In this test, I was only able to test the Barbarian. Personally, I never play tank classes in any Diablo game. I tried in Diablo II: Resurrected, but it is simply difficult to pick the right gear and the right talent tree choices when you don’t know which is best. In Diablo IV, that remains true. For this test, I ran a Twitter poll for the Class I should play in Early Access Beta, and Barbarian was the top choice (41.9%). So I chose a Barbarian from the poll request rather than what I wanted to play. The poll choice was challenging, I’ll explain later.

The Diablo IV Early Access Beta only lasted about 4 days with a Level 25 cap, which is not long enough compared with the closed beta held back in November 2022 — which lasted 3 weeks with a Level 100 cap. Another difference between the two tests is that Early Access Beta only allowed gameplay within the Fractured Peaks versus the previous test which allowed testers to roam free through all zones of the playable Sanctuary continent known as Estuar: Fractured Peaks, Scosglen, Dry Steppes, Hawezar and Kehjistan.

That said, because of the Fractured Peaks constraint, this meant that we couldn’t get Class specialties, nor mounts because each are tied to quests that lead you to a different zone to complete them. So that meant walking the entire test without a mount. Very tedious, but on the other hand, the high speeds of a mount during a stress test where the servers were a bit laggy, would have made the test unbearable.

In case you missed it, Blizzard CM PezRadar posted in the known-issues list: “Performance optimizations are still in progress. Players may encounter some performance issues, particularly on older hardware across different platforms.” Was that true. Sadly, my system was in that range (but should it have?). Though I could play somewhat normal onscreen with a few hiccups, recording video with OBS in the same computer caused the videos to show drastic FPS loss that didn’t exist in the gameplay. I was playing with all Diablo IV settings down to “Low” and the Razer Cortex game booster to disable some processes and RAM. I was using a CPU codec in OBS. My system contains: Intel Core i5-6600K, an NVIDIA GTX 960, and a Samsung 970 Evo Plus M.2 SSD.

Hopefully, most low-end and mid-range PC systems get optimized by launch.

All those rants and warnings out the way, I’ll guide you through several Diablo IV systems and content that you will encounter on June 6 when Diablo IV launches. I will provide images, and videos to give you a better shotgun seat view of some of these systems, and I will wrap up with the Skills, Talent Tree choices, and Legendary Gear that I stuck with to enhance some of those Skill choices. Get some snacks and drinks, because this might take you a while to unpack. Hopefully, you find something here that you haven’t heard of elsewhere yet.

My diablo 4 gameplay impressions article

Diablo IV Early Access Beta Impressions

It was incredibly satisfying to play Diablo IV again after the first closed beta held back in November 2022. Diablo IV is built from the ground up to be a Live service game with a massive outdoor playground with random events. The good thing about that is that Blizzard can easily swap some of these events with brand-new ones every Season if they wished to.


There are two types of public events. The smaller ones can be done solo or with a few players that walk in — without requiring to be in a team. These reward gold, random Materials, random Gems, random quality Items (including Legendaries), and 20-35 Murmuring Obols. If you fail the Mastery objective, you only get a Radiant Chest with 20 Murmuring Obols. If you complete the Mastery Objective you get a Greater Radiant Chest containing 35 Murmuring Obols. Some public event examples that come to mind:

