Blizzard is giving gamers another chance to try Diablo IV before its official arrival. The game’s Server Slam will give console and PC players 48 hours to explore the prologue and Act I as the publisher prepares its infrastructure for the dungeon crawler’s highly anticipated June 6th launch.
The Server Slam will take place from May 12th at 12 PM to May 14th at 12 PM PDT. It will be open to players on Windows PC, PS5 / 4, Xbox Series X / S or Xbox One. The event will support couch co-op, cross-play and cross-progression, and you can play as all five character classes, including Barbarian, Druid, Sorcerer, Rogue and Necromancer.
The two-day event will limit character progression to Level 20, after which you’ll no longer receive Ability Points (but you can still earn new gear). In addition, if you played during the game’s Early Access or Open Beta periods, your progress won’t carry over to Server Slam — nor will progress from the Server Slam transfer to the game’s launch.
Blizzard is giving Server Slam participants a challenging boss fight in Ashava, described as “one of the Burning Hells’ most fowl machinations.” The monster with “two razor-sharp arm blades, scales stronger than plate mail, and hell-bent on ripping through all who interrupt her quest to bathe Sanctuary in poisonous bile” should present a formidable challenge for Level 20 and under players. However, anyone taking her down will seize the Cry of Ashava Mount Trophy, which will roll over to the final launch. Additionally, you’ll get another chance to earn the trophies from the first two beta weekends, including the Initial Casualty Title (reach Kyovashad with one character), the Early Voyager Title and Beta Wolf Pack Cosmetic Item (both requiring reaching Level 20 on one character).
Blizzard is opening pre-downloads for Server Slam two days before the event, on May 10th at 12 PM PDT. You can read the full installation instructions here, and if you participated in the earlier betas (and didn’t uninstall it), you’ll see an update for Server Slam available to download.
Engadget’s Igor Bonifacic tried Diablo IV during a December preview and the more recent betas and was left cautiously optimistic. It revealed impressive attention to story and gameplay detail as the upcoming title slows its pace while still adhering to the franchise’s familiar roots. However, we’ll have to wait and see if Blizzard can “stick the landing,” given the publisher’s hit-or-miss record in recent years — and memories of the fiasco that was Diablo III’s 2012 launch.