• 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:

    [Read More...]

  • 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.

  • [Outdated] Dual Wield Physical Damage Duelist/Marauder Build

    Dual Wield Physical Damage Duelist & Marauder Build

    Dual Wield Physical Damage Duelist & Marauder BuildAfter leveling several characters and even more full respecs I’ve had trouble finding a fun and effective build that I wanted to play with. That is until I decided to make my own dual-wielding Duelist class build focused on Dual Strike and Cleave as main DPS tools. The point was to make a melee character with strong DPS and even better survivability to be able to solo any content in Path of Exile.

    Note that this build (which I named The Shredder) can easily be used on a Marauder as well with barely any adaptations. More on that below.


    Important note: the build on this page is outdated. See this post for an updated version of the Shredder after the patch 1.0.0 nerfs to Cleave!


    Contents:

    Why Dual Strike & Cleave

    Dual Strike deals massive single-target damage and doesn’t need a 6-link item to be effective. With fairly decent weapons my Dual Strike deals 12k DPS with only 3 support gems (no +quality). You can easily obtain 4-link items throughout leveling and you will quickly notice how fast and easy it is to speed through levels with this build.

    My Cleave currently deals 8k DPS, also with only three support gems again without +quality. It’s a good AoE tool to dispense groups of monsters and you will be using it a lot.

    I haven’t found any other abilities which would work even nearly as well as Dual Strike and Cleave.

    Pros

    • Not dependent on gear: you don’t need any specific expensive unique items to make this work. There are a couple that help greatly but they aren’t necessary to make the build work.
    • No 5 or 6 link items required: that’s right, you can deal tons of damage without having to spend a single exalted on an expensive chest.
    • High survivability: with Kaom’s Heart chest I currently have 5k health which is enough to survive in a majority of high-level maps. My resistances are maxed but with my build you can easily put just one or two points into specific elemental resistance if you’re lacking. I’m running Grace (evasion) and Determination (armor) auras and have 67% physical damage reduction at level 86, along with 38% block chance (dual wield).
    • Defensive skill tree build: most points are put into defensive stats for increased armor, health and resists. If you end up hating the build for some reason you could easily change the build to something else entirely with 10-20 regrets.
    • Great mobility: Leap Slam and +30% movement speed help you get wherever you want to faster, or even jump out of tough situations.
    • Versatility: you can do any kind of maps; you are virtually unaffected by reflect which is the bane of many other builds. Even Blood Magic maps are easily done, you just need to be a bit more careful due to low armor (since you won’t be able to use Determination).
    • Fun to play: obviously everyone enjoys different things, but dying constantly isn’t fun for me which is why I prefer this build. Also shredding everything in your path with 8 attacks per second is unbelievably entertaining to watch.

    Cons

    • Needs high health and resist gear: fortunately these are the only two stats you need to focus on. If you desperately need a specific resistance you can always put one or two points into the skill tree. Nearly all of your gear should have +health, until (or if) you get Kaom’s Heart at which point you can focus on anything else (chaos resist, damage, IIR/IIQ).
    • Needs one mana leech item: you will need gloves, ring or amulet with 2% mana leech. It’s not hard to get but you may have to sacrifice more useful stats because of it.
    • Half regen maps: you might have somewhat decreased DPS in half-regen maps due to the inability to leech mana at a normal rate (funnily enough no regen maps can be done without issues).
    • Low IIQ/IIR: it’s hard to get Increased Item Rarity and Quantity on equipment for this build, but then again every build except dual spark totem has the same issue.

    Of all the builds I’ve seen I have to say that this one may very well be the one with least downsides. You have plenty of damage, you’re incredibly durable, fast to level up, works great even with average equipment, and no particular monsters are a problem.

    Passive Skill Tree

    My current level 86 passive skill tree build (104 points). It’s for the Duelist class but as you can see it goes all the way to the Marauder starting points and can be used by either class.

    Key points: take health, dual wield block chance, armor, and resistances. There’s only about 10 points into pure damage and regardless you will have more than enough of it. If you’re needing an extra few points you can always take away a couple from damage and put into a specific elemental resistance (next to Diamond Skin in Marauder section).

    Skill tree progression

    There’s no clear benefits to playing either of these classes each one has its own advantages. Marauders can get to resistances and Resolute Technique earlier, Duelist can pick up Block Chance and more damage. I recommend you play whatever class you prefer, you can get to most important skill points early enough to enable the build to work well with either one.

    Note that the skill point progression is more of a suggestion or a guideline rather than set in stone. If you’re needing extra armor while leveling don’t be afraid to go for it, it’s always just a couple of points away. If you need extra Intellect you can also pick up Ancestral Knowledge (Marauder) or Wisdom of the Glade (Duelist) earlier, and you can always remove the points if you don’t need them later on. A huge upside to this build is its flexibility, and you will get about 15 respec points throughout leveling from quests which will be more than enough to fiddle around with a few points as you see fit.

    As a sidenote, if you want to maximize your experience gain read my leveling guide. With my build you won’t even need a group, they’ll just slow you down.

    Keystones:

    • Iron Reflexes: converts all your evasion rating into armour. It maximizes the benefits you get from both armor and evasion on gear, passive skill points that further increase it and Grace and Determination auras. Your physical damage reduction won’t be under 50% even with the worst of gear. I mainly prefer armor over evasion due to its consistency: it’s better to get hit for low damage than for high damage every other time. You can always react with flasks, Molten Shell or just run away if you’re taking too much damage, while with evasion you’re typically dead if you don’t dodge several times in a row.
    • Unwavering Stance: with this point you can no longer be stunned, and if you have Alpha’s Howl (pictured below with equipment) you can’t get frozen either. You’re literally unstoppable.
    • Resolute Technique: there’s no point in worrying about +accuracy and +critical on your equipment or worse in your passive skill tree. It’s a waste of stat, and potential damage you lose from not being able to critically strike is more than made up for by never missing attacks. Try to get to RT as fast as possible. It also makes sure your mana leech is consistent.