  • Ancient Obelisk: Sometimes it was a ritual where players have to stand on one of four circles or multiple circles to trigger the spawn of several monsters.
  • Ancient Syphon: Survive the enemy assault. Time remaining: 1:10. Mastery: Satiate 3 Ancient Syphons by slaying enemies near them (0/3).
  • Caravan Under Siege: There is a caravan of three broken wagons. The NPCs ask for help. You have to defeat waves of random monsters. Sometimes it was Khazra, or Fallen, Bandits, or Werewolves, or Revenants with Ghouls, etc. I guess enemies can be random by type of monsters. You have to defeat these waves before the time expires for bonus rewards. Speak with the villager to start the event. Survive the Ambush. Mastery: Keep all the survivors alive. Time Remaining: 1:14.
  • Cull the Wicked: Slay all enemies in the Camp Trenchfoot. Defeat Wulfear Boltrend. Mastery: 58 seconds remaining.
  • Hold Your Ground: Enter Radiance Field Cemetery. Talk to the Wanderer (not the one you think it is). Survive the enemy waves: 5 left. Mastery: Protect the Wanderer.
  • Insatiable Hunger: Slay the possessed enemy before it is sacrificed to the Devourer of Souls. Mastery: Sacrifices Remaining: 3. Remaining Time: 1:29.
  • Jar of Souls: Slay the monsters disturbing the jar. Survive the enemy assault. Mastery: Collect 30 enemy souls: 0/30. Time Remaining: 0:58.
  • Rites of Ascension: Slay the channeler to disrupt the rites. (Note: in this event, you will find a single Wraith spirit channeling on a giant inert treant. Kill the Wraith and the Wood Wraith spawns along with other spirit minions). Slay the Unascended: 1:28 minutes remaining. Mastery: Slay the Unascended before the rites are complete.
  • Waves of Darkness: Slay as many enemy waves as you can before time runs out (0/3). 55 seconds. Mastery: Defeat 5 waves (0/5). Time Remaining: 1:19.
  • Webbed Hatchery: Search the cocoons for Villagers (0/3)

There are many other small events like that throughout each sub-zone in the Fractured Peaks, and the same is true for each zone of the game: Hawezar, Scosglen, Kehjistan and Dry Steppes. So there is a ton of potential for those who love outdoor PvE content, be it solo or in a team; and a lot of potential for refreshing those event locations with brand-new events each Season.

The second type of public events are very similar to Strongholds. Strongholds are locations in Fractured Peaks, Scosglen and other regions that players have to solo in order to vanquish evil to reclaim back. Once conquered, that Stronghold permanently becomes a new Town. Sometimes it will have a Blacksmith, a Waypoint, a new dungeon, or a combination of some of those or lacking one of those. Other Strongholds only provide a campfire that gives a buff.

Here is a quick view of Stronghold: Nostrava.

Nostrava Stronghold

Now where public events differ from Strongholds, other players can see each other in public events, and these allocated event locations will refresh maybe in about 2 hours before you can do them again. But remember, there are more sub-zones in Fractured Peaks (for example) that have their own public events. These public events sometimes have puzzles. For example, there is an event with tumor growths. The big tumors are invulnerable. You have to split up and go destroy the smaller tumors elsewhere, then return to destroy the big tumor, which spawn a mini-boss. Once all tumors are destroyed you get access to a last boss.

You can watch plenty of Public Events in this video where I mostly focus on outdoor PvE gameplay with a Barbarian. Note: Because of server stability and high CPU/GPU issues, there was FPS loss. I suggest increasing the video playback speed to 2.00 to compensate for the drastic FPS loss.

outdoor PvE gameplay as Barbarian

Other public events require large groups to split up and clear mobs at different areas of the event before the timer expires for better quality rewards. Usually legendaries, Obols (which work like Kadala in Diablo III. Currency for the Gambler) and other stuff. Talking about Obols, that’s how I got some of my best Legendary items for my Barbarian. So definitely, if you are the type of player that loathes dungeons or raids, these public events are a great way to farm Legendaries, and to obtain Obols to gamble your way to additional Legendaries.

The outdoor Raid bosses, however are the best source of Legendaries. Some people get 5-6 Legendaries from the boss, plus another 5 Legendaries in the cache that drops from the same raid boss. It’s unknown if that large amount was tweaked for Beta, or whether the same will be for Launch. So keep that in mind.


There are many side quests throughout the world of Sanctuary. Some of them can be found in towns, some are unlocked after conquering a Stronghold (that later becomes into a town), others start from items such as a piece of paper or a scroll on the ground or on a table at the Inn (not necessarily starts from an NPC). But other side quests can only be found while exploring outdoors until eventually you can see the blue exclamation mark pop in your minimap or World Map.

Side Quest

When you interact with the NPC, some have normal dialogues with voice over, but side quest NPCs have an additional dialogue with a blue exclamation mark to denote they have a side quest available. These side quests may lead to some outdoor content, or a cellar content, or even a special dungeon objective.

Side Quest in Margrave from Priest Matvey

Side quests reward players with a variety of things. For this particular side quest shown above, THE CLEANSING FLAME, I was rewarded with +20 Fractured Peaks Renown, 1,300 Gold, +9,792 XP, and a Murmuring Cache in my inventory. When I clicked the Murmuring Cache, 50 Murmuring Obols dropped on the ground for me to pick by walking over it.

