Diablo IV - Beta Impressions

Elijin

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Do explain in spoiler text
The initial setting is that the various orders have fallen on hard times, ruin and generally just dying off.

Short of a mech suit dropping from the sky, the knights are shit outta luck.
 

Hawki

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The initial setting is that the various orders have fallen on hard times, ruin and generally just dying off.

Short of a mech suit dropping from the sky, the knights are shit outta luck.
I'm not sure how that's a reason why there isn't a playable knight character per se. The Crusaders by their very nature are doomed to extinction unless they move beyond the master/apprentice system. There's multiple Paladin orders, some of which are/were defunct, some aren't. The Templar being reformed is the culmination of Kormac's plotline in D3. And even if that is the given reason, about orders falling on tough times, then by that logic, you shouldn't be able to play as a necromancer (a member of the Priests of Rathma) for instance, or arguably a rogue (Sightless Eye) or a sorcererr/sorceress (Vizjerei, Zann Esu, etc.)
 

CriticalGaming

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I'm not sure how that's a reason why there isn't a playable knight character per se. The Crusaders by their very nature are doomed to extinction unless they move beyond the master/apprentice system. There's multiple Paladin orders, some of which are/were defunct, some aren't. The Templar being reformed is the culmination of Kormac's plotline in D3. And even if that is the given reason, about orders falling on tough times, then by that logic, you shouldn't be able to play as a necromancer (a member of the Priests of Rathma) for instance, or arguably a rogue (Sightless Eye) or a sorcererr/sorceress (Vizjerei, Zann Esu, etc.)
Tldr the chruch is misguided in the story and therefore their goals dont fit with your character. Though ti does set up a holy class in the expansionnlater on.
 

Hawki

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Tldr the chruch is misguided in the story and therefore their goals dont fit with your character. Though ti does set up a holy class in the expansionnlater on.
And that's relevant...how?

The Cathedral of Light has its own order militant, the Pale Knights (or the Knights Penitent? I'm not sure), and was only reformed by Inarius during the Reign of Enmity. They have nothing to do with the Crusaders, Templar, or various paladin orders that exist/have existed well before the Cathedral was reformed And while they all worship the Light in their own way, you can still play as a paladin and fight Zakarum in D2, or a Crusader and fight the Templars in D3, or a Crusader against Manatos's fanatics in Immortal, flashback or otherwise (if anything, playing as a Crusader here adds to the storytelling).

If anything, the Cathedral being the way it is sets up interesting storytelling possibilities, since from what I've been able to tell, the Cathedral is draconian, while Zakarum appears to have reformed itself into a 'nicer' organization. Playing as a Crusader/paladin/Templar that allies with the Church, however reluctantly, is ripe for this.
 

CriticalGaming

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And that's relevant...how?

The Cathedral of Light has its own order militant, the Pale Knights (or the Knights Penitent? I'm not sure), and was only reformed by Inarius during the Reign of Enmity. They have nothing to do with the Crusaders, Templar, or various paladin orders that exist/have existed well before the Cathedral was reformed And while they all worship the Light in their own way, you can still play as a paladin and fight Zakarum in D2, or a Crusader and fight the Templars in D3, or a Crusader against Manatos's fanatics in Immortal, flashback or otherwise (if anything, playing as a Crusader here adds to the storytelling).

If anything, the Cathedral being the way it is sets up interesting storytelling possibilities, since from what I've been able to tell, the Cathedral is draconian, while Zakarum appears to have reformed itself into a 'nicer' organization. Playing as a Crusader/paladin/Templar that allies with the Church, however reluctantly, is ripe for this.
I gotta be honest, I'm not sure how much the writers paid much attention to the overall lore of Diablo prior to this game. It's heavily implied that the church's current state is why we can't play as a holy warrior of some kind yet, but that's not really accurate to lore for obvious reasons.

