“Act 1 is so boring why should I farm it?”
Why farm Act 1 when all the other acts in Inferno all drop better items? Two reasons: First, in order to farm the other acts you need better gear and second, Act 1 is easy compared to the other Acts.
“Okay, I’ll give you act 1 is easy but how does that help me if I cannot get the best gear?”
Keep in mind, in a recent post, we explained that most players are not yet level 60. These up and coming players will be craving gear to complete inferno mode. Great gear can drop in Act 1 currently, it’s just not the best. In time, your gear will sell which will allow you to grow a decent pool of change for playing the Auction House or buying better equipment.
More importantly, in an upcoming patch Blizzard is changing the way drop tables work. Gear quality is based on ilvl tiers. The three highest are ilvl 61, 62, and 63. The higher the ilvl , the better the item type and more stats can spawn on a higher ilvl item. That doesn’t mean an ilvl 63 rare will always be better than an ilvl 61 rare because bad combinations of stats can always spawn, but the potential for higher quality stats are increased on an ilvl 63 rare than a lower one.
Currently these tiers are confined to different acts in Inferno. Act 1 gets ilvl 61, Act 2 gets ilvl 62, and Acts 3 and 4 get ilvl 63 with Act 4 getting a higher chance to drop ilvl 63 than Act 3. In the upcoming patch, Blizzard is diversifying the drop rates of ilvl 63s. Instead of each act being the only location for that specific quality, the lower acts (Act 1 and Act 2) now have a chance to drop the best gear.
Act 1 will now have a 2% chance to drop ilvl63 items, Act 2 will have a 4% chance, and Acts 3 & 4 will have an 8% chance. But just because Act 1 has a lower chance doesn’t make it a worse place to magic find. Since the potential exists to drop ilvl 63 items, including their unique counterparts, what matters is speed and efficiency. If you can clear Act 1 more than four times faster than Acts 3 or 4, you’re actually better off magic finding that area instead of Act 3 and 4. And that doesn’t take into account the potential of failing a run due to unique monsters, which would be higher in the more difficult acts.
“Okay You’ve Convinced Me Act 1 is Great, How do I do it?”
Luckily if you’re rolling a Wizard, you have a natural affinity to running the narrow hallways and defeating the tightly packed mob groups of Act 1.
Here it is
This build excels at kiting packed mob groups. It works because it maximizes AoE damage but still stays highly mobile.
A quick example of all three offensive spells demonstrates this:
Lightning Blast runed Electrocute is taken as a signature spell. This quick-to-fire spell allows continuous AoE dps when you’re out of arcane power. It casts fast enough to allow a cast-and-move strategy. If you don’t like Electrocute you could also use Piercing Orb runed Shock Pulse for the same effect.
Venom runed Hydra is the pinnacle of the kite and AoE damage style build. It’s damage is AoE and it works while you’re running. Set it at maximum distance of your character when starting a battle and refresh it as close to your character as you run. This tactic ensures you are maximizing the mobs time spent in the poison damage.
Finally, Celestial Orb runed Arcane Orb is a beast of an AoE spell. The celestial effect allows for the orb to continuously pass through mobs, maximizing the damage potential in rows of unique monsters. Its high Damage to Arcane Power allows you to kill quickly, and as an instant cast spell, it excels at cast-and-move strategies.
Your defensive options are really play style choices, but I highly suggest Force Armor runed Energy Armor. It gives you a lot of room for mistake making and drastically increases your effective health.
Diamond skin is my preferred defensive cooldown. It allows you to deal with tight situations or stand and blast mobs health down before they can kill you. If you don’t like either feel free to use any of the other options.
As for passives, I try to maximize the potential for this build. Glass cannon does more damage at the effect of lowering your effective health. Since most of your time you won’t be taking hits and instead will rely on heavy offense, this passive is a no brainer. Astral Presence minimizes the drawback for using Energy Armor and increases your dps through higher arcane power regeneration. Finally, Temporal Flux maximizes your kiting potential by allowing your Arcane Orb to provide a slowing effect on hit, and since your orb will generally hit every mob, it’s highly worth the spot.
“Wow that’s awesome, but now what do I do?”
Go out and Magic Find, duh! Actually a lot depends on your current gear situation. If you just got to Inferno and you are finding yourself struggling, there is nothing wrong with going to Act 4 Hell and farming up a bit better gear.
However, as soon as you can, attempt early level boss runs. The goal is to get yourself enough gear so you can solo run Skeleton King. You will pick up five stacks of Nephalem Valor and then kill the King. Rinse and repeat.
Once that run becomes easy, the best option becomes to run the Butcher Quest with the same mindset. Five stacks of Valor, kill the Butcher and reap your rewards.
What do you think of the build or the upcoming item changes? If you try the build or have suggestions, let us know in the comments!