『Diablo 4』 Devs promise to FIX the 1.1.0 MESS + Hotfix Nerf for Nightmare Dungeons

Diablo 4’s Devs promise to FIX the 1.1.0 MESS + a Hotfix Nerf for Nightmare Dungeons

(yesterday Diablo 4’s devs held another Campfire Chat livestream & made promises to FIX the current balance mess as well as to avoid making the similar messes in the future )

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Diablo IV launched on June 6th, 2023 for PC (Battle.Net), XBOX, & PlayStation) and I’ve had my fair share of playing and testing done. After the 18th of July patch 1.1.0a, the game was left in a severely & unreasonably badly balanced state. All classes received massive nerfs mostly in the shape of reduced bonuses of the stats & affixes we get such as: Cooldown Reduction, Vulnerable Damage, Critical Strike Damage, Core Skill Damage, as well as various types of Damage Reduction, to name a few of the major culprits. There were a plethora of other nerfs that affected all classes as well as some buffs that do so too, but the overall result was that many of the working viable meta builds received a big blow and the ones that were non-meta & barely viable even stopped being viable for endgame content.

The aftermath was that a plethora of players, me including, did not feel the game was worth our time in its current state and were left looking for other games to play in the meantime. Blizzard held a Campfire Chat livestream yesterday and made a bunch of promises to address the situation and “fix” the mess in the upcoming Patch 1.1.1 (ETA around 1-2 weeks from the Campfire Chat on the 21st of July). What promises did they make, how do they plan to “fix” this mess, this article will hopefully answer any questions you may have regarding this.

Video Version:

“We know it is bad, we know it is not fun”

Blizzard acknowledged that reducing player power this drastically was uncalled for… but then why do it in the first place? They have at least realized that they made a big oopsie and are fast with the damage control so we already received (yesterday) a Hotfix that adjusts the hp and damage of the middle & higher tier Nightmare Dungeons. They also promise that they “don’t plan on doing a patch like this ever again”. So without further ado, below is a list of the Nightmare Dungeon changes that the most recent hotfix included:

Gameplay Update

We are implementing a reduction to overall monster power levels in Nightmare dungeons. The new top range for tier 100 will feel like what tier 70 was previously.

Developer Note: Although these values make it appear that the higher tiers are easier than lower tiers, this is not the case because the monsters also benefit from being significantly higher level than players in higher Nightmare Dungeon tiers.

Tier 35

    HP reduced by ~2%
    Damaged reduced by ~1%

Tier 50

    HP reduced by ~20%
    Damage reduced by ~13%

Tier 70

    HP reduced by ~60%
    Damage reduced by 54%

Tier 100

    HP reduced by ~82%
    Damage reduced by ~79%

Bug Fixes

    Fixed an issue where additional Blood Lances from the Gore Quills aspect could sometimes not deal damage.
    Fixed an issue where the Answers in the Ashes quest could have progression blocked if Varshan was killed before the quest updates to the step to defeat him.
    Fixed an issue where the dungeons Buried Halls and Endless Gates dungeons were not giving players proper rewards upon completion.
    Fixed an issue where the Akhan’s Grasp Nightmare Dungeon was not giving players proper rewards upon completion.
    Fixed an issue where the Moonrage Malignant Power would cause the Wolves power to be unequipped from the action bar.
    Fixed an issue where the Subterranean Legendary aspect was dealing far less damage than intended.
    Fixed an issue where the Frozen Terror Malignant Power could also fear the player with it equipped.
    Fixed an issue where Malignant Hearts could be duplicated when salvaging them, logging out immediately, and logging back in.
    Fixed an issue where Tier Skips wouldn’t be properly rewarded in certain scenarios.
    Fixed an issue where Whispers sometimes wouldn’t grant experience on completion.
    Further stability improvements

Why did they do those Nerfs?

Blizzard explains that the reason for those nerfs is that they did not want to see certain stats over-performing as much as they did compared to others and that they wanted people to use a wider variety of affixes instead of always using the same 5-6 affixes in their gear like Cooldown Reduction, Damage Reductions, Vulnerable Damage, Critical Strike Damage, and Core Skill Damage, for example. And this seems like a sound reason BUT the way they went on about it was FAR from the right way to handle this.

First off, if they wanted people to not feel pressured to use damage reduction in 3 out of 4 of their Leg armor affix slots, for example, they should have just buffed damage reduction to the point where people would feel that 3 of those on the same item are an overkill and just 2 would suffice, but they did the exact opposite and nerfed various kinds of damage reduction affixes. And now comes the damage control hotfix I mentioned & listed earlier where Nightmare Dungeons are getting nerfed to match the weak player power. While it’s better than nothing it’s definitely not the proper way those things should be done. I’ll be logging in later tonight to see how the game feels with the new NMD rebalance.

Another change I strongly disagree with is the cooldown reduction nerfs, they went overboard with that one and this severe of a nerf was totally uncalled for. They could have went for a very minor 5 to 10% nerf and then just increased the cooldown of skills that were being abused if they wanted to prevent infinite resources, infinite cast of certain abilities and so on as they said was their intention.

Addressing The “Vulnerable Problem”

I, among many players, agree that we need a rework or a removal+replacement of the Vulnerable damage mechanic. Simply nerfing the Vulnerable Damage affixes/rolls is not going to magically solve the problem. There is a reason why we take this stat in all our builds and why we take advantage of the mechanic. And apparently Joe Piepiora knows that it’s because of how Vulnerable damage is calculated. So the Devs admitted that it was not the proper way to handle this problem and that they’ll need to do a proper rework of the Vulnerable damage formula. He also said that doing a proper rework on Vulnerable will mean needing to look at other things, such as Overpower damage as an example, because all kinds of builds use it currently to be viable, so good alternatives will be needed.

Diablo IV Mission Statement

Blizzard showed a list of 4 key points that they will use as guidelines when making patches & balance changes to avoid such a big mess of a patch from happening again. They are as follows:

  • A wide variety of viable builds to discover, put together, and optimize, across all five classes
  • New items and powers every season to keep the game fresh and increase build variety
  • Continually evolving endgame content with high monster density for powerful builds to mow down and activities to challenge your build
  • Make the game more fun for players

So, those 4 mission statement points are obviously something that makes sense. So far, since launch, I have never felt that Blizzard was spot on with either of them while playing Diablo 4 on various builds on each class. They definitely have a long way to go before I would feel like each of those things feels accomplished. I obviously can not speak about point 3 as only the future will tell if the endgame evolves in the right pace but I do believe they should have launched with 2 more endgame activities as an alternative to Nightmare Dungeons that are just as rewarding and give us more ways to level up our glyphs and spend our in-game grind time.

Regarding new items and powers patch 1.1.0 was a hit and miss. Sorcerers, once again, getting the short end of the stick with yet another unique that has an awful negative effect, and is still the only class to get negative effect alongside the positives with their unique and legendary powers. 1.1.0 did bring some cool stuff for various classes in terms of unqiues and legendaries but was kind of a 50-50 for me what i considered cool and reasonable. And that also applies to the malignant hearts that also seem to be 50-50 hit or miss, and also has some underwhelming ones for the sorcerer.

A promise to make Sorcs viable & make Barbs worth it again

Blizzard made a promise that with 1.1.1 Sorcs, who were always at the bottom of the barrel in terms of how underpowered they are compared to other classes, a viable class worth playing. They also made a promise to bring Barbs to a reasonable power level again as 1.1.0 hit the very few reasonable Barb builds pretty hard too. Will this happen? Time will tell but I for sure hope it’s not an empty promise as i love playing elemental mages/casters in games or a good close range brawler class, which the Barbarian never felt like one to me (even with a strong build) ever since the game launched.

