Highly anticipated: If you can't wait to get your hands on Diablo 4, the betas are only a few weekends away. Blizzard has scheduled two testing periods in March for players to get in some hacking and slashing. Of course, you won't get access to the full game, but Bliz outlined what to expect.

Diablo 4's first beta weekend is March 17-19. This test is considered "early access," so is only open to those who pre-ordered the game. The second period is the weekend of March 24-26. This beta is open to everyone, including pre-orders. So it serves also as a small perk for those with faith in Blizzard delivering a good game. They get a bit more time in a limited but ample region of Sanctuary.

The area of Sanctuary that will be open to beta testers is the rough terrain of Fractured Peaks. This region lies far to the east, near the Dry Steppes. It is northeast of the Caldeum map in D3. According to the lore, the mountainous area's residents dare not venture out at night due to the cold and heavy demonic activity.

The bad news is beta players will be limited to only the Fractured Peaks map. The good news is that's where the Prologue and Act I take place, and players are welcome to complete both of these story modes if they have enough time over a weekend.

Bliz has limited Early Access players to only three of the five classes --- Barbarian, Rogue, and Sorcerer. However, the following weekend, when the open beta begins, devs will unlock the Druid and Necromancer for all to play. Players can use each character as much as they like but will be limited to level 25. After level capping, you can still romp through the map but will not gain experience.

Blizzard suggests making a new character (up to 10) after capping to find your favorite because beta characters do not carry over to the finished game. Early Access players can transfer their builds to the open beta. However, everybody has to start Diablo IV fresh at launch, which is fair since it has the obligatory multiplayer element.

Like D3 and Diablo II: Resurrected, D4 retains its multiple-player co-op mode. Both couch co-op and online modes are available in the beta with a few stipulations.

When setting up a couch co-op session during the Early Access weekend, only one player has to have pre-ordered the game. Your partner only has to have a Battle.net profile. All users must link to a valid BN account if playing on consoles.

For online four-player co-op action, everybody in the party has to have access to the beta, meaning that only pre-order gamers can participate in the earlier testing period with one exception. Those who have started a couch co-op session can join four-player parties with room for two, regardless of whether the fourth wheel has early access.

Boons come to those that fight together. Blizzard will have a giant "world boss" wandering around at "select times" during the betas, where all parties can band together to defeat this mighty beast. If you kill a foe while nearby another player, you get a five-percent experience bonus. The boon jumps up to 10 percent when near a member of your party.

While you can't carry your characters over to the full game, you can earn a few rewards during the trials that transfer to Diablo IV via your Battle.net account. The first is the Initial Casualty character title that you can win by getting to Kyovashad with at least one of your characters. The Early Voyager title and the Beta Wolf Pack cosmetic item comes to those reaching at least level 20 with any of their builds.

For PC players, you should be sure your specs are up to par.

Settings to run the Diablo IV Open Beta at 1080p native resolution / 720p render resolution, low graphics settings, 30 fps:

  • Operating System: 64-bit Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K or AMD FX-8100
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 or AMD Radeon R9 280
  • DirectX: Version 12
  • Storage: SSD with 45 GB available space
  • Internet: Broadband Connection

Recommended Specifications for PC:

  • Operating System: 64-bit Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-4670K or AMD R3-1300X
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon RX 470
  • DirectX: Version 12
  • Storage: SSD with 45 GB available space
  • Internet: Broadband Connection

Of course, console players can just play without worry.

Once again, the Diablo IV beta periods are March 17-19 and 24-26. Watch your PlayStation, Xbox, and Battle.net storefronts for live download links during those dates. The full game launches on June 6, with an Early Access period starting on June 2 for those who pre-ordered the Ultimate or Digital Deluxe versions.