Diablo 4 Players Can’t Believe How Much Better It Is Now

A barbarian holds up a hammer now that Diablo 4 is great again.

Image: Blizzard

Diablo IV’s Loot Reborn season isn’t quite a version 2.0 overhaul, but its major changes to the action-RPG’s loot and endgame have players falling back in love with the game and showering it with praise for the first time in several months. “Since the release of this season, I have played more than I slept lol,” wrote one fan on the subreddit.

Season 4 went live earlier this week and introduced a bunch of improvements, from revamping the Codex of Power to making Helltide events bloodier and more rewarding than ever. I’ve only played a few hours so far but the beginning of a new era for Diablo IV is beginning to take shape, one where climbing the loot ladder feels more methodical and meaningful thanks to permanent unlocks (aspects and affixes) and more streamlined customization (tempering and masterworking). Gear stats make more sense and character builds are easier to experiment with earlier on.

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The result is an endgame that’s more nuanced while also being less tedious. The economy’s less broken, gold matters more, and leveling to 100 isn’t just a mindless Nightmare Dungeon grindfest. There are still things that may need tweaking in the future. Is leveling too easy now? Are the gold costs for masterworking putting players in the poor house? Maybe. But for now, Loot Reborn has recaptured the honeymoon period from Diablo IV’s launch last June. “Diablo 4 is finally the phenomenal action RPG I wanted it to be,” proclaimed PC Gamer’s Tyler Colp. “Diablo 4 is finally great,” wrote Polygon’s Oli Welsh.

The new Helltides are the star of the show so far. Now available at all World Tiers, players face swarms of demons with an increased spawn rate and a threat meter that builds like a Grand Theft Auto crime spree, resulting in bigger mobs and harder bosses. As one of the leading posts on the Diablo IV subreddit put it, “Helltides are so fun, all the Cinders and gold and loot make the dopamine go BRRRRRR.”

Players who previewed the changes on the Public Test Server have been saying basically the exact same thing for weeks, but now everyone else is getting to experience the improvements as well. Maybe Diablo IV could have come out with some of these things a year ago, or maybe this is what months of community feedback across highs and lows can yield for a live-service RPG. “This game would not have been possible on day 1 even [with] 10 years of development,” wrote one player on the subreddit. “This is because of the community feedback and the adaptions that were made. They fixed a lot of issues and listened a lot of steps the entire year.”

It feels like the Diablo IV party is finally getting started again and word is getting out. The number of concurrent players on Steam has already more than quadrupled and seems slated to break its previous all-time peak by the weekend. It doesn’t even matter that the update is a bit light on new seasonal content or missing a big gimmick. The rest of the game is just too good for most people to care about that right now.

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