Unleashing Joy in the Hellscape: Diablo 4’s Pet Paradise

Diablo 4, a game almost nobody expected to be a runaway hit, has captured the gaming community like nothing else has this year. But not for the reasons you’re probably thinking. The new action-RPG might, to be sure, have extremely fun and punishing gameplay, or an irresistibly moody and otherworldly story, but the game’s popularity has been driven by one of the most unforeseen mechanics in years: pets. Yes, pets. Amid the chaos of pounding foes, demons, and the realm of Sanctuary into darkness, Blizzard has snuck in a layer of felt that we didn’t see coming.

The New Best Friend: Getting Your Free Pet

As part of a recent patch, which was announced in conjunction with the reveal of the ‘Vessel of Hatred’ expansion trailer, Diablo 4 has promised its fanbase a free pet!

Head to Kyovashad

First, you’ll want to head out to Kyovashad. Here, you’ll find one of the game’s priority quests, called ‘Faithful Companion’. This is your ticket to a new game-feline.

Show Your Love

When you find the dog, your only dialogue option is that it’s a good boy. Who wouldn’t tell a dog that it’s good? What sort of monster would respond any other way?

Making It Official

Open up your wardrobe, and you’ll find you’ve got a new ‘Pets’ tab, where you can pick out what to put on your little friend. The upside of this is that Blizzard can really show off any other super-kawaii pets you might win by preordering the expansion.

The Ultimate Command: PET THAT DAWG

At last, with dog in tow, you can pet your dog – ridiculously, the last step in the formula. It adds one more level of immersive simulation to this scene, and contributes to the hero-and-pet bond that is being forged in the midst of Sanctuary’s torments.

Why Pets in Diablo 4 Are More Than Just Cute Additions

It’s not that the introduction of pets to Diablo 4 is a gimmick, but a bold design decision in a series known for its dark and mature themes. Pets are useful – players can use them to harvest a game’s currency, for instance, without the monotonous labour of collecting it themselves. But more than that, pets provide a much-needed emotional respite for players in a game that revels in its intensity.

The “Vessel of Hatred” Expansion: More Than Just a Title

Its next expansion, due out on 8 October 2024, will add a new zone, class and a series of events. Players who pay for early access to the beta will also receive a customizable new pet. The company’s strategy has thus merged the expansion of the game with the expansion of the players.

Claim Your Free Dog Today!

If you haven’t claimed your free dog yet, all you have to do is complete the ‘Faithful Companion’ quest. Aside from making Diablo 4’s hellscape much more fun to run around on, finding your pup is a wholesome and accessible bit of joy in the otherwise bleak, punishing land of Sanctuary.

Understanding the Monster Within

At the core of Diablo 4, as with any game ‘about’ monsters, is the act of facing them – seeing monsters, killing monsters, overcoming monsters. And a simple way of illustrating the difference between the storyworld’s monstrosity and the player’s comico-redemptive journey is the presence of pets: little, wholesome, loyal denizens of a world rent asunder by hatred, malevolence and the very forces of unconquerable darkness. All of which lends an untidiness to the picture; after all, if players are always battling the minions of darkness to the very gates of Hell, it follows that they are always nurturing and caring for someone, too. Like the tortured, redemptive biblical figure of the avenger-angel, players are both avenger and angel, conqueror and guardian. For, after all, light, even if it takes the shape of a cat, still shines in the darkest of places.

At a time when ingenuity and surprise in gaming sometimes seem to be dizzying to the point of absurdity – within Blizzard’s Overwatch, for example, there is one hulking robot-monk who fires jet-propelled boots at the player, another who can conjure a tiny gun from his menacing bear-paw arm, and a third who hurls loose screws – the mere thought of a dog in a Diablo game might strike you as a welcome counter-current of deliberation, even humanity. It was exciting because it felt like a human had been allowed in the room. The moment you open Diablo 4, pet your dog. The apocalypse has a way of going down a little easier with a best friend.

Jun 10, 2024
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