Diablo III changed a lot over the years. The expansion and the later patches added a lot more content to the game, and these changes might confuse players who stopped playing around Reaper of Souls or before, but want to come back to see what’s new.

People running around in crazy gear, gaining hundreds of Paragon levels in a couple of days or weeks and storming through maps like it’s a bullet-hell shmup and not a hack’n’slash RPG—that’s what you see if you check Twitch, Diablo forums or any fan site, and it’s quite confusing for those who only played through the story once and never really touched Adventure Mode. Since patch 2.4 just came out, we compiled a bunch of tips for these players, to make coming back to the game a bit easier.

Finished the campaign, reached level 70, now what?

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Finishing the story is just one part of Diablo III. The better part—building up a character, with powerful gear, that can storm through any map in no time—starts after that. The first goal here is to have a character that can handle the Torment I difficulty. To do that, try focusing on gear (looted or crafted) with high Critical Chance and Critical Damage stats. A good weapon with a socket and a high level Emerald gem (that’s the green one) helps a lot. Helmets, bracers, hands, amulets and rings can have stats with Crit Chance too. You should be good at around 40-50% Crit Chance.

Reaching Torment I

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Gearing up for Torment I shouldn’t take long. And once you can do Torment I, better items will drop almost immediately. The game is also full of Torment-only legendary items so try not to waste your time with lower difficulty levels. But there are nine more Torment difficulties, each of them with better loot, so reaching Torment I is just the beginning.

How do I reach higher Torment levels?

The fastest way to do it is to do bounties in Adventure Mode (doing it with other people makes the process really fast). It also helps to do Rifts to get Blood Shards, which you can use to buy gear from the NPC Kadala. It’s a random item each time, but since there’s a decent chance of scoring a legendary or set item, it’s definitely worth trying over and over. If you don’t have a good weapon, buy weapons, but otherwise focus on green set items when dealing with Kadala. Set bonus descriptions on green items might not look powerful but they are crucial for higher levels.

Crafting all the green sets available at the blacksmith will help too (the plans for these items are rare drops). These are not as powerful as other rare sets, but work just fine on lower Torment levels. Ten Torment levels and their difficulty curve sound crazy, but there’s no need to worry. Sometimes a single upgrade is enough to skip a few levels.

That’s fascinating, but everyone’s in shiny legendaries and full 6-set gear. How can I get there?

Well, it takes time. You need to kill a lot of monsters and elite packs. But once you are able to do Torment I, you can start thinking about what your favorite play style is and build up a character to represent that. You can make a heavy hitter character that has an ability (or abilities) with a long cooldown, but can do crazy damage when it’s activated. You can build a character that can escape tough situations easily or one that can turn into an unstoppable force for a few seconds.

The important thing is to focus on one of these (you have to know your abilities really well) and gear up accordingly. Greater Rifts, Legendary Gems and Kanai’s Cube will help a lot in micromanaging and getting there faster.

Just take a look at this sheet, compiled by Diablofans’ Drahque for patch 2.4, and you’ll see how serious gearing up can be. But that’s the beauty of Diablo games.

Kanai’s Cube? What the hell is that?

It’s something similar to Diablo II’s Horadric Cube, but it works a bit differently. It was added in patch 2.3 and has quite a few abilities. You can convert a set item to another random item from the same set, for example. Or you can upgrade a rare item into a random legendary of the same type. Or you can reroll the stats on a certain legendary item. And so on. Basically, it helps a lot when, for example, you’re almost finished with your build, but still need one or two upgrades that just won’t drop from monsters. If you don’t have the cube, go grab it at Ruins of Sescheron in Act III (in Adventure Mode!).

And what about Legendary Gems?

You’ll get Greater Rift keys by doing normal rifts. Greater Rifts are harder, but this is where you’ll get Legendary Gems (added in patch 2.1) from the final bosses. These are unique gems with powerful abilities, and each time you beat a Greater Rift within 15 minutes, you have the chance to upgrade the gems and their stats. Some of the gems are very spec specific, but a few of them are essential no matter which class you’re playing with. I highly recommend leveling up (level 25 unlocks extra abilities) “Bane of the Trapped” and “Bane of the Powerful” first. Both are very effective gems against elite packs.

And if that’s not enough, patch 2.4 now introduced Empowered Rifts, which have more loot and more chances to upgrade our gems.

What’s the fastest way to gain Paragon levels?

Before Greater Rifts were added, people fooled around in Act 1's Fields of Misery and all the larger areas full of elite packs (they have the loot!). But now, if you do normal and Greater Rifts in Adventure Mode you’ll be fine. Be sure to pick a difficulty level where you can kill things fast (you’re good if you can finish a Greater Rift in under 5 or 6 minutes) and where you don’t have to worry about your health. You might be able to do, say, Torment VI, but if you have issues with elite packs you might want to lower the difficulty level.

Should I care about a Keywarden when I see one?

Keywardens are unique bosses who drop Infernal Machines on Torment difficulties (prior to patch 2.3 they dropped keys required to make Infernal Machines). You need these machines to open portals to so called “Uber” bosses (powerful versions of story mode bosses). These bosses have a chance to drop Demonic Organs. Once you have all the four unique organs you can craft them into a “Hellfire Ring” or a “Hellfire Amulet”. Even with the key gathering sequence removed, as you can see, it’s quite the ride for one item that might even roll with crappy stats. It still worth doing these runs though. The items have the ability to add an extra random passive skill, selected from one of the passives on the class that rolls the item. And that’s extremely useful.

What about gold?

The Auction House is long gone, so no more silly purchases for billions. If you really care about micromanaging your gear you can spend a fortune on crafting stuff (it really doesn’t matter on lower difficulty levels though), but other than that, gold right now is purely a cosmetic thing. And it became a bit more easy to collect it from monsters in patch 2.4, since vanity pets can now do the job for you. If you still need gold, put a “Puzzle Ring” into Kanai’s Cube. It’ll open a portal to the Treasure Goblins’ Realm which is basically a mini dungeon, full of gold.

Should I roll a Seasonal character?

Season 5 starts on Friday (in all regions, but only for PC players), so it’s the perfect time to roll a fresh Seasonal character and try it out. Previous Seasons had Season-only legendary items (pretty powerful ones) but this concept got removed for the fifth Season. People will get a free set of 6 green items instead (it’s a fixed set per class per season) once they finish certain stages of the Season.

Seasons are similar to ladderboards, so if that’s your play style and you like to play the game in a competitive environment, give it a try. Once the Season ends (right now it’s three months long) your Seasonal progress will be added to your non-Seasonal progress.

Which follower is the best one?

Followers are really useful for their crowd-control abilities when you’re playing alone and gearing them properly is more important than picking a particular one. You have a pretty decently geared follower if you have a legendary relic that makes the follower immortal and amulet with some cool crowd-control abilities (“The Ess of Johan” for example has a nice slowdown and pulling effect).

Besides that, a popular method is to have a Unity ring on yourself and on the follower, along with the immortality relic. All damage received is split between characters wearing “Unity” rings, but since the follower has the immortality relic, they won’t feel anything from that split damage, while your incoming damage will be halved. Finding two “Unity” rings with good stats might be tough but it’s a very useful tactic on lower Torment levels.

Be sure to comment below if you have more tips, bumped into something cool in patch 2.4, or have questions.

Top pic: Demon Hunter fan-art by Cheol joo Lee

To contact the author of this post, write to: gergovas@kotaku.com