    Other notes

    • Expertise (+30 Dexterity above Marauder starting location): I needed extra +dex to equip a weapon: one of my weapons requires 212 Dexterity and this build doesn’t waste any points into it. If you don’t find the need for it feel free to put a point (or three) elsewhere.
    • Just below expertise you can put a point into Ancestral Knowledge if you wish to level up your Hatred aura further, although it’s not necessary. There is already one +30 Int point, Wisdom of the Glade, which is necessary.
    • Why no Blood Magic? Because we can’t run three auras with it. Plus it’s not necessary as Mana Leech covers all ability costs.
    • Why Celerity (+8% movement speed)? It’s just one extra point and I like to move fast.
    • Why 1 point into Lightning resistance? I’m at 68% lightning resistance currently so this point makes up for lack of it on my equipment.

    Recommended Equipment

    As mentioned very few specific items are required. Once you start farming maps focus on getting as much health as you possibly can and try to max out your resistances. If you need a mana leech item just buy a ring or an amulet for 1 chaos. Using a Mana Leech gem is a possibility, but it will drop your DPS significantly unless you have a 5/6-linked chest.

    Two items which are amazing for this build are Alpha’s Howl head and Kaom’s Heart chest.

    Alpha's HowlAlpha’s Howl

    Once you get it you will be able to run Hatred Aura, but more important you can’t get Freezed any longer. Getting frozen by bunch of caster skeletons is the number one reason why I died before getting this headpiece so set your goals towards obtaining this: it costs 2 Exalted Orbs at most with a maxed roll, but you can purchase it for just over 1 Ex as well if you’re patient.

    Another upside to this headpiece is that it enables you to use a third aura (Hatred) due to its 8% reduced reserved mana for auras, and it also adds 2 additional levels to auras you use in this item so your Grace and Determination are at level 22 and have increased effectiveness.

    Kaom's HeartKaom’s Heart

    Pretty much the bread and butter of every melee build in this game, nothing beats a +1000 health chest. I got lucky and it dropped for me but otherwise you might need to spend even 25 Exalted Orbs or more for this item. It’s not a realistic goal if this is your first character so use a chest with high armor or evasion, high health, and resists. You could purchase one for far less than 1 Exalted, unless you want 5 or 6 linked sockets (which as mentioned isn’t necessary).

    With several % health regen skill points and Kaom’s I have over 200 health regen/second in addition to life leech from items (and 2% from passive skill tree). 95% of the time I’m at max health, only in extreme cases you have to resort to using Flasks, Rejuvenation Totem, or escape the engagement.

    Weapons

    Any kind of weapons will do. Obviously you’ll focus on physical damage rather than elemental, but the upside is they are much cheaper if you want to buy them. Having lifesteal is helpful but not mandatory. I prefer swords (Rapier, Foil etc.) for their higher attack speed.

    Weapons

    My current weapons. Higher attack speed can sometimes cover for a lack of higher physical damage. I currently have 12k/9k DPS with these average swords.

    Priorities/summary

    In general your equipment should prioritize resists, health, armor and evasion (in that order). Get one item with mana leech so you don’t need to use a gem, and try to save enough currency to buy Alpha’s Howl: the ability to use Hatred aura will increase your DPS quite a lot.

    Mana Leech Gauntlets

    The stats are far below average on my current gloves but having mana leech is crucial to making this build work.

    Skill Gems

    Dual Strike

    Dual Strike

    Your main single-target ability. You don’t need +quality since it only increases your critical strike chance which you have 0% due to taking Resolute Technique in the passive skill tree.

    Support gems: Multistrike*, Melee Physical Damage, Faster Attacks (none are required with +quality but if you’re rich of course get them).

    Cleave

    Cleave

    Multi-target damaging ability. Having +20% quality increases its attack speed by 10% so buy it if you can afford.

    Support gems: Faster Attacks, Multistrike, Melee Physical Damage.

    Leap Slam

    Leap Slam

    Since it scales with attack speed you can jump around the map extremely fast. I find it very useful in many situations especially as an escape tool if things get rough, but you’ll also be able to leap over some ledges or jump to pick up your loot quickly.

    Support gems: I use Faster Attacks, but none are required. Blood Magic is preferred so you don’t need to worry about the cost. No +quality required (adds stun duration).

    Rejuvenation Totem

    Rejuvenation Totem

    Extremely helpful when you run out of health and want to regen quicker. Quality adds increased totem life, helpful but by no means necessary.

    Support gems: none required, you can use Blood Magic or Faster casting if you wish.

    Molten Shell

    Molten Shell

    Shield absorbing over 2000 damage at max rank? Yes please. It also adds 1000 additional armor, further increased by your passive skill tree. When you expect damage, walk into tons of melee mobs or fight against particular bosses it helps prevent a lot of damage and might just save your life. +Quality only adds chance to ignite monsters so don’t bother with it.

    Support gems: none required, I use Blood Magic. Faster Casting is also a good choice. No quality necessary.

    Grace

    Grace

    Adds 1300ish additional evasion rating at max rank, further increased by multiple points in your passive skill tree. Incredibly helpful as it increases your armor substantially. +Quality only adds radius so feel free to skip it.

    Support gems: Reduced Mana, Blood Magic if you don’t have Alpha’s Howl and think you can afford losing 400 health. +Quality on Reduced Mana gem does not work on auras (intended).

    Determination

    Determination

    Further increases your armor by 50%. A must have aura with no +quality required.

    Support gems: Reduced Mana.