Frankly I think the game's story is not very good overall. Lilith is very cool in terms of character design but she's got no motive and no real plan. Making her feel not all that threatening as a villain overall. The eternal conflict as a concept is frankly a trap because it ultimately always means that nothing you will ever do will ever matter. You can kill diablo 4 times, or 400 it doesn't matter because he just comes back, all the evils come back. And if the conflict is sooooo eternal, how come the heavens never fucking fight it? Sure some angels show up sometimes, but heaven doesn't do jack shit and it's always a random shmuck that wins the day and even then only for a while.

It's one of those setup that is good in the sense that you can always make new diablo games because nothing can ever truly get defeated. But from a lore investment standpoint, you might as well not even bother.

As it stands I'm not 38 hours into the game having played it all weekend and I can confirm that playing through the story and the moment to moment things are fun. However the endgame is exceptionally unpolished and buggy in the most annoying way. The horse is dogshit because it constantly gets stuck on things in the world and it's got a 10 second cooldown to get on and off it. There is a bad unsyncing and lag issue when trying to play with a friend who's unlocked more of the world than you, various side quests and such will unlock new sections of the map or change portions of it, so if two players are not in the same world state of progression, the game becomes very laggy and rough.

The more I play the more I feel sad. Because while the surface of Diablo 4 is very enjoyable and it's worth playing, there are a lot of other little details that speak to a lack of experience and talent on the dev team. Things that would have been polished away in the days before Activision and harassments.
 
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Samtemdo8

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You can try to establish a new order forming from the ashes of an old one.

In WOW the Knights of the Silver Hand was disbanded for a long while, but then restored by Legion.

And other orders came to be like the Argent Crusade and the Argent Dawn
 

hanselthecaretaker

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I gotta be honest, I'm not sure how much the writers paid much attention to the overall lore of Diablo prior to this game. It's heavily implied that the church's current state is why we can't play as a holy warrior of some kind yet, but that's not really accurate to lore for obvious reasons.

Frankly I think the game's story is not very good overall. Lilith is very cool in terms of character design but she's got no motive and no real plan. Making her feel not all that threatening as a villain overall. The eternal conflict as a concept is frankly a trap because it ultimately always means that nothing you will ever do will ever matter. You can kill diablo 4 times, or 400 it doesn't matter because he just comes back, all the evils come back. And if the conflict is sooooo eternal, how come the heavens never fucking fight it? Sure some angels show up sometimes, but heaven doesn't do jack shit and it's always a random shmuck that wins the day and even then only for a while.

It's one of those setup that is good in the sense that you can always make new diablo games because nothing can ever truly get defeated. But from a lore investment standpoint, you might as well not even bother.

As it stands I'm not 38 hours into the game having played it all weekend and I can confirm that playing through the story and the moment to moment things are fun. However the endgame is exceptionally unpolished and buggy in the most annoying way. The horse is dogshit because it constantly gets stuck on things in the world and it's got a 10 second cooldown to get on and off it. There is a bad unsyncing and lag issue when trying to play with a friend who's unlocked more of the world than you, various side quests and such will unlock new sections of the map or change portions of it, so if two players are not in the same world state of progression, the game becomes very laggy and rough.

The more I play the more I feel sad. Because while the surface of Diablo 4 is very enjoyable and it's worth playing, there are a lot of other little details that speak to a lack of experience and talent on the dev team. Things that would have been polished away in the days before Activision and harassments.

…A horse…in Diablo…is this all open world now?
 

meiam

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I gotta be honest, I'm not sure how much the writers paid much attention to the overall lore of Diablo prior to this game. It's heavily implied that the church's current state is why we can't play as a holy warrior of some kind yet, but that's not really accurate to lore for obvious reasons.
How much does the average player pay attention to the lore in diablo? I don't think I've ever been in a conversation where people seriously talked about the lore of the game. When people reminisce about the hay day of D2, they always talk about what class/build they used, the weirdness of the multiplayer trading (remember soj?) or how some level were really cool. Never about the lore/story.
 
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Samtemdo8

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…A horse…in Diablo…is this all open world now?
Yep, and from what I played in the Beta, it seems like its fairly thought out with its open world design.

You can go into caves and ruins and such.

