Diablo 3 – Greater Nephalem Rifts

Recently, Diablo 3 added a new endgame feature that allowed players to face continually increasing challenges in their quest for better loot. The process to acquire the items needed to explore these rifts is not difficult, but there are a few requirements.

Step One: Bounties

The first thing you need is to run several bounties. In order to this, you need to start a game in Adventure mode (opens up after you have beaten the game with a character). The bounties are available in all five acts. [Read more…]

Covetous Shen – Gems and Sockets in Diablo 3

Covetous Shen – Gems and Sockets in Diablo 3


Diablo 3 kept several of the main components from Diablo 2, sockets and gems to fill them. Although Diablo 2 had many different varieties of gems, Diablo 3 has simplified it into 4 gems to cover all the functions needed, in three different types of sockets. Covetous Shen, whom you rescue about half way through Act 2, is critical in upgrading these gems and getting the best results from your sockets.


Basic Gem Properties


Each of the gems fills 3 different types of sockets. The sockets used in Diablo 3 are weapon, helm, and other. The color of gem is the basis for the effect. The quality of gem determines the modifiers for each gem.

+ % Life (in helm)
+ Vitality (in armor or jewelry)
+ Life Steal (in weapon)

Diablo 3 Gem StatisticsEmerald
+ % Extra Gold From Monsters (in helm)
+ Dexterity (in armor or jewelry)
+ Critical Damage Increased by % (in weapon)

Diablo 3 Gem StatisticsRuby
Increases experienced rewarded per kill by % (in helm)
+ Strength (in armor or jewelry)
+ Damage (in weapon)

Diablo 3 Gem StatisticsTopaz
+ % Better Chance of Finding Magical Items (in helm)
+ Intelligence (in armor or jewelry)
+ Attackers take damage per hit (in weapon)

Leonne has written more on this topic of Diablo 3 gem stats here….

Upgrading Gems

With patch 1.03, upgrading gems in Diablo 3 has improved significantly. Covetous Shen upgrades the quality of the gems for you, for a small fee. Each upgrade requires a number of gems one tier lower than the the quality of gem you are making. Some gems require materials from Nightmare, Hell, or even Inferno difficulty.  These are summarized in the table below:

Gem Size Difficulty Shen Level Gold Cost to Produce Other Materials Gems
Chipped Normal N/A Found None Not Applicable
Flawed Normal 1 10 None 2 Chipped
Normal Normal 2 25 None 2 Flawed
Flawless Normal 3 40 None 2 Normal
Perfect Nightmare 4 55 1 Page of Jewelcrafting 2 Flawless
Radiant Nightmare 5 70 1 Page of Jewelcrafting 2 Perfect
Square Hell 6 85 1 Tome of Jewelcrafting 2 Radiant
Flawless Square Hell 7 100 1 Tome of Jewelcrafting 2 Square
Perfect Square Inferno 8 30000 3 Tomes of Secrets 3 Flawless Square
Radiant Square Inferno 9 50000 6 Tomes of Secrets 3 Perfect Square
Star Inferno 10 80000 9 Tomes of Secrets 3 Radiant Square
Flawless Star Rare Recipe

Perfect Star Rare Recipe

Radiant Star Rare Recipe



Full details on the attributes of each gem are linked below:





Using Covetous Shen and upgrading your gems for your sockets will help keep your equipment competitive or even superior in many regards during your travels through Diablo 3.

Diablo 1.0.3 Patch for Jewel Crafting

Diablo 3 Gem StatisticsThere have been many people complaining on the Diablo 3 forums about this most recent patch, 1.0.3 and how many “nerfs” there have been.  They are threatening to go back to ______ (enter whatever game you want).  I say, “go ahead”!  So let’s take a moment and look at the Diablo 3 Gems, and how this patch has changed them.

Diablo 3 Patch Notes on Gems and Jewel Crafting

The gold and material cost to combine gems ranks 2-8 has been reduced
Combinations for these ranks now only require 2 gems, down from 3
The gold cost to combine each rank of gems is now as follows:

Rank 2 – Flawed: 10 gold (down from 500 gold)
Rank 3 – Regular: 25 gold (down from 750 gold)
Rank 4 – Flawless: 40 gold (down from 1250 gold)
Rank 5 – Perfect: 55 gold (down from 2000 gold)
Rank 6 – Radiant: 70 gold (down from 3500 gold)
Rank 7 – Square: 85 gold (down from 7500 gold)
Rank 8 – Flawless Square: 100 gold (down from 20,000 gold)

Diablo 3 Chipped Emerald When you loot a gem in Act 1, it’s just a chipped gem stone, like a chipped emerald.  That is a Rank 1 stone.  You can loot the bigger gems, but you can also combine smaller gems (after you find Covetous Shen) into bigger gems.  With the reduction of magic items dropping that I talked about in my last post, I’m glad that gold prices are going down too.  This might just make using socketed items in Diablo 3 worth it again at lower levels.