Players can expect that to happen partially trough re-visiting of the legendary and unique powers for those two classes and reworking + re-balancing those to make the two classes have a reasonable amount of viable builds for players to use.

Changes to Crowd Control in NMDs?

Blizzard also made a promise to address the ridiculously stupid amount of crowd control that exists in Nightmare Dungeons as well as the lack of many builds capable of dealing with it. I hope this change comes with patch 1.1.1 because right now it’s extremely painful to play certain maps & map affixes on the majority of the builds, especially ones that don’t have enough unstoppable (or any for that matter) to counter the freezing, rooting, slowing, etc. enemies

New Endgame Mode to challenge our builds… in Season 3

Apparently, NMDs are not the best type of content to use as a goal/benchmark to challenge one’s builds and Blizzard will be introducing a new Endgame Mode for us to do that. BUT it’s going to be a long wait of at least another half a year before we get a taste of it as it’s coming with Season 3. Not sure if they were talking about this content but they did also say they plan on bringing back the bosses from the campaign story in new endgame type that suits them when asked about bringing those bosses back. Another thing that they were asked about was leaderboards and they did say with Season 3 they will be bringing leaderboards and content where those could fit.

Here’s a wild guess from me: could we be getting a tower/arena/crucible/survival mode type of endgame with X arena stages where every N stages there’s a bigger boss fight? Is this going to have a timer running to see who get to the end of it the quickest? Is this going to be the content that re-uses the story bosses? I say probably but my guess is as good as anyone’s at this point so we’ll just going to have to wait and see.

A promise to leave overpowered builds as they are until given reasonable alternatives

Blizzard also promised to keep some builds overpowered until they have provided the playerbase with a compelling viable alternative to those builds. What is worth noting is that such meta shift changes will occur at predictable times, like the start of a new Season. However, in cases where a bug is causing game-breaking damage or crashes, Blizzard will still react quickly.

Increased density for Helltides and NMDs

Another changed that we’ll supposedly be getting with 1.1.1 is an increase of the mob density is the majority of Helltide area zones as well as in Nightmare Dungeons. They’ll also look into improving performance for certain effects/skills so that the substantial increase to mob density doesn’t result in substantially worse performance.

More storage? Devs: 1 extra stash tab is my best offer!

A big source of the negative experience in Diablo 4 is the inventory and storage tension. And maybe only players who play 1 class and 1 build only don’t feel this but anyone who has played more than 1 character or likes testing multiple builds on at least 1 character has realized how bad and how little the storage we’ve got available is. Blizzard has previously promised that Season 2 will come with a rework to the gem system and that gems will get their own “materials” tab in the way veiled crystals and the likes do. However, players need improvements to inventory and storage space right now. The best Blizzard can do is apparently give is a measly extra stash tab which is, obviously, better than zero extra stash tabs. So what can they do to hopefully solve this problem?

I, and many others i assume, believe that giving us personal stash tabs + much more shared ones would be the best option. 4 to 5 personal stash tabs + 10 shared ones should be all we need to have enough room for all sorts of builds on every single class. Additionally, I believe we’ll need a big change to the aspects & the codex of power where every single aspect is on the codex of power and can be unlocked from dungeons and other types of content. As an added bonus being able to put extracted aspects in the codex with their “better than min-roll” values being selectable from there when imprinting would be an amazing QoL feature

Respec cost will be 40% cheaper

One more area where the game has needed improvement was the respec cost for skill points and paragon points. The devs promised that 1.1.1 will bring a 40% reduction to that cost, which should make it roughly around 7-8 million gold for a full respec at lvl 100 (down from 12-13 mil). While it’s still far from perfect it’s a step in the right direction. I still believe respecs should not cost much at all and the real cost of switching to a new build should be farming the new gear and aspects for it + re-rolling the stats on that new gear to suit the build.

Currently, having to pay 12-13 Million god coins, on top of the already costly re-roll (enchant), extract, and imprint costs that one would need to do when gearing up for a new build is a kick in the nuts. Reducing it by only 40% down to 7-8 Mil will make the kick feel like a punch in the nuts so it will still be pretty painful. I’ve counted that excluding skill & paragon respecs, switching a build could end up somewhere between 20 and 40 mil gold on average. The main reason why the cost is this high is because of the shitty design of the enchantment system where each consecutive enchant gets more expensive. If they change it so that the cost of our 2nd re-roll is as high as the cost goes, then this whole respec “problem” will be much bearable. We need a gold sink but it also needs to be reasonable with the bloody costs.

More Changes to EXP incoming

Blizzard are also promising more changed to EXP, in particular speeding up the leveling from levels 50 to 100. They did not provide any specifics but they did say they don’t want reaching lvl 100 to feel like a job but still want it to feel like a challenge. They added that they don’t want players to reach a wall around lvl 70 or 75 where leveling becomes a total slog. I’m personally looking forward to that as EXP rates are a sore subject for me in looter games like Diablo 4.

Diablo 4 Altar of Lilith All Locations

What is Altar of Lilith and why you need it!

Altar of Liliths are statues hidden anywhere in the open world of Diablo 4. Every altar you will find and click on it will increase all sorts of stats on your accounts characters. Yes on all your characters on your realm! This will give you a boost you dont want to miss out! Done everything in the game? Farm these statues 😀

Examples of stats gaines from theses statues:

  • Main stats: strength, dexterity, willpower and intelligence
  • Paragon Points
  • Renown
  • Maximum capacity of Obols


Diablo 4 altar of lilith Fractured Peaks
Diablo4 altars of lilth Scosglen
Diablo4 Altar of lilith Kehjistan
Diablo4 Altar of lilith Hawezar
Diablo4 Altar of Lilith Dry Steppes

Endgame Growth & Activities, PVP & Release Times in Diablo IV

Endgame Growth & Activities, PVP & Release times in Diablo IV

(a look at growing stronger after completing the campaign, endgame exploration & activities plus PVP)

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Diablo IV launches on June 6th, 2023 for PC (Battle.Net), XBOX, & PlayStation with a 4 days Early Access (no wipe) for pre-orders (so kind of really launching June 2nd).

Diablo IV’s team has shared some additional information (via a video) about the post-story experience and the PVP aspects of the game. I’ve got some of things I’d like to say about what was shared with us in that video. I’ll express my thoughts, including some concerns, regarding what was revealed as well as what is already known from previous Blizzard videos and interviews.

Video Version:

Post-story Experiences

Blizzard are promising “A variety of different experiences players can pursue. An entire world of sanctuary for players to offer. There’s going to never be an absence of something to do. After a player has finished the campaign, there’s a lot more game to go and participate in.” Players gain access to a special – what Blizzard calls – Capstone Dungeon that they have to complete. Once players finish this Capstone Dungeon they will gain access to the first additional World Tier (Word Tier III a.k.a. Nightmare). Each World Tier brings better experience rates and gold drop rates. It’s worth noting that certain powerful loot (Unique Items also Ancestral & Sacred gear) only drop on World Tier III and above (it supposedly will go all the way to World Tier VI).

Whether we’re fans of dungeons, PVP or just roaming around the world (Whispers) there’s a way to continue our Diablo adventure long after hitting max level.