The Ravenous Dead side quest, in Yelesna town, rewarded me a Herb Cache that rewarded: Howler Moss x 1, Lifesbane x 1, Gallowvine x 8, Biteberry x 2, Blightshade x 2, and Reddamine x 1. The amount and type of herbs might be random generated.

Here is a quick look at the Materials tab in your Character UI.

Materials Tab in the Character UI

A bit off-topic, from “Side Quests,” but while I’m discussing Herbs and Ore, let me put it out there: Scattered Prism is a rare crafting material that drops from Mineral Nodes and may be randomly rewarded in some event caches, elites, public event bosses, dungeon bosses, raid bosses, etc. I probably came across less than 10 for the weekend duration of Early Access Beta. Scattered Prism is used at the Jeweler to craft a socket into a Legendary Item or better quality. Once you craft a socket, you can place a gem or skull there. Sometimes you require Scattered Prism x 3.

There are also side quests that require as an objective to use an Emote. It is not always clear that you must use an Emote or …. which Emote in specific. So you will have to do some puzzle solving or randomly use every emote in your arsenal by pressing “E” and selecting the emote from the sub-menus. One of these emote side quests is “Traveler’s Prayer” which starts from the Pilgrimage’s Letter found on a table at the Inn in Yelena town. You have to emote “Thanks” at the altar, and a treasure chest spawns on the ground as a reward. This particular side quest “Traveler’s Prayer” rewarded me +20 Fractured Peaks Renown, +4,896 XP, 1,040 Gold, Weak Assault Elixir, Weak Elixir of Shadow Resistance. No cache.

Side Quest that requires an Emote to complete

There is another Emote Side Quest titled Secret of the Spring at Kylsik Plateau (near the Forsaken Quarry dungeon within the Frigid Expanse sub-zone of Fractured Peaks). Starts from a “Discarded Note.” The side quest is another riddle that requires an Emote: ” Wait.”

Secret of the Spring requires the Wait Emote


This type of content is a bit more obscure and not easy to come by. Requires outdoor exploration and clicking corpses and other things. Some might drop from monsters. I can’t recall if I saw one drop in dungeons, but might be possible.

I have found a handful of these in my exploration of Fractured Peaks. This example below shows an item named Faded Old Painting which dropped from clicking a corpse in the ground — east of the Margrave town. This type of content can be recognized by the teal text and by your character playing a voice over: “What is this?” Upon looting this item, a Side Quest (blue marker) will be placed in your Quest Tracker (beneath the minimap), and the minimap will flash the same blue icon. If you open the World Map, it will point where the turn in is located. In this case, the Faded Old Painting started a quest titled “Better Days” and it is turned in at the Margrave town.

In 4 days of Early Access Beta I did not see a single Legendary Item drop from a corpse, other than the occasional item that starts a quest, and materials such as ore or herbs, gold, and sometimes lesser quality items. If they do, the droprate percent is very low.

Faded Old Painting

Open your inventory, and search for the Quest tab. The item will have some flavor text to read. This quest rewarded me with +20 Fractured Peaks Renown, 4,896 XP, 1,040 Gold, and a Salvage Cache — the latter was placed in my Inventory. The flavor text in the Salvage Cache said: “Contains an assortment of Salvage.” It dropped 1 Veiled Crystal — used at the Blacksmith.

Faded Old Painting starts a side quest titled Better Days you turn in at the Margrave town in Fractured Peaks.

Surprisingly, I got a second teal text item after climbing that wall. I think it dropped from a Slinger or Firebrand human enemy while I was channeling Whirlwind. The teal text item was named Merchant’s Ledger. Again, when I looted it, my character said: “What is this?” Immediately, a blue marker appeared in my quest tracker to announce a new Side Quest was added: Unwritten End. Show the Merchant’s Ledger to Zalan Coste. I returned to Margrave and turned in the ledger. It rewarded me +20 Fractured Peaks Renown, +4,896 XP, 1,040 Gold, and this time I got a Elixir Cache (instead of the Salvage Cache) — which makes me think this type of side quest that starts from an item might have a random cache reward, or Blizzard assigns each of these quests a specific cache. Inconclusive. The Elixir Cache contains an assortment of Elixirs. For me, it dropped a Weak Elixir of Poison Resistance x 2.

