Can someone break down approximately what level it is safe to enter a particular act on a particular difficulty? Such as, don't enter Normal Act 2 until you are level 15. Here's a quotable list so you can plug in the numbers. Inferno is absent as you need to be 60 to enter.
well to begin with nightmare act 1 min is 30 and hell act 1 is 50, i would suggest not starting hell until you are 60 sure it may be only hell but better safe then sorry. normal i feel if you know your toon and have played thru it before its almost impossible to die unless you go afk in middle of a field somewhere. having a bit of gold for AH or luck finding good gear helps as well.
my self on my 2nd hardcore toon im almost 16 and only 1/2 thru act 1 normal.
so far i farmed the blacksmith quest to kill his wife in the cellar for 2 lvls and then i also farmed the warriors rest dungeon for 2 lvls as well. good way to get a few extra lvls as well as a good amount of blues for gearing up. works in normal might night work so well for lvls in harder play thrus, but would work for items.
once i get to 15 i find a helm with a socket and put the best red gem i can get for the bonus xp and play thru rest of normal without repeating things much
I find a good thing to be some levels higher than the minimun needed to unlock next difficulty when restarting the game. I'm actually 29 and I think I will end Act III on lvl 30-31. Don't really know if I'm gonna farm Normal to level up, but a good thing to start Nightmare would be to be lvl 35-40 (just to be safe). Progress through nightmare and reach Hell by 60, as sugested, to be safe again.
Remember that leveling up gives you certain advantage and new skills, but your equipment (DPS/HP/armor/resist) also is important. Try to have both of them a little higher (if you can) than the content you're facing.
I went through game so far without farming any parts. On the other hand, I explore every single corner and cavern I find. And for me it was (as far as I remember)
Normal Act2: entered level 15
Normal Act3: killed azmodan level 30
Normal Act4: killed diablo level 33
Nightmare Act4: killed diablo level 51
Hell Act1: killed skeleton king level 53
Dont remember the rest really. I play DH and from AH, I buy mostly weapons (to keep wep up-to-date) and some cheap vitality items. In act 4 nightmare, I switched gem in my head from % bonus xp to % life.
before hell...doesnt matter, you will progress natural way till 50-51 and kill diablo on nightmare.
Then i suggest of staying on act1 hell till 57 if not having all up to date gear in order not to die carelessly on butcher like i did first time hc hell on 54.
on act 2 hell i recommend to be extremely carefull in every sewers area because of some nasty fast elites spawning really often there as well as desolate sands care (rip my 59 1/2 dh )
i personally finish 58-60 by doing runs from khasim outpost till desolate sands, or if u feel safe and strong in terminus dungeons
still after hitting lvl 60 be carefull on act 3 and 4 and be gear prepperad for it as well.
Remember its better to logout if not sure of safety and progress in more time then spending again even more time just to get back to the point u were, but on other hand u care more if so happens ^^
started act 2 normal at 20, killed ghom in act 3 at 30 and just starting act 4 normal at 32. sure sure prob several lvls above where i should be just figure the more lvls i get in now means less i have to do later when i want to start hell at 60. Once i kill diablo on normal i will prob grind a few lvls out in pony land before starting nightmare.
I was also semi interested in this. I feel like I'm being waaaay too cautious so far in HC, and i'm not even lvl 20 yet. Yet I'm pretty sure none of my SC chars ever died in normal, and probably the majority of NM. But like a lot of posters say, better safe than sorry.
You can't be too cautios in HC! Mind you, I say this but I play fairly aggressively, which is why my first Wizard died at level 55 in act 1 Hell, and my current one has had at least 3 extremely close calls.
Nightmare Act3: 44-45 (lower if you have decent AH gear for your lvl, I have done him at 42 as lowest I think, but Belail is sort of a gear/skill check, this is where my first death occurred on my first char)
Hell Act3: 60 (there is really no reason why you shouldn't be lvl 60 before Belail, unless you have really been creaming through the game, in which case you might have kick ass gear/skill so you could kill him anyway, but then again, you wouldn't be asking these types of questions ^^)
That being said, if you wanna lvl fast there are a few good places for it, cause this is were they are a lot of easy to kill mobs which gives you the most bang for you buck when using exp/kill gear:
Clear the The weeping hollow > Crypts > Cathedral > Skeleton King
Start on the quest for killing Zoltan Kulle and clear the 3 "crypts" then kill him if you wish. This is where I farmed with my second char (first one died remember) to get lvl 45 and 60.
