Power Leveling Tips

By this time most players  probably hit level 60 with their main character and either cleared or got bored with Inferno. Otherwise you might be a new player who joined a little late in hopes that the servers would be stable and you wouldn’t have to deal with technical issues. Either way, power leveling, or leveling as fast as you can is a breeze. It’s even faster if you have a friend to help you out but I’m going to assume that you’re leveling alone. Here are some crucial leveling tips based on my leveling experience.

Use the Auction House

The first thing you want to do is learn to use the auction house. I know what you’re thinking, it’s easy to use so why learn? Just hop in there, do a search for a particular item slot for your character, enable ‘max buyout’ and then sort by buyout lowest on top highest on bottom. Check out all the super-cheap gear available. You’ll find huge upgrades while you level for hundreds or thousands of gold. Some players even criticize Blizzard for allowing this to ruin the game. Assuming you’re willing to buy items off the auction house then do it early on and fly through levels 1 through 60. Also, 25,000 gold or so will go a long way. If you’re new find a friend to loan you 25,000 gold for the first 20 levels or so. You’ll be able to pay them back but it will save you a lot of time.

The point is, it’s really really really really cheap to buy stuff off the auction house and it’s especially beneficial at early levels. Here is a video showing you how I bought cheap items off the auction house to get nice gear:

Socket your Helmet with at Least +19% Experience

As soon as you hit level 15 purchase a helmet with at least one socket off the auction house. This will literally cost you 100-200 gold. It’s ridiculous how cheap these are. Throw a Flawless Square Ruby, or whatever level ruby you can get or as high as you can afford into the helmet. This will give you +19% or higher experience buff per kill. This will help you power level like you wouldn’t believe. You’ll be taking levels at intervals that blow your mind. This is a huge bonus and has a massive effect. It’s really the most important piece of leveling gear you can get.

On that note, as you’re filling up other slots with gear, don’t be afraid to equip +Experience gear instead of +Vitality. This is definitely do’able during Act I.

Socket Your Weapon with an Amethyst (+Life per Hit)

Right around level 25 when the enemies in Act II start doing damage, or in the beginning of Act III throw the biggest and fanciest Amethyst into your weapon. I know, you’re not dying and you don’t need extra HP, but this is going to make you practically invisible. The way this bonus scales is… well it doesn’t scale very well. This buff is designed to be used by a character going into Hell or Inferno content where they have 20,000 to 45,000 hp. It is NOT designed for a level 25 with 1,000-1,500 HP. This will give you 65 (Flawless Square Amethyst) per hit! That’s right around 5% of your HP if you have 1,000hp. No joke, this is extremely helpful. You can plow through enemies.

Here is a video of me plowing through Act III with my life steel gem.

Pimp Your Ride

It’s so cheap to buy gear on the auction house you’re either stupid or some sort of purist for not doing it. I understand if you don’t want to “spoil” the game by making it to easy, but at least realize the option is there. Use the searching strategy I explained above to update your primary every 5 levels or so after level 20. Your weapon’s base DPS contributes a large amount to your overall damage per second and the available dps goes up really fast as you level.

Also, don’t be fooled by tooltips that lie to you:

Tooltips Lie

Notice that the item on the left side is 2-Handed while the one on the right is 1-Handed. The tooltip on the left doesn’t take into account the fact that if you equip the 2-Handed weapon your offhand will be unequipped. Your offhand often has +Damage, +Attack Speed or + something else.

Use a Fast Attack Speed Weapon

Get a weapon with a high Attacks per Second. I prefer something higher than 1.40. This not only lets you attack faster but it lets you move sooner after you use an ability. So if you’re a Wizard casting Magic Missile with a 1.40 Attacks per Second weapon, you will be able to click, move, click, move, click, move quicker than if you had a 1.00 Attacks per Second weapon. True story.

This might not be the best way to play when you reach Hell and need more burst damage or need to conserve your primary energy resource, but I definitely think it’s how you should roll through Normal and the beginning of Nightmare. Once you use a fast weapon you probably won’t go back to a slow one though. Most 2-Handers are slow while most 1-Handers are fast. You can get just as much DPS out of a 1-Handed weapon and a offhand (or dual wielding) as you can a 2-Hander).

Vendor Magic Items, Don’t Salvage Them

It might be instinct to ‘disenchant’ or salvage magic items you find. Believe it or not, it’s actually more profitable to sell the gear to the vendor. Even when the auction house works Subtle Essence and other trade goods aren’t worth their vendor prices on the auction house. A Subtle Essence will sell to the vendor for 14 gold and on the auction house for 14 gold. If you sell it on the auction house you will only get to keep about 12 of it after the auction house’s fees. It’s better to vendor your Magic and even Rare items directly.

Don’t Waste Gold on Artisans

I think I mentioned this in a previous post a few weeks ago, but it still holds true. If you spend your gold on your artisans you won’t get it back unless you max that artisan and then figure out a way to profit. It’s not impossible to profit, but it does take some effort. You can get all the same gear off the auction house. You can even buy combined gems for less than they cost to combine. That’s right, don’t combine gems; it’s a waste of gold.

If you’re interested in your artisans for the lore and .. well whatever, then go right ahead and train them but chances are you’re not reading a power leveling guide.

AoE Abilities

This too might be common sense but I figure I should mention it just in case. Use your AoE abilities. This is Arcane Orb for the Wizard, Chakram for your Demon Hunter, etc. These typically do a lot more damage per energy spent than any other ability. This will let you move through content quicker. You don’t need to focus on survival until the middle of Nightmare. Until then the Amethyst in your weapon will keep you alive.

Important: Many of the strategies and tips I share here were originally inspired by the people at the Diablo 3 Gold Secrets Forum. If you're serious about making the big bucks in Diablo 3, or just being the best players, you need to signup ASAP.

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  1. Here’s a tip I haven’t seen anywhere else.

    Starting at level 44 there are a few weapons on the AH that are really lvl 60, but have “Reduce Level Requirement”, which can vary between 2-16. This means their other stats, including DPS, are the same as a lvl 60 item, but one of their magical affixes was used up to make it usable at a lower level.

    This means a character in the low 50s, can buy a 500 dps weapon. The catch is that if you are level 53, for example, and search the AH for a weapon, it’ll only display items up to ilvl 54, and wont show you any of these (unless they hotfixed it very recently).

    You need to search for all weapons for characters between lvl 60-61, and select the magical effect “Reduce Level Requirement by”, and put a minimum value (for example, 7 if you are level 53)

    There aren’t many of these in the AH, and they can cost a few hundred thousand, but if you can find a good one, you can double your DPS up until you hit level 60 (when you can hopefully resell it and buy a new item that doesn’t waste a magic slot to lower the level)

    I searched for one that also had a socket and set my maximum buyout, and then sorted them by DPS, then scanned down till I found one with other affixes I really liked at what I thought was a reasonable price. Anyone over lvl 50 should definitely give it a try.

    And anyone in Inferno who finds a “Reduce Level Requirement by” should seriously examine the item instead of just automatically vendoring it. Normally, for a lvl 60 player finding loot: a 500dps should probably be vendored, a blue (or even rare) item that a lvl 44 can use should probably be vendored, but a 500dps weapon that a lvl 44 can use is worth a few hundred (or save it for your next character).

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