Random late thoughts on Diablo IV beta

During the two Diablo 4 Beta weekends, I jotted down a bunch of random thoughts. Then promptly forgot about it, until this evening and figured I might as well post it so I can look back on them after I play retail.

The limits on the beta do make some things hard to judge; such as lack of some specializations, high legendary drop rate, and the extra time spent at level 25, so any thoughts on balance/fun might not apply at all to retail.

  • The game graphically looks really great and for the most part played really smooth.
  • Open world map impressed me.
  • The ability to run into other players, and work together on events was great (not sure how it works with various levels but /shrug still fun)
  • Stronghold were real challenges for me, which is great even if some of the bosses felt over-tuned
  • The story (presentation, acting, and related quests) all felt fine. Though some of those story dungeons were a bit long the first time through.
  • My biggest disappointment in the game was that the skill tree and customization felt very shallow compared to D3, PoE, and Lost Epoch. I see no nodes that dramatically (or even elementally) alter skills.  I was hoping for much more impactful changes to skills to be found within the trees.
    • Example: Where is Lightning hydra, frost hydra, posion hydra nodes that change the element and way the hydra’s breath works.
  • Not a fan of the constantly increasing repec cost. I want to be able to swap things around at any time. Some cost is fine, and expected, but please don’t stop me from having fun with a high level character.
  • The item trading rules felt a bit odd, from what I saw.
  • Was not a huge fan of Splitting legendary aspects into two types: one in the codex and the other being consumables.
    • I guess they wanted to limit some of them more than others.
  • The common interaction points (vault, gambler, etc) in the main city are spread to far apart, lots of wasted time running back and forth.
  • Some UI issues:
    • It would be nice to be able to zoom out farther in the skill tree ui.
    • A lot of the UI panels felt dull or almost cheap looking.
    • I didn’t like how the health and action button UI is different on console
    • Why can’t I had the action button labels?
    • Why aren’t the button labels overlaid on top the button so the buttons could be pushed down to the bottom of the screen?
    • It would be nice to have the big map be translucent, or if there was some sort of overlay map.
    • What is going on with ‘item cards’? They are mess.
      • so much information you have to scroll
      • bonus are not in any order making comparing very difficult.
  • Backtracking in dungeons is tedious, (it always has been) but made worse by some of the ‘objectives’ in them.
    • Example: Kill all enemies objective and you missed one way back at the start. Or objectives where you need to hit 3 things and miss a side path and have to run back.
  • Gems taking up regular inventory slots; they should have their own inventory tab
  • On the first weekend I never saw the world boss due to timing, and visibility of the event. Meaning, I had no way to even know where or when it was.
    • There should be an icon, UI, or NPC always up when the next boss spawn is, and they should happen way more often.
  • Many of the fights feel very punishing to melee focused characters/builds.
  • My general thoughts on the classes are:
  • The Druid leveling experience was not fun.
    • I was always out of spirit, I didn’t seem to do any damage, and had poor mobility.
  • The barbarian leveling experience was also not great, but still way more fun than druid.
  • Necro leveling felt very OP when taking on packs of enemies, a bit weaker on bosses (but still strong). Lots of fun.
  • I found the Melee Rogue leveling was a lot of fun, due mostly to the mobility.
  • Sorcerer leveling had some mobility, and strong damage, and I found it a lot of fun.