Diablo IV - Catch All

The gameplay vid looks great. I'm excited for this!

I'm both excited by and worried about the prospect of Diablo IV essentially being a MMO. That looks like it'll support some neat gameplay, but one of D3's strengths is I can jump in and play a rift to get a complete experience in a short amount of time and I hope D4 doesn't lose that chasing the cool online stuff.

I also hope this doesn't mean I'll have to pick a server. D3's always online model worked well because it was stupid easy to jump in and play with anyone on my friends list. Diablo Immortal seems like it has interesting group content, but all my friends are split across different servers so I'll likely never do any of it.

The "reclaim the outpost" system reminds me of some of the cool stuff Guild Wars 2 did. I'm curious to know whether that will be a dynamic back-and-forth thing that happens on the server, or if it'll be a personal progression with areas having different phases like WoW.

I worry that stuff from Diablo: Immortal will find its way into D:IV.

Immortal has some good stuff, like how the Legendaries work with the skills and how skills combo with each other. I also really like how many of the skills move you, your enemies, or both around the battlefield in important ways.

But there's also the horribly predatory monetization model. The PC market is a lot less tolerant of that stuff though, and I don't think Microsoft will want that kind of thing on Game Pass either.

mudbunny wrote:

I worry that stuff from Diablo: Immortal will find its way into D:IV.

They've publicly stated that there will be no P2W in D4. Just cosmetics and expansions. Although i'd be surprised if they didn't slip in a battlepass system

Likewise afraid that they will find some way to turn D4 into D:I.
I also worry about the "MMO" stuff, although to be fair, it sounds like it wont really be an MMO. I haven't played Destiny, but I have seen people compare it more to that, though I obviously cant know if that is accurate.

Anyway, I still have a small hope D4 will be good. I want to believe!

Vargen wrote:

The "reclaim the outpost" system reminds me of some of the cool stuff Guild Wars 2 did. I'm curious to know whether that will be a dynamic back-and-forth thing that happens on the server, or if it'll be a personal progression with areas having different phases like WoW.

It sadly sounds like a one-off personal progression thing for the campaign. But it seems like such an obvious thing to bring into endgame, that it likely will show up there some day.
Also, unless stuff has changed, the shared world only unlocks after you finish the story in an area. That solves the phasing aspect I guess.

I would love it if D4 came to the Switch but sadly it doesn't look likely.

Coming off the latest videos from the Summer Game Fest, I'm as stoked for D4 as I ever was.

I love how they are giving their world the Elden Ring treatment and leaning hard into the long-term, live service support for the game.

If I were to be concerned...I'm not as concerned about a the success of D:I corrupting the design of D4. I'd be more worried about the senior personnel that had left before and during the lawsuit fiasco that would have resulted in the vision for D4 to be fought over by newcomers trying to get up to speed or filling in the power vacuum. Having a cash shop in the UI isn't going to matter much if the core game stinks.

The monetization in Immortal seems fine so far. I bought the battle pass but didn't really even feel strongly about that (apart from the urge to spend something after spending too many hours with the game). Having said that, it doesn't belong in a $60-70 game.

Mr GT Chris wrote:

The monetization in Immortal seems fine so far.

Diablo Immortal is a fine game that can be enjoyed independent of its monetization.

The actual monetization is about as shady as it gets. They try to groom you to buy ever more expensive bundles in the campaign. All of the space bucks bundles but the $100 one leave you frustratingly short of being able to afford that last crest. There are like 2-3 battle passes. At least one of those requires daily logins, and the rewards are concentrated at the end of the time period, so if you don't have nigh perfect attendance then you don't get them... unless you go ahead and buy another month because the track doesn't reset. But then that means you're already out the back end of the second month of the pass, and if you still don't log in every day it just slips even more. And none of that is really getting into how Legendary Gems work.

I've been playing Immortal a lot since it launched and have enjoyed it. The skills are fun to use and interact in interesting ways. The legendary weapons and armor system is great as well; incidentally it's way more forgiving than it first seemed and it didn't seem that bad. But that doesn't change the fact that the monetization is set up to extract a ludicrous amount of money from people who are susceptible to their tricks.

As for Diablo IV, I don't think it's going to be anywhere near as bad as Immortal. Immortal is done in partnership with NetEase, who are all about sucking cash out of mobile whales. They don't care about the negative buzz and low Metacritic score so long as people are paying. Diablo IV is positioned to be one of the crown jewels in the Game Pass library. The public perception of D4 is probably more important to Microsoft than any revenue it generates directly. They won't want to mess that up by provoking further backlash.

I would love it if D4 came to the Switch but sadly it doesn't look likely.

What makes you say that? D3 on Switch was incredibly successful. I can't see them passing up that cash cow again.

