In this Diablo 3 strategy guide, we will be discussing how the game difficulty level system works in Diablo 3 so you can understand exactly what to expect from the game’s different difficulties.
First off, you should know that there are 4 difficulty levels: normal, nightmare, hell, and inferno modes. Each of these will require its own Diablo 3 strategy guide as each of these modes becomes progressively more difficult.
However, one thing you should know is that these difficulty modes are all essentially the same game, just harder. You play through all the acts on normal mode and when you beat the final boss you get to go to Nightmare mode. In Nightmare mode, all the enemies are a bit harder but the general gist of the game is still the same.
In normal mode, the game starts out very easy and you get levels pretty quickly. It seems that Normal mode will take you up to level 25 or so and has very basic items. You do not find rare or unique items very often in normal mode games so you want to get out of this difficulty level as quickly as you can.
Next up is Nightmare mode. Nightmare mode actually seems to last quite a few levels, and will take you from level 25 or so to the low 50s in levels. It is just like Normal mode except that your enemies do a lot more damage. You also start to find more rare items here, but there are still not too many unique and set items in this difficulty level.
Once you complete Nightmare mode, you get to go to hell mode. Hell mode starts out in the low level 50 range and the enemies go up to level 60 (the level cap) before you finish. You can also find a lot of unique and set items in Hell mode. You also can craft some decent items and get a decent level 60 set going just off of Hell mode alone.
Finally, there is Inferno mode. In Inferno mode, every enemy is level 61+. This means that every enemy you encounter will be a higher level than you and get some sort of edge when it comes to dodge/crit rate/damage reduction and what have you. Additionally, all enemies will do more damage.
The good thing about Inferno mode is that since every enemy is a high level, pretty much all enemies can drop great gear and you can get a lot of equipment this way. The bad thing about Inferno mode is that the enemies are really powerful. You might want to spend some time in Hell mode first to get some decent equipment before you venture into Inferno mode.