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How to start a new season off right!

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With season 10 in the near future, I thought I would do some testing using my multibox setup to find out what is the most efficient way to start a season.

A new season means no paragon, no materials and no gold to start out with. Out of those the most important early on in the season is gold. Gold is needed to buy your damage rings starting at level 8, your damage amulets starting at level 12 and for crafting a new 2 handed weapon every few levels from the smith, not to mention leveling your crafters up as you progress.

Rifting to level in a 4 man party is known to be the best way to level as a group and certain classes can use the Massacre system to level as fast or faster than a 4 man group by solo Massacre chaining (WD is really the best at this with the record being right around 2 hours for a fresh 70 WD compared to the best 4 man rift groups taking nearly 3 hours).

The problem is those methods will get you early levels fast, but the gold gain is pathetic and not enough to keep up with your need for weapons, crafter levels and jewelry purchasing.

To solve that problem you can do a nice little sequence to build a nice little intial nest egg and still level pretty quick as well. This works best with 4 party members, but the solo option works well too, especially if you plan to massacre level solo as a WD.

The Early Leveling and Gold Making Process

The process starts off with what is known as being a good normal season start. You create your main and start an adventure mode game. Then you grab the best follower weapon available to your class. Bow and Spear are usually best if your class can use them, but the damage range varies on each character created so grab all three and use whatever gives you the most damage. Then you look to see if Kulle or Maghda boss battles are active (this is where 4 players all with separate games helps) and do whichever one is up. Kulle is the easiest by far. The boss battle will get you to level 4 on Master and provide some nice starter gear. If you are lucky you will get a weapon or two, make sure to share extra weapons with party members if you are grouping to speed the next part up.

The next part is a run of the campaign on Torment 1. A run is defined as all the quests up to killing Haedrig's wife, but you do not talk to Haedrig after killing her. Once she is dead everyone should grab their item she dropped and leave the game. Then you start the game on T6 again and turn it in for a larger reward. This larger reward will jump you two levels.

Some numbers on the run results.

Your character gets just over 3k gold for normal run and ends up level 4, but you get around 11-12k gold for master run and end up level 7 if not doing the boss kill start. If you started master on the boss run, you will end up level 7 with around 14-16k gold from the run. You get another 2 levels and 20k+ gold for the turn in, gaining about 36-40k gold overall. If you do the master boss kill and then the torment 1 run in a full party you end up just about a bubble of xp shy of level 12 with around 46k gold with the turn in on T6.

Here is how the turn in works.

For the first time turning in Haedrig's quest on T6 at level 7 (what you should be after a master run) your character jumps to level 9 and you get a but over 20k gold, if you turn it in at level 4 you only jump to level 6 and get 15k gold.

If you then turn in further quest from other players you get a small amount of xp and about 3k gold each turn in, but if you turn in on a new level 1 you get 9860 gold per turn in.

If each player starts their main character choice and does a master campaign run up to killing Haedrig's wife then quits the game and makes 3 level 1 random alts, you can then have each person start a T6 campaign game on their main and have the other party members join with a random alt and do the turn in. Each time a new person gets ready to turn in the quest on their main all other party members use a brand new level 1 for the turn in. 

Doing that above will mean each player in the 4 man group gain an extra 29580 gold from the process. If you bother to do the opening campaign on the alts before turning in each time it takes about 1 to 2 mins just up to opening the gate on master to get to level 2 which yields 11.730 xp per turn in. which is an additional 5600 gold. 

That last part is probably not worth the time but is a possibility.

After doing this start, you can just rift to 70 like normal or go massacre level solo if that is your plan. The extra gold and quick level jump to either 9 or nearly 12 really helps with the early season game when gold is scarce which makes it harder to buy rings, amulets and craft weapons that would keep your leveling pace fast.

I was able to do the master run in about 9 minutes or faster on every class but Barb. My barb run took about 11 minutes and that was because I never got any weapon upgrades along the way like every other class did. 


Some general tips.

- Don't fight anything not part of an objective unless they are blocking your path. 

- Use a follower if you are soloing. 

- Single target damage is much more important than aoe for making this run fast because all the objectives require killing bosses/elites. The only heavy aoe portion is the cellar but even that makes better user of single target. 

