A cloaked figure walks on a path, holding a stick. There is snow on the ground on either side of the path. Barren trees surround the landscape. Two corpses are hanging from one of the trees. Fog shrouds the moon that is glowing in the sky. This is from the Diablo IV website (where you can purchase the game).

The above image was one of many on the Diablo IV official website, where you can buy the game. I’m not certain that I saw this specific image while in the Closed Beta. I spent hours playing it on my Xbox|S.

I decided to start adding my thoughts and (non spoiler) comments about it on my Mastodon account.

The Diablo IV Closed Beta was confidential. Blizzard posted a Developer Update on September 19, in which they wrote: “The Closed Beta will be confidential, meaning players invited will be unable to publicly talk about or share their gameplay experience.” As such, I don’t have any screenshots to share with you in this blog post.

Please note: The Diablo IV Closed Beta was exactly what it was meant to be. There were glitches. There were crashes. There were long queues. All of this helps the developers figure out what’s working, what’s broken, and how to fix it before the next Open Beta.

March 17

I’m in the Diablo IV beta. Watched the cinematic. Made a character. My Barbarian appeared as the main character in the next cinematic. Got to talk to some townspeople. Fought some wargs, polar bear, and some skeletons. And then the Early Access Open Beta crashed.

Lost my level 3 Barbarian. Made another one with a game generated name. Made it to where I could enter the Early Access Open Beta. Was put in an 87 minute queue.

Queue ended. Looked like the beta let me in. Crashed. Back in the queue. This one started at 120 minutes.

So, I guess a lot of us are here to… help test the queue function? To be fair, there was a notification that some things might not work. Or might crash.

One really good thing about D IV is there is a robust menu of accessibility options. Text to speech. Subtitles. Ability to turn off what I call “shakey-cam”. Option for people with various types of color blindness.

Currently number 83 in the queue. I’m playing on Xbox – and I suspect many of us are stuck in an endless queue.

Was hoping to hit level 20 with a Barbarian but not sure that’s possible now, considering the ever-lasting queue. Gotta hit level 20 to get the wolf puppy.

I’m hoping that I won’t have to sit through two – somewhat lengthy – cinematic again. Assuming the beta lets me back in.

Good news /sarcasm. The queue I’m stuck in has only 36 minutes left. [expressionless face emjoi]

Ten minutes to go. Maybe I’ll get to play the beta a little more? I don’t want to sit in a third queue.

I’m in!

Got back in the Diablo 4 beta. Died a lot. After my most recent death – my Barbarian became invisible. Unfortunately, the monsters can still see her. But I can’t.

Had to log out and back in again. Nine minute queue.

Now in a fourteen minute queue. Game failed to let me in after the nine minute queue – and posted an error message.

Queue failed again. Now in a sixteen minute queue. Do they – want – players to test the game? Signs point to no.

Now queued!

Seventeen minute queue now. /headdesk

March 18

One minute queue!

I have found the Cathedral of Light. Went on walked around. Talked with some NPC’s Am now out of the Cathedral and stuck. Probably a glitch.

Had to turn off the Xbox and turn it back on again. Got a message: “You have been logged out because the game has been suspended for too long.”

Working on a dungeon with spiders and skeletons. My armor and gear is breaking, but I was able to pick up some nice gear. I keep dying. And then my character when invisible again. Turned off the Xbox. About to turn it on again.

Also! I hit level 10. Gotta hit 20 to get the wolf puppy.

There is a player named SnuSnu who is in a clan named GOP. Terrible.

Another player is named “kfsee” and their clan is KFC. This is related to the D IV crossover with KFC’s double down sandwich. Those who bought one in time got into this beta.

Another player in the GOP clan. Named BConPC. Not sure how to report that clan name.

Just saw two players with extremely offensive names. One was named “Ganggrape” and the other was named “Cootershooter”. I now have good reason to report them.

Just used the chat in game for the first time. Friend asked how I was doing in game. Told friend that I’m struggling with Xbox interfaces but the game is fun.

Currently have four gold items on my Barb.

Now at level 13. Found a book and was directed to a town that is new to me.

Found a player with an even worse name – worse than the others. Not going to post that here. Will be reporting that one.

March 19

Now level fourteen. Steep learning curve if you’re playing solo.

Found my first conduit shrine! Happy to know that Diablo IV has some of those!

Now talking with an NPC beggar who has a quest for me. Did not notice him until after I hit level 15.

I have hit a quest zone that clearly was not designed for solo player. So that is enough of Diablo IV for me right now.

Back in Diablo IV. Halfway through level fifteen. The goal is to hit level 20.

Just found my first Treasure Goblin in Diablo IV. Huge! The Goblin dropped gold and ran me through a mob while I chased it.

Now halfway through level 16. Been temporarily grouping up with other players to find monsters in what feels like pop up events. Fun!

Just got my first Legendary weapon! “Wolf’s Bite Of The Dire Whirlwind”. It is a mace. Next step for me is to put a point in Whirlwind.

Hit level seventeen. Starting to feel less stressed while fighting monsters.

Now at level 18. The skill tree in Diablo IV is massive. I think some of us will get “decision fatigue.”

Now at level 19. My goal is to hit level 20 so I can get the wolf puppy in a backpack.

So far, I have seen players named KurtRussell, MileyCyrus, and JasonMamoa. I know that one is spelled wrong – but it’s fun.

Pretty sure once you hit level 19 you stop being able to tank dungeons on your own. This is disappointing. A Barbarian can get far in a dungeon. But I end up dying to a mob filled room. Can’t finish that quest.

Just hit level 20! There appears to be an achievement for this but the game does not seem to be aware that I hit level 20.

After some investigation, it turns out that the game – appears – to know that I hit Level 20 with my Barbarian. It’s possible that the interface is a bit wonky, considering this is an Early Access Open Beta. Just in case, I took a screenshot of my Level 20 Barbarian with my phone. (I tried capturing screenshots through Xbox, but it doesn’t work).

Back in the beta. Just saw a player named Kevin run into a portal in town. No idea where he ended up.

March 20

Still in the beta. Hit level 21. Did some random quests in a town and then went out to fight wargs and such.

It turns out the Diablo IV beta will post a pop up to tell you that your Xbox controller’s batteries are about to run out. Fortunately, we have more batteries.

In case you were wondering – yes, there is a sewer quest in one of the towns.

My Barbarian is now level 22!

I found a bug to report. I’m helping! Hopefully that bug won’t make it into the main game.

Now at level 23! I’m hoping my Barbarian will be stronger now. Getting through 22 was not easy.

The only thing I don’t like about Diablo IV is how fast my equipment breaks. It gets really expensive for a blacksmith to fix it. You can buy armor from vendors, IF you have enough coins.

Things I’m attempting to do clearly cannot be done as a solo player.

Turns out one of the Blacksmiths can prepare all the stuff you’re currently wearing – if you have enough coins for that. Helpful!


Overall, I enjoyed the Diablo IV Closed Beta. It was fun to be able to play – at least one version – of Diablo IV before the game launched. The purpose of this beta was to have players try it out – and provide feedback to the developers so they could fix things that weren’t working well.

The moment the Closed Beta ended, I was hoping I’d be lucky enough to get into the Open Beta.

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