Diablo 4: Season 5 PTR Thoughts

I was enthusiastic to give the new Season 5 PTR a try. I thought the season 4 PTR was excellent and gave me a nice preview of the upcoming features and season. But the Season 5 PTR was pretty meh. The only thing I really wanted to try was a Companion Druid build with the new aspects. But let me go over somethings that just made the situation feel like another “curse of the odd season” return.

My main complaint was the new feature called the Infernal Hordes. It’s a gauntlet style wave by wave feature that resembles Ultimatum from Path of Exile (good artists copy; shitty artist steal and turn something into a smellier fart). I didn’t try that feature but I did see how it played out and it looked like shit. You just run around in a circle while mobs spawn until you hit a point where you can stop or go for harder mobs and the possibility of better rewards. I suppose in a game which already has a variety of past league mechanics already incorporated, one additional loot pinata wouldn’t be too much difference. But Diablo4 is still in its infancy and the seasonal content has really been hit or miss.

This feature felt like a complete miss.

I tried this on WT3 and managed to get to the boss just fine. I had no idea what was going on except that it was another stupid clusterfuck. Just piles of shit upon shit coming at you all at once. Depending on the difficulty, I think the waves increase while going up in waves you are allowed to pick options for more “currency” bonuses. Then it’s just shit on shit. You’re running around like a headless chicken trying to find the right enemies. Or they have special spawn points where you have to look the mini map to see when/where they’re spawning. It’s just a thing that must be made for some ADHD riddled kid. But the real kicker was how long it took. Maybe 5-10 minutes including the boss. Then you get so little “currency” that you can only buy 1-2 items. WTF. The reward:work ratio is completely off. And yes, they do recognize that but refused to adjust the PTR for whatever reason. I’m guessing they wanted to focus on actual game play but I found the lack of rewards to be off putting. Why should I waste my time, even on a test server, where I can’t make further progress? It’s really fucking stupid.

So I ended up sharding all my compasses and just dumping them. It felt like a complete waste of time and I had zero desire to ever do this again. I was more impressed that they got rid of the connector mini event room thing in Nightmare Dungeons (actually they just removed the event aspect). So I spent more of my time doing Nightmare Dungeons and Helltides because both had a clear purpose. I couldn’t tell if the XP was worth doing these Infernal Hordes because I was infernally pissed off.

And speaking of Helltides, no more Mind Cages. That does mean it’s generally easier but there’s no more real threat. Encountering a Hellborne, at least for my companion druid, felt nonthreatening compared to live. The Blood Maiden was easily soloable too. The rewards felt slightly less than live but far better than the Infernal Hordes. So towards the end, I just tried to finish up leveling my Druid in Helltides with the occasional dip in a Nightmare Dungeon. Actually, Nightmare Dungeons were more nefarious because my Druid’s armor isn’t capped or the wolves’ AI would frequently bug out.

Next, there’s the world boss changes. I suppose the only real benefit is that for stragglers, you can get there a little later and have a chance at seeing the World Boss instead of it lasting 1 second. I personally didn’t think a change was necessary at all because longer fights just means more of a waste of time. But this game is in such a schizophrenic state that nothing makes sense anymore and the developers either go too hard or they bend from KPIs like some whore over a bed with her arse sticking out for some massive dildo to be repeatedly rammed inside.

But the biggest thing to me that just killed my enthusiasm was the sheer number of bugs. Some felt like old ones resurfacing like invisible walls. Honestly, I feel as though you have these two teams with two separate builds where one group tries to fuck the other group over. I can’t describe the way this system is so counterproductive, so bipolar in how things are handled. I can’t tell if one group talks to the other group. But it’s very clear that this so-called “odd team” or the odd season group fuck up everything they touch. That’s the long and short of it. It’s infuriating. The even teams will rebuild the good will of the community then this idiot odd season group just decides to piss on everything as though they secretly want this thing to fail.

I might go back to live server to finish up because I was having fun there. Even though the season content wasn’t massive, the stuff there compelled me to try different things. I’m not confident with the upcoming changes and especially dumb decisions to things like nerfing sorcerers into inverting and becoming barbarians out of necessity just leave me feeling that I should only play a single character and see how the rest of the season evolves for 5. If anything it’ll be a short season and we’ll have the expansion AND season 6 to look forward to around the same time. So I might just wait for that instead.

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