Feature Article

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls - What to Do After You Reach Level 70

Understanding the endgame content of Diablo 3 since the Reaper of Souls launch can be intimidating for new players. Here's how to get into the flow.

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Reaper of Souls has revitalised the Diablo III community, and that's great. I'm having a real blast playing it right now, and many of the people I encounter on Battle.net every night are, too. While there are plenty of hardcore fans who know exactly what items they're going to be grinding for over the next week, month, or year, if you're new to Diablo III, then you might just be a little lost after you're done squaring up to Malthael's army in Act V. With the game now out for a few weeks, it's likely that you may have just reached level 70, vanquished the final boss a couple of times, and are now wondering what's left for you to do.

Welcome to the item grind!

After clearing the story, you're entered into the Diablo III endgame. Welcome! You'll now spend much of your time replaying old chapters and exploring old areas, and it's here that Reaper of Souls makes some of its more dramatic changes from the original version of Diablo III.

The gist is this: Replay areas over and over again, and make sure you open every chest, engage the glowing elite enemies, and take on bosses. If you're lucky, you'll get some legendary (orange) items--you should get one or two legendary drops every hour, roughly--that bestow a big increase in your power and ability. Now that you've hit the maximum level, you're looking to get stronger by getting better equipment and earning paragon levels. The bad news is that it's a lot more random than the linear progression of levelling, but the good news is that it's a lot of fun, and you're going to get a lot stronger if you stick to it.

When I started playing Diablo II years and years ago, discovering that the endgame--the thing all my friends were playing on Battle.net every night, over and over--was essentially grinding for a hopeful jackpot payout left me initially confused and lost. I was used to having more structure in games: go here, achieve this, slay that. You might feel the same way with Diablo III. But once you've got a few good loot drops, and have felt the allure of clearing the game on torment difficulties, you'll start to naturally think, "Oh, if I can just get one of these to drop, or get a few more Paragon levels, or enchant a new status effect," and then you'll realise you're hooked.

Know your difficulties

Reaper of Souls (and the 2.0.1 patch that was rolled back into regular Diablo III) made some major changes to how the game handled enemies and levelling. Enemies levelled up as you did, and the game introduced nine new difficulty settings--normal, hard, expert, master, and torment, which has six tiers of difficulty. Here's the rub: even if you were blitzing through torment at level 60 in regular Diablo III, you're almost certainly going to find torment at level 70 too difficult until you find some new and better items.

Playing through the game on normal, finding better loot, and then becoming powerful enough to take on the higher difficulty settings is a natural attraction. Personally, I consider it my main goal. Torment is when things start to get more interesting, with the game throwing you its most powerful enemies but also making you more eligible for the most lucrative, newest, and most powerful items. It's a lot of work, but you'll get there in the end.

Don't rely on the game's stats

Reaper of Souls divides your item properties into three main areas: damage, toughness, and healing. You're almost certainly swayed predominantly by the damage--who isn't?--and that's fine when you're blasting through the campaign for the first time. But more damage doesn't always work out for the best, since Reaper of Souls introduces many items that give bonuses to both overall elemental damage and particular skills.

For instance, at first glance, these bracers, if equipped, would do 0.2 percent less damage, so you'd probably send them straight to the salvage pile. But if these boots are being equipped on a wizard who uses, say, arcane orb with the frozen rune as his main attack, then the orb damage would skyrocket from around 1.97 million to 2.13 million--a massive boost from an item that initially looks slightly inferior. If those were to be coupled with an item--or multiple items--that offered up boosts to ice attacks, that orb would be doing way, way more damage than the game might seem to indicate.

The thing to be aware of is the pointy diamond in the list. If that's there, then that particular effect isn't factored into the game's calculations for damage, toughness, or healing.

Mix things up

One of the best things about Diablo III is that you're never forced to play your character a single way; skills and runes can be swapped and switched at a moment's notice. When you've been playing with one build for a few days, swap to something else.

