Diablo 3

Diablo 4: Do’s and Don’ts that will make or break the game.

diablo12 - Diablo 4: Do's and Don'ts that will make or break the game.
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By this stage, Blizzard has probaly finished the design of Diablo 4 and are in implementation for some years – Good for them! With all that has happened (HK, controversies, iconic blizzard people leaving, activision), it feels that it will be impossible for them to deliver great games going forward. Hence why many have lost hope.

If Blizzard was the Blizzard of old, you know, the one we loved, how would they make D4? I'm bookmarking this post to compare it with their anouncement and the eventual reveal of D4 design spec.

People's perception is very important. As an engineer turned businessman and selling consumer software, I'd be interested in your opinions here. As good and conscious consumers we should reflect on what we asked of blizzard and what we got. If anything else, we've been spewing requests on the Diablo forums for almost 10 years now. It's time to see if they have been listening, which can only be shown and tested by their actions/choices and not by just making a post or anouncement.

I understand we might get a D4 that could be irrelevant with the action RPG genre. In that case I'll drow my sorrows with the possible D2 remake, or in one of the many upcoming ARPGs.

So as a big fan of past Diablo games, these are some of the things I always wanted, even from D3:

Do's:

  1. Do have meaningful itemization – not just better stat sticks but items that the player will remember.
  2. Do have a darker look and feel – Diablo 1 style.
  3. Do bring back runes & words or other glyph system.
  4. Do away with the 6-piece set system. Have small sets (2-3 pieces each) only.
  5. Do implement some form of PVP and perhaps PVP exclusive worlds (consensual). You sold D3 pvp to me on the box! I won't forget!
  6. Do have meaningful character progression beyond itemization, even skill training.
  7. Do have multiple activities after you finish the story: Wave mode, maps, exploration, boss runs, hell runs? etc…
  8. Do have meaningful crafting and progression for it, but don't antagonize boss drops or top gear – work along with it.
  9. Do have a balanced drop system that won't get out of whack with progression. Filling the screen with legendaries is bad.
  10. Do allow for trading, perhaps an option for a player shop and an AH for fungible materials/gems etc, without real money.
  11. Do story right! What we got in D3 was horrible! If you can't, please just stay on beautiful cutscenes alone.
  12. Do create memorable boss fights and challenges. Not choreography dancing or raids! This is not WOW.
  13. Do make starting with another character meaningful. Perhaps add a retire character option that removes the character and adds pernament account bonuses based on progression and gear sacrificed (or other incentives to start anew). Ladders are not the only solution and can quickly feel repetitive.
  14. Do have a meaningful death penalty, even for softcore. It will make the game have greater stakes and not feel boring.

Don'ts:

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  1. Don't limit the number of characters we can create as much as in D3. Have a reasonable limit, and some way to get more slots though gameplay.
  2. Don't be so harsh with storage space as in D3. And don't have gear items and variations explode the storage requirements.
  3. Don't monetize game systems and progression: (gems, combat pets/followers, xp potions, runes, inventory space, map/level access etc). We are willing to buy new content like more classes and more story if done to a high quality standard as a package.
  4. Don't make the characters wear plain rags if you monetize cosmetics. There should be cool visual gear options added with updated without spending extra.
  5. Don't make the leveling process fast and insignificant. Make it longer and meaningful.
  6. Don't make all areas and opponents scale automatically – it makes the world feel bland – and removes world identiy.
  7. Don't make the game favor party play, there are people that can only play solo or want the convenience of solo play. This is not WOW.
  8. Don't just have a paragon level progression post game. Have multiple dimensions to grow. It is/was boring.
  9. Don't have a companion system that is flawed and useless. Enhance people's experience by alllowing player classes as companions in solo & multiplayer.
  10. Don't have huge progression glass walls and don't drag the game out – people have lives and we can't just play Diablo all day, even if we wanted to do so!
  11. Don't have WOW like expansions where you get 10 more levels and all old content becomes irrelevant, along with all your gear. Have expansions that add more horizontal options, classes, content and reasons to start new characters. Have inspiration from POE.
  12. Don't have free and infinite instant respec. It must have a moderate if not high cost – one more reason to have another character. Take examples from POE and make characters have weight.
  13. Don't make all classes use all weapons. Weapon based spell damage for wizards/casters was a huge mistake and a turnoff.
  14. Don't have an infinite consumable slot. Use crafting to allow for a limited number of buffs, if you play solo or if the party isn't of the right composition. Some preperation should be required, but not too much as a WOW raid.

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