A new player hit our Diablo 3 Wizard strategy forum to offer up his character for advice and insight from more experienced hands. His wizard provides a useful example for anyone new or newish to Diablo 3 and looking to gain some understanding of the puzzle that is gear upgrading. It’s time for Diablo 3 Strategy: Boosting DPS for Beginners!

    Hi I’m a new player, this is my first character. I have a problem… i’m doing some T1 but i can’t find any good new items to improve my dmg. I’m stuck at about 350k-400k and this is frustrating. Any advice? 🙁

    His Wizard is here and will probably have upgraded some items by the time you read this, but when I saw the thread he had listed values of:

  • Damage: 312583
  • Toughness: 4336840
  • So how to help and fix? There are some great suggestions in the forum thread, with the biggest change needed to his weapon. He’s got a wand that has decent listed DPS, but 1) no socket, and 2) it’s got good DPS mostly since it’s a fairly fast attack (1.40/sec) which doesn’t really mesh so well with his skills/build).

    Replace the wand with an actual weapon. Since you use a channeled ability you may want a slower weapon (1.2 attacks per second) like a mace-type, but definitely you want something other than a wand. Your overall damage starts with the damage on your weapon and while that wand shows decent DPS, the actual damage value is quite low (the 1331-1767 is the actual damage the wand does,) and it should be incredibly easy to find a real weapon that outpaces that significantly. As mentioned you will want a socket in your weapon for an emerald, but I wouldn’t even bother trying to roll one on the wand.

    Optimize Everything: His new Wizard does what I see on a lot of newish or non-min/max players. There are good pieces of gear, but multiple items are not optimized. You don’t need to have full item sets all over the place (though that certainly helps), but you don’t want *any* pieces of gear that are inferior. That’s self evident advice, but it really matters in Diablo 3 since each piece of gear interacts with all your other gear. Making a lot of little upgrades might only add 1% or 2% green number each, but all of your gear leverages all of your other gear, like a rising tide lifting all ships.

    moar-bird-dpsFor instance, the new Wizard in question has CC on his bracers, but no +elemental damage. His chest armor has decent stats, but no sockets. He’s got DiabloWikiCrit Chance or DiabloWikiCrit Damage on his rings, amulet, and gloves… but he doesn’t have both CC and CD on any of them. (You want both on all of those item slots, and that’s what primary affixes like +LpH and reduces resource cost are for; enchanting into DiabloWikitrifecta stats.)

    New players often focus on one of two really good items, which is fine, but you will usually boost overall character performance more by making minor upgrades to several items than you would by adding one new awesome item. This is especially important and true in Hardcore, where every affix is important since it’s essential that you boost Toughness *and* DPS with each piece of gear. But even in Softcore, you don’t want any gear with wasted primary affixes, since that’s just wasted potential.

    Legendaries in Every Slot: One key I stressed in the forum thread is to upgrade all your Rares to Sets or Legs, and to use the Crafting recipes. Crafted gear in RoS is amazing, often offering better stats (especially with the set bonuses factored in) than the legendaries you find, and since legendary items all have 100-200 more to the stats, that really adds up if you swap 5 or 6 Yellows for Orange/Greens.

    Non-DPS damage: The more subtle upgrades in RoS (aside from special legendary affixes) are +elemental damage and +skill damage, which requires a little more specialization in gear. You need to figure out a build that goes with your gear (or vice versa) and then select and stick to skills/runes that synch up with your type of +elemental damage. +Elite damage is a huge boost as well, since most chars quickly get to the point of blasting trash mobs, and find Elites the only slowdown/danger point.

    Of course none of those more advanced stats show up in the DPS number in-game, which is why all *sensible* fans want an enhanced DPS display, or an outright damage meter. We were kicking around (and voting on) that topic just a few weeks ago.

    What advice do you guys have for players new to the gear game? Or what questions do you have about optimizing your gear?

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