    Hatred

    Hatred

    Unless you have high amounts of health you don’t want to use it at first. You can use it as soon as you get your Alpha’s Howl. +Quality only adds increased radius therefore not necessary. Be careful about Intelligence requirements: you might not want to level this gem past level 10 (it has miniscule DPS increase anyway).

    Support gems: Reduced Mana. No +quality needed.

    * Multistrike is not a frequent skill gem drop and you may have to purchase it (typically around 3 Chaos Orbs). It can not be obtained from quests. As an alternative you can use Added Fire Damage until you can obtain Multistrike.

    All the other gems are easily acquired from quests or drops, and if you happen to need one you can easily buy it for as little as 1 Orb of Alchemy.

    Gem rewards from quests

    Skill gem Duelist Marauder
    Dual Strike Enemy at the Gate (Act 1 Normal) Enemy at the Gate (Act 1 Normal), Mercy Mission (Act 1 Normal)
    Cleave Dying Exile (Act 1 Normal) Enemy at the Gate (Act 1 Normal), Mercy Mission (Act 1 Normal)
    Leap Slam The Caged Brute (Act 1 Normal), Intruders in Black (Act 2 Normal) The Caged Brute (Act 1 Normal), Intruders in Black (Act 2 Normal)
    Rejuvenation Totem Lost in Love (Act 3 Normal), Enemy at the Gate (Act 1 Cruel) Lost in Love (Act 3 Normal), Enemy at the Gate (Act 1 Cruel)
    Molten Shell None. The Caged Brute (Act 1 Normal)
    Grace Enemy at the Gate (Act I Cruel), The Caged Brute (Act 1 Cruel), Lost in Love (Act 3 Cruel) Enemy at the Gate (Act I Cruel)
    Determination Enemy at the Gate (Act 1 Cruel) Enemy at the Gate (Act 1 Cruel), The Caged Brute (Act 1 Cruel), Lost in Love (Act 3 Cruel)
    Hatred The Caged Brute (Act 1 Normal), Intruders in Black (Act 2 Normal) Intruders in Black (Act 2 Normal), Lost in Love (Act 3 Normal)
    Faster Attacks (x2) The Siren’s Last Cadence (Act 1 Cruel & Merciless), Sharp and Cruel (Act 2 Cruel and Merciless), Sever the Right Hand (Act 3 Cruel and Merciless) Mercy Mission (Act 1 Merciless), The Siren’s Last Cadence (Act 1 Merciless), Sever the Right Hand (Act 3 Merciless)
    Melee Physical Damage (x2) Mercy Mission (Act 1 Cruel) Mercy Mission (Act 1 Cruel & Merciless), The Siren’s Last Cadence (Act 1 Cruel & Merciless), Sharp and Cruel (Act 2 Cruel & Merciless), Sever the Right Hand (Act 3 Merciless)
    Reduced Mana None. Sharp and Cruel (Act 2 Cruel & Merciless), Sever the Right Hand (Act 2 Cruel & Merciless), Mercy Mission (Act 1 Merciless), The Siren’s Last Cadence (Act 1 Merciless)
    Added Fire Damage (x1) The Siren’s Last Cadence (Act 1 Normal) The Siren’s Last Cadence (Act 1 Normal & Merciless), Sharp and Cruel (Act 2 Normal & Cruel), Sever the Right Hand (Act 3 Normal & Merciless), Mercy Mission (Act 1 Cruel)
    Blood Magic Mercy Mission (Act 1 Merciless), Sharp and Cruel (Act 2 Merciless) Mercy Mission (Act 1 Cruel & Merciless), The Siren’s Last Cadence (Act 1 Cruel & Merciless), Sever the Right Hand (Act 3 Cruel & Merciless)

    Just now when compiling the list above I noticed how Marauders have easier access to most skill gems you need so you may want to try my build with Marauders rather than Duelists. I hope the table helps you plan your quest rewards and figure out which gems to take. However none of these skill gems are expensive and you could buy everything you need for just a few Chaos Orbs.

    Alternatives

    If you’re running a 5 or 6 linked chest you can use Added Fire Damage as an additional support gem, or even as an alternative to Multistrike if you for some reason prefer. AFD deals less damage than Multistrike but only slightly.

    Also you may want to consider using Increased Item Rarity and Increased Item Quantity support gems on Dual Strike once your Cleave is strong enough for fast clears. My Dual Strike linked with Culling Strike + IIQ + IIR support gems still deals 5k damage, more than enough to finish bosses and rare monsters for noticeably increased drops.

    At later stages when your Cleave reaches about 10k DPS or above and you get your Kaom’s, you can consider completely removing Dual Strike. Four added gem slots will enable you to switch Grace for Haste (or even Purity) aura in your head piece, and use Grace, Anger and Wrath with a Blood Magic support gem. That way you can run 6 auras for increased damage at the cost of only 600ish health.

    As a bonus you can also run Clarity for increased mana regeneration if you have problems in half-regen maps.

    Curses

    Rejuvenation Totem and Molten Shell are definitely not mandatory in this build. It’s just the way I like to play but you could switch them with some curses if necessary.

    • Enfeeble – affected monsters have reduced Accuracy, Critical and Damage. Even a rank 1 Enfeeble reduces monster damage by 25% so if you have trouble surviving in some situations or against particular bosses feel free to consider it.
    • Vulnerability – increases your physical damage by 25%-34%. Be careful about leveling it fully as level 20 Vulnerability requires 151 Intelligence.
    • Warlord’s Mark – you gain increased life and mana leech on affected monsters: 3%-7% life leech and 1-3% mana leech depending on gem level. You can easily level it to 20 as it only requires Strength. If you need extra life leech or can’t get mana leech any other way consider using Warlord’s Mark.

