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Powering Up in Diablo 4

Last Updated: March 2nd 2024

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Powering up focuses on some of the most meaningful components of your character's progression in Diablo 4. No matter what activity you decide to engage with, you always accumulate the materials, experience, gear and gold necessary to develop a fully decked out endgame character. Our aim is to help you better manage those resources and prioritize certain progression paths to keep your character at its strongest.

Filling out Legendary Aspects

Early on, it's unlikely to be fully equipped with Legendary Items, let alone the best-in-slot Legendary Aspects and Uniques necessary to strengthen or even enable your endgame build. This gear can drop randomly from virtually any source, but here are a few tips to help better target the items you need:

Codex of Power

A subsection of all possible Legendary Aspects is available to Imprint onto Rare or Legendary items in the Codex of Power. Each Dungeon in the open world is associated with its own unique Legendary Aspect that becomes unlocked in the Codex when first completing that Dungeon. Though the Codex of Power doesn't contain all the Legendary Aspects necessary to complete an endgame build, some of the most important Aspects are acquired this way. Other Aspects can serve as a filler until you drop the ones you need.

Gambling Murmuring Obols

Collecting Murmuring Obols from Reward Chests at the end of Local Events and Dungeon Events allows for one of the best methods to target specific Legendary Aspects not found in the Codex. To spend these, visit the Purveyor of Curiosities in any of the capital cities to gamble for particular item slots. When choosing which item slot to gamble, it's important to understand which category a particular Legendary Aspect belongs to. This determines what slot you should gamble.

As an example, Resource Aspects can only be found or Imprinted onto rings, while Offensive Aspects can be found on Weapons, Off-hands, Gloves, Rings, or Amulets. Once you've mastered this concept, it becomes easier to spend your Obols in a way that maximizes your chances of obtaining a key Aspect!

Tree of Whispers Collections

Similar to gambling at the Purveyor of Curiosities, Collections acquired from the Tree of Whispers include gear from your choice of three random item slots. In higher difficulties, this gear often includes one or more Legendary Items. This is how you get your first Sigils for Nightmare Dungeons, too! The upshot of farming for Collections is that many of these objectives coincide with other productive activities, including World Bosses, Local Events, and Dungeons. To maximize efficiency, consider prioritizing content that overlaps with Whispers of the Dead objectives to kill two birds with one stone.

Helltide

After completing the Campaign and advancing to Nightmare Difficulty, certain zones in a region periodically become corrupted by Helltide. Enemies in these zones are always 3 levels higher than the player, but this added difficulty comes with added reward. Not only do enemies drop items with higher Item Power, but they also drop Abberant Cinders, which you can use to unlock chests in the affected zones called Tortured Gifts. The gear from these chests is slot-specific and much rarer, often including Legendary or Unique items. Make the most of these limited time events when they become available.

Upgrading, Socketing, and Enchanting Gear

As you progress into better and more permanent pieces of gear, you want to devote your gathered resources towards improving those items you intend to keep. Even early on, investing a few Veiled Crystals to upgrade your weapon at the Blacksmith can make a noticeable difference as you level. There are a handful of ways that items can be improved:

  • Upgrading - Upgrading an item increases its Item Power by 5, up to a maximum of 25. This, in turn, increases both the implicit and explicit stat modifiers on the item. For Weapons, this also increases its inherent DPS. Due to the increasing cost per upgrade, we recommend Upgrading Armor and Jewelry once or twice and Weapons up to 4 times until you have acquired best-in-slot gear. Always be mindful of the Upgrade cost to avoid going broke!
  • Socketing - Adding sockets to items allows you to gain additional bonuses from the Gems and Skulls acquired throughout the game. Though items can naturally roll with sockets, your best items may need to have them added by using Scattered Prisms. These are generally found from World Bosses, but can be obtained rarely from other enemies.
  • Enchanting - Best reserved for endgame pieces due to the cost, Enchanting at the Occultist allows you to reroll undesirable affixes off a piece of gear in the hopes of receiving a better affix in return. This action can only be performed on one affix per item and makes the item account bound, so choose wisely! Always be mindful of the Enchanting cost to avoid going broke!

