Diablo IV - A Return To Darkness

Yeah, it’s not great. It’s a lot better in dungeons - those feel good because they are long, rewarding, and fun but also rarely do you fight enemies when backtracking - but you do have to a few times at least, which feels bad.

I did want to say, your comment reminded me of another QoL feature I appreciate from Diablo 4 - when you die, being able to respawn from not too far away to get right back into the action, and at a reduced penalty (in D2/D2R you lose item durability and 20% of your carried gold and in D4 it looked like only item durability) plus in D4 you don’t have to run back and collect your gear from your corpse and hope you have the open slots to requip everything! In D2R you also have to hope like hell you remembered to drop a portal not too far away, or that a waypoint isn’t too far, else better pack your stamina potions, you have a hike ahead of you.

Also, no stamina potions and always run in D4.

I never did figure out how to do this after I did the Sorcerer quest. It told me I had the Enchantment feature, but I didn’t really understand which part of the interface or which vendor I was supposed to go to after that.

It won’t be hard to top Diablo 3’s story. I don’t know a single person who enjoyed it.

Their chicken sandwich is actually pretty good. I suspect this is because it was just introduced in the last year or two, due to the Great Chicken Sandwich Wars, and I’m sure the quality will deteriorate over time like it always does with fast food items as companies find new ways to cut corners and save money, but for now it’s a good sandwich. I know you won’t be getting anything Diablo related by going there anymore, but I’d still recommend it. At least if you don’t have a Popeye’s nearby.

Once again, Diablo 3 had a terrible story, so it’s not a good showcase for people wanting to skip the story as quickly as possible, because of course they do. They do so many BIG THINGS like killing Decard Cain, but none of it makes any impact, because the writing is so predictable and cliched and at at the same time boring and cheesy.

Now, with that said, the cutscenes in Diablo 2 were much better written. But I was skipping them as fast as possible after the first time viewing them. I have played that game for literally thousands of hours, and yet when Diablo 2 Resurrected came out, I was really surprised at some of the voice acting and dialog and the cutscenes, because it was the first time I’d seem them again since the first time I played through the game. Just because your story is good in an ARPG doesn’t mean I won’t be skipping the hell out of it the second time onward. But I’m still really happy with what I’ve seen in Diablo 4’s story, because even though you might be skipping the individual story beats, what sticks around is the atmosphere and the vibe of the story.

Honestly, this is a great reminder. If people are not actively boycotting Blizzard, I’ll throw in another recommendation for Diablo 2 Resurrected. It’s a great updating of a great game. It honestly feels so great to play Diablo 2 again using a controller. It’s worth it just for that. But it’s also worth playing again for the excellent gameplay. Hardcore Diablo 2 is even better now than it used to be, and is totally worth playing today. Don’t skip it people!

So - I got a sorceror to level 23.

  • The first 15 minutes or so are excellent - looks and feels amazing.
  • Then, it degenerates quite a lot, and everything looks the same. Washed out colors with little to no variations, the same roads, dips and valleyes.
  • Every town looks like any other town.
  • Dungeons are made of the same few rooms and connectors, and are extremely boring. Or at least, the 5 dungeons I were in were pretty much the same. At the end, I actively avoided the dungeons, since I could not bring myself to run them.
  • Action is fine, but nothing special. I do think the slotting of a skill to a passive is an EXCELLENT idea.
  • Characters looks amazing - on the character selection screen. In-game, they are like every other game.

All in all, I hope the game itself undergoes some major graphical updates when released, although I seriously doubt it.

I believe it was on the screen where you assign your skill points? It’s at the bottom. They’re kind of like passives from Diablo 3 but you only get two.

I felt the same way, but I also felt that way about the skill trees in general. I’m the oddball out in that I didn’t like the game on pretty much any level, so maybe this sort of system just isn’t targeted at a player like me.

