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First Steps in Diablo 4

Last Updated: January 6th 2024

Season 2 - Blood

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Your first steps into the world of Diablo 4 can be treacherous. Knowing what lies in front of you is just as important as being able to beat it into submission. Understanding the world around you, moderating the difficulty you face and how to best gear yourself to meet the challenge ahead is key to your success! The information below can help you make critical decisions as you start your adventure - let's start!

Select Your Class

Picking a class is a deep decision we all make. While there are many considerations to think about (Melee vs. Range, Fast vs. Slow, Easy vs. Hard) the most important factor is what feels good for you? Unlike in Diablo 3, Paragon is not shared between characters on the same account, along with Paragon point (Skill points too) cost a decent chunk of Gold to refund. Also, the time to level is much longer. So, pick a class you feel matches your playstyle as your chances of making it to max level and completing challenging content increase significantly!

Barbarian
Druid
Necromancer
Rogue
Sorcerer

Key Characteristics

Pros
  • Berserking
  • Very Tanky
  • Quick Movement
  • Can DPS at Range or while Moving
Cons
  • All Alone
  • Fury Dependent
  • Long Cooldowns
  • Slow Early Game

Identity

The Barbarian has unparalleled strength and expertly wields multiple weapons during battle. He bellows intimidating war cries and unleashes ground-shaking slams to send approaching hordes reeling. Barbarians are fun to play with fast-paced action and many customization options. Their skills are fueled by Fury, a resource that generates while in battle and depletes slowly outside of it. All Barbarian skills deal Physical damage by default.

Class Showcase

Key Characteristics

Pros
  • Versatile
  • Defensive Utility
  • High burst damage
  • Transformations Provide a Unique Playstyle
Cons
  • Low Mobility
  • Attack in Place
  • Tough Leveling
  • Rely on Positioning

Identity

The Druid calls up nature to destroy evil with wild storms, surrounding rocks or shapeshifting into a Werewolf or Werebear. With help from Sanctuaries' wildlife, the spawns of hell crumble before you! While defensively strong in either shapeshifting form, the Druid becomes rather squishy when casting nature spells in human form. With few mobility options, the Druid has to be positioned wisely during fights. They have a well-rounded set of skills for both melee and ranged combat, mainly dealing Physical, Lightning, and Poison damage. Their abilities are fueled by Spirit which is generated by using Basic Skills.

Class Showcase

Key Characteristics

Pros
  • Blood Orbs
  • Crowd-Control
  • Versatile Damage
  • Surprisingly Tanky
Cons
  • Squishy to Start
  • Where are the Corpses?
  • Complex Skill Rotation
  • Slow Late Game Scaling

Identity

The Necromancer is able to dish out both tons of Single-Target and Area of Effect (AoE) damage. With the ability to mix and match what minions you use to best maximize your build synergy OR sacrifice them all to be a one-Necro army! The multiple types of Crowd Control (CC) options, as well as great survivability and sustainability through Blood Orbs, gives the Necromancer unparalleled play-style freedom and versatility.

Class Showcase

Key Characteristics

Pros
  • Rogues are Fast
  • Rogues are Versatile
  • Rogues Deal High Damage
  • Rogues have lots of Crowd Controls
Cons
  • Rogues are Squishy
  • Rogues Rely on Positioning
  • Rogues have Many Conditional Effects
  • Rogues need to Combo & Time their Skills

Identity

The Rogue is a fast, agile fighter relying on a combination of melee and ranged attacks as well as various tricks up their sleeves such as grenades and traps. They are fun to play with fast-paced action and many customization options. Their combat style can range from very methodical to lightning-fast zapping around the battlefield. Their skills are fueled by Energy, a resource that slowly recovers on its own or can be filled up quickly through various effects. Most skills deal Physical damage by default but there are various mechanics also delving into Cold, Poison and Shadow damage types.

Class Showcase

Key Characteristics

Pros
  • Great Movement
  • Screen Wide Damage
  • Crowd Control for Days
  • Powerful Defensive Skills
Cons
  • Close Combat
  • Mana Dependent
  • Few Party Abilities
  • Crowd Control Dependent Buffs

Identity

The Sorcerer has ultimate control over the raw elemental magics to tear apart enemies. They let loose powerful torrents of destructive energy to snare and control the battle at any point. Strong defensive skills make them a deceptively hard target to kill. Further knowledge with Enchantment Slots bring a deeper diversity to their loadout of skills to leave nothing but destruction in their wake. The Sorcerer is fun to play with well-developed skills based around Cold, Lightning, and Fire. They also have amazing depth with seemingly endless skill interactions. Their skills are powered by Mana, a resource generated while in battle.

Class Showcase

Select Your Game Modes

Softcore or Hardcore

Softcore or Hardcore?

After you select your class, customize your character, and give it its name, you have a decision to make - Softcore or Hardcore? Softcore allows you to play and die relatively painlessly. Hardcore is a different story. When you die, your character is gone for good. No second chances, no petitions to Blizzard, nothing. The only items saved are the ones in your character's shared stash and currency/materials.

It is also not recommended for those that have unstable internet access, as character deaths due to a disconnect from the server is a terrible way to go. Ultimately, though, Hardcore can provide a richer experience that gives a deeper meaning to your accomplishments.

Seasonal or Eternal Realm

Seasonal or Eternal?

Season bring new ideas, items, and changes the META for most classes. They also introduce new mechanics that can bring new life to the base game. These are 3 month long events that have you start a fresh character. At the end of the season, your character(s) moves to the Eternal Realm to repeat the cycle again.

