I can understand you OP, I have very similar experience, until very recently.
My own experience, there was a huge wall like you said, but I passed the wall not by obtaining gears, but by obtaining knowledge from this forum. Folded due to being a wall of texts
My first two characters sucked, the first was an infiltrator and I didn’t even finish everything in Ultimate with it, my second was a spellbinder which is still using greens and blues today (haven’t touched it for a while). It died like 30 times in finishing FG main campaign. After I played like 250 hours I have two characters, bunch of trash gears and ~1 pages of legendary that 90% of them I don’t use.
I was frustrated by such experience, so I did some research in this forum. I saw malawiglenn’s Perdition acid aegis sentinel, it’s based on a blue set that I already had 3 pieces, so I decided to level up my 3rd character, a sentinel. I got the last piece of the set in the skeleton dungeons after some farming. It was a pretty decent build, I could breeze through all four skeleton dungeons with it.
So at this stage my legendary farming speed already significantly increased compared to my first 250h, though still far from comparable to those crucible farmers you see in this forum.
Then again I did some research in this forum and finally am aware of the farmable sets (Krieg, Dark Ones, Vanquisher) and saw x1x1x1x2’s skater Templar. One of my friend also showed me off his own Vanquisher build. They seem strong, fun to play, and the Vanquisher set is something I can farm for on purpose.
So I theorycrafted my Vanquisher skater Sentinel, farmed the set with acid aegis build, updated the gears and made the skater build I want, and starting pushing SR. I have a whole thread about this (both the build and the farming process).
Now I can farm SR 65-66 with my skater reliably, and the farming speed is far far better than before, I guess it has become near-endgame. And just yesterday, I managed to finish SR 75-76 with a g2 setup (meaning using full blue gears except for the Vanquisher set and a cheap MI).
The points I want to make are:
- There definitely exists a huge wall between finishing Ultimate the first time, and being able to farm legendary in end-game speed, for most new players;
- But the huge wall is actually NOT made by the gears, but mostly by Knowledge;
- It is not easy to obtain such knowledge, especially if you think “heck I played Diablo 2 for like 3000 hours why should I even read beginner build / knowledge posts” like I did.
The exact knowledge I really hope I knew when starting the game, and maybe you would like to know too, is:
- YOU DON’T NEED A G3 BUILD (all purple gears) TO FARM ENDGAME EFFICIENTLY. Beginner-friendly and semi-budget builds are sufficient for the purpose (G3 builds just make it quicker). DO NOT IGNORE THEM WHEN STARTING THINKING ABOUT ENDGAME.
My G2 skater sentinel can finish SR 75-76 in time, and can farm SR 65-66 at ease. Many beginner-friendly builds can complete Gladiator 170 and farm 100-150. This is already very good for legendary farming, when you get into this stage you’ll soon start complaining about stash size.
I also want to point out that not all G3+ builds are C+ and SR+, so those beginner builds are actually quite competitive.
Most importantly, those beginner-friendly builds are super easy to gear up, it’s like you level up your first toon to 100 at the 100th hour and gear it up at the 101th hour. So if you have the full knowledge at the beginning, you will not hit a wall at all. Such is the power of knowledge.
You just need the right knowledge. I just needed the right knowledge. I wish it is provided in a more obvious way, both in game and in this forum. Anyway, I’m actually quite happy with my own experience, so not really complaining anything here.
p.s. I like posts with wall of texts, this make it legit to me to write my own wall of texts lol
edit: just want to clarify that I’m not suggesting that people should play a beginner build for their first playthrough, the first playthrough should be played in any way you want to. I’m suggesting that if you start thinking about endgame after finishing first/second playthrough, then the beginner builds are actually very good choices.