Elixir Cache


Another outdoor content you can find in each zone are Cellars. These are very small, and you might encounter interesting random content there with NPCs and voice over. You don’t need unnecessary exploration to find them. Once you explore a zone once, all Cellars become visible in the World Map. They are displayed as a Trap Door icon in the World Map and in the Mini-Map.

Here is a cellar named Oleg’s Hideout. The objective is to Purge the cellar. There is a bunch of cultists with daggers and staves. One rare elite named Bloodthirsty Mother’s Chosen. The rewards were: Gold, random Material based on the type of monster, random number and quality of items (with a chance for a Legendary). However, the chance for Legendary items in Cellars seems low.

Cellar named Oleg's Hideout

Are all cellars equal? Well, at first glance they seem the same except for some variations such as the typical cellar, and flooded mines, but not all of them are “Purge the Cellar” as objective. Sometimes you get surprised by something different. I was surprised to see one of the public events (displayed as a yellow triangle icon) as a cellar objective. In this case, below, I got one titled “Last Stand.” Survive the Onslaught. Mastery: Keep at least one Adventurer alive: 3 Remaining. Time Remaining: 58 sec. That means that if I complete the “Mastery” objective, I will get an upgraded Treasure Chest with potentially random better rewards.

This Flooded Mine cellar is located east of the Margrave town in Fractured Peaks. I failed the Mastery objective, but the chest rewarded me with Angelbreath x 3 (rare drop), Crude Sapphire x 1, two blue items, and 20 Murmuring Obols. So there is a good reason to complete Cellars.

Cellar with special event: Last Stand

I found a second cellar that contained one of these random events. The Bloostained Cellar is located in the eastern side of the Frigid Expanse in Fractured Peaks. I got a special event titled “Rupture: Investigate the Rupture. Survive the enemy assault. Mastery: Slay Bats before they merge. Time Remaining: 0:43. At the end, Kyo Pusblister (Patriarch of Blood) spawned. I completed a Challenge (known to us as Achievement) — Vampire Destroyer: Slay 5000 Vampires. Press “Y” to view Challenges.

Bloodstained Cellar - Rupture event

The Greater Radiant Chest in this Rupture event for completing the Mastery objective rewarded me: Crude Topaz, 2 Biteberry (Herb), 2 Magic items (Blue text), 2 Rare items (Yellow text), 2 Scattered Prisms (used at Jeweler to craft a socket), and 35 Murmuring Obols.

Scattered Prism for crafting socket at Jeweler


This is a more obscure type of content in the world of Sanctuary. Towns have a WANTED! Board outside of Inns, most of the time, but they don’t follow the pattern of games such as World of Warcraft. The board doesn’t provide a quest. At a glance, they display a random flavor text that you might just discard and ignore. But if you read closely the entire entry, they sometimes provide puzzles, hints, or else entirely.

This example below, provides a hint. You can find Sir Lynna in Kylsik Plateau. The problem is that it doesn’t mark the World Map to tell you exactly where the Kylsik Plateau is located. So you have to go explore the district/sub-zone until you find Sir Lynna. Sometimes the hint is more obvious, such as find her to the west, or something like that, but this one gave me no clues where to find Sir Lynna. The Wanted target is a rare elite. You might need help from other players in some situations.

The Wanted Board might refresh often to provide a different objective/target. This specific Wanted board is located in Kyovashad (Fractured Peaks). Update: I found Kylsik Plateau near the Forsaken Quarry dungeon entrance within the Frigid Expanse. That’s quitely far from Kyovashad.

