Diablo III and my Great Leap Forward in Season 5

One of the quirks (and drivers) of a gear drop driven game like Diablo III is that sometimes you can go for ages and get little or no advancement in your gear… and then suddenly it rains upgrades on you.

After the last post, where I was wondering how to get through the Season 5 Chapter IV objectives, I was at Torment II and running Adventure Mode in hopes of picking up a drop or something that would boost me past that.  I needed to be at Torment IV to finish things off.

I got a couple small upgrades, enough that I tried to jump straight up to Torment IV, but that was too much.  So I went back to Torment III where I was still struggling a bit.  And then I got the drop that changed everything.

And it wasn’t even a piece of gear.

No, it was a recipe for a sword called Griswold’s Perfection.  Honestly, the recipe wasn’t all that great to look at, but I happened to have enough materials to make 10 swords, so I decided to see if I could get one worth upgrading to.  Nine of the resulting swords were so-so, not much of an upgrade over what I was already swinging, but there was one that stood out from the rest.  It had much higher damage than the rest, decent strength and vitality buffs, and a socket for a gem.

The Sword

The Sword

It doesn’t look like much, but once I had that in my hand, Torment III eased up so much that I went right to Torment IV.  Then my streak of “luck” began.  I was carving through adventure mode and ended up on a level with unicorns and flowers and teddy bears to kill.

Death to all that is cute!

Death to all that is cute!

I am not sure that was actually lucky, but it was something I hadn’t seen before.

Then I was able to kill a treasure goblin in another area and it left its portal open so I was able to enter The Vault for the first time.

Gold Everywhere!

Gold Everywhere!

My immediate gold problems were solved as I went from having about 4 million gold to having more than 40 million gold after that run. (Granted, I immediately burned almost half of it doing gem combines, but I was still way ahead.)

After that I decided to start in on the Greater Rift level 20 objective.  I had two tokens to enter greater rifts already, so headed on in.  The first run was a big success, I beat the timer by a large margin, and it opened me up all the way to Greater Rift level 18.  It also gave me a nice legendary ring and an interesting gem to mount in it.

The Nagelring with the Boon of the Hoarder gem

The Nagelring with the Boon of the Hoarder gem

I love me some “life per hit” bonus, and the gem pretty much has gold raining on me for adventure mode runs, so I won’t have to spend all my vault money.

The second run went equally well.  Again I was well ahead of the timer and got a nice ring drop and a gem to go in it.

Oculus Ring with Boyarsky's Chip

Oculus Ring with Boyarsky’s Chip

If there is something I like as much as “life per hit” it is more thorns damage.  That opened me up to Greater Rift level 24, but I was out of tokens.  So I ran a Nephalem rift to get another, then set off on the Greater Rift level 20.

I was a bit worried when it started off, as monsters were few and far between, so the hourglass line on the timer was getting ahead of my own progress bar.  It actually took me a while before I found a few elites and a boss or two before I was able to catch up.  By the time things got close to the end though I was out in front of the hourglass.  The final fight went well and I had cleared the GR20 objective.

Greater Rift 20 completed

Greater Rift 20 completed

That should have completed my Thorns of the Invoker set.

But I didn’t seem to have them.  I got a bit miffed at them going missing and logged off, thinking I must have missed something along the way.  And then I remembered that the set pieces show up in the mail, which is a pretty subtle icon down in the lower left corner.  So I logged back in and collected them.  I was now all suited up… and fearsome.  The bonuses for the set are pretty nice, especially since I had been working on getting thorns stats for my gear. [You can see all my gear here.]

Thorns of the Invoker set bonuses

Thorns of the Invoker set bonuses

I went out and tried it on a few bosses.  I hit Zoltun Kulle first and killed him so fast I got two achievements.  One was for killing him in less than 30 seconds, though I doubt I took more than six.  I upped the difficulty to Torment V and was still able to slay stuff crazy fast compared to what I was used to, trash going down in a hit or two, elites fading in half a dozen.  In fact, that efficiency actually lead to a couple of deaths.  Once in a while I will kill a group of elites that explode on death so quickly that I will end up eating all the death explosions in one blow and dying myself.  Problems of the powerful I suppose.

At that point I only had two objectives left for chapter IV.  One was equipping a legendary in every slot, and I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t have that one yet.  And then I noticed that my belt was only a level 66 legendary and the slots all have to have level 70 items, so I quickly fixed that for just long enough to check it off the list.

That just left the set dungeon.   I looked up where that was located and ran off to give it a try.

Where the set dungeon starts...

Where the set dungeon starts…

There my power was not effective and things went very badly.

As I understand it, the set dungeons are all a bit… finicky I guess.  You have to go in and kill several things in a specified fashion without dying yourself.

So for this set I had to go in and kill five elites.  Five elites, which had to die while I was standing in my active consecrate circle, while I had iron skin active.  First I had to figure out how to get those two on my ability bar at the same time.  Google told me to go to Options and select Elective mode.  Once that was set, I gave it a try, and failed.  And tried again, and failed.  And over and over and over again.

I would put myself at 20+ attempts in about 15 minutes, as I was failing very quickly.  I would either die, which was pretty easy to do, since the elites could almost one-shot me, while the trash was hitting me for a quarter to half of my health… dying ends run… or kill an elite but either consecrate or iron skin would have faded… and killing an elite in the wrong way ends the run.

