I’m the kind of person who hates going through the acts a second (or third) time, especially since I only have ~1-2h max to play each evening. A few days ago, a friend told me about a setup to do it faster, and while this is most likely well known between the more hardcore players, it’s the first time I heard about this (and nobody else I play PoE with had a clue about it either). I tried it, and had a blast.
That’s why I decided to share it with other “casuals” like me, that might not know yet.
Three words: Hollow Palm Technique
(As a side note, I’m not a guide writer, this is just how I did it and my general setup. With more currency, it can easily be improved – just see this as a baseline.)
In total, expect about ~80c minimum to get all the core items, and up to ~20c more for some bonus stuff. If you’re rich, consider buying Seven-League Step.
6-Link: Smite + Ancestral Call Support + Multistrike Support + Melee Physical Damage Support + Concentrated Effect Support + Added Fire Damage Support (or any other damage type)
2-Link: Dash + Second Wind Support
Everything else can be filled with Heralds / Auras / Other. With Praxis and Multistrike, mana shouldn’t be an issue at all. Vitality can be a huge help during bossing as well.
Remember that you cannot wear anything in your weapon slots and can’t wear any gloves to count as Unencumbered.
Disable “equip item on pick-up” to avoid accidentally losing Unencumbered.
Make sure to have an “attack in place” modifier key configured (I used Left Shift); this will help immensely during boss fights or even when clearing, as it gives us more control and “range” while dodging effects.
When pathing on the skill tree, just pick the shortest way possible to a cluster jewel – usually by taking the pure attribute travel nodes. Prioritize dexterity, life, defenses and movement speed. You can always just respec everything later, once you’re done.
Either annoint or grab Freedom of Movement.
Do your labs early, preferably before killing Kitava (first and second time, due to the lowered resistances). Izaro dies fairly quickly to Smite, bring more life flasks if you feel too squishy.
Dodge first, attack later. Use the “attack in place” key to stay away from bosses and target them down from a distance.
I had the tendency to be under-leveled, due to how fast I managed to run through – usually 3-4 levels below the area. Try to kill more monsters to stay closer to the area level.
Remember to change the left-click behavior to “move”, so that you don’t get stuck in groups of enemies.
Gameplay: Run around and blow everything up with one click. The damage is insane, and it actually makes going through the acts fun! Well… at least compared to before. I managed to get through the acts in under 3 hours (including shopping and setup).
The first few levels can be done any way you like. The larger milestones here are level 10-12 (reaching the nearest cluster jewel), level 20 for a massive damage boost, level 22 solves all mana issues (you can usually drop your mana flask at this point) and level 38 for Multistrike.
The damage (and by extension survivability) starts to fall off in act 9 and 10, but is still more than enough to get through both acts quickly. Only the last act bosses take a bit longer. Proximity shield is your biggest enemy in act 10.
About the costs: While some key items seem expensive, don’t forget that you can just sell them after you finish leveling. While I spent 70c for One With Nothing and Astramentis, I sold them for the exact same amount. I’m mentioning this, because 70c is a lot for me and almost stopped me from trying this out in the first place – don’t. You’ll likely get most of that investment back.
I hope this helps you to get through the acts faster. It’s a game-changer for me, I’ve always struggled with finding a good way to do it in the past (usually sticking to brands). Let me know if there’s anything that can be added / improved 🙂