After the quest the UI for it popped up for me automatically, and I assigned a skill (I think I went Ice Armor - a free ice armor for getting hit seemed good). The problem is every time I respec I struggle to find this UI again. With a controller, it’s R3 (click in the right stick) while in the Ability skill tree menu. But without a controller I think it’s something else - I think I saw it in a tooltip on a loading screen? - but I never could find it and didn’t look through the keybindings for it. I think it should be a damned button right on the Ability tree screen, personally.

Ah ok. That’s probably why I didn’t find it. I had trouble finding the Materials screen in the inventory screen too, even after your screenshot above in this thread. That’s because I think you moved your mouse before you took the screenshot, so it got rid of the part where it says you have to press L3 to get to the Materials screen once the Inventory screen is open.

My screenshot is using keyboard/mouse, I didn’t think you might be on controller to take a more “UI appropriate” shot!

Without intending to derail the thread too much, who else is…er…holding firm on keeping away from Acti/Blizz products? I have local friends that will be all over D4, so it’s going to test my resolve. And I’d really like to revisit D2 at some point…

/sigh, I want the MS acquisition to hurry up, and that they then give me some reason to re-assess my position at some point!

I‘d be pleasantly surprised if anyone who is a fan of the Diablo series would stick to a boycott. It’ll come down to people believing in the principal of it and not thinking it’ll make a difference.

I’m hoping that the collective voice of anger will have an impact, and continue to resonate.

Anyone have any more screenshots of their characters to share? Even at level 7, my rogue has amazing detail. I’m more impressed with these than any character model art in any Diablo before.

People boycott products and services they love all the time, that’s what makes it meaningful. I’m sure some will stick to it and some won’t, and wouldn’t castigate anyone either way.

I don’t know if it signifies real change but Blizzard does have women in many leadership roles now and they go out of the way to show them in every dev interview. At the very least they’re paying serious lip service and I’d expect on the inside, overt churlishness and such is harshly corrected. Whether covert is or not, who knows?

fwiw at no point did I feel anything got spongy at veteran with any of the characters with the exceptions of The Butcher and the world boss. would almost certainly just be you were behind the curve on either skill point application or gear. putting extra points into your main skills made their damage go up so if you go too wide on the tree without stacking into some skills you might feel that way.

I found combat snappy and satisfying and with my rogue sometimes double tapped minibosses.

That is a relief to hear. Hopefully something was just screwed up (by myself or something else)! That makes me maybe want to take another look next weekend and try again to see if I can have a better experience. As it was, I was writing this one off (or at the very least until release).

You mention two-shotting minibosses, meanwhile it was literally taking me multiple meteors to kill a skeleton or other trash. It didn’t feel great. :)

Handy impressions overview from Rhykker

Does anyone know if there was an experience boost for beta? I felt like I hit level 25 and probably saw 40% of the first area and hit maybe 5 dungeons?

At least Blizzard did “fire” J. Allen Brack, and appears to have made some other steps to resolve them of issues in the past. I think that I can give them some credit there. Whether they have done enough is up to the individual person, I suppose.

I levelled up a rogue (bow/arrow) to 22, and then a sorcerer to 12. A few observations:

  • Art and audio is excellent, not surprisingly
  • Controller-feel is great
  • Cutscenes are all dynamically rendered, with your own character inserted in, a nice surprise
  • Storyline (so far) is fairly generic… but at least not slam-your-head-into-a-door awful like the D3 campaign
  • Map is definitely fixed, possible spawn locations as well. I think events may also be likely to appear in the same places
  • Storyline is also fixed, although there are a lot of side-quests and dungeons.

On playing a bow/arrow rogue: for the most part running around and fighting was okay. It was easy to fall behind on the bow power-curve and for the most-part dungeon bosses were very hard and not interesting. I would try to avoid with dodge and dash, hit conceal to step out and then unleash a series of cold/barrage arrows. Rinse, repeat and hope you were not caught and insta-killed. It took probably 8 or so hours to level to 20 (watching cut scenes, exploring maps, etc)

I then played a sorceress, based on electricity and it was almost a different game. The sorceress would clear a screen with a single or double cast. There may be a bit higher risk of one-shots, but nothing could get close enough to do damage (admittedly, this was early levels). Skipping cut scenes/dialog from the rogue playthrough, it took about 90 minutes to get to level 12.

