Perhaps the most exciting two parts of the Diablo series are obtaining powerful items and leveling up. We’ve already discussed in detail of how to farm quick and where to expect good items from in Diablo III in our Farming Guide.
Leveling It Is
Leveling in Diablo 3 is primarily done through the conventional method of slaying enemies and completing quests, both of which are also the greatest source of experience.
Therefore, a good leveler will always be one who looks to kill as many foes as possible in a given area. This obviously means that best method to do so is to completely unveil the entire region you are in.
Many people actually neglect doing so in most dungeons/open locations, and because of that they often fall short of the level. While it may seem alright to leave a map incomplete, the lack of experience earn can stack up greatly, and can even make a difference of 6-9 levels towards the end!
Therefore, the most basic tip anyone will ever give you regarding leveling is to always completely unveil the maps first. You’ll automatically encounter many more enemies by doing so, and the more you kill the more experience you earn. Good luck warrior.
How To Level Up Fast
Now that we understand the two foundational leveling methods i.e. unveiling entire maps and completing quests, we’ll now look at how to level fast.
Leveling fast directly depends on the number of enemies you kill in a unit time – the faster you kill a large group of enemies, the faster you will level up.
Additionally, Diablo III gives bonus experience points for speed. While they don’t seem like much individually, these bonuses can, once again, stack up to make a difference of 2-3 levels towards the end.
Let’s go over some of the more frequently encountered bonuses:
Killing Multiple Enemies With A Single Blow
The heading says it all. If you manage to kill multiple enemies with a single ability or hit, you will get a decent amount of bonus based on how many enemies were actually killed with that blow. It will come up in the lower center of the screen – you can’t miss it.
If you manage to kill a massive amount of enemies in a very short, uninterrupted time, you will get hug bonus experience at the end of your spree. For example, a crowd of 19 enemies come at you. If you kill them with little to no interruption in your attacks, by the end of it you will get a huge amount of bonus based on the enemies you killed and their level.
Do note that this can be combined with the first bonus; you can kill multiple enemies with one blow and continue fighting enemies, and it will give you both the first bonus and the second bonus. Cool, right?
Massacre Time! Uh, For The Pots and Barrels That Is
Yeah, you can do the same ‘massacre’ stuff on the various pots, urns, barrels etcetera that are placed everywhere. How so? Simple; you just start smashing them in quick succession, moving from one to the other very quickly. If and when your pot-smashing spree gets interrupted, you’ll receive a bonus for the amount of environmental elements you destroyed. So go breaking everything you find as quickly as possible.
Using Environment for Damage
This one sadly doesn’t work as well on higher difficulties than Normal, but is quite useful for anyone starting afresh. Diablo III’s interactive environment has quite a few traps, chandeliers, weak walls and volatile barrels to trigger, which can assist you while killing enemies.
If you manage to kill a large amount of enemies through your environment (and I mean kill, not damage), you will get a small additional bonus, once again depending on how many enemies were killed.
But, I’ll remind you again this doesn’t work too well on higher difficulties, as the enemies have too much health to be expendable by the environment.
Survival of the Fittest
This bonus isn’t really related to speed, but can give you a decent amount of XP, especially if you’re a daredevil. Basically, this only triggers when you survive a crowd fight with very little health remaining (around 10% or lower). If you manage to do so, you’ll get some bonus by the end of it.
Class Specific Leveling Tips
While the amount of experience you earn for quests and kills is independent of your class type, the pace at which you earn it can vary quite a lot depending on the level, build and type of character you have.
Because of this difference in speed (which has a massive influence on your leveling), you’ll need to know each class’s ideal or quick leveling abilities.
Barbarian – (Read Barbarian Builds)
The Barbarian is superbly easy to level with the ability Cleave. Though many tend to use Frenzy instead, I’ve always been a fan of Cleave for several reasons.
Firstly, it’s available very early in the came. Secondly, it’s spammable as it is a Fury generator. Thirdly, it does damage in an arc in front of you, meaning it can kill multiple enemies at once. This is perfect for the first mentioned bonus and for insane quick kills.
