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    news-gem-of-ease-twinkThere are three new DiabloWikiLegendary Gems available for PTR experimentation in the upcoming patch; the two defensive LGems that were previewed at Blizzcon 2014 — DiabloWikiEsoteric Alteration and DiabloWikiMolten Wildebeest’s Gizzard — and another special/secret one, the Gem of Ease. The Gem of Ease is the most unusual of all the Legendary Gem; it only sockets into a weapon (not jewelry), and it adds nothing to your offensive or defensive capabilities. What it does instead is add +1000 experience per kill, a value that increases with each rank, and at rank 25 the special bonus property unlocks and grants any weapon the gem is socketed in a level requirement of 1.

    It’s the Ultimate Twink: Legendary Gem of Ease:

    Level 1: 2700DPS weapon.

    Lvl 1 weapon?

    I first tried the gem a couple of weeks ago when I made a new Monk, and it was pretty cool. At the time the gem only gained +1 exp per rank, so at rank 25 it was worth +1025 exp per kill. That was great, for a few levels, and my Monk hit level 16 in just a few minutes. But the crazy exp rate tailed off at that point, and while I still hit level 50 within an hour, it didn’t feel like the Gem of Ease was making that much of a difference. (And it did little to no good from 50 to 70, where I could just have used a reduced requirement level 70 weapon with an emerald or ruby socketed.

    I gave the Gem of Ease another try this weekend since Blizzard buffed it in this week’s patch. The Gem of Ease still gains +1 exp per rank, but that amount scales up with the difficulty you play on. And when you’re a level 1 character with a level 70 weapon, you can obliterate anything in your path. In the early going at least. Not that it’s early going for long, since each rank on the gem adds 50 more exp per kill on Torment 6. My Gem of Ease sits at rank 28, which was good for +1900 exp per kill.

    New Legendary Gems

    New Legendary Gems


    I stuck it in an Ancient Pig Sticker I’ve got on the PTR, enchanted the mainstat to Intelligence, loaded up my Paragon points, made sure the game was on Torment 6, and hit a Rift. From there it got silly very quickly, as you can see in the pics below.

    Note the clock on the screenshots to see how long things took. Nothing in the shots is ‘shopped except the size reduced a bit for easier loading and viewing on the webpage. I opened the Rift at 1:30, and 1 minute later I was level 26. Seven minutes later I was well into the 40s. I hit 50 in under 15 minutes, and that was with no twinks except for the weapon. I didn’t have a helm with a socket at 15, Cain’s Set, +exp gear or a Leoric’s Ring on my Follower, etc. Those would all have been good ideas, but I didn’t plan ahead that far, since it was just a PTR experiment to see how fast it could go. Very fast indeed.

    Click through for some more details about the leveling experience and tips/warnings about prepping for and using this gem. I thought it was fantastic and fun, but died repeatedly, and I’d strongly warn anyone about using this with a Hardcore character; you get so far over your head so quickly that it’s ridiculous.

    Details and Warnings

    39k DPS @ level 1.

    39k DPS @ level 1.

    The first caveat is the big one; you have to find the Gem of Ease from a Greater Rift Guardian, and level it to 25 for the level 1 requirement part. Until rank 25 it’s just a gem you put in your weapon to boost your exp, and while that would certainly help you level faster, especially if you got a rush, the whole point of the self-rush is that you can use a level 70 weapon right from the start.

    With a level 70 weapon, your level 1 character gets the enormous exp gain boost, and the ability to one-shot everything. Even on Torment 6, that much damage instantly kills everything up to about level 25, and as you can see in the screens, level 25 takes just a few minutes. Literally.

    Note also in the screens how far behind the level up tool tip skill info is. Most players have seen that when being rushed, but if you never have, it’s a funny experience. Each time you level up on the way to 70 in Diablo 3, you enable a few new skills, passive skills, and/or skill runes, and the game pops up text to tell you about that. Each tool tip shows for a second or so, and the game has to show them all in sequence. It doesn’t jump ahead, and when you level really fast you can gain levels much faster than the new skill info can scroll past.

    I was level 23 when the level 6 skill info was still showing. I was level 42 when the level 30 info was showing. At that point I started to feel ridiculous with no equipment on (other than a few blues I’d picked up), no skills changed, no skill runes enabled, no passive skills set, etc. I’d done literally nothing with the interface all the way to level 42, since it had been 7 minutes of just running around and leveling up as fast as I could click.