    Bandits

    • Normal: help Oak and get +40 health
    • Cruel: help Oak for +18% physical damage
    • Merciless: kill them all (+1 skill point)

    Flasks

    I prefer using a setup of 2 health flasks, 1 hybrid (for cases if I run out of mana), 1 Granite and 1 Amethyst. You can see the flasks that I currently use below:

    Flasks

    They aren’t perfect rolls (except the Hybrid one) but they serve the purpose. I think it’s very important to have one “instant recovery when on low life” flask for situations when you suddenly drop near death, due to my low Chaos resist I like having an Amethyst one in case it’s needed, and the Hybrid one helps in case you happen to run out of mana and need to Leap Slam or use a Rejuvenation Totem.

    I also like all my flasks to have either bonus Armour or Evasion on use which is further scaled with the passive skill tree. Doubling your armor for nearly 5 seconds with a Granite Flask is crucial to surviving things like Vaal’s smash and such.

    With the high movement speed and overall mobility of my Shredder build I never felt the need to use Quicksilver Flasks, although I did notice that many players often use 3-4 of them for reasons unknown to me.

    Gameplay Videos

    I recorded several map runs so you can watch the build in action. My full gear at the time of recording it is here. As you can see besides the two unique items my gear isn’t anything special.

    You can watch many more of my boring map runs in this playlist, also embedded below.

    If you have any specific map run requests or something else let me know!

    Closing Thoughts

    From all the builds I’ve seen the Shredder is the most versatile in my opinion. There’s no monsters or skills you need to be afraid of and unlike many other builds it doesn’t require 50 Exalted Orbs to be viable, in fact it doesn’t require any specific gear. It’s very flexible while leveling and enables you to overcome shortcomings on your equipment with a few skill points into armor, resistances or health which are always conveniently placed. The build’s extremely high attack speed (I’m currently doing 8 attacks per second) is a thing to behold and you’ll probably spend the first few hours laughing your ass off at how ridiculous it looks.

    In all my Wraeclast adventures I came across one or maybe two dual-wielding Duelists with (possibly) the same build so this isn’t extremely popular among players. If you’re looking for a fun, effective, fast leveling, low-cost melee build that isn’t used by every other player than this might be exactly what you’re looking for.

    Questions? Feel free to ask me anything about the build and I’ll do my best to answer it.

  • Game Systems Overview For Beginner Players

    Path of Exile does contain plenty of features we’ve seen in other Action RPG games, but many of them are slightly or entirely different. The passive skill tree for example is incredibly intimidating for new players, paired with flasks or skill gems or loot system it can be quite confusing and overwhelming for beginners. This fairly long guide written by Malice should help you get a quick grasp on some of the basic features and systems of Path of Exile so if you’re waiting for the game to download or patch I recommend you read it.

    Main contents:

    Skill gems & socketsSkill gems and sockets

    Sooner or later you will get your hands on some skill gems.

    • Gems must be socketed in your gear to grant access to the skill.
    • A gem will only go into a socket of matching colour
    • Gems can be socketed and removed from sockets as much as you like. Right click a gem to remove it from a socket
    • Sockets appear randomly on items. The rarity of an item does not affect how many sockets it has.
    • Sockets can be linked. The links are shown as gold bars between the sockets. Support gems affect any skill gems in sockets that they are linked to.
    • Gems you have socketed in gear you are wearing will gain experience and level up, even if you are not using the skills they grant.

    General gameplay tips

    • Flasks recharge slightly every time you kill an enemy. So don’t be afraid to use flasks that are full to keep your life and mana topped up – your flasks are only replenishing their charges when they aren’t already full.
    • Items with great stats might seem like the best choice at first, but don’t neglect sockets. As long as they are socketed, skill gems gain experience whether you are using the skills they grant or not, so keeping them socketed will mean they get more powerful sooner. A good socket arrangement on an item with mediocre stats is sometimes a better choice than a great item with bad sockets.
    • Spend some time looking at the passive skill web, it can appear daunting at first, but it will soon become familiar. Skill points can be refunded, but refund points are hard to come by, so choose wisely.
    • If you’re just starting out and are unsure how you wish to play your character, try to avoid specialising too heavily. For instance, stay away from skills that improve one handed weapon damage if you feel you might end up liking to swing a two-hander.

    SkillsSkills, abilities and spells

    Skill Types

    Skills currently come in two main varieties: spells, and attack skills. Any skill that uses your weapon damage counts as an attack skill, and everything else counts as a spell.

    • Attack skills – Attack skills are dependent on your weapon, and so are affected by attack speed, accuracy, etc.. Bonus damage from rings and other gear is applied when using an attack skill.
    • SpellsSpells do not draw their damage from your weapon in any way. They are affected by % cast speed, %fire/cold/lightning damage, %spell damage, and critical strikes. Integer damage bonuses on gear are not added to spells.
    • Traps – Traps are very similar to spells, but are not affected by cast speed or spell damage mods. They are affected by % trap laying speed, and relevant damage mods. Integer damage bonuses on gear are not added to spells.

    The only exception to this is Town Portal, which is not affected by attack speed, cast speed, or anything else.

    Support Gems

    Support gems only affects skills where it makes sense. For instance, skills that do not already do damage (such as Temporal Chains) will not benefit from Added Cold Damage. Skills that do not already have an area of effect will not benefit from Increased Area of Effect, etc.

    Skill gem experience gain

    • Gems get experience equal to 10% of the experience you earn.
    • The number of gems you have equipped has no effect on the rate of XP gain. So having less gems equipped does not cause them to gain XP faster than if you had many gems equipped.
    • Gems are not affected by the experience penalty when facing enemies below your level.

