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In Diablo II, what's the recommended level before starting Nightmare (or Hell) difficulty?

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Personally, I've always found it manageable to handle Nightmare at whatever level I manage to beat the game at (which is ~30 pre-expansion, and a handful of levels past that post-expansion). Don't know if that's a recommendable course of action, though. –  Grace Note Dec 3 '10 at 16:51
    
If you look at most leveling guides, you do the den/tomb/cow/baal runs from level 1 to 45, then progress to Nightmare. Repeat for levels 46 to 75, then progress to Hell. Note that Tristram runs don't really work anymore. –  Sadly Not Dec 3 '10 at 17:02
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4 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I'm not sure if theres a real concrete answer to this. Different classes, built with different skills, with different items, played by different people will all function differently. Some characters (Like a minion-necromancer) will be able to handle higher difficulties at lower levels then say a mage (especially in hell when everything has multiple elemental immunities).

Without the expansion, I generally tried to hit nightmare around 35-40 and hell 50-60.

With the expansion, I tried to hit nightmare around 45-55 and hell 65-75. You'll want to be level up even higher if your playing a hard-core character.

Hope this helps

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Are you playing single player or on battle net?

If it's battle net, I would just recommend getting rushed till a4 hell and then leeching chaos runs to hit whatever level you want. For single player, it depends heavily on the gear/class, but try to have your bread and butter skill maxed (or at least started if its a lev 30 skill) by the time you finish normal and have most of the synergies for it by the time you reach hell. Having high resistance and leech also makes a huge difference.

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It really depends on how comfortable you are with fighting tougher fights, and whether you are playing HardCore or not.

I personally try and hit Nightmare as early as possible, as you level much faster if you are lower when going in. I generally enter Nightmare around level 30 if possible. I definitely wouldn't wait until 45 or higher as some comments have mentioned.

The earlier the better. It provides more challenge anyways.

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One way to gauge is by using the following fact: those little fallens in act1 are level 36 monsters in NM and level 67 in H.

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