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The QueueJun 2, 2023 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: In which we are not going to talk about Diablo (we are totally going to talk about Diablo)

I know, some people are already a little burned out on the Diablo hype, so I will try to contain myself in today’s Queue.


What are you looking most forward to doing in Diablo 4, Liz?

I am looking forward to playing the story again. I played it through, start to finish, on the review servers available to press, and got pretty close to finishing it again but ran out of time. Unlike every other Diablo game to date, the story is a highlight of Diablo 4, and I am dying to see the closing cutscene (which you cannot replay and is not currently posted anywhere) again.


How do you feel about progression in Aberrus? Did they get the difficulty right or miss the mark?

I’ve heard a lot of people saying it’s too easy, but I’ve really been enjoying it. There’s enough of a challenge that it doesn’t feel like my raid group is just steamrolling everything, but there haven’t been any places we’ve hit a hard wall and just gotten stuck on, no fights that have just been frustrating.

It feels like there’s a lot of variety in Aberrus. Like any raid, the fights borrow mechanics from previous raids, but nothing here feels same-y. That, too, has made it fun to progress through.

I’m in a somewhat casual guild that aims to hit Ahead of the Curve every tier, and we typically hit walls where we bang our heads against a particular fight for hour after hour, week after week. Part of me enjoys the challenge of figuring out a fight and learning how to execute it, but there’s always a point where it becomes tiring, dispiriting to keep banging your head against that wall. But so far we haven’t found any fights that were frustrating rather than fun. We’ve cleared normal and we’re about half-way through heroic, which is relatively fast for us.

Perhaps it could be tuned up a little, to add a bit more difficulty, but honestly, it’s felt pretty good.


– Leveling on WT1 or WT2?
– Blasting through the campaign or doing side stuff as you go?
– I assume you’re playing Necro. Any favorite builds?

I’ll be playing my Necromancer on World Tier 2. Some people (and classes) Tier 2 to be difficult, but I’ve found it fine — probably in large part because I’ve played a good bit already, so I have an idea of how the game works, how to build out the class, and the kinds of things I should do if I’m struggling. Tier 2 gives extra XP and extra gold, and I intend to start there and stick with it.

I’m going to focus on leveling through the campaign, but I’ll also be doing side quests and objectives. If you just Zerg through the campaign, you’re going to struggle towards the end. Content scales to your level for the most part, but some places do have a minimum level — Act 5 starts with mobs around level 35, and they keep getting higher as you progress through the zone, and Act 6 is 45+. While you certainly can get through content you’re too low level for, you’re going to do it more slowly, and in my experience it’s just less fun. I’ll focus on getting my first three levels of Renown in each zone — unlocking two extra talent points and one extra potion slot — before moving on to the next. When I originally did this, I was in the upper 40s when I hit Act 6, but when I tried to blitz the campaign on another character, I was low 30s in Act 5 — even after stopping to level some more in Act 2 in order to pick up extra talent points to help me kill a boss. I think everyone will be best-served by spending at least some time on side quests and exploration, both to enjoy the game and to help you level up. There’s lots to see and do in Sanctuary, and no need to rush.

As to builds, I don’t think I’ve been playing one that anyone recommends. In my play through on the press servers, I focused on pet abilities, corpse generation, and shadow skills. I had 12 skeletons (through the use of a couple of legendary items allowing me to summon more) as well as my golem, and I invested into all of the talents that improved them. Then I picked up everything that generated corpses to fuel Corpse Explosion, which is basically a machine gun of blood and death — usually you kill things fast enough to let Corpse Explosion self-sustain, but you can run into problems on boss fights, so I took everything that let me get more corpses (in order to blow them up). Late game, I went all-in on shadow. I picked up a talent turning Corpse Explosion into a big puddle of shadowy death that did huge damage to anyone foolish enough to walk through it, and then picked up a legendary that turned Blood Wave into shadow damage, and then picked up a legendary that made Blood Wave fire off three times in succession, and then just buffed everything shadow. Leaning into shadow DOTs gave me some sustain that Necromancers don’t always have, because you keep doing damage long after that initial corpse is gone.

I don’t know if that’s the best build, but I did enjoy raining down shadowy death on everything I encountered.


If a game has a true ending hidden away and the requirements aren’t too crazy to unlock it, are you the type who works to ensure you get to see the best ending first, or do you prefer to casually play through it the first time even though you might see the false ending?

I don’t know about “false” endings, but I usually play through cold to start, though I try to make the best choices I can. Later I go for a “perfect” ending. Like these days when I play the Mass Effect trilogy I just automatically do all of the stupid little things you have to do to get a tiny happy scene with Conrad Verner near the end of the game.

But whether the ending you see is canonical or not, it’s still an ending. I don’t think they’re any less valid — just different. You like one better, that’s the ending. You’re good. You don’t need to do any more.


What do you think the most ridiculous Diablo spin-off game would be? My vote is for racing game – the real challenge is getting across the finish line before your horse gets horribly killed.

I was going to say “romance game”, but no, that I can see happening.

Diablo is actually a game built on the basis of romance. None of this exists if Inarius doesn’t fall for Lilith, steal the Worldstone with her, create Sanctuary, have super powerful Nephalem children who frighten their angelic and demonic parents enough that they want to kill them, which causes Lilith to kill them first, which causes Inarius to banish Lilith to the void and strip the Nephalems’ power. All of this eventually leads to angels and demons discovering Sanctuary which leads to the Sin Wars and everything else that’s happened since.

It’s a twisted love story that ended in a messy divorce, and now Mom and Dad are fighting over the fate of the world and we’re stuck in the middle.

Sorry, but Diablo is already a romance game.


Can you zoom the camera in Diablo 4 or is it always a top down view?

There’s one level of zoom that you can control: you can have the default view or a zoomed in view. The zoomed in view isn’t something you would want to use to play the game, because your field of vision is severely limited, but it’s a good way to see details of the world around you — and there are a lot of details, because the environment is incredible. The game will also zoom out automatically on world boss encounters, because they’re so massive you simply can’t see them in the standard zoom level.

However, the camera angle remains fixed, so you’re limited in how much you can look around.


Q4TQ: If I have no interest in D4, how long do I have to endure it dominating my online interactions?

Sorry. It may be a while, but I’ll try to keep talking about non-Diablo topics.

Really, I tried!

And that’s all for now, my friends. I hope you have a good weekend, and I’ll see you again next week.

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