Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Farming Inferno Post Patch 1.0.3

So as most of you know patch 1.0.3 hit today, and we were given the attack speed nerf, various class nerfs, a huge boss buff, and a smoothing of the difficulty through acts 2 through 4. If you've been following my blog you know that I am a Witch Doctor. Well, I'm actually a Demon Hunter, and I was farming Act 3 inferno the day I hit level 60.

This is after a few hours of farming. We started at the sub-quest in Act 3 called The Second Heart, and we would progress through the Tower of the Damned, kill Cydaea, and then kill Azmodan. This was very profitable before 1.0.3 came out. I did one of these runs solo tonight, and I found some of the various elite packs to be pretty easy still, and with a 5 stack of NV I was getting 1-3 rares per pack. When I killed Cydaea I only got one rare. Same with Azmodan. This leads me to believe that the best farming method is to either start on the Kill Azmodan quest, and just visit every single waypoint looking for easy elites, or starting just before Siegebreaker and playing out the rest of the act.

This is actually a screenshot of my old build before the patch, but since they nerfed Nether Tentacles I have switched over to Ball Lightning. This is the only change that I have made. I don't see a lot of people using Shadow Power - Gloom, but it really shines on reflects damage packs, and Siegebreaker who now has reflects damage. I'll leave you with a couple of tips for the act 3 bosses that I have done post patch.

Siegebreaker: Siegebreaker now has reflects damage. If you incorporated Shadow Power - Gloom in to your build you should DPS Siegebreaker mostly when you have Gloom up. You can get away with a little outside of Gloom as long as you won't one-shot yourself. Just kite around until you get the discipline for Gloom. With good damage he should still die fairly quickly.

Cydaea: I had a lot of trouble with this boss at first because as part of the patch they improved the AI of her spiders. Since the spiders would one-shot me I had to play flawlessly, and get lucky with spiders not hitting me. I put her in the top left corner of my screen and burned her with Ball Lightning and Devouring Arrow to about 25% when she went up. The thing that kept me alive in the spider phase is that I was popping Gloom as I ran around, and I was hit by a few spiders, but Gloom mitigated a lot of the damage and allowed me to live. After she came back down I ran them to a corner, and shot a few Ball Lightning down the line of spiders. Got her to about 2% and did another phase two the same way as above, but used Smoke Screen at the end of it just to be safe. Takes some practice, or upgrading some of your most glass cannon items to live long enough.

Azmodan: Had to fight through two pool phases as I didn't have enough DPS to kill him before the second one. Same as it used to be before the patch. I dodge the meteors over Smoke Screening them because sometimes I have bad luck with pools, and I need the discipline for that. Try to lead him around the edge of the room, and leave the pools that way as well so you don't end up boxed in. Rinse and repeat for the next phase and then collect your one rare.

Hope these boss tips were helpful. Honestly, kill them once post patch just to show that you can, and then farm elites. The bosses aren't worth the new headaches that they provide, and the reduced number of rares that they now drop with 5 NV.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Witch Doctor Solo Kill Inferno Diablo and Act 4 Strats

I'm sure that most of you have seen the nerfs that are going to hit Inferno difficulty in patch 1.0.3. When I read that it motivated me to stop farming Act 2 goblins, and doing Siegebreaker runs, and to instead focus on clearing out the rest of Act 4. When I last was progressing I had just killed Iskatu and hit up the checkpoint right afterwards. I did not want to cheat and get the waypoint from anyone so I repaired my gear, hired my good friend Kormac, and headed to heaven to beat back the minions of hell.

Build: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#fTUYQP!VUX!cZZbZb

So I gave this guy a couple shots using my standard Splinters build. It didn't go so well because I couldn't quite dps him down fast enough even with Slam Dance. I hate to admit it, but if you look at the above link I specced Vision Quest Zombie Bears because I couldn't think of any other way.

It is important to run up towards Rakanoth at the start of the fight. I tried not doing this and he just charges you right off the bat. It's important that you don't waste Spirit Vessel when Rakanoth is at 100%. One you see him walk towards you run in to the little nook on the right side of the stuff blocking the way out. Turn towards Rakanoth and pop Big Bad Voodoo and Fetish Army and just Bears him until he dies. Ideally your Spirit Vessel will eat the charge. I used my Spirit Walk at 25% and finished him off. With this method it was actually pretty easy.

