Making your own build in Diablo 4 is one of the most exciting things in the game. Nothing feels better than setting up your own version of a build and making it work.
While others copy exciting builds and calculate all the meta, some love discovering new things and creating their own.
This guide will help you start making a new build and be useful for those who want to copy other builds. The information will help you understand the character mechanics in the game better.
Understanding Your Defensive Layers
Diablo 4’s defensive mechanics gives you a lot to work with. There are overall damage mitigation, resistance, defensive buffs like a fortification, and increasing life.
All of these play a significant role in your build. These layers also add up as you level up your paragon levels.
The goal is to make your build with enough defensive layers so you don’t feel like you are dying a lot. When you are playing hardcore, this whole section plays the biggest role, where other parts of the build need to be sacrificed for survivability.
So, where do you start?
You want to have some standard ‘caps’ on certain defensive layers. If your build wants maximum mitigation with a ton of life and resistances, that will be good enough for survivability.
If you don’t hit the cap on certain layers, this is where other defensive buffs or ‘layers’ come in, such as defensive skills, unique item interactions, and auras.
‘Cap’ means capacity or limit of a certain thing or stat
The cap for damage reduction is 90%, and you want to hit this cap on all builds to enable your build to survive. If you don’t survive enough, the rest of your build will feel pretty pointless.
It isn’t mandatory, but if you want to get started on making a build of your own, this is a good way to start.
For most players, this is where the fun starts. Everyone wants to have insanely good power, and offensive power helps speed up your clearing, which means you can farm more items.
Power is dependent on a lot of variables. Two of the biggest variables would be your skill (skill build and what other skill points you allocate) and your items.
Most builds revolve around your skill tree, while a niche number of builds revolve around unique items. It is usually a combination of the two either way.
Kripparian’s video on building explains these offensive mechanics very well. However, some are subject to change depending on the patches. In general, you want to think of your DPS as having multiple layers or categories.
You have your base skill level’s damage combined with all skill points buffing the skill. From this baseline, you can buff it even more with your items.
Stats such as critical strike chances add more raw DPS to your skill (not just additively). Some stats, such as more damage to elites, are completely separate, even if you see a ‘%’ base on it.
This is a different damage bucket, as explained in Kripp’s video. These are additive damage to your whole DPS, so it isn’t a big deal since it is situational/conditional.
By understanding these layers, you can come up with your own damaging scaling for your build.
In general, you want to follow these steps
- Pick a skill or ability (it could be two main skills if you want)
- Are you going to apply debuffs or other skills? (If yes, you are adding a button to your rotation which might make your build harder to use, but it can be a lot stronger if you do)
- Items, sets, or uniques (some uniques or sets give you an insane boost to damage or even alter your playstyle significantly)
- Damage scaling through items/stats. This could be in the form of critical strikes, attributes, or something else derived from your item’s stats or rolls.
- Paragon skills. Can your build scale well with higher paragon skill points allocated?
- Do you have enough damage? If yes, your build should be fine
It is worth noting that there are different forms of content in Diablo 4. You have to take this into account when you are creating your build. Dungeons and bossing are completely different, and builds that excel in both situations are ideal but not mandatory.
Some players even create multiple characters, so one character excels in dungeons while the other excels in boss fights.
Tip: You might need to run elective mode on the game settings if you are going to run two main skill builds
Ease of the Build
The ease of the build is more on how the build runs. Do you have enough mobility to escape sticky situations or run the dungeons faster? Do you have defensive mechanics that can prevent death or allow you to make mistakes? Is your offensive ability strong enough to clear waves of monsters simultaneously?
This section is more on preference and is not completely mandatory for every build. Some builds sacrifice damage for more sustainability or mobility, while others sacrifice sustainability for more survivability and damage.
It is a give-and-take for each category, but how you want to run your character is up to you.
Some players get bored easily if their character is too slow or boring, even if it can destroy endgame content consistently.
Others get frustrated if they die frequently, even if they know their damage is overturned or too much.
You want to take this into account if you are creating your own build from scratch. You might not end up liking it in the end.
The Difficulty of Items to Farm
That is normal if your core build revolves around getting a particular or legendary set. If that set or legendary needs to roll “perfectly” and the item has an extremely low drop rate, you might want to rethink things.
You might spend hundreds of hours playing your build on a suboptimal level because you just can’t find the item you are looking for.
You want something feasible to obtain first. Some players even create an easy character to farm first and use to get items for the next character.
Like the previous section, this is also optional because you can always just play more to get what you want. For those who don’t have a lot of time, you might want to start with an easy build to get you going first.
It is also worth noting that some uniques cannot drop if you don’t play at a certain difficulty level.