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Diablo IV hits Game Pass tomorrow, but you might want to wait before jumping in

Diablo 4

After Microsoft acquired Activision-Blizzard in October last year, there was only one question on the minds of Xbox gamers: when will the company’s games be added to Game Pass? It’s taken a while, but the first is on the way this week. Tomorrow, in fact. But before you jump into the mighty Diablo IV, an action-RPG that has the potential to eat up hundreds of hours of your time, there are some things you need to know.

Diablo IV officially launched last June and critics, like ourselves, were bowled over by it. It’s a massive and ambitious game, letting players create characters from five classes and presenting them with a story that’s deeper and more cinematic than ever before set in an open world. It’s totally playable alone, but it absolutely shines when teaming up with friends, with players able to support each other and reap the benefits of doing so.

It’s had its fair share of ups and downs since launch, though. Updates have been released that have changed the game’s balance considerably, and sometimes these have messed up builds that people have spent a lot of time on. The game’s Season system, which requires players to create a new character every few months or so in order to experience new content and features has also attracted ire, with the second season, the Season of Blood, offering skills that were hard to let go of, and the latest season, the Season of the Construct, getting off to a very poor start before somewhat winning over fans.

One of the biggest issues players have with Diablo IV, however, is itemisation. Like any loot-based action RPG, items Diablo IV are colour coded according to their rarity, and the rarer the item, the more bonuses it can offer. Items also have an item level that essentially scales with your character level, and the higher the item level, the higher those bonuses can be.

The problem is, there are simply too many of these bonuses, called affixes, currently available, making figuring out whether or not an item is worth using or not laborious. There are also many affixes that are simply too specific, resulting in them rarely being desired or used by anyone.

Diablo 4  worldboss wandering death
Image: Blizzard

And this is the reason you may want to wait before jumping into Diablo IV when it launches into Game Pass on both Xbox consoles and PC tomorrow. You see, a big update is on the way for Diablo IV that will totally change its itemisation, lowering the number of affixes available and making the ones that remain feel more useful and impactful.

On top of that, greater affixes are to be introduced, which means on some items you’ll find bonuses that are huge. As well as a wealth of other changes that are bound to improve Diablo IV on the whole, those who wait to jump in when the update lands might find their initial experience much more pleasant.

So, when does this big itemisation-changing update for Diablo IV land? Blizzard is coinciding the launch of Diablo IV’s next season with the release of the game’s major update, which means it will be available on 14th May. It’s a long time to wait, then, but it really might be worth it. Create a character right now, and when season 4 launches all of the items you’ve found for them will be pretty much obsolete, classed as legacy items that are potentially overshadowed by those created under the new itemisation system. There will be other changes, too, such as tweaks to skills and balancing, that might totally change the character you’ve built.

It’s up to you, then. You can jump into Diablo IV when it launches into Game Pass this Friday if you wish. Chances are you’ll have great fun making your way through its lengthy campaign, too, either alone or with friends by your side. But if you don’t want all of those items you’ve found to be effectively useless in six weeks’ time, or simply want the best experience with the game the first time you play, you might want to hold off and wait for the start of season 4. The updates arriving alongside it truly are set to be game-changing.

Diablo IV is available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC.

Editor in Chief // An avid gamer since discovering the wonders of the Acorn Electron in the '80s, Rich has nearly played more games than he's had hot dinners. Not one to put all his eggs in one basket, Rich is happy to play games of all genres, but he particularly enjoys racing games and anything that's full of non-stop action, especially if it includes a good dose of humour, horror or crudeness!