For all its tutorials, Diablo 4 skips over a few important mechanics and is happy to assume you know the ins and outs of how the RPG works. You can get by for the most part with a bit of luck and some skill, but knowing how gear stats work and what to do at the alchemist makes the RPG much more enjoyable. This Diablo 4 beginner’s guide includes tips for making combat easier and some essential advice for getting the most out of your gear and resources.
Use health wells wisely
Most dungeons have at least one health well conveniently situated near a difficult challenge or boss, but in most cases, it’s best not to use a well as soon as you run across it. Clear the surrounding area, and make sure you’ve looted every corner first. If you still have full health after that, and there’s no instanced boss ahead, remember the location of the well and just come back to it later when you need it.
Check your gear stats
Almost every piece of gear has more going on than just a power rating or an item level. You might find a pair of pants that enhances your magic or a sword that lets you attack 20 percent faster, and while these might sound like small alterations, they can make a significant difference. It’s sometimes better to sacrifice a bit of item power if a weaker piece of equipment has better buffs.
Check your settings
The “gameplay” and “accessibility” settings tabs have a handful of helpful options that can make Diablo 4 a bit easier to deal with. Settings such as font and cursor size do what they advertise, but character and item highlights are particularly useful. Diablo 4 is dark, and not just thematically. It’s easy to lose sight of where your character is, but the highlight option paints a big ‘ol green halo around them so they’re impossible to miss.
Respec early and often
Diablo 4 lets you respec for free for the first few levels and then charges a few pieces of gold – and eventually a few hundred pieces – for refunding skill points. With the amount of gold Diablo 4 throws at you for completing quests, you can afford to experiment freely with skills for the first 20-25 levels or so, and you should. Figure out what skills, combinations, and enhancements work best for your style, and if it doesn’t turn out how you want, start again.
Don’t forget you can reset individual skills as well. You don’t have to refund every skill every time.
Make elixirs often
It’s surprisingly easy to miss one of Diablo 4’s most important features: the alchemist. You can start using their services after reaching level 10, and there’s an alchemist in every major settlement. Bring them herbs and other resources to transmute into something else – other herbs, in some cases, but also elixirs. You can craft elixirs that grant elemental resistances, potions that boost your stats, and even some high-grade concoctions that provide benefits to an entire party of characters.
Upgrade your potions
The alchemist can also upgrade your health potions once you reach level milestones, with the first unlocking after you hit level 20. Upgrading health potions requires quite a few resources, including some region-specific plants, so don’t skimp on gathering collectibles while you’re out and about in the open world.
Don’t hesitate to change your World Tier
You pick a World Tier when you first start Diablo 4, but you can change it at any major settlement by interacting with a World Tier Statue. Diablo 4 is tough, particularly in later acts and some of the more challenging dungeons, so if you find that World Tier 2 is grinding you down too much, drop it down to Tier 1. There’s no penalty for playing on Tier 1 either. You get a bit less experience and gold, but don’t miss out on any gear or material drops.
Think before you dodge
Infinite dodging is gone in Diablo 4, so you need to think ahead before you dash to safety. The dodge cooldown timer lasts five seconds, which sounds like a short period of time, but a lot can happen in five seconds in Diablo 4. Some equipment will give you an extra dodge – another reason to check your gear stats and buffs - but the normal state is just having one dodge. The best time to dodge is either when a boss is about to use an attack with a specific range or if mobs have you surrounded and you need to escape for healing or to position an attack.
Do side quests often
Diablo 4 pretty much expects you to do at least a few side quests in every settlement. The difficulty spikes quite a bit roughly midway through each act, and tackling a few quests here and there is a solid way to make sure you’re prepared to take on whatever threats come your way.
In fact, being overleveled is a good idea anyway. Recommended levels are usually accurate for regions in the open-world, but they run a bit low in dungeons. Always aim to be at least one or two levels higher than a dungeon’s recommended level if you can, especially if you’re playing solo.
Josh Broadwell posted a new article, Diablo 4 tips and tricks for beginners
So an items level does not take into account buffs? Like a 20% attack speed buff would make something pretty good, but it’s not immediately resolved to a number you can compare another item with?
Power level is a pretty good measure still. Its just for example that a piece that gives you a specific elemental damage buff might be better than a generic power increase say for example a frost sorc.
The attack speed buff would show up as higher DPS.