Wanted Poster board


Treasure Goblins are a thing in Diablo IV. You can find them randomly while exploring a Zone. I have not found any in dungeons, that I remember, but maybe. At one time, I found a second Treasure Goblin as the one I was chasing stumbled upon it. So that’s possible. I haven’t seen varieties of Treasure Goblins like in Diablo III, though. I guess that’s something players should provide Feedback on, and we might get to see them someday. For now, there is only one variety and they drop the usual: Gold, and random number and qualities of items (White, Blue, Yellow, Orange text)

Treasure Goblin on the move


A great way to increase your character stats is by exploring the world in search of Altar of Lilith. There are around 28+ Altar of Lilith in each Zone and tracked by the Challenges (Achievement). Clicking these Altars of Lilith grant the player something dubbed Realm Power which grant one of these stats: + 2 Strength, +2 Intelligence, +2 Willpower, +2 Dexterity, +8 Max Life and in rare instances you might come across an Altar of Lilith that increases the max capacity of Murmuring Obols. Best of all, the bonus stats from claiming an Altar of Lilith is shared across all Class characters automatically in the same realm. Great to do it just once. Could you imagine searching the entire world for Altars of Lilith in each character? Yikes. So I love that it is shared across characters, doing it once per realm.


As you explore the world, you will find a variety of Herbs and Mineral Nodes that you can loot. These do not take inventory space, as they have their own Materials tracker list next to the Character Item Slots window. Something I wish to point out is that sometimes Mineral Nodes also drop gems or even Skull items that you can upgrade at the Jeweler or place in item sockets.


There are many varieties of Treasure Chests scattered around the world of Sanctuary that may reward gold, materials, different quality of items including Legendaries. However, sometimes you might find, outdoors, a treasure chest wrapped in chains and bound by a lock. These are known as Silent Chest. You can only open these with a Whispering Key.

Chained Treasure Chest

You can purchase a Whispering Key from the Purveyor of Curiousities vendor for the price of 20 Murmuring Obols each — the currency you obtain often from public events, Side Quests, Whispering activities, and Raid bosses. The Purveyor of Curiosities can be identified in the map as a bag of coins icon with a black question mark in the center, and these vendors double as what you might remember in Diablo III as Kadala or in Diablo II as the gambler. As for what is within a Silent Chest … it may vary. Sometimes I only got gold and three blue items. So it is a gamble.

Whispering Key

Note: Players can carry a maximum of 510 Murmuring Obols — but this can increase. If you open the World Map, and press “W” you can see some Zone Challenge rewards. One requires unlocking World Tier 3 Game Difficulty, and unlocking that rewards an increase of the Obols Max Limit to +80 for a total of 590.

Note: If by any chance you reach the Limit, and loot Murmuring Obols, but some stay on the ground unable to be looted. You can use the Town Portal to go spend Murmuring Obols, then when you take the Town Portal back, the Murmuring Obols will still be on the ground waiting for you to pick them up.

Region Progress - Obol max limit increase as reward

There is another way to increase the max Murmuring Obol limit. These are scarce and rare, but there is at least one Altar of Lilith in Fractured Peaks that granted me: “Maximum capacity of Murmuring Obols has been increased by 5 for all characters on this realm.” Behold in the image below:

Altar of Lilith - maximum capacity of Murmuring Obols increased by 5

In theory, there should be at least one Altar of Lilith in each zone that provides this realm power. We’ll have to wait until the game goes Live on June 6 to find out.


Navigating a zone such as Fractured Peaks with so many sub-zones (or Districts) can be a daunting task considering the many crossroads and paths from point A to point B. A wrong turn, and you are in a world of pain having to walk back to resume your travel to the destination. The World Map has a Pin feature that allows you to right-click and mark your destination. A dark brown line is drawn from where you are up to the destination in the World Map, but you can see the dark brown line in the minimap as well to guide you to your destination. A much elegant way to navigate the zone without getting lost.

Map Pin marker


For lack of a proper word to call them, you might find these strange markers in the World Map and in the minimap. These denote that your character can interact with these special marked places to perform any of these obstacles: climbing or descending a wall; crouching beneath a broken wall or obstacle; horizontal rope climbing (or monkey climbing); or jumping across a chasm. I’m pretty sure there might be other variants in the future.

Climb Markers
Interactive Climb (ladder)
horizontal rope climbing
Horizontal Rope Climbing


Challenges are what we know in World of Warcraft as the Achievements List. Challenges may be found by opening the World Map (by pressing M or Tab), then locate the COLLECTIONS tab, and that opens a page showing two cards:

  • Codex of Power
  • Challenges

The Challenges are divided into the following sections:

  • Summary
  • Classes
  • Crafting
  • Challenge
  • Exploration
  • Hardcore
  • Monsters
  • Multiplayer
  • Open World
  • Quests
  • Feats of Strength

In turn, each of these sections have multiple sub-categories that list the Challenges for each sub-category. These are way too many to list in a Diablo IV Early Access Beta: Impressions Article, so I will simply link you to the video below that shows me opening the Challenge page and browsing the entire thing for 9 minutes.

