When Diablo III was first released, there was the dreaded “Inferno wall,” where players felt as if they literally could not progress due to hindered loot drops and better gear being dropped in the Acts that weren’t farmable. While waiting for Blizzard to make changes to the game, we decided to find ways to make things work due to creative group comps and builds that allowed us to progress, despite the lack of gear.
But gone are the Monster Power and Inferno difficulty settings in Reaper of Souls, and in is the new goal of farming Torment difficulties from I to VI. Currently in the closed beta, players are able to progress to Torment I after a couple days of farming rares and Legendaries, but levels beyond are being reported as the return of the “Inferno wall.” So armed with a couple of Legendaries, none of which are exactly game breaking, we decided to figure out how to synergize builds in order to farm the higher Torment difficulties.
Now the definition of efficient farming means killing mobs at a reasonable pace. What we’ve managed to accomplish isn’t ideally efficient, but acceptable – at least up to Torment III. More importantly however, it shows off how the new builds in Reaper of Souls can work together, along with unique Legendaries to truly open up play styles and ideas. Starting with a Barbarian and a Demon Hunter, we sifted through all the skills and runes available to see how to make things work.
Barbarians are going through a serious change with Reaper of Souls and even impacts those not getting Reaper of Souls. Some of our viewers were surprised to see a Whirlwind Barb in our group and some of them even asked, “Aren’t Whirlwind Barbs dead?” Well, not quite.
Whirlwind’s Hurricane rune now pulls enemies from up to 45 yards away to the Barb while Whirlwinding. It’s an interesting mechanic, and when paired with a Demon Hunter, means the Demon Hunter can be kept safe and out of harm’s way while it does plenty of damage from a distance.
But it’s Battle Rage: Swords to Ploughshares that really makes things interesting for both classes. With critical hits giving the Barb a 15-percent chance to cause enemies to drop additional health globes, that means party members can now have an easier time staying alive.
Demon Hunter Overview
But more importantly, it means that the Demon Hunter can now rely on its Blood Vengeance passive to restore both its Hatred and Discipline. Each health globe gives the Demon Hunter back 40 Hatred and 4 Discipline, and at the rate they drop with the Barb’s build, it basically means the Demon Hunter is never starved for resources.
With that in mind, it was time to determine the best way to get as much damage out as possible in order to make farming the higher Torment difficulties reasonable. While at first glance this Crossbow might not seem all that special, its explosive bolts crit for anywhere from two million to four million. Once we determined that the explosive bolts hit really hard, we had to figure out a way to have them stream out at a rapid rate, allowing the Demon Hunter to have an EDPS of over one million.
Thanks to the Whirlwind’s ability to keep mobs away from the Demon Hunter, and the constant spawning of health globes, the Demon Hunter can now use Rapid Fire while standing still, allowing the Crossbow to proc its explosive bolts at a constant rate. And thanks to Blood Vengeance, that means there’s no need to run a Hatred generator.
Which means the Demon Hunter can now take advantage of this Legendary chest piece, which summons three wolves. The changes to the Demon Hunter’s Companion skill also now allows the skill to be triggered for a certain effect, and in the Wolf Companion’s case, that’s buffing the damage of the Demon Hunter and its allies within 60 yards by 30-percent for 10 seconds.
Since the Demon Hunter can effectively stand still, now it’s more important to find ways to keep it alive for those pesky Champ Packs. By combining the Brooding passive, which restores 1.5-percent life regen per second the Demon Hunter remains stationary (stacking up to three times for up to 4.5 percent), with Smoke Screen: Healing Vapors, the Demon Hunter now has ways to not only negate damage, but regenerate life while pots are on cooldown as well as breaking crowd control such as Jailer and Frozen. Other skills such as Rain of Vengeance: Stampede and Vengeance: From the Shadows gives additional crowd control (knockback and stun) in addition to burst damage for Champ Packs.
Even without some of the more powerful Legendaries and Set Bonuses that can be had in Reaper of Souls, the Demon Hunter and Barbarian combination can easily take on Torment III and at a pace that we’d consider acceptable farming. You can watch a video of that below, and for laughs, we stepped into Torment VI to see how long it would take to kill a few mobs. We ran into a bounty mob that had 6.8-billion hp and couldn’t help but to see how long it would take to kill it.
You can also read our initial impressions of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls here.