    ClassesPath of Exile Classes

    The main difference between the classes is their stating location on the passive skill tree. Classes also start with different amounts of attributes at level 1:

    • Marauder: 30 STR, 14 DEX, 14 INT
    • Ranger: 14 STR, 30 DEX, 14 INT
    • Witch: 14 STR, 14 DEX, 30 INT
    • Duelist: 22 STR, 22 DEX, 14 INT
    • Templar: 22 STR, 14 DEX, 22 INT
    • Shadow: Dex/Int: 14 STR, 22 DEX, 22 INT

    Life/mana per level

    All classes begin with the same base stats, and gain the same amount per level:

    • 50 life, +6 per level
    • 40 mana, +4 per level
    • 50 evasion, +3 per level (including level 1)

    Attributes

    Attributes are required to equip gear and skills. The three attributes also grant some passive bonuses:

    • Strength grants +0.5 life and +0.2% melee physical damage per point
    • Dexterity grants +2 accuracy and +0.2% evasion per point
    • Intelligence grants +0.5 mana and +0.2% energy shield per point

    Therefore the +10 attribute passive skills effectively grant:

    • +10 Strength: +5 life, +2% melee physical damage
    • +10 Dexterity: +20 accuracy, +2% evasion
    • +10 Intelligence: +5 mana, +2% energy shield

    Life and mana regeneration

    All classes have a base mana regeneration rate of 105% of their maximum mana per minute. For example, a character with 100 maximum mana will regenerate 105 mana per minute, or 1.75 mana per second. “Increased Mana regeneration rate” modifiers modify the base rate. For example, 20% Increased Mana regeneration rate would result in 105 * 1.2 = 126% per minute. Characters do not begin with any life regeneration, but it is available from gear and passive skills.

    The regeneration rate of life gained from life leech is capped at 20% of maximum life per second. If you have 1000 maximum life, and leech 600 life with a single attack, it will take three seconds for that life to be applied to your current life. You always get the full amount of life leeched, it is only the rate at which it regenerates that is capped – if you leech a large amount of life during a battle, you may find that the regeneration continues long after the battle is over. Similar to flasks, the regeneration from leech will stop if you reach maximum life. The same is true for mana leech, although the cap is 12.5% of maximum mana per second.

    ItemsPath of Exile Items

    Attribute requirements

    Most gear has attribute requirements that must be met in order to equip the gear. These requirements come from the base item type and are unaffected by magical modifiers, quality, or number of sockets. A complete list of gear and attribute requirements can be found here.

    Level requirements

    Some items have a level requirement that must be met in order to equip the item. There are two factors that affect level requirements:

    • The level of the base item type. This is the level that the item starts appearing (and is separate from the itemlevel that affects which magical modifiers can spawn on it). See the item data link above for a list with all item levels. Some of the very low-level base items do not come with a level requirement.
    • The level of the magical modifiers. The level requirement for magical modifiers is equal to 80% of the level of the highest-level magical modifier on the item.
    • The highest level requirement of the two listed above is the one that appears on the item.

    Drop rates

    There is a penalty to the chance of currency items (scrolls, orbs, etc.) dropping in areas with a monster level more than two levels lower than your character level. For each additional level that you have compared to the area’s monster level+2, the chance of a currency item drop is reduced by 2.5%. So if you are level 30 in a level 20 area, you will see 20% less currency item drops on average:

    2.5*(30-(20+2))=20

    A level 30 character in a level 28 area will see no penalty. Currency item Drops are not increased or decreased in this way when fighting in areas above your level. For the purposes of this penalty, your level is never considered to be higher than 58. Therefore a level 70 character receives no penalty in a level 56 area.

    There are two modifiers that affect drop rates in the game, increased item rarity, and increased item quantity. There are three potential sources of these modifiers:

    1. the player (skills, passives, gear etc.)
    2. monsters (such as bosses and champions)
    3. party bonuses

    Modifiers from the player stack additively with each other, and are subject to diminishing returns. Modifiers from the party bonus and monsters stack additively with each other, and are not subject to diminishing returns. The total player bonus stacks multiplicatively with the total party & monster bonus.

    Increased Item Rarity

    Increased Item Rarity % modifiers increase the chances of an item being magic, rare, or unique. For example with a total of +100% increased item rarity, you’d get twice as many magic items, twice as many rares and twice as many uniques from normal enemies. This modifier has no effect on the number or type of currency items, scrolls, or gems that drop. When in a party, only the modifier from the player who lands the killing blow on an enemy is counted. If one of your minions gets a kill, the minion’s IIR is added to yours and the total is used. Magic, rare, and unique monsters have an Increased item rarity modifier for drops.

    Increased Item Quantity

    This modifier increases the average number of items that drop from monsters and chests. It does not affect the type, quality, or rarity of item dropped, only the chance that something will drop. There is no cap on the usefulness of this modifier, as monsters can drop more than one item at a time. The base chance for an item to drop from a normal monster is 16%. This varies between monster types, and special monsters have higher drop chances. When in a party, each player in the party after the first gives the equivalent of +50% item quantity modifier on drops.

    Quality

    All weapons, armour, flasks and gems can randomly receive between +1% and +20% quality. This value can be increased by Whetstones, Armour Shards, Flask Quality Upgrades, and Gem Quality Upgrades, but is capped at 20%. The effect of quality depends on the item:

    • On weapons, increased physical damage
    • On armour, increased Armour rating, Evasion, Energy Shield, and Shield Block Chance
    • On flasks, increased life and mana recovery
    • On gems, the bonus is specific to each gem. For instance, Frenzy gets increased damage, while Cleave gets increased attack speed.
    • On maps, increases the item quantity bonus from monsters in the map area.