Growing in Power

Blizzard states that, as our character(s) continue(s) to grow in power, we’ll start with the skill tree and expand out into the Paragon system. A lot of the choices the players will make are grounded on skills themselves and the fantasies associated with those skills.

The Paragon Boards will allow us to have a lot more depth, a lot more customization, many more options as we go. We can rotate the board so we can choose a different path. This will allow us to approach the Glyphs, board sockets, and legendary tiles we are after in different ways that will involve taking different board tiles on the way. The majority of tiles on each board are basic ones that simply give + 5 to one of the core attributes but there are also blue and yellow ones that give a little bit more depth and are more suitable for specific types of builds. Charting their own path trough the Paragon Boards (and picking the Boards that suit their chosen Skills and Playstyle) will hopefully be enough for the more capricious players out there that were unhappy with how ‘small’ the Skill Tree was in the Beta. The Paragon Boards are a way for a player to keep expanding their character(s) and making it/them ‘uniquely yours’. I’ll make content dedicated specifically to this as a deep-dive very soon.

Blizzard also briefly talked about the Codex of Power (for which I already have a written guide+list). In a nutshell, it’s a system that allows players to obtain certain Legendary Aspects/Powers by completing dungeons for the first time as well as by reaching certain points in the game’s main story/campaign. In the Open Beta there were 114 Aspects that can be obtained via the Codex which is around half of the total number of Aspects in the Beta, 224, that was confirmed via a Beta datamine. Codex of Power Aspects always have the minimum roll possible unless obtained regularly by a drop but can be imprinted as many times as you want while dropped Aspects can be re-used, sadly, only once. This allows players to take Rare or Legendary item bases that they like and imprint them with the exact Aspect that their build needs. Rare items Imprinted that way automatically turn into a Legendary item.

Nightmare Dungeons

Blizzard says that every part of Sanctuary is fulfilling and satisfying. Nightmare Dungeons are going to give players the opportunity to experience the regular dungeons in each area they might have already done in the past BUT with various twists added to them. Players will enter a Nightmare Dungeon with a Sigil (that they either found or crafted at the Occultist). That dungeon will be a modified version of one of the 120+ standard dungeons with added modifiers that may alter the playstyle & the intensity of the dungeon. Those dungeons will be more difficult and may even have additional objectives. This is achieved by introducing dungeon affixes/modifiers that grow in number as the rank/grade of the Sigil goes up.

One example of such Nightmare Dungeon affix is called Hell Gate. Occasionally, portals will come up throughout the area that will just pour out different monsters that aren’t native to that region/dungeon. Players will have the added difficulty of dealing with those extra enemies while handling everything else inside the dungeon. Imagine the Butcher showing up for some fresh meat as you’re dealing with a Hell Gate + some regular dungeon-native enemies at the same time. The number of dungeons Blizzard has confirmed is 120+. I do remember them previously saying 150+ in an interview or a video. I guess the other 30 have either been removed or won’t be ready for launch. Any one of those 120+ dungeons can become a nightmare dungeon if you find or craft the right Nightmare Sigil and then use it. Using a Nightmare Sigil will activate a Nightmare version of that dungeon with the affixes that were on the Sigil. This will supposedly “add a little bit of a twist of flavor on your particular dungeon”.

Endgame Exploration

There will be some targeted activities in Diablo IV that suit what players are feeling in the mood for. The forces of Hell are starting to have more influence in parts of Sanctuary, in the vast, interconnected overworld of the experience, and as the players are going into Helltide Areas, they’re going to find even more powerful enemies. By killing those enemies, players will be able to “gain these special shards they can take to go and use to purchase these big rewards that are available at these caches that are found throughout Helltide Areas“. Basically, what they are saying here is that we, the players, will encounter Helltide events, and upon clearing those, we’ll be awarded keys that can unlock Helltide caches, which can be found in Helltide Areas.

“The sky darkens and the rivers run red, meteors fall from the sky and the monsters get harder”. Blizzard say they really want to create new experiences for the players. One such experience is the Whispers of the Dead system.

Whispers of the Dead

Whispers of the Dead is a system similar to Diablo III‘s bounties. Players get Whispers of the Dead/bounties from the Tree of Whispers. Apparently, “the tree has a little bit of a grudge against our players, and it would like for them to go serve its needs”. Players will take 10 bounties that they need to serve, which the game seems to refer to as “Whispers silenced“. Here I hope it’s not time-gated but rather simply limiting it to just 10 bounties per full whispers run. We’ll gather different rewards, different items, and bring those back to the tree, in hopes that the tree will reward us something really meaningful (hello bounty rewards RNG à la D3).

One thing that Blizzard revealed is the choice between 3 different types of rewards players can make. So, while it seems to be random what 3 types of rewards collections we’ll get, it’s also going to be random what is in those collections. My guess is that they may have made it to maybe have a guaranteed at least 1 Legendary but that’s just me being hopeful. Whispers are contained activities that can be done either solo or in a group. Here I’m hoping that split-pushing whispers will be possible. Blizzard says that they really “wanted to create a variety for people to be able to spend time where they wanted to in the world”.

The Fields of Hatred

In Diablo IV, the focus is on the world of Sanctuary, and there are parts of that world that are called the Fields of Hatred, where Lilith’s presence in Sanctuary has begun to seep through and manifest these poisonous areas throughout the world. When players go to these regions, they get to engage in player-vs-player conflict. These offer opportunities for the player to collect shards, with a catch. Shards need to be purified before players can take them back to town and turn them in for random gear rewards. When someone attempts to purify their shards, other players in the same field of hatred will know of this and can choose to go and intervene for the chance to steal those shards for themselves. Blizzard mentions that people should “be prepared that you might lose some stuff in the meantime”. What this refers to should be the loss of unpurified shards (purified shards can not be dropped as per what was officially confirmed many months ago).

Once players have purified their shards, “they can take these, go back to nearby towns to sell them, and then use that to buy a whole bunch of interesting cosmetic items and rewards.” While technically true, and they are not lying in our faces, they do make it sound that EVERYTHING you can buy via PVP rewards is cosmetic BUT that’s not the case. Yes, you can exchange purified shards for cosmetic rewards (not sell the shards as Blizzard said but straight up use them as currency as seen in the video). Note how they said “cosmetic items and rewards” and that is not clear whether cosmetic refers to the rewards part of this statement. Well, it doesn’t.

As the video showed us, we can use the shards at a PVP gambler vendor to directly buy random gear the same way gold can be used to gamble at the regular gambler npc. So, what I’ve been trying to warn people about is how this introduces a terrible dis-balance by not separating PVP and PVE gear and by letting people earn non-cosmetic rewards by partaking in PVP. PvE players may feel forced to partake in PVP IF, AND ONLY IF, the good loot chance from the PVP gambler ends up like a faster and a better way to earn good loot than the regular gambler, doing Nightmare Dungeons, and silencing Whispers.

Further on, Blizzard confirms that the Fields of Hatred are “a place for people who really love PVP and want to still get loot and still increase their character’s power. If that’s the way they want to play, they can.” While there’s nothing wrong in getting stronger and rewarded for partaking in PVP, it’s only right & fair if there are separate PVP and PVE versions of one’s character (like, for example, Guild Wars 2 structured PVP versions of the PvE characters).

Launch is just the beginning

“Launch is just the beginning” is what Blizzard say and it’s to be expected with a game that has adopted a seasonal content model. They say that one of the things they are really focused on is “creating a living, breathing set of updates for players to engage with after the game has gone live”. It’s going to be “a way to keep coming back and experiencing more Diablo IV in fresh ways”.

