I wish Calvin hadn’t introduced me to this game. So addicting. Anyway, you have to know a lot to play and at least this is not a twitch game like Call of Duty (sad that CoD has become that, it used to be so amazingly interesting as a World War II simulation).
Overall, playing Wizard, I found the best guide so far is Solo Your Way to 60 which gives you builds from the beginning to the end. Right now for me at level 30, it is perfect, electrocute and disintegrate are great long range hitters and energy armor and diamond skin gives you defense. Use hydra to spread the enemy out and then use force weapon to increase performance. Nice! And you are basically in business at level 21 (I would use the orb thing until then).
In terms of what to build on, there are many opinions, but mechanically, vitality (more life) and intelligence are the two main ones. Vitality because a dead hero is a worthless one and intelligence because. Each point of intelligence increase damage by 1% and vitality gives you more life points.
One of the things about the game is that there are so many variables, it is hard for noob like me to figure out even where to start. Everything seems to have six attributes 🙂 There is a wiki that seems to encapsulate this in readable form. So for instance, there is an online official manual, but the main things are:

  • characters. The basic character you are.
  • monsters. They are color coded. Yellow rare monsters are bad, blue champions are worse and well bosses, you will know them when you see them…
  • followers. They are your helpers if you don’t have online friends. The templar is the “tank” so use if you are a wizard, scoundrel is long range guy, enchantress melees at close range using magic.

There are two big concepts that are centered around combat that causes damage and resistance that prevents damage and losing vitality. There is also the concept of critical hit. With some probability if you attack a monster, the hit will be critical. So here is how combat works, the types of damage are and what other property resists them. That is poison resistantce helps with disease and poison mainly.

Physical Damage:

  • Critical hit: Deals double damage.

Arcane Damage: Purple in coloration.

  • Critical hit: Arcane crits “silence” targets. (Silenced targets can not cast some spells, such as a Skeletal Summoner or Goatman Shaman resurrecting fallen minions.)

Cold Damage: Blue in coloration.

  • Critical hit: Cold crits freeze targets for 2 seconds. (Duration affected by numerous other factors.)

Fire Damage: Red in coloration.

  • Critical hit: Fire crits set targets ablaze, adding DoT to the initial fire damage.

Lightning Damage: White in coloration.

  • Critical hit: Lightning crits stun targets for 2 seconds. (Duration affected by numerous other factors.)

Disease Damage: Green in coloration. (Formerly known as “Toxic.”)

  • Critical hit: Disease crits deal an unknown bonus.
  • Resisted by Poison resistance.
    • Diseased units suffer a damage debuff; they take more damage and deal less.

Poison Damage: Green in coloration. (Also known as Acid.) (Poison and Disease are similar, but not the same.[1])

  • Critical hit: Poison crits deal an unknown bonus.
  • Resisted by Poison resistance.
    • Poisoned units suffer a health debuff; their regeneration and healing is lessened or reversed.

Holy Damage: White in coloration. (Found mostly on Monk skills.) Extra damage to Undead?

  • Critical hit: Unknown.
  • Resisted by: Unknown.

Pretty simple eh?
Then the second concept is what attributes your character has that boths let’s you do damage and resist it. There are zillion of htese as well. The attributes are less strange than the long list above and seem familiar, but basically strength adds to armor, dexterity to dodging attacks, intelligene is how much more you get from health globes and vitality is what your total life (e.g. heath points). 
These attributes also help respective types. So for instance if you are a wizard that is relatively weak, you want lots of strength to compensate and lots of intelligence to help on damage.

Strength governs how much Armor a character has and increases Barbarian‘s damage dealt.

 Each point of Strength gives:

  • +1 to Armor. Armor reduces the amount of damage taken. Sadly armor matters less the higher your level and vitality matters more. That is you have to gradually switch at higher levels to making sure you have  intelligence and vitality.
  • +1% to Barbarian‘s damage.


Dexterity governs the chance that a character will Dodge an attack and increases Demon Hunter‘s and Monk‘s damage dealt.
Each point of Dexterity gives:

1 – 100 gives 0.1% per dexterity 101 – 500 gives 0.025% 501 – 1000 gives 0.02% 1001 – 8000 gives 0.01%

Simply: If you have >1000 dexterity, +dodge is 30% + (dex – 1000)*(0.01)


Intelligence governs the amount of Life a character gains from Health Globes and increases Wizard‘s and Witch Doctor‘s damage dealt.
Each point of Intellect gives:


Vitality governs the amount of Life a character has.
Each point of Vitality gives:

If player level < 35, 10 life added per vitality. If player level ≥ 35, (level – 25) life added per vitality.

Thus at level 60, each point of vitality adds 35 life.
Anyway, there are guides galore, but Diablo (like most of this genre) are mainly intensely complicated in their many attributes that you have to learn. That is the fun. It isn’t like health points and damage anymore 🙂 Here are some guides particular for the Wizard I’m working on (right now at level 31). The main thing is making sure you have the right build (you can only use 6 of 30 powers at anyone time). There is a calculator online that let’s you see what a build does and share it.
Diablo3-Levelguide.com. A great personal resource. Gives instructions for each level as you get better.
G4TV. The main thing about Wizards is their most powerful stuff uses something called Arcane power (the globe on the right). This new Archon thing is pretty interesting, gives you a fighting chance as this is a pretty weak class in terms of defense, so you have to kite like crazy most of the time to stay away from the bad guys. Overall now super useful. There is a
PC Gamer. For this second level, the main things are

Electrocute and Arcane Torrent ensure that you can keep at range while making efficient use of your Arcane Power. Hydra will give your enemies something to hit that isn’t you, which is invaluable, while Blizzard and Diamond Skin can assist you in your all-too-frequent retreats before you get pounded into wizard pâté. Energy Armor is a great survivability increase, and saves you from one-shot kills, which are disturbingly common among Inferno’s cast of baddies. Since this build forsakes Teleport, make sure to stack movement speed to make up for your lack of a “GTFO” button.

I’m Rich & Co.

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