HUGE thanks to…
Everyone who contributed to this guide, with very special thanks to malawiglenn for taking all the time to map out all the farming routes.
I think I may have unintentionally ruffled some feathers.
I am not trying to dictate the way people should play this game. I am merely trying to share with the community how more experienced players play GD in as efficient a manner as possible, with efficiency referring to: i. Looting, ii. Levelling.
Of course feel free to play GD however you want. There is no ‘right’ way to play a game.
Less experienced players may be tempted to craft that perfect level insert any number less than 94 here toon simply because that’s the gear available to them.
I would strongly recommend against this. The goal of levelling any build is to get it to level 94 asap, and to have it be able to efficiently farm loot during and after that process.
So here are some tips and tricks for bippin’-&-boppin’, lootin’-&-zoomin’ your way through cairn.
What makes a good levelling skill?
Resist reduction is King - I’ll be a little more detailed about this as a lot of players tend to ignore the importance of RR.
RR is perhaps the best way to amplify your damage at any point in the game. Since enemies have next to 0 resist at the start of the game, stacking 50% RR brings their resist to a negative value, allowing you to deal crazy damage.
Damage can be calculated as such:
Damage * [100% - (Target’s resist - Resist reduction)]
So if I bring the target’s resist to -50%, I deal 50% more damage.
AoE is for levelling
If you haven’t noticed by now, you tend to level a lot faster by killing a bunch of trash mobs than you would from taking on the big, the bad, and the ugly.
A good way to think of it is as such:
a. Mobs = Levels
b. Boss/hero enemy = Loot
Since your primary concern as a low level toon should be levels and not items, I suggest rushing past heroes.
Putting RR and AoE together
Of course there will be some contention as to which skill is the best for levelling, and every player will have their own predilections to one thing over another. So I’ll just copy and paste a generic list of what are good (not necessarily the best) levelling skills to use which were shared by the vets in the comment section:
- Arcanist: OFF & greater fire blast combo+, Trozan Sky Shards+, Panetti’s Missiles+.
^NOTE: Investing in devastation is a good idea too. This allows you to farm 2 mobs simultaneously. Devastate one, cast spells at another.
- Nightblade - Veil+Night’s Chill, Amarasta’s+, Phantasmal Blades+
- Occultist - Dreeg’s Eye+, Blood of Dreeg+, Curse of Frailty+
- Demolitionist - Vindictive Flame, Stun Jacks+, Cocktail+, Greater Fireblast (Flintcore Bolts)
- Soldier - Forcewave (1 pt)+Internal Trauma (maxed), Field Command, Warcry, Blade Arc+
- Shaman - Devouring Swarm, Grasping Vines+, Wind Devil+
- Inquisitor - Word of Pain++, Word of Renewal++
- Necromancer - Raise Skeletons++, Blight Fiend+Blight Burst, Bone Harvest++, Ravenous Earth++, Spectral Binding+
- Oathkeeper - maxed Guardian of Empyrion (bound to Flame Torrent)+Vire’s Might
Using devotions to help
Great levelling devotions include bat, fiend, falcon. Pick the damage types which aligns with your RR.
As mentioned by Nery,Another thing to note with devotions is skill binding. As a general rule of thumb - Bind your most important devotion to your most frequently used skill.
Do also consider the cooldown of the skill and the devotion. For example:
a. Devotion X has a 100% chance of proccing every 5 seconds,
b. Skill Y has a 4s cooldown.
So when skill Y is first used, devotion X will proc. Great.
However, when skill Y is used a second time, devotion X will still be on CD, so you have effectively lengthened the CD of devotion X’s to 8s on every 2nd proc.
Generally, you want to bind devotion to a skill with a slightly longer CD. Ideally, of course, is to have the 2 CD’s match perfectly.
Levelling in solo play as a complete scrub (i.e. you have 0 level 100 characters)
Can’t emphasize this enough. Think of consumables as an investment - you use them to tide you over the difficulties which comes with not having gear so that you can more quickly get to ultimate and farm purples.
Levelling in solo play as an experienced player (You have access to Lokarr's set)
Generic strategy used by Belzzz which is applicable to all toons
- Equip the Lokarr Set and keep it till your suffer too much (armor is really low). I generally keep it till 70-ish.
- Equip a Silverbolt asap.
- Always have a potion of clarity on.
In a 2-3 hours of play, I’m 50. The grind from there to 100 is a bit longer. I reach 100 usually when I reach Homestead in Ultimate.
Tip on reputation: just unblock malmouth reputation in the first difficulty when you save the Malmouth Steelcap District. Then go to the next difficulty. On Ultimate, I religiously do every quest and hidden chest.
Reducing travel time
- Put a skill point in mobility skills if you have them. Blitz to enemies to cover ground faster.
- Try to return to camp as little as possible. It’s best to clear as many bosses/objectives as you can, and to cash them all in in one go.
- Look up the bounty and accept side quests which are along the way to your primary objective.
- As mentioned by Nandi, it’s prudent to use TP’s intelligently. Say I’m on a mission where I need to move move from point A to point B, then back to point A again. Assume also there’s a riftgate at point B and none at point A. What you should do is open a tp at point A, go to point B, and use that rift to teleport to your own portal. This will save you the trip back.
Levelling in solo crucible
Levelling in multiplayer crucible
Put on lokarr’s set, find a level 100 mate, get him/her to clear 150-170 several times with you around while you’re buffed and bannered.
