Diablo IV - A Return To Darkness

My Sorc took a big step forward when I switched from my Chain Lightning leveling build to a Firewall build in her early 50s. Some people have noted that firewall falls off in T4 in favor of Ice Shards, but it is absolutely fantastic in T3 (50s and 60s).

That is important info to keep in mind. I remember not doing much with my barb during beta other than boosting the dps of the alternate weapons, since every skill I used was based on a single weapon type. I was doing the same with my current rogue until I had a feeling that something was up when my current crossbow (not used) gave 74 dex plus additional points to all skills and it changed my stats. Then I was all over it, ensuring that I socketed some gems and I’m now paying attention to the bow weapon.

My Lvl17 Rogue using couple of traps, barrage for arrows and cold imbuement got a solid beating yesterday by a dungeon boss Blood Bishop. Died five or six times, and was tempted to change difficulty to WT1. I found that I was just not able to deal good damage, and then suffer huge damaging blows at the same time. I had been trying to get a common set of six skills going for all scenarios, but finally for this encounter I switched to a bow skill (from an item) Penetrating Shot that did some decent damage. Then it was about constant movement to not get hit, and to whittle down the boss health bar with penetrating shots, poison traps and reducing AoE damages as much as I could. Just barely survived, and then came out of dungeon with lot of self-doubts, and immediately got jumped over by a mob, and with my skill slots still set for massively damaging a single enemy, couldn’t handle it and died again.

I learned an important lesson that for properly playing rogue in WT2, I have to be fully prepared to switch skills for bosses. I spent a few skill points in shadow shield for damage reduction and rapid fire for dealing damage and was able to handle bosses much better.

I also got the rogue specialization, which is very much like the Diablo2 assassin style, where you hit a few times with basic attack to build some combo points and then unload through the main core skill.

I am feeling little better about the skill upgrade plan now. By the way, this may be known to everyone that pressing “S” brings a skill-table pop-out screen and from where you can assign keys to the quick slot. I didn’t know and was trying out the skill upgrade screen to change the quick slots.

It is also a 2-Handed weapon giving you +100% bonus on it’s aspect. Thus it is your goto for your primary aspect. I personally use Bladedancer there and my Twisted Blades are massive from it.

I started doing WT4 at 65 and at 67 can join world bosses and they go down pretty fast. I was actually a bit disappointed how fast a legion event boss died and we were all 70ish at the time. Was hoping open world stuff would stay hard since 4 is the last tier we got. Thankfully nightmare dungeons have the modifiers though, that crap gets really hard past tier 21.

btw if you want some really good stuff, just go to wt4 during a helltide and follow some people around grabbing cinders. then hit a mysterious cache for massive gear increase.

all my gear is focused on ice , defense, or resource saving. I guess I need to start saving fire gear if I wanted to switch?

Couple of questions for the group.

Does anyone know the in-game mechanic for when multi-player events are involved. I’m not talking about people forming groups, I’m talking about when you see something going down on the map and there are others there or others join you and you’re level 40 and here’s a level 30 and there’s a level 20… am I making this up? How do they calculate the combat if we’re all hitting the same mobs?

With regard to aspects on your legendary gear, does anyone know how it plays if you happen to have two of the same type? Say… something creates a barrier (?) for you that lasts 10 seconds and 30 second cool down before it happens again. If I have two of that type aspect do I trigger a second barrier before the 30 seconds for the first expires?

I tried two of the same legendaries - you get the stats, but it grayed out the legendary power of the one with the worse legendary stat roll. So you can’t stack them.

Dumb newbie question: is the only way to make parties to walk up to people you see and try to invite them? Is there no matchmaking functionality?

Everything is scaled to your WT and your level for you. If you are just roaming along not in a party it’s your WT and level that the mobs are at, if someone is not on your WT they are not able to be in the same outdoor instance as you, only those on your tier are with you.

In a party you have to match the WT of the lowest member and everything is set to that WT, with a cap at the level the WT stops (I think 50 for WT2).

I don’t need to leech off anyone. Ended up I just needed a few upgrades on gear and my new glyph to unlock and things are mostly back to the same with the added danger of having only barely enough resits to stay positive on some and at -20 on my cold. My bad for going to WT4 and immediately doing a World Boss.

