I recently felt like playing Diablo 3 again, which I bought at release and played for a month and then lost interest. I realized they changed a lot of stuff, but I cannot make sense of those difficulty levels. I can choose to switch a game to "hard" or more, and there is some advice about having good gear and stuff. But I cannot understand where Nightmare and so on went.

I created a hard game with my level 59 sorcerer, went into act 2 and faced mobs with 1M hitpoints, which pretty much killed me instantly. Then I tried normal, and again it was a very hard fight. The items those mobs dropped were something like 100%+ upgrades to my gear.

With this character I used to play in Nightmare before.

I don't want to read two years worth of changelogs, so my question is simple: Where did the Nightmare, Hell , etc, selection go, or how was the difficulty scaling changed between release and version 2.2?

2 Answers 2


The old system of "Normal/Nightmare/Hell/Inferno" is gone completely, in favor what resembles the old Monster Power selector. New difficulties are called:

Normal - Hard - Expert - Master - Torment I - Torment II - ... - Torment VI.
(Torment VII through Torment X are coming in Patch 2.3)

New difficulties are defined as a direct multiplier of monster's hit points, damage, experience gain, gold rates, and drop chances. For example, Hard, compared to Normal, grants:

  • +100% monster health
  • +30% monster damage
  • +75% experience from monsters
  • +75% gold dropped.

Difficulty of any given game is determined by its level (taken from the level of hosting player) and difficulty itself, in its new sense. So, level 35 monster on Normal will be weaker than level 30 monster on Torment I.

Below is a table of different difficulty aspects I've compiled during Patch 2.0 (some things may have changed).


HP - Monster hit points, Dmg - monster damage, GF - gold multiplier, XP - experience multiplier, DB - chance of Death's Breath dropping from Elites, Leg% - legendary drop chance, Rift% - legendary drop chance in Rifts.

per lvl - increase relative to previous difficulty level, dmg inc - how much damage should a player do compared to previous difficulty level, to achieve equal farming speed.

  • Thanks a lot, that cleared it up. Follow-up question: that means it's probably going to be easy enough to play with a new character that has access to gold and a few new drops on hard in early levels?
    – simbabque
    Jul 29, 2015 at 12:12
  • The "(taken from the level of hosting player)" statement isn't true in all cases. For example, if the hosting player is a lower level than some other, when he is close to catching up, the level of the game will sometimes "jump" to the higher level player. I don't know if it levels up with him from that point, but I've seen the first part happen many times when boosting people (happens when they're only a few levels apart). Example is game going from 67/68 to 70 when host reaches 68/69 if there's a level 70 present.
    – Svj0hn
    Jul 29, 2015 at 12:18
  • 1
    @simbabque It will be easy enough, partly because you face appropriate monsters all the time (makes it faster), but also due to the "power creep" that keeps happening with every patch.
    – Svj0hn
    Jul 29, 2015 at 12:19
  • Ok. And because the mobs scale with the player level I will not outgrow my game too quickly, rendering eveything too easy all of a sudden. So I also don't get into the problem of being overpowered or underpowered regardless of if I rush through the content or explore every inch of space twice. That's neat. :)
    – simbabque
    Jul 29, 2015 at 12:23
  • @Svj0hn Right you are, there are some effects. Another one is that it is possible to create a level 1 game, have another player hold it open, while the host swaps his character for high-level one. Then, as long as no character levels up, the game will stay at level 1 or whatever.
    – Orc JMR
    Jul 30, 2015 at 5:45

To sum up the changes: The old difficulty system "master one level and advance to the next" is gone completely. You can now choose your difficulty settings from the beginning. The higher the level the more rewards you can earn, but the nastier are the enemies.

  • But does the general difficulty also sclae with my character level? So even if I chose normal with my 59 sorcerer I cannot have easy-peasy mobs that fall over because I look at them in Act 1 as I would have had when I went into a regular game that a level 1 character would start in?
    – simbabque
    Jul 29, 2015 at 9:50
  • @simbabque Yes, games now scale with character level and then with difficulty.
    – Orc JMR
    Jul 29, 2015 at 10:03
  • Normal is going to result into easy-peasy mobs once you got some proper gear. The gear from near launch is basically worthless since so much things have been nerfed(possible +%attack speed is one I remember)/buffed(+stat ranges are way higher than what was possible back then)
    – Arperum
    Jul 29, 2015 at 10:10

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