Patch 1.0.3 and the casual player

Did Diablo 3 nerf me?This week’s Diablo 3 patch has dozens of changes.  As a casual gamer I want to review the most important changes.

Repair costs have been increased for item levels between 53 and 63

Notice this is for ITEM levels, not character levels.  You can get around this be not equipping items in this level range, or just live with it.  I tend to die a lot, quite a lot.  But since I play slower than the power gamer, I probably have enough cash.  I wonder though, was it really out of alignment?

The rewards provided for replaying quests has been reduced

Obviously someone was exploiting a quest completion.  Too bad.  Since my hand-eye coordination isn’t as good as others, I play at a slower rate and, with my monk at least, replay quests to make sure I’m higher power than the mobs. I’m not sure how much reduced is really.  I’m sure somewhere someone has crunched numbers.

The character screen should now always display the correct act and quest information

Thank you!  I didn’t realize this was an error until I panicked last week.  My teen-level monk was showing on Hell difficulty.  Odd thing was, none of my characters were on Hell difficulty in their quests at that moment.  My demon hunter had been on Normal in Whimsyshire.

There are a lot of changes to various classes in Diablo 3, I’ll let you read them yourself.

Magic Find will no longer be considered when looting objects in the environment such as chests, barrels, vases, pots, and corpses

Another change because someone was exploiting the game.  So Magic Find is only useful against monsters you can kill. Good to know.

Destructible objects no longer have a chance to drop items, and will only have a small chance to drop gold when destroyed

That is unfortunate.  Sounds like the drop rate of blue items has seriously been reduced now.  Between boss mobs not guaranteed to drop magic items, magic find not working on environmental items, and environmental items not dropping items at all, that equals less items total.  This all makes me wonder, was there too much money in the world?

Tooltips for items on the ground will now show comparison stats

I didn’t notice this yet, because I gave up on the Tooltips of items on the ground.  My brain isn’t as smart as the guys I play with, so I rely on seeing that green text.  I’ll have to look again.


There are a ton more changes that I didn’t go over.  These are just some of the patch notes that caught my attention as a casual gamer.


Leonne’s Guide to Making Armor in Diablo 3

I’d like to rename this guide, Dummy’s Guide to Crafting in Diablo 3, but that’s taken by an official company.  However, when recommending to Lord Rcane to post a guide to making armor last week, both him and our friend said “why bother”?  Well, crafting in Diablo 3 wasn’t easy for me to figure out (maybe because I skipped over that dialogue?)

Anyway, there are two types of crafting in Diablo 3.  Armor and weapons with Haedrig Eamon and gems with Covetous Shen.  You’ll find Haedrig in New Tristram in Act 1.  You don’t get to “rescue” Covetous Shen until Act 2.  Both of these gentlemen will “move” with you to the new acts and difficulties.

To make armor you need Pages of Blacksmithing that you pick up as loot through your adventures.  These are different than the Tome of Blacksmithing that you start to get in Hell Difficulty.  You also need lots of gold to make armor and weapons.  I guess this is for you to buy the metal and such from Haedrig, because you don’t collect any other items like you do in other MMORPGs.

  1. Click on Haedrig or any of his equipment that glows when you mouse over.  This will open the interface.  There are tabs on the side of the interface for crafting weapons, crafting armor, and destroying items to get their components.
  2. Choose what you want to make.  The button will light up if you have all the ingredients for crafting.

You can “level up” Haedrig Eamon to make stronger equipment (higher level armor and weapons). Doing this will open up other items you can make.  This costs gold at early levels, lots of it.

Rare ingredients you get from destroying Diablo 3 rare items and unique items include:

Normal Level Blacksmithing: Subtle Essence, Fallen Tooth
Nightmare Level Blacksmithing: Shimmering Essence, Lizard Eye
Hell Level Blacksmithing: Wishful Essence, Encrusted Hoof
Inferno Level Blacksmithing: Exquisite Essence, Iridescent Tear, Fiery Brimstone

Now, the great thing about Diablo 3 Crafting, you can’t “fail” and loose all your ingredients.  You also don’t have to keep clicking a button to “level up” your skill.  Many recipes have random properties.  You’ll notice on the Diablo 3 forums people selling “6 property” such-and-such items.  Inferno Level Blacksmithing items have 6 random properties on many of the recipes.  My feedback to Blizzard – it would be great to influence the properties by adding another component.  Maybe if you wanted intelligence you add in a brain or something?


