Is Diablo 4 a sign of things to come?

I am not a Diablo hater, I came in at 3 and thought it was a wonderful button basher with a little strategy involved. Me and my girl have sunk more hours that I care to mention into it and played it till mentally we just couldn't tolerate it anymore.

Then comes Diablo 4. Years in the making, several BETAs, seemingly well received... but under the hood it is a massive disappointment and a money wringer.

Honestly, I’m disappointed.
If I was offered a refund for this game I would take it in a heartbeat. I feel like this title is not worth the 60 base price in the UK.

Story, on base levels it feels good, but then for most questions asked it leaves a loose end or gives no where near enough detail for the questions it made you ask. It feels rushed and uninspired

Gameplay, the scaling enemies and rubbish loot drops make no sense. You can get to the soft cap(level 50) while only being able to use WT2 with a gear max of around 45 if you’re lucky until you finish the main game. So instead of doing the side stuff in an area and actually benefiting from it in terms of gear and EXP, you’re better off blasting through the story and getting into WT3 for better gear (WT2 is max until you clear the game). Well… yeah and no. You then realise it’s just a grind to level 100 with no real reason or genuine excitement, just a grind. Then comes the loot mechs which are flawed. You need sacred stuff to drop( only sacred drops above 50), but so far I have had many legendaries 5+ levels higher than my current gear and be near 100 gear level points lower and worse in every aspect. So the sacred stuff allowing for higher level gear doesn’t actually mean that gear will scale like it should. It just have numbers on it for numbers sake. Why add so many levels at all if that’s what you’re going to do? So the grind becomes even more boring because you’re not really likely to pick up anything that makes the grind worth it.

Since the most recent update the gear stuff hasn’t changed at all, the persistent aim assist or whatever you want to call it is still a pain in the backside for attacking where ever it wants not where you want it too. EXP may have been boosted so you grind less, but the whole game literally feels like a prologue, like this was a 60quid cash grab, then sell subsequent DLCs and season passes to wring more money out of die hard players.

I binned Destiny 2 when that’s pretty much exactly what they started doing. New expansion, couple of hours game play added, a grind event for 3 months, but to get the most out of the grind event you had to shell out for a season pass as exotics and cosmetics were behind paywalls. They’ve pretty much took this and ran. It’s disgusting in my opinion. This feels like a massive waste of my time and money. I refuse to pay for anything else later on that would actually make the game worth playing and I shouldn’t have to wait 3 months for patches, add ins and fixes that make the game actually enjoyable for the average gamer when you charged a base price at 60. Although cosmetics are not a game maker, when most of the in game gear is bland yet the paid for stuff actually looks good,  you suddenly get tempted to waste money on things that should be in the game from the get go.

Basically Diablo 4 is very lacking, so much so I am pressing for a refund, I know I am not likely to get one, but paying a premium price for something that feels like only the intro, knowing anything that looks good is paid for only, paid seasons will be coming in to give you 3 month grinding windows for cosmetics and they're already working on DLC. It is just not on. It's online only, so if your internet acts up or they get DDOS'd again, you aren't playing. It feels too much like they want to squeeze as much money out of a game that isn't even worth it. The main reason this game is getting hype is because it's Diablo. Anyone that loves a mindless grind with little to no reward, this game is for you. I hope no other devs think this is acceptable.

Parents
  • I haven't got it but played the beta and have watched several people playing on Twitch for a good amount of time. Is it true that they're going to reset player levels on season pass or something along those lines? I mean I'd be pretty annoyed if I was paying extra for the unappealing privilege of having to repeat levelling grinds every season.

    The higher level grind does seem boring from what I've seen. But I also kind of expect that with games like Diablo. I always find they're a lot of fun for a while but just get so repetitive and almost completely lose their appeal after you've invested so long in them. It sounds like the loot system would be a real drag with that too. I also hate it where games do the thing which means every individual level between 95-100 takes 50 times longer than the entirety of 1-95 together. I get higher levels should take longer but at least keep it proportionate and rewarding in some kind of way. I kinda feel like if ridiculously long grind is the only mechanic developers have come up with in a game to prolong player engagement, it's a sign of a really weak experience which relies entirely upon psychological elements of gaming addiction and completionism rather than actual enjoyment.

    Considering they're selling season passes and cosmetics, the base price is a bit steep for having season passes on top. Unfortunately it's a trend that doesn't seem like it's going anywhere. I have no issue with games charging for cosmetics because they're completely optional and not pay-walling the main experience, plus developers and publishers need to keep the lights on somehow. So many gaming companies have gone under over the years because of not having long-term income strategies - which as much as it sucks for consumers in some respects, that's where season passes and cosmetics sales make the difference to keeping companies afloat.

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    There's the "Eternal Realm" which are your standard characters then when seasons come in they're making them separate, but it will literally be like starting the game new.

    Thing is, with Diablo 3 there were class specific gear sets and such, so as you were grinding you built up your sets, you tried new fun play styles or focused on sharpening your current set and playstyle. With 4, there are no sets, just random legendaries with random perks and a handful of uniques with set perks. Thing is, as I detailed, I got a 65 Unique sacred legendary, which in my book should be a tier above sacred legendary, and it was worse than my 57 sacred legendary. So you're grinding to get better, but you don't even have that gearing up feel and although it aint much, I used to love getting a fresh piece on my Demon hunter on D3. Either another piece of a set, or the set I was using, or just another random legendary that was better than what I was using. I Got most of my 57 gear when I first entered WT3 I have ground out to 65 and not got another piece of higher level gear actually worth owning. It kills it for me.

    I am sort of OK with cosmetics, but actiblizz aint short on money now are they? Half of the cosmetics would actually have a solid place in the game as proper rewards for feats or world bosses. Instead it's heres some OK armour and the crazy looking stuff you'd expect is bought only. I know it's only an aesthetic, but again when you're grinding, its better to have something worth grinding for. Cause if I bought it, I'd still be like well my character looks good now... but the game is boring so I'd still leave the game lol.

Reply
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    There's the "Eternal Realm" which are your standard characters then when seasons come in they're making them separate, but it will literally be like starting the game new.

    Thing is, with Diablo 3 there were class specific gear sets and such, so as you were grinding you built up your sets, you tried new fun play styles or focused on sharpening your current set and playstyle. With 4, there are no sets, just random legendaries with random perks and a handful of uniques with set perks. Thing is, as I detailed, I got a 65 Unique sacred legendary, which in my book should be a tier above sacred legendary, and it was worse than my 57 sacred legendary. So you're grinding to get better, but you don't even have that gearing up feel and although it aint much, I used to love getting a fresh piece on my Demon hunter on D3. Either another piece of a set, or the set I was using, or just another random legendary that was better than what I was using. I Got most of my 57 gear when I first entered WT3 I have ground out to 65 and not got another piece of higher level gear actually worth owning. It kills it for me.

    I am sort of OK with cosmetics, but actiblizz aint short on money now are they? Half of the cosmetics would actually have a solid place in the game as proper rewards for feats or world bosses. Instead it's heres some OK armour and the crazy looking stuff you'd expect is bought only. I know it's only an aesthetic, but again when you're grinding, its better to have something worth grinding for. Cause if I bought it, I'd still be like well my character looks good now... but the game is boring so I'd still leave the game lol.

Children
  • You say they're not short of money but that's because they've been doing these things in their other games for long enough too. It's simply what keeps the lights on. I'm not saying things aren't overpriced and they're not milking profits because they probably are. But the fact this economic strategy exists for games is what keeps the company afloat. For a lot of games the initial base game recovers costs from years of development with a modest profit, then the cosmetics and seasons pay for ongoing development, bugfixes, new feature updates, DLC development (whether free or paid) etc for YEARS to come. It's been a strategy that has proven to keep gaming businesses alive. Like I said so many gaming companies went under historically by only charging base game fees then continuing to support games for years to come afterwards. In that strategy, if they have one or two bad/mediocre new game releases that don't absolutely sell out on the base game (their only income), they would rarely have the assets to keep afloat long enough to develop another game - which itself can take anything up to a decade - to be able to turn things around. This newer strategy means they can pay for ongoing development and support, whilst also get the funding to absorb a poor base game sale once in a while. This is even more important when players now expect multiplayer games to ongoing development for years and years after release. Only having base game sales would not be sustainable at all for that. Blizz/Act just happen to have been particularly good (expensive, great IPs, few sales to keep value high) at this strategy over the years.

    The rest sounds mainly like just bad drop balancing, particularly around Sacred items. I'd hope that gets improved in an update. The thing with class sets that I've experienced in other games is that they often end up trumping any other combination of items, meaning that everyone tends to just collect the sets. If you're a mage, you collect the mage set for set bonuses that make your class more fun or overpowered. If you're a druid, you collect the druid set. etc. It drastically reduces the variation in people's inventory. Maybe they're taking a different approach to that in the hope that if you inspected 20 druids, you'd find people with 20 different inventories instead of 19/20 having a cookie cutter druid set equipped. Or maybe they're just saving item sets for later dev updates to bring people back to play later on after the initial buzz fades. The drop rate on decent items doesn't sound great though and I can absolutely empathise that it must be boring to go through all the grind that is Diablo without any fun drops or real incentives other than levelling.