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Day 1 of a new league provides unique challenges and opportunities. Everything is fresh and new, and there’s not yet the mid-league phenomenon where every item save the very, very, very rarest is in extreme oversupply.
Some new build-defining items will be super common – but that information won’t be widely known. If you get these items early they sell; get them late and you might not pick them up.
Items that would be 2-5c late in the league can sell for an exalt or more.
It’s also a time where a small minority of players get a single, very big drop that they just want to sell off to buy gear. There’s more people selling exalts than there are people with the capital to buy them; ditto for Doctor cards, etc etc.
If you have any goals in Heist that require a lot of currency, this is the best time to set yourself up. Going hard and smart on day 1 can result in you getting ten to twenty times as much wealth as playing that much later in the league.
Five universal tips:
- Don’t be in any public chat channels while levelling. Levelling fast is your goal, and chat channels are super distracting.
- Preplan your build (you can do this from patch notes day). If trying something experimental, have a worked-out backup plan you know how to respec into (for instance, if I decide to leaguestart as Crackling Lance Assassin, and it turns out to suck, my backup is Ignite Prolif Trickster or Contagion-ED Trickster)
- Have a loot filter that is optimized for day one of a league. Every five link armor is worth looting and selling (if not using or crafting). Levelling uniques, gems like Vaal Haste – all good. Divination cards for starter uniques are worth looting too.
- Chaos orbs, jeweller’s orbs, regals and fusings collapse in value at leaguestart. Trade them for things that increase in value, especially as the last thing you do before ending a play session. Mediocre choice of items to buy with chaos/fuses/jewellers/regal orbs are exalted orbs and exalt shards. Better choices are expensive consumables that people deem ‘too precious to use’ early on: gilded scarabs, pure breachstones, delirium orbs, delirious maps – as well as ‘pieces’ of best in slot items, like The Nurse divination card, or Sustenance/Gift of Asenath cards.
- Don’t be afraid to overpay for gear early, if you will recoup the cost by clearing faster. Paying 27c for a Tabula early – or an exalt for a corrupt 6L – then selling it later for a 15c divine might seem wasteful, but if it speeds up your mapping by 30%, it’s paid for itself in next to no time.
First Major Decision: New Content vs Familiar Content
This is a big choice. I’m not going to express a recommendation here – you should be able to succeed with either choice.
Make sure you pick your build around your choice.
Familiar Content Options
Going with familiar content doesn’t mean you won’t try the Heist mechanics, just that you will spend a large majority of your time using tried and tested strategies.
There’s seven main ways you can go with familiar content. I won’t go into each in depth, except to add that I do not recommend competing with Eternal Lab carry services; so many people do it that the prices are low. Eternal lab can be profitable, and by all means carry friends, but it’s more lucrative to run them solo quickly than it is to assist inexperienced people who experience high latency on your home server in Lab.
All of these strategies revolve around getting to maps super fast. The advantage to being in the first fifty thousand people to maps (ideally first five thousand) are enormous.
Proven Strategies for Familiar Content
- Run low tier maps, super super fast, focusing upon currency drops. Alch and go with a movespeed specced build with extraordinary damage projection, such as Tornado Shot or Essence Drain-Contagion. Generally right to do the unID chaos recipe until chaos orbs fall to 1/75 of an exalt, after that, never do it again. Sell useful uniques, you will get more of these than any other strategy.
- Push to high tier maps. Run medium investment maps (alch/sextant/go), at a pace somewhat slower than the low tier option. You might need to buy bosskill services for Conquerors if you are extremely focused upon clearspeed. Sell spare maps! People pay well for maps early on to fill Atlas holes.
- Generate a bosskiller and buy access to content others can’t beat early (e.g. buy Shaper maps, run them, source fragments, run Shaper, sell Dying Sun and even the lesser drops). Additionally, run a bosskill service where you rescue other peoples’ failed attempts, and kill their Conquerors so they can progress their Atlas (you can find clients in /trade 820). Sirus is particularly lucrative if you know the fight well enough to do it on dumpster tier gear and buy Sirus instances from 820, but you can do Atziri, Izaro, Shaper, Elder or more.
- Delve and just generate lots of currency and fossils and resonators, plus set yourself up for farming premium fossils later. This requires buying sulphite, and lots of people will sell you a Niko mission early on. (Other masters are great for currency too, but more week 2 onward)
- Set up a character that is extraordinarily good at running Blighted maps. Buy them and run them early, while all the lesser rewards like uniques and veiled items still sell.
- Set up a character that is extremely good at the Simulacrum (much harder than blighted maps, and requires more capital, but more lucrative). Expect to take several trades per Simulacrum, as noone has large numbers of Delirium splinters on day 1 and few do even by day 7.
- Lastly, crafting for profit, either buying unlinked meta uniques and 6 socketing them then attempting to 6 link (but resell/start over on hitting a 5L) or a million and one other options
- If you go any of these routes, loot your Heists and your blueprints, and sell them in bulk.
I’ll refer a bit to item level here, it’s a stat that shows up in game with advanced mod descriptions, and constrains what mods can be rolled on an item. 91 on these uniques. 86 is the magic number to be able to roll all mods (at the moment)
There’s 7 new types of rewards.
