Diablo 4 Impressions

I was also going to probably start a new thread on the impressions from the BETA if thats fine instead of leaving it under this thread.
Here it is;)



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My impressions from watching, but not playing.:
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Update: I got a key for the beta today, so I'll play through Barbarian and maybe another one if there is time. I'll update when I am finished.



I looked at the gameplay while Asmongold was playing (up to level 25) while at the same time running around in the second expansion pack of Grim Dawn. What was noticeable is that at least in Act 1, Diablo 4 looks slower paced compared to Grim Dawn, Lost Epoch, or Diablo 3, more like how the movement was in Diablo 2 resurrected before you started to get movement skills/items.

UI was one of the things that I did not like. I understand they are going for the retro look, but it looked very strange and less smooth/easy to read if that makes sense. Not really a big deal though, since you'll get used to that pretty fast anyways. The NPC voice acting was pretty horrible at times, but the cinematics was good. The music for the most part was good, though I'm not so sure I liked all the violin music playing in town, could get a bit irritating after a while.

The crafting system/collecting materials (more in-depth than Diablo 3) and the overall visual looked pretty good, though I have to say that it looks VERY similar to Diablo 3 at times as some of the smaller areas looked like assets from the D3 Reapers of Souls expansion rifts. It did have D2 aesthetic vibes at times also so I applaud that.

It is hard to get a thorough impression of the game from watching a stream (even if it was a 6-7 hours long one) but here is my gut feeling: When I played Act 1 in Diablo 3 I was instantly sucked in. Everything looked, moved and sounded great. It felt like a well-put-together act with Butcher and Skeleton King both being GREAT fights (though I'm sure everyone agrees that it was Butcher who was the real king doing the butchering) Enemies looked very varied and it was just smooth plowing through them, even as a low level without much speed or good weapons. Do you remember having to hack and slash much on one single enemy in Act 1 (excluding the larger mobs) ? Neither do I, because you did not need to. The monster had a good mix of variety, size and not too large HP pool, making it fun and not a struggle regardless of what class you played. Saying that, Act 2/3 was way harder in D3 than Act 1, so I guess it is also possible that in D4 they are doing it opposite in some ways. Like making it take a bit longer to level up and get your character going, compared to D3, but making you gradually shine stronger in the later chapter with increased difficulty. In that sense, it is more like Diablo 2, which could be a good thing.

The free Open Beta is next week, so I'm going to bring all the characters up to level 25 (if I do not get hit by too many large queues) and give more in-depth feedback and see if I am still worried that the game is not going to go in the direction I want it to go in, and if the price is justified as it stands before release and the late polish it will get in the upcoming months.
 
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Finished leveling my barbarian up to level 25 and got some feedback:

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  • Gameplay was slow-paced at the beginning, but that is because I used the barbarian. The sorcerer for example is a waaaaaay faster character to level up, so there are some balance issues. Easy fixable, but it definitely made the barbarian feel underpowered.
  • UI I got used to. It is not perfect and looks a bit meeh at times, but it is not really a big deal. You click buttons, you level up and that's all she wrote.
  • Voice acting is not great from the random NPCs. The majority of them sound like someone trying to fake an accent. Saying that there is one that stands out and that is Lorath Nahr aka Mountain Hermit. He sounds really good, even better than any of the cinematics I have seen from Diablo 4. He nails the setting and I hope to see him more!
  • Crafting system does not work correctly. The increase in stats is so low it makes absolutely no sense to raise them.
  • Legendary items do not feel legendary, with the exception of the whirlwind two-hander I found that sent out two dust devils from time to time damaging enemies. They looked and sounded cool! As I understand it, the uniques you find in endgame will have more special powers/utilities, but that does not mean that almost all legendaries are supposed to be crap, especially not at the beginning when you are not min-maxing your character. Make them drop less at the start and make them more legendary so you have a nice feel of progression.
  • Visually the game looks great at times. I liked the beginning and end especially, it looked and felt like a cold, bloody, and raw place. When the world opens up it does not quite have the same zest, though some of the dungeons manage to capture the more gritty feeling. Right now I feel the open areas look too shiny and nice, so I hope they manage to tone it down a bit. I do like it when it gets dark and when there are snowstorms. The light and dark, especially with HDR look amazing! Throwing in that the town portal sounds and looks great!
  • Dungeons feel unfortunately a bit repetitive in that they have almost the same map layout. This is something they have to fix or you'll go mad grinding them. It does not matter if they look good, because that will become very stale after you have seen the exact same dungeons for the 50th time!! I hope we'll see a transparent map overlay in the future.
  • Character Customization is good, but there should be more options, especially hair-wise and tattoos. The ability to transmog items and look at the mirror while doing so is for the most part really good, though it needs to be an option to transmog all the items you get and not just some.
  • Music/Sound is very good. I talked earlier about not liking the town music, but I take it back. Nothing to not like here, it just works. What I enjoyed the most was using my two-hander and noticing how good the sound from the swings was. You feel like you are Conan The Barbarian, love it! I also like when the barrels explode. Got a nice crack and bang to them. The 27+ stronghold boss called Malnok had some cool-sounding frost explosions.
  • Emotes are ok to have, but for the love of God, LEAVE the Lost Ark emotes where you stand in a circle and cheer at people. That stuff has NO place in a Diablo game!
  • Skills on my barbarian and the few levels I managed to squeeze in on my sorcerer were pretty good overall. Yes, the barbarian felt slow and not too strong (at the beginning), but at least the skills were good later on. The different shouts sounded great, the whirlwind did what a whirlwind is supposed to do, it whir...never mind... and you feel like a barb +- the damage. The first spell of the sorcerer and the lightning spell was just spot on. I know for a fact I am going to love leveling that bald guy up!
I think the game has the potential to be a really good one, but I have some concerns about the layout of the dungeons and that the open world feels a bit boring. I guess what I mean to say is that I hope they don't make it look more like an MMO and not snappy like the older Diablo games. You are supposed to be able to zoom, zoom through dungeons, and not be countered by several roadblocks (pick up the item/put the item in that) that will sloooow you down. I also hope the materials you need will not be a major chore but that they will be easy to find/farm like in Diablo 3.

Next weekend is Open Beta, I'll play the rest of the classes with the exception of the rogue. I'm playing that type in Grim Dawn, so I feel I need something else. The Necromancer is the one I am most excited about. Hmm, I also wonder if you'll be able to have your wolf pet backpack on you in bear form when playing as a druid in the future That would be hilarious. Over and out!
 
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if they have more than one voice for all the traders around the world, they have beaten Grim Dawn as I hear the same guy in every spot with a trader. (I don't hear any voices in GD unless I use headphones. I don't miss them as I am used to not hearing them but it was strange I did hear them the one time I used headphones.)

its not legendary if you can get 4 in one drop. You should rarely get them. not have them rain on you. In GD, apart from legendaries that are always there, I only found one. Same applies to TL2, they were rewards for finishing game, not something you get in first few hours.

character appearance doesn't matter if they have a helmet on.

its beta, hopefully the slow barb is also made powerful to balance his slowness. Barb being slow is a meme almost, he the least likley choice in any of the games to be used in a speed run.

The idea of keeping special moves off items and being able to put them on others you find sounds good, I bet there are some balancing issues with some combos though.

This needs to be fixed
 
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@Colif The developers have said they are going to be doing a more deep dive into the crafting potentials at the end game after the beta. I hope they make the crafting exciting and not just a big grind. I would hate spending thousands of materials trying to craft that one perfect item. I'd rather have the materials harder to obtain through different challenges or very hard boss fights because then it would feel like it was worth it and not just praying for RNG Jesus.
 