Choose Your Difficulty

Select initial difficulty - Adventurer or Veteran

With your character ready, there is one last decision before traveling to Sanctuary - Difficulty. The game sets the guidelines pretty well for you. If Diablo 4 is your first real attempt atan ARPG, go Adventurer. This gets you familiar with the game and all of its systems without punishing you along the way. If you're a frequent flyer of the genre, going Veteran is a good decision to make.

NOTE: Some Leveling builds (marked on our guides) may fare better in one Difficulty vs. another. While getting more loot drops and Gold in Veteran is tempting, not getting smashed into the ground by every mob is better for QoL (Quality of Life).

Start Leveling

First steps in to the brutal world

You've arrived! If this is your first character in Diablo 4, start making your way through the Proluge of the main story. The game gives tips along the way about some of the fundamentals. If you have choosen to do Seasonal play/Skip Campaign, start doing activities to level up right away! Here are some basic tips to keep in mind:

  • Gaining Experience - You gain of varying amounts from killing enemies in the world. You also gain experience from completing quests for the main story as well as Side Quests spread out across each Region.
  • Assigning Skill Points from Leveling Up - Starting at Level 2, you gain 1 Skill point per level up until Level 49. This gives you a total of 48 Skill points before Renown, which grants up to an additional 10. Place Skill points into your Basic Skills until you unlock your Core Skills. Continue to do this, selecting Skills and Passives that best reinforce them for the desired playstyle you are working towards.
  • Item Rarity for Armor, Weapons and Jewelry - While leveling you want to equip anything you find! As you progress through the main story, Common Items give way to Magic Items, then Rare Items and finally Legendary Items. Rare Items strengthen your character from start to finish. They provide better stats than Common or Magic Items and are more common to find than Legendary Items. If you are lucky enough to have a Legendary Item drop, put it on, as it most likely is better than what you are wearing. If not, check its Power and decide if it's one you'd like to keep by breaking it down at the Occultist and applying to another Legendary or Rare Item.
  • Priority Quests for Crafters/Vendors - As you meet level milestones, priority Quests unlock. These send you to different Crafters or Vendors to get familiar with. Keep tabs on your Quest Log by opening your map (pressing TAB) and hitting the arrow on the right hand side, or pressing (J) to directly bring it up.
  • Gathering Materials - Crafting materials come from many different sources. Clickable nodes for Herbs and Ores. Reward Caches from Side Quests. Reward Chests after completing Local Events. The important thing to keep in mind is Always Be Collecting! Materials allow you to upgrade your Potion, make Elixirs, Upgrade Armor and Jewelry, Enchant gear, and so much more. Don't be caught lacking these precious resources.

Currency Usage

Gold and other important currencies

Not wasting your hard fought for Gold, Murmuring Obols, and other currencies is critical to not hindering your progress! Like crafting materials, Gold comes from killing enemies, completing parts of the main story and Side Quests. Its primary use is in upgrading Armor, Weapons and Jewelry. A big secondary use is breaking down Legendary Items into Legendary Aspects that can be placed on to other Legendary Items or even Magic Items if they are good enough!

Murmuring Obols mainly drop from completing Local Event around the world as you progress the main story and beyond. Mastering a Local Event grants more than simply completing it. They also come from Reward Caches after turning in a Side Quest. They are used at the Purveyor of Curiosities to gamble for good items. It's a gamble, so there is no guarantee of getting something useful, but we'll take it.

Unique Class Mechanic Unlock

All the Unique Class Mechanic systems

Upon reaching Level 15, all classes unlock a special Priority Quest for their class. Each one is tailored to bring out the uniqueness of the class and give it a way to further bolster its power and defense. See below for each class's mechanic:

  • Barbarian Arsenal System - Allows you to assign a specific equipped weapon for every attack skill and grants additional bonuses. There is also a Technique Slot that allows you to use an additional weapon power of your choice.
  • Druid Spirit Boons - Allows you to choose one out of four passive bonuses from four different Spirits. Bonding with a Spirit allows you to select two Boons from it. These can supplement or reinforce your Skill/Passive choices for your build.
  • Necromancer Book of the Dead - Allows you to specialize your Skeletal Warriors, Mages and Golem to fit the needs of your build. You can also choose to sacrifice your summons, stopping your ability to summon them, but gaining powerful thematic bonuses based on the options you choose
  • Rogue Specialization -  Allows you to choose one out of three passive bonuses that influence your playstyle. Your Specialization can be swapped at any time, even mid-combat!
  • Sorcerer Enchantment Slots - Allows you to bolster your build with great passive effects from your Skills themselves. This can essentially give you 8 Skills for any build, making for deep, complex build possibilities.

Continuing the Adventure

All the new horrors you will encounter

As you make your way through the main story and into the next phase of your character's progression, you'll run into new threats, events, and harder difficulty! Listed below are guides we feel are important to read to understand your next steps in Diablo 4.

Summary

  • Figure out what playstyle you like and select a Class based on that for your enjoyment.
  • Select whether you like to play Softcore or Hardcore and if you want to Skip Campaign.
  • Choose if you want to play a Seasonal or Eternal Realm character, along with desired Difficulty.
  • If it's your first charcter on the Campaign, start the Prolouge and read the tips the game gives you. Check in with the priority Quest as they unlock to learn about different Crafters and Vendors in the world.
  • At Level 15, be sure to complete your classes Priority Quest to unlock your Unique Class Mechanic to further buff your character's build.

Happy exploring, don't die while doing it!

Credits

Written by Dredscythe.
Reviewed by wudijo.

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