    So I went to town (after dying to another one-shot attack), selected some different skills, picked some skill runes almost at random (I hadn’t played a Wizard in a long time and had zero plans for my short term or long term build), crafted three items of Cain’s Set and rares for other item slots that still had no items equipped, went back to the Rift.. and the game was *still* popping up “you have enabled skill rune X!” messages.

    When you have time to go to town and respec, craft gear, socket your chest armor to get some gems in action, and return to the field and the game still hasn’t finished showing all the levels you’ve gained, you know the Gem of Ease is working.

    Live by the One-Shot, Die by the One-Shot

    The danger of this strategy is pretty obvious. You’re playing on Torment 6 while leveling so fast you can’t even find enough items on the ground to equip. I compounded my troubles by playing a class I am not familiar with (especially not in the leveling up part), and by being caught up in the rush, but by level 35 I had died half a dozen times, and the deaths grew faster once I was into the 40s.

    gem-of-ease-death1I didn’t really care since I was still leveling at a crazy speed and especially since I was playing a softcore char on the PTR, but it got aggravating when every attack killed me in a single hit, when the quicksand pits in the swamp killed me in three or four clicks, and when every death granted a painful “I could have leveled up three more times by now” realization.

    That last part is the key bit for most players who might do this in softcore, since when when you’re dead, you’re not gaining exp. A bit of advance planning, and/or the strength to tear yourself away from the frantic level up pace, will pay dividends. Save some gear you can put on at level 20 or 30 or 40, and have it ready in your inventory. You’ll hit those levels faster than you can believe and you can’t scavenge as you go, since you just level up too fast. Even if something useful drops, you’ll outgrow it in a minute or two.

    Literally. A minute or two. My Wizard went from level 5 to 25 in about one screen of action, just running around and hitting Wave of Force whenever I had several enemies in range. Each one gave me at least one level up, which healed me, refilled my resource, and reset my cooldowns. When you’re this OP in damage, any big AoE attack is your best friend, since everything dies instantly.

    As for gear, anything on your back or legs is better than nothing, or some auto-equipped level 15 blue item you mis-clicked on. Go for sockets, of course. I haven’t tried it out yet, but I think Amethysts would be the best choice for gear sockets. Just the weapon + your Paragon Points are enough to give you one-shot killing speed until at least level 40, and adding VIT enough to turn those one-shot deaths into one-shot wounds would save a lot of wasted time waiting to resurrect.

    I’m not sure how the Gem of Ease would be best used in Hardcore… probably not on T6, at least not without a lot more careful play and gear choices than I made in this test run. The increased +EXP per gem rank scales with difficulty level and it’s insanely fast on T6, but I’m sure even T1 feel pretty fast.

    As for using the Gem of Ease while being rushed, absolutely. That would almost be wrong. Like illegally wrong. You’d probably hit level 70 in a single Rift. Maybe a single level of a single rift. Playing solo I got into the mid-50s on a single level of the Rift on my Wizard test flight, in well under 30 minutes, and I didn’t know what I was doing in my build, had no other twinks other than gems, etc.

    An organized player (as I am in Hardcore when not on the PTR) would have lots of +EXP gear on himself and his follower, a socketed helm, Cain’s Set, Leoric’s Signet on himself and his Follower, etc. (I didn’t check of the Gem of Ease would work on a Follower. LGems in jewelry does not function on Followers, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Gem of Ease shared +EXP from followers to your character. Either on purpose, or just from Blizzard programmers forgetting to block follower bonuses from LGems in weapons as they block LGems in jewelry.)

    That aside, with competent preparation, I think a player could go solo and hit level 60 in under half an hour. Maybe under 20 minutes, as fast as I got to 50 without any real organization to my rush. From then, it might slow down and I can easily see the last 10 levels to 70 taking longer than the first 60 did. The Gem of Ease doesn’t help much when you need hundreds of thousands of exp per level, and most players past 50 would do much better switching their weapon to a good level 70 with a -lvl req, and socket it with a Ruby or Emerald instead of sticking to the Gem of Ease’d started stick.

    So yeah, the Gem of Ease is a pretty specialized item, only of use for one thing. But it’s amazingly powerful for that one thing, and any player with the ability to rank one up to 25 should consider doing it. Even if you don’t really need to level up a new character, it’s fun for the experience of seeing those levels dinging up so much faster than the game can display them… and doing it any time you want, without needing help from anyone else.

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