Diablo IVGauntlet

6 Problems That Diablo 4’s Gauntlet Needs to Improve

Gauntlet Has Problems & How We’d Like To See It Improve.

Gauntlet has been out for a couple of weeks at this point and it’s safe to say it’s having some pretty serious teething problems.

After blasting for the first week peaking at rank 6 in the world, I quickly lost the motivation to continue competing in the trials, let’s break down the issues that made myself and many others feel this way and talk about how they could be improved.

Don’t forget to let us know what you’d like to see changes in the comment sections below.

1. Lack of Rewards

One of the first things that stuck out to me was the lack of a worthwhile reward for each run of the gauntlet. Upon completion, the player is awarded with just four fairly low item-power pieces of equipment and nothing else, for comparison a T100 Nightmare Dungeon can be completed in half the time, and on average awards close to a full inventory (33) of max item-power gear, a boatload of gold, materials, legendaries, uniques & glyph XP.

reward drop example

The difference is staggering, and though, understandably, the team over at Diablo did not want to devalue Nightmare Dungeons by making the Gauntlet too rewarding the current rewards don’t match the effort and time investment the player makes per run, and is in need of some desperate juicing.

The most disappointing part is that this was a known complaint with Abbitoir of Zir in Season 2, here’s hoping that in the future we can see better rewards and incentives for ALL endgame systems.

2. Time Duration

Now I know that this is one of the more controversial points I’ll cover so I’d love to see where you guys stand on this one, but I strongly believe that the eight-minute duration for Trials is too long.

Diablo is trying something new here which I greatly respect and also means there was no pre-existing point of reference for how long content like the Gauntlets should be.

diablo 4 gauntlet launch splash

However, for me, it was immediately jarring just how long these went on for, don’t get me wrong I know eight minutes is not a lot of time in general but in a high-intensity speed run it feels like an eternity, and when you pair this with the fact that the top players usually run out of monster to kill before time, it’s even more apparent something is not quite right here.

Finally tying into the last point too, eight-minute runs awarding four low item-power pieces of gear again just does not feel that great.

For me, what I’d like to see is a reduction in runtime to somewhere close to five or six minutes, this feels like the sweet spot to me as it’s around this time I’m usually thinking “god is this run over yet” and it would also solve the problem of players running out of monsters to kill before the time limit expires which is a pretty big problem in of itself.

3. Shrines and Pillars

We’ll start this section by first talking about Shrines, these are the ones that drop from bosses and empower you with familiar effects like lethality or artillery.

The first issue with these is the absolute necessity ( at the high end at least) to leverage the artillery shrine. The reason being that this shrine greatly improves your AoE clear, allowing you to wipe and kill monsters you otherwise couldn’t hit. It’s particularly egregious on the Barbarian on which you can wipe the screen clear of enemies with just one point in Whirlwind.

diablo 4 gauntlet problems splash

What you end up with is a Meta centered around the shrine itself and not so much the build you are playing on your class.

Another by-product is the necessity for Shrine Duration on gear too, without this affix on your boots and amulet you have no chance at a competitive score because of the value shrines provide within the trials, and in my opinion, the even bigger grievance here is that Shrine Duration affects the pillars too which I will touch on in a moment.

Of course, you can farm for these pieces of gear, and the boots at least are not too bad, and you could opt for buying one at the you the low, low price of just a couple billion gold. The amulet however is much more difficult, this is because amulets have A LOT of affixes, and this waters down the chances of you getting what you need. It’s not uncommon for amulets to cost billions to re-roll for the stat you need, and buying one? You’re going to need a lot more than a couple billion gold!

The last issue for Shrines is smaller in comparison but still, something that should be fixed and that is the spent shrines I.e the ones you have used remaining where they are, this can cause issues where your character pathing can go weird, and you can be in some cases completely blocked out of a room or even able to use a shrine that just spawned if it to close to an older shrine.

Finishing this section up let’s look at pillars and these are specific to Gauntlet, you have the Pillar of Proving which respawns all enemies on the map and then the Pillar of Glory which increases your points gained for monster kills for its duration.

As I mentioned briefly above pillars are affected by shrine duration and are also subject to many of the issues above, especially the Pillar of Glory, extending the duration on this shrine can be the difference between rank 100 and rank 1! It’s that strong!

Though I don’t think the existence of the Pillars is bad I do think that being affected by shrine duration is not good for the Gauntlet as it moves the needle away from player skill and planning and more toward who has the most shrine duration, which is not a particularly fun environment to compete in.

shrines and pillars example 1

Phew ok, so we got through that and how could we see this improved, it’s pretty simple. For shrines, we could remove them entirely, shift the scale in favor of the player-chosen builds, and away from leveraging shrines like artillery for example.

It also means we no longer get roadblocked by five spent shrines in the boss rooms too!

shrines and pillars example 2

For pillars I’d like to see these remain, it plays a big part in planning your routes looking to optimize their use and adds a very unique play feel to the trials, however the interaction for Shrine Duration should be removed, again we want to see the focus shift away from who has the most Shrine Duration on their gear and more toward things players have more control over like their skill and build crafting.

4. Chests and Keys

Chests when opened shower the player in points, but before opening you’ll need to collect a key from specific enemies in the Gauntlet.

This adds the need to plan out an efficient route ahead of time to open chests with the least detouring from your main route, and is all in all a good addition to the Gauntlet but could as with everything on this list use a teeny tiny adjustment.

chest and keys example

The keys should be auto-looted, running back and forth picking one up from the ground after killing the elite, takes away from the go-go super fast intent for the Gauntlet, and the same goes for the chests, for some reason, the points which are glowing orbs on the ground need to be walked over manually.

This is in contrast to all other points which are automatically collected. It’s an odd choice to have this difference as I don’t see how running circles around a chest for a couple of laps adds to the gameplay in anyways shape or form.

5. Consumables

Consumables which include elixirs and incenses can be used to empower your character giving you higher damage, attack speed, defenses, stats, and so on, and though in my opinion, these buffs are less potent in Trials than in other content they do undeniably provide a competitive edge.

gauntlet consumables example

And so why is this bad right? Mainly because the Gauntlet only serves as a sink for these items, unlike all other content in the game, in the Gauntlet you do not receive crafting components to replenish your stocks as you deplete them.

This leaves you in a situation where if you’re blasting for that high rank you will inevitably need to spend hundreds of millions of gold on restocking or, go pick flowers in helltides for hours on end, pulling you away from the content you actually want to do.

This issue is exacerbated on Hardcore as trade is nearly non-existent and you also need to consider cheat death elixers.

In an ideal world, I would love to see consumables removed entirely from the Gauntlet, however, another solution could be to have some materials added as part of the completion process to help mitigate how quickly you run out.

6. Bugs

The obvious conclusion to this topic would be to not have bugs haha, but I still want to talk a little bit about this as it’s part of a larger issue for the game.

We know the PTR is coming and from season 4 onwards it will be a permanent fixture, giving players the ability to test content before its official launch, and though this is a fantastic move in the right direction there’s more to be done.

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Take AoZ for example, it had issues tons of issues, bugs, exploits, mindless grinding, consumables, snapshotting, and no rewards. Sound familiar? These are all issues present in Gauntlet, despite the feedback and the delays on delays the same problems still appeared, I worry that despite the PTR we may continue to have things either not fixed or fixed too late.

As that’s how a lot of things have been to date. The PTR is the solution to this issue and I sincerely hope the feedback is actioned on more promptly moving forward.