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Diablo 4 vs Diablo 3 Resurrected?

Adding some popular Diablo 3 features might sound good, but is that really what we want?

Diablo 3 Season 28A fond farewell

It’s no secret that lots of players have expressed some dissatisfaction, in one way or another, with Diablo 4. What’s interesting, but not at all surprising, is that so much of their feedback fits the general theme of wanting Diablo 4 to be more like Diablo 3.

It goes without saying that Season 28 of Diablo 3 was considered by many to be the best season ever and served as an effective means of ensuring that fans would be left with fond memories as they transitioned to Diablo 4. During Season 28, players progressed through a new feature called the Altar of Rites, which unlocked what were essentially some game tester keys that fans had long been wishing for. It sure was nice, as well as a lot of fun, but did it also contribute to establishing some unrealistic expectations for gameplay in Diablo 4? Let’s look at a few examples.

Season of the Malignant News BannerToo much seasoning?

Some evidence for this began to show as the details initially became available for the Season of the Malignant. Many fans responded adversely to the prospect of having to unlock all of the Altars of Lilith again. That was followed by concerns about exactly how much Renown would or would not carry over from the Eternal Realm into the Seasonal Realm.

I suppose such concerns were somewhat reasonable considering that we’d become so accustomed to quickly starting off a new Season in Diablo 3. I mean, all you really needed to do was to go get Kanai’s Cube and you’d have your first Level 70 character in a matter of a few hours.

Compounding this, perhaps, was the relatively quick arrival of Season 1 in Diablo 4. We heard about how a large percentage of new Diablo 4 players had yet to even finish the main campaign at the same time as the official launch date for Season 1 was announced. Even experienced players had barely completed all of the Renown in all five regions by that point. The prospect of having to run around and do all of that again so soon did seem to be a rather daunting task.

In any case, the Devs eventually capitulated and incrementally added more and more carryover content to the start of the first Season. However, according to many players, the Devs have still not done nearly enough to bridge the divide between Diablo 3 and Diablo 4.

Alt Averse

Many players have expressed their dissatisfaction with the lack of proper Alt catch-up mechanics in Diablo 4 compared to the previous games. Features such as adequate stash space, more cross-class loot, unlimited gear trading, easy access to public games, an abundance of gambling currency, roster-wide Paragon Points, embedded legendary powers, and the ability to reduce the level required to equip items are all conspicuously absent in Diablo 4.

Then there is the simple matter of being unable to efficiently power-level Alts. Rebirthing a Seasonal character in a Diablo 3 multi-player game could get an Alt leveled to 70 in just a matter of minutes. In Diablo 4, while we do have the option to carry players through Capstone Dungeons and Nightmare Dungeons, it can still take several days, if not weeks, to level an Alt to 100, even under optimal conditions.

Diablo 4 HotfixInnumerable changes have already been made to Diablo 4 via patches and hot fixes for the purpose of improving class balance and making all the classes more fun to play. However, considering how much time and effort it takes to get just one character to Level 100, is it realistic to expect casual gamers to be able to play more than one class in a given Season?

Humdrum drops

first recorded shako drop confirmed by blizzard v0 razPlayers looking for that dopamine hit have been expressing their general dissatisfaction with Diablo 4, going so far as to say that drops are the biggest problem with the game so far. Getting better drops can still be exciting during the first few days of the Season while gearing up a new character. Soon after that, however, players are faced with a very low rate of return in their search for really good gear.

Content creators and pro streamers may have the resources to effectively manage this task. On the other hand, the search for even one halfway decent gear item can prove to be a somewhat overwhelming obstacle for most casual gamers.

The Devs were clear about the fact that they wanted the quest for exceptionally good gear to be more organic and personally rewarding in Diablo 4. Achieving the right balance in order to make that process both challenging and exciting can be tricky, indeed. Nevertheless, the tedium of sifting through mountains of useless Rares, Legendaries, and Uniques has proved to be neither challenging nor exciting.

Diablo 3 Set Reward Season 22Get ready, get set

What’s the deal about gear sets in Diablo 4? This question began lighting up the various Diablo 4 discussion forums even before the game was released. Nevertheless, the Devs have, thus far, pretty much declined to clearly respond to this issue.

What the Devs have in mind doesn’t really matter, though, because it’s pretty clear that the desire for gear sets in Diablo 4 ties right in with the overall frustration associated with item drops. Fans are looking for the dopamine hit associated with reaching a break point where their gear farming efforts are rewarded with a set that makes their build uber powerful. From that point they no longer need to concern themselves with sifting through tons of useless drops and can focus on the relatively simple task of min-maxing the gear set they have equipped.

The Devs repeatedly shared their goals of wanting the process of gearing a character in Diablo 4 to feel more organic and to encourage players to experiment with different builds. Unfortunately, it seems that these goals have been undermined by lackluster drops overall, Uber Uniques being essentially non-existent, and the burden of having to look through so many rare items in the hopes of being able to effectively apply a critical Legendary Aspect.

Growing pains

As I alluded to in the title of this article, it seems as though the more folks play Diablo 4, the more they want it to be like Diablo 3. In fact, I found it very interesting and revealing when a Redditor recently pointed out how “the Hate Bandwagon has gone full revisionist by declaring Diablo 3 a peerless masterpiece for the sake of dumping on Diablo 4 even more.”

Before going any further, I want to state categorically that I believe most, if not all, of the criticisms about Diablo 4 referred to above do, indeed, have a sound basis. There’s no question that fans should be able to enjoy the game they paid for and to continue to have fun playing it. That being said, I would ask you to also consider the following with regard to matching your expectations with the reality of the situation.

Diablo 4 has infinitely more things to do in it than Diablo 3 did at launch, where your only option was pretty much to replay the campaign over again. Greater Rifts didn’t even appear until much later, whereas Diablo 4 had a similar activity right out of the box where Rift Keys are now called Nightmare Sigils.

It’s also safe to say that the amount of time Diablo fans put into their games these days has incrementally increased over the years as the result of the power creep in Diablo 3 and the goal of smashing higher and higher Greater Rifts. One natural consequence of this was that many players dove headfirst into Diablo 4 right off the bat, racking up hundreds of hours in the first couple of months, thus hitting the content wall hard.

It’s important to remember that Diablo 4 is not a paid service game like WoW. If you’ve already put a couple of hundred hours into a brand-new game like Diablo 4, you’ve probably gotten your money’s worth at this point, at least as far as Blizzard is concerned. Also keep in mind that the Devs have a very long-term vision for the game. Diablo 4 will inevitably look quite different in three to five years compared to what it is now. Therefore, try to have as much patience for the process as possible and allow the game plenty of time to evolve naturally, which is a recommendation that has been already shared many times here on the PureDiablo website.

So, have you run out of things to do and/or have become bored with Diablo 4? Well, how about just spending some time in game trying to meet other players. Long-time Diablo gamer Owyn recently told me that, for him, the opportunity to chat with new people around the world is the best part of Diablo 4. A great way to do that is to find a good group, and the Diablo 4 Player Match-up / Clan Recruitment forum exists for that very purpose. In the future there will quite likely be enough content in Diablo 4 to keep us occupied more or less continuously if that’s what we want. For now, though, it just might be necessary to put Diablo 4 aside for a little while until the next Season starts in order to avoid feeling bored or burned out.


We would love to hear your opinions on the matter, so please sound off in the comments section below. Do also keep an eye on the news feed here at PureDiablo so you’ll have all the up-to-date info you need to get the most out of your game.

If you believe that any of the information shared above is inaccurate in any way, please let us know, along with a reference to the correct information, so we can update this document accordingly.


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