Man the enemy hp in campaign is tuned way too high to be enjoyable. If you don’t get lucky and get aspects that almost double your dps it’s a fucking chore to get through (druid, not sure how it is for other classes).

Overall I agree with @stusser , there’s too much friction in the early game.

Well - the good news is, you get to go through it all again in a few weeks, when the next season starts.

And I agree completely - I completed the game with a druid, on WT1, and it was a slog.

It oddly gets easier in the midgame when you have more skill points to start synergising and when you get more legendaries. My solution is to run WT1 to finish the campaign with the easiest class, then do the other classes with a mount and up to 10 additional skill points and I believe 9 potions plus some aspects ready to go from level 1. Plus you get to skip the campaign.

Sure, but then you gain a few levels and level scaling kicks in and it becomes a slog again. You can’t update items at the same pace as enemy health grows.

I suspect, and hope, that some of the issues with scaling and difficulty curves will get fixed over time. There are a lot of moving parts, not the least of which is the shift in focus from D3 to a truly multiplayer, online game.

I don’t feel any such shift from multiplayer/online perspective in Diablo 4. Diablo 2 had the biggest change in the series going from a mostly single player game (no respawning, world state saved like a SP game etc.) to an online focused PvE, PvP game with respawning enemies and repeated boss runs.

I play D4 the SP way. There are people running around here and there, just like there were in D2, and at times when fighting a mob in the overworld, I have other players joining the fight. The story structure in D4 is more SP than D2. The missions (optional, campaign) can be given by any NPC in the world, and even the optional missions are in general better than D2/D3 main missions, in how the context is setup, how they are voice acted, and how they fit the world I had one optional mission where the affected person was in the predicament directly because of my actions in an earlier optional mission.

I am level 23 rogue in Act1. There may be something coming further along which is more in line with MMORPG.

Hi Pie, I’m no expert on the ice shards build but I do know it needs some gear to be effective – cooldown reduction and the ricochet aspect, crit and crit damage, etc. Also, using the ice shards enchantment for free casts at frozen enemies – which makes dropping Ice Nova cd paramount.

As far as the firewall build goes, it doesn’t need much to get going. Burning damage, +Firewall levels, bonuses when things are burning, etc., and cd reduction doesn’t hurt. You don’t need and aspects from gear; the dungeon aspects seems fine. Remembering that Firewall doesn’t crit but there are ways to get crit damage to affect burn ticks. If you don’t have the unique coat that pulls enemies on teleport, then you use Inferno to group up mobs and then freeze them with Ice Nova. When those are on CD, then you just run around kiting mobs into firewall. you can run forward through zones and dungeons laying down firewalls then stop for wombo combos on elites. It’s a different playstyle, for sure, but can be fun if embraced.

You can definitely play the game as a solo game (that’s what I do mostly) but the design is different from a purely single-player game. It’s a game built on the MMO model, with heavy mobile influences, in terms of how the player experience is managed, IMO. Whether this is good or bad is up to you I suppose: I don’t really have any issue with it. But the impact is definitely there I think. Power curves, scaling, itemization, economy, events, world bosses, all that stuff is affected by the need to balance around the vast disparity in skills, power, level, and time invested of the people all simultaneously playing the game in an at least partly shared environment. And that’s not even getting into the monetization aspects either.

Still, a lot of the things people like or dislike may well change over time. While D3 certainly set a precedent for massive changes during the game’s lifetime, I suspect D4 will undergo even more significant changes but probably spread out over a long period of time rather than D3’s massive one-year reboot.

I’m not sure I understand the “scaling is a problem” thing. Didn’t D3 Adventure Mode have scaling? That is, if you had quests in Act 1 it’s not like it was any easier than Adventure Mode quests in Act 5. And I was under the impression that everybody preferred Adventure Mode. In the campaign itself (D3), didn’t everyone self scale essentially by pushing up (or down) the torment levels as high as could reasonably be done? Then, as is the case now, real power was not from level, but from gear. A good drop catapulted a character into bumping up the torment levels.

I guess the main difference I see is that D4 doesn’t have the general pacing of D3 in that D3 always had the player crazy strong. I remember at D3 release thinking the game was way too easy as I finished the campaign without a single potion used (this was even during the debate times on if the real money shop was PtW).