to check whether the rares you got are good by themselves, which would mean they sold for more. It’s up to you. If you do want to farm Chaos orbs, I suggest farming a low level area (such as normal Fellshrine) and selling the unidentified rares in bulk. However, high level rares should be identified just in case.

    If you want to put a bit more thought into your rare recipes (and also play a fun collection mini-game) you could aim for the Alchemy and Regal recipes. As you might have seen in the recipe thread, you are supposed to hand in Rares with the exact same randomly generated name, and this will give you rewards. 2 same-namers grant you an alchemy, and 3 give you a valuable Regal.

    In order to match names effectively you need a strategy. Many people in this forum use a chrome extension to check for coincidences in their rare names. This is a good idea, but you can go even further.

    I have a personal strategy that you may enjoy using: Pick a letter, or a set of letters, and gather rares that start with it, until your stash is reasonably full. This will make it easier to remember which rares you have to keep, but most importantly, you can comfortably buy in bulk. By asking on chat “WTB any bad rares that start with F, G and H” for instance, it will make it easier for people to look them up, rather than request specific names.

    What do I do with my Currency?

    Except for a very few cases, you do not want to use your currency items in your own gear. This doesn’t mean you should be stingy though. What I’m saying is that, until you reach the endgame, they’re better spend trading than enhancing.

    Since the amount of currency items you have to sink to reroll a level 70 item is the same than for a 5 item, doing it on the latter means you’re wasting your currency potential. A spare alchemy every now and then when you absolutely have to replace a piece of your gear is okay, but don’t engage in addictive orb iteration when your base item just isn’t worth it.

    Instead, actively engage in trades. It’s amazing how much more value you can get for your stuff by trading. An egregious example of this happened to myself after I started the game, back when I had no clue how valuable a GCP was. I sunk two GCPs on my Ice Spear gem to get a measly +2% quality on it, and then I saw someone in the chat sell a +10% Quality Ice Spear for 2 GCP. Silly me!

    So remember: Unless you’re engaging in high-end “crafting”, or you are looking for something very specific, the value of the orbs is much higher when unspent.

    Written by Falcord

  • Ultimate Beginners Guide To Path of Exile

    For those of you unfamiliar with Path of Exile and just tuning in to this amazing action RPG, Curse has prepared a video you really should watch. It covers the basics such as classes, leveling, skill builds, skill gems and social interaction. While it doesn’t go into great detail about these game features it’s a great overview of the main elements of the game aimed at beginner players.

    If you know any other good video guides for Path of Exile (or if you made one) be sure to let me know!

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