Playing like this is not only more varied and fun, but also means you're more likely to enjoy your loot drops. A friend of mine was recently salvaging anything that didn't fit exactly with her current build, and ended up throwing away all sorts of valuable items that could have been combined into a wide array of valuable secondary builds. A waste.

The stash has four big tabs for a reason, so don't be afraid to store clumps of stuff for another time. You might be playing as a physical damage dealer now, but you never know when four different pieces of armour with a boost to fire damage will come in handy. Plan for alternate builds, and experiment! Maybe you'll be an ice-wielding wizard tonight, but tomorrow you could be a fiery demon hunter or physical barbarian.

Another thing: don't always think you've got to stick to the same difficulty or mode all the time. I love running around in torment for the challenge, but sometimes I enjoy the satisfaction of ploughing through hundreds and hundreds of enemies on normal to relax and farm bounties. Do lots of things, and you're less likely to find yourself burning out on the game after a few weeks, and far more likely to be enjoying it for months to come.

Head into Adventure mode

Adventure mode, new with Reaper of Souls, is fantastic. You'll need to finish Act V once to get at it, and it's split into two main objectives: bounties and nephalem rifts. The former is where you'll start when you begin playing the mode; it has you trek across the acts and locations of the main campaign looking to accomplish various tasks. Each act features five bounties, and when you accomplish all five, you'll get a horadric cache, which will contain a random assortment of gems, shards, crafting materials, and weapons and armour. You might even get a rare cache-exclusive legendary item.

When playing online, many people right now like to obtain bounties on normal difficulty and split up, with each player taking on one act each, to clear the map out and farm up those caches more quickly.

Another thing you'll come across in Adventure mode is rift keystone fragments, and when you've picked up five of those, you can open a nephalem rift back at the obelisk located in each act's town. These are randomly generated dungeons that are designed to take 15 to 20 minutes to complete, although you'll likely plough through them a lot more quickly on the lower difficulties once you start getting more powerful. Last week Blizzard also buffed the nephalem rifts to have a 25 percent increased chance of dropping legendary items, which is multiplicative with any bonuses from your difficulty settings, so right now, for instance, torment I will confer a 43 percent increased chance of legendary drops.

Consider a trip to Whimsyshire and craft a level 70 hellfire ring

Diablo III featured two main quests to find when you'd reached the end of the game: Whimsyshire and the ongoing toil of forging a hellfire ring. These have effectively been superseded by Adventure mode, but it's worth keeping them in mind if you're the kind of person who wants everything.

Whimsyshire is Diablo III's secret level, where instead of fighting demons and monsters, you're pitted against unicorns, cuddly bears, and flowers in an environment with rainbows and happy bouncing clouds with smiley faces. How to get there? First you'll need the blacksmith plans to craft the staff of herding, which drops from Izual in Act IV. Then you'll need to collect five rare items: the black mushroom from the cathedral and Leoric's shinbone from Leoric's Manor in Act I; Wirt's bell from town vendor Squirt and liquid rainbow from the mysterious cave in the Dalghur Oasis in Act 2; and, finally, the random gibbering gemstone drop from rare monster Chiltara in the Caverns of Frost in Act III.

Once you collect all that (it'll take some time and multiple attempts, especially finding the gibbering gemstone), you can forge the staff of herding from Haedrig and then head to the now-glowing crevasse on Old Tristram Road in Act I.

A hellfire ring is also seriously hard work. You need to farm four powerful keywarden enemies, over and over and over, with one in each act: Odeg in Act I's Fields of Misery drops the key of bones; Sokahr in Act 2's Dalghur Oasis drops the key of gluttony; Xah'Rith in Act III's Stonefort drops the key of war; and Nakarat in Act IV's Silver Spire drops the key of evil. Each of the keywardens can also drop the plans for the four infernal machines, which can be given to the jeweler for crafting.

The catch? You have to be in at least torment I to be eligible for key drops. On torment I, there is about a 25 percent chance of a key dropping. On Torment VI, there is about a 50 percent chance. It's going to take you ages.

