Reaper of Souls Power Leveling the Cursed Cellar

Tempered by zombieland.

Tempered by zombieland.

Since DiabloWikiSeason Two began there’s been a big surge in the number of players online, and at least in our US and EU IncGamers Hardcore clans, there have been 40+ people online almost all day and night. Most players are profiting and progressing, but of course there are occasional setbacks. (Especially to Monks. The lure of the new DiabloWikiGungdo Gear seems to be spurring a big resurgence of interest in the class, though it’s come with such a price in Monastic blood you’d think Pie Mei was once again inconsolable.)

When someone dies and vows to rebuild, there are often offers of Power Leveling. The easiest way is simply to join a higher level character’s game and leech off of them. I powered several people from 1-70 in Season One, simply by having them stand by the entrance stairs on each level of a Nephalem Rift in my level 70 T6 game. It’s cheesy but effective (just be sure no stray monsters are left near the start of each level, or they’ll one-shot the leecher), and in about the time it takes to clear 7 or 8 floors (not Rifts, just floors within each Rift, so it’s basically a Rift full clear plus another 2-3 levels) the leecher will rise right back to level 70.

The more common way to get the power level done is to take some more agency and seek out your own level opportunities, and the best way for that is to seek the CC trick. People have been doing that non-stop so far in Season Two, ans since people in the clan keep asking about it, it’s clearly not universally known.

The trick is pretty simple; the low level character just keeps creating games on Torment VI, looking for the DiabloWikiCursed Cellar bounty in Act One. That’s the zombie-spawning Cursed Chest event in one cellar along the road to Old Tristram, and when the low level character finds it, they sit in town of that game and hit the clan (or public) chat, asking for someone with a strong level 70 to clear, and often for more leeches to fill in the game, thus to bump up the exp earned.

Reaper of Souls Power Leveling the Cursed Cellar. Typically the messages look like this:

  • CC T6 (34), 1 cleaner and 2 leeches needed
  • This means they’ve found the Cursed Cellar quest, in a Torment 6 game, they’re level 34, and they need someone strong to come and kill stuff, and would like two other non-70s to come sit and soak up the exp.

    The method to do it is easy; the cleaner just takes the Old Tristram waypoint and runs to the Cursed Cellar. Inside it they pause so the 1-3 leechers can teleport to them. The leechers stand near the doorway while the cleaner runs down to the Red Chest and starts the quest, killing the hapless zombies and sharing gigantic experience to the leechers.

    Low level characters can pick up 7-15 levels per bounty doing this, and with 2 or 3 people simultaneously creating games, it doesn’t take long for someone to find the next CC bounty, and then everyone to rally to him. And if you do it with Cain’s Set, a Ruby in your hat, and a Gem of Ease in your weapon, it’s even that much quicker.

    Pick up all but One in a Stack

    Unrelated, but I recently learned this trick. If you want to pick up all of a stack of anything (in stash or inventory), here’s how to do it quickly. Just shift+left click and then type in a number that’s larger than the entire stack. The value will then default to 1 less than the total stack.

    So if you have 43 Realm of Trial keys and you want to put 42 of them into your stash lest you perish and lose them all, just shift+left click, type in 6666 (or any number larger than 43) and the value will auto-set to 42. Handy!

    Tagged As: | Categories: Diablo 3, Hardcore, Party Play


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    1. I would have loved it if D3 were designed with hardcore in mind. I think the data showed that as timed passed more and more people switched to HC in D2. I imagine the same will happen with D3. Blizzard would never do it but the following changes would make for a real "hardcore" experience IMO:

      (1) All power leveling tricks removed. Simple to do. The presence of a high level character in a game means lower level characters (lower by N levels) gain no experience.

      (2) Gem of Ease is a cool idea just OP. I used one to self power level a character to 65 in an hour or two. It could be modified to assist in leveling a new character without trivializing it.

      (3) All cheat death mechanisms (passives, set bonuses, items) removed.

      (4) Monster AI and abilities tweaked to remove cheesy one shot, there-was-nothing-you-could-do-to-stop-it scenarios.

      (5) Monster scaling in GRs and higher Torment more about smarter AI, combination of abilities than just OMG it hits for eleventy-billion now.

      (6) More active defensive abilities for players so they can have a strategic fight with a smarter elite pack or RG.

      Like I said, most people hate leveling and the above changes would make less sense in softcore so Blizzard would never do it. But imagine losing a character and knowing it would take significant time to get them back to 70? Imagine build diversity with GRs designed not just to be "you have to burn through billions of health on the GR in < 5 minutes"?

      Hardcore would be more, well, hardcore. Right now people save a back up set in their stash, die, and with the help of friends (or soon, Gem of Ease as more people learn about it) in less than one hour are back farming T2+. Sorry but that doesn't feel very hardcore to me at all.

      • i'll second this. ripped the other night in s2 and within a couple hours i was 70 (CC method) and rolling t4 rifts.

      • 4) and 5) are what is basically keeping me from playing Hardcore in Diablo 3.

        I will never play a game that kills my character because two nasty elite packs happened to overlap at the same time. I could have 30 million toughness on my DH and it still would not matter.

