Diablo III Catch-All 2.0

The large-scale design, at first blush, reminds me of Destiny 2 more than anything else. Open world, quests and other players and world bosses here and there, extremely liberal use of level scaling...

Yeah, now I am getting a little sad because what they have, they could take a year and a half and release it and players would be thrilled. But, since it is not even Blizzard soon, what is that? 5-10 years?

Rhykker keeps saying it is a love letter to D2 but to me, it is more D1. (which is amazing!)

I usually find "everything is brown" complaints to be overblown but, wow, everything is brown. Even the ability icons are brown and the health bars have a brown tint. Maybe Diablo will be a sh*t demon in this one or something.

It is 100% certain that the UI is early placeholder. It tends to be some of the last thing they do.
But yeah, the brown-in-brown world is not my style. D3 looks better than what we have seen so far, except the lighting which looks really good.

An aspect I like in regards to making the world feel more relevant is the map/key system. I mentioned it before, but seeing a new interview now (Quin69) where they add more details.
The keys are for specific dungeons in the world. So you might get a Key +5 of Lightning spam-fest for some specific dungeon, that turns it into a harder version. Basically PoE Maps. But the cool thing imo is it being in the normal game world, not just a portal (in my reading of what is said anyway). So you run there and do the dungeon. Like with the whole campaign/adventure mode becoming one world, it should make the world much more meaningful than it is in D3 - and even in PoE in the end-game (although PoE does a great job at that during lvling too).

How are they squaring “keys are for a specific location” with a procedurally generated world that changes from session to session? I don’t mind looking around a bit for my target but you know people are going to complain.

Not that procedural generation has actually been that critical to Diablo. It’s always been more about the character skills and legendary effects, all of which are deliberately authored. Map layout is barely relevant compared to something like XCOM.

There are set pieces in the world. I heard them say there are dungeons that are randomly generated and there are what sound like persistent dungeons.
If you look at the Rhykker stream and more than likely the gameplay video above, you will get a picture of what the world is like.

I think the dungeon layouts are randomly generated, but their positions are not. You will find a specific dungeon in a specific zone each time. Exactly like in D3.

Interesting because I heard that there will be offline play but in the Rhykker stream, David Kim said there is no offline play...

Also, this game is like 6 years off. I mean you can just do the rough math. They have been working on it for 2 years. They have 3 classes maybe 1/2 to 1/3 implemented (not finished). We don't know how much of the area they've shown has been finished, but we do know there are 4 more areas. So David Kim said they hope they aren't 10 years away, but it might be likely. And this is especially because since they are taking so long to develop D4, their competition will improve and steal a bit of their thunder. So that will pad more development time. And then you can tack on that they have way more competition than during D3's development.

Phew. Dungeons can also be overworld areas. Seemed quite limited otherwise. Basically like D3 then.
Random events in dungeons. Random objectives in each dungeon.

Regarding skill tomes, sounds like you find them randomly in the shared overworld. Might also be other sources.

Endgame: Want it to be varied (something D3 surely is not). Want some amount of player agency/choice, not just randomness (like you know the random modifiers of a Key dungeon before going in, so you can plan/prepare).

Elite affixes from D3 is back. That is imo a good thing. Not exactly surpising either, most A-RPGs are using something like it.

Bosses are immune to CC, but instead they have a stagger meter. When suing your CC on them, the meter fils up, and when full, something unique for the boss happens. Like they might lose an arm, reducing their attack range. Seems like an okay way to both make CC relevant all the time, while not making CC overpowered against bosses. And also avoid having half-solutions like diminishing returns like in D3.

Item rarity goes Legendary --> Ancient legendary --> Mythic.
Mythics seems like they are basically full set bonuses added to a single item. Also, no lvl requirement, so alt-boosters. Which honestly seems like a terrible idea if they wanted to make lvling great again.

They apparently didn't dare to have an open Q&A this year. Pre-approved questions asked by a host
Not that it is bad, much better questions than usual.

Huge one. Timers in GRifts are terrible and hurts the pace of the game (which is so true!), they want combat to be more intentional, and let stuff like Key Dungeon modifiers change the pace (like one modifier might be a lightning effect going through the dungepn, so you have to keep ahead of it, basically a timer with an in-game effect). Now that might just be PR words, I am sure D3 devs didnt start out wanting the end-game combat we ended up with in D3 either, but one of the best things I have heard so far.