Global Launch Times

North America Early Access:
Pacific Daylight Time (PDT): 4PM, June 1
Eastern Daylight Time (EDT): 7PM, June 1

South America Early Access:
Brasilia Time (BRT): 8PM, June 1

Europe Early Access:
British Summer Time (BST): 12AM, June 2
Central Europe Summer Time (CEST): 1AM, June 2

Asia and Australia Early Access:
Korea Standard Time (KST): 8AM, June 2
Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT): 10AM, June 2

North America standard release:
Pacific Daylight Time (PDT): 4PM, June 5
Eastern Daylight Time (EDT): 7PM, June 5

South America standard release:
Brasilia Time (BRT): 8PM, June 5

Europe standard release:
British Summer Time (BST): 12AM, June 6
Central Europe Summer Time (CEST): 1AM, June 6

Asia and Australia standard release:
Korea Standard Time (KST): 8AM, June 6
Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT): 10AM, June 6

Useful Links (Spreadsheets & more):

I’ve also made two spreadsheets: one for theorycrafts/builds that shortlist the active and passive skills + legendary aspects that work well together with each build & the second one contains the full skill trees of all classes + all aspects (known so far) that the classes can use.

For all of my Diablo IV Pre-Launch Theorycrafts/Builds: This Spreadsheet

For my Diablo IV Pre-Launch Class Skill Trees (can be used as mini-calculator): This Spreadsheet

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This concludes My Endgame Growth & Activities, PVP and Release Times info post for Diablo IV. If you’re interested in the game, below are links to the various platforms where one can buy it (you can just click the links to open a new tab):

PC (Battle.Net)



Official Website

1-25 Open Beta Leveling Guide

The Diablo IV Open Beta is here! If you got to experience last week’s early access weekend, then you undoubtedly know how amazing the game is so far. While there is so much to enjoy about the game, one must remember that this is just the beginning game beta. So much will be left untouched with so many questions unanswered.

The objective of the Open Beta Weekend will be to experience the early game, get a taste of the characters, learn some new mechanics and experience some of the new world of Sanctuary. This guide will help you level from 1-25 (the max in the open beta) as efficiently as possible.

General Tips

  • Level in a group – slaying monsters near party members grants you 10% additional xp.
  • Progress through the campaign quickly – you and your party should knock the campaign out first thing and as quickly as possible.
  • Craft and Consume Elixirs – Visit the Alchemist regularly to craft and consume elixirs. Elixirs will grant you 5% additional xp for 30 mins.
Craft Elixir potions to gain 5% experience bonus for 30 minutes.
  • Farm Dungeons and World Events – make sure you are stacking the campfire shrine (max 15) for more experience while waiting on the event to launch
Click the campfire while waiting for a world event to obtain more xp. Max 15 stacks.
  • STAY OUT OF TOWN – This one is obvious, but you cannot gain experience while you are in town. Go ahead and level to 25, then you can explore town and see what all there is to do in Sanctuary.

Have Fun!

The main thing to remember… HAVE FUN!! If you are struggling with a character, take a short break and try a different toon. There are pros and cons to each class, finding one that suits your play style may take some time. Also keep in mind the game is in beta state. It is impossible to judge the entirety of the game basis on the first act. This is the equivalent of us playing until Andariel in Diablo 2.

『Diablo IV』 My Thoughts After Playing the 1st BETA Test [NOT a review]

My Thoughts/Impressions of Diablo IV’s 1st Public BETA Weekend

(al the good stuff, bad stuff, and everything in-between + additional thoughts on how each class felt)

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Diablo IV launches on June 6th, 2023 for PC (Battle.Net), XBOX, & PlayStation with a 4 days Early Access (no wipe) for pre-orders (so kind of really launching June 2nd).

Diablo IV’s First Public Beta Test is behind us and I’ve got a lot of things I’d like to talk about. As is to be expected there were both positive and negative things to discuss & I’ll start with the positives but also add short summary of both at the end if you wanna put them side by side. After talking about the beta in general I’ll also express my thoughts and feeling about playing each of the classes. There will be 4 videos to go along with this blogpost: one for my general beta impressions, and 3 more dedicated to my experiences while playing the Sorcerer, Rogue, & Barbarian. PLEASE keep in mind that THIS IS NOT A REVIEW as what we played was NOT THE FULL & FINAL PRODUCT and it would be silly to ‘review’ the game. For example: one would not review a restaurant’s dish/meal by only tasting the spices without the core ingredients.

This blogpost will be updated after the second public beta to include information for the Necromancer & Druid classes + anything additional worth mentioning & talking about.

Related Videos:

I’ve split this guide into multiple videos so that I can give the Sections of this article dedicated to each class their own video, which hopefully makes them easier to digest than one bulkier & massive video. So here are the videos:

General Beta Experience Summary

Overall I had fun in the beta and was happy to have a glimpse at what the Sorcerer, Rogue, and Barbarian classes feel like to play in the first act. I also enjoyed having the whole of Fractured Peaks to explore with every side quest, dungeon, cellar, etc. left there for us to find and experience. There were also quite a few things I did not enjoy, some more than others, that, hopefully, will be different at launch.

While my experience was mostly positive, It was almost a 50%/50% ratio roughly of how many things I did & did not enjoy. Let’s go trough all the things that left a positive and/or impression on me that I can think of.

Aesthetics & Worldbuilding

In terms of world building and capturing aesthetically a vibe that fits the game, I’m one of the people that agrees with the statement that Blizzard did a good job. Some people say “it looks like Diablo 3 with darker colors” but to me that is completely bullshit. They’ve done a great job at trying to take the darkness of Diablo 2 and add it into a modern engine with visuals much better than Diablo 3. They also took Diablo 3’s fast paced, high octane combat and, to a certain degree added, it to Diablo IV.

There are tombs filled with undead, demon-filled areas that portray a hellscape scenery akin to those in the FPS horror game Scorn (or as I like to call them pleasantly disgusting visuals). We have areas that look similar to the Diablo 2 Act 1 areas leading up to Andariel with those maze-like structures filled with many rooms and many rooms to get past (which some will also recognize from Diablo 3). There are plenty of dungeons of all kinds with various enemies to explore but the end of dungeon bosses (where such existed) do seems to be kind of repeating themselves in a few of the dungeons. I also really like that they have re-created in Diablo IV’s engine some of the familiar places/maps from Diablo 2 and Diablo 3 for Diablo IV’s areas and dungeons, which many people seem to be criticizing. I think it’s good to tickle our nostalgia in such ways.

Fractured Peaks is definitely capturing that snowy, mountainous, harsh & cold weather vibe in a great way and the inhabitants the developers have filled it with do fit nicely. Goatmen, skeletons, ghosts/spirits, evil demonic cultists, fallen, succubi and other minor demons, vampires of various types and so on. Many of those we know from the previous Diablo games and have been re-designed/re-imagined in what I think was a positive way.

Some of the bosses are really cool looking while others are kind of meh but still not bad. This might just be based on my own preference of what I imagine certain creatures/enemies to be like and it’s not something that impacts my experience. The thing that could impact a person’s experience is that they might find themselves needing to switch up their builds to better fit fighting a certain boss BUT the respec costs apparently will be getting unreasonable at higher levels. Up until lvl 25 they felt nice but I’ll talk about this in detail further down this post.