Diablo 4 Early Access Beta Challenges video


The Codex of Power allows players to customize Legendary Items with minor affixes as they level up in their journey to Level 100. Sometimes you have, for example, a Helm and an Ring that share the same power. Only one of them becomes active. The other one’s power will be grayed out and is inactive. In this case, or whenever you think your Legendary Item’s power is too weak, you may open the Codex of Power to locate the Power you wish to imprint your Legendary item with. You go to the Blacksmith, select the tab where you can apply a Codex of Power and imprint the Legendary Item.

The important question: “Where do I obtain a Codex of Power?”

  1. If you don’t remember the Codex of Power shortcut, you can locate it by opening the World Map. Press the COLLECTIONS tab. There are two cards: Codex of Power and Challenges. Select Codex of Power.
  2. This will show you a list of all the 114 Codex of Power affixes.
  3. You only want the Codex of Power for your Class. So click the “Show my class only” checkbox. This narrows down the affixes for your class onscreen.
  4. The bottom of the tooltip of each power will tell you where to obtain the Codex of Power. For example: Aspect of Encircling Blades (Rogue) says: “Unlocked by completing Forsaken Quarry in Fractured Peaks.” It doesn’t specify, but that one in particular is located in the Frigid Expanse sub-zone.

There are too many Codex of Power (114 affixes) to show in this article, but I’ll share with you my video that browses through all of them:

Codex of Power video


The amount of in-engine cutscenes in Diablo IV is staggering, and they look awesome. It’s a great way to deliver an immersive story without the high-budget cinematics that we are familiar with. Those are limited and exclusively for Diablo Acts 1-5*. Switching to in-engine cutscenes allows for faster pipelines, and translate to more cutscenes. This means more expansions in a reasonable time as well to expand the story with new zones to explore.

Something that not even World of Warcraft has been able to achieve is that every single non-quest NPC dialog, every side quest and core story quest and every other possible content in Diablo IV has a voice over. That speaks volumes on how serious the team is in developing an immersive RPG game.

WARNING: This video has drastic FPS loss. OBS took a hit with Diablo IV high CPU/GPU usage even in low settings. Watch the in-engine cutscenes in normal playback speed, but if you wish to watch beyond the cutscenes, I recommend to increase the Playback Speed to 1.75 to compensante. Press SPACEBAR wherever needed to read text.


Again, I don’t know how to play a Barbarian. I played a Barbarian based on a Twitter Poll. That said, it was difficult to choose skills. Especially, with random Legendary items that sometimes didn’t provide a benefit to the skills I chose (in some cases). In the previous Beta (November), I played a Necromancer and I did pretty well from Level 1 onwards. With a Barbarian, it felt extremely slow and detrimental those first 20 Levels. You gotta know what skills to use, or it won’t be pretty.

Eventually, some Legendary Items dropped that made my gameplay much easier and enjoyable — even though some slots didn’t have much of a wow factor to benefit my skills. The few that paired with my chosen skills, made wonders.

Keep in mind that Early Access Beta had a Level 25 cap, and thus there weren’t many Skill points to spend beyond 26 points. I have heard you can use Rend and Rupture to destroy enemies. I guess I will try that when the game goes Live. You can reset your Talent Tree at a gold cost, by the way. These were my choices:


LUNGING STRIKE: My primary attack was Lunging Strike (Rank 5): Lunge forward and strike an enemy for 530 damage. Generate Fury: 9. Modifiers:

  • Enhanced Lunging Strike: Lunging Strike deals 30% increased damage and Heals you for 2% Maximum Life (9) when it damages a Healthy enemy. Lunging Strike also inflicts 252 Bleeding damage over 5 sec.
  • Battle Lunging Strike: Lunging Strike also inflicts 252 Bleeding damage over 5 seconds.

