Diablo III Guide: 14 Steps to Becoming the Ultimate Demon Killer

Diablo 3, dungeon crawler, Blizzard Entertainment, Ultimate Demon Killer, RPG, leveling guide, gearing up guide
"Legend says that she can shoot a demonic cyst off the ear of a quillboar from 45 paces..."

The moment of the final battle has finally arrived. Standing before you is the epitome of evil: Diablo, the Lord of Terror

You draw your weapon from its sheath as the massive demon charges forward at you. A clash of claw and steel follows, and devilish teeth snap down where your head was merely a moment before. You lunge forward with your sword and drive it into the demon’s rib cage, the riposte piercing the darkened heart contained within. The demon collapses at your feet, as you withdraw your blood-stained blade from its rib cage and replace it at your hip. Eagerly, you make your way over to a nearby treasure chest and lift the lid…

The world of Sanctuary is constantly under attack by the minions of darkness, and heroes are desperately needed to defend those who cannot defend themselves. Do you crave exhilarating battles that will test your might and cunning? Does the thought of unimaginable riches and loot appeal to you? If you answered “Yes” to either (or both) of these questions, you might just be the hero that the citizens of Sanctuary need.

Patch 2.4 brought even more adventure to Diablo III, including new areas to explore, new challenges to overcome, and new foes to vanquish. Here are our tips to quickly transform from upstart noob to ultimate demon killer:

1. Before entering Sanctuary, increase the difficulty one or two levels.

“Umm, I’d like the face-roll with a side order of easy sauce… and some freshly ROFL-stomped juice to drink.”

The difference in enemy health and damage isn’t significant compared to the extra experience you will be earning. You may even consider increasing the difficulty three levels if you are familiar with the class you have chosen, have low level rare or legendary gear to equip, and/or aren’t playing a Hardcore character.

2. If you are brand new to the game, play the campaign at least until you are comfortable with the skills available to you

“Back in my day, we had to kill Fallen Overlords uphill both ways in the snow!”

The enemies in early Act I are slow-moving and not particularly powerful, which will help you get safely familiarized with your class. Be sure to favor gear that has “+ experience per kill” on it, in order to level up more quickly. At level 23, you can equip the Cain’s Fate set, which gives a + 50% experience bonus.

3. Once you are comfortable with the available skills, switch to Adventure Mode to do bounties

“Boy, Razormouth is NOT going to be happy about this visit we are paying him…”

Focus on the bonus area until all five areas are done. The bonus areas will award a bonus cache upon their completion, which will drop each type of crafting material, as well as gold and blood shards, which can be used to purchase gear upgrades.

4. Be sure to salvage all magic and rare quality items that aren’t upgrades until you reach level 70, in order to stockpile crafting materials

“Okay, I’ll just repair my favorite Splint Cuirass and… whoops.”

You may even want to collect common quality items early on, in order to have plenty of Reusable Parts for crafting gear. Switch to selling rare items at 70 in order to generate gold faster, since you will be acquiring plenty of crafting materials from drops and bounty caches. Reforging legendaries and set pieces can get extremely expensive and gems cost a small fortune to fully upgrade as well.

5. Upgrade the Blacksmith’s level as quickly as possible, in order to keep your gear from becoming obsolete

“We hold these truths to be self-evident… that not all legendaries are created equal.”

This is most important for weapons at lower levels, where you’ll typically want to equip the highest damage per second as possible. Take special note of weapons with sockets, as you can add a gem to them to further increase their potency. Enemies level as you do, and while the difference in health between a level 20 enemy and a level 25 enemy isn’t massive, it is noticeable.

6. Switch to doing Nephalem Rifts once you have unlocked five skills that you feel comfortable using

“Getting real tired of these portals that only lead to demons… Aren’t there any ones that lead to sandy beaches or serene lakes?”

Continue doing boss bounties as they are relatively short and spawn Diabolic Chests, which drop four items in addition to gold. Zoltun Kulle in Act II, for example, takes less than one minute from teleport to kill on most difficulties. Nephalem Rifts spawn a greater amount of enemies than bounties, which includes champions, elites, and unique monsters. Both Nephalem and Greater Rifts can be accessed by using the Nephalem Obelisk in any town.

