Diablo 4's rocky beta "means a smoother launch"

Diablo 4 Rogue
(Image credit: Blizzard)

Blizzard has addressed Diablo 4's beta woes from its opening day, promising that the bumpy experience will lead to a "smoother launch."

Speaking to GamesRadar+, Diablo general manager Rod Fergusson explains that what players got wasn't a "marketing beta that's a demo in disguise" but something rougher to be improved following testing. The opening night saw hordes of players queue up for hours only to get kicked out after minutes, though playing the upcoming loot 'em up swiftly became more accessible as the weekend rumbled on.

"The way we look at it, the issues we're having during the beta means a smoother launch," Fergusson says. "And so, we were able to put out six hotfixes, and dozens of issues got solved."

For Blizzard, then, the key is getting all the feedback it can. For Fergusson, the evolving meaning of beta within the industry has led some to believe that what they're getting is more akin to a free trial. What Blizzard is looking for, however, is the kind of raw reaction you can only get from allowing people to play something.

"We can do automated testing and have lots of bots and ways of putting pressure on the servers and services, but until you have millions of people show up, you never truly know," the general manager says. "It prepares us for open beta, and whatever we learn in the open beta is going to prepare us for launch."

Diablo 4's latest beta has taught Blizzard other lessons, too. The Sorceress feels strong when using a frost build, though the Barbarian "feels weak" in the early game. Don't worry, though, as all should be remedied for launch.

Here's how to access the Diablo 4 beta to prepare you for this weekend.

Deputy News Editor

Iain joins the GamesRadar team as Deputy News Editor following stints at PCGamesN and PocketGamer.Biz, with some freelance for Kotaku UK, RockPaperShotgun, and VG24/7 thrown in for good measure. When not helping Ali run the news team, he can be found digging into communities for stories – the sillier the better. When he isn’t pillaging the depths of Final Fantasy 14 for a swanky new hat, you’ll find him amassing an army of Pokemon plushies.