This PCG article covers how i still view a beta:


I feel like all these problems listed above are points that are still being actively worked on because it is in fact a BETA, where the game is unfinished, so things like the map being bad, or resolution glitching etc. are going to be fixed because we got to play it..in a BETA. Now obviously we have to see if most of these major changes will go down but im willing to bet most of them will, we might even see some changes come opening beta.

Still not going to stop people from believing this is a finished product and nit-pick every little bit about it to create some content but what i felt was terrible in the BETA has no impression on me now because i know its not the finished product and tbh, what i do see def. outweights the negatives in my mind.

I ran a barbarian and a sorcerer to 20+ (ill get one to 25 in the open beta since our closed beta characters transfer over and the item you get is still available to grab) and a barbarian on HC to level 12, didnt really hate the barbarian as much as it seems people do, the major flaw i saw though is when trying to fight a boss with a major AOE affect, if you dont have your stuff spec'd right, theres no chance for you to fight that boss and i feel there should be some barrier there even at low levels for a barbarian, but i still had fun nonetheless with it.

But, i loved the sorcerer so much more because yes, it was easier to level, but has such good range attacks.

I am eager to try the druid next weekend because i want to see how blizz has the abilities for that class, i cant wait to turn into all different types of animals while slaying through the (small) groupss of enemies.

Thats the other thing, enemies, it seemed like there wasnt a big variety? And there were no massively big crowds of enemies, idk if that was by design or not, but again, it didnt affect my preception, just something i noticed.

And, again, i hope im right about my assumptions, but if that map design remains the same, throw me in that hater pool.
 
@DXCHASE Not that much variety, but I reckon we will see more whenever they fix the density of enemies. It is quite the hit-and-miss at times, definitely not feeling like a Diablo game with massive hordes of enemies attacking you. Made me think about how that horde feeling was prominent in Act 3 start of Diablo 3 when you were at the Bastion trying to move past the endless waves pouring in from left to right. Not to mention the difficulty scale that hit you in the face. Loved that stuff! It is not just Act 3 (or 4 for that sake) though, Act 1 had Fields of Misery, Festering Woods, and the Weeping Hollow with a vast amount of enemies, not to mention a lovely mob density in the Halls of Agony and Caverns of Araneae.

My biggest concern for Diablo 4 is the dungeon layout as dungeons are the major part of any Diablo game and one of the most important things to work out in minute details. The big alarm is that it is not necessarily going to be easy to fix how the dungeons look and work, which makes you also wonder a bit as to why they made it like this in the first place. It is a lot of ifs and buts, so we won't really know much before the developers say more or we get the final product in our hands.

At roughly 38 minutes you can hear Kripperian talk for a couple of minutes about the dungeons and why it is concerning how they look/work now. For those who don't know who he is, he is a legend in the Diablo community with quite a vast knowledge of how mechanics work.
View: https://youtu.be/4-l91GoAjkM?t=2315
 
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Shame it won't have any dungeons that are always same layout but win by being massive. Grim Dawn ones are mostly always the same, the only differences are where the exits to rooms are. This happens in all the maps, rocks etc are moved around to force you onto a different route. Sacred 2 had no random but its dungeons were huge. And all hand drawn.

I feel they want to use the tech from rifts to do it all. Random dungeons built on tiles, just need a lot of tiles so that people don't make videos showing they all the same... like I seen for D4 already. Can hope they haven't shown everything, as beta more a server test than game test.
 
It seemed slow to start, even playing as a Sorcerer. Once I got the Hydra skill it just was too easy.

Really pretty boring to be honest. The pace seemed very slow - much slower than say Path of Exile, but slower than any other ARPG I've played.

The map was very big and slow to traverse, although Mounts would help.
I hit 20 without finishing the main quest line, although I did do a few side quests and dungeons so not sure if Mounts are unlockable in the beta.

The storyline is better than diablo 3, but that wouldn't be hard. Voice acting is good in some places but poor in others.

In terms of the Beta it was actually pretty good. Only long queues on Friday night. They fixed the Crash when Alt Tabbing if running in fullscreen mode quickly by removing the fullscreen mode :)
I only realised this when the Fans on my GPU started up a lot more. It had forced me to run in 4k mode. Turned down some of the effects, shadow quality etc. Put FSR up to max performance and it actually looked a lot better and ran smoothly.

There are networking issues as I experienced rubber banding in the shared world maps.

As it stands I would definitely not pre-purchase this, although I normally don't on most games.
I want to see a proper review and know what the endgame looks like and things like crafting.
 
I see people talking about finishing the story during the beta and leveling up alt characters. What kind of crazy beta lets you finish the whole game for free?
It's the story line for the first area and it only lets you level up to 25. The full game has five areas,
plus whatever endgame dungeons etc that they haven't revealed much info yet.
The maximum level cap in the game should be 100. With each level taking more experience this is meant to take much longer. But we just don't know yet :)
 
I decided to play Necromancer in the open beta and had so much fun with it I didn't even finish leveling up my sorcerer or start with the rogue.

How was the open beta? Well, I was lucky enough not to experience many server hiccups so it was pretty much smooth sailing. The necromancer was a fun class to play and the build I used for it (blood mist/corpse explosion) was good. It kind of felt like an endgame build similar to that of a D3 necromancer.

While the class was a delight to play, the dungeons were still not fun this weekend either. I have no idea why Blizzard would make something this bad. The feeling of going through the different dungeons and doing those mundane tasks of finding this and putting this in that over and over again is like a bloody chore nightmare and not the fun grind that you have in D3. I understand it is BETA, but that is not an excuse for going for such a poor design.

If they fix the bloody mess of a dungeon design I think we'll have a really good game. Time will tell....*cough* in two months' time.

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Im bringing this thread back because i recommend anyone here that has played Diablo 4 or stopped playing before this latest season to absolutely give it a try. Its...a lot more engaging, has a much much much better loot system, harder helltides that go from tier 1 now to tier 4, not just in tier 3 and 4. They have added bosses and endgame activities like the Pit that goes up to level 200.

Leveling is really fast, minions for necromancers and druids are actually useful and tempering items makes so many more builds viable. There are still problems for sure, first off, frame generation has been disabled because it was crashing peoples games, the seasonal content is shallow and the battlepass stuff looks kinda meh to me.

But it seemed blizzard needed a little time to cook because they have def. taken some strides in the right direction this season, hopefully they dont go backwards like the 3rd season did.
 
I've been playing Season 4 the last week and generally it's a huge improvement. You still need to run a reasonable number of Nightmare Dungeons to upgrade your Glyph. However you can push much higher dungeons earlier which greatly speeds this progress up.

Only mistake I made at first was not selling enough loot to upgrade my first few potions.

Although there is less loot dropped there is still too much. There is no reason for Rare gear to be dropping in World Tier 4. You either sell it or destruct it for parts. That could be fixed by more gold dropping from mobs and slightly more parts from Legendary gear.
 
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I haven't played in a while, but maybe I'll give it a try. I otherwise got bored with starting a new character for the seasons and grinding/upgrading. I miss wrecking everything with an over-leveled sorcerer lol.
You can/are expected to run Hell Tides right from level 1 so levelling is very quick to 70. Tempering gear even early on makes you feel way more powerful this Season :)
I did the 2nd capstone dungeon at level 55 with my Necro Summoner.
 
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You can/are expected to run Hell Tides right from level 1 so levelling is very quick to 70. Tempering gear even early on makes you feel way more powerful this Season :)
I did the 2nd capstone dungeon at level 55 with my Necro Summoner.

Oh, good to know, thanks! I thought you had to be a certain level to run the helltides. I can only handle so much of starting the story all over again to gain XP from the missions. Not that I don't like the story, just the leveling part for XP.
 
I always skip the campaign and never do side missions for Seasonal Characters. Before the changes to Hell Tides this season there was a particular dungeon that you could repeatedly run part of for XP. I'm so glad I don't need to do that again.

As for the inventory? I've seen no changes from Season 3.
 

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