Diablo IV | Nightmare Dungeons Overview

Perhaps one of my favorite things for the time being in Diablo IV is running Nightmare Dungeons. They have so far offered me a decent across-the-board of things I’m looking for from loot to experience. On top of that, you earn experience for glyphs as well.

Acquiring Sigil Banners As Drops And Rewards

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Before you are even able to enter a Nightmare Dungeon you need to acquire sigils to start them. You can only get them once you are on World Tier III or higher. On top of that the sigil needs to match the world tier you are trying to start it on.

Once you make it to World Tier III you will need to go out and acquire some to get started. There are a couple of ways of doing so and quite an easy mistake you can make as well that I learned the hard way about.

For me at least the best and quickest way I could assure that I would almost always get a sigil collecting 10 Grim Favors and turning them into the Tree Of Whispers. There is a massive chance you will get a sigil drop.

The massive mistake I made was farming lots of these sigils using this method. I did not realize until I ran my first Nightmare Dungeon that all the sigils I had up to that point were dropping just as tier 1. Once I ran a few different Nightmare Dungeons at higher tiers I started to get different tier drops as if running one unlocked my ability for that tier to drop.

Another massive place to not overlook is getting sigils to drop while clearing a Nightmare Dungeon. If you are a class that kills things with flat damage there is a good chance you won’t be missing out when one drops.

Sadly you can’t just select at the time of writing this a special sound to be made when one drops under filters. It seems to be listed as quite a low loot rarity as well. So trying to adjust in-game drop sound filters is no help.

It can be easy if you are a damage-over-time build like I play to miss out on sigils dropping. You can not only get them off elite but far more than I was expecting trash normal creatures.

Another good source of sigils while in the Nightmare Dungeon is running any events you come across. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve opened up a reward chest to find not just one dropping but sometimes two or three.

On top of all that if you are running a Nightmare Dungeon that has a final boss. There is a good chance it will drop one as well.

Unlock Sigil Crafting At The Occultist

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Another way to get sigils is by crafting them from Sigil Powder. However, you can’t craft them right away. You first need to unlock that ability to do so at the occultist.

This can be quite challenging when you are first out. As the unlock occurs once you beat a tier 3 Nightmare Dungeon. To do so, however, mean you have already looted a tier 3 Nightmare Sigil. A bit of a catch if you are having bad luck looting any.

Chances are if you have run a few tier 1 Nightmare Dungeons a tier 2 or 3 has already dropped and you did not notice it. Try slowing down how quickly you move between packs of creatures if you are damaged over time build.

The good news is at least as you are clearing Nightmare Dungeons and doing a lot of other things in the game there is a good chance you are collecting Sigil Powder. So there is a good chance you start off with having a lot.

Once you have finished a tier 3 Nightmare Dungeon you can head over to the Occultist and discover you have access to two new taps. One of them lets you craft Sigils and another lets you dismantle them for Sigil Powder.

While it might be tempting to go on a massive crafting spree of Sigils. I recommend holding off and only doing so when you run out at the lower tier levels. The higher-tier Sigils end up costing a lot of powder and you will quickly discover when you need it the most you will be out.

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As you progress along you will find a point either because you have moved up a world tier or can clear a much higher Nightmare Dungeon than the Sigils you have in your bag. At that point, you can salvage those lower-level sigils into the powder you need.

This is also when you realize you get very little powder back compared to what it costs to craft a sigil in the first place. Thankfully a lot of things from events, Whispering Tree, Hellfire, and chests drop the powder as well.

Running A Nightmare Dungeon

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Once you have acquired a Sigil it’s time to start a Nightmare Dungeon. You need to be at least on the world tier difficulty that the sigil you want to use has listed on it. You can find the banners themselves in your consumable tab in your inventory. You then click to get sent to the Nightmare Dungeon.

I recommend reading the Tips and Tricks section on deciding which banner you want to run. I look for one where when I can be 3 levels lower than the creatures inside. I’m also looking to avoid any that have reduced damage to the main damage type I deal with.

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Once the banner has been activated if you are in the region or close to it opening the map will show you exactly where on the map the Nightmare Dungeon is. If not you will see a new icon on the mini-map and you can use it to then open the map and search that direction to find it.

Once inside the Nightmare Dungeon, a large section of it will be just like running a normal dungeon. Expect here the Sigil Banner you used determines the level of creatures you are facing. It will also be harder due to what the stats were on the Sigil itself.

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Keep an eye out for any Sigil drops along the way. There is a good chance you will find at least one of them during the run. I’ve had somewhere I’ve looted five sigils.

I tend to stop and run any mini-events I find inside a Nightmare Dungeon. They tend to have a decent density of creatures, loot, and extra rewards. There is also a good chance of getting further sigils or even some Sigil Powder.

