Forward: This is a very opinionated article and building off my last one. I started loving Diablo since I first vanquished evil 26 years ago. I was in middle school then. Currently, I’m not happy with the way the franchise has taken itself and am not convinced that Diablo 4 is going to be a homage to Diablo II. It may be just an absolute mess trying to do too much.
What makes a Diablo game?
Loot. Loot that can have stats and variables. Loot that doesn’t make all characters one size fits all. I’m going to break it down into the installments and how I see them. Not open-ended. You can continue to gain power, but the enemies cap and your able to actually complete a game. What is after is building for your next toon or powering up your current one going that extra mile.
Loot wasn’t the best defined, but you had a lot of choices and rolls. Your character level played a much higher roll for both the warrior and rogue than I would have liked, but being perfectly honest I don’t think I reached a toon into the 40’s until 2008 or so. The majority of my playtime was making new toons and playing through normal. I really wish we would get a proper remaster to be honest, as with upgraded looks, a few more items in the loot, and some faster in-town movement it would be great.
Genre shaping. This game lets you do everything you want if you don’t mind grinding mobs. I want to make a Berserk Necromancer? Sure can! Hunter? Yep. Everything is doable in this game pretty much. So many different modifiers on gear can play a part. Poison Reduction, Resist, Life, Mana, Cannot be Frozen, Attack Rating is a thing. Uniques aren’t everything, and rune words are a bit OP and the biggest issue I have is simply: I feel like I’m better off grinding for base items and hope they get sockets. Regardless, I can play my own way and have been and there isn’t another game that gives me that feeling.
A game that had modifiers and removed them all to become Primary Stat, Vitality, Attack Speed, Cooldown reduction, Critical Hit Chance, and Critical Hit Damage. No MF needed, just straight up get big numbers and go fight.
What Diablo 3 gets right: You benefit from just playing. You want to increase a gem? Go to a rift, get a greater rift stone and go get it leveled. You’ll also get plenty of loot once it is finished and maybe some upgrades. Good until you’re tired of the power treadmill. What I enjoy most is time spent playing is useful and you always feel like you’re gaining a bit of power. A lot more streamlined than Diablo 2 so masses don’t have to get out a calculator or go online to a website for resources on breakpoints (though isn’t that part of the fun?) On a side note, it could use a graphical upgrade at some point now as well, with D2R released, it hasn’t aged well.
I hit Paragon 85+ this week, so I feel I got enough to say. This isn’t a Diablo game. It doesn’t really classify as a game, but more of a visual button smashing time sink with a big ole cash shop. When my level Paragon 43 items are better than my Paragon 85 reward item, we have a problem. I feel like I am not getting any better though my paragon increases and that is not how it should be. Something should increase. Not to mention that getting a four-man group of randoms should take a second, but sometimes it just isn’t happening because people have left in droves. I think Blizzard will try to do a 360 and redeem it, but who knows, the once-weekly free class change is a good step at least.
Unknown. Why? Until I see it in action, I’m going to expect the development team to not be in tune with what makes a game have longevity. There I said it. LONGEVITY. That also makes a Diablo game. Most of the community at the SPF have been playing for a long time and still play. I don’t think I’ve ever taken a longer than 6 months break in 22 years of Diablo 2. I want that. I want to be able to log in and play a unique toon through this 35-hour massive campaign and feel accomplished if I can do that playing my own way, this game will be amazing to me, regardless of what the actual end game is. If it is a campaign that feels tacked on due to the new nature of the game (Diablo 3 raises hand) then something has got to be great.