    Modifiers

    Modifiers are split up in to two main groups, prefixes and suffixes. A magic item can have only one prefix and one suffix, never two prefixes or two suffixes. Rare items can have up to six modifiers, it is unknown if there is a limit on how many of these can be prefixes/suffixes. A randomly generated rare item (from a drop or Orb of Alchemy) receives between four and six modifiers randomly, with the following odds:

    • 1/12 chance of 6 mods
    • 4/12 chance of 5 mods
    • 7/12 chance of 4 mods

    All modifiers have a level associated with them, and will only appear on items whos item level is greater than or equal to the modifier’s level. Lists of available magical modifiers are available in the item data section. The “Culling Strike” modifier (found on some unique items) causes monsters to die if you strike them down to 10% or less life.

    Modifier Stacking

    In general, integer modifiers are applied before percentages. Percentage modifiers using the words “% increased” or “% reduced” stack additively with one another, while “% more” and “% less” modifiers stack multiplicatively. When dealing with weapons, some modifiers that are listed on the weapon itself are applied first, before mods from other pieces of equipment, skills, and so on. This includes anything affecting physical damage, such as increased physical damage, added physical damage, quality etc., and also attack speed, critical strike chance, critical strike multiplier, and accuracy. It does not include elemental damage mods.

    Similarly, when dealing with armour, evasion, and energy shield on armour, any modifiers affecting those stats that are listed on the piece of armour are applied first. This includes quality and any other mods directly affecting armour, evasion, or energy shield amount. It does not include mods affecting the energy shield recharge delay or regeneration rate, only the amount of energy shield.

    Imagine I have 100 life, and two passive skills that increase total life by 15%. The total bonus will be 30%, resulting in 130 life. Now imagine I am wearing boots that give +40 life, and have a passive skill that grants +20 life. The integer bonuses are applied first, giving me 160 life, then the percentage bonuses are applied to that subtotal, for a final total of 208 life.

    Quality behaves differently on armour and flasks than on weapons. On armour and flasks, it stacks multiplicatively with other modifiers on that piece of equipment. Quality on weapons stacks additively with other % modifiers on the weapon.

    Sockets

    There are three types of sockets:

    1. Strength (red)
    2. Dexterity (green)
    3. Intelligence (blue)

    Sockets appear randomly on most equipable items. Higher level items can appear with more sockets than lower level items of the same type. The maximum amount of sockets that can appear on an item also varies by the type of item:

    • Two handed weapons and body armour can have up to 6 sockets
    • Wands, shields, and one handed weapons can have a maximum of 3 sockets
    • Everything else can have a maximum of 4 sockets

    One exception to this is the starting weapon that appears on the beach at the start of the game. Its item level is 1 but it always has one socket of each colour.

    • Items are more likely to receive sockets that match their attribute requirements. So an item requiring only dexterity is more likely to have green sockets than red or blue sockets.
    • You can only put a blue (intelligence) gem in a blue socket, red gem in a red socket, etc.
    • Sockets can be linked. The links are shown as gold bars between the sockets. Support gems affect any skill gems in sockets that they are linked to.

    Additionally, two skill gems of the same type can be used in separate socket groups, resulting in more than one usable version of that skill. Skill Gems are only affected by support gems in the same socket group. For example, imagine a piece of armour with 5 sockets. The first two sockets are linked in one group, and the remaining three sockets are linked in a separate group. If you put Cleave and Faster Attacks in the first group, and Cleave, Added Fire Damage, and Added Cold Damage in the second group, you would have two different versions of cleave available – one cleave skill that attacks faster, and another cleave that does bonus fire and cold damage. Small letters appear over the skill icons for each support gem you have attached to that skill. This allows you to differentiate between the different versions if you have more than one of the same skill gem equipped.

    Item level

    Each item has a level associated with it that is equal to the monster level of the area it dropped in. The monster level is shown on the map overlay. Rare and unique monsters have +2 to their level, and will yield items with an itemlevel two levels higher than other monsters in the same area. You can check an item’s level by picking it up on the cursor and typing /itemlevel in the chat box. This item level determines which modifiers it can receive, and how many sockets it can receive.

    Vendor Item levels

    Items obtained from vendors can have an item level up to character level + 1, but will not exceed the following maximums:

    • Normal Act 1: 16
    • Normal Act 2: 25
    • Cruel Act 1: 31
    • Cruel Act 2: 35
    • Ruthless Act 1: 43
    • Ruthless Act 2: 48
    • Merciless Act 1: 50
    • Merciless Act 2: 50

    Item level needed for number of sockets (research ongoing)

    • 1 socket : 1
    • 2 sockets: 1
    • 3 sockets: 15
    • 4 sockets: 28
    • 5 sockets: 35
    • 6 sockets: 50 (lowest seen so far)

    CombatPath of Exile Combat

    Level scaling

    1. Effect of level on PvP Damage

    Level itself does not affect any combat calculations outside of PvP. Damage in PvP is scaled based on level as follows:

    damage multiplier = 1/(1+(attacker_level/8))

    For example a level 30 character will have their PvP damage reduced by 79%, while a level 60 character will have their damage reduced by 88%.

    2. Effect of level on experience

    Level also affects the amount of XP you gain from killing enemies. There are two penalties that are applied, one when in a party, and another based on the relative level of the player and monsters. Both of these are applied at the same time if you are both in a party, and too far above or below the monster level.

    The multiplier for XP while in a party is players share (Level+10)^2.71 divided by the total of all players shares. For example, if a level 10 player was partied with a level 30 player:

    • Level 10 player’s share: (10+10)^2.71 = 3355
    • Level 30 player’s share: (30+10)^2.71 = 21957
    • Total Shares: 3356 + 21957 = 25313
    • Level 10 player would receive: 3355/25313 = 0.132 = 13.2% of the XP
    • Level 30 player would receive: 21957/25313 = 0.867 = 86.7% of the XP

    The player also suffers a penalty to XP if they are too far above or below the monster’s level. There is a safe level range where no penalty is applied, which is equal to three, plus one for every sixteen complete player levels. Any additional level difference in excess of this safe range is called the Effective Difference.

