Tips For Getting Back Into Diablo III

Tips For Getting Back Into Diablo III

Diablo III changed a lot over the years. The expansion and the later patches added a lot more content to the game, and these changes might confuse players who stopped playing around Reaper of Souls or before, but want to come back to see what’s new.

People running around in crazy gear, gaining hundreds of Paragon levels in a couple of days or weeks and storming through maps like it’s a bullet-hell shmup and not a hack’n’slash RPG — that’s what you see if you check Twitch, Diablo forums or any fan site, and it’s quite confusing for those who only played through the story once and never really touched Adventure Mode. Since patch 2.4 just came out, we compiled a bunch of tips for these players, to make coming back to the game a bit easier.

Finished the campaign, reached level 70, now what?

Finishing the story is just one part of Diablo III. The better part — building up a character, with powerful gear, that can storm through any map in no time — starts after that. The first goal here is to have a character that can handle the Torment I difficulty. To do that, try focusing on gear (looted or crafted) with high Critical Chance and Critical Damage stats. A good weapon with a socket and a high level Emerald gem (that’s the green one) helps a lot. Helmets, bracers, hands, amulets and rings can have stats with Crit Chance too. You should be good at around 40-50% Crit Chance.

Reaching Torment I

Gearing up for Torment I shouldn’t take long. And once you can do Torment I, better items will drop almost immediately. The game is also full of Torment-only legendary items so try not to waste your time with lower difficulty levels. But there are nine more Torment difficulties, each of them with better loot, so reaching Torment I is just the beginning.

How do I reach higher Torment levels?

The fastest way to do it is to do bounties in Adventure Mode (doing it with other people makes the process really fast). It also helps to do Rifts to get Blood Shards, which you can use to buy gear from the NPC Kadala. It’s a random item each time, but since there’s a decent chance of scoring a legendary or set item, it’s definitely worth trying over and over. If you don’t have a good weapon, buy weapons, but otherwise focus on green set items when dealing with Kadala. Set bonus descriptions on green items might not look powerful but they are crucial for higher levels.

Crafting all the green sets available at the blacksmith will help too (the plans for these items are rare drops). These are not as powerful as other rare sets, but work just fine on lower Torment levels. Ten Torment levels and their difficulty curve sound crazy, but there’s no need to worry. Sometimes a single upgrade is enough to skip a few levels.

That’s fascinating, but everyone’s in shiny legendaries and full 6-set gear. How can I get there?

Well, it takes time. You need to kill a lot of monsters and elite packs. But once you are able to do Torment I, you can start thinking about what your favourite play style is and build up a character to represent that. You can make a heavy hitter character that has an ability (or abilities) with a long cooldown, but can do crazy damage when it’s activated. You can build a character that can escape tough situations easily or one that can turn into an unstoppable force for a few seconds.

The important thing is to focus on one of these (you have to know your abilities really well) and gear up accordingly. Greater Rifts, Legendary Gems and Kanai’s Cube will help a lot in micromanaging and getting there faster.

Just take a look at this sheet, compiled by Diablofans’ Drahque for patch 2.4, and you’ll see how serious gearing up can be. But that’s the beauty of Diablo games.

Kanai’s Cube? What the hell is that?

It’s something similar to Diablo II‘s Horadric Cube, but it works a bit differently. It was added in patch 2.3 and has quite a few abilities. You can convert a set item to another random item from the same set, for example. Or you can upgrade a rare item into a random legendary of the same type. Or you can reroll the stats on a certain legendary item. And so on. Basically, it helps a lot when, for example, you’re almost finished with your build, but still need one or two upgrades that just won’t drop from monsters. If you don’t have the cube, go grab it at Ruins of Sescheron in Act III (in Adventure Mode!).

And what about Legendary Gems?

You’ll get Greater Rift keys by doing normal rifts. Greater Rifts are harder, but this is where you’ll get Legendary Gems (added in patch 2.1) from the final bosses. These are unique gems with powerful abilities, and each time you beat a Greater Rift within 15 minutes, you have the chance to upgrade the gems and their stats. Some of the gems are very spec specific, but a few of them are essential no matter which class you’re playing with. I highly recommend levelling up (level 25 unlocks extra abilities) “Bane of the Trapped” and “Bane of the Powerful” first. Both are very effective gems against elite packs.

And if that’s not enough, patch 2.4 now introduced Empowered Rifts, which have more loot and more chances to upgrade our gems.

What’s the fastest way to gain Paragon levels?