There's towns/cities/villages to make your base of operations/safe zones

Like Diablo as is can work open world.
 
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CriticalGaming

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How much does the average player pay attention to the lore in diablo? I don't think I've ever been in a conversation where people seriously talked about the lore of the game. When people reminisce about the hay day of D2, they always talk about what class/build they used, the weirdness of the multiplayer trading (remember soj?) or how some level were really cool. Never about the lore/story.
Probably about the same ratio as how many average players care about Dark Souls lore.

…A horse…in Diablo…is this all open world now?
Except for all the dungeons, yes.
 
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Samtemdo8

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You know what's frustrating about Blizzard games as games?

They push so hard these games being online/community driven PVE type games.

Like Diablo 4 has a fucking Guild system, and aspects that encourages grouping with other players

BUT too many people hate Blizzard and refuse to buy their games out of pure spite even if the game as is is good.

Leaving me to play these games mostly by myself because I can't find long term friends that enjoy playing a game like Diablo 4 or WOW

If they were making Single Player games or have a single player element, I wouldn't be in this position right now
 
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CriticalGaming

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Leaving me to play these games mostly by myself because I can't find long term friends that enjoy playing a game like Diablo 4 or WOW
if it makes you feel better D4 is better alone right now. Grouping causes weird lag because the sync between player worlds is weird.
 
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Hawki

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Frankly I think the game's story is not very good overall. Lilith is very cool in terms of character design but she's got no motive and no real plan. Making her feel not all that threatening as a villain overall.
Obviously you're in a better place to comment on that than me, but isn't Lilith's motive in the game to prepare humanity for the return of the Prime Evils? Throughout the game, we know that she's working to capture the power of Mephisto for herself (with Mephisto guiding the Wanderer through the Bloodied Wolf), and Lilith's motives sync with the ones that she's had from the outset in regards to Sanctuary and the nephalem/humanity. If anything, from what I've seen, Lilith's very much in a morally grey area. On one hand, her goals seem to be self-serving, on the other, she does appear to have some genuine concern for her 'children' (and not just Rathma), which again, syncs up with her actions up to this point.

The eternal conflict as a concept is frankly a trap because it ultimately always means that nothing you will ever do will ever matter. You can kill diablo 4 times, or 400 it doesn't matter because he just comes back, all the evils come back.
I can certainly understand that criticism. One of the reasons why I'm less invested in 40K now than I once was is that it operates under the "status quo is king" principle. However, that's been a given for much of the series up to this point - D1 ends in failure. D2 ends in bittersweet victory, D3 has the happiest ending of any installment in the series so far, only for RoS to do a big "nup!" and pave the way for D4. The majority of the series operates on the premise that "things suck, they'll always suck, and the best you can do is hold off the darkness another day." So yes, Diablo's been felled three times in the games alone and has always returned, but it's keeping in with the series's grimdark nature.

And if the conflict is sooooo eternal, how come the heavens never fucking fight it? Sure some angels show up sometimes, but heaven doesn't do jack shit and it's always a random shmuck that wins the day and even then only for a while.
Okay, I don't know how familiar you are with the seres as a whole, but that's a gross mischarterization of the Eternal Conflict. I'm not sure how you can claim that we've never seen the Eternal Conflict since it's been depicted in various media, and I'd question whether it's that desirable to, since a lot of the gravitas comes from implication (e.g. show too much, loses its mystique). But if you're referring to the games, the Eternal Conflict had long effectively ground to a halt by D1 (for 3000 years, since the end of the Sin War), by which point Heaven and Hell (mainly Hell) were playing a 'shadow war' for control of Sanctuary, with Tyrael almost single-handedly doing his own thing independent of Heaven. On the other hand, in Diablo Immortal, we fight alongside angels, in D3, we see the Eternal Conflict at the start and all of Act IV is based around a climactic battle in Heaven, which in turn leads to Malthael's actions in Reaper of Souls (since in his mind, wiping out humanity would 'end' the conflict, per their demonic heritage), so even if you're confining this just to the games, I don't really see how you can say that we haven't seen the Eternal Conflict at all.