Build: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#aZUYRX!VZW!aacbZY

I probably wiped to Izual the most out of the three Act 4 bosses. I tried my standard Splinters build, which did more than enough damage for the fight, but I couldn't survive in that spec. The room-wide freeze attack would proc Spirit Vessel, and Spirit Walk could not avoid it. I tried kiting him until Spirit Vessel cooled off, but Tyrael kept pushing him to the second freeze.

You may have noticed a rather unconventional build. Well, I just so happened to get a nice rare Sacred Shield with all resist and intelligence on it. I put that on, and before he would freeze I would summon my Zombie Dogs, and Horrify for the armor buff, and I was able to take the hit. A few tries I ran in to the problem of living through the room-wide freeze, but getting stuck on top of a regular freeze and proccing Spirit Vessel anyways. Once I made it past the first freeze I went full burn on him, and it was no problem.

Build: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#aZUeRX!VWX!aacYZb

So strangely enough I wiped less on Diablo than I did on the other two bosses. I think Diablo took me about 6 or 7 tries. I never died in phase 1, and the first time I made it to phase 3 I won.

Phase 1:

Simple phase. As long as you don't walk near any of the edges in the room Diablo will not use his teleport. This include the outer edge of the room as well as the edges around the crystals in the middle. If you avoid these he will not teleport and you then do not have to deal with getting melee'd by him. Once you take away his port the rest is easy. Keep Haunt up when you can, but don't put Diablo on screen. You want him off screen, and you want to use the mini map to aim your Splinters at him. Get him close to 50% and you will transition.

Phase 2:

This is where all of my wipes happened. This phase is the reason why I picked up Grasp, Hex, and Horrify. As soon as the phase starts Diablo will spawn a clone of you. This happens again at 66%, and 33%. When the clone appears use Hex immediately, drop a Grasp on him, and start using Splinters. When he comes out of Hex for the first time use Horrify. He shouldn't go anywhere because he's standing in Grasp. He should get Hexed again, and then be dead. Spirit Walk if you see fit to survive.

Remember what I said about teleporting and edges? Well it's true in phase 2 as well, but it's a lot harder to move around since the room isn't shaped like a giant circle. You cannot touch the edge of the cracks in the middle of the room, the small cracks that come out of them, or the edges of the room. I did this on accident a few times, and you can generally Spirit Walk out of his melee before it hits you. I actually procced Spirit Vessel when I got careless at 20% in phase 2 and had to play super careful. Let the cinematic cut-ins play out if you need Spirit Vessel to cool down.

Phase 3:

So the main difference between this and phase 1 are that your heart rate is probably super elevated from getting out of phase 2, and he does a giant breath attack. If you are keeping him off screen like you did in phase 1 then the breath will not even be an issue. I never even saw him do it, but I could hear him doing it. Keep your cool in this phase, and don't take any risks. Do damage when you can, and when you get him a bit below 10% you win. I tried to spam my screenshot button, but apparently I didn't get any of the screenshots.

Here's a picture of my stats that I had through the whole act. It certainly helped make the fight quicker, which allows for less mistakes, but it's certainly not needed to have this much damage. As long as you are avoiding the edges and doing safe damage it should be no problem. I would wager that a Wizard could employ this strategy using Hydra and Magic Missile and do just fine. Let me know if you guys have any questions.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Inferno Whimsyshire

It's been a little bit since my last post, and I've primarily been occupying my time with goblin farming in Act 2. I know, it's incredibly boring, but it was an easy mechanism for me to use to gear up my character. I've improved most of my gear and was looking for something fun to do (instead of working on Act 4 progression). My wife and I decided that running Whimsyshire on Inferno might be neat. We cleared parts of Act 1 until we had a five stack of Nephalem Valor, and then we headed in to the rainbow land of ponies. We cleared everything except two elite packs that we accidentally stacked on top of each other. Whoops!

After that run I wanted to see how well my good friend Kormac and I would fare in there, so I headed back in to Act 1 alone and grabbed a quick five stack from the dungeons in the cemetery. It was a little more tedious to clear out Whimsyshire alone since the sole focus of every mob was on me, but I got a lot of kiting practice. At times I was wishing I had an ability like Hydra because I was running in circles so much. I did end up clearing every mob, and then put on my magic find gear and ran around looting clouds. Afterwards I joined up with some friends (see above) and we cleared the whole place again. I got a legendary crossbow from a cloud (yay legendary weapons), and much to my surprise it was yet another Hellrack. I have three now. Where is all the legendary jewelry!?