        When I lost one of my Hardcore Spearazons in D2LOD is was due to the fact that I SCREWED UP, and not some random roll of the dice.

        Excellent and well though out OP.

      • Your version of Hardcore would be impressive, austere, uncompromising, and unplayed. Which might be the point.

        As someone who played mostly HC since early D2 days, I feel safe saying that D3's death-cheating passives, paragon points, and fast power leveling tricks have done a great deal to make HC more inclusive and populated.

        I think the larger question would be how D3 could benefit from meaningful death penalties. Obviously the HC one is very severe, but also quite avoidable and recoverable from, which I agree is sort of against the design ethos of HC. It should be hard. It should be for the few. But with SC in D3 turned into such a consequence free romp, it's only natural that HC has become more accessible also.

        I played SC on the last PTR I quickly had a DH and Monk capable of GR40+ and it just felt ridiculous to play with the entire premium on killing speed. The only challenge came at high GR levels, and there it's succeed or get one-shoted, which feels cheesy. And fuels most of the "jailer is sux" complaint threads on

        Those are valid complaints, but a major contributor is the lack of any consequences for failure in softcore. Those sort of cheesy Elite mechanics aren't such an issue in HC, since with death always a worry, players gear and play accordingly, and moving up above GR40, even with double Unity, is risky business.

        It'll never happen, but I think a third game mode in D3 would be interesting with powerful, but not erasing death penalties. Something between HC and the current DPS Candyland of Softcore. Players adjust their behavior according to death penalties, and their absence in SC has predictable consequences.

    2. I’m inclined to agree with the above post, however,
      They’d also have to fix disconnect deaths. My total 70s lost to dcs in season 2 now stands at 3.

      I’m sure some people will be plug pullers to save themselves, but how about if you disconnect and your life saving proc hasn’t gone off and you’re not ccd it logs you out.

      Essentially if you’re imminent danger of dying when you DC, then you were going to die regardless. But I’ve died just because I didn’t fight back in time, not because I couldn’t win the fight.

    3. I'm always confused when people complain about things in a game that make the game feel less challenging/hardcore for them.

      Just don't use them. Nobody makes you get powerleveled, or makes you use a Gem of Ease. Nobody forces you to have backup gear waiting.

      Speaking as someone who played D2 all the way up beyond the launch of D3, and played mostly SP with the SPF community here, I can say that I had low level items and backup gear for my HC chars. It was never a question of if a char would die, but when.

      It wasn't any less hardcore because I had extra stuff lying around. Extra stuff is pretty much the exclusive point of the Diablo franchise. It's an item randomizer / Skinner box made to look like a game.

      • I want to agree with you. I mean in D3 vanilla I leveled a wizard to 53 using a "cold skills only" theme. That meant no teleport or what not. Every skill/rune on the bar had to be cold. It was a fun challenge.

        But the real problem lies in (4) and (5) of my original comment. For example, I run high GRs in non-season on my wizard. She's geared to the max. But at GR43 one jail from a jailer affixed elite takes me down more than 50% health. If I get on screen with jailer/horde and they all decide to jail I'm dead before I get any notice on the screen.

        Or rather now I proc or double proc before I get any indication an attack was in coming. That's just dumb design. But I can't play without cheat death skills and compete. Yes I could just stop doing higher GRs but a better game design, IMO, would be high level GRs based on skill and not cheesy mechanics.

    4. On topic with the article:

      All the cursed bounties will work for power leveling they just may have some margin for error. What I mean is that some have ranged mobs and mobs that move quicker than zombies so you have to position the noobs a decent distance away to avoid aggro. It is easily done, just not as foolproof as the cursed cellar.

      A second really good one is cursed bellows in A1.

    5. True, but if you're doing a lot of positioning and clearing an area out, it's not a lot different than just PLing by having people stand at the stairs in your Rift or at the WP in any area you're clearing. The Cursed Cellar is used mostly since it's so quick to find and set up. Cursed Bellows you've got to search through the dungeon to locate, etc.

    6. i for one despise power leveling. i enjoy the ride from 1 to 70. sometimes i wish i wouldnt level to 70.

    7. Does everyone powerlevel now? I've been gone from the game long enough that the majority of endgame is new to me. I tend to level the old fashioned way but get bored with the character when I hit level 70 so I start another, which means I've done almost no level 70 content. (I've never done T1 or above, never made a hellfire ring or amulet, never done a grift, etc.)

      Should I really just power level to 70 in a couple hours using these methods and THEN play?

    8. I personally level up to 70 via single player, which took me about 3 days in season 2 (obviously not playing every waking hour). From there, it's all about finding legendary gems, better weapons and items, and more. I like the different stages of the game. Last night, I played my first multiplayer game (which I swore I would never do). It was actually nice to play with some other people besides me. No one chatted or said anything, it was just a bunch of people running around and killing demons. I think I was at Paragon Level 20 when I started and we did a rift together and I ended at like 22. It wasn't some huge jump, and these guys were at PL 180 that I were with. In any case, I think I'm going to try it again, but not so much for the power leveling (which to me is like getting cheat codes for the game, and then you quickly get bored having GOD powers the entire time), but for the fun it was to play with others. I wish I had some of my own friends playing D3, it would be cool.

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