Saturday Morning Gaming: A few moments with Diablo IV


Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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11 Responses

  1. Fish

    The Diablo franchise always manages to do this thing where I look at it and think, “Oh hell yeah! That looks AMAZING!” And then 15 minutes in I remember (grinding) why I never (grinding) enjoy (grinding) Di(grinding)ab(grinding)lo(grinding). It is, however, a pleasant surprise to learn that my current gaming PC has more than enough horsepower to run this game.

    But it looks amazing and I know it’s one of your favorite franchises so I hope it’s everything you wish it to be. I’ll be over here adding to what Steam tells me is more than 1,300 hours on XCOM2.Report

  2. Marchmaine

    Me too… I pre-ordered (who was I kidding, I’ve bought worse games in Alpha — so yeah, I was gonna buy D4 no matter what).

    My view comes from a Path of Exile convert’s view… I was wondering how much they learned from POE and what they were going to steal that POE stole from them and do better on the next iteration. Turns out nothing and nothing. Weird. For example, the things I thought they’d steal:
    1. Move when the map is open (duh). Nope.
    2. Left Mouse Move. Technically yes, but not the right way.
    3. Fewer but better abilities that you build around. Sort of… better than D3 but still pretty simple.
    4. Monster density and fast combat… not really, pretty clunky by comparison… and a lot of running to where the fun is.
    5. Gear economy… tbd. Honestly, this is where D3 crashed and burned. There’s no auction house (yet), but the gear economy pretty linear so far (but can’t really say until endgame).

    etc. etc.

    There are things I like, and I’m sure I’ll play through at least once… real question is will I be playing with every new season like I have with POE for the past 10 yrs. Those are basically 10 Diablo years that they lost between D2 and D3.

    I’m hoping the ‘end-game’ is the right amount of grindy… fun advance your character grindy is fun. Loot/Gear hunts can be fun… trading for loot can be fun… all to be determined.

    Unlike JB, I hate ‘the story’ in all of these games… I’ll agree though that the graphics of a story I don’t care about are impressive. Spend that money on in-game features. We get it, there’s a(nother) devil on the loose and only we can stop her (spoiler). Someone will lie to us, someone else will betray us, some one good will be bad and someone bad will redeem themselves. Cynical Deckard Cain will be reincarnated. It’s a mouthy game. But it seems to only force you to watch for the first play through; when I switched to Sorc, most of the story was skipped. Thank, um, the Light?

    Definitely next gen graphics. Hopefully between now and June they can apply the famous Blizzard polish because as good as it is, it’s not as polished as POE or what I’d expect from OG Blizzard.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine

      OH! I forgot to mention!

      THEY GOT RID OF IDENTIFY. Something drops and, whoomp, there it is. (You can also cast town portal at will too. Well, it takes 2 seconds so you can’t cast it in the middle of getting hit.)

      As such, I’m not sure that Deckard Cain will come back.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird

        Oh yeah, lots of Diablo QoL improvements. I can even upgrade my Heal Potions! and get more ‘uses’ them by completing zones. I like that most everything seems to be Account wide too. I’m hoping the ‘open world’ model tickles my achiever OCD with rewarding upgrades.

        Better than POE is loot that’s 90% weighted for your class… less of it, but more likely to be something interesting. So far 3 Unique items; one of which made me respec into a Frost build.

        It’s got good bones… if they can make builds interesting enough to want to keep playing and improving? That’s the question I’m tracking.Report

  3. veronica d

    So I’ve been continuing my journey through mobile Chinese gacha hell. It’s quite an experience. Mostly I’ve been playing Honkai Impact, which is from the same folks who gave us Genshin. I’m sure everyone here appreciates this. Anyway, Honkai has a really good story — I mean really really really good, like one of the most emotionally engaging video game stories I’ve played. It makes me laugh and cry and cheer, a lot, which I guess is the gacha formula: to make you love the characters and then do terrible things to them. But hey, you can gamble and get them on your team.

