Diablo IV - A Return To Darkness

So I have two questions about the final game:

  1. How big will the final open world be?
  2. Will it have an end game adventure mode like D3?

Yeah, best in class.

I have a lot of mixed feelings about what I’ve seen so far.

Really liked: the character customisation. It’s not hugely in-depth but it’s enough, and welcome. Plus holy cow king the female rogue is ripped. That’s awesome! Expected for the barb but it’s cool the rogue isn’t weedy - I did archery for a little while and the upper body strength there is real. Someone brought in a medieval style war bow, my noodle arms could barely pull the string back like an inch (it was something absurd like well over a 100lb draw).

Really liked: loot and skills seem fun, and flexible. Legendaries seem… a bit too common tho. Guess that’s a legacy of D3’s launch, where they were both extremely rare and extremely shit. Maybe the drop rate was just set artificially high for the beta to ensure people got cool stuff to brag about? Barely brushed the various systems but it does look very intriguing. I’m right in thinking you can transfer legendary abilities to yellow items? That’s a cool way to make yellows actually appealing/useful long-term.

Didn’t like: the open world approach. Killing a bunch of enemies only to see them reappear 15 seconds later always kinda sucks. Clearing the map was part of what I enjoyed about the Diablo experience but that’s gone now. It’s all very… Lost Ark. Plus it feels like enemies are constantly just spawning right on top of me and it’s sorta suffocating. Fine if you’re a barb, I guess. Not sure why but even in the dungeons I was soloing there seemed to be a lot of spawning going on as opposed to enemies just mooching about previously.

Didn’t like: the grim darkness of the art direction. The technical execution is great but this is probably the most generic Blizzard’s art output has ever looked to me. Diablo was always cartoony (tho I’d describe D3 as ‘painterly’) but, sadly, they finally gave in to the (very selective memory) of parts of the D2 crowd and it all just feels… brown. Quake brown. Even the snow. It feels so over-egged too. There are mountains of corpses, tentacles, guts, gore everywhere you go. Which is fine, but it’s like… act 1. It feels post-apocalyptic and the battle between heaven and hell hasn’t even started yet. What happened to those moody, empty fields.

Hated: lacks that silky smoothness of D3. Every ARPG I’ve tried since does. :( I guess they’ve really toned down the pace and pizazz of your abilities and such but as a result it all just feels… sluggish. Imprecise. I hit various terrain bugs, not often, but had invisible walls, character not going quite where I expected (esp. with evade) and a bunch of other extremely minor jank which just ended up feeling like grains of sand lodged in… uncomfortable places. It’s a beta, I hope this can be fixed/smoothed out.

Anyway. Got to level 20 for cosmetics and bailed. Doubt I’ll bother going back before launch. fox.mrs didn’t like how it looks which makes me all sorts of sad; we played a lot of D2 and D3 together and that may not happen this time without me begging. (╥﹏╥)

My fire sorc is level 16, just hit a bug trying to town portal out of a dungeon , frozen up on the loading screen. But I have a choice to make with her now. she has been using a hat with +1 hydra, which is great, because I’ve been using that skill and I like it, but I just got a hat with much better stats, but bonuses to ice skills, so I need to decide whether to respec to ice…

Personally I’d keep the hydra hat because hydra is fucking terrific.

It’s basically free to respec at will I say go for it and try everything.

Chain lightning and Hydra puts this game on easy mode. Low risk from range and high damage. Hydra is so automatic sometimes I’m not even anywhere near the boss when he goes down.

Sounds like they really need to do a lot of damage mitigation, crowd control and DPS bump for the melee classs otherwise it’s just too easy for sorc glass cannons to wax everyone.

Maybe those mechanics are much higher in the level and gear chain.

At least for the rogue, I’ve had to respec for some of the harder bosses (for me it was the Den Mother and some spider boss), where I had to focus on either single or multi target. I’d struggle with a “balanced” build, where my basic and energy attacks were split between the two types. Either I couldn’t do enough damage on the boss, or I’d get overrun with the adds.

Have most people been respecing for bosses? Respecs are free or cheap for lower levels, but it seems like they’ll get really expensive later on. So I’m wondering if I’m using respecs as a crutch right now and just need to get good, haha.

That a problem?

It’s not a problem. But I do hope all the classes in the game have skills like that. So if they don’t, I hope instead of nerfing Sorcerer skills, they strengthen others’.

I played my Rogue to 25 and finished Act I and the World Boss without changing a thing on my build. Seemed strong overall.

Then I played Sorc, 14 now and it’s super easy mode compared to the Rogue.

Nice, where did you put points for your primary basic and energy attacks for your rogue?

I only tried sorc up to around 10ish, but it definitely felt a lot easier. Just one point in chain lightning was enough to obliterate any packs.

Is there any notification when you got the early access rewards or do you just assume they are got once you meet the critera?

It’s not a problem on it’s own. In fact I think this should be the base level of fun when dealing with most mobs. Unfortunately, I just started with rogue and the skills feel so underpowered and mediocre in comparison which is the issue. Even from the get-go the sorc gets a better basic melee AoE ability in arc slash than rogue, and the barrage ability is laughable compared to chain lightning - it does less damage, often has wasted arrows that hit no one. Chain lightning auto targets at range, does more damage (at least to me it was just face-melting all the normal mobs in tier 2), never misses, and in case of single bosses, I’ve specced so that if it bounces back to me, it will hit the boss again for heavier damage. Comparing side by side, barrage fires 5 arrows with a 20% ricochet. Chain lightning hits 6 targets, with a 100% hit rate and is a shock attack which procs my other effects. That doesn’t seem balanced.

I also seem to be taking a heck lot more damage as a rogue at least at sub-10 then I ever felt I took with my sorc, probably because most mobs rarely got close to me as a sorc, and if they did a couple of arc slashes did them in.

I hope the Blizzard team takes the feedback and does a balance pass. I don’t think they should nerf Sorc, but they should certainly buff the other classes.

Okay, that makes a lot more sense. Thank you.

I made it to level 25 and I’m sold. It’s fucking great. I even bought the CE. I’m stopping playing because I don’t want to be spoiled until the release.

Me too. Played a lot. I like it, can see playing it off and on For a few years. Will “try” and get really high level with one alt and not make a million alts. We will see.

I already pre-ordered but this is a solid game already and I’m sure they’ll work out the balance issues. What I hope is for the lag to be fixed - it’s kind of rubber-bandy in the open world. I also don’t like respawning mobs because of the live service feature but I will have to live with that because I don’t see that being changed.

I’m getting such a kick out of playing this little beta weekend that I’m going to skip finishing the first part of the story with barb (now at 25) and switch to a sorc for a bit. This is the type of game I can play over and over so I’m not concerned about leaving it to launch as I normally would. It’s the story that gets tired after a time, so that’s the best part to ensure feels newish at release.

I’m one that’s pleased by the more interaction with the NPCs in the world. Sure, I love my hack’n’slash, but the day they can mesh a fully rich story-driven world with Diablo-style gameplay, I’ll be truly happy.

I had to do it a few times until I found a Rogue build online that was focused on Twisting Blades with Shadow Inbue and using positional movement skills to cause the blades to return to you through groups of mobs (Dash, Shadow Step). It actually demanded more skill than I’m used to in Diablo, and felt a lot like playing Hades to me. I won’t be reusing that particular build again, and the base skill for rebuilding Energy (Puncture) never really could keep up. I think it would need a lot of energy regen available in the later game to actually be easy mode.

Check it out if you’re curious: