Diablo IV - A Return To Darkness

Here’s the two other classes they previewed:

These guys are kinda annoying but I like what I see. Particularly the druid.

Druid is cool for sure.

Druid is cool indeed. Sorceress not so much: looks like a lot of kiting is involved which I kinda hate. Except for when she turns into lightning: that sure does look like fun!

The Merinth boss seems very similar mechanically to POE’s Merveil. Barbarian looks boring, he seems to mainly do normal melee attacks with a special attack thrown in now and then. And the Sorceress spells don’t seem to have a “kick” to them, they don’t “feel” powerful. Druid looks good I guess.

I just don’t understand the logic of small icons for items, it’s a very odd choice considering the loot is the main drive of the game.

Well, I mean… he IS a barbarian. What did you expect him to do?

Heh. Yeah, I avoided the Barbarian for that reason in Diablo 2 for the longest time too. But despite being more boring than the other classes, in Hardcore he always lasted the longest. So once I started playing the Barbarian, it turned out that the class I had with the most characters ended up being Barbarians, because they were the only ones who survived. They did all die eventually in Hell difficulty of course, so even they weren’t invincible.

The little Undead kids from Act 3, in particular, were the Barbarian’s kryptonite.

These were the main reason I never bothered to play hardcore, just blatantly unfair.

Fetishes? They are little demons. I just assumed they were pygmies or something but I just googled it and demons they are. Now i think about it the entity type were demons rather than humans.

I didnt like any of the barb builds until I tried a Throwbarb. They worked other than the need to constantly repair/replenish ammo.

Yep, same here. Though I’m still holding out for a Paladin/Crusader.

I hated Act 3 the most in D2, regardless of class. There were some assassin and paladin builds that didn’t do well there either, especially when assassin had to-hit bugs.

The Hammerdin is mostly unstoppable, but there were two places where you had to be extremely careful. The tunnels in Act II because there was basically no room to get your hammers out, and any of the interiors in the Act III jungle, because some of those unique fetish mobs can be lightning fast and pack a hell of a wallop. They actually ended two of my hardcore runs (a barb and a paladin). Barely even knew what hit me.

But before it was patched out, there was a particular unique in Act IV near Diablo’s chamber that would cast Iron Maiden on you all of a sudden. If you were a high physical damage build and you happened to be in the middle of an attack it could put an end to you instantly without you even being able to do anything about it. Now that was unfair.

Diablo II is one of my favorite games ever. I had several high 80s / low 90s builds, including a couple Barbarians (Concentrator and a Berserker). I will say that these aren’t the most exciting builds since they have few skills and not much in the way of crowd control, but I like them a lot. I did start a Frenzy build but never finished it, and I had a Pre-LOD Whirlwind build that I loved, but they nerfed WW a bit after that and I never bothered to make another.

The Hammerdin, like I said above, was extremely powerful and there wasn’t much that could slow him down. I found the build to be more boring than even the Barbarians, though. Cast your buffs, find a mob, send out hammers, watch them die. Rinse and repeat. When you did run into trouble though shit could go sideways in a hurry.

The Meteorb Sorceress was probably the fastest build I had (and the highest level). Massive AOE damage, teleportation, static charge for bosses. There were only a handful of Fire/Cold immunes that she struggled with, I think primarily in Act V. Everything else was dead meat.

The build that I had the most fun with was probably the Summonancer, though. Getting built up is irritating, but once you’ve got a full army, plus your golem, plus curses, plus corpse explosion, you feel like death incarnate riding a tidal wave of carnage.

There was something about the graphics, the sound, the music, and the phenomenal gameplay that all came together to create an incredible experience. I’ve never played an ARPG that has matched it. Titan Quest was very good, and I just started playing Grim Dawn and it seems even better than TQ, but I don’t think it’s quite Diablo II.

I have no interest in Diablo IV.

My main build in D2 was a Burizon who also had a MFzon kit. Hell was just easy mode apart from the odd glitch/fetish/maggot/other instadeath mob. Guided arrow and multishot did the trick. I used her to farm kit for my other chars and had this for years of on and off play.

and then i forgot to log in after 90 days and they all poofed.

Never did find another Buriza and my replays never did get anything back to as good as my first batch, especially the all the rare uniques i had across dozens of chars and bankchars.

I lost a lot of hardcore characters there. I wouldn’t say it was unfair though. You knew it was coming after the first time it happened to you. My main problem with that area is that there are two curses that look similar over your character’s head. Iron Maiden and something else. So whenever one of them was on me, I’d just stop attacking and back off. Usually it was that other curse, not Iron Maiden, but we didn’t want to take any chances.

Man D2 was great. I’ve been thinking a bunch about how they could recapture that magic in D4 if they wanted to. Partly they can’t because times are different, the player base is different, and even those of us who loved D2 are different.

I think part of the charm came from the wild diversity of builds. Some of them required specific uniques, but mostly uniques were just the way to buff an otherwise-functional build up to top tier. Even builds that were not viable at all were fun to play and you could just go through the acts until you reached a level where you couldn’t progress.

D3 lacks this feeling not because you can’t make cool builds but because there’s no incentive to make the weird builds work. You try something out for a bit and then just fall back to the skills that you know are working. That gives me hope that D4’s requirement that you actually choose only a few skills will help recapture some of the magic.

The loot was also just really cool - the small number of chase uniques, the power of rares that happen to roll the right affixes, the gradual progress towards item re-rolls or runewords. I think it would be great if they could make rares the centerpiece of the game again, make set items into just rares with a “set” affix that adds effects when you have them all, and make Legendaries into basically just class-specific rares, where a skill-changing affix replaces the general affixes on the rares, but isn’t explicitly more powerful. Then the mythics could be the “build around me” chase items.

I also loved the trade economy based on SOJs, pskulls, and later runes. I really think having a granular market where you can build up wealth over time out of smaller pieces and then trade them for items you would have a hard time farming yourself adds a lot to the game (though only for those willing to engage with it).

Yes, so much this!
This non-commitment to a build and the ability to change skills at will at no cost whatsoever really turned me off.
I want to commit to my build, and I want to pay the price if I messed my build up.

I wonder if the problem is that when you are committed to a build, it stops experimentation. People just look up the best builds online and stick with those and don’t even bother trying anything new or going their own way. If people want to be their own worst enemy and can’t control themselves enough to NOT respec, then that’s their problem.

For my part, I don’t respec; I commit to that build no matter how messed up it gets. Although, in my defense, I’ve never had a build be unplayable. Tough, sure, but never something I had to give up on.

Pretty much any build will get your through the first couple difficulty levels in a Diablo type game. It takes so damn long before you find out your experiment is gimped in Hell difficulty or whatever, I always pore over guides online before committing. I just don’t have so many hours for games any more, and I would like to get the full experience.

Damned if you do or damned if you don’t. Perhaps make a new “hardcore lite” game mode, allowing people to either commit to skills or switch at will?

You can always just make another character, nobody’s forcing you to respec. I strongly preferred the D3 method.