Lots of neat little touches and QoL since D3. There are Lost Ark-like transversal points (press a button to scale cliffs, ladder, jump ravines, duck under beams, side-paths); Potion management ala dark souls (potion cap, but potions can be upgraded and cap raised slightly) - but you can pick up potions to fill to cap. Fully voiced journals, horses.

I was unable to play until after the Friday night issues, so infra was smooth and queues were minimal. I enjoyed my time playing and do not regret preordering (yet?)

I got up to level 20 on a barb, and enjoyed it. Definitely leans closer to D2 than D3, at least early on here, in atmosphere, feel of combat, and itemization.

As someone who loved both D2 and D3 (after the expansion fixed it, of course) but can’t really ever go back to how clunky D2 feels (even with the remaster), I’ll take it. Having more interesting loot itemization than D3 and more options for a varied skill loadout will be great.

However, it is a bit jarring though to go back to slower combat and way fewer enemies compared to D3. I assume this is a bit due to new mechanics and a purposefully pivot to slow things down. I get it, but combat mechanics in D3 were just so butter smooth it actually makes D4 feel slightly clunky.

Overall, it seems like it has the right feel for a new Diablo, and is set up differently than any of the other Diablos before it. Of course, seeing the full game, and how end game activities, skills and items all work is the key to be determined, and honestly pretty critical for those of us who put hundreds of hours into a Diablo game. Here’s to hoping they get that part right!

Atmosphere, certainly. Much, much darker than any previous Diablo game. Combat and itemization didn’t seem particularly groundbreaking in any way, really, but I didn’t exactly make it to the endgame so it’s far too early to come to any conclusions there. My thoughts-- seems OK. Doesn’t reinvent the ARPG genre or anything. Standard ARPG stuff, and I just so happen to enjoy ARPGs.

I found their progression systems… interesting. Some might say unnecessarily over-complicated. I’m one of those people. I really liked the D3 system of abilities modified by runes. Now it’s true they pivoted away from that system being meaningful and put all power gains in item sets and legendaries in D3, tightly constricting player choice and gameplay customization in their desperate (and extremely successful) attempt to fix the game in its expansion, but the base system was (IMO) far simpler and potentially just as powerful. It just didn’t meet that potential. My wizard couldn’t use frozen orb, period. Similar to the Cataclysm-era WoW talent system; great idea, poor execution.

Certainly nothing about any of the above bothered me about D4. The only part that really bugs me is the respawning. I wish they’d add an “adventure alone” toggle in the settings that disables respawning entirely.

That isn’t just a convenience thing either. Diablo to me is all about clearing maps. Running around the perimeter then mowing the lawn. It’s just how I like to play, others may play differently but I find it relaxing and somehow fulfilling, like I’m accomplishing something. Can’t do that in D4 outdoors, because it’s a heavily-instanced MMO now. That change has tradeoffs.

I’ve held firm, but also:


I mostly agree with this. I always played the Diablos clearing away the FOW, exploring every corner and clearing entire maps before moving on. I miss the FOW inching away little by little. The map opening up whole areas once you enter them makes it difficult to tell where I’ve been, and I end up not trying to figure it out other than to head to dungeons that I’ve not completed.

On the other hand, I kind of like the GW2 instance concept, meeting up randomly with others to take on World Events. The times there were anyone else there, though, they only had one or two other players and most often I was battling the event on my own. I don’t know if that’s something that’ll change at launch, with more players available. Aside from towns that showed a lot of other players just going about their business, I didn’t find them to be bothersome.

I wonder if other players found it annoying or were pleased when I wandered in with my sorc tearing up the battlefield with chain lightning and hydras and wiping everything out while they wailed away with their puny little swords, axes, knives and bows. I mean, they get the same xp and rewards regardless, right?