The next ability that I’ve always loved for very quick kills is Whirlwind. However, Whirlwind is a Fury spender ability, so you’ll only be able to use it when you have sufficient Fury. If you wish to generate fast Fury primarily for Whirlwind, I recommend using Frenzy. If you want to have two ways to generate Fury, then Cleave and Whirlwind go together oh-so-well.
The third brilliant ability is Seismic Slam. Once again this is a Fury spender, but when coupled with Frenzy, it can destroy hordes of enemies in a single blow, and multiple hordes of enemies when used in quick succession – perfect for the first and second bonuses.
Demon Hunter – (Read Demon Hunter Builds)
It’s a little difficult to level with the Demon Hunter early on, mainly because the character is so heavily weapon dependent. If you manage to get yourself two very good Hand Crossbows early on, then look for abilities like Chakrams (especially with the Twin Chakram Rune) and Rapid Fire.
However, the Demon Hunter is an exceptionally strong leveler from level 25 onwards. This is because he’ll unlock some powerful abilities in the Archery skill set. Strafe is sheer fun to use and can kill all surrounding enemies very quickly if channeled for a decent time, though it takes up a lot of Hatred.
But the key skills for massive amount of quick kills are Multishot, Cluster Arrow, and Rain of Vengeance. I’m absolutely in love with these three abilities, especially when they are used in a rotation.
Start off with Rain of Vengeance, which will severely damage all enemies on your screen. Then use Multishot regularly (I had it assigned to my mouse’s right click). The Fire at Will Rune does wonders for it, as it reduces the Hatred cost. Then, use Cluster Arrow for insane burst damage to a group of clustered enemies. Result: you’ve just slain every enemy you could spot on your screen.
Monk – (Read Monk Builds)
All of the Monk’s Spirit Generating Skills do massive amounts of area damage in one way or the other, so the choice is entirely up to you. Do note however, that Fist of Thunder primarily targets one foe, with only the third strike extending to others.
Wave of Light, Sweeping Wind, and Cyclone Strike when used together (along with the standard Spirit-generators) can make foes surrounding you drop in seconds, because of their massive damage and AoE.
Like the Barbarian, it is very easy to quickly farm with the Monk, and with the above mentioned skills, you should have little trouble.
Witch Doctor – (Read Witch Doctor Builds)
The Witch Doctor is an odd one, because your leveling depends on how you play, and what kind of build you use.
For the most effective type of quick-leveling, I highly recommend a mix of AoE skills and all of the conjuration skills. Summon Zombie Dogs is a must-have in every situation, and when used with Sacrifice can do some massive AoE damage. Additionally, you should have your Gargantuan at all costs as well, so that it can assist you and your dogs in killing enemies.
For good leveling, I recommend the primary spell for the Witch Doctor to be Firebomb, as it does AoE damage within 8 yards – good enough for clustered enemies. Firebats is also quite awesome, and can finish off enemies in front of you in seconds. It can also finish off your Mana within seconds, so be careful.
Wizard – (Read Wizard Builds)
It’s superbly easy to spam abilities with the Wizard, especially Ray of Frost. Visit our Wizard Build Guide for more information of how to make Ray of Frost almost free of Arcane Power cost.
In fact, all of the skills in the Secondary Skill Set are fantastic for doing a large amount of AoE damage for very, very quick kills, especially when used in conjunction with Frost Nova.
However, the two most powerful skills of the Wizard (which may well also be the most damaging skills out of all the characters) are Meteor and Blizzard. Luckily enough, both are AoE, and both do an intense amount of DoT damage.
This allows you to use a sort of rotation. Initiate with Meteor and Blizzard in a region, and then spam Ray of Frost (which can, once again, be made free of cost), and ultimately use Frost Nova to repeat the entire process.
Don’t forget Archon if you have it, as it can really add up the damage and durability required for staying alive and leveling fast.
If you have any additional general methods of leveling in Diablo 3, please share with us by commenting below.