It's one of those setup that is good in the sense that you can always make new diablo games because nothing can ever truly get defeated. But from a lore investment standpoint, you might as well not even bother.
I can understand that sentiment, but I don't have it myself. There's plenty of settings where certain things will never change, I can still get invested in them.

As it stands I'm not 38 hours into the game having played it all weekend and I can confirm that playing through the story and the moment to moment things are fun.
Jesus Christ, isn't that 19 hours per day? Don't you eat? Sleep? 0_0

You can try to establish a new order forming from the ashes of an old one.

In WOW the Knights of the Silver Hand was disbanded for a long while, but then restored by Legion.

And other orders came to be like the Argent Crusade and the Argent Dawn
Well, yes, I agree, and the series has done that in a sense - there was no mention of paladins before D2, nor mention of the Crusaders before D3 for instance. But your examples also reinforce my claim that, IMO, the Templars would be a good base for the 'holy knight' class - they've got backstory, the coda of Kormac's story in D3 is to reform the order, etc. Something like that is preferable to plucking an order of knights out of the blue.

…A horse…in Diablo…is this all open world now?
Yes, D4 is open world.

How much does the average player pay attention to the lore in diablo? I don't think I've ever been in a conversation where people seriously talked about the lore of the game. When people reminisce about the hay day of D2, they always talk about what class/build they used, the weirdness of the multiplayer trading (remember soj?) or how some level were really cool. Never about the lore/story.
On average, the, um, average player is more interested in Diablo lore than they were in D2, in part because:

-Blizzard North subscribed to the J. Carmack school of thought in regards to story in games, so the story in the D1/D2 was kept in the background.

-Blizzard South/proper on the other hand has (and had) far more story emphasis than Blizzard North - this can be seen in the design philosophies of D3, Immortal, and D4.

-There's also the subjective judgement that people seem more interested in Diablo lore now than they were back in the day (you can find entire lore series on YouTube, most of the edits on the Diablo wiki are lore focused (certainly it's my area of expertise), but then, emphasis on story has been an overall trend in games for ages. You can get throwbacks to D2's design philosphy (e.g. Path of Exile and Torchlight), but they're increasingly exceptions. I can barely think of a single game series that's had less story over time rather than more.

Probably about the same ratio as how many average players care about Dark Souls lore.
Isn't that a lot of people? From what I've seen, people seem quite obsessive over Dark Souls lore.

Is there local co-op?
Console versions have couch co-op.
 

Hawki

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In other news, I can get D4 running on my PC, but my graphics drivers aren't up to snuff. So while it works, I've got a terrible feeling it'll bite me in the arse later.

("Get a gaming PC, they said. It can play everything, they said. Lots of RAM, they said.")

 

CriticalGaming

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Obviously you're in a better place to comment on that than me, but isn't Lilith's motive in the game to prepare humanity for the return of the Prime Evils? Throughout the game, we know that she's working to capture the power of Mephisto for herself (with Mephisto guiding the Wanderer through the Bloodied Wolf), and Lilith's motives sync with the ones that she's had from the outset in regards to Sanctuary and the nephalem/humanity. If anything, from what I've seen, Lilith's very much in a morally grey area. On one hand, her goals seem to be self-serving, on the other, she does appear to have some genuine concern for her 'children' (and not just Rathma), which again, syncs up with her actions up to this point.
Her goal is to take her father's power. But her MOTIVE is sort of ambiguous. She's clearly not planning to save or help anyone as she is shown to "awaken" people which only makes them murder crazy. While all diablo's bad guys are bad because demons, lilith was the first time a demon was presented in a way that showed a possible civility to the demons and forces of hell.

We know that at least some demons and angels were tired of the war and wanted to leave it. Lilith and Inarius did this and created Sanctuary from their bond. But everything about her return is evil from the opening cinematic, which ruins any potential ambiguity possible. The only question is why?

Maybe "because she's evil" is the answer the same way it has been the answer for every diablo story in the past. It just wasnt portrayed that way.