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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.


Know Your Enemies

The monsters that inhabit Diablo 3 come in all different shapes and sizes. Some will provide unparalleled challenges, while others will cause you to barely work up a sweat. One of the easiest ways to distinguish worthy adversaries from the average foot soldiers is to pay attention to the enemy names. Similar to the item classification system, Diablo 3 uses a color code system to classify its monsters. Here are a few that you should look out for:

White – Normal monsters. Typically they will not give you too much trouble and have relatively low drop rates when compared to other enemies.

Blue – Champion monsters. These enemies travel in packs of three Champions and are noticeably more durable than their white counterparts. They offer higher drop rates than normal monsters (loot drops after entire pack has been disposed of).

Yellow –Unique monsters. These enemies are spawned completely at random. Again, like Champion monsters these units are significantly stronger than the normal monsters and subsequently offer higher drop rates. However, unlike Champion monsters, Unique monsters will only spawn with one unit, but they will also be accompanied by their own set of special minions (which will share the same traits as them).

Purple – Super Unique monsters. These monsters are Bosses, Mini-Bosses, or Rare Spawns that are designated to a fixed area. These monsters are more difficult than you average encounters, and offer higher drop rates. However, drop rates are reduced subsequently after additional kills of the same unit (thus, farming Bosses and Super Unique units often aren't as efficient as a Champion and Unique mobs).

Elite (Champion, Unique, and Super Unique) units usually spawn with special traits, which will be denoted by additional subset names that can be found below their health bars. These special attributes offer both unique abilities and statistics. For example, Electrified units will deal additional lighting damage and be resistant to lighting damage. These special attributes can offer much more than simple bonus damage though. Enemies with the right special attributes can fear units, teleport, or even become invulnerable for a few seconds; after level 14, monsters with special attributes will have more than one Special Attribute, greatly diversifying conflicts. Special attributes play such a vital role in the combat of Diablo 3 that a large part of your success will be predicated on your ability to recognize and adapt to different combinations of special attributes (you can see the full list of special attributes here).

Know When to Walk Away, Know When to Run

Due to the random nature of the special trait system in Diablo 3, it’s difficult to assess which type of enemy will harbor the greatest challenge. In fact, the difficulty level of each fight is actually predicated on your class, equipment, and play-style; meaning it’s vital to your successes that you understand your own class and its limitations. For instance, a stout Barbarian who fights his foes toe-to-toe will fare much better against fast teleporting enemies than a Wizard who relies on slows and stuns to keep his enemies at a distance. However, at the same time the Wizard will fare much better against ranged foes who use fear and jailer to keep their enemies at a distance. Thus it’s important to know when you have the advantage in Diablo as the adage says, “know when to walk away, and know when to run”.

Treasure Goblins

These little obnoxious trolls should always be center of attention whenever sighted. While they do not present a threat to players as they are unable to deal any damage of their own, their high gold and drop rates should always make them priority number one. Usually the Treasure Goblins are quite easy to pick out of a crowd glowing a bright yellow hue and releasing a shriek-like fit of laughter; the Goblins make it easy to beat the tar out of them, and that’s exactly what you should do. While these Goblins do not do any damage of their own, killing them is not always an easy task. As soon as the Goblin takes sight of a player unit they will flee in the opposite direction, usually into groups of other enemies. Then after an allotted amount of time the Goblin will open and enter a portal never to be a seen again. That’s why it’s important to throw caution to the wind when you see one of these little buggers. Sure it’s risky to chase these vermin, but the potential rewards that they offer far outweigh the risk of death. 

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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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