Early access Diablo IV is fantastic except for those frame rate drops

Some of my early leveling experience in Diablo IV:

  • Diablo IV early access has all the bones of a solid foundation – the gameplay, aesthetic, and ARPG hooks all impress
  • Blizzard has really went for it with some of those shop bundles…
  • I’ve been experiencing some severe frame rate drops on the second day of early access with a pretty competent PC (server related?)

I’ve been waiting on Diablo IV a while now. I’m not someone who’s been with the series since its inception, but the gap since Diablo III on the Xbox 360 is plenty long for me. Only being a lowly level 15 or so, it’s hard to dig into the the finer details of Diablo IV’s depth (or where its headed). But I’ve got to say, when it comes to broad strokes Blizzard has absolutely nailed the of foundation feel, aesthetic, and general hooks in ways that will surely carry the game for a long time to come.

Gameplay is probably the biggest sticking point for me – it feels impactful in a way Diablo III didn’t, and less rigid than Diablo II: Resurrected. The experience of leveling to 20 in the open beta combined with my early hours here have also hit the spot when it comes to ARPG loops. It could all fall on its face later on, and I’m sure the most dedicated will poke holes in the experience inside of a week tops, but Diablo IV, for me, is meaty in a way that 99% of live service games aren’t (and haven’t been).

That’s not to say early access Diablo IV isn’t without a hitch. Apart from some of those pricey bundles you’ll find in the shop, I’ve been experiencing some severe frame rate drops today.

On the first night of early access I was only experiencing very minor stutters along with rubber banding while entering new instances. Today? Insane fluctuations right down to 20 frames per second or lower. I’m running an i7-12700KF with a 4070, and due to everything being smooth sailing before I’m not sure its system dependent.

This severe drop in performance also seemed to coincide with more and more people coming home to play. I’ll have to play around with dropping down settings (I’ve only tried DLSS), but the sudden change in performance has me thinking it could be something server/optimization related on Blizzard’s end.

It’s not enough to pin the blame on connectivity, but it would be interesting to see how PS5 and Xbox Series X|S players have been faring. It’s a shame – Diablo IV has been wildly entertaining and is just about everything I wanted out of a sequel, and these performance issues really suck the air out of the experience.

Also running into strange frame rate drops? Let me know below as I’m really interested in what the root cause may be.

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