Fair warning at the start; this will be a longer post but hopefully an enjoyable one, I wrote this post in hopes to encourage new ideas, discussions, and possibly someone from Blizzard in position to make something about it will also see it. I want to establish from the get go that I am massive Diablo fan, been one since 1999, and I’m not a purist, I play every Diablo game as much as I can, with D3 being my main game. Diablo 3 had a rocky start and a lot more can be said about the past, but this is not about that, it is however about the fact that since it was launched D3 always kept improving, and although it is 8 years old by now and relocated to classic games I still believe it can improve even more. Realistically everybody knows we won’t see another expansion to D3 but there are other ways to make significant changes and make the experience of D3 a cool and memorable one.
Recently, with season 21 there has been a lot of backlash with season ability and how it affects the game. I agree with people saying that some aspects of it are way OP and some are “wet-noodleish”. Season 21 shares similarities with season 19 both thematically and with the movement of making builds relaying on seasonal ability to finish the rift guardian. More so, every season since the Ring of royal Grandeur season has been about empowering you more than what you can be outside of your abilities and gear. There is nothing wrong with that, and the problem current season has also others before that can fall into the “fine-tuning” category, but there is larger issue at hand. Because of this over power that seasons themes provide the familiar enemy of the game has re-emerged, and that is the power creep. If the highest rift floor you can do is 150, and that is reached within the first week of the season (sometimes that very day) something is not really right with the game, longevity of the game is cut significantly right at the start. The power creep aspect is just one part of the problem because it grows on top of the already existing problem of game not being challenging enough, I believe it can be countered in a way that isn’t directly nerfing or taking away a part of the game, but rather adding on, just on the other side of the scale. For example, have a season that empowers you in a certain way (I think that we established that the approach of season 19 and 21 was not the favorite judging by the community) but also have like a group of mercenaries or bounty hunters that ambush you or spawn right atop of you in the worst possible time, and they are really hardcore with boss like abilities. If you overcome them you are rewarded, but if they get you, you lose something (gold or gems or exp) that makes you push and try to succeed so that there is a true sense of danger from them. You can also make it that they don’t spawn while leveling and that they scale with torment levels, all of that is fine tuning that can be sorted out during the PTR. This is just one example it doesn’t have to be exactly this but it has to be something difficult and dangerous to offset the empowerment of seasonal theme.
Season theme changes and making the game more challenging is just the ground work for improving the game, crafting is one of the other significant parts. Since the changes made to Captain Crimson set there hasn’t been almost any other changes made, and that is a shame since crafting is usually a cool and fun aspect of a lot of games. While I applaud the pruning of crafting materials and the overall overhaul that was made to crafters, apart from making captain crimson, Cain set and a few more things crafting is basically dead. We have been receiving new class sets every season last couple of season and that is great and definitely something a lot of people, me included, never expected. Although a significant part of community doesn’t like the reliance on sets in the endgame, there can be a way to make it cool and interesting without making new sets. Example time; why not take non-class crafted sets and rework them so that they give you like reduced damage taken, movement speed, added damage etc. but they adapt to the class you are playing and your abilities like blink, dream walk, or Akarat wrath etc. The key here is that these sets are never 6 piece, always lower, and you can mix and match them, with appropriate penalties and bonuses for xyz and similar. By doing so you open up room for regular legendries and by extent new build varieties. Again, this is just an idea, it doesn’t have to be exactly this but something in this direction.
One more thing that used to be a big part of the game, but with time it just lost its value, and I saw a few posts on Reddit on the subject, and that is the followers. People that remember vanilla D3 will remember running around while Templar killed bosses and praying to Heavens that Enchantress hex will land on the right spot, now they are basically stat sticks, unity carriers and similar. They are a cool aspect to the game and I always liked them more than the mercs from D2, they felt more personal and it was cool hearing them interact somewhat differently with other classes. I don’t have a specific way they could improve upon them, and I don’t want to take away from other people ideas that were posted on how to fix them, but a good way to make these changes could be with a follower oriented season, with changes made that are left to stay after season passes. Maybe have a quest chain for every follower that makes them learn new abilities or that they can better utilize the gear you give them, or grant them access to legendary gems etc. Also let them finish up lore loose ends that each follower has.
Last thing I want to touch upon is the one that is most important to me and that is lore. First of I want to say that Diablo lore is one of the best ones ever made on any medium and that continuation of it even if in small ways is an extremely good thing. All of the changes I mentioned if hypothetically implemented would feel cold and crude if not backed up with some lore, it’s basically what salt and pepper is for food. Good way to implement this could be to add more bounty types, add little quest with certain crafting recipe etc.
If you made it this far I want to thank you for your interest and time spent, I would love to hear your own ideas or improvements on mine. Diablo 4 is long way down the road still, I think the time waiting for it will pass more quickly if we improve on the game we have now. Thank you once again!
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