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Diablo > Diablo 4Jun 5, 2023 3:00 pm CT

New to the Diablo franchise? Here are some tips to help you get started in Diablo 4

With all the positive buzz about the launch of Diablo 4 — it’s all anyone at Blizzard Watch has been talking about lately — it’s a great time for new players to jump into the world of Sanctuary. But it can be disorienting to jump into the fourth title in a big franchise, so if you’re brand new to Diablo (or if you just need a refresher), here are four things to know about the series before you get started:

The setting: Sanctuary is a literal hidey-hole of a dimension created as a refuge from the Eternal Conflict between the High Heavens and the denizens of the abyss. The world was created by Lilith, the demon daughter of Mephisto, Inarius, a rogue archangel, created the world to hide away from their brethren, alongside other angels and demons who tired of endless war. Their descendants ultimately became humanity. But make no mistake: This was no love story. The interests of mother and father of the human race aren’t necessarily aligned with those of their children.

And while the game may be named Diablo, there’s no sign of its eponymous Prime Evil, Diablo. He and his brothers were banished from Sanctuary at the end of Diablo 3. But, this being Sanctuary, peace will never last and hope is fleeting.

The tone: Sanctuary is a grimy, merciless word where just about the best humanity can hope is a quick painless death rather than a horrifying and extended one. There is no lasting peace, no untainted beauty. Entropy and evil are eating away at the very fabric of the world. There are flawed heroes who try to stem the flood of evil into the world, even if only a little, but it’s a hopeless environment that can truly be described as grimdark. Be prepared for tragedy as well as frequent episodes of body horror.

Remember that the game is rated M (Mature), and there’s plenty of blood, gore, and violence to go around.

The gameplay: Diablo 4 is an ARPG with emphasis on the action. You don’t have to worry about needing fast twitch reactions and, thankfully, there are no platformer elements, but you’ll have to stay in motion or be overwhelmed. However, you will need to learn to dodge hits that are coming for you.

Boss fights in Diablo 4 can be tricky. Depending on your class, expect to do a lot of moving. If you lose the first couple of times, don’t be afraid to reallocate your skill points for specific bosses, and there is nothing wrong with taking a step back and doing side quests or dungeons until you level up more. Be warned, though, if you leave a boss fight it can be quite a trial to return if there are no nearby waypoints. You might have to fight your way back to a location and, even with a mount, it can be a tedious, lengthy experience. Still, sometimes it’s better than beating your head against the wall on a difficult fight.

Need some help? We have guides on getting started with the Barbarian, Druid, Rogue, Sorcerer, and Necromancer.

Most of all, don’t forget the game’s handy town portal feature. You can take a breather in a dungeon by zipping back to the last town you visited to get armor repaired, restock on healing potions, upgrade gear, and use other handy services.

Traveling the world: Diablo 4 is theoretically an open world, but expect to go nowhere fast in the early segments of the game. The outside world is filled with just as many packs of monsters as the dungeons are. Be sure to look for waystones in any settlements you encounter. They are the basis of fast travel and, believe me, there are locations in Sanctuary that you don’t ever want to revisit by foot.

At the start of Act 4, you can acquire a ground mount. Although it can be a more forgiving mode of travel than in World of Warcraft with more tolerance to attacks before being dismounted, ride hard and be on the lookout for physical obstacles. There is nothing worse than almost getting away from a swarm of mobs only to get stuck on a fallen tree and overwhelmed.

And now… See you in Hell!

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Filed Under: Newbie, Sanctuary

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