Barbarian mobility compared with Rogue and Sorcerer can be slow in solo gameplay. I thought Lunging Strike could help with that, moving from target to target. Adding a Bleed and self-healing is a welcomed bonus.

WHIRLWIND (Rank 3/5): Rapidly attack surrounding enemies for 140 damage. Fury Cost: 19 per second. Modifiers:

  • Enhanced Whirlwind: Gain 1 Fury each time Whirlwind deals direct damage to an enemy, or 3 Fury against Elite monsters.
  • Violent Whirlwind: After using Whirlwind for 2 seconds, Whirlwind deals 30% increased damage until it is cancelled.

As a secondary attack, it feels amazing to wreck multiple enemies, or to continue to do damage to elites or bosses from a safe distance. The only setback is that it costs 19 Fury per second. But with Enhanced Whirlwind, that evens out much better in large groups of enemies as you regenerate Fury and that means lasting longer and doing continuous damage. Where things got interesting was when I acquired two Legendaries that further modify Whirlwind. Dust Devil’s Horned Cudgel (Whirlwind leaves behind Dust Devils that deal 54 damage to surrounding enemies) made for good fun destroying enemies. Usually there are 3 tornados going back and forth by the end of the Whirlwind duration. Paired with a ring named Circle of the Umbral (Restore 1 of your Primary Resource when you Crowd Control an enemy) felt good increasing my Fury when I cast Ground Stomp. Basically, whirlwind lasted a long time for as long as I was hitting multiple monsters, regenerating my primary resource continuously. Paired with Smiting Amulet (You have 32% increased Critical Strike Chance against injured enemies. While you are Healthy you gain 64% increased Crowd Control duration) in theory using Health Globes to stay “Healthy” you could prolong Whirlwind and Ground Stomp duration.

Whirlwind and Ground Stomp

Keybind 1: RALLYING CRY (5/5): Bellow a rallying cry, increasing your Movement speed by 30% and Resource Regeneration by 70% for 6.0 seconds, and Nearby allies for 3.0 seconds. Cooldown: 25 seconds. Modifiers:

  • Enhanced Rallying Cry: Rallying Cry grants you Unstoppable while active.
  • Strategic Rallying Cry: Rallying Cry grants you 10% Base Life (42) as Fortify. While Rallying Cry is active, you gain an additional 2% Base Life (8) as Fortify each time you take or deal direct damage.

Keybind 2: GROUND STOMP (2/5): Smash the ground, dealing 77 damage and Stunning surrounding enemies for 4.25 seconds. Cooldown: 15.2 seconds. Generate Fury: 25.

  • Enhanced Ground Stomp: Increase Ground Stomp’s duration by 1 second.
  • Tactical Ground Stomp: Ground Stomp generates 25 Fury.

Ground Stomp is very cool. You can see monsters flat on the ground for the duration, and if I read it right, it generates a total of 50 Fury instead of 25 when using the Tactical Ground Stomp. Usually I spend all of my Fury, then cast Ground Stomp, followed by Whirlwind, and pull enemies into the Ground Stomp area. The ring named Earthquake Ring adds an Earthquake AOE to Ground Stomp, increasing the Barbarian damage by 12%.

Keybind 3: LEAP (1/5): Leap forward and then slam down, dealing 241 damage and Knocking Back surrounding enemies on impact. Cooldown: 17 seconds.

Well, Leap is very situational when the Level cap is 25 and you only have 26 talent tree points available to spend. But there was no Mounts in Early Access Beta because the quest that unlocks mounting a horse is turned in in Dry Steppes. You could only play in Fractured Peaks. Using any exit to Scosglen, Dry Steppes, Kehjistan or Hawezar would trigger a warning message to leave that road or you would be teleported back to Kyovashad in Fractured Peaks. So Leap made sense along with Rallying Cry for movement speed outdoors as a replacement to a lack of a mount. In a team, I can reach a player that is in trouble and follow up with Ground Stomp and/or Whirlwind to get enemies off my teammate; and in dungeons, LEAP provided a venue to escape death when mobs blocked my movement or when an Elite or Boss attack would cause great damage to my Barbarian. So I used LEAP versus bosses as a second movement option other than dodge (Spacebar). There are some crazy Boss mechanics in Diablo IV dungeons. Diablo II and Diablo III bosses weren’t this hard. Props to the D4 Team.