Basically, it seems like a very simple task, but I managed to mis-time things or die every single time.  I watch a couple of videos about the run, which both pretty much said, “This is easy, just kill the elites while in your consecrate while iron skin is up” without going into any further detail.  So I gave up for the moment.

So that is where I stand on Season 5 right now; one objective away from completing chapter IV.

Chapter IV - So close

Chapter IV – So close

I am going to have to find something more informative on that set dungeon, because I was clearly getting nowhere.

Anyway, I have the set from the season and I think I can bump myself up to Torment VI if I want to chase some achievements.  Or, I can lower it down and probably accomplish some of the speed run achievements.  I imagine at Torment I in story mode I would just have to run through things and watch mobs explode as I passed… which, I have to admit, is kind of fun for a while.

And this is as far as I have gotten with a character in Diablo III, so Season 5 has worked out for me on that front.

8 thoughts on “Diablo III and my Great Leap Forward in Season 5

  1. Whorhay

    Life on hit is good, but I’d go for a Topaz in your weapon to maximize thorns. If the elites in the set dungeon are taking too long to kill having more damage should help, although you can also just not use those two abilities until you’ve already beat them down a bit.


  2. MaximGtB

    The weapon you got is “ancient”, as it says in the tooltip. This is an extra modifier that raises its base damage and bonuses. I think there is a 10% chance of getting one while crafting, which is exactly consistent with what you got.

    The first 4 pieces of the set could probably have helped you clear the greater rifts more easily, but yes, that mail icon might be a bit too subtle. I missed it too a few days ago when I got my first set items.


  3. Gripper

    I am in the same boat you are in, I have one achievement left which is the set dungeon, and it makes me think the amount of times I have run it, even after looking at all the guides and vids, I just cannot get the hang of it!

    I am trying a different set tonight on a different character to see if I have any better luck, as it is very frustrating!


  4. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Gripper – In talking with a co-worker… he and his wife are also failing on the set dungeon thing… and browsing around, all I can think of is just trying to boost my damage output. In one of the videos I watched the guy running it said he had 300K base thorns damage. I’m only at about 40K. We’ll see. i did notch up to Torment VI, so I’ll be on the lookout for upgrades again.


  5. Owen Wells

    Yeah I’m stuck on that same set dungeon with a thorns based build too. I’m honestly thinking of just grinding rifts until I get the poison immunity amulet and seeing how that changes things, I’m ok for defence but the elites poison keeps screwing me because its so powerful.

    Something else you should know too, you only need to finish one of the bonus objectives then clear the dungeon for it to count for the season, so you dont need to do both objectives or worry about the timer unless you really want to master it.


  6. Whorhay

    My Crusader was my third character of the season and I mastered the Invoker set dungeon on the first try. I’m pretty sure I used the poison immunity necklace from the cube, and yes, more thorns damage is what the Invoker set is all about. Sadly I found that dungeon in particular to be one of the easiest so far. Wizard Firebirds and the Barbarian Wrath of the Wastes are my toughest challenges so far. For the Invoker set in general you want to get thorns damage on every piece of gear possible, stat for toughness and strength, physical elemental damage is good, boost block chance, avoid crit stats as it’s wasted on thorns, maximize attacks per second and basically ignore your character sheet damage.


  7. Gripper

    Just as an afterthought – I did finally get my completion on the chapter challenges by doing the WD Zunimassa set challenge – as I am best with the WD, gave up on the Firebirds set with the Wiz. I was able to do it on the 3rd try but failed to do enough of something but I did get one completed and the chapter was completed! So pretty happy I have the pet now which is really why I was doing the chapters.


  8. JThelen

    I did Invoker’s mastery with somewhere around 150k thorns total, so getting up to 300k is by no means needed. That’s actually fairly high up, to be honest.

    Here’s a list of stuff that’ll help a lot with it:

    – Socket the best topaz you can in your weapon; a flawless royal gives 38k thorns on its own.
    – Run greater rifts focusing on leveling your Boyarski’s Chip.
    – Look for a Heart of Iron chestpiece, and gather the materials to extract it’s power into the cube. If you’re having toughness issues(and eventually you’ll want one anyway), get a Belt of the Trove. It’ll autocast bombardment(and uses the rune you have equipped on it) so you’ll have a permanent 50% damage reduction there, plus a ton of extra damage. Last, shields. Look for an Akarat’s Awakening. It gives you cooldown reduction on block, which is something you should be aiming to do a lot of. Speaking of damage reduction, you’ll want to get an Aquila Cuirass to replace your current chest piece. Invoker builds don’t spend any wrath, so you’ll always have the damage reduction from that too.
    – Ditch Slash for Punish – Celerity, Fist of the Heavens for Steed Charge – Endurance and Phalanx for Akkarat’s Champion – Prophet. Punish is going to build stacks from your set bonus much faster than Slash, which is going to get you more thorns. Fist of the Heavens and Phalanx just aren’t doing much of anything for you in the build; Akkarat’s gives you a cheat death plus a bunch of damage reduction while it’s up. I’d also advise looking into upgrading rare daggers to get a Pig Sticker for the better attack speed and affixes.


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