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Once you have completed the Nightmare Dungeon you will always get two items. One tends to have a high chance of being legendary or better. You also get some experience or gold.

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Don’t forget to click on the Awakened Glyphstone that is in the middle of the giant protective bubble that spawns once the dungeon has been beaten. Here you select a glyph and allocate experience to it to level them up.

Any glyphs that you currently have socketed into your paragon boards will have a circle around the glyph symbol. Indicating it’s in use. You might have to scroll through your glyphs to find the ones you already are using.

Tips And Tricks

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There are quite a few things to keep in mind when it comes to running Nightmare dungeons. As it can be easy to not always be betting the most out of a Nightmare Dungeon run or even making it a lot harder on yourself than you need.

Tip 1

First, if you can clear creatures that are three levels higher than you that can be most optimal for experience gains as you get an extra 25% for doing so. As any higher and you don’t get any bigger of an experience boost for fighting things at a higher level.

It is best to keep in mind however that if you are struggling to do so. It might be a better experience per hour wise to kill lower and easier creatures. This is also a sign that you need to work on improving your gear, or glyph, or your building is lacking something.

Tip 2

In trying to work out what level of creatures you will face off in a Nightmare Dungeon keep in mind it’s Tier level + 54. This will help you optimize your experience gains.

Example. If you are going into a tier 1 Nightmare it will have level 55 creatures in it.

Tip 3

Perhaps one of the most important tips of them all. ALWAYS check to see what stats are rolled on a sigil. While this might not be as big of a deal on World Tier Iii. Once you are in World Tier 4 this will make or break a run.

Most importantly you are looking for any negative effects that pertain to the damage you deal. Do you want to be dealing 40%, 60%, or even higher amounts of less damage? No, you do not. Those tend to be sigils I just salvage instead of wasting my time.

On top of this, you might also land a positive stat that increases the damage you deal. That can be key information to know going in as some build deal a few different types of damage and can use that kind of information to their advantage.

There are also many other positive aspects you might be on the lookout for. Anything that increases rarity will increase the chance of getting legendary or better drops. You can also get ones that increase the total amount of gold drops for that dungeon run and so on.

You might also discover along the way there are certain negative things you just hate having in Nightmare Dungeons. From things chasing you around and dealing damage to you every 30 secs, there is massive damage that you have to duck into cover to avoid. Some of these you learn to put up with while others you decided are not worth running at all as they are far too annoying.

Tip 4

Write down what Nightmare Dungeons you prefer. While early on you might be struggling to have enough sigil banners to feel like you have much choice in what you are going to run. There is a point where your consumable tab in your inventory is so full you have to be more selective.

Tip 5 Organize Your Sigil Banners

Each Sigil Banner has an icon to represent which region they are from. That makes them quite easy early on to come up with a way to sort them. I would then further recommend sorting them by level and putting aside any you would prefer not to run at all unless you run out.

While this might not seem like a big deal. If you happen to have 5 of the same Nightmare Dungeons you can run them rather quickly. Even more so as you gain some short-term muscle memory from just having runner one.

On top of that, it’s easy to just open up the emote pinwheel, leave the dungeon, and click another banner for the dungeon right in front of you. While it's great now they teleport you to the dungeon. It's nice already knowing the dungeon before hand since you already ran one.

Tip 6 Upgrading Glyph

At the end of each Nightmare Dungeon run you get to add experience onto a glyph. It’s important to know ahead of time which ones are the biggest deal that you have for your build. Never forget to click on the pedestal and spend that experience at the end.

It is also important to know that the radius of a glyph is increased once you get it to level 15. So if you have a lot of stat nodes around your paragon tree that you can pick up that will boost you’re the glyph you are using. Making sure to get those to level 15 at some point or another.

Tip 7 Clean up The Consumables Inventory

The consumables inventory becomes quite full without even trying. Make sure to use potions and salvage things you have no further use for. If all else fails you can just start dropping things from this tab onto the ground so you can pick up something you would rather have instead.

Tip 9 Finding Missing Glyphs

If you are struggling to find glyphs you need to try switching things up. I ended up getting quite a few I needed from turning in ten Grim Favors to the Tree OF Whispers.

Tip 10 Avoid Getting Killed

In the lower world tier getting killed while playing in softcore is not a big deal since you get twelve revivals which seems like a lot. Once you make the crossover into running higher world tier you only get four revives total.

Final Thoughts

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If Nightmare Dungeons are here to replace in some way the Greater Rifts system that was in Diablo III which it feels like they are. I got to say I enjoy these a lot more. I hated having to stop dungeon running to go grind for keys in Diablo III back when I use to play it. While you can still run out of Sigil Banners there are at least a few ways to get more or a the very least the powder to craft more.

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Screenshots were taken and content was written by @Enjar about Diablo IV. This was during the early access beta. Things are subject to change.