These four keys can be used to build one of four machines, which can be used to enter the four challenging boss fights, with each boss having a slight, unknown chance to drop an item that can be used to craft the hellfire ring. If the boss doesn't drop the item, you'll need to farm the keywardens again until you can build another portal to give it another go. Like I said, it's seriously hard work. Oh, and you need to buy the plans from Squirt in Act 2 for 5 million gold.

If you manage to go through all of that, you'll end up with a level 70 hellfire ring, which has no level requirement, has five random magical properties, can cast a ring of fire that causes 200 percent weapon damage, and grants 45 percent bonus experience. It doesn't really end up being worth it, but it sure is satisfying to finish the job. And the experience bonus is incredibly useful for levelling up alternate characters.

If you're a hardcore Reaper of Souls player, are there any other tips and tricks you'd give to those who are just starting out at the endgame content? And what incredible items and builds have you found that will inspire the rest of us to keep questing onwards and upwards?

Discussion

84 comments
sowhatnow
sowhatnow

I bought Diablo 3 about 3 weeks ago. I am about to quit out of boredom. Just think about how MESSED UP BAD this is:


In lvl 70, you have 4 things to do: Bounty hunting, rift runs, get the hellfire ring, and get to the secret level. 


The first two, yields but one significant thing: Better gear. What is the point of better gear? Well, you can increase the difficulty. Why increase difficulty? Because you increase the chance of getting better gear...  ... ?!?!


Now, with increased difficulty, you also increases the drop chance of all those items needed to make a hellfire ring, and item that isn't really that good, except from the fact that you can wear it from lvl 1, use it on any character you make, and it has a nice bonus XP prefix. It is basically a lvl'ing ring. So what do you do when you have an overpowered item / items in early levels? You can raise the difficulty, so you level up faster - getting you to the pointless end-game onze more, just with a different character.


Lastly, the secret level.. Sigh.. It's only cool if the game is cool. I think I have randomly gotten 3 or 4 of the 5 needed incredients, but I have nothing that drives me to find the remaining one/ones. What's so special about the secret level? I'm guessing there is a slightly higher chance of dropping some good gear there. Yay.

Blizzard needs to get their shit together!!

OrderDrake
OrderDrake

So much hate.  We can sit back and forth nitpick each others lives.  I paid the 40 bucks for the expansion got eh about a year enjoyment out of it, damn its worth it.  Some spend money fishing, hunting, car items. Its whatever.  If a guy loves to spend 5 hours detailing his car power to him i think its silly but thats why we're different. Stop hattin foo's

fanirama
fanirama

Diablo 3 was alright IMO. I especially hated the always online bs and the $60 needless price tag but I did finish it. I rated it 6/10 but I swore never to buy another always online game ever..... That is really keeping me from buying this expansion. 

I have played Torchlight 2, Grim Dawn, Van Helsing and couple more and tbh I am finding these way more enjoyable. D3 has awesome production value though from their huge budgets... 

Anyways, good for people who enjoy this game and the expansion. Sadly, I will skip it for now as I have other games to finish first. 

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

So many people who dislike D3 commenting in a post related to endgame stuff for D3. Little to do in their lifes I gess...

DKRises
DKRises

One typo I noticed was you said Bracers when they are Boots... Must... Fix...

aegis_kleais
aegis_kleais

I just uninstalled the game an hour or so ago. The nerf made the Wizard class a bore to play, the item grind felt like a huge waste of my time, and whether it's by design or not, the last 25 "Legendary" items I got had worse stats than my Rares. By the time I had quit, I wasn't even excited to see the orange glow hit the ground. Not to mention, but when other friends who play with you have moved on to other games, pubbing just will never be as good as playing along people you know.

Lu_Shen
Lu_Shen

I bet the people that are saying "nothing to do but grind for more items to get stronger omg so boring" are the SAME people that did the exact SAME thing in D2 10 years ago. Stop hating on D3 because it had a rough launch. The game is amazing now, especially with the expansion.

breathnac
breathnac

How about go outside and play. Get some sun you lizards.

Scarshi
Scarshi

Just play Path of Exile. Don't bother with Diablo anymore. Just don't.