    This leads to the paradox. A thing can be both of these at the same time:

    1. A clear labor of love by a very creative team

    2. A naked corporate cash grab built to exploit impulsive behavior.

    Old punk rock me didn’t believe a thing could be both. Things can.

    Recently I’ve been playing Punishing Gray Raven, which is by a different Chinese studio. obviously trying to copy the Honkai formula. It’s a very similar game, but with much more fluid gameplay.

    Check this out:

    That’s on mobile, specifically a Samsung tablet.

    The key to the game play is your skills come in the form of colored orbs, which randomly appear on the bottom right. Anyway, the idea is to stack them up and trigger multiples (up to 3) of the same color. The more you can trigger the stronger the effect, so you’re managing the normal positioning and evasion while at the same time managing your orbs. It keeps your brain busy. Evasion is super important. Landing a perfect evade gives you a witch time effect and makes your orb flash, which mean that triggering any number act like a 3-ping. Anyway, it’s a pretty simple core system, but each character has a bunch of variations of the system that makes them fun to play and combine.

    I will say I find the “joystick” controls on most mobile games somewhat difficult. You’ll notice in that video, at one point, my character just kind of rushes away from the enemies during her high damage phase, and then when I return the auto targeting screws me. That happens a couple times. I’m pretty sure this stuff would be easier with a controller.Report

  4. Reformed Republican

    $70 seems to be the standard new game cost. It seems like a lot at first, but a Nintendo game was $50 in the 90s, not adjusting for inflation. When you consider what you get in a modern game compared to a Nintendo game, it’s a steal.

    I spent my $70 on Wild Hearts this weekend, and another $70 for a copy for my wife so we can play together. It’s very similar to the Monster Hunter franchise, with the added ability to make devices (cubes, springs, torches) in combat. These can also be fused into other devices (enough cubes make a bulwark which stops a charing enemy, three torches makes a firework that knocks a hovering enemy out of the sky). It’s a unique gimmick, and it has been fun so far.

    It plays faster than MH, especially the older ones (Rise is pretty fast). It feels like a different game, but similar enough to scratch the same itch. The controls are different enough that my muscle memory screws me up at times. Monster Hunter monsters are pretty fantastic, but in Wild Hearts they are mostly large animals powered up by nature. The first is a large rat that is overgrown with vines. Later on there is a gorilla that is fueled by lava. The aesthetic is very ancient Japanese, and unlike MH, the female armor does not try to look sexy.

    Overall, good first impressions. I look forward to playing it more. There is talk on the web about people having major performance issues, but I have not seen any other than lengthy load times on my PC(which I hope to remedy with a new SSD). Maybe that will be more of an issue on later maps.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Reformed Republican

      I don’t mind $70 so much. I mean, I’m not crazy about it but I understand inflation and all that.

      It’s the $70 to be a storefront that bugs me. I don’t mind paying $70 for an awesome game. I mind paying $70 for the opportunity to buy gold/obol packages starting at $4.99.

      (I mean, I was worried that they didn’t make it easy to find the difference between the $70 game, the $90 game, and the $100 game because they didn’t want to come out and say “get in-game currency!” at this point in the marketing. Apparently they’re just including stuff for, like, WOW and Diablo 3 and whatnot but I’m still expecting people who spend $100 to start the game with a nudge that $70 plebes don’t get.)Report

  5. Jaybird

    Oh, and there are a bunch of rumors swirling around Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League.

    First rumor, unsubstantiated by Rocksteady: The game is being delayed into 2024.
    This is based on how there is no preorder effort going on despite it (allegedly) coming out in 2 months and a complete and total lack of marketing.

    Here’s Schreier:

    A bunch of people are hopeful that the game is getting delayed because of all of the criticisms of the whole “Live Service Game” thing (and pointing out that Hogwarts Legacy demonstrated that single player games can still move product and Gotham Knights *BOMBED*).

    But Schreier points out that this is a likely “polish” delay and not one that would allow for the time required to remove the Live Service bones from the skeleton.

    So I’m going to not get this one. Pity.

    The Arkham games were JUST SO GOOD.Report

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