Diablo 3 Gem Statistics

When searching for a good write up of the Diablo 3 gem statistics, I kept getting beta information rather than live information.  I’m sure that time will weed these out of the search results.  But until then, here is what I have so far for the gem statistics.

Gems go into armor, weapons, and jewelry that have sockets.  Sockets in armor are randomly placed.  There are only four colors of gems: amethyst, emerald, ruby, and topaz.  Depending on your character class, different gems will be more important.  Also, which item you put the gem in will have different results.  Helms, armor, and weapons are the categories.

Diablo 3 Gem StatisticsAmethyst
+ % Life (in helm)
+ Vitality (in armor or jewelry)
+ Life Steal (in weapon)

Diablo 3 Gem StatisticsEmerald
+ % Extra Gold From Monsters (in helm)
+ Dexterity (in armor or jewelry)
+ Critical Damage Increased by % (in weapon)

Diablo 3 Gem StatisticsRuby
Increases experienced rewarded per kill by % (in helm)
+ Strength (in armor or jewelry)
+ Damage (in weapon)

Diablo 3 Gem StatisticsTopaz
+ % Better Chance of Finding Magical Items (in helm)
+ Intelligence (in armor or jewelry)
+ Attackers take damage per hit (in weapon)

My Witch Doctor loves topaz gems for the intelligence.  But she has an amethyst in her helm for the % life.  On the other hand, my Demon Hunter has mostly emerald gems for dexterity, although I have a amethyst in her bow for the life steal.  If you are adventuring with friends, you may trade out gems to get more of what you want.

After you get to hell level, the perfect square gems start dropping.  I’m not very far into hell yet, but my friends tell me they sell the smaller gems because it’s not worth using Covetous Shen’s gem combining at that point.

Diablo 3 Whimsyshire – There is No Secret Cow Level

Diablo III secret level

In Diablo 3, there is no secret cow level, but there is a secret level called Whimsyshire. This zone is filled with unicorns, rainbows, flowers, and teddy bears. It also drops some pretty good gear for the difficulty level. But how do you get to Whimsyshire? [Read more…]

Diablo 3 Lore – Act One – Part One

Diablo 3 Lore – Act One – Part One

Prophecy states that the end of days will begin when a star falls on the cathedral in Tristram. Leah, and her adoptive Uncle Deckard Cain, are researching in the cathedral at the time of the impact. Leah escapes; her uncle is not as lucky.

Our hero comes to Tristram in search of the Fallen Star…

Fallen Star Diablo 3

The Fallen Star

When our hero arrives near New Tristram, the undead have already begun to rise. Zombies assault the gates of the town, and the town militia has suffered from heavy losses. Only one member of the original militia has survived, now Captain Rumford. After helping defend the gates, our hero proceeds to the Slaugtered Calf Inn where Leah is staying.

After saving Leah and the rest of the city from more undead, our hero heads to Old Tristram, along the way defeating the wretched mothers and their queen. These abominations are the source of the zombies that plague New Tristram. But these creatures are only the beginning of the problems for our hero and the city.

The Legacy of Cain

Searching for Cain leads the hero to the cathedral, but requires a stop at the house of the witch, Adria. Leah reveals that she is the daughter of Adria, but believes she died shortly after she was born, just over 19 years ago, after the events of Diablo and Diablo II. Leah knows very little about Adria, until she finds a journal in a chamber under Adria’s house.

Cain is indeed alive, and the brave hero rescues him from the clutches of the Skeleton King, Leoric. Leoric has been brought back from the grave by the power of the Fallen Star. After his rescue, Cain sends our hero to aid the blacksmith, Haedrig, to find the location of Leoric’s Crown, the key to defeating him.

A Shattered Crown

After being forced to slay his own wife, who was becoming a zombie, Haedrig reveals that the crown is buried in the crypt of his grandfather, the former chancellor for King Leoric. Our hero must now proceed north from New Tristram, brave the dangers of The Weeping Hollow, and explore the depths of The Cemetary of the Forsaken.

Deep in one of the numerous tombs, the crown is still being guarded by the spirit of Haedrig’s grandfather. After defeating him, return the crown to Haedrig and he will repair it. Haedrig will then join you to build you weapons and armor throughout your travels.


Reign of the Black King

Now that the crown has been repaired, it is time to confront the Skeleton King and continue on to the Fallen Star. Returning to the Cathedral Gardens, our hero ventures deeper into the depths of the cathedral. While continuing through the cathedral, our hero stumbles across a dark ritual; cultists are torturing a man.

After freeing the man, and helping him find his equipment, he introduces himself as Kormac, the Templar. After we help him defeat Jondar, a former templar who had joined forces with the coven that plagues New Tristram, he joins our hero in the quest to save the world.

