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What level is recommended before starting Nightmare/Hell/Inferno?

I am getting a little confused about whether my characters are appropriate level for the Acts, Elites and Bosses I am fighting. Sometimes I walk through the area content and sometimes the monsters start dishing out massive amounts of damage.

Is there an expected level per Act or is the game changing things based on my character level?

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marked as duplicate by Mark Trapp, FAE, Mr Smooth, dlanod, kotekzot Jun 13 '12 at 0:29

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

@Alok: It looks like that question is for Diablo 2 – MrHen Jun 13 '12 at 0:05
I don't suppose there are better level lists for Act? – MrHen Jun 13 '12 at 1:28
If you are looking for levels for each quest, maybe… will help – Alok Jun 13 '12 at 17:05

After leveling a couple of characters, it's around 1-35 for Normal, 35-50 for Nightmare, 50-60 for Hell, fairly evenly divided between Acts. However, if you're just playing through the quests normally, you should be at the 'right' level without having to stop and grind XP.

However, gear makes most of the difference. Particularly once you hit Hell difficulty, having gear that's 20+ levels old is really going to hold you back. Also, it's easy to get into the habit of just chasing DPS stats and ignoring HP. There's no hard rules about HP, but my rough targets are 5k, 15k and 25k at the end of N, NM and H respectively.

Aside from all that, once you get to Hell difficulty, there will be affix combos that will just shred your character unless you're very well geared.

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According to Blizzard Diablo 3 Community Manager "Bashiok" (Micah Whipple):

Diablo III levels are intended to pace the content, 1-30 in Normal, 30-50 in Nightmare, and 50-60 in Hell. --

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