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Diablo 4 First Character Primer

Some of you need a first character primer to help you along your way. Vang shares his thoughts.

So, you’ve answered the call, or the ad you saw, and decided to venture into the dark and slay the demonic hordes?  Well, my friends, maybe some of you need a first character primer to help you along your way, so you stumble just a little less while you get ready to vanquish the foes that beset you as you journey forth into Diablo IV.

Gone are the days of beginning a game with minimal knowledge for most of us.  I still remember my first play-through in Diablo 1.  I played a warrior.  That warrior found a Lord’s Flail of something that carried me until a meteoric large axe of maiming dropped, which I used to slay the rest of the game.  I was a wide-eyed teenager with minimal knowledge of the game, and I had an absolute blast.  The majority of readers here playing Diablo IV will have touched a previous Diablo or other similar ARPG.  Even if you haven’t played in any of the alphas, betas, or server slam your previous knowledge of the genre will be helpful in playing your first character.

Choosing your class

Classes 001
Most will already know what type of character they want to play, but if you don’t a good breakdown of the five classes would be as follows:

  • Melee: Barbarian, Druid (Shifted), Rogue – Dual Wielding
  • Ranged: Rogue
  • Spellcasters: Wizard, Druid, Necromancer
  • Summoner: Necromancer and Druid

Understanding the Skill Tree

Diablo 4 Classes Skills Tree

Unlike in Diablo 2/Resurrected the skill tree is very open-ended but requires a number of points to unlock the next tier of active and passive abilities.  Just like in D2/R items that grant +X to a skill unlock the ability to use that skill as well as +all skills unlock all skills regardless of your ability to place points in.  Clusters of skills and passives are locked to a number of total skill points spent, not your specific level.  This allows a player to try out some skills before that place points into them.

Basic Gear

Like previous games:  Grey, Blue, Yellow, Orange, and Gold are item qualities colored coded like previous Diablo games.   In addition, the blacksmith allows you to slightly upgrade any item to make it more powerful for a price of salvaged goods and money. I would avoid doing this quite a few levels as you easily get more equipment to replace it quite fast early on.  Once you’re in the mid 20’s I would say you are free to upgrade a piece or two as replacing takes a while longer.

Diablo 4 uses more of a hybrid system for damage, some of its skill, and some of its from your weapons.  This allows you to focus on a multitude of stats provided than just raw damage unless the raw damage just wins due to out-leveling an item.  Lastly, take note of all bonuses provided by items like you would in Diablo 2, as more matters than in D3’s Primary Stat/Attack Speed/Critical Chance/Critical Damage Increased itemization.

Campaign & Dungeons

Dungeon Diablo 4

The campaign being complete is a requirement prior to any free-form play.  Dungeons, will be scattered throughout and can be re-run as most things in Diablo prior to the completion as long as you have access to them.  Dungeons are nice as you know the general idea of what is present and your ability to easily dispatch the foes based on your class and build.  As you level higher, you get glyphs that increase the difficulty of the dungeons once you’re around character level 50 and unlock paragon boards.  Check out our video for dungeons for more information on them.

Have Fun

Unless you’re a paid streamer and are forced to stream, you’re probably playing this game to have fun and spend your time slaying demons and other minions which creep up from the burning hells throughout your time in Diablo4.  Your first foray into the game will be without a doubt probably not min-maxing and will undoubtedly be more fun because of that.

My first 3 characters in Diablo 3 were Monks.  I did a monk with a staff, a monk that dual-wielded, and a monk with a sword and board.  Each monk used different skills for the most part.  It was an absolute blast.  I won’t forget my first-time using Whirlwind in Diablo II and dying on one of my first hardcore toons in the Arcane Sanctuary, that blasted Summoner!

These are the times when you’re going to remember having nothing but fun and not worrying about finding the cool stuff.  I know I’ll be streaming on my channel this Thursday night after I go see the Akron Rubber Ducks play with my kids.  Like Rush said at the end of a recent article: Play, have fun, and forget the worries about everything else during your first foray into Diablo IV.  Enjoy the journey, not just the destination.

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