If you're between level 65 and 80 and you still have not checked out maps, here are the basics that you'll need to start:
First, if you don't want to risk experience because:
- You're not geared enough
- You're still working on an error you made to your passive tree
- Or you don't have any maps yet
Try leveling in the Docks till you're between 72 and 75 and till you're level 80 in the Lunaris Temple (Mostly level 3 runs).
How Maps Work
Maps are drops. If you don't already have one you'll get a rare one when you complete the game on merciless.
- From our experience, it seems like the player that creates the portals using their own map, is also predisposed to getting most of the maps dropped in that game.
- Maps are always permanently allocated.
- You'll need to go to the Eternal Laboratory to use a map which is located right off the Solaris Temple waypoint
- Portals - When you insert a map into the map device, it is consumed and will spawn 6 portals. The portals travel to the same single starting point and are used up after you enter. Hence, if you play by yourself you can die up to 5 times and still go back to try again. Or if you clear the area you can make 5 trips to carry your loot to town and sell it. If you play in a group, each member will use a portal. Another words if you have a full group of 6 you'll use up all the portals when you first start. If someone dies, they'll not be able to get back in. If you have a group of 5 then only the first person to die can come back in. Portal casted inside of the map will reset the starting location portal on that map. Leaving a map area from your portal will put you back into the laboratory (not the The Sarn Encampment)
- Once you use a map in the laboratory, It's a good practice when playing with a group of people to go town and create a new instance of the laboratory. You can do this by CTRL + clicking the WP and clicking "New" to create a new instance.
Most of the maps dropped are white. The higher the level the more valuable they are so you'll want to spend your currency (orbs) on them in the following order for to enhance their quality for better drops:
Level 66-68 Maps
- Orb Order: Transmutation Orb, Alteration Orb, Augmentation Orb
- Try to achieve (35%+ quantity) OR (15% quantity and one modifier below) OR (0% and 2 of the listed modifiers below)
Level 69-70 maps
- Orb Order: Alchemy Orb, Chaos Orb
- Try to achieve (60%+ quantity) OR (45% quantity and one modifier below) OR (30% and 2 of the listed modifiers below)
Level 71-lv73 maps.
- Orb Order: Cartographers Chisel, Alchemy Orb, Chaos Orb
- Try to achieve (80%+ quantity) OR (65% quantity and one modifier below) OR (50% and 2 of the listed modifiers below)
Level 74 + maps
Orb Order: Cartographers Chisel, Alchemy, Chaos, Exalted (exalted might be a bit of a stretch, unless you role a great combination of mods)
Try to achieve (100%+ quantity) OR (85% quantity and one modifier below) OR (70% and 2 of the listed modifiers below)
- Area is larger
- Area is a maze
- Pack size is larger
- More magic monsters
- More rare monsters
- 2 unique bosses
Test & Experiment With Maps
Experiment with the lower level maps. You'll quickly find the mods where your particular character struggles. Save those maps for other characters or trade them. Or if you're rich in orbs, reroll them.
You can get a lot more in depth with maps. Check out the Map Management Resource thread for more details.