Diablo IV Server Slam Weekend

I was not shocked to find Hydra was nerfed into the ground. Despite that, I went with Sorcerer anyways and found that despite the expected 60% nerf to Hydra it was still good enough. It was nothing like before but that would have been way OP to leave it like it was.

While I had the game patched and ready to go before Server Slam Weekend on Friday. I ended up getting in quite late. I was rather glad to see there was not a single queue to get in. This allowed me to make quite the mad dash to go level up.

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Since I was running a bit behind and I already had a feel of how the sorcerer was in the last betas I went for World Tier II. This would make everything a bit harder but I would also be getting more experience as well for that effort. This I felt would allow me to make up some lost ground for getting in so late.

This time around I just went with the single character. They had reduced the level cap to 20. Along with quite a few nerfs. They also adjusted the legendary and item drops for the most part to be more in line with how the release is going to be. So trying to level and gear up a couple of characters in such a short amount of time was going to be a no form me.

Other than a couple of deaths. Running at a higher world tier ended up working out quite well. The only real place I noticed any difference was dealing with dungeon bosses and elites. They were a little more of a challenge which just meant I’d have to use more healing potions than I was used to.

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Even at the lower levels with hardly any gear let alone spells to use. End dungeon bosses were just more fun at the higher difficulty. I even had a spare health potion or two on the ground to pick up along with a full stack at the ready just in case I took a nasty hit or three.

Like in the second beta test I was in I ended up skipping all the cut scenes this time around as well. None of them were going to be new and I could save quite a decent amount of time. I rather like they allow you to do so.

The biggest thing I noticed was the lack of legendary drops. The only one I got before level 15 was from running the main storyline. I was kind of disappointed by that. In total, I might have only looted four or five by the end of playing in this test. Many of them were in the same slot and yellows ended up having better main stats without me getting a single usual skill gain out of any of them.

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Since I’ve done the main storyline a few times now I could almost see in my mind the next step as I was changing forward to the next mission. At least I’m not getting sick of it yet. However, I could see over the long run the lower level story mission being something I dread if I have to keep running it over and over every season and for each character at release.

Once I had finished off the storyline I went off and did some side questing for a while. I was mostly looking for any small events that were up that I could run for Obols. I was hoping I could get some legendary by gambling for them at the vendor. That did not end up working out.

After a while, I just settled down into running dungeons till I became level 20. I had made it up to level 16 before calling it a night. I then woke up a few hours before the first Ashava the Pestilent so I could hit level 20 and start trying to get some better gear.

Ashava the Pestilent

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With the level cap lowered from 25 which we got to level up to during the last beta testing and it now only being level 20 for Server Slam Weekend. I knew this was going to be a lot harder. This however my main goal of accomplishing this time around since they were rewarded a mount for being level 20 and beating Ashava the Pestilent.

I ended up showing up to the first opportunity to fight Ashava the Pestilent starting on Saturday at noon. They then would keep running the event every three hours. I just wanted to see how close the random pick-up of people who showed up could get.

I kind of had a feeling going into it we were not going to make it. I gear-wise was in some rather rough shape. I expected everyone else was more or less in the same boat as me and that did not give me the “oh this is not going to go well” feeling.

It was all the non-level 20’s that showed up. I already knew it was going to be a challenge. Even more so since Hydra had a big nerf and I did not have any gear to give me a second one. So it’s not like a couple of us with Hydra could have carried the group.

In the end, we ended up getting closer than I thought we would. We made to about 20% of health remaining. I then rushed out and started grinding hoping to get some upgrades. I only found two legendaries during that three-hour window before the next fight.

On my second attempt, everyone that showed up was level 20. I don’t know if I just lucked out or if they put in a level cap for that part of the game. I kind of feel during these tests no one under level 20’s should not be allowed in anyways for the event.

We ended up beating Ashava the Pestilent and had several minutes to spare once it was down. Loot this time around was quite nerfed I only got one legendary and it was an amulet which I did not need. My weekly Ashava the Pestilent bonus cache was a total disappointment and just some blue and a yellow piece of gear. This I feel could use a buff in the rewards department.

Final Thoughts

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With how short this beta test ended up being. Once I beat Ashava the Pestilent I ended up calling it after a couple of dungeon runs later. There was no point in grinding as everything was going to get wiped anyway. I accomplished what I wanted and had a fun time as well. I’m looking forward to the full release of this game on June 6ths since I have the standard edition of the game.

As far as the dungeons I’ll be going over one in a future post in more detail.

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Screenshots were taken and content was written by @Enjar about Diablo IV. This was during the early access beta. Things are subject to change.