I see that point but it doesn't really apply to this game for me. The monetization involves buying stuff that you normally play to get, materials, drops, login rewards etc. Without the incentive of playing to earn the stuff, then there's basically nothing to do in the game. The campaign is fine but brief (presumably more to come). So why even play if you spend the 100k figure I've seen bandied about. There is some basic PvP which I guess it helps to be more powerful. But, you really only play the PvP to earn a few rewards here and there, otherwise you're better off playing Dota or LoL I presume (not having played those myself). And, without worrying about being on top of the PvP curve, you don't need to compare your progression to others.

So, any money I give to D:I is just a tip really.

If you can restrain yourself then yes you can get by just fine in D:I
The problem is, they purposefully leave the monetization light at lower levels to hook you. Starting as low as the high 30's they start creeping in the cash shop. So you can't even level to cap without $$$. Look at Ranterax's video where he clearly states that you can easily reach a point where you can play 100's of hours and not progress your character. That would be tolerable if it were reserved for the highest levels but it happens much quicker.

Also, don't expect to play PvP or if you do, I hope you don't mind losing. You will go against whales where you can at best take 10% of their HP and they can mostly one shot you as F2P or even if you spent a little money on a battle pass.

Its unconscionably egregious.

They tried the RMAH in Diablo 3 and got rid of it in short order. I guess they didn't learn because they are trying again. It is something that nobody wants but Blizzard is going to do it anyways. That does not bode well for the future of the game.

When I see Diablo 4 I can't help but see all the people that left the D3 team after launch when they brought someone else to make it the awesome game it is today. And now they are doubling down on the stuff that was terrible/removed/fixed because they feel it wasn't wrong. It was just misunderstood and if they just spent more time iterating on it, everyone would love it and shower them with adoration.

I have one char at 60(30) and one at 60(22). Maybe it gets bad later but at the moment it's fine and that is already a lot of hours. For PvP, yeah, I don't really care, but my far bigger issue was that the match making is garbage.

Is the matchmaking functioning badly, or is it trying to make you envious of the whales? Hmm... more likely it's main goal is to make the whales feel powerful. Whatever the reason, it's still garbage.

It's probably also worth pointing out that D:I does have a real-money auction house. But this time there's no way to cash out. You can't even sell things for "buy more stuff from Blizzard" space bucks. You buy the special currency from Blizzard and you buy items from Blizzard to sell (stuff that drops for free is all character-bound and can't be sold) and then all of that value just sort of sloshes around in the Platinum economy until it drains out in transaction fees.

fangblackbone wrote:

When I see Diablo 4 I can't help but see all the people that left the D3 team after launch when they brought someone else to make it the awesome game it is today. And now they are doubling down on the stuff that was terrible/removed/fixed because they feel it wasn't wrong. It was just misunderstood and if they just spent more time iterating on it, everyone would love it and shower them with adoration.

I'm genuinely curious as to what makes you think that. A lot of what I see is them saying "what if we actually designed the game around all the features we hacked into D3 to save it?". For instance, the open world is just making the story happen in Adventure Mode. They're designing for Paragon levels right away. Similar deal with legendary items--they're starting with the assumption that you'll be extracting powers and such.

There's also "we'd like to design an endgame where bonuses don't have to be a minimum of 1000% to be relevant" but that was never the intent of original D3, just a result of them balancing around the power outliers.

Shoot, even though their "we've decided we agree with the edgelords who thought Diablo 3 had too much color" stance bothers me, it's still a marked difference from launch D3.

Not saying anyone is wrong to think otherwise; I just think I've probably missed some stuff and would like to be brought up to speed.

I think I just had a super run of bad luck. I was getting matched into teams that were getting pummeled over and over. With the way matchmaking should work, in my mind, even if I literally left my character idle, my team would still be somewhat competitive or even win sometimes. I’d check the stats to see how much of a dead weight I was but I was pretty consistently middle or just below that.

Anyway I’ve since won a round here and there. My impression is that offense is a little easier but it doesn’t help if you have too many kamikaze players on your team because you fail based on reaching the death limit. Also, I haven’t bothered to spec at all for pvp, just swapped out a skill. It’s not really my interest, I’m only doing it occasionally when there’s a reward for participation. Participation trophies, yay!

Vargen wrote:

Is the matchmaking functioning badly, or is it trying to make you envious of the whales? Hmm... more likely it's main goal is to make the whales feel powerful. Whatever the reason, it's still garbage.

As far as I recall, ATVI has in the past talked about (likely not with the intention customers should hear it) intentionally grouping up whales and other players, in the attempt to get more people to spend money (as in; 'look how powerful or pretty your character could be if you also spent some money'). Not sure which games, maybe some of the CoDs.

Vargen wrote:

I'm genuinely curious as to what makes you think that. A lot of what I see is them saying "what if we actually designed the game around all the features we hacked into D3 to save it?". For instance, the open world is just making the story happen in Adventure Mode.