7. Once you reach level 60, reincorporate doing bonus area bounties in order to earn blacksmithing and jewelcrafting plans from caches and bonus caches

Hoarders: Diablo III Bonus Cache Edition

The caches will drop both legendary and set blacksmithing plans, as well as royal and flawless royal jewelcrafting plans. If you have been hoarding crafting materials since the beginning, you should be able to create some really useful upgrades.

8. Upon hitting level 70, be sure to complete some Nephalem Rifts and use the Greater Rift Keystones acquired from Rift Guardians to do Greater Rifts

The Sand Shaper boss is an expert at creating amazing sand sculptures, but he gets really mad when you pull him away from his work.

It may take a few runs on the lower difficulty settings to acquire a Greater Rift Keystone. On Torment VII difficulty and above, I have always had a Greater Rift Keystone drop from Rift Guardians. And remember, while Nephalem Rifts are automatically the difficulty level you enter the game with, Greater Rift difficulty levels are selectable, so don’t waste your Greater Rift Keystones on low difficulties where the rewards are not as good.

9. In order to increase the amount of legendaries and set items you get, you’ll want to maximize your magic find (MF) percentage

“I really do love him, but he is so darn messy. Why can’t he just have a lower magic find?”

This percentage is not cumulative to drop percentages; instead, it is multiplicative. For example, if an item has a 2% drop rate from a monster, a 50% MF increase will give the item a 3% chance to drop. Having the Cain's Destiny 3-set bonus (+50% MF), socketing a flawless royal topaz in your helm (+41% MF), and equipping the legendary Nagelring (+25-50% MF, depending on the roll) will give you a significant magic find percentage increase.

10. Make sure to take a short detour during bounties to kill the Keywardens in Acts I through IV

“Smells like a combination of musty wood, red meat, and warm vanilla sugar in here…”

The Keywardens drop Infernal Machines, which allow you to create portals in the house behind Brother Malachi the Healer in New Tristram (use an attack to break the door). Inside the portals, you will face two empowered bosses who, when defeated, drop a crafting material that can be used to craft a Hellfire Ring, which has a + experience bonus, or Hellfire Amulet, which comes with a random class passive skill. The plans for the Hellfire jewelry can be purchased from Squirt the Peddler in the Hidden Camp during Act II.

11. Reforge poorly rolled and less useful attributes on your gear, in order to maximize its effectiveness

The Mystic can change an attribute on a piece of gear for a small fee. Her silent judgment about your choice is free, however.

You will probably have to wait a little while to be able to reforge legendaries because doing so requires Forgotten Souls, which are obtained via drop by Rift Guardians, contained in bounty caches, and created by salvaging legendaries. Reforging is helpful to make up deficiencies in damage, toughness, or recovery, or for stacking an attribute in order to attain a more effective build.

12. Obtain Kanai’s Cube and use it to extract as many legendary powers as possible

Poor Mr. Yan had no idea that his favorite pants were not only missing, but had been destroyed by an overzealous adventurer.

You are able to equip three legendary powers that have been extracted from legendary gear; one each from weapons/off-hands, armor, and jewelry (it destroys the gear in the process so make sure the piece isn’t an upgrade before you extract!) These powers are especially useful when trying to complete the set dungeons, and will give your character the boost they need to be successful in them. You can actually obtain the cube as soon as you begin doing Adventure Mode.

13. Slowly increase difficulty as each Torment level increased gives significant bonuses to experience, gold, and legendary drop chance

“Had a really rough day at work today, so I think I can only handle a moderate amount of Torment tonight.”

Double emphasis on ‘slowly’ for Hardcore characters! You don’t want to find yourself in an inescapable situation where permanent death is lingering over your head. The passive skills that allow you to die every 60 seconds without losing your hard-fought gear are truly invaluable.

14. Lastly, be sure to allocate paragon level points appropriately

“I would say my greatest weakness is having too many strengths. No, wait! It’s indecision.”

Typically, if you are a Softcore character, you can lean toward more offensive builds, but if you are a Hardcore one, you should focus more on defense and survivability. There is an abundance of Diablo III theorycrafters out there who have determined which stats are best for particular builds, so there is no need to guess (although a lot of the fun can be in experimentation!)

Follow these tips and you will soon find yourself toe-to-toe with the greatest evils in Diablo III. Will you triumph and be heralded as the Ultimate Demon Killer? Or will you fall against the seemingly endless waves of Diablo’s army? The world of Sanctuary eagerly awaits the answer…

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