Gimme my Trapassin!
Seriously, if they are going back to Diablo's roots, that gameplay style was so unique. They need to have stand off focused classes or class specs. The fishymancer was great. I also loved the summoner druid that unfortunately bogged down in the later acts of nightmare difficulty. The vines, ravens and spirits mechanics were stellar yet left with squandered potential and zero love in balance patch after balance patch.

David Kims interview, where he said the demo was basically all they had made so far is clearly not entirely true. He probably just meant it was the only stuff in a playable state (quests, npc's, monsters etc). They have shown 4-5 different areas in the world/lore panel now. Plus various bosses/enemies in those areas.

Sadly, there is still lots of brown-in-brown.

One thing I will note is that while a cool aesthetic, the Giger/Baal design would get old if the other environments lacked diversity. Thankfully, the celtic style in the demo puts that concern to rest.

I am beginning to wonder if it wasn't the color palette that was the egregious offender but the lack of horror in Diablo 3. That argument I can get behind. Because certainly D1 and a bit lesser in D2 had these key things for horror: isolation, emptiness, dread, in over your head. I think that is a side effect of "story" in D3. Horror works better in show/don't tell and D3 did a lot more telling. (D1 did the least and it was stronger for it)

Now there is a difference between telling and talking. Psychological horror like "Get Out", talk a lot but reveal the telling slowly and deliberately. I think the lore journals in D3 work well in this regard.

I think another example of D3's horror misstep was the Skeleton King. They set him up well with the taunting ghost rising in front of the pillars but then made you kill about 3 minutes more trash before reaching his throne in an empty throne room. The effect of his broken armor flying into place was great but it would have been more effective if it was taking place while you were frantically trying to collapse those pillars.

I'd say it's likely that this will be 3-5 years away from release. Given that, I'd take everything you see with a grain of salt and just get used to seeing the updates once a year at each Blizcon until it's good to go. As much as I'd love the next Diablo now or even next year or two, it's just not going to happen so no point getting too hyped.

I saw on their forum that they want to have quarterly updates starting early next year. But yeah, game is years away. I doubt it is 5-6 years away, but 2022, maybe 2023 to release it in a WoW-"off year", seems quite likely.

I think this “grimmer and darker” push is just part of a long-term money saving scheme. When the fans demand that Diablo 6 be just a black screen with sound effects then Blizzard can save a lot on the art budget.

I think that will be the first D4 expansion: "The Doarkening"

FYI all this Diablo 4 talk inspired me to level up a new season crusader. The game is still really good. It is so good that it is easy to burn out on it and start hemming and hawing on what it lacks.
I instinctively wanted to top the list of my games of the decade. Then had a moment of disbelief. But after jumping in last night, I am positive it is the game of the decade. And, the changes we see in D4 are just that, changes and just different ways of doing something but not necessarily better. (and still to be proven upon release and years after)

Is there a D4 thread yet?

Shadout wrote:

Apparently the D3 console dodge is in too.

Yes! Best thing they did in D3. Seriously
Makes all other point click ARPGs fell ancient.

I also like what I'm hearing about items not focusing on sets. Sets really made individual items uninteresting to me.

After my initial disappointment in the reveal I watched some people streaming the demo and my opinion has improved a bit. For some reason, the trailer gameplay looked very underwhelming.

A bit surprised that they are sticking with the lvl40max and then intending to raise it with expansions. Characters being level 20 in the demo, the gameplay still felt a little bit too Act 1ish.

Top_Shelf wrote:

Is there a D4 thread yet?

It's another 3-4 years away

BlackSabre wrote:
Top_Shelf wrote:

Is there a D4 thread yet?

It's another 3-4 years away ;)

My guess is the game is out in two years and their responses are to keep people from asking over and over again.

I much prefer this Diablo 4 aesthetic to the one presented in Diablo 3. This feels more in line with Diablo 1 and Diablo 2; darker, grittier, and less like World of Warcraft; vivid, clean. More gothic horror. Less cartoon delight.

I don't understand the ARPG devs. The thing that made Diablo 2 so popular was grinding for items (Mephisto/baal runs). Scarcity was the reason it all worked. I played a LOT of D2. I saw one high end rune the whole time, a VEX rune. If you wanted to make a top end runeword item, you had to have a lot of gear to trade for it. If you wanted Schafer's Hammer, same thing. An ARPG where you can have everything isn't fun...there's a carrot, but it's right in your hand with all the other carrots.
I'm hoping D4 has real scarcity. Runes that drop once a day server wide. Same with Uniques. Uniques specific to specific bosses with miniscule drop chances. Trading is fine and items will retain value IF you keep them scarce.
The genius of POE was making currency useful for crafting. Currency goes away over time. Hopefully Diablo can find a use for currency to make it valuable in some way. One of the greatest unintended consequences in video gaming was the Stone of Jordan dupe. What a perfect currency. A very useful and desirable item overproduced for a while so there was enough excess around for trading.