Mixing campaign and "activities" is the best thing about D:I (well, also the only good thing imo).
I hope D4 does the same. It is confirmed that it merges campaign mode and adventure mode, but it is unclear what that really means. Like, if you just play through the campaign, and then endgame activities unlock, it might technically be one mode; but things are still separated. Best if the various activities open up as you lvl, preferably quite early on, allowing people to do one, the other, or both, as they want.

Vargen wrote:

Shoot, even though their "we've decided we agree with the edgelords who thought Diablo 3 had too much color" stance bothers me, it's still a marked difference from launch D3.

That is one of the things I dislike most about D4 so far. The muted colors. Some of the more recent screenshots look better/more colorful at least. But Blizzards whole marketing approach of "Back to darkness" is just... ugh. I though gaming had somehow moved on from "everything must be brown or grey".

I have nothing positive to say about D:I in general. I hope EU takes a long look at these games, and illegalizes all of the shady tricks devs are pulling these days. Not even remotely okay.

Shadout wrote:

I though gaming had somehow moved on from "everything must be brown or grey".

I feel like we have, which means there is room for Diablo IV to be all dark and muted if they want it to be. The bit that bothers me is the marketing and developer sound bites that seem to be throwing Diablo III's art direction under the bus. I've gotten over the ubiquitous darkness. The Internet edgelord flame wars, not so much...

Yeah, that is part of what I was talking about.
"Diablo 3 is not a true sequel to Diablo 2!" "Diablo 4 is going to be a true Diablo 2 sequel" hemming and hawing.

As much as I have issues with PoE I’d prefer if Blizzard took more lessons from that rather than both D2 and D3. Also plenty to learn from Grim Dawn, Wolcen, Last Epoch etc.
The genre moved on, Blizzard should not be stuck in those previous games. That is what we have remasters for.

Blizzard implying that they are running away from D3 graphics worries me somewhat, because it just feels fake. Some PR department who decided that they should be all about blood and darkness all of a sudden. D3 looked perfectly fine, no reason that should be a unique point of focus.
I don’t particularly care about how the game looks in the end, gameplay is everything in an A-RPG. But their decision to focus themselves on a “Return to darkness” PR strategy just leaves me with the impression that they are focusing on all the wrong things.

I love this whole open world game as a service idea for this. It works for Warhammer Inquisitor splendidly.

Looking at the vids and info has me hyped for this one!

fangblackbone wrote:

Yeah, that is part of what I was talking about.
"Diablo 3 is not a true sequel to Diablo 2!" "Diablo 4 is going to be a true Diablo 2 sequel" hemming and hawing.

D3 has this reputation of being the black sheep of the franchise that, at this point, is a bit ridiculous. Diablo 3 is the best-selling Diablo game by a country mile. The 10-anniversary for this game came and went with barely a peep. I wasn't playing the Season in May so I don't really know if they recognized the milestone in-game at all. Did they? In most cases I feel like this would have been a golden opportunity for Blizzard to do something...anything. Do a special bundle, add in some minor QoL updates. For chrissakes, join the 2020s and add controller support to the PC version.

There are also still big & well respected (imho) content creators playing and boosting D3. To see the devs instancing themselves from it like they have in conversations about D4 is a PR move for sure but it is still disheartening.

Anyway, that's my D3 rant.

One of the problems D3 has is there's a sizable chunk of Diablo fans who buy it when it comes out, play through the campaign, and then they're basically done. That wasn't the best experience at first. People didn't like the story, and it was tuned easy enough that you didn't really have to think about the mechanics; you just clicked on things and they died. Blizzard did a great job turning the game into something cool, but by that point I think a lot of people had moved on.

Especially folks in the video games press, who are pretty much exclusively going to be those play-at-launch-and-move-on folks. Hmm... the press perspective... that probably skews the marketing some too.

Vargen wrote:

One of the problems D3 has is there's a sizable chunk of Diablo fans who buy it when it comes out, play through the campaign, and then they're basically done. That wasn't the best experience at first. People didn't like the story, and it was tuned easy enough that you didn't really have to think about the mechanics; you just clicked on things and they died. Blizzard did a great job turning the game into something cool, but by that point I think a lot of people had moved on.

Raises hand

That's me. I didn't play it at launch, and instead waited til the initial console release. Played the story coop with my wife on Xbox 360, then later again on PS4 when the I got the itch to play again. That second playthrough, I played the Crusader class. I think I did one rift once I finished the story, then put it down again. The endgame in these games has yet to really appeal to me. I'm looking forward to Diablo 4 quite a bit, but that's due to the aesthetic and my hopes for a grimy, dark story. The open world MMO-lite aspects do appeal to me as well, but how much I engage with that stuff will probably depend on whether or not I have folks to play with.