My Name is Stu, and it feels like a long while since the 26th of March; the last time I played Diablo 4.
Like Many others, we all appear to be having withdrawal from playing Diablo 4.
Even Blizzard themselves have said it was the most successful beta of the franchise’s history, with a massive 61.5 hours combined over the 2 beta weekends.
So while I have been finding a cure to that dungeon itch, I have been looking into other gaming titles that could, at least, pass the time until Diablo 4 is out on the 6th of June.
How to Cure the Diablo 4 Withdrawals
The first thing anyone does, is Google some suggestions. So I went into a deep dive on where to start looking to find that cure.
The most obvious answers here, are Diablo II: Resurrected and Diablo 3. However, there were 2 more that Kept on popping up; Path of Exile (PoE) and Last Epoch.
Though, I am not sure if they can cure that deep dungeon itch.
Path of Exile
I chose this one first to look at as not only is it free to play but also dubbed as the spiritual successor of Diablo 2. I and fellow Thumb Culture writer Nathan had a crack at Path of Exile post Diablo 4.
Path of Exile has class skill trees, Item looting and leagues, it was a steep learning curve, similar to Diablo 4.
I chose a Templar build myself and chose to do a League character. League is similar to season in Diablo, which keeps the content fresh over multiple seasons. A great way to introduce new content.
What I found, as we were partied up and trying to level that it was quite a deep learning curve. I chose to go through the tutorial, but even that wasn’t enough to carry on beyond the first stages.
After a few hours of struggling and trying to wrap our heads around Path of Exile, deep down, we wanted Diablo 4 back. The game to us wasn’t as fluid and straightforward enough for us and felt too out of our depth to continue.
It felt as if Path of Exile was there for the more experience PoE players, rather than allowing new users to join as easily. We promptly uninstalled it after our limited session as we knew the dungeon itch won’t be scratched.
Since post Diablo 4 beta weekend, another game has cropped up a few times; Last Epoch. It’s a time-travelling dungeon crawling action RPG that’s still in early access.
I remain a lurker primarily on the Last Epoch Subreddit as there has been, since post-Diablo 4 beta, a good few people taking the plunge.
A few things that seem to pique my interest are that when trying to run a particular class build, it’s just as easy to reset as Diablo 4 as it only requires gold. Also, at the end game, it’s all about getting that better gear after re-running the dungeons, which is quite the tick.
On the surface, it looks intriguing but with it being early access and at £29.50 via Steam, it may seem a bit excessive to invest, knowing that it has maybe been forgotten within your steam library post-Diablo 4 launch.
I need my Diablo 4 Fix ASAP
After playing in both Beta weekends myself, I got to Level 25 with my Barbarian. I don’t tend to get too involved in beta’s, but I was drawn into the world of Sanctuary.
Being a long-time player and fan of Diablo and sinking many hours into Diablo 2 and 3, Diablo 4 just seem to be miles beyond 2 and 3 and more than I expected.
A Shared Sanctuary
Compared to the previous Diablo Games, Diablo 4 shows you, from the get go, how open the world is. To me, It felt like a little Semi MMO where there are just players there, from all platforms, hanging around in the main towns.
This didn’t impact you on your questing journey and like other games, dungeons are instants based, meaning only your party (even if it’s just you) will only be in that dungeon.
This shared space seemed very handy when I was doing world boss battles and, in general, needing a hand in a boss. In previous titles you had to find games in order to join, but here, just talking in the general chat, I could get a band of misfits together to go battle the common foe.
A Class of its Own
For a cost of a few gold coins, I could easily re-spec my Class with the new overhauled skill system. This made It easy for me to test and try new skills without being punished for setting them in stone.
For the classes, We currently have Barbarian, Druid, Sorcerer, Necromancer and Rogue. There is no sign of a Paladin/Crusader class that came before in the last Diablo games, but, you never know what will happen upon release.
What else I loved about Diablo 4
I loved the excellent job of showing me the dark and gritty atmosphere of Diablo 4. The world is filled with monsters and demons, and the combat is visceral and bloody. Even the music, which I don’t tend to notice in most games, enhanced the atmosphere in every dungeon I went into.
As classic as ever, I loved the combat in Diablo 4 as it’s fast-paced and exciting. The game uses a real-time action combat system, and it felt great to hack and slash your way through hordes of enemies. When I used my skills with other users in your group, this maximizes your parties’ brutality in slaying your enemy.
Most of all, I loved the addictive gameplay loop of Diablo 4 is easy to get lost in. The combat is addictive, and the game’s loot system is very rewarding. I was constantly finding new items to equip. Knowing that the max level in the beta was 25, it still didn’t stop me to continue on, find that loot knowing it will be erased after the beta.
Improvements for Diablo 4 Release
For a beta, Diablo 4 exceeded all of my expectations, but there were some niggles that need to be address come launch on the 6th of June.
There were some odd rubber banding and ping issues when entering and leaving the bigger cities. I can only assume this was to do with limited resources for the beta and the number of people playing.
The Cure for Diablo 4 Withdrawals
Let’s face it, the only cure for Diablo 4 withdrawals is to sit and wait until the 6th of June. Until then, you will have to deep dive into that massive gaming backlog that has been growing over the years. You could even go outside? Na, don’t be silly!
For now, you can keep comparing the 3 different versions available to pre-order. Personally, I think the Digital Deluxe Edition is going to be the sweet spot.
Disclaimer: Screenshots used in this feature were provided from the developers’ press kits.