Homard, you hit the nail on the head for me regarding D3 and items. Getting a Whale piece in D2 felt better than anything loot-wise in D3.

I still like playing D3 better though, so a combo D2/3 game sounds boss to me.

D3's loot feels almost too perfected from WoW's dopamine rush, which is also something they've now pared back on with WoW Classic. It's like Blizzard got too good at making us feel good.

At the end of the day, I like the little dopamine hits we get, but I can get those on mobile games if I so desire. I almost want to work harder in the next Diablo, I think, so if that's where they're going with it that's great. A little bit harder work to earn something. Or at least feel I earned it.

I kind of like having a higher probability of getting useful stuff. What I like about D3 is using the pieces I have to try and create a build that goes nonlinear by finding edge points and stacking multipliers, and I don't want to have to grind forever just to make the game interesting. At least I want the ability to play in a targeted way and make *some* kind of progress towards getting something I want; my ability and interest in spending evenings grinding an area for a 0.25% drop are long gone.

I guess they could make me happy just by having lots of loot with interesting math rather than just bigger numbers, but that risks the all-holy balance when some pro player discovers a supercombo. That creates a meta, and maybe I'm the weirdo here but I loathe games with a meta that you have to ape to play "right". (OTOH, if someone wants to grind a hundred hours for the perfect set to do stupid-hard GRs in two minutes, doesn't affect my game one bit.)

I at least want to keep class-specific loot so at least all the stuff I get is *usable*, and targeted loot zones/activities like Division 2 would be pretty nice too.

While I like the idea of having a near impossible probability of getting rare items, the reality is that the game will ultimately end up on the shelf once it gets too grindy, and even more so if I'm required to use other people to help. With that said, I don't like for everything to be ridiculously easy, like small-potatoes bandits all dressed up in daedric armor in Oblivion.

D2 droprates were too low honestly. D3 droprates are certainly too high. Should be doable to find some spot in between that might not be perfect, but at least substantially better. Heck, Diablo 3s droprates were better early on in RoS.

I am vehemently against trading though. I think it ruins games by turning the "right" way to play into Trading Tycoon instead of going out into the game world and killing things. And it obscures when droprates are too low.
I dont believe you can have balanced trading and non-trading in a single game. It would take 2 different game-modes, balanced individually, at least.

qaraq wrote:

I kind of like having a higher probability of getting useful stuff. What I like about D3 is using the pieces I have to try and create a build that goes nonlinear by finding edge points and stacking multipliers, and I don't want to have to grind forever just to make the game interesting.

Yeah. In the end, what is the point of making an interesting item system, with endless possibilities and synergies between the different game systems, if you are unlikely to ever see those items. It should feel reasonable. One problem in D3 is, that the interesting item system isn't there to begin with, since it is mostly about getting 5-6 set pieces. But getting to a point where you can make a build work is surely part of the fun in these games.

I am vehemently against trading though. I think it ruins games by turning the "right" way to play into Trading Tycoon instead of going out into the game world and killing things. And it obscures when droprates are too low.

But it seems like they are going with a good compromise where trading is limited based on rarity.
I think the argument should be made that a better itemization system would be more incremental than D2 and less incremental than D3.

D3 got rid of pumping stat points but requires far greater traits to account for to survive the challenge: main stat, vitality, armor, resists, crit%, crit damage, weapon damage, attack speed, resource red%, cooldown red%, block and maybe more.
D2 had you pumping stat points but many classes/builds relied solely upon +skills, mana pool and resist all. But one advantage that would be beneficial to capture would be that in many cases stat requirement trumped level requirement for items (especially weapons). There was also a simple hierarchy for magic affixes and prefixes. This is an area where D3 added more granularity and I think it ended up devaluing prefixes and affixes.

I agree with the sentiment above about the correlation between rarity and trading. If you don't allow trading, it's perfectly fine to have high drop rates. That allows for a lot of fun finding a good item and sending it to another character. If trading is a big thing, rarity (and grinding) seem to be the only way to maintain a reasonable carrot and stick.

BTW horror/creepy can be colorful: