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How Will Experience Work in Diablo 3?

by Jassper of The Diablo 3 Leveling Guide

Diablo 3 Leveling

One of the most important concepts to understand in The Diablo 3 Leveling Guide is how experience works.  Over the coming months, I will be covering all of the basic elements of Diablo 3 and how they can be strategically manipulated to increase the speed with which you’re able to level your character.  Because gaining experience (xp) as quickly as possible is synonymous with fast leveling, it only makes sense to start with a basic overview of the Diablo 3 experience system.

Please keep in mind, as the game is still in Beta testing, some of these systems may be altered before the final release.

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How Is XP Earned In Diablo 3?

Experience in Diablo 3 is earned in two ways:

  1. Killing things
  2. Completing quests
Let’s start with the killing.

Experience From Kills

Like almost every other MMO, killing an enemy will grant you experience.  However, the greater the level difference between you and the monster you are killing, the less xp you will receive. That is to say, if you have a level 10 barbarian, killing a level 5 or level 15 enemy, both kills will result in less experience when compared to killing, say, a level 10 enemy.  This is similar to World of Warcraft, wherein  killing lower level mobs will grant you less experience, eventually diminishing to zero.  However, in World of Warcraft, killing enemies higher than you actually carries a substantial xp bonus. I’m guessing that Blizzard has decided to penalize these higher level kills in Diablo 3 as a new way of discouraging some of the power leveling that went on in Diablo 2 (remember the Cow King?)
It will be interesting to see if this system stays in place, or if Blizzard simply resorts to the same system used in WoW, where xp gains are higher for killing higher level mobs, but when in a group with a higher level character the xp gains are penalized accordingly.  I guess we will have to wait and see what the final outcome is.

Experience Combo Bonuses

Experience combo bonuses is a new (and very cool) source of experience making its debut in Diablo 3.
Diablo 3 Massacre
Kill combo bonuses, also called “Massacre”, are awarded  for killing a bunch of enemies quickly in a row. You receive your regular experience for each kill, plus an xp bonuses awarded at the end of your killing streak. The kills need to occur within only a few seconds of each other to be considered a streak, otherwise the kill counter will reset.  The amount of bonus xp granted depends on the number of enemies you kill in a row.  Personally, this feature really excites me because it indicates Blizzard’s intention for Diablo 3 to be an all-out slaughterfest.  Rewarding such non-stop mayhem definitely harkens back to Diablo’s predecessors where leaving a path of destruction in your wake was not only possible but highly encouraged.

Diablo 3 Pulverized


Also new in Diablo 3  is the “Pulverize” experience bonus.  This bonus xp is granted for successfully springing a trap or otherwise using your environment to deal damage to a foe.  As it currently exists in the beta, you’re not required to actually kill the enemy with your trap to receive the bonus, only to damage them.  As long as you finish the job using other means of damage dealing within a timely fashion, you will receive the pulverize bonus.


Diablo 3 Mighty Blow


Lastly, Diablo 3 offers additional experience bonuses for killing multiple enemies simultaneously with one damage dealing ability.  This bonus is currently being called “Mighty Blow”.


Experience From Quests

Yup, you heard it right.  Unlike Diablo 1 and 2, quests in Diablo 3 will now award experience.  From what it looks like in the beta, the experience gained from successful completion of a quest is actually pretty huge.  Often it’s more than the total amount of xp earned from killing all the enemies during the course of the completing the quest!

Diablo 3 Quest Experience

I definitely view this addition as a good thing, as it will give us players multiple ways to earn experience rather than the relentless grinding (killing many, MANY enemies for hours on end) that the previous games were famous for.  Part of leveling characters quickly in Diablo 3 will be dependent on one’s ability to actually stick with the process for an extended period of time, which is made quite a bit more enjoyable when you add some variety to the mix.

Wrap Up

As we get closer to the release date, we’ll be getting many more details on the inner workings of the experience system in Diablo 3 and how best to use it to our advantage for fast character leveling.

For an even more comprehensive Diablo 3 Guide, visit our partners over at Talonz Guide!



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