Keybind 4: REND (2/5): Cleave enemies in front of you, dealing 106 damage and inflicting 853 Bleeding damage over 5 seconds. Fury Cost: 34. Modifiers:

  • Enhanced Rend: Dealing direct damage with Rend extends the duration of Vulnerable on enemies by 2 seconds.
  • Furious Rend: Direct damage with Rend grants 4 Fury per enemy hit, up to a maximum of 20 Fury.

That was interesting. Not only does Rend apply a Bleeding dot, but it cleaves, and the modifier transforms it into a Fury generator. If it cleaves several enemies, then it can easily generate 20 Fury if I cleave 5 enemies. Only setback for the modifier is that it sucks versus a Boss when there is no-mobs-downtime to trigger an instant 20 Fury. I can get 20 Fury, but I would have to hit the Boss 5 times to get 20 Fury. Good choice overall, though.

In this video, you can see me browsing through my talent tree and equipped Legendary items mentioned above.

My Barbarian Gear and Skills in Diablo IV Early Access Beta

Before wrapping up, I want to squeeze in a tip I read during a dungeon loading screen: “The Barbarian carries an entire Arsenal consisting of 4 weapons with them at all times. Which weapon you use for a Skill can be chosen while the Skill is assigned to your hotbar.


Whether you are a solo/team outdoor PvE player, or a solo/team dungeon player, or a solo/team PvP player, a solo/team raid player, or a combination of some of those — you can filter the content you are interested in in the World Map by pressing the F button and selecting the type of activities you wish to permanently see in the World Map. If you are not interested in something, just filter it out.

There are many other features in Diablo IV that I won’t mention in this Early Access Beta article, and there is additional content outside of my Early Access Beta experience I can’t talk about because I’m not sure what from the November Closed Beta under NDA has been divulged by Blizzard Entertainment in past or recent articles or interviews. So I prefer to be cautious where I tread.

Overall, playing Diablo IV will give you many hours of gameplay, and you won’t run out of things to do. There is simply so many content choices whether it is outdoor activities such as Strongholds, Public Events (similar to Strongholds), smaller public events (like the Jar of Souls); Helltide — which spawns in a random zone every few hours (comparable with World of Warcraft invasion events such as the Naga or Fyrakk Assault); or whether it is PvP (which has a few PvP areas in Kehjistan and Dry Steppes); or Raid Bosses that spawn every few hours; or a plethora of dungeons in each zone. Last I checked there were over 100 dungeons in Diablo IV.

That’s just the primer for players. The Diablo IV Team has plans for an ongoing Live service adding new content every Season, and multiple expansions. You can pre-order Diablo IV here.

Want more Diablo IV content? I uploaded three videos showing the Barbarian, Rogue and Wizard Talent Trees:

CORRECTION: An Eurogamer interview posted yesterday (Mar 21, 2022) addresses the amount of Legendaries players got from Raid bosses, and even any Legendaries we got in Early Access Beta and the Open Beta. Players won’t see a Legendary item until at least Level 25 when the game launches.

Rod Fergusson: The thing that can’t be overlooked, either, is you’re only getting to play the first twenty-five levels, and the classes don’t stay balanced with every level change. The Barbarian is a really great example because the Barbarian has the most weapons of any character, and because of that, they have the most equipment slots of any character, which means they could have the most legendary affixes. So once you get all legendaries, the Barbarian can be super-strong because it’s got two extra legendary affixes that other characters don’t have, but you’re not going to get legendaries until, mainly, beyond twenty-five and above.

Same thing with the sorcerers: they have the two enchantment slots, that means you can have the most skills of any class. And, for example, the Druid specialisation happens in Scosglen [which won’t be in the upcoming open beta], so you’re going to play to twenty-five levels without ever being attuned to the animal spirits, which is really [important] to what the Druid feels like.

So the notion of yes, there are individual skills that [need tweaking] […] there’s also this notion about they each come into their own over a period of time. So to say “oh it’s much harder as a Barbarian in the lower levels” is true, but when you’re level forty as a Barbarian, you might be one of the strongest classes because of the additional two extra Aspects [legendary affixes] you can have.

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BlizzCon 2019 Panel Transcripts