I want to talk about levelling. I’ve started with ” Diablo 3 leveling guide Witch Doctor ” because I’ve played lots with this class in the beta. I feel confident that I can share interesting leveling advice for this interesting character. But before I get started I want to address a question that some may ask: Why am I rushing to look at levelling when the Diablo III beta level cap is 13?
Well Blizzard just unveiled their artisan guide and it confirms what I suspected from my beta findings: these artisans are restricted by difficulty. In the beta you can’t level them past a certain point because you need a material that you can’t find anywhere. You need to move up from normal difficulty to gain access to this material and, just like Diablo 2, it’s likely you will have to clear the content on normal before trying the harder modes when the game launches.
Clearing the content goes hand in hand with levelling. This brings us full circle. So I’ve decided I’ll take the class I’ve played the most so far – Witch Doctor – as an example and explain how a player can play and level differently. I’ll cover the efficient way; the quick way; and the fun way. I hope to do one of these for each class as I’ve pretty much mastered each of them in their beta form.
I have to stress that I’m giving you this advice based solely on my experiences from the Diablo III beta. That means the level cap is 13, the active skill cap is 4 and the passive skill cap is 1. I can’t predict how runes will affect skill choices (there are no runes in beta at this stage) or how skills available from level 14 onwards would adjust my approaches. Regardless, the methods I’m about to share work for me in the beta and I have all classes at 13 after a week (while working full time) from patch 7 character wipe.
You may want to adapt each to your own tastes. The principles behind the styles are sound but flexibility is one of the most important traits in a gamer’s arsenal. If you prefer things slightly different then tweak away. You’ll be more comfortable and will perform better.
The goal of my Diablo 3 Leveling guide, Witch Doctor edition, is to provide you Witch Doctor players with some of the levelling tools you will need when the game launches. The more informed you are, the faster you’ll get to Nightmare. The faster we get to Nightmare, the faster you’ll be making items that will be shiny, new, rare and expensive!
Your style here is one of my favourites (but more rigid than fun). You must destroy in ‘bunches’. Round things up and implode them with poison and fire. The mechanics of the Witch Doctor, the polish of the spell effects and the death animations/physics make this an approach almost as amusing as the ‘Fun style’. You’ll most likely play alone or with friends who wish to level this way. Random group play will leave you straggling as others race through (quick style).
Killing a lot of monsters in one ‘chain’ (think quickly but not in one blow – that’s a separate bonus) gives you a bonus that boosts your experience. It varies depending on how many you kill. A sister bonus for objects destroyed is available too.
AoE is very important. Firebomb is to be used liberally as a kind of ‘pull’ for larger packs or to destroy enemies on the level below you. Use your trusty toads when you can be sure their erratic hopping will hit home, for example, when you’re surrounded by a horde. Haunt stragglers or smaller packs to save mana. Circle of Life is amazing. After a short time you will have 3 Zombie dogs without wasting an active skill slot. Very efficient!
Kill big lumps of enemies, smash clustered boxes, loot whatever is nearby, don’t go chasing 3 gold you see glistening down a corridor and most importantly don’t stop.
Getting through the content as fast as possible means you complete the game as fast as possible right? Levels are beside the point. You’ll get those along the way. So speaks the quick Diablo III leveller.
This style works in groups (the fastest way to clear a dungeon/quest on the beta). A lot of the action in a group is hunting for the next level down. The layout of each dungeon level is random. So this means your team kills any and all enemies on the way to the entrance to the lower level and no more. You want to inspire these players to keep up with you and defend you by cleverly avoiding combat and seeking out that door.
You can spam haunt on groups of enemies if you get cornered and if you’re really pressured spirit walk will release you from the fleshy bonds of this world. You can dance out of trouble and continue the search. Alternate this cooldown with Horrify and you should be untouched from one entrance to another. Grasp of the dead will slow any enemies who take too much of a fancy to you. Having more mana or more durability (passive skill choices) is a decision I leave up to you.
This style is low on damage but you act as a ‘scout’. You’re built for it. In any case, group play is often just an excuse for the rest of your team to spam their abilities and smash enemies, no need to waste your mana!
You’ll die if you get too far ahead and blow your cool downs. Keep moving and stay sharp.
Playing this style requires positioning, timing and a cool head. It can be very rewarding.
I have something to confess. My idea of fun when playing the Witch Doctor is perverse, I see the class as a bit strange. To me the Witch Doctor is a box of tricks, a swiss army knife. A thrill ride albeit an indirect one. This style has me rolling in tears laughing when I play. If you’ve ever watched a TV or anime series which has that one character that does nothing but is the ‘comic relief’ this is roleplaying that guy but in a dark twisted world of danger (which makes me even more amused).
It’s relatively simple. Again it relies on the legwork of others in group play (or patience when playing alone). Just run around wildly. Use horrify in emergencies and run. Hex in large groups and stick close to your dogs. Sprinkle liberally with toads. Jungle fortitude makes you and your pets pretty sturdy so you shouldn’t die…
Loot everything that drops and try to keep a straight face. When you’re dancing around your hard working, sweating party members and all you’re contributing is dead doggies, chickens, horrified enemies and lots and lots of toads you’ll thank me.
And hey, if anyone complains you’re just a recall away from a swap to something more ‘productive’. If they ask nicely…
Well I hope that my Diablo 3 leveling guide, Witch Doctor edition was informative. The techniques within have given me many great gaming moments in the Diablo III beta and helped me achieve the goals I set myself in terms of levelling. They should set you on the right path.
Remember to mix things up if you get bored of levelling one way – variety is the spice of life. Oh and always, always have a scroll of companion handy. You have no idea how much those little critters help!