Awesome place to lvl. First two zones > Keep lvls > The 2 bridges > Arreat lvls, crazy mucho amount of easy to kill stuff there, just avoid Keep lvls if the suiciders scare you and you are rushing.
Don't farm exp here. The only mobs that are plentiful and easy to kill are the small invisible shadow vermin, and they don't give exp
Also BIG tip:
Use skills that AoE / allows you to chain well. You can get crazy amounts of extra exp by chaining and/or getting massive blows.
Barbarian - Not sure which skill to use for massive blows, but he can chain pretty well if you use Sprint as one of you skills.
Monk - Make sure to have a charge if you wanna go for chain, massive blows is again a bit tricky for this one.
DH - Elemental arrows / Scatter shot are both nice for decent massive blows. With Vault you can chain easier.
Wizard - Force push (or was it pulse), good for massive blows. Not super great at chaining.
WH - The uber massive blows and chainer char. Get locust swarm pestilence and spiders (yes spiders). Toss out a Locust, and keep tossing spiders every 1-2 seconds to keep you in chain mode while taking a few steps between every cast to aggro the next pack and laugh you ass off as regular chains of 50+ and massive blows of 30+ comes you way.
Edit: My chain record (not using cheesy places like first boss in Act 4) was in the Keep (in Nightmare while lvling), 97 chain. For massive blow I'm not sure but I think around 80. Locust Swarm ftw ^^
Using cheesy place like the first boss in act 4 I got a chain of over 230 without even trying, and not sure how high the massive blow was, but it doesn't matter as the tiny mobs don't give bonus exp (or regular) when you kill them.
I didn't find level to be a big factor in Normal mode. I usually end up finishing it in the low 30's.
In NM, I usually level myself to 39 in Crypt of the Ancients (mobs in Act 1, NM go up to L35) - not specially because it's needed but because it's an easy power leveling spot (another good spot is Leoric's Manor). In Act 3, I bring myself up to about 48 on the first 2 quests (Signal Fires and Catapults) and end up completing NM at 51.
In Hell mode, I try to finish Act 1 at 58 and get to 60 before fighting Kulle and Belial.
I think in HC it's just best to repeat exp spots a few times whenever you encounter them,explore every small place for gear and goblins,and progress only when you think you're strong enough,and last but not least,it's best if you play a char on normal before you play it in HC,to learn it's advantages and disadvantages,this way you can be that one step ahead of the game.
What I've done on my two wizards and my monk (and I have yet to die before 60):
For entire normal I just play through with a 21 or 23% xp gem.
Nightmare Act1: 30
Nightmare Act2: 37 - 38
Nightmare Act3: 46 (Crater runs are better XP than Act 4, and even to some extend hell)
Nightmare Act4: 50
Hell Act1: 50 - Usually 51 because of crater runs and clearing Act 4 nm
Hell Act2: 54 - 55
Hell Act3: 58
Hell Act4: 60
The only point I feel I have to slow down is end nightmare (but mainly because it's so good xp to do craters) and before going into Act 2 hell. Crypt runs usually takes care of that (The crypt event with the 3 ghosts is amazing xp).
This is how I usually do it. Leveling in Normal is a bit overcautious IMO, because NM is not going to give much trouble (Or it SHOULD NOT give you trouble ;).
Once NM Diablo is down; feel free to level until 60, but I don't think it is necessary, sure its safe, but not necessary.
Hmm... You all sound pretty underleveled if I compare how it was for me so far.
I just bought the Ultimate Evil Edition with the Reaper of Souls expansion, and so far I've just reached Act 3 on Normal. And this is how the levels have looked for me reaching each act. And I haven't been grinding at all, just going through all areas and dungeons killing everything once, doing all quests and events etc only once.
Normal Act2: Level 22
Normal Act3: Level 32
I'm playing as Monk, and so far no trouble at all. Belial was super easy, and he barely even scratched me. I have about 1044 DPS and 20k defense (about 8k HP).