Before Greater Rifts were added, people fooled around in Act 1’s Fields of Misery and all the larger areas full of elite packs (they have the loot!). But now, if you do normal and Greater Rifts in Adventure Mode you’ll be fine. Be sure to pick a difficulty level where you can kill things fast (you’re good if you can finish a Greater Rift in under 5 or 6 minutes) and where you don’t have to worry about your health. You might be able to do, say, Torment VI, but if you have issues with elite packs you might want to lower the difficulty level.

Should I care about a Keywarden when I see one?

Keywardens are unique bosses who drop Infernal Machines on Torment difficulties (prior to patch 2.3 they dropped keys required to make Infernal Machines). You need these machines to open portals to so called “Uber” bosses (powerful versions of story mode bosses). These bosses have a chance to drop Demonic Organs. Once you have all the four unique organs you can craft them into a “Hellfire Ring” or a “Hellfire Amulet”. Even with the key gathering sequence removed, as you can see, it’s quite the ride for one item that might even roll with crappy stats. It still worth doing these runs though. The items have the ability to add an extra random passive skill, selected from one of the passives on the class that rolls the item. And that’s extremely useful.

What about gold?

The Auction House is long gone, so no more silly purchases for billions. If you really care about micromanaging your gear you can spend a fortune on crafting stuff (it really doesn’t matter on lower difficulty levels though), but other than that, gold right now is purely a cosmetic thing. And it became a bit more easy to collect it from monsters in patch 2.4, since vanity pets can now do the job for you. If you still need gold, put a “Puzzle Ring” into Kanai’s Cube. It will open a portal to the Treasure Goblins’ Realm which is basically a mini dungeon, full of gold.

Should I roll a Seasonal character?

Season 5 starts on Friday (in all regions, but only for PC players), so it’s the perfect time to roll a fresh Seasonal character and try it out. Previous Seasons had Season-only legendary items (pretty powerful ones) but this concept got removed for the fifth Season. People will get a free set of 6 green items instead (it’s a fixed set per class per season) once they finish certain stages of the Season.

Seasons are similar to ladderboards, so if that’s your play style and you like to play the game in a competitive environment, give it a try. Once the Season ends (right now it’s three months long) your Seasonal progress will be added to your non-Seasonal progress.

Be sure to comment below if you have more tips, bumped into something cool in patch 2.4, or have questions.

Top pic: Demon Hunter fan-art by Cheol joo Lee


  • Fairly solid advice, but I’d go a little deeper with the Kadala and Kanai’s side of things.

    The ability for Kanai’s cube to upgrade rare items can be powerful. You can use drops, unlucky gambles from Kadala, or even blacksmith or jeweler made items. So, get a rare, go to the Kanai’s cube, and for 50 of the common resources (Deaths Breath, Arcane Dust, etc) it upgrades to a legendary or set version of the item. As you level, you end up with thousands of those resources, its a good way to get rid of a few.

    One extra thing this doesnt cover is your followers. They need gear as well, and its worthwhile not neglecting them,

    All three of them have their uses but most people seem to rely on the Templar. One unique thing with them though is they have a specific equipment item for each one. And two legendary versions of each, one of which means they cannot die.

    As you can make these relics at the jeweler, make one at level 70 and convert it at the Kanai cube, and its a 50/50 chance of being the one where they cannot die. If its the other, it gives them all their skills so its not wasted anyway.

    But use that benefit of upgrading rares to quickly get geared up into something relevant.

    You may also want to go through the 5 bounties of act 1 a few times. The cache you get has the chance to drop a ring exclusive to that cache called the Ring of Royal Grandeur. Its benefit is to let you equip less items in a set and get the set bonus. So you only need 5 items in a set to get the 6 part bonus. VERY beneficial, especially as you’re expanding your range.

    • That is GREAT advice – especially the ring of royal grandeur. It also means if you want to equip two different matching sets of armour, you can still get most of their benefits.

    • I agree that upgrading rare items with Kanai’s Cube is a solid way to build sets. Kadala’s items are only legendary 10% of the time and are divided into larger categories, so it takes a lot more investment to get a particular leg or set item you want.

      Upgrading rares with the Cube also costs a buttload of Death’s Breaths, which are difficult to come by. When I have a new character hitting 70, I like to craft the Sage’s Journey ( set from the Blacksmith first up, because it gives you a bonus DB each time one or more drops. This sets you up with enough DBs by the time you start getting a couple of set items and deciding what you want to go with to rapidly get the rest of the set. Plus, early on you’re unlikely to have any set items, unless you knock out the Season’s Journey immediately (which is also great advice this season).

      • Yeah, good point regarding the Death’s Breath’s. They will be the weak point. I had about 4000 of them, so it wasnt an issue, but now I’ve chewed through they are the hardest one to replace. But its still a dozen or so for a simple rift run.

