Diablo 3

Diablo 4: where should the end points be?

diablo8 - Diablo 4: where should the end points be?
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One of the things I have enjoyed about certain ARPG's over the years is that feeling you have reach the top of the mountain and feel 'godly'.

Often there were multiple peaks to reach but each one felt rewarding to attain:

  • Complete the story
  • Defeat Hell difficulty
  • Finish a build
  • Reach level 99
  • Find a perfectly rolled item or set of items

Diablo 3 in many respects blurred the lines of accomplishment and butchered the moments where you felt you had reached the mountain top:

Story

  • Very short
  • Poorly written and very cartoon like
  • Wasn't challenging enough to feel like it mattered

Inferno mode

  • Wasn't properly balanced on release
  • Far too many inferno levels diminishing any sense of accomplishment

Completing a build/Finishing a character

  • Instance access to every skill and no talent tree removed any sense of permanence and character identity
  • No reason to re-roll a class outside the start of a new season
  • Items define almost every build and contribute almost all of the power

Reaching max level

  • Max level was the 'starting point' not a journey in itself
  • Far too easy to speed level which resulted in short term gratification at the expense of a feeling of accomplishment and pride
  • Paragon extended max level into infinity – you can never reach the peak

Endless dungeons

  • There is no max dungeon level
  • Made worse by Paragon levels which removes any ceiling

Item hunt

  • Itemisation was and continues to be a major issue
  • Items are the 'build' and the power level between them is far too large
  • Items before reaching max level in most cases are trash
  • Sets dominate the game and remove the sense of wonder and creativity

Do you think Blizzard understands that in an ARPG each of these elements need to be a Mountain Top that reward different types of players?

Do they understand that having 'end points' in an ARPG is critical to creating a sense of accomplishment and the reason to start the game over (replay-ability)?

Do Blizzard know the difference between an ARPG and an MMORPG?

What should it look like?

Story

  • The first peak to climb
  • Long enough and challenging enough to feel like the admission price was worth it. For the casual gamer, if they stopped now the $50 USD they spend was worth every penny.
  • The story was epic
  • Good point to re-roll another class and do it all again. In fact it was so fun you are now in inner turmoil about which class to try next!

Hell/Inferno

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  • The second peak where most casual players end the journey
  • The 'old school' feeling like you have clocked the game on 'hard mode'
  • Difficult and time consuming but not impossible. You have given up once or twice but something keeps compelling you to come back.
  • Balanced so that you are not pigeon holed into a select few builds to get the job done
  • You might need a week-off the game but you are excited to come back and try it all over again with a new class or variation of the same class. You know it can be done a little faster and you will make smarter choices with your talent points next time.
  • You can still enjoy the games content with friends who have been playing much longer as the power level difference between you isn't insurmountable (20-40%).

Finishing a character

  • The third peak where 95% of players have now reached their mountain top
  • Hell mode is getting much easier and you feel