These are my new stats, and the ones that I was using to clear Whimsyshire. I also have a necklace with 6% movement speed so I can actually hit 23% which helps a ton with kiting. It's a about a 1700 damage loss for 4% poison damage and run speed. This damage allowed me to burn down minions, and a champion out of the packs fairly easily allowing me to kite a smaller pack most of the time. It really is noticeable when your damage starts to get that high. I have friends in Inferno that if I added their damage together would still have less than me so a lot of Act 1 exploded when I was gathering my stacks.

This is the spec that I was running. Poison Dart with Splinters is my only damage ability. It hits pretty darn hard now, and casts extremely fast. I also have Grasp with Unbreakable because kiting is king and it's probably the best snare in the game. Spirit Walk with Healing Journey because I don't have mana issues. Wall of Zombies is a newer addition to my arsenal. I just started using it the other day, and I have to say it's pretty awesome. Regular mobs cannot go through it so it completely blocks them. I have it runed with a snare so even if something can go through it they still get slowed. I also found tonight that if I wall in a champion mortar pack in a choke point I can spam darts from offscreen the whole time because they can't mortar me. Every time wall came up I made sure to hit them with it in a choke point, and they melted. Hex because sometimes things get really close and you just need to turn them in to a pig. Horrify is probably the one skill I could get rid of. It's my 'things got to close' backup for when everything else is down. It comes in handy when you have one champion left because you can snare, pig, and fear the thing and pretty much stand in it's face and burn it. I may swap it for something else in my next run.

So that's essentially the build I was running to farm ponies. My goblin farming build is similar. Swap Hex for Fetish Army and swap Horrify for Big Bad Voodoo - Slam Dance. I was running with 12k HP, 25k damage, and 210% magic find and had no issues killing anything on goblin road except elite/champion packs. I'm going to give Siegebreaker farming a shot. Siegebreaker himself is a joke and I can kill him easily, but reliably getting a five stack in Act 3 can be quite the challenge. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Act III Inferno

So last time I told you that I left off at The Black Soulstone in Act II. I was waiting for my Demon Hunter friend that I had progressed through the act with to be on, but ended up actually seeing how I fared solo. I had to move slowly in order to make sure that I was clearing adequate kite paths in the event that I pulled a champion or elite pack. I ended up clearing out all three remaining dungeons of all their mobs and defeated Zoltun Kulle solo with a 5 stack of Nephalem Valor. At this point a Wizard friend of mine and a Monk friend wanted in for Belial so we grouped up and killed the Lord of Lies even though the Wizard was dead for the entirety of phase three.

This is my good friend Kormac and I looking for the body of Zoltun Kulle.

I grouped up with another Demon Hunter friend (seems like my whole friends list is Demon Hunters) and started up Act III. This act was much more unforgiving than the previous two acts. If you recall Act III from the previous difficulties there are fallen shaman that shoot fireballs, blue dinosaur birds that shoot fireballs, and snake arm men that shoot a green pool and a snake at you. All of these things one-shot me. Our progress in this act was slow and full of one-shot deaths. As you can see though we did kill enough elites for a five stack when we killed Ghom. Ghom was such an easy joke of a fight for us. Kiting with Grasp and fearing or Spirit Walking from the adds he throws. Neither of us took a single hitpoint of damage the whole fight. Very very easy boss.

I meant to go to bed at this point, but we decided to go kill Siegebreaker with our five stack of NV so we headed his way. Halfway across the bridge we realized how late is was so we just made a mad dash to the door. We didn't really pass anything we couldn't kill, but we didn't want to spend the extra time at this point. Siegebreaker was pretty easy. He was low and I got greedy and ate a charge which is why Spirit Vessel is procced currently. Another pretty easy boss. The charge is well telegraphed, and he seemed to be slowable with Grasp. Knocked out one checkpoint past him to save my progress in the quest log.

Yes, this is a Butcher run. I decided that I needed to up my gear because being one-shot by everything wasn't fun, and wouldn't be very viable solo. I have upgraded my damage (with Pierce the Veil) to 39,000 and still have 25,000 HP with about 350 to all resists. My templar also has about 75,000 HP so we should be in a good position to work on the remainder of Act III. I will let you know how it goes.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Witch Doctor Inferno Solo Build and Act 2 Progression

So yesterday was a productive day. I started out by changing my build in to something that I could solo Inferno with. Thus far I have been grouping, and more or less relying on my teammates help in doing things. I decided to change this today.

As you can see I picked up a good bit of attack speed. The idea here is that I can set up my build around Poison Dart: Splinters since it only costs 10 mana, and then I can use the rest of my abilities to control the mobs. Since I haven't solo'd at all in Inferno my trusty templar was only level 59. I decided to try out my new build with him by my side from the beginning of Act 1 through the Skeleton King.

