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Comprehensive Diablo III Guide

Everything you need--from the basics to theory crafting--to help take you from Noob to Nephalem.

Items & Equipment

Know Your Stuff 

With the vast array of items that will emanate from your slain victims, it’s easy to get confused. White, yellow, orange – what do all these colors means? While the cornucopia of names and colors can be overwhelming at first, the system by which Diablo 3 classifies its equipment is actually quite simple. Here’s a list of the colors and what they mean:

Gray – Junk Items                                                        

White – Normal Items

Blue – Magical Items (contain magical properties, also known as stat bonuses)                               

Yellow – Rare Items (harder to find and usually contain more magical properties)

Orange – Legendary Items (rarest drops and usually consists of the most magical properties)  

Green – Set Items offering additional bonuses when the set is completed (sets can be quite difficult to complete)  

Typically most gray and white items are of a lesser value and aren’t worth picking up. Even selling them back to the vendors will only net you a handful of coins which pales in comparison to the game’s copious gold drops. However, there are a few white items that should always be picked up. For example Gems (which are used to enhance your equipment) and Crafting Manuals both appear in white lettering, but are extremely valuable. Thus, while the colored loot system is a nice way to sift through the hordes of items that you will find, always make sure to double check so as not to miss out on any valuable drops.

It’s also important to understand that an item’s rarity does not equate to its quality. Sure, the rarer items generally have more magical properties and thus have a greater chance of being powerful, but a single strong statistic will always outweigh three useless ones. When deciding which items to keep, sell, and scrap, it’s important to understand the value of each statistic--not only in relation to your character’s class, but all others as well.  We’ll have more for what you should be looking for statistic-wise in the character section [I will place a link here].

Embrace the ‘Hand Me Downs’

Inevitably you are going to find equipment that is exceptionally good, just not for your particular class. Now usually you’ll probably end up selling these items on the Auction House for a considerable sum. However, if the item you’ve acquired will benefit another character of yours don’t be afraid to pass it on. While hand me downs may not have been pleasurable part of your childhood, you’ll learn to love them in Diablo 3. A few high quality items placed in the bank is the best way to welcome any of your new characters into the world.

Sell, Sell, and Sell Some More!

When you do find yourself overstuffed with trophies from your numerous conquests always make sure to take a look at what you have acquired. In the world of Diablo 3 not all pieces of equipment are made equal. You’ll quickly find out some items you want to keep, others will prove equitable in the auction house, and others should still be sold to vendors or crafted down into raw materials. Try to keep ‘a sellers mindset’ as you play Diablo 3, because you will obtain so much gear in the long run that it is counterproductive to waste precious item space with gear that you have no intention of using or selling in the Auction House.

Life on Hit > Life Steal % on Damage

While it may be tempting to go for an item that gives life steal based on a percentage of your damage, it’s always more beneficial to opt for a high quality life on hit weapon instead. For instance let’s say you’re around level 40 and do about 1000 damage per second. At that level most life steal % damage weapons will range anywhere from around 1.6% to 2.3%, while most life on hit weapons will offer anywhere between 30 to 90 health on hit. Thus, if we do the math, life percentage weapons would offer anywhere around 16 to 23 health back per –strike while health on hit weapons would add anywhere between 30 to 90 health per. For some strange reason, life steal percentage weapons always seem enticing, but resist that urge and buy yourself a life on hit weapon for greater, more reliable sustain in battle.

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06/02/2012 at 12:36 AM

Good guide. I learned quite a bit.

I'm still skeptical on the AH. Seems any item worth getting is way overpriced; how can anyone afford the million plus gold some of these items go for? Maybe I'm doing it wrong... I wouldn't be surprised if they tweak the Blacksmith in a future patch, so that they remain competitive with the auction house.

Since we don't have a centralized forum, I'll go ahead and shamelessly plug my battletag.  Its Mongoose#1546. You'll know its me if I have a monk named GoldenArms and demon hunter named Desdemona as of this writing. Hit me up if you want smash/farm whatever.

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