Diablo is that sports car you always wanted, without the engine.

veemonro
veemonro

The game is also mostly...boring when played with others. Its just a zerg fest where you just click random stuff and the screen is filled with mobs.

It doesn;t require any tactics or cooperative game play to be successfull.

stryfe6
stryfe6

Nothing about the Hardcore characters you can create? Gives the game something else beside the stuff that has been listed.

GH05T-666
GH05T-666

Whimsyshire is fun, annoying to collect but fun.

I have old hellfire rings but the new hellfire ring is hard to collect since the drop rate of the keys has changed.

zomgilost
zomgilost

"For instance, at first glance, these bracers, if equipped, would do 0.2 percent less damage"

But I am looking at boots and not bracers

makryu
makryu

Seriously? During the time needed to do all that I'll have played multiple other games, read books, watched movies and tv shows and generally had a much richer experience than a never-ending grind.

Vienreich
Vienreich

this game is everything I hate about the world today. Capitalism. A constant grinding for no other purpose than boosting ego. There's no story, no substance no nothing. There's hardly even skill, just grind... grind...grind....work....work....work..... oh wow reward.... work....work....work....grind....grind... grind...  mundane meaningless capitalism 

bruta
bruta

'What to Do After You Reach Level 70'

you go on the forums and cry for more nerfs, its never dumbed down casual enough

TheLeftHandDoom
TheLeftHandDoom

two men.  Man (A) spends 120 hours grinding for gear on Diablo 3.  Man (B) doesn't.  

pyro1245
pyro1245

bounties, rift, bounties, rift, bounties, rift, etc....

wow that actually sounds a lot more boring than it is :)

Kooken58
Kooken58

What to do after level 70? Well for me...it was uninstall the game. Its fun for a weak but incomparison to other ARPG's out there its just a shallow poor game. The itemization is terrible, you will find yourself with the "best rares" within a couple hours of game time, no ladder systems, no pvp...no competition in the game.


I personally went straight back to PoE.

andmcq
andmcq

Patch 2.01 is such an improvement. I love this game now and RoS makes it even better.

kozzy1234
kozzy1234

The game is its best when you have reached 70 or beat the game once. The Adventure mode and Rifts are fantastic additions that REALLY add to the replay value.

moniso
moniso

I have a bracer that spawns champions from shrines!

I keep it in inventory for shrines cuz it suks




aegis_kleais
aegis_kleais

Did the article call those boots "bracers"?


I'm in the item grind right now and I've just had my Wizard nerfed. It's such a monotonous process that I'm seriously considering just not playing anymore. Legendary items consistently drop with worse-than-Rare stats.

Sl4cka
Sl4cka

"What to Do After You Reach Level 70"

Shoot yourself in the face because you've wasted so much time on such a useless game?

Saxondale
Saxondale

The *standard* Legendary items generally are not better than the *best* gold items, which is a disappointment. I am level 70 and most of my gear is gold despite seeing several so-called Legendary drops. I did get a phenomenal weapon that does AOE lightning damage but the rest of the oranges have left a lot to be desired.  

sirpsychosexy91
sirpsychosexy91

@stryfe6  yeah, what happens with your hardcore character once u beat the whole 5 acts and make it to 70? anything different than doing those things with normal characters? (im new to diablo)

miser_cz
miser_cz

@makryu  these twerps with their pitiful attempts at making their lives look better in eyes of the others - pathetic

illimiter
illimiter

@Vienreich  What you're describing is consumerism, not capitalism. Capitalism is using capital/resources effectively to solve problems and reaping the rewards of doing so; there's plenty of meaning in that.