Further in the depths, the Skeleton King lies in wait. After defeating him, our hero is finally able to find the Fallen Star…. but it is not a star, but a man.


Important Lore Notes:

Deckard Cain – The Last Horadrim, has been training Leah even though he wishes her a better life.

Leah – Daughter of Adria and a brave warrior

Leoric – King consumed by Diablo’s evil. Father of two sons, Aidann and Albrecht.

Aidann – First son of King Leoric, hero of Diablo 1 and Dark Wanderer of Diablo 2

Albrecht – Younger son of King Leoric, sacrificed by Lazarus to restore Diablo

Arch Bishop Lazarus – Adviser of King Leoric, worshiper of Diablo, wanted to come to Tristram

Lachdanon – Captain of the Guard, kills Leoric to save Tristram


Allies Who Join the Hero:

Haedrig Eamon, Blacksmith

Kormac, Templar


This is the beginning of the tale of Diablo 3. Much of the lore of the trilogy is linked together in this act through conversations and books. Part One of Act One will take your hero to roughly 9th level in Diablo 3.

Drama in Diablo 3 – Error 37

Our servers will send an Error 37 message when they are under heavy load. If you are not able to log into Diablo III and receive an Error 37 message, try logging in again. It may take several login attempts before you successfully connect.

So what this tells us, the game is so popular that when it comes online during prime time, so many people are trying to log in at the same time it’s every man (woman) for self!

Diablo 3 Crafting – Normal Difficulty

Diablo 3 Crafting – Normal Difficulty


Diablo 3 introduces a new crafting system, the Artisan system, starting in Act 1 of Normal Difficulty. The first Artisan you will be able to use is the blacksmith, Haedrig Eamon. In Act 2, you are able to begin crafting jewel augments via the jeweler Covetous Shen. Neither of these systems uses the old Horadric Cube method, instead you train the artisan and pay them and provide materials for crafting items.


Blacksmith Crafting


Haedrig Eamon – BlacksmithDiablo 3 crafting armor

Map Symbol: Anvil

Act I Location: North East of the Teleport Circle, New Tristram

Act II Location: North of Teleport Circle, Hidden Camp

Act III and IV Location: North East of Teleport Circle, Bastion Keep


Haedrig becomes available for crafting in Act I. With training, he can make several different items at various adventuring levels. But he needs to be trained multiple times in order to gain all the recipes in a level in order to advance to the next level.


For Normal Difficulty the recipe levels are:


Rank Minimum         Gear Level Range

Apprentice                 4-11

Journeyman              15-21

Adept                           22-27

Master                         26-29


All of these recipes use Tier I ingredients, specifically:

Common – Subtle Essence

Rare – Fallen Tooth


These ingredients are acquired by salvaging magical items at the blacksmith. Rare items (yellow) give both a Subtle Essence and a Fallen Tooth. Magical items always give a Subtle Essence and occasionally a Fallen Tooth as well. Items up to just under 30th level are considered Tier 1 and provide these materials.


Jewelry Crafting


Covetous Shen – JewelerDiablo 3 Gems and Jewelry

Map Symbol: Gem

Act I Location: Follow West Road from Teleport Circle to bottom of hill, Tristram

Act II Location: West of Teleport Circle, Hidden Camp

Act III and IV Location: North West of Teleport Circle, Bastion Keep


Covetous Shen is found in Act II and after finishing a small quest, he joins the hero’s camp. Shen provides the ability to combine 3 smaller gems to make one larger gem. Unlike Haedrig, Shen only trains once per level, increasing the size of the 4 gems he can make. Each of the gems has 3 distinct properties, depending on if it is a weapon, helm, or other slot. Gems also do not have a minimum level like other equipment does, however the first socketed items are found in Act II.

Gem sizes and the required Jeweler Level to make them, available in Normal Difficulty are listed below. Chipped Jewels are not made, only found.


Gem Size              Jeweler Level

Chipped                Not Applicable

Flawed                  1

Normal                  2

Flawless               3


Gem Effects:



Weapon: Heals Player per Hit

Helm: Life Increased by %

Other: Vitality Increased



Weapon: Critical Damage Increased

Helm: Gold Found Increased

Other: Dexterity Increased



Weapon: Damage Increased

Helm: Increased Exp from Monsters

Other: Strength Increased



Weapon: Melee Attackers Take Damage

Helm: Find Magic % Increased

Other: Intelligence Increased




Between the gem augment system and the crafting of many items from the blacksmith, crafting may seem complicated. Players can both upgrade gems and make a wide variety of items. With a little practice, the simplicity of the crafting system will become apparent. Crafting in Diablo 3, starting on Normal difficulty, allows players to keep their character with appropriate gear and help their friends and alternate characters as well.