The Story & Quest Design

The story of the game I tried to avoid to prevent spoilers for anyone watching my streams. However, there were bugs that prevented me from skipping at some points that got fixed every time I went back to character selection and re-loaded into the game. The cinematics and story bits I’ve seen before the beta started from official Blizzard videos and the ones I caught glimpses of during the beta were all top-tier but Blizzard’s cinematics and story game has always been strong so it was to be expected.

Now, what I felt was a negative experience was what happens in-between the story beats & cut scenes and especially in the way certain main story quests were designed. Many of the main and especially side quests were so awful that it ruins the whole leveling up experience… big time. The vast majority of those are menial boring tasks that feel like a chore to do and like something that came out of an early 2000s MMORPG. One such example is having to take a certain tablet and carry it over to a different place, which so far was acceptable… BUT you have to do it again… and again… and again. It’s just one of many examples where I just wanted things to be over with. A kind of a “kill me now” feeling, which is most definitely the last thing you would want your players to feel like when doing your main quests. For side quests this boredom is acceptable but not for the main game’s story quests. So this section falls under both positive and negative.

Skill Trees

The Skill Trees felt like a great way to set the foundations of directions what one’s build is headed into. Each class has a reasonable amount of basic skills to pick from plus some core skills/resource spenders to invest into. There’s also various categories of other skills that will either also be spammable spenders, spenders that have a duration (like Hydra that can only be summoned 1 at a time unless you have an aspect that give you 1 more) that there’s no point to spam, cooldown skills such as buffs, debuffs, mobility skills, area crowd control skills, etc., or the ultimate skills that you can only pick one of. At the end of each Skill Tree there are the Key Passives that are like a final ‘capstone’ build defining skill that you have to pick one of. Every active skill has 1 first upgrade plus two different second upgrades to choose 1 from that enhance those skills in different ways.

The passive skills/talents are more than enough to compliment any combination of active skills you pick and some of them are good for any build while others are obviously meant to be synergies for specific skills (like the obvious Lighting or Fire or Ice related passives on the Sorcerer tree).

The Skill Trees might seem very basic and small to some but we have to keep in mind that Blizzard themselves said that they don’t want the game to be all about the skills you pick but rather the gear you take to compliment those skills. In this beta there were over a hundred different Legendary Aspects to pick and use on your items to define your build. The Codex of Power listed 114 (the previous closed beta footage/leaks have revealed 118 at the time). I’ve also noticed that I’m getting aspect from drops that aren’t even listed on the Codex of Power UI so they either never will be there and will be drop-only or Blizzard just hasn’t added/finished adding the dungeons they are supposed to be earned from and omitted them from the Codex of Power for that reason. With over 150 dungeons being the official number I can guess we’ll most likely have over 150 aspects.

What people did not have access to in the Public Beta was the Paragon Boards, which, in a nutshell, are pretty much taking Path of Exile‘s skill tree & chopping it into smaller bits/clusters then letting people pick the boards with passive stats and skills/mechanics they want for their build then connecting them like pieces of a puzzle. This will be what I personally consider the real “Skill Tree” that people who think the actual skill tree is “too small” or “pointless” or “not enough” may end up being happy with. While the skill tree is the starting point, after hitting level 50, players will earn Paragon Points (4 per level for 200 total at lvl 100 + some from renown) that will be spent to grant them various bonuses based on the nodes on the boards they pick, the route they take to connect those boards & nodes and the glyphs they put in the sockets/holes of those boards + the clusters they take and boost with glyphs. I sincerely hope there’s no respec costs for the paragon boards as a lot of experimentation will be needed to figure out what works well with various builds.

Skill Respecs

In terms of re-specing your skill trees up until lvl 25 and at that level it was pretty good and reasonable BUT I’ve heard that in the endgame closed beta the costs were so bad that you’d just give up on attempting a full re-spec to try a new build. Even the devs themselves said in an interview that it might be “better to levelup a new character” of the same class than to pay “millions of gold” for a full respec.

I wholeheartedly hope they would listen to reason and not design the game so that the very few % of players (Diablo 2 purists, for example) would be happy with the lack of the major quality of life that is the accessible and easy respecs. With accessible respecs one can experiment more and not be discouraged to do so the way high costs will result in. High cost will make players want to look up and play the cookie cutter meta builds that work best and are a ‘safe bet’. If they really want to encourage experimentation and switching things up (as Blizzard themselves claimed they do) to take advantage of the build diversity, then it makes zero sense to have high respec costs. And that is on top of the high experience rates & being forced to re-do it every 3 months due to seasons.

EXP Rates & Seasons

In the Beta up until lvl 25 the pacing and exp rates were good as that was expected. We’ve known from the devs themselves and from beta rumors/leaks that reaching around lvl 50ish will be reasonably fast but that the levels after that on the way to 100 will be a slow grind. The total estimated time from lvl 1 to 100 is said to be between 150 to 180 hours for an average player. If this really is going to be the case on launch then many won’t like this if they have to re-level their heroes (especially if they want to level more than just 1 character each season) with such slow exp rates.

This would have made total sense if we didn’t need to start over every season and could play the new content & mechanics with the old heroes. Like, for example, in Grim Dawn every hero you invest time to level up remains forever and can always be played on the newest content updates. As for the way Diablo IV wants to do it seems to be to force you into creating new characters if you want to play the latest content that came with that season (like PoE does) or wait until the season is over and play your old characters on that content for a bit. Or simply play your old heroes on content & mechanics that is/are a season behind. So starting over every season + bad exp rate + high respec costs = a potential disaster and most likely many unhappy players that may not return for the second season.

Visual Effects

In regards to visual effects, I believe that Blizzard did a splendid job for the skills I’ve tried. Some skills did feel clunky and weird to use but that was mechanical issues rather than visual effects (i’d prefer it if Caltrops did not jump back as it’s super weird in how it aims and where my hero ends up). Maybe one negative about the visual effects is, as with most games in the genre, aoe hazards on the ground sometimes become harder to distinguish from one another. Like some of the aoe fields we cause may be hard to tell from the ones that enemies cause. One such example would be green poison pools/fields. We can cause similar ones to happen, especially with poison imbued Rogues, and then If we’re fighting enemies that do those as well it might be difficult to tell which ones belong to us. Another negative of the way they made those fields stack on top of each other is that it may be difficult when something you’ve placed on the ground is over and need to be re-cast due to it being obscured by an enemy’s aoe hazard. Maybe figuring out a way to give us a toggle on/off for outlines or highlight or strict color coding for negative AoE hazards could be a way to make it better for the players.

The Dungeons

There were plenty of them and they pretty much took the map design of the places where the main missions take place. In fact, some of the main missions do take place in those dungeons to begin with. I like that it’s as easy as pressing a button to reset all dungeons if one wants to re-run them. I also think that some of the dungeons are horrendously designed with boring checklist/tasklist objectives that would make many people want to avoid and never do them more than the initial first clear. And considering those will be one of the semi-endgame things we run by upgrading them with nightmare sigils/keys for various ‘map affixes/mods’ into nightmare dungeons, that may not be a great way to handle this type of content. I understand they didn’t want every dungeon to be “kill all enemies then kill the boss at the end” but some of the “creative” objectives they’ve come up with are awful and ruin the whole experience with a TON of backtracking. Backtracking is something that shouldn’t happen in dungeons, so it would be best if they get redesigned in a way that all objectives/tasks, that need to be completed, are arranged in a way where you never need to go back the way you came. Going back & backtracking we obviously no longer have anything left to kill or loot on the way. I think it would be best if they rather make sure we’re constantly moving to new and unexplored parts of the dungeon on our way to the objective(s).