Kooken58
Kooken58

@bruta More like cry about how terribly shallow the game is in comparison to other games like Diablo 2 and Path of Exiles...which is sadly true.  Fun for a week, but gets old fast. When it comes to Itemization and Character building, PoE blows this game away.  If only PoE had D3's polish.

figomebriga
figomebriga

@Kooken58 You are a liar. I have spent at least 100h since launch searching for gear and i'm not even close to doing T3. So if you found best rares possible you are either the luckiest man alive and should play the lottery or you are a liar. And a liar you are!

awoody17
awoody17

I don't know what game you're playing but my wizard got insanely more powerful after ROS, try using black hole, it's a game changer. Legendaries are rolling with much better stats for me, but are definitely not dropping at the rate of two per hour, more like 1 every 2 hours. And yes, the writer is apparently wearing the boots on his hands :p

BetaVulgaris
BetaVulgaris

@Sl4ckaAh yes, the "I don't like this game so it must be useless". Please explain to me how any other non-educational game is more "usable".

andmcq
andmcq

@Saxondale  I've found that a a lot actually. Pretty disappointing when you think you've found some really powerful legendary item only to see that your current equipped rare item is more powerful.

sirpsychosexy91
sirpsychosexy91

@miser_cz @sirpsychosexy91 @stryfe6  urgh! well then there's definitely no incentive to playing that mode other than bragging rights. you'd think Blizzard would at least reward players that can do the whole game without dying with some of the best gear at least, but nothing? sad...

TheLeftHandDoom
TheLeftHandDoom

@thereal_bobdole the problem with your analysis is that all of the categories that I listed, i.e. black Asian, jewish, and homosexual are all protected classes under the Constitution of the United States.  The Constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of race (black), national origin or ethnicity (Asian), or religion (Jewish).  Many states have also included sexual orientation as a protected class.  So, you, sir, are are WRONG!  imagine that, you're wrong.  You see, all the categories that I listed represent discrete and insular minorities that protected under American law against discrimination.  That's what they have in common.  So my question is, what's funny about suggesting that I'm a member of one protected class, but not funny to say I'm a member of another protected class?  I don't understand the joke.

thereal_bobdole
thereal_bobdole

@TheLeftHandDoom @cjtopspin     just wanted to go ahead and point out that being Asian, being black,  being homosexual, and being jewish are all part of 4 separate categories. Someone could actually be all 4. This makes the comparison useless and/or void because you are comparing proverbial apples with equally proverbial oranges, with proverbially pears, with proverbial bannanas.


Asian= regional

Black= skin color

Homosexual= sexual choice

Jewish= religious affiliation (some believe it is a nationality, however it technically is not)

TheLeftHandDoom
TheLeftHandDoom

@cjtopspin @TheLeftHandDoomI'm not offended at all by being called a homosexual.  I'm not a homosexual, but I don't understand why that's an insult.  Is it an insult to insinuate that I'm black, or jewish, or asian?  I don't understand what the joke is?  Suppose I was a homosexual, by calling me a homosexual are you insulting me? 

cjtopspin
cjtopspin

@TheLeftHandDoom@cjtopspin  What is funny is that you made a pretty good joke insulting those who "grind" to level 70 on Diablo 3 and then someone immediately trumped your joke with a funnier joke simply by piggybacking off of your joke.  And THEN you get offended about the subtle insinuation of being labeled as a homosexual which makes the trumping joke even funnier.  Nobody actually cares if your are or aren't...but taking an immediate "offended"/"PC shield" stance after you blatantly insult those who might actually like this only provides you feeble standing to complain.


Of course having to explain all of this to you is not funny...its sad.

TheLeftHandDoom
TheLeftHandDoom

@cjtopspin what's humorous in suggesting that I'm thinking about two men?  Explain it to me?  What's the joke, that I'm homosexual?  Is that what you think is funny?

cjtopspin
cjtopspin

@TheLeftHandDoom@pyro1245 Hmmmm...I am saying there was a subtle insinuation but not enough to warrant the Political Correctness penalty flag.  There was no obvious homophobic reference nor a blatant sexually oriented slur.  According to PC Rule 10.20.010 this will be filed under "Humor" and play will continue.

Diablo III More Info

First Release on May 15, 2012
  • Macintosh
  • PC
  • + 4 more
  • PlayStation 3
  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox 360
  • Xbox One
Blizzard's hack-and-slash lootfest Diablo III is coming to the PS3 and PS4 and will include split-screen and four-player co-op.