On returning to D4

Crudesash

Well-known member
Feb 19, 2021
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So, a little context first: Longtime Diablo fan, longtime member of this community, and was super excited for D4; had the opportunity to help in testing, went to the pre-launch party, so you could say I was stoked.

Game launches, and the story is just fantastic; cut scenes, main quests, side quests, challenging bosses (Astaroth can rot!), it was really good. Get into the end game...not so good-the repetitive gameplay started to get to me once I had finished all the renown, all the strongholds, etc. Played in Season 1 but around level 50ish interest really waned and I basically stopped playing. So I went back to the old standbys, WoW & D2R.

So S4 gets announced, and I think, OK, maybe I need to get back into this...I want to move forward, not dwell in the past. So I jumped in, and it's been fun! Currently level 73, playing a WW barb, and I am really looking forward to hitting max level and closing out the season journey and battle pass.

There are a few areas I think could use some change, and the point of this is to see what some other players thought; I have never dwelt in the full end game nothing matters until 100 crowd, I really enjoy the journey as well as the destination, and I'm wondering, am I an old curmudgeon? Has the game passed me by?

I'd like to think it hasn't. Blizzard has put a lot of effort into the concepts of "play your way" and "all gamers matter", and if we are to accept that paradigm, then there is a place for an old warhorse like me. So what then would I like to see happen differently?

Well, the biggest thing for me is, there is just too much loot. I play solo, and haven't really pushed a lot of tough content yet, but between helltides and goblins and caches and whispers...it really rains down the loot. And thanks to the myriad of abilities, effects, and powers, it is somewhat important to at least give a cursory glance to what you pickup, and I found myself spending a lot of time reviewing loot checking for upgrades, time that would have been better spent destroying demons. I did find some relief at certain points, like once I had all legendaries equipped and I was high enough in the tier to not see rares beating my current ilevel, I was able to just salvage them quickly, but sometimes you find yourself with a stash full of legendaries as well!

I think having the amount of loot decreased would increase their value as well. You'd be far less likely to just salvage gear if there wasn't so much of it, and I think it would make the game more about playing and less about management.

I would also like to be able to farm Glyph XP outside of NM dungeons; more ways to do things is a good think I think-look at the positive changes we saw in D2, for example, when they diversified the loot tables so it wasn't just Pindle/Meph runs forever.

Last thing: Systems. We've got gems, sigils, glyphs, skills, paragon, tempering, aspects, masterworking, elixirs, incense, cinders, whispers...it's a lot. Some of it is fun, and it does provide a lot of agency and customization to the player, but again, the time spent managing this detracts from time slaying. And, I know, that in any game with this much depth, there is going to be some level of management involved, even the old standbys, but I wonder if some of those things could be combined, provided there is friction between the systems that make sense.

So you might be wondering, well what do you like then? The combat is still really good; it feels good to push buttons, and The Pit aside (haven't got there yet), D4 is gloriously free from timed activities, a thing I detested in D3. I love the flavor of the game quests and NPC's; the dialogue is orders of magnitude better than WoW's, for example. Build diversity is really strong, and you can be effective without being cookie cutter. Even though I have a strong character, I can still find challenges, and I have a great deal of agency in choosing what I want to tackle, because sometimes you want to push yourself, and sometimes you want to just cut a swath of destruction.

Well, I appreciate it if you've read this far, and I would love to hear how other people feel about the game in general. I hope to see you in Sanctuary!
 
I tend to agree with all this. There's a lot in the game when it comes to systems. The glyph system in the Paragon boards I find a pain and having NMDs as the way to upgrade them is frustrating. That said, it's in a much better place since launch and all the improvements have made a huge difference and it's only going to get better :)
 
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So, I'm in my 80s in S 4, and my main grind is Helltides, Nightmare dungeons, and sometimes a World Boss if the timing lines up.

Simplifying the affixes and adding Tempering has definitely made the game better for me. Like you said, there's a lot more agnecy now. When I hit level 100, Masterworking will add even more, but I'm not sure if that'll be enough to keep me playing the Pit on repeat.

I couldn't stick with the Gauntlet because it got old fast, and I feel like the Pit might end up the same way.

Diablo 4 has come a long way from S1 to S4, but it still doesn't have the same replayability that Diablo 2 had for me, and I can't quite put my finger on why.
 
Does anyone know why Blizzard went with a young female protagonist in D3 with Leah and D4 with Neyrelle?

I wonder why they didn't go with a young guy in D4. Is there some data on young females appealing more than a young man who more gamers could identify with (because they're mostly male)?
 
Does anyone know why Blizzard went with a young female protagonist in D3 with Leah and D4 with Neyrelle?

I wonder why they didn't go with a young guy in D4. Is there some data on young females appealing more than a young man who more gamers could identify with (because they're mostly male)?
I'm not really sure why they used Leah in D3, but, I wonder if Nyrelle is not part of an overarching Blizzard philosophy to promote strong female characters in response to the backlash they received with all the issues that came to a head a few years back.

I don't mind it in any way-if a character has a good story and you can relate to them, their gender or apparent gender shouldn't really matter (not implying anything on your part, Elly), but it does feel like this is a design philosophy across all their IP's.
 
So, I'm in my 80s in S 4, and my main grind is Helltides, Nightmare dungeons, and sometimes a World Boss if the timing lines up.

Simplifying the affixes and adding Tempering has definitely made the game better for me. Like you said, there's a lot more agnecy now. When I hit level 100, Masterworking will add even more, but I'm not sure if that'll be enough to keep me playing the Pit on repeat.

I couldn't stick with the Gauntlet because it got old fast, and I feel like the Pit might end up the same way.

Diablo 4 has come a long way from S1 to S4, but it still doesn't have the same replayability that Diablo 2 had for me, and I can't quite put my finger on why.
I think that they tried really hard to add one of the great elements of D2 into D4, the challenging encounter during leveling; the capstone dungeons are meant to be the normal Diablo, normal Ancients type events, but the D4 challenges have gotten progressively easier, and, look at the seasonal difference. When you start a new ladder character in D2, you start from scratch with nothing. In D4, you have a skill boost from stuff you did in previous seasons, and since the end game is the focus, you level through super fast. D2 is a journey game, D4 a destination game. D4 is better than D3 in that regard, whee you hit max in a 2-3 hours, but a solo player in D4 won't take too much longer if they are focused. At least that is my observation.
 
I hit level 100 a few days ago, and I already have almost everything completed, started leveling a rogue as well.

It was and is fun, but, it doesn't have the adrenaline rush I was hoping for, and I blame that on the loot system. It won't change because difficulty is based on you finding a certain level of gear and then min-maxing it, and I think the current dev team sees this as the best way for the game to function, but in this regard it is so much more like D3 than D2, and you can clearly see the love and respect they have for D2, there are touches everywhere, but the game functions on a much more end game driven, min-max philosophy than D2.
 
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