        Didnt think that a fresh to 70 wouldnt have 4000 to play with though, good point. And good point re sages passage, that can help while you’re gearing up. For those where this is relevant, deaths breath drops off elite mobs, so if you’re struggling to kill them, wind the difficulty back a tier.

        I probably should have made it clearer that its a good way to get legendary’s into each slot more than anything, which should get you to torment difficulty at least. If you get some lucky rolls and get 2 bits of a set, work around that set for starters then look around later for a better alternative, if there are any.

        So, get a rare for each slot and convert it to fill gaps is the one line summary. Then work on fleshing it out. As there are a few sets for each class, Kanai’s and Kadala can take time as well, but at least there is some sort of guarantee it’ll potentially be useful.

        If you want a priority, I’d say get a good weapon first. Something that lists over 3000 dps would be enough for a starter, so make one at the blacksmith and convert it, then worry about armor.

        The hardest part for me was getting legendaries in the first place, after that it was fleshing out a set to what I wanted. Now its getting upgrades 🙂 When you’re doing the higher torment levels, or greater rifts up over 45 or so, it takes a while.

        • That’s it: there’s a real momentum thing when you start with Diablo III. Your first playthrough is gonna be in Story Mode, which is slower than levelling subsequent characters in Adventure Mode. Once you hit 70, it takes a while to get that first set piece or two that can start to suggest possible builds for you. But once you start to get going, things just accelerate more and more.

    • yeah thanks mate for the explanation, I played it when i first came out but when the expansion came out I haven’t managed to get back into it and not really sure what the most enjoyable class would be but I guess its just personal preference

      • I’ve played every class to 70. I started with the strength classes (Barbarian and Crusader), then moved on to the dexterity classes (Demon Hunter and Monk), before doing the intelligence classes (Wizard and Witch Doctor).

        I havent put enough time into the int classes to make a solid judgement (still working on getting them some proper gear), but the dex ones have been the most fun so far, and the ones I’ve gotten the furthest. Two barbs with strong builds couldnt compete with the DH, and when I leveled a monk and got a good build going, its just a damage sponge.

        Was more fun than I thought, though it seems to have been nerfed somewhat with this weeks patch.

        What I would do is suggest you focus on one stat basis at a time. If you’re playing a dex class, do the other dex class next. Reason being that you immediately have the potential of handmedowns, which can really make the difference – I regularly swap a few bits between my DH and monk even now, and they’re running torment 8 to 10 level content.

        • awesome some solid advice cheers, yeah just feels a bit overwhelming at times given the amount of new end game content there is to attempt, but as you say keeping it simple might help

  • i hvaen’t played this game for over a year, and even with the new major patch (even the one before it, both admittedly sound like they bring a lot of good things to the game) i have no real desire to play it. i have had a level 70 for every class asides from one, and the thought of having to build another character from scratch just fills me with dread. it just doesn’t have that same replayability as diablo 2, even with more content, i would sooner go and make another paladin in d2 than i would start a character in this game..

    • I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised if you jumped back in now. The unique properties of each gem allow you to have different builds within the same class. In addition, you’ve got adventure mode, Greater rifts and normal rifts plus I’m pretty sure this new patch has added two rings that allow you to build a character without the obligatory 6 sets so that you can equip ancient legendaries and still get insane bonuses just like you would if you equipped the set items. You should check it out!

  • What about an absolute fresh start? I got D3 at launch but that was when DayZ popularity.

    I maybe got about four hours in. Unfortunately each of those hours was each with the different classes.

    Where to from here?

    • Your one luckyou mofo! This is what d3 should’ve been from the start! Vanilla d3 was rubbish…you did yourself a massive favour by not playing it properly back then but now it is one hell of a game!

      • Well I’ll be.

        Do I need a posse or should I just go back to starting afresh as wizard? Any online sources of help would be difficult to sort between ‘this is a beginners guide to vanilla’ and ‘this is what superfans need to know’.

        I don’t think I’d be needing either of those!

        • My personal favourites are the crusader and the witch doctor but it all depends on how you enjoy playing. D3 is always better in a team of 4 but it’s also fun solo providing you play in short bursts otherwise you can burn out on the grind a bit especially once you’ve hit 70 and you’re trying to find ancient legendaries and set items.

          I don’t think you need a guide but the diablo wiki pages is a good source of info. Just make sure you collect all items (white, blue, yellow) and break them down into materials. These will come in handy when you hit 70 and get access to kanai cube.

  • Each class has about 10-12 different build variations atm, way more than d2 ever had, nostalga is a mofucker

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