Step-by-Step Guide
1) Create your character. Set to adventure mode and master. Start game.
2) Grab the best follower weapon and hire follower of choice.
3) Look for Kulle or Magdha boss bounties in Act 2. Do whichever one is up.
*Note if you get Kulle, make sure you are standing next to him and kill one of his adds. This will level you and the level up explosion will do a lot of damage to or outright kill Kulle making this process much faster. 
4) Grab drops and chest drops from bounty. Make sure to equip the best weapon you have at this point.
5) Exit game. Change to campaign and set difficulty based on party makeup. If you are doing this solo keep it on master. A party can do Tormet 1 just about as fast as Master so bump it up if you want. The master option ends with everyone level 9. The torment option ends up with everyone being nearly level 12.
6) Start campaign and run past everything up to the guards at the gate. Kill the two enemies then talk to guards. Run in to the middle of where the enemies spawn and kill them as they come. If you level while killing your explosion will help finish off this part faster.
7) Don't wait for the npc to finish his blabbering just rush the gate after the last zombie is down and head straight to the bar to talk to Leah. Kill the villager zombies and jump into the next room to grab the book. It is worth the time for the xp and Leah takes a second before she can be talked to anyway. Come back talk to here and run out to the gate to the Guard Captain.
8) After the barricade breaks, rush past the first few zombies and go straight for the Wretched Mother. Kill her grab anything that drops and run off.
9) I feel the bonus is worth it, so kill the first Mother you come across on the path, then continue running following the road until you find the second mother and third mothers. There will always be 3 very close to the road on the path to the actual quest completion so don't bother leaving the road to find mothers. Kill the big mother then back to town to turn in and grab leah.
10) The next part is pretty linear. Get leah, go back to old tristam and open gate, go to hut, kill boss, turn in, run to Cathedral.
11) This is the part that will greatly vary your completion time. Sometimes you will find the gate right off other times you will run around more. The best advice I have is South and East (Down and Right for some) is always the best option. If you can't go those directions just follow the path around. That seems to find the door for me the most. If you are in a party you can split up to find the gate because it triggers a boss prompt for everyone to accept. 
12) Kill the event, talk to cain, follow him to town and do turn ins. 
13) NOw you are on the haedrig part. Go talk to him, enter the cellar kill the townsfolks and his wife, but DO NOT TALK HAEDRIG after his wife is dead. Just pick up your loot and leave the game. 
14) Now you will do the turn in option mentioned earlier on T6. You can either do one turn in for the party or do the alt strategy mentioned above to earn nearly 30k more gold.

Class Info and Tips

In order of best classes for this run style.

Witchdoctor = Wizard > Demon Hunter > Monk = Crusader > Barbarian

All classes are viable for this though and in parties any makeup should work.

- Grasp of the Dead gets put on right click at level 2, use it the entire run
- Swap left click to Corpse Spiders at level 3 as that is the best single target WD has early
- You get dogs on slot 1 at level 4. Summon them as soon as you level.
- You will get leaping spiders at level 9. If doing the torment run after master boss kill in a party you will have this before fighting Haedrig's wife. So swap the rune.

- Left click starts out as Magic Missile, but you can swap that to Shock Pulse at level 3 for a little more aoe for the first part of the run
- Swap left click back to Magic Missile with the Charged Blast rune at level 6
- You get Ray of Frost at level 2. Use it all the way to end of run as it is better damage for AP than Arcane Orb.
- Change Ray rune at level 7 to reduce AP cost if doing the party torment run option
- Frost nova is your only slot 1 option till level 8 where you can get diamond skin. Neither will really speed up your run but they are both good defensive options

Demon Hunter:
- Use hungering arrow the entire run. Put a rune on it at level 6
- Use Impale when you get it from level 2 for the whole run. Rapid fire can be subbed and is an ok option as well.
- Caltrops is your only slot 1 option. Just ignore it. You can swap to Vault at level 8 if doing the torment party option, but at the point you can do that it won't really make a difference

- Use Fist of Thunder until level 3 then swap to deadly reach. 
- Go back to Fist of Thunder at level 5 with the rune option
- Lasing tail kick is your best spirit dump option. Put a rune on it at level 7.
- Blinding flash is your only slot 1 option and is a decent defensive one

- Punish is better than slash because of the damage. Put a rune on it at level 6 will give some aoe
- Shield Bash is your best resource dump option. Don't swap to Sweep as bash is enough aoe for the job but does way better single target. Shield Bash rune at level 7 is worth it for both aoe and single target.
- Slot 1 options don't really matter

- Stick with Bash for the single target damage. Rune it at level 6 for some CC
- Keep Hammer of the Ancients unruned as the run just lowers damage for larger aoe
- At level 5 you can change Ground Stomp on slot 1 to Rend for both more aoe and single target damage. Keep rend bleed up and hammer in between as fury permits.


Edited by Yelgis
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Damn Yelgis, quite the bit of helpful information there, thanks!

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