As you all know, this past weekend was the Server Slam, the final beta to be hosted for Diablo 4 before the official release. I have some final thoughts both on how I think it went but also on some of the perceptions I’ve encountered both in the game and on Reddit.
This Server Slam saw a lot of changes to Diablo 4 experience over what we had seen in the previous iterations of the beta weekends. Some were received well. Some were badly. So, let’s talk about a few.
The Rework Of Dungeon
First, the dungeon rework. As you may know, in the past Diablo 4 betas, one of the biggest complaint was the dungeons. Due to the lack of variety in the dungeons, players spend most of their time chasing and killing creatures. Although players can farm Diablo 4 Gold in the process, it also leads to a lot of backtracking, and it is time consuming. People just didn’t seem to like them. Happily, Blizzard listened to this complaint and made some big changes.
First, I will say that the overall dungeons this time around felt a lot better. There was so much less backtracking. This is because now you don’t have to run around chasing monsters to kill them. Monsters around you will automatically track you. This change has brought us great convenience. Also, more types of events are added now, which gives you better layouts. It all just culminated in a great dungeon experience and a few huge steps in the right direction.
The next big thing this time around that affected me at least was the nerf to the minions of my Necromancer. This was very obvious.
During the previous Diablo 4 Open betas, the minions were clearly overpowered. They were able to clear bosses and dungeons and even take out the bosses for the strongholds without much help from me. But this time, it was the opposite. Developers nerfed them, which was, of course, needed. But they nerfed them to a ridiculous extent, making them feel completely useless. Most everything, nearly one shot them and they were dead much more than they were alive.
Of course, this worried me and I thought I was going to have to find a new main come launch and buy Diablo 4 Gold at IGGM.com. But luckily, this wasn’t the case. And thanks to some very fast work, the devs corrected this over nerf and made them quite good again mid beta.
This not only made me happy in terms of keeping my plan mainly viable, but it also showed that Blizzard intends to listen, watch how things play out and make changes when needed quickly for the overall health of the game. And this, at least for me, gives me the feeling that at launch the game will feel good because if something is way out of whack, they will be fast to fix it.
The Drop Rate Of Legendaries
Now, to the topic that many people seem to have opinions on during the Server Slam, and that’s the drop rate of legendaries.
During the previous betas, Blizzard had, of course, increased the drop rate on legendaries. We could test the synergies with our legendary powers and our skills. This mainly helps us to experience for ourselves what do we feel after legendaries being applied to endgame content. But I also think it got people excited and drummed up some hype. Because everyone who has ever played Diablo knows how Diablo IV Gold affects the drop rate of legendaries.
During this Server Slam, we were told in advanced and experienced while playing what it would feel like to have legendaries turn back to how they will be on live. Many players seem not so happy about this, complaining non-stop about how they played all the way to level 20 and only got one or maybe two legendaries.
But I think their focus is wrong. We all know that Diablo 4 is still in beta. And now, only World Tier 2 and one zone are open to players. This means that the types of legendaries we can meet are limited. This, to me, is ridiculous. It’s like complaining in World of WarCraft that you managed to reach level 15 and hadn’t gotten a single set piece.
I think because we are capturing the beta that people are forgetting that the max level is much higher. There are many more World Tiers and many more Diablo 4 loot buffs as we progress. We shouldn’t be seeing a single legendary miles opinion before level 20.
Lack Of Hype
The final thing I want to talk about is the apparent lack of hype that seemed to surround the Server Slam beta compared to the previous ones. You could really feel the Server Slam beta in this time has no cues, lag and rubber banding. I think it was just fewer people. Killing Ashava just seemed near impossible because there simply just wasn’t enough people to do it.
Why was this? Have people completely lost interest in Diablo 4? I don’t think so. I think there were a few factors involved in why this wasn’t so popular.
First, people are just sick of Fractured Peaks. After several betas, everyone is already tired of the content. There’s nothing more to see there. Second, people just want to play the game. They feel that by the time they reach level 20 or 25, most of the game content has already been experienced. Besides, the Server Slam is very close to the official release of the game. Many people will lose motivation even more, because by then all their efforts will be wiped out. In fact, I think there is another very important reason. That is, the final beta happens to be on Mother’s Day. A lot of gamers need to go back to their homes instead of sitting in front of a computer and playing games.
Although the response of the Server Slam was not particularly great. To be honest, I don’t think this will reflect a launch. I think launch day will still be crazy and I think you should still expect huge cues at the end of the day. I think Diablo 4 currently is looking a lot more promising than it did right before the first beta.
The developers are paying attention to the community. They’re making changes where they should and ignoring the silly complaints where nothing should really be changed. The classes feel overall quite good. You will always see some overpowered aspects when you’re talking about the Sorceress or the Rogues. But it is a Diablo title, and that’s the nature of the series. But I don’t think the people saying Druids are useless or Barb still need more love are completely on the right track back.
Again, we have only seen the game to level 20 or 25 and some skills scale differently, as do many classes historically in Diablo 4. Who knows? Maybe Druids will be gods at a high level in unique gear. We won’t really know till the launch day.