    The formula then applied is:

    ((PlayerLevel +5)^1.5) / ((PlayerLevel+5+(EffectiveDifference^2.5))^1.5)

    So a level 24 character has a safe band of 3+1=4 levels. So from Monster level 20 to 28, there is an effective level difference of 0. At Monster Levels 19 and 29, the Effective level difference is 1. The Effective Difference matters in either direction. Here are graphs of the experience multiplier by monster level and by effective level.

    3. Effect of level on currency item drops

    See the drop rates section above for details on how level affects currency item drops.

    Dual wielding

    Dual wielding grants a +10% attack speed bonus, and a 15% chance to block. The attack speed bonus is applied multiplicatively with other attack speed modifiers. The default attack and certain other skills will alternate between each weapon, striking with each hand in turn. Some skills (such as Cleave and Dual Strike) attack with both weapons at once, while others only use the main-hand weapon.

    Hit & damage calculation order of effects

    There are a number of steps involved in deciding whether an attack hits or not and how much damage is done:

    1. Avoiding the hit:

    • At this stage there is a chance to evade attacks (accuracy vs evasion)
    • Any chance to dodge from acrobatics or phase acrobatics is also checked here

    2. Avoiding the damage:

    • Blocking is checked

    3. Mitigating the damage:

    • Physical damage reduction and resitances are applied

    4. Taking the damage:

    • Non-chaos damage is removed from energy shield until it’s depleted.
    • Any remaining damage (including all chaos) is removed from life.

    Stuns

    Whenever a player or monster takes damage, there is a chance they will be stunned. A stun interrupts whatever that creature was doing while a brief animation is played. The default length of stuns is 350ms. The duration of stuns can be altered by reduced block and stun recovery, increased stun duration, and similar modifiers.

    The formula used for determining whether or not a stun occurs is:

    stun_chance = 200 * damage / defender_effective_max_life

    Where defender_effective_max_life is the maximum life of the creature being hit. Increases to monster life from a party of more than one player do not affect defender_effective_max_life. For a player with Chaos Inoculation, their defender_effective_max_life is whatever their max life would be if they did not have Chaos Inoculation. Reduced stun threshold modifiers reduce the value of defender_effective_max_life.

    For example, 25% stun threshold reduction means you treat their maximum life as only 75% as much as it actually is, meaning you stun them easier. If the stun chance would be less than or equal to 25%, it’s ignored, so you need to deal more than 12.5% of effective maximum life to have a chance to stun.

    Accuracy

    Accuracy is compared to enemy evasion when determining if an attack hits or misses. The complete formula is below:

    chance to hit = attacker_accuracy / ( attacker_accuracy + ((defender_evasion/4)^0.8))

    Chance to hit can never be lower than 5%, nor higher than 95%.

    Evasion

    Evading an attack prevents all damage and other harmful effects from the attack. Only attacks and attack skills can be evaded. Spells cannot be evaded.

    Blocking

    Blocking an attack prevents all damage and other harmful effects from the attack. Usually, only attacks and attack skills can be blocked, but there are some passive skills that allow you to block spells. Chance to block is capped at 75%. When an attack is blocked, the game first calculates if the attack would have caused a stun were it not blocked. If it would have caused a stun, the blocking animation is played, stunning you briefly. If it would not have caused a stun, then you get a “free” block with no animation. Faster Block and Stun Recovery and Increased Block Recovery modifiers reduce the length of the blocking animation.

    Armor / Damage Reduction

    Damage Reduction reduces physical damage taken. Elemental damage and damage-over-time are not affected. The amount of damage reduction depends on the defender’s armour total, and the attacker’s attack damage:

    reduction = armor / (armor + 12*damage)

    The amount of reduction is capped, it cannot be more than 95%.

    The fact that damage reduction scales with the amount of damage means it is difficult to know exactly how much damage is being reduced. An easy to remember rule of thumb is that to achieve 50% damage reduction, you will need an armour rating equal to twelve times that of the damage being dealt. For example, to achieve 50% damage reduction against a 100 damage hit, you’ll need 1200 armour.

    Here are two graphical representations of the armor formula:

    1. Effect of X Armour on Damage
    2. Effect of Armour on X Damage

    Energy Shield

    As long as you have greater than 0 Energy Shield, you have a 50% chance to avoid stun. Energy Shield acts as an additional hit point pool on top of life. If you have any Energy Shield remaining when you take damage, the damage is subtracted from the Energy Shield first. Damage is only applied to life once all Energy Shield is depleted. The exception to this is Chaos Damage, which ignores Energy Shield.

    Energy Shield will recharge if you do not take any damage for a certain period of time. The default delay is 6 seconds. This time can be reduced with reduced energy shield delay modifiers from passive skills and gear. The formula for the recharge delay is:

    100 / ( 100 + reduction )

    So 100% reduction is halving the delay, not removing it entirely.

    Critical Strikes

    Whenever you use a skill or attack, you have a chance to deal a Critical Strike. Critical Strikes are rolled on a per-action basis, not per-monster. So each time you use a skill, the Critical Strike roll is made once and only once. If you roll a Critical Strike, you will deal Critical damage to all enemies hit by the skill.

    Critical Strikes do more damage than normal, based on your Critical Strike Damage Multiplier. All characters have a base Critical Strike multiplier of 150%, meaning a critical strike does 150% of normal damage. This multiplier can be increased with various skills and modifiers on items. For instance, with a multiplier of 250%, if you deal a Critical Strike with attack that normally does 100 damage, you will instead deal 250 damage.

    The chance to deal a critical strike is taken from the weapon used to perform an attack or attack skill, and in the case of spells, each spell has it’s own critical strike chance, which is listed in the skill gem’s description.
    This value can be increased by increased critical strike chance modifiers from spells and gear. For example, if you are using a weapon with 5% chance to crit, and you have 50% increased critical strike chance, you will have a 7.5% chance to score a critical strike.

