Diablo III tips and tricks guide

A beginner's guide for surviving the onslaught of Sanctuary.

Welcome to Sanctuary

The realm of Sanctuary is a brutal land filled with fiends and monsters just waiting to rip apart the five heroes that defend its peoples. It can be a harsh country, so we've gathered some tips and tricks to help you not only survive Diablo III, but kick some serious demon butt.

Diablo III also features a lot of changes from its demonic predecessors. So whether you are an old Diablo veteran or a new comer to the series, you should check out our guide to prepare yourself for the battles to come. We start with the five classes that you use to explore the new Diablo universe.

The Barbarian

The Barbarian uses rage as its resource, which builds up as the brute fights, and dips when he uses certain abilities or leaves battle. Because of this, its best to be on the front line of combat at all times. Luckily, the Barbarians skills are all suited for getting up close and personal with enemies tearing them apart with cleaves, bashes, and other area-of-effect skills. Barbarians also have gap-closing abilities such as leap (a Diablo II favorite) and sprint, making it easy to get from the back of a fight to the front. Also the Barbarians should be looking for weapons and armor that boosts their primary stat, strength.

The Demon Hunter

These vengeful fighters play like a combination of the Amazon and the Assassin from Diablo II. Demon Hunters draw from two resources: hatred and discipline. Hatred is used for offensive attacks. Discipline is for more defensive moves, but replenishes much more slowly than Hatred. The more Dexterity the Demon Hunter has the more effective his or her attack. They primarily relay on an arsenal of arrows, chakrams, bolas and bombs to take down enemies. They also employ a number of traps to surprise opponents and sentries to mow them down. When Demon Hunters get in over their heads they can vault to safety, disappear behind a puff of smoke, or toss out caltrops to trip up enemies. If they are feeling extra fiendish, hunters can also mark hellions for extra damage.

The Monk

Monks are strikers that build up Spirit with their primary attack and spend it to unleash more devastating blows. Unlike the barbarians rage meter, Spirit energy doesnt dissipate over time. Most of their attacks are either a flurry of quick blow or strikes that do large amounts of damage. Monks also employ mantras that enchant themselves and their allies with extra chances to dodge attacks or reflect back damage. However, only one mantra can be active at a time. They have a few defensive options: Monks can use the Blind AoE to daze enemies or a blast of light to heal themselves and allies. If they really get in hot water they can also use Lashing Tail Kick to knockback multiple enemies or Tempest Rush to push through crowds. Monks are also a Dexterity based class and should look for equipment that boosts that stat.

The Witch Doctor

Witch Doctors use mana as their resource, which replenishes somewhat slowly after casting each spell. They can cast plenty of pets, as well as spells that poison and slow down enemies. They mostly cast living (and some undead) creatures such as frogs or bats to do damage. That means most spells wont travel along a direct path, and squirm as they head towards their target. Their main attribute is Intelligent, and youll want to find items that boost that stat in lieu of high defense bonuses. Having a few pets to keep enemies busy, spells to slow them down, or magic like Horrify to scatter them, will be key to these Voodoo practitioners survival.

The Wizard

Wizards are the arcane tricksters of the group. They use Arcane Power to fuel their spells, which is much like mana except it replenishes much faster than the Witch Doctors resource. They also put a premium on Intelligent boosting equipment.

Wizards also have a variety of Signature spells that are free of cost. They cast a volley of fire and ice spells to burn and freeze their foes. Or they can go for straight-up damage with Arcane spells such as Disintegrate, which lets forth a beam of pure damage. Wizards can get out of trouble by freezing enemies around them with Frost Nova, teleporting around the map or casting a bubble of slow time. If they want to get extra tricky they can cast two less powerful duplicates, or become an Archon, a being of pure Arcane energy with supped up spells.

Don't Be Afraid to Explore New Skills

Leveling up and gain new skills are much different in Diablo III than in Diablo II. Players no longer have to fret over where to spend skill points, and worry about buying spells with those points.

Now at every level you get a new spell or ability and you just select each spell you want to put in your tool bar. Starting at level 6 you start unlocking runes which augment abilities, making them vastly different. Runes can apply fire damage, allow you to teleport while using the spell, give you some health when cast, or change the spell in many other ways. When you unlock runes on a skill you can switch them around as much as you want.

This takes the pressure off of choosing skills and really lets you explore what spells are best for you. Also know that every new ability isnt necessarily better than the last. Sometimes you will gain a new spell, play around with it for ten minutes and then decide you like a previous skill better. If you do, there is no penalty to going back to an old favorite.

Drink Health Potions Between Orbs

In Diablo II when you got low on health you could just chug health potions like a sixth-year frat boy at a high school kegger. Not any more. Now there is a cooldown timer dictating how many potions a warrior can drink. But not to worry, health orbs are the cool new way all the kids are using to refill their health bar. You will still need to drink potions for a quick boost of health. Just hit the "Q" key to drink one, so you don't have to use your cursor.

Enemies will now drop health orbs and all you have to do is walk by them and pick them up. You can even equip armor that extends the range at which you pick up health and gold. When you pick up a health orb it also heals your pets, followers and allies. So everyone on your party will be sharing in the revitalizing goodness.

Thinking with Town Portals

Town Portals work much differently in this installment of Diablo. They are now a spell on your tool bar rather than a stackable item. This means you can cast them infinity and you dont hoard scrolls like in previous games. However, portals take a few seconds to cast and can be interrupted. So you will no longer be able to use them to instantly pull your butt out of the fire.

Also you will no longer be able to use a friends portal as a free ride to and from the battlefield. Gone are the days of two-portal revolving doors that dont have to close. But since portals are infinitely castable you can grab all the junk gear you want and take it all back to the town merchant for mounds of gold. Just dont leave any blue items behind, they might disappear before you come back.

Pay Close Attention to Weapon Damage

Weapons are the basis for all the damage players do, even spell casters. Spell damage is always a percentage of how many points your weapons can deal out. For example, the Wizard spell Arcane Orb does 175 percent of weapon damage when it hits enemies.

This means that all of your spells scale to become more powerful as your hero grows, and a spell that you earned at level 1 can be just as powerful as one you get at level 30.

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