Rounding Out Renown

Progressing Renown in each of the game's 5 regions grants you a set of account-wide unlocks. This includes increases to your maximum Potion Charges and Obol capacity, and precious Skill and Paragon Points. By late game, these additional points prove invaluable, so it's never a bad idea to work on your Renown as you traverse through each region. Note that you don't need to fully complete all 6 activities that contribute to Renown to receive the maximum benefit from that region.

Scosglen Renown Requirements and Rewards

One of the most efficient ways to progress a region's Renown while boosting your character power is by discovering Altars of Lilith. These Altars provide permanent, account-wide bonuses to Life, Attributes, maximum Obol capacity, and even Paragon Points! Consequently, many players seek these Altars even after they've already completely unlocked the Renown bonuses in each region. Discovering Altars of Lilith, by itself, doesn't provide enough Renown to fully unlock a region's bonuses, but picking them up along the way saves you from backtracking later.

Acquiring and Leveling Glyphs

After advancing to Nightmare difficulty, Glyphs provide an extraordinary source of power that scales throughout endgame. When placed in a Glyph Socket on your Paragon Board, they grant a wide array of offensive, defensive, or utility-based stats that are either unattainable through other means or dwarf comparable sources of the same bonus.

Acquiring Glyphs

Glyphs are found from any activity on Nightmare Difficulty or higher. They are leveled by completing Nightmare Dungeons, solidifying these Dungeons as the cornerstone endgame activity. To first access Nightmare Dungeons, complete Whispers of the Dead (Bounties) in the open world until you have acquired 10 Grim Favors. Go to the Tree of Whispers to exchange them for a useful Collection of items that includes your first Nightmare Sigil. Consume these Sigils to convert a Dungeon to a Nightmare Dungeon.

At the end of a Nightmare Dungeon, you are awarded experience that you can allocate toward your Glyphs to level them up. The experience awarded is proportionate to the tier of Nightmare Dungeon you complete.

Low level Rare Glyph with a radius of 3
Level 15+ Rare Glyph with a maximum radius of 4

Leveling Glyphs

With each level, the effectiveness of Glyphs' inherent bonuses scales higher. At Level 4, Magic Glyphs expand from a Radius of 2 to 3, while at level 15, Rare Glyphs go from a Radius of 3 to 4. This increases the number of Paragon Nodes that they can affect (or those that affect them). Level 15 proves to be an inflection point for levelling most Rare Glyphs, as some Paragon Board Glyph Sockets require a Radius of 4 to fully unlock, dipping into the nearby Magic and Rare Nodes. As such, we recommend levelling each Rare Glyph you intend to use to Level 15 before moving onto the next. When all of your Glyphs have reached this threshold, then consider progressing them to their maximum level of 21.

Acquiring Sacred, Ancestral, and Unique Items

In Diablo 4, World Tier difficulties dictate the strength and rarity of available items. Beginning in Nightmare difficulty, Sacred versions of Rare and Legendaries can drop, along with a new item class: Uniques. Sacred items roll with higher stat ranges than their basic counterparts. In Torment difficulty, Ancestral versions of Rare and Legendaries items begin to drop along with rarer Uniques. Ancestral items push the stat ranges even further, while some of the rarest Unique items offer rolls and effects that aren't attainable elsewhere.

As you advance to higher difficulties, upgrading your items to these higher rarities is a top priority. The effects of some Unique items are build-enabling, and those that aren't are still impactful. The processes by which we acquire these items is the same. Just be sure to play on the highest level of difficulty your build can handle efficiently to maximize your chances of dropping one.

Frostburn Ancestral Unique Gloves

Summary

  • Utilize the Codex of Power, Murmuring Obols, and Tree of Whispers Collections to round out your character's Legendary Aspects.
  • Upgrade, Socket, and Enchant your gear at the various vendors in town to improve their quality.
  • Complete Renown objectives in each of the world Regions, including Altars of Lilith, to receive permanent, account-wide stat bonuses.
  • After reaching Nightmare Difficulty, unlock and begin completing Nightmare Dungeons to level up Glyphs.
  • At higher difficulties, replace your gear with Sacred or Ancestral Rare and Legendary items, or even a Unique!

Credits

Written by IBoilerUp
Reviewed by Dredscythe

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