Itemization: Gear & Aspects

Regarding itemization there’s a a lot to say but I’ll try to just focus on the important things. First off, I like how rare items are kind of the important gear that you eventually “craft” into a decent legendary. I did not get to see any uniques but the devs have been pretty clear about uniques so I get the idea about them – being able to only equip 1 unique at the same time. So, rare items come with 3 affixes/rolls while legendary gear has 4 affixes/rolls + the Legendary Aspect they came with. This means that a rare turned into a legendary will not have the extra affix/roll BUT it will be less costly to upgrade & enchant (re-roll) overall if you do it before the imprinting. There will also be special rare gear that only drops from certain enemies that will come with affixes/rolls that can not drop on legendary gear. Many min-maxer players will want to hunt those special rares and imprint them with Legendary Aspects.

The Legendary Aspects as an idea is a great concept BUT the devs kind of made one bad decision by making it so that we can only use an extracted aspect for a single imprint. This means: we find a Legendary drop with an aspect we like and we extract that from it. Now, this extracted Aspect can be used to turn a Rare into Legendary or on an already Legendary item to overwrite it’s current Aspect. The problem is that once it’s imprinted on one piece of equipment, it can no longer be extracted for more imprinting. This kills a lot of the value of getting a decent and well rolled Aspect and forces players to farm and re-farm the same Aspects over and over again if they want to move things around from one item to another to accommodate for SLIGHT AND MINOR CHANGES to their builds.

Example: you find a very good utility aspect that you want on your gloves that already have an imprinted offensive aspect. Now you need to re-farm that offensive aspect. And then you want to put that same re-farmed offensive aspect on another slot, for example, a ring. But that ring has another offensive aspect on it that you really need and you want to move it on the amulet slot for that 50% effectiveness and remove a utility aspect that was on that amulet. And you need to place the amulet’s utility aspect on the chest that has a defensive aspect you need. Now you want to place the chest’s defensive aspect on the pants that have another defensive aspect you no longer consider as important for your build as it was before and are willing to get rid off. So what do we have on our hands? We need to re-farm what was on the gloves, the ring, the amulet and the chest just so we can manage to properly fit the new utility aspect. New utility on gloves + moving one offensive to the 50% effectiveness amulet slot + moving a utility from amulet to chest + getting rid of what was on the pants. This might seem super specific and far-fetched but I find that such cases seem to happen more than one may suspect and it will be even more common if players want to experiment and change up builds. So the conclusion is that it will be so much better if they let us re-extract imprinted aspects as much as we want and move them around our gear.

The second and maybe even bigger issue with the way itemization is done has to do with Trading.

Trading Gear: Potential for a pay-to-win grey market

At first glace, it may not be noticeable how having free unrestricted trading of rare items while prohibiting the trade of legendary gear, uniques, and materials or items modified via upgrades and enchanting hides a risk. BUT the risk that being able to trade rare items bears in ruining the economy is HUGE. As I mentioned earlier, there will be special rare items with affixes that only come on that gear obtained from specific enemies. That would mean many people would be willing to pay real money to others to trade them those items and obviously there will always be people willing to sell such gear and make a quick buck. Other cases would be getting an incredibly well rolled rare item that would be a very sough after base to use for “crafting”. People will want to buy that base & save time so they can upgrade and re-roll it then imprint an aspect on it. So, as long as there will be people willing to pay to save time & not farm gear themselves, there will be those selling such sought after gear.

I love trading in games but the way people abuse it to trade for real money ruins it for many games & gamers. There are ways to deal with it like removing trading of rares or doing it the way it’s in Diablo 3 but I doubt Blizzard would bother making the very vocal people who want to make real money from playing the game (and have been asking for trading all along) unhappy. And even Diablo 3’s trading system can be abused by selling gear boosting and carrying a ‘farm run’ to let the ‘client’ loot what they need as you run maps (but at least they gotta get lucky to get what they need so no guarantee that way).

Crafting: Enchanting, Upgrading, Socketing, & Imprinting

As systems, Enchanting, Upgrading and Socketing gear are something I love seeing in games. It adds an extra layer to consider when making one’s build and it also serves as a good sink for cold and materials. I’m mostly happy with the systems with some concerns and some things I wish were done in a better and less limiting way. I already talked about the Imprinting above (in the Itemization: Gear & Aspects section) so I’ll focus on the other 3 here.

Enchanting is pretty much Diablo IV’s system of re-rolling affixes. Take an item you like but think could use some changes in the affixes/roll and pay coins and resources to change things up. The biggest problem I have with it is that you can only re-roll 1 affix slot on an item and not all of them which is super annoying, limiting and silly. On top of that, in the beta test it was extremely expensive for a lvl 25 character to make use of enchanting due to the high gold cost involved (which applies to all 4 “crafting” systems at lvl 25).

Now, those 4 “crafting” systems are mostly likely just not balanced in a way that expects lvl 25 characters to do serious min-maxing as we’ll be replacing our gear every 4, 5, or 6 levels as we do the main story and progress on our way to endgame and lvl 50. Every 30-60 minutes we’ll most likely be finding new & better gear so we’re probably not going to bother with those system until reaching the endgame gear grind.

In regards to Upgrading, I like that they didn’t go overboard with the number of times an item can be upgraded and kept it reasonably contained but, as mention, the cost at lvl 25 to partake in this was unreasonably high. I’ve noticed that some of the items required for the higher grades of upgrade seems to be only obtained by world bosses so hopefully there’s other way to get those. I’ll talk about world bosses in the next segment/section.

Socketing is also pretty straightforward and the way you upgrade gems is similar to Diablo II except no Horadric cube is involved and you just visit the right NPC. You can also add sockets to items up to the maximum number of sockets for that specific gear type/slot. The problems I saw here were, as with Upgrading, that opening the sockets past the 1st one required materials that might only be obtained from world bosses, which I hope is not the case, as well as the high cost at lvl 25.

World Bosses

I really enjoyed the world boss fights (I participated in the first two of the 4 during the first beta weekend). I used my Sorcerer for the boss fights as I though she was the most tanky of all 3 I had leveled at that time as well as because it was the one with the best range. It was fun to manage my cooldown and to stay far enough to not get hit by Ashava but also close enough to still be able to hit with my spells and cast Hydras for extra dps. The one thing I did NOT like was that during a beta weekend of 75 hours (3 full days + 3 extra hours) the boss only spawned 4 times and at VERY weirdly picked times. I believe that the biggest world bosses should not have spawn timers bigger than 2-3 hours.

In open world MMORPGs it makes sense to have those awfully annoying and long boss spawn timers but in a co-op hack and slash arpg this is not one of the mmo mechanics that is a good idea to copy from that genre of games. I hope on launch the boss spawn timers are more reasonable so that for big bosses it’s no more than 2 or 3 hours, which will allow you to hunt them regardless of what time you are at work/school/university/etc. instead of the fear of missing out being there. That way the more casual players who only have 2-3 hours a day to spend will still be able to find a convenient time for them to do a world boss, while the hardcore grinders that have 8+ hours a day to play can just farm the bosses they want more often if they are not doing other types of content like Nightmare Dungeons, Whispers (D4’s ‘bounties), etc. This will also urge people to have more variety and spice up their dungeon or whispers grind with a world boss every 2-3 hours for variety. That said, smaller open world mini-bosses/named mobs should have between 5 and 15 minutes spawn times, ideally no more than 10 minutes.

Random Open World Events

I enjoyed seeing random events in the open world as I was progressing my story or main quests or simply while moving from point A to point B on the maps. The thing I noticed, however, is they are very repetitive in the way that they seem to just be timed and re-appear every X minutes in the same spot.

What could make it muuuch MUCH better is to make them event chains similar to Guild Wars 2. Events that are connecteds and if you complete or fail ones you trigger a reaction elsewhere on the map that progresses that chain in a different direction. You fail to defend the ambushed caravan? Well too bad now there is need for you to help defend a certain minor outpost as they didn’t get the shipment of weapons and armor they were going to. Fail to defend that outpost? Well now it’s no longer an outpost as it was overrun by the monsters and you need to retake it. This was just an example of how it could be done to make it a little more impactful and exciting to do events.

Co-op & Cross-play

I’ve grouped up with a person from NA East to level up alts together and as they were joining my party (I’m in Eastern Europe btw) I’d assume it connected them to my region’s local server/node. The other person said that they experienced zero lag or rubberbanding and the only time there will be a delay was when we traded or when I dropped items on the ground for them to pick up. The trade UI will take a bit to appear and the items I drop will also have a small delay. This may not have anything to do with the connection tho and it may just be how it works regardless of region. Will have to test the same actions with someone from my region. The co-op experience was as smooth as cutting trough butter with a hot knife and the best part was WE CAN PLAY WITH ANYONE, without the need to create a new character in a different region’s server.

Performance, Visuals, Connectivity

In terms of performance I was still not using my Radeon 7900XTX (due to no stock of the power supply I want in my country) so I played on my GTX 1060 6GB with a Ryzen 7 3700X & 32 GB DDR4 3600Mhz RAM. At 1080p & 16:9 aspect ratio in windowed mode. I had all setting to the lowest possible + AMD FSR Quality Upscaling and the performance was far from stable. Those specs meet the suggested minimum or recommended for 1080p which are as follows:

Settings to run the Diablo IV Beta at 1080p resolution, medium graphics settings, 60fps.

  • Operating System: 64-bit Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-4670K or AMD R3-1300X
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon RX 470
  • DirectX: Version 12
  • Storage: SSD with 45 GB available space
  • Internet: Broadband Connection

There were times where the FPS dropped almost to 0 and the 1% lows were around 2 fps, 3fps, 5fps. There was even a single case where the FPS went to 0 for a bit and the game kind of froze for a second or two. While at other times it would stay around my VSYNC locked 60 fps target. The drops are just too big to seem acceptable and there was nothing particularly demanding on screen to justify those numbers making sense.

While the performance was not stellar I still enjoyed the game especially after the queue and net-related problems subsided. The visuals, on the other hand, looked solid even on the lowest settings. I’ve tried to see how they will look on the maxed out settings and they are splendid for an isometric hack and slash game. The cut scenes rendering our in-game character in real-time was a nice addition to the Diablo franchise and I love that they went that way to make it more personal when it comes to the story.

Playing the Sorcerer

The first character I leveled up to 25 was a Sorcerer. I started off with lightning, then moved to ice and eventually into fire. When I was 25 (and leveled the other to 25) I started testing various setups and enjoyed anything I tried. There were times during my leveling up where I felt a little underpowered due to being maybe under-geared but overall had a reasonable challenge on World Tier II.

I’ve noticed that thanks to a certain passive skill Sorcerers can become very tanky when using the right skills and face tank almost everything. While with other setups, and with the right aspects, they can melt bosses in seconds during certain ultimates’ duration but maybe be a bit more squishy.

Whether we pick ice, fire or lightning we can still squeeze in Teleport in a setup as having more than one spammy spender seemed pointless. I was originally planning to use Fireball & Meteor together but then I just got rid of Fireball as it was redundant and I just spammed Meteors (keeping Fireball instead of Meteor is also a cool way to play it). Removing Fireball pretty much opened up room for Teleport without needing to sacrifice other skills I wanted. With the Inferno ultimate I would spam skills with 0 mana cost for 8 seconds and that was loads of fun. Now that I knew that having more than 1 spender was mostly a bad idea, all the builds I wanted to try felt more fun as I had that 1 extra skill slot to fill that was not in my original plans.

Barriers were a fun thing to build around and so were crowd control, chills & freeze, Crackling Energy, and the list goes on. Every single Sorc skill combo I tried to build around and synergize with my Aspects and gear felt fun and very pleasing to play.

Sorcerers at level 25 (and with any skills) seemed to not be super gear depended to get things going, which I cannot say for all skills of the other 2 classes (Rogue & Barbarian) I tried. Of course having the right Aspects in the right slots will obviously make the Sorcerers even better than they are with just yellow gear.

Playing the Rogue

Rogue was the second I got to level 25 and it was fun to level it up with a ranged setup. I was very disappointed with the basic-ness & bland behavior of Heartseeker and Forceful Arrow, so I kind of decided to use Puncture as my basic skill. As the core skill I picked Barrage as it felt super fun to use alongside Puncture (upgraded for 3 dagger throws). Caltrops was just too good to not take for that setup (or any setup actually). I decided to use Poison Imbue and Shadow Clone to mirror my actions as an ultimate. I had a blast with that setup and even added Dash for extra mobility.

Eventually, I experimented with all sorts of other skills. For example, I tried Rain of Arrows as ult but didn’t get lucky to get the synergy aspects so it felt underwhelming without good Apsects for it. On that one I was using Penetrating Shot and it also felt like there’s a lot of potential for a good setup but I lacked the Aspects to make it shine (unlike Sorc which even without aspects felt great at lvl 25 with any skills). I believe it’s just that not all skills of all classes unlock their full potential at the same character level. Building around some skills just requires more skill points to get certain passive talents to compliment those skills and/or certain Aspects to make them shine.

Once I went on to testing melee I was very pleased with Flurry combined with Invigorating Strike and the Inner Sight specialization. As an ultimate I used Death Trap for this one and it felt so fun to play and also very pleasing to the eyes visually. There were other skills I tried during my testing such as Dark Shroud which is super fun but sadly I never got that Volatile Aspect that makes the shadows explode and goes well with the other Volatile Aspect that makes Twisting Blades explode when they return to you. Cold Imbue was pretty fun on the Flurry setup for that Freeze and Vulnerable application but I think any imbue works with any setup in its own way if you pick matching gear.

Playing the Barbarian

It was the third class I leveled to 25 and the one I had the least amount of legendary items/Aspects drops to work with. Sadly, this one felt like lvl 25 was just not enough to get strong without having the right gear/aspects. While Sorcs with full yellow/rare gear can still shine, Barbarians seem to really need specific Legendary items at lvl 25. Maybe around lvl 30 when they have enough skill points to take the key passives (that require 33 points invested before them) they will get good even with only yellow gear on. That said, there are some amazing synergies you can get on barbarian and I believe with the right aspects they can probably melt bosses in a few hits. Hammer of the Ancients, Death Blow, Upheaval, Rend, Rupture all seems strong to build around.

Wrath of the Berserker was the only ultimate I tried but I feel like the Iron Maelstrom on the right setup will also be a nice one to have. I really enjoyed playing the Barbarian in co-op with a bleeding Rupture build alongside a teammate doing similar setup (I had more shouts) and just seeing us stack those bleeds and Rupture the enemies a bunch.

So, while I did try the majority of Barbarian skills, I sadly didn’t get good gear to see them truly shine and was left disappointed. But that is not to say Barbarians are bad. In fact, on paper, I think they can be probably more OP than the Sorcerer and Rogue if you fully gear them up.

TL;DR Summary:

The summed up short conclusion where I list what I believe is positive and negative aspects of my experience with Diablo IV’s BETA is as follows:

  • Aesthethicaly pleasing Worldbuilding
  • Decent Story but ruined boring Quest design (Act 1 at least)
  • Reasonably complicated Skill Trees that offer multiple ways to spec each Class
  • Reasonable EXP rates till lvl 25. Rumored to be awful in the high lvls.
  • Seasons + slow EXP rates will be a awful If one wants to have alts
  • The VFX are beautiful
  • Familiar & Unfamiliar Dungeon design with some boring objectives & plenty of backtracking at times
  • Deep Itemization with multiple layers to squeeze extra power from gear but letting us imprint the same aspect only once is a bad decision
  • Trading of Rare Gear is a double edged blade that can result in pay-to-win
  • Enchanting, Upgrading, Socketing, & Imprinting were all way too expensive at lvl 25 and hopefully will be more accessible at high levels. They are al good systems but could use some tuning such as being able to re-roll more than just 1 affix of an item.
  • The Big World Boss, Ashava, has awfully weird spawn time and only spawned 4 times in 75 hours but was a very fun fight
  • Beta performance was far from the advertised in the recommended & minimum specs
  • The random world event are a good idea but they are very repetitive and could use an overhaul like maybe making them them events chains that affect the world
  • Not only do we have co-op & cross-play but we also don’t need to make new characters on different regions for cross-region co-op. Clans are also good as there’s no clan buffs, quests, levels and other FOMO bs like that
  • Visually the game is beautiful for an isometric hack and slash arpg
  • Connection-wise the game was pretty solid and even with cross-region co-op there was no rubberbanding (once the initial server queues and issues subsided)

Useful Links (Spreadsheets & more):

I’ve also made two spreadsheets: one for theorycrafts/builds that shortlist the active and passive skills + legendary aspects that work well together with each build & the second one contains the full skill trees of all classes + all aspects (known so far) that the classes can use.

For all of my Diablo IV Pre-Launch Theorycrafts/Builds: This Spreadsheet

For my Diablo IV Pre-Launch Class Skill Trees (can be used as mini-calculator): This Spreadsheet

♦ ◊ ♦ ◊ ♦

This concludes My Thoughts/Impressions on the 1st Public Beta for Diablo IV. If you’re interested in the game, below are links to the various platforms where one can buy it (you can just click the links to open a new tab):

PC (Battle.Net)



Official Website

Diablo 4 Altar of Lilith Locations

When my mate asked me to farm all Altars of Lilith in Diablo 4 I just said f*** no I hate this kind of farming, I’ll go and play some dungeons. But when I realized there are some huge bonuses per found statue I just had to farm these too 😀

you can get +2 int, dex, str or vit per statue or +5 Obols cap. It counts for all your characters on this realm!

Diablo IV Act1 Fractured Peaks Altars of Lilith all locations

Diablo 4 Aspects and Codex of Power Crafting Guide

Welcome to this short Diablo 4 Aspects and Codex of Power crafting guide. Its for all thoses that dont like to watch videos 😉

First we need to unlock the Occultist for beeing able to imprint and export Aspects and Codex of Power. You can do this once you reach level 25 or by acquiring Codex of Power. That means you just need to run a dungeon.

The quest for unlocking the Occultist will then just pop up in your journal. Extraction and Imprinting.

Codex of Power

You get these as rewards on the first completion of dungeons. You need to know that you only have to do the dungeon once and you can use these over and over again.

The complete list can be found if you open the codex of power collection tab

You can sort them also for your class only what really helps a lot. Also you can see the allowed item types what is very important when it comes to imprinting these stats on your rare gear.


Will be extracted at the Occultist from legendary gear you found. You will only be able to do imprint this once to your gear so make sure if you have a rare aspect you dont waste it on bad gear. The legendary item also will be destroyed.


The crafting is really simple, just put your gear you want to craft it on in. No stat will be lost during the crafting, choose the Aspect or Codex of Power and start crafting it on your rare gear. The power of your Aspects and Codex of Power on your 2H weapon will be increased by 100% and also for the amulet by 50%. So choose wisely.

You will be able to see the outcome before you craft. As you can see on the 2H we get the 100% Bonus on this one what is really nice.



Diablo 4 Open Beta Guide

Brave the trials of Sanctuary for two weekends of Diablo 4 Open Beta. (Image courtesy of Blizzard)

Y’all getting excited?! I hope so, cause I can barely stand it anymore. The Diablo 4 Open Beta is upon us! Here is what you can expect:

Dates & Platforms

  • PC, Xbox (One/S/X), PS4/5
  • Two access dates – First weekend for pre-order customers only
  • March 17th 12pm EDT – March 19th 3pm EDT (pre order only)
  • March 24th 12pm EDT – March 27th 3pm EDT (general access)

Early Game Playthrough

If you were lucky enough to get an invite to the closed beta a few months back, you got to test out the “end game” content of Diablo 4. This Open Beta will showcase the “early game” content of Diablo 4. You can play through the prologue and Act 1 – The Fractured Peaks. Enjoy completing quests provided by townsfolks, clear demonic hordes from dungeons in the world, and loot and craft gear. You will only be able to hit level 25, so make sure to move on and create another character after you this this milestone. Remember, we only have 2 weekends (one if you didn’t pre-order…) so make sure to learn as much about the game as you can until the June launch!

Available Classes

Your favorite heroes await you for two fun filled weekends of Open Beta. (Image courtesy of Blizzard)

If you Pre-ordered Diablo 4 and have access to the early play weekend, you will only have access to three classes: Rogue, Sorcerer, Barbarian.

General access weekend will allow you to play all 5 classes, Rogue, Sorcerer, Barbarian, Necromancer and Druid.



Which class will you start the Diablo 4 Open Beta with? (Image courtesy of Blizzard)

Console players hear this! COUCH CO OP! Diablo 4 Open Beta will have couch co-op so you can play with a buddy at your house. Blizzard is also gifting a couch co-op player the ability to play without having to also own the pre-order (as long as your buddy who owns the console has it, obviously)

Unfortunately, you will still be restricted to a party size of 4 as we saw on Diablo 3. However, it is an open world and you will be able to play with others on the server, even if they are not in your party. I was really hoping Blizzard would listen to us asking for at least 6 people parties. Remember Diablo 2’s party size of 8??

Experience gain with other players will vary based on if they are in your party or not. If you are killing monsters around non party members, you will gain a 5% xp bonus. If you are killing monsters around party members, you will gain a 10% xp bonus.


Earn the “Beta Wolf Pack” cosmetic item by playing the Diablo 4 Open Beta. (Image courtesy of Blizzard)

As always, you will gain rewards for participating in the Open Beta in the form of titles and cosmetics. Three awards will be bestowed upon you once you complete the requirements and install Diablo 4.

  • “Initial Casualty” title – Earned by reaching Kyovashad with one character
  • “Early Voyager” title – Earned by reaching level 20 with one character
  • Beta wolf pack cosmetic item – Earned by reaching level 20 on one character

System Requirements

Honestly, we are kind of shocked at the system requirements. Looks like everyone won’t have to go out and buy new PCs for the game after all. The game will attempt to run even with onboard graphics, although the game play experience may stink… literally.


From all of us here at Wasted666, we hope you have a fun and memorable Diablo 4 Open Beta experience! Remember, Diablo launches only come around once every ten years (LOL) so make sure to enjoy the entire experience!