Did you just pick up your copy of Diablo 3 and start your first game? Normal difficulty is the first step on your way to leveling a character to level 60, and in general it’s not too difficult. However, at certain points in the game, Normal difficulty might cause you a little pause. Here are our basic tips to help any class through Diablo’s introductory difficulty.
Acts 1 and 2
Acts 1 and 2 are extremely straightforward. On Normal difficulty, your build doesn’t matter all that much, and when you get hit by enemies they don’t do that much damage. This changes a little in Act 3, but in Acts 1 and 2 you can concentrate solely on your primary statistic.
Your primary attribute depends on your class: Strength for Barbarians, Dexterity for Monks and Demon Hunters, and Intelligence for Wizards and Witch Doctors. As you're leveling up through the first two acts, items with more of your main statistic should be prioritized over anything else. This gear will improve your damage, which is really all you need to get to Act 3.
Secondarily, when I’m leveling, I look for gear with improved experience from monsters. Magic and gold find are mostly useless statistics since you’re getting less than 50 gold per creature at this level. So look for extra monster experience and other secondary damage stats, such as critical strike chance or attack speed, to round out your Act 1-2 equipment.
Acts 3 and 4
At the beginning of Act 3, you might notice that the monsters hit considerably harder and may cause you to die for the first time in Normal mode. This is to be expected, since the approach mentioned earlier in the article needs to be altered slightly in order to take on the last two acts of Normal.
For the first time since starting your character, you’re going to need to consider the amount of health you have. As a ranged character you can operate with less, but for my Barbarian, things didn’t go smoothly until I hit 3000 health. There’s no need to equip a shield (if you don’t want to), the extra health is more than enough to help finish off the last two acts.
As for damage, just keep looking for weapon upgrades. Weapon damage increases your character’s damage more than any other statistic, so in general, just keep looking for items with higher damage per second (dps). If you’re looking for a specific number, I felt really good when I reached between 250 and 300 damage on my Monk's character sheet.
On to Nightmare!
Paying attention to these few things and practicing them will make your Normal mode experience much smoother, regardless of what class you’re playing. Normal mode really isn’t all too difficult, and allows the players to experience the story without a headache.
Nightmare mode, on the other hand, will require slightly more attention to detail and actually requires you to put some strategic thought into your character’s build. Check back next week for a similar article to help you get through Nightmare.