Here's something to do while you wait for Diablo 4: Plot out Diablo 4 characters with this incredibly handy build planner tool

Lilith holding the skull of Diablo.
(Image credit: Blizzard)

My secret for success in Diablo 4 is simple: Barbarian, Bash, Upheaval, rinse and repeat until there's nothing but blood and gristle as far as the eye can see. Trust me, it works. Some people prefer a more complicated approach to min-maxing their action-RPG stand-ins, though, and for them, this Diablo 4 build planner will be extremely helpful.

The Diablo 4 Character Skill Tree Planner/Calculator, as it's formally known, enables you to experiment with character builds even while Diablo 4 itself is currently unavailable. It offers a dropdown box where you can select your class—Barbarian, Druid, Necromancer, Rogue, or Sorcerer—and a duplicate of Diablo 4's twiggy zig-zag skill tree. Use the mouse wheel to zoom the skill tree in and out, and click and drag to move it around; skill points are added by left-clicking on the appropriate box, and can be removed by right-clicking.

Just like the game, you have to unlock more advanced branches in the skill tree by spending skill points—so, for instance, you can't put any points into your "Core" skills until you've spent at least two on "Basic" skills. An indicator bar on each branch will show you how close you are to accessing the individual skill groups.

If you hate the character you've created and want to start over from scratch, a "reset" button at the top of the build planner will instantly set you back to square one. If, on the other hand, you really dig it and want to share what you've cooked up with your friends, there's a "share" button, although all it really does is copy the URL, which changes as points are added or removed. 

Here, for instance, is roughly what my barbarian looked like after hitting the level cap in the beta:;B2:5;B4:1;E2:1;E7:1;I2:3;N1:3;P2:3;S7:3;U1:5;V2:1

It's very cool, no? (The build planner, that is, not my barbarian—although he was a real ass-kicker too.) Unfortunately, the build planner does not include the Paragon Board, the endgame system that opens up after players hit level 50. The creator of the planner said on Reddit, where he goes by lowpoly_nomad, that they left it out because they didn't have access to the endgame beta that ran in 2022 and so doesn't know how it works, but they plan to add it (and other features, like weapon expertise) in the future.

Speaking of Diablo 4 classes, here's our thoughts on all of them, based on our time spent in the demo. I can't say I agree with Robin's assessment of the barbarian, but Blizzard apparently does and I guess that's what matters. Diablo 4 is set to launch on June 6.

(Image credit: lowpoly_nomad)
Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.