    Critical chance can not be less than 5% nor more than 95%. Critical Strike Chance and Critical Strike Damage Multiplier are calculated separately for each spell and weapon attack. All weapons and damage-dealing spells have a base Critical Strike chance listed on them. This only affects your chance to critical for attacks made with that weapon or spell. For instance the critical strike chance on a wand does not affect your chance to critical with a spell.

    Damage Types

    There are currently 5 main types of damage, they are Physical, Fire, Cold, Lightning, and Chaos. Fire, Cold, and Lightning are collectively known as Elemental Damage. Damage reduction from armour only affects physical damage. Each of the elemental damage types has it’s own resistance value (eg “Fire resistance”) which is viewable in the character sheet. Resistances reduce damage taken, and are capped at 75%.

    Fire damage

    If you land a critical strike with an attack or spell that deals fire damage, the enemy begins Burning. Burning causes damage over time. Humanoids, Monkeys and Sea Witches will flee while burning.
    Burning lasts 4 seconds, and the amount of damage over time is 1/3 of the fire damage dealt per second. So a total of 4/3 of the original damage, over 4 seconds.

    Cold damage

    Hitting an enemy with cold damage can cause the enemy to be Chilled. Critical hits with cold damage can also cause the target to be Frozen. Chilled enemies move, attack, and cast 30% slower, while frozen enemies cannot do anything except drink flasks.

    Lightning damage

    If you land a critical strike with an attack or spell that deals lightning damage, the enemy becomes Shocked. This can be stacked up to three times on one target. In this state, monsters or players take 40% additional damage per instance of Shock. Shock stacks additively with itself, for a maximum of 120% with a stack of three. The damage multiplier itself applies multiplicatively with your final damage, since it it increasing the damage the enemy takes, rather than the damage you deal.

    Chaos Damage

    Chaos damage ignores energy shield, reducing life directly.

    Burning, Chilled, Frozen, and Shocked are collectively known as Status Ailments. The duration of the chilled, frozen, and shocked statuses is related to the amount of cold/lightning damage dealt.
    If the duration based on the damage would be less that 300ms, it’s ignored entirely.

    Charges

    Some skills grant Endurance (strength), Frenzy (dexterity), or Power (intelligence) charges. Each charge lasts a short duration before it disappears. Gaining a charge resets the duration of all accumulated charges.

    • Endurance charges are related to the strength attribute and grant +5% physical damage reduction, and +5% to elemental resistances (fire, cold, and lightning) per charge. The physical damage reduction stacks with the damage reduction from armour, so that they are both applied at the same time. For example, if a monster deals 100 damage, and you have 10% DR from two endurance charges, and enough armour to prevent 30 of the 100 damage, the incoming damage would be reduced by 40.
    • Frenzy charges are related to the dexterity attribute and grant +5% attack speed and +5% cast speed per charge.
    • Power charges are related to the intelligence attribute and grant +50% critical strike chance per charge.

    By default characters can have a maximum number of 3 active charges of each type at one time. This maximum can be increased by certain passive skills.

    PartiesPath of Exile Grouping

    The maximum party size is 6 players. In order to play with your friends, you’ll first need to finish the first zone called Twilight Strand (takes about 5 minutes). To group up with random players use the message board in towns, or open the social window (“S” hotkey) and click the “Public Parties” tab.

    Monsters in party

    Monsters gain 50% extra life for each additional party member after the first. For example, against a party of 3 players, monsters have double life. The original life amount is used for the purposes of determining the length of stuns and status ailments from elemental damage – this means monsters will not be harder to stun/ignite/etc. when fighting in a party.

    Loot in party

    Each player in a party after the first gives the equivalent of +50% item quantity modifier on drops. So a party of three will see twice as many drops as a lone character. Increased Item Rarity & Quantity modifiers are only counted from the player who lands the killing blow.

    Experience in groups

    For a description on how experience is shared between players, see the level scaling section above. Only party members actually in the instance count toward getting XP. If one member is in town he gets no XP. Experience is only shared with other players who are near you (roughly two screens). Monsters are still made harder by players elsewhere on the level. Being in a dungeon with a party member grants you a 30% experience bonus. Monsters give +50% base XP for every party member after the first.

    Flasks in groups

    Only the character landing the killing blow on an enemy will gain flask charges. The same is true for all +life and +mana gained “when you deal a killing blow” modifiers. Flasks have a +75% charge recovery bonus for each party member after the first.

    InstancesPath of Exile Instances Waypoint

    All areas in Path of Exile are instanced. When you enter an area, a new instance is created. Once you leave the area, the instance will remain in its current state for 15 minutes – if 15 minutes passes with no players entering the instance, it will be closed. Entering the same area again will create a new instance with a new randomly generated map. Areas without side areas attached (any area with two or less exits) has a shorter timer, and will only last 8 minutes while empty.

    Instances you create are private, and cannot be entered by other players unless they join your party. However, once a player has entered an instance, that instance remains associated with the player even if they leave the party. So it is possible to share an instance with non-party members in some circumstances. The exception to this is towns, which are always public, and cut-throat leagues, where all instances are public – meaning anyone can enter your instances at any time.

    Some areas have waypoints. Once activated (by clicking on the waypoint), waypoints allow you to travel instantly to any other waypoint you have activated. Ctrl-clicking on a waypoint destination in the waypoint menu, or an area transition will bring up the instance management screen. This screen lists all available instances of the area you ctrl-clicked on, and the time remaining until they are closed. It also allows you to create new instances, and enter existing ones.

    Using the instance management screen you can have more than once instance of the same area open at one time, and choose which available instance you want to enter.

  • 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

css.php