- Contracts. Grant access to Heists, which have normal POE loot, nothing unique. Time will tell if these are good, great, or bleh. Drop in maps, can be crafted similarly to maps. Like Incursions, these influence a capstone encounter (Grand Heists). I suspect we will be flooded with these.
- Blueprints. Grant access to Grand Heists. These both have normal POE loot and special loot (see later). These also appear to be able to be crafted like maps. Your work in contracts can influence what you get.
- Expect blueprints to be about 12 times rarer than contracts (based upon prcedent of Incursion league). Expect one contract drop per zone, possibly more in well-rolled maps.
- It’s my understanding (possibly wrong) that each Curio Display Room has a 20% chance to have each of the five types of rewards in it, and that you can find out which ones are in a room by running a couple normal Heists for intel.
- Alt-quality gems. Vary but some will be in extreme demand. Probably not all that ilvl dependent, unless 21/23 versions can drop and are limited to high levels
- Replica uniques. Mostly trash or oversupplied niches, but some will be chase. Probably only a little ilvl sensitivity (e.g. if there’s a Skyforth knockoff, it’ll be 84+). If these end up as the chase reward, expect fast low tier mapping/heisting to possibly be better than high tier.
- Experimental bases. VERY ilvl sensitive. ilvl 83+ Impact Force Propagator (the 2H mace) just has much more potential as a crafting base than ilvl 82 and down.
- Thieves’ Trinkets . Don’t underestimate these – they look to do a lot. Imagine how powerful ‘44% chance for double scarabs’ would be in Simulacrum; that’s just one mod here, and these ARE this league’s equivalent of Simulacrum. We don’t know how ilvl affects them. Currency modification ones are huge. They can’t be crafted, and the best ones might have ilvl requirements.
- Enchanted Bases. The most ilvl sensitive of all. An ilvl 86 Vaal Regalia with the defense enchant (+12% magnitude of defense rolls, -50% magnitude of resist rolls) has the potential to be rolled into the best ES armour possible in the league. An ilvl 83 Regalia, however, has no real benefit over an ilvl 86 non-enchanted base, except being a bit easier to roll.
- A key point on enchanted bases: Ask yourself “Could a mirror service crafter be interested in throwing 500 exalts at this base?” If the answer is no, you want to sell it fast so undercut. If the answer is yes, HOLD IT. Unless it is more common than you think, it will be worth much more later.
- Enchanted bases ilvl Rule of thumb: 83 marks the ideal ilvl for physical-enchanted weapons. 86 for elemental-enchanted weapons. 85 or 86 for torso pieces without the defence enchant, 86 only for ES pieces with defense enchant. If chaos damage weapons are viable this league, 83 is ideal for chaos-enchanted weapons.
General Notes for Interacting With Heists
- No plan survives first contact with the enemy. These are not guaranteed to work. However, the strategies that do work will vomit out wealth.
- HAVE A FALLBACK PLAN. If you aren’t able to handle Heists early on, or if the content is super buggy like Delve was day 1, you don’t want to ragequit and miss the opportunity of day 1. Instead, you want to drop into one of the familiar content plans while you lick your wounds. Maybe you can’t beat some new Heist boss but you are super experienced with Vaal Temple, and you can sell portals into corrupt Vaal Temples to people who want to buy completion for their atlas.
- Firstly, whatever you do, BATCH YOUR HEISTS. Doing two Delves then a map then an Alva mission is inefficient. Save up at least ten heists, run them back to back to back to back unless you have a compelling reason to do otherwise.
- Secondly, if you intend to run mid or high tier heists, run a few low tier ones just to learn the ropes. This goes quadruple for hardcore, but matters in SC as well. You’ll have plans for dealing with various dangers in them – but will Decoy Totem/Knockback/Phasing through enemies work or do you need to kill it all? That remains to be seen.
Economic Strategies Revolving Around Heists
- Blitz low tier Heists leading up to Grand Heists. Favour gem curio rooms and Thieves’ Trinkets curio rooms and Replica Uniques. Don’t expect special bases (Experimented or enchanted) to be worth anything at low ilvl.
- If Heists drop a lot of Breachstones (this remains to be seen: Legion and Delirium did, Blight did not), buy and run level 80-81 Contracts as much as possible. Breachstones sell well all league – early on, the normal/charged/enriched to bosskillers chasing uniques like Hand of Wisdom and Action; later league, the pure to people chasing XP. Prioritize getting a trinket with +% breach loot (if this exists).
- If Heists drop lots of maps, farm a bunch, then throw all your lower tier maps into a 5c tab which is NOT public. At some point, dedicate 10 minutes to selling maps – turn the tab on, run two maps portalling out for any sales, then drop the tab 1c, run two maps, repeat.
- Push to high tier maps, and run Grand Heists, prioritizing the enchanted bases (ilvl 83+) and experimental bases (again 83+). When you get something that’s “good but not the best possible” sell it fast and undercut; when you get something that’s unbeatable e.g. ilvl 86 Vaal Regalia with the defenses enchant, HOLD IT until the top couple hundred crafters have the capital to buy it. While doing so you may also get other rewards.
- Source high tier Blueprints and low tier Contracts. Upgrade (unveil) the Blueprints, and list them for sale. This is the most risky option, as we don’t know how Contracts work exactly.