Diablo 4 seems to be enduring its self-inflicted 'Server Slam' like a stoic Barbarian, and players are digging it

Bearded, Kratos-like Diablo barbarian resting his hands on the pommel of an upturned weapon, looking stoic and wrathful
(Image credit: Blizzard)

When you've followed online games for long enough, you get kind of used to the call and response of a live service launch: social media posts complaining of queue times and stability, the developers tweeting out a long text apology as a jpeg boiling down to "we're working on it," and things not actually improving until demand dies down after a few days. Only, that hasn't happened with Diablo 4's vaunted "Server Slam" of a final beta test⁠—queue times and stability have been fine, and everyone seems… dear God, happy?

Server Slam is a total ripoff! from r/Diablo

We reported yesterday on our own experience loading into Diablo 4 with no queue and proverbially looking around, suspicious, waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it never did. Multiple popular posts on the Diablo and D4 subreddits like these ones from -Nok, p_frm_da_ept, Gibsx, and Deffix1 all marvel at how smooth it seems to be going, while I'm quite a fan of this playful "Server Slam is a total ripoff" post from AnotherSoftEng. "I was told there would be network issues, stress tests, infinite queue times," they write. "This is outrageous. It's like I downloaded a finished game or something."

I've also seen praise for design and mechanical changes Blizzard has made since the first beta. These highly rated posts from Bacillb and SlamHotDamn single out the loot balancing, with a slower drip feed of higher level rewards hewing closer to Diablo 2's item economy and making them feel more valuable. "The tuning now is a lot better than in the [previous] beta," Bacillb writes. "Let the grinding begin!"

If there's one complaint I've seen echoed a lot, it's that Blizzard's gone too far in nerfing the pet-based Necromancer class (you know, the best one). The Necro's skellies are especially squishy and prone to an early demise now, and the Diablo subreddits ring with cries of "As I feared, the Necro nerf is AWFUL" (from SeanofRohan), "That Necromancer Nerf… Oof" (from Koitenshin), and "Necro skeletons need more HP back" (from Senorragequit). For everything good about the Server Slam, it sounds like a bad weekend for goths.

Really I just hope I haven't jinxed things by pointing it out⁠—a beta live service launch and most players seem pretty happy, put a mark on the wall. We've still got half a Server Slam and D4's full launch next month to go, but things are looking good so far.

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.