Diablo IV is a very good video game. It features all the stuff I want out of a good Diablo game, including lots of loot, thousands of monsters to kill, more loot, big dungeons to explore, cool skills to unlock, and of course, a ton more loot. But it also feels like it’s missing something: a dedicated slot for your ultimate ability.
Released earlier this month, Diablo IV is Blizzard’s latest entry in its long-running action-RPG franchise about people killing demons and picking up lots of swords. This latest entry has reviewed very well, with players and critics alike both unable to stop themselves from sinking dozens of hours into the dark world of Diablo. (For some reason, they also all keep naming themselves variations of trash and rubbish.) Anyway, my Rogue—named Lethal Trash—really needs an ultimate slot, Blizzard.
When I recently finally leveled up my Rogue enough to pick an Ultimate ability, I assumed that it would get mapped to a specific slot. In games like Destiny or Overwatch (another game made by Blizzard) your most powerful abilities are often tied to a combination of button presses and feel different, more powerful, than your other abilities and attacks. But, as the headline gave away already, that’s not how things work in Diablo IV. Instead, ultimate abilities live among your other more basic skills and attacks, taking up a slot in the process. It’s annoying and doesn’t make sense.
You see, in Diablo IV, ultimate abilities don’t operate like other powers. You can only pick one from the ultimate ability skill tree. They tend to have longer cooldowns, but are more powerful, too. As a result, they feel special and different. Yet in the user interface, these powerful and unique abilities live in the same action bar slots as your basic attacks. It’s odd!
It also means that it feels like you are giving up a slot—which you only have six of, and can’t get more of—and I don’t like that either. I’m not alone in feeling this way! Looking online, I see other players also complaining about this strange design choice. You can even find players who pointed this out during the beta, calling it illogical or frustrating. On Reddit and Blizzard’s official forums players keep bringing up the lack of a dedicated ult slot as a complaint, wondering why it works this way and if Blizzard would ever be open to changing it.
Some fans suggest that, because builds don’t always need ultimate skills, there shouldn’t be a dedicated slot. I just don’t agree. Nobody wants one of the already-existing six slots to become a less useful ult slot. Instead, in a perfect world, Blizzard would add a new slot fully dedicated to these powerful but less-used abilities. A new theoretical seventh slot, possibly activated by clicking both sticks or hitting L1/R1 at the same time, wouldn’t ruin non-ult builds and would let everyone get to play around with ultimate skills freely without having to Sophie’s-choice-away a magic attack or dash ability.
Ultimately (get it…) Diablo IV is totally great and playable with only six slots, even if you have to burn one by equipping an ultimate ability. But I think a dedicated slot for these powerful attacks would give people just a bit more flexibility with builds, and would help make these cool abilities feel even more awesome and deadly.