Because you’re level 1, and said mate is level 100, the monsters will be around level 60. This means that your buddy should have 0 problems clearing the waves.
3 clears should get you to level 30 or 40, and you can use your tributes on devotions while also getting pretty good loot from the chest.
Conquering the level 70 - 94 levelling rut
If my experience is anything to go by, it seems like it’s easy to get disheartened upon hitting that 70-94 rut.
You’re clinging on to your level 50 purples but deep down you KNOW you’ve outlevelled them.
Your resistance is absolute shit.
What you would have thought to be a leisurely stroll through the ugdenbog ends up giving you HIV, Hep C, Ebola, etc. from all the acid pools.
And you may have ignored solid green gear which could actually help tide you over this ‘no-man’s land’ because you’re so fixated on blues/purps.
I remember feeling incredibly frustrated.
My personal strategy was to go to the GD-database and look up resists/damage types of monsters in SoT, and I basically just ran that about twice a day until my first legit character hit 94.
I equipped gear which gave racial bonus damage to the undead (e.g. sanctified bone, cleric’s prefix, etc), and stacked resists aimed specifically at countering these guys.
I’m however not sure if that’s the ‘best’ way to go about it, nor am I certain it’d be fun.
I certainly hated it. I just hated the lack of progress I felt more.
Another solution is to focus on doing side quests. Kindly brought to my attention by Valykar:
Should I level in ultimate?
Only if the challenge is enjoyable to you. Levelling in ultimate, however, is not the most efficient way to go about things.
What IS efficient, however, is jumping back and forth the difficulties, because this allow the player to simultaneously farm faction rep as augments are seriously needed in ultimate.
Both eisschollee and Belzzzz have taken the trouble to lay out a suggested ‘levelling sequence’:
- Cruci: 10 devo points;
- Ultimate: first quests (2 devo);
- Normal: rush main quest act 1 (8 devo);
- Normal FG: choose reputation and 1st wave of SR (1 Devo);
- Normal Act 2-5: rush main quest to unlock all reputations till Sewers hideout. Get all shrines.
- Normal FG or Ultimate directly, depending on how many devo points are left and what level you are.
Setting aside the crucible/trading/GDstash, your best bet at farming loot will be rouge-like dungeons. As mentioned below by Flying Potato:
Steps of Torment is the best for the following reasons:
- Full run from Devil’s crossing to Alkamos takes me 7 - 9 minutes
- Good chance of running into Nemesis as there aren’t that many spawns for Moos outside of SoT
- Similar loot drop
- Everyone wants Alkamos rings for one build or another
I’ve only recorded 9 runs, and I got 23 legendaries for 77 minutes of farming. Add on 11 blueprints, and 49 epics, and I’d say SoT > BoC. Of course, this may vary between builds, but SoT is much much easier to traverse and the bone coffer also has a great drop table.
Safer looting modus operandi used by rhylthar:
- Search for Fabius. If he´s in Cronley´s Hideout, kill Cronley, too. Kill Helion/Boris if you are there.
- Twin Falls. Have a look if Moosilauke is there. Kill Queen in Hive.
- Broken Hills. Kill Solael-Sect Guardian.
- Ashkertan Valley. Kill Bysmiel-Sect Guardian and Mad Queen. (Sell loot at Devil´s Crossing)
- Burrwitch Village Rift. Kill the Keeper.
- Flooded Passage. Kill Rolderathis.
- Burrwitch Outskirts. Clear Depraved Sanctuary. Sometimes Benn´Jhar is there.
- Lower Crossing. Kill Dreeg-Sect Guardian. (Sell loot).
- Crown Hill. Look out for Aleksander. Kill Valexteria and perhaps Malmouth Council.
- Ugdenbog. Kill Kra´Vall. Sometimes Kubacabra is there.
You can skip any step you want. A lot of purple bosses with good MI and legendaries.
^As mentioned by belzzz, adding in Ancient grove is smart because of ugdenblooms.
Malawiglenn's Magnificent Maps for farming FG
Farming route suggested by Shivanking (and tested by malawiglenn) - Great if you're farming for Okaloth's Visage
Mini-FG farming route by Malawiglenn
Where to find guaranteed purples by Malawiglenn and myhr2
IMPORTANT: What items should I keep?
Do NOT sell greens. This is especially true at the later stages of the game. They are often better than purples. Go to grimtools and lookup the suffixes for them. Typically, cronley rings, gollus rings, living rings, etc. are all HIGHLY coveted.
And typically good affixes include: ‘Thunderstruck,’ ‘Stonehide,’ + ‘of Kings,’ ‘of scorched runes,’ ‘of the dranghoul,’ ‘of readiness’
There are too many affixes and too many scenarios for me to go through to breakdown what a good green is. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to hold onto a green if you see that it has any 2 of the following:
- Resists to more than 3 damage types
- Gives more than 40 - 50 OA/DA,
- % OA/DA
- stun resist
- slow resist
- Attack speed/Cast speed
Check GT for more information.
> Here’s a quick explanation on how to do that
> Here’s a rough chart explaining the usefulness of affixes (courtesy of gregory_portman)
Do NOT ignore materials like scrap and ugdenblooms. You’ll want to hold onto those for when you need to craft components or to trade for other purps.
Don’t waste time trying to build a perfect toon with items you do not have. Do not waste time optimizing a toon which isn’t level 94.
Focus on playing smart and building up a bunch of good gear. Use what you have to build what you can.
P.S. If anyone has smarter ways of going about this, please comment below.