Here's the build that I was using. I made it through to the Skeleton King and killed him without ever dying. That's through about 11 or 12 champion/elite packs. Kormac hit level 60 so I gave him a nice new shield and weapon, and headed to Act 2. My Demon Hunter friend joined me at this point, and his set up is purely damage based. We had a lot of synergy with my control enabling him and me to do damage, and we cleared at a pretty fast pace through Act 2 up to quest 8 'The Black Soulstone'. We will finish up the act this weekend, and probably start working on Act 3. I think that the end goal is to be able to do Azmodan runs since him and the boss before him are pretty easy. Get a 5 stack of NV and then kill them. The dungeon before them is circular so it offers some nice paths for kiting.

Let me know if you have any questions about my build for soloing as a Witch Doctor. I was able to hold my own in Act 1 and Act 2 solo, and it worked extremely well in group play as well.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Inferno Act I Best Farm Spot

So obviously after clearing Act I on Inferno difficulty I wanted to identify what would be the best location in the act to farm for gear. What I have been doing with my group is starting at the beginning of quest 9, and going through to the Butcher. I'll explain why I think this is the best farming spot in a second, but here's two screenshots for proof.

As you can see from the pictures I got a whole bunch of loot off of the Butcher. The reason for this is that Nephalem Valor is at 5 stacks which pretty much makes act bosses crap out yellows. Everyone in my group was getting 2-4 per kill. The reason that we start at quest 9 is also because when you kill the Warden in the prison he's also considered an act boss and drops multiple yellows with a 5 stack of Nephalem Valor.

Getting your stack to 5 is pretty easy here. The Halls of Agony and the prison are nice dungeons with rectangular hallways for kiting. It makes fighting the rare and champion packs pretty simple no matter what the affixes are.

For all of you Witch Doctors out there this is the build that I was using. I like Locust Swarm for my AOE because it's fire and forget which lets me spend more time using Poison Dart. Soul Harvest for the AOE heal and damage buff, Spirit Walk for obvious reasons, Grasp to help kite and slow mobs for your group, and Big Bad Voodoo for group burst damage.

These are my stats with my shield on. I generally put this on against elite packs that I know I'm going to take damage from (Mortar, Jailer, Fast etc.), and it has helped out tremendously. With my mojo I go up to about 16.5k damage. The shield has allowed me to live through things that would have killed other people in my group, or would have killed me with my mojo on. As you can see my mojo is in my bags always because I swap between the two as the situation calls for it. It's increased my survivability in a big way, and I'd recommend getting a shield for those hairy situations.

I think I am about ready for Act 2 so as long as my group agrees I will head there, and let you know of any awesome farming areas that I find.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Farming Inferno Act I

Okay, so since my last update I have beaten Hell difficulty, and unlocked the Inferno difficulty!

This is the pink team before we loaded up and finished Hell. There were some champion packs in Hell that were very hard for us, but we were always able to kill them eventually. Hell provided a challenge, but there was really nothing in Hell that was too hard that we had to skip it. Okay, I lied.

When we got to Izual in Hell we wiped on our first try because two people died, and we ended up losing a third trying to rez them. When we came back from the wipe we had to fight two Izuals at the same time. In the picture one Izual is a chicken. After THAT we came back and killed him, but that would have been the first thing we skipped if the duplicate didn't despawn. Woe to the hardcore character that gets to Izual and has to fight two at once.

So welcome to Inferno, the magical land of four affix elite packs. This was waiting for us when we jumped down in to the cathedral in Act I for the first time. We actually did end up killing it, but it was rough since that entryway isn't the best place to fight a pack that you have to dodge that much stuff on. We pressed on, and actually ran in to some much easier champion packs as we progressed through the cathedral.

This was actually the easiest fight that we had all night. The good part is that he seems to drop nice loot when you have a five stack of Nephalem Valor. Same SK fight that he has been the previous difficulties. Not sure what he melees for since I used Spirit Walk every time he tried to port on top of me.

I suck at screenshots and don't have anymore, but I've finished Act I and actually gone back and farmed it a bit for gear. I haven't gotten anything for myself yet, but I have sold some gear to stuff my coffers with gold. I tried a little bit of Act II with some friends, but we died so much we decided to stop. I think my damage is around 15,000 at the moment, and I have about 300 to every resist. I need to up my survivability some more, and I need a lot more HP. That is my main goal of farming Act I. Hopefully next update I will have made some progress through Act II, but I am a Witch Doctor after all.