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Diablo 4 Abattoir of Zir – First Impressions

Casual gaming experience from the first day of the Abattoir of Zir.


The Diablo 4 Abattoir of Zir event started today following a great deal of fanfare and speculation from all across the Diablo community. The newest addition to the ever-growing list of endgame content in Diablo 4 was first discussed during the Campfire Chat at BlizzCon 2023. The Abattoir of Zir is essentially the answer from the Developers to the question raised by many players about what to do next after defeating the Echo of Lilith.

A few select Diablo partners and content creators were given early access to the Abattoir of Zir during BlizzCon for the purposes of testing and providing feedback to the Developers and the community. It was about a week later when the initial reports started showing up online, which shared a little bit about what we could expect from this event. Most notable was the opinion that the Developers did not necessarily expect anyone to be able to clear a Tier 25 Abattoir dungeon before the end of the Season.

This opinion was picked up by the press and it spread like wildfire, prompting some of the most ardent Diablo 4 streamers to double down by claiming that the race to Tier 25 would be won by the end of the first day. The weeks that followed saw even more speculation as well as a good deal of theory crafting and new content designed to help players prepare to conquer this challenge. For a casual gamer like myself, I was mostly curious to see how all this Abattoir hoopla would turn out and also decided that I would at least take a shot at getting the Tears of Blood glyph leveled up a few times.

Tears of Blood
Tears of Blood


My greatest concern going in was the amount of time that I would need to commit to this endeavor. Like most of you, I have several other professional and mundane obligations competing for my time, leaving only a few hours per week to spend in game. To make matters even more challenging, this new content dropped with only half the Season remaining. The prospect of leveling the Tears of Blood glyph 200 times over the next six weeks or so seemed quite overwhelming, and attempting to join the race to Tier 25 was clearly out of the question for me.

Then again, the Abattoir of Zir wasn’t really intended for casual players like me. It was designed keep all of the pro streamers and no-lifers sufficiently occupied for the remainder of the Season so that they would hopefully quit whining about having nothing left to do. As for me, I honestly struggled with the decision of whether or not to devote a huge chunk of my precious time to the process of leveling up the new Tears of Blood glyph, which would just disappear from my inventory at the end of the Season.

I was also interested in discovering how the economy of this new content would pan out. The Abattoir of Zir is not only the newest endgame content to be added to Diablo 4, it’s the first and only content in any Diablo game to have a bona fide softcore wipe mechanic. The fact that any death during an Abattoir dungeon terminates the run for all players is definitely a big deal. It both undermines the greatest advantage of team play and results in more Bloodforged Sigils needing to be crafted, which is expensive! It left me wondering whether the race to Tier 25 would be won by the players who simply did not run out of Gold and Sigil Powder.

Abattoir of Zir
Abattoir of Zir

Preparation & strategy

My main character from the start of the Season has been a Ball Lightning Sorc, and I already had it fully leveled, including all glyphs to Level 21, well before December 5th. Beyond that was a little bit of reworking the Skill Tree and Paragon Boards to make it more tanky. I expected the Tears of Blood glyph to take care of the damage dealing side of the equation, so I knew that the key to the game would be survivability. This was especially true considering that there would be three Blood Seekers to defeat at the end of each dungeon (those devious Developers!).

Because I would not be racing, I decided that the best strategy for me was the same strategy that I have always used since launch, which is to take my time clearing the dungeons. The goal was to avoid dying too often by allowing time for my skills to come off cooldown as I moved from mob to mob. Yes, there is a ten-minute timer, but I was confident there would still be plenty of time to gradually and safely progress through the dungeon. I also decided I would take all the Shrines, which I usually avoid during NM Dungeons because hitting a cursed shrine only slows me down. However, in this situation, the possibility of spawning more enemies from a cursed shrine would only help to spawn the Blood Seekers sooner, so no downside there.

Abattoir of ZirResults, so far…

The length, for lack of a better term, of the Abattoir dungeons is greater than I had anticipated. I had become accustomed to spending just a few minutes running through NM Dungeons, but the Abattoir dungeons required more work to kill enough enemies to get to the boss. This activity did remind me of pushing Greater Rifts in Diablo 3, with all of the repetitive monotony that it entails. That translates into much more time and effort for me, overall, compared to the typical dungeons in Diablo 4. However, this is what the Devs intended, so no surprise there.

The strategy to gradually progress through the dungeons worked fairly well and killing trash and elites wasn’t that difficult. I was able to stay well ahead of the timer just by using the same gameplay style I’ve been using all Season with my BL Sorc. I also took all the Shrines I encountered, which helped a great deal and I did not hit a single cursed shrine during the few runs that I did.

The real challenge for me was the Blood Seekers at the end. They hit much harder than anything else in the dungeon, and I got one shotted by them on my first couple of attempts, mostly due to the dungeon affixes and floor mechanics. I determined that I absolutely needed to make sure to have my ultimate skill off cooldown prior to them spawning and to cast Flame Shield right before I started attacking the first one. I also discovered that the Low-Health BL Sorc build is pretty much a necessity for taking down the bosses.

Ultimately I made it to only a paltry Tier 3 before it became apparent that I would need to start farming Tier 1 or Tier 2 dungeons in order to further level up my Tears of Blood glyph. At the time of publishing this article, some of the best Diablo 4 players on Twitch have made it to only Tier 9 or Tier 10 before hitting a hard wall and starting to grumble about the “utterly ridiculous” dungeon mechanics. I also heard at least one of them comment about how this event is already turning into a gold sink. If I were willing to blast this event for the next twenty-four hours straight then I’m sure I could progress further. However, at the end of the day, I am just a filthy casual and not a pro, so I will definitely not be among those players who clear a Tier 25 dungeon any time this week.


For those players who love a tough challenge and desire the notoriety of being first, or ranking on leader boards, I would say that this new content is right up your alley, and godspeed to you. However, for casual gamers I would say that the Abattoir of Zir is really no more than grinding lots and lots of tougher NM Dungeons on steroids. In other words, if you weren’t into grinding out 145+ Greater Rifts in Diablo 3 just for the prestige of doing so then the Abattoir of Zir may not be for you.

I did not see a bunch of Uber Unique items or any other goodies dropping at the end of the dungeons while watching my favorite streamers clear several higher tiers. My conclusion, therefore, is that the main reward for running the Abattoir of Zir is the satisfaction that comes from beating it and being among the first to do so. The apparent lack of any unique cosmetics or other special reward incentives means that this type of content is not that fun for me due to the repetition and monotony of just having to grind more and more Glyph XP.

That being said, I would still recommend that everyone give it a try if you’re so inclined. The Abattoir dungeons are indeed more thrilling than regular NM Dungeons to be sure. I also want to make it clear that I am not disappointed in any way, because it turns out that the Abattoir of Zir is just as advertised, which is a pinnacle endgame challenge geared towards the best players running the best builds on the best classes. It remains to be seen whether the predictions about the first Tier 25 clear happening within the first twenty-four hours of the event could still come true. In the meantime, you may want to support your favorite streamers by watching them race to be among the first to get that Tier 25 clear.

Of course, all of the above is shared from the perspective of just one filthy casual Diablo 4 player. We would love to hear more about your opinions and experiences with the Abattoir of Zir, so please sound off in the comments section below. I will also be back next week with a rundown of the Midwinter Blight event. See you then.


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