Diablo 3 From A Beginner’s Perspective

diablopic1Diablo 3 was not exactly what I expected.  I have never played any of the other Diablo games, so I started for scratch.  I generally dislike PvE. I can’t tell you why, but I can tell you it puts me to sleep literally. While Diablo 3 is all PvE, so far anyway, I’ve found it pretty enjoyable. I really, really appreciate the limited number of abilities. In games like Star Wars: The Old Republic and World of Warcraft, there are so many abilities that it takes up every hotkey my fingers can reach and then some. Diablo 3 is a lot like Guild Wars 2 in that there are only a handful of abilities to remember. As long as there are less abilities than I have fingers, i’m good.

You Would Like Diablo 3 If…

My first impression is that players would like Diablo 3 if they enjoyed dungeons, exploration, and getting loot. Mindless grinding appreciation is also a plus.  These are key features to all MMOs.  The overwhelming majority of Diablo 3 is spent in dungeon after dungeon.  The rest spans large(ish) areas.  It is beneficial to explore these areas, as well as the dungeons, to find more loot, side quests, and monster smashing.  Now getting loot is very nostalgic for me.  My fondest memory comes from leveling up in World of Warcraft the first time.  It has always been so much fun getting new loot to upgrade with as I go along questing.  Hitting max level and having to grind loot out of dungeons or the auction house is such a huge let down.  In this game, so far, there are upgrades around every corner.  I’m sure that will change when I hit max level, but at least with Diablo 3 what you see is what you get.  There is no farming a boss hoping a particular piece will drop.  That’s not fun anyway.

Starting The Game New

I started on the Normal difficulty.  It was interesting.  I then discovered you could kick it up a notch, or two, to Expert difficulty.  This was perfect for me, and I died for the first time at the end of a dungeon.  If you are a veteran of MMOs, I would recommend starting on Expert.  You can always lower the difficulty inside the game, but you’ll have to leave the game and restart it to raise the difficulty.

Your Camp

Diablo 3 has an interesting mechanic.  You get a secret camp that fills with companions and crafters as you progress.  The first thing I learned in camp is that you can customize your Stash tabs.  Right click on them and you can use a custom picture for easy organization.  Your camp also serves as a travel hub.  You can teleport to major areas you’ve uncovered, and for everything else you can use your Town Portal.  The Town Portal ability opens up wherever you, and takes you straight to New Tristram.  When you’re done vendoring, idling, or whatever it is you came to do, hop the Town Portal to end up right back where you started.  It’s the perfect MMO bookmark.  It saves your progress and everything.

Loot And Crafting

Right away In Diablo 3 you are getting loot.  Once you are in your camp, you can sell or salvage that loot.  This is where the crafting system ties in seamlessly.  All crafting is done in your camp.  You level crafting with your gold, and not by tediously assembling 15 pieces of armor that you will never use.  There are only a few crafting materials up to level 60, so it won’t take up an absurd amount of bank space.  As you train levels in crafting, you will unlock different piece.  Each piece is a different level.  If you see something that’s an upgrade, craft it on the spot.  The stats are randomly calculated at the time of creation based on your class, but you’ll have a clear indication as to whether it’s an upgrade or not before you craft it.  You can always craft again to gamble on different stats.  Gold is the major currency in this game though, so you’ll want lots of it as time progresses.

Battling Through Diablo 3

Diablo 3 has as much or as little action as you want.  If you want tons of crashing and slashing, dive in headlong.  If you want to pace yourself, move as slow as you want.  There are not a lot of patrolling mobs, but some do move enough to keep you from idling just anywhere.  Clear out a nice big area if you have to go AFK.

Of Skills And Gear

As you level up, you unlock skills and runes to improve those skills.  You can change these skills any time you are out of combat, so don’t be afraid to put a point in something.  The same goes for your companions, you can change them anytime.  Your companions also use the skills on their own, and don’t require you to click for them.

The gear that drops for you will have stats geared towards your class.  If you can equip the gear, then it’s good for your class.  You aren’t locked into mail, leather, cloth, and so on.  Some gear you can’t equip at all.  Share it with friends, or your favorite vendor.  Certain gear has gem slots.  Equipping gems is a simple drag-and-drop.

Resource Pool Management

As a Crusader, my resource pool is Wrath.  I have found following a certain rhythm can be helpful in managing my resource pool.  If i’m starting with a full Wrath globe, i’ll open with my right-click resource attack.  Then i’ll follow up with my left-click standard attack 3 times, then my right-click resource attack.  Once i’ve emptied my Wrath globe, i’ll change to 4 to 1.  Resource management is very important.

Shrines And Pools

There are several shrines spread throughout Diablo 3.  These shrines give you different buffs depending on their type.  They only last for a short while, so best make use of them as you come across them.

  • Empowered Shrine – Increases resource pool (wrath, mana, etc) regeneration and lowers cooldowns on your abilities.
  • Frenzied Shrine – Increases attack speed by 25%.
  • Fortune Shrine – Increases Gold and Magic Find by 25%
  • Shrine of Protection – Decreases your damage taken.

There are also globes in certain areas.  Pools of Healing, red colored, heal you and any group members, but will empty and regen over time.  There are also Pools of Reflection, yellow colored, that give a bonus to experience.


Treasure Pygmy

Also known as Treasure Goblins, these little creatures are the leprechauns of Diablo 3.  They run around with bags of gold and loot.  If you kill them in time, you get the rewards.  If not, they hop a portal to elsewhere.  Pro tip though, you can taunt and crowd control the treasure goblins!

End Of The Day

After 9 hours and 29 minutes, I reached level 24 and completed Act I.  So far the story is amazing, and everything you’d expect from a Blizzard game.  I’m looking forward to playing more.  I’m a little leery of hitting 70, as i’m not sure how much i’d like to keep grinding.  Diablo 3 has exceeded expectations so far though, so it won’t slow me down in the least.  What have you learned playing Diablo 3 for the first time?  If you’re a veteran player, what tip would you give to new players?

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