First tests explain the gameplay of Diablo 4: Here are 5 cool details – And 2 that annoy

First tests explain the gameplay of Diablo 4: Here are 5 cool details - And 2 that annoy

The first tests of Diablo 4 suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Shortly before the presumed announcement of the release date, testers officially (and are allowed) tell for the first time what they think is good and what is bad. MeinMMO editor Benedict Grothaus has looked at the tests and summarizes the most important details for you.

The first were allowed to watch Diablo 4 for a few hours and finally talk about it officially. After some players praised Diablo 4 in the closed beta, although they weren’t allowed to, there are now voices from professional testers.

At 5:00 p.m. on December 7, 2022, the embargo apparently fell and lots of new tests went online. We took a look at what our sister sites and peers like Twitch streamer Maurice Weber think of Diablo 4:

According to initial assessments, Diablo 4 does quite well. Almost all of the Hack’n’Slay features are well received by the testers. We summarize the most important positive points here – and classify what doesn’t look so good about them.

You can find all information about Diablo 4 in our collective article. You can see the gameplay trailer for the release period here:

Diablo 4 reveals release timeline and new gameplay – Shows character editor and open world in trailer

1. Classes convince with unique gameplay

The gameplay of Diablo 4 received the greatest praise. Each class comes with different abilities, a special class mechanic and ultimate skills, as you might know them from Diablo Immortal. Stephan Zielke from GamePro writes:

Even with low level abilities, fights feel very intense and you can feel the weight of every hit. For example, the hammer of the ancients at the barbarian, already known from Diablo 3, not only causes the ground to tremble, but also all the trees in the vicinity bend to the side and dirt flies away in all directions, while enemies only leave behind bloody stains if they jump in stand in the impact zone.

Maurice Weber also praises the gameplay and says that he actually didn’t want to stop playing after 10 hours. Diablo 4 will have 5 classes at release, 3 of which were playable in the test: Rogue, Barbarian, and Sorceress.

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Here you can see gameplay for Sorceress, Barbarian and Druid – it was not playable in the test:

Diablo 4: Druid, Sorceress and Barbarian in the gameplay trailer

What we don’t know about yet is the Paragon system. This should be available from level 50 and you can obviously use it to skill passive bonuses that further strengthen your character. However, the system was probably not available in the tests and has been changed several times in the past.

2. The world will be as gloomy as promised

Diablo 4 is set to be darker again after Diablo 3 literally brought rainbows and unicorns with it and was generally felt to be “too colourful”. What can be seen in the pictures are dark cellars and a depressing atmosphere in impoverished villages and lonely mountain regions.

Our colleagues write about bloody fights in which Blizzard apparently does not save on intestines and the like. Special effects are particularly well implemented:

“When a goat-man is frozen, he doesn’t just stand around covered in hoarfrost. Completely frozen in ice, it has pointed cones pointing in one direction as if sculpted by the wind. If I let a dead man fall into a poison trap with my hunter, the acid can painfully burn this demon into a skeleton.

Fabiano Uslenghi on

Blizzard has previously announced that it wants to focus more on making the world as immersive as possible and not overloaded with effects. Sometimes that’s why the usual color coding is missing for special opponents.

Diablo 4 finally brings back dark catacombs and creepy caves – see the video here

3. Story and villain are more present than before

The big antagonist of Diablo 4 will be Lilith, the daughter of hate and mother of Sanctuary. You will probably meet them quite early in the game. The testers didn’t want to and weren’t allowed to reveal too much about the story.

It was said, however, that the opponent appears again and again, be it through cutscenes, shrines or trailers. The black and white thinking, as you know it from Diablo, shouldn’t be as strong anymore.

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Lilith is the creator of Sanctuary, the world you are on in Diablo. She is the “mother” of the world and is honored as such. This leads to “situations where characters have a tough time morally and emotionally,” unlike before, where Diablo, Mephisto, and their siblings undoubtedly represented the evil to be fought.

You can find everything you need to know about Lilith on MeinMMO. In the first reveal trailer, the daughter of hate introduces herself directly:

Diablo 4: The Reveal Trailer with Lilith

4. Items are customizable like in Diablo Immortal

Legendary items get “aspects” in Diablo 4, something like special legendary affixes. Unlike in Diablo 3, you don’t have to carry the corresponding items or store them in Kanai’s cubes, you can simply transfer their power to other items.

If you find a Legendary you don’t need, you can take it to the Occultist, a new NPC that already exists in Diablo Immortal. This deprives the item of its power and gives you its aspect as an item in your inventory.

With this item you can then enchant another item – even a rare one, which according to GameStar then becomes a Legendary. The system works similar to the essence transfer in Diablo Immortal.

The difference is that you can transfer the effect only once. However, if you find an aspect in a dungeon, it is entered into the “Code of Power” and is permanently available to you.

5. New Feature: The Fortresses

Fortresses are a new feature in Diablo 4, where you should rid certain areas of evil. You will then have teleport points, dealers or other rewards available there.

The testers praise fortresses for their variety and flair. At the GamePro, for example, three different events are described, all of which play differently:

  • expel a clan of vampires from an occupied castle
  • save a burning village where succubi want to start a cult
  • a village where, after fighting a demon, new dungeons open in the basements

We don’t yet know how many of these fortresses there will be in the end. However, you will have to defeat them in order to later be able to travel the entire world and unlock everything.

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2 things that annoy: dungeons and (wrong) grind

In the tests, two contents performed rather poorly: dungeons and the open world, with the latter destined to become one of the big features of Diablo 4. The main criticism of the dungeons is that they are often repeated.

It means something like: here puzzles and structure are constantly repeated. They always went the same way, you fight a handful of enemies, open a door, kill a boss and that’s it. Dungeons in Diablo Immortal run similarly, which also offer little variety.

By the way, Diablo 4 promises over 150 different dungeons. I myself prophesied a while ago that just such a repetitive activity will be the case:

Blizzard says: They bring 150 dungeons for Diablo 4 – I say: This is nonsense

In the case of the grind and the open world, GamePro in particular criticizes how the endgame should run. There it says:

If you want to unlock more skill and paragon points even after level 100, then you have to increase your fame in an area. Fame is earned for exploring the map and completing side quests.

There is also a crafting system for which you should farm herbs and ores in the open world. How much that suits Diablo or how much grind it will be in the end remains to be seen. According to an interview with the developers, many adjustments are still being made, including these.

The first beta is said to start soon and the release has also been leaked. It remains to be seen whether the leaked release will be confirmed in June 2022. No later than the Game Awards on December 8th, concrete data is expected and the start of Diablo 4.

I’m looking forward to playing extensively myself. While my hopes for Diablo 4 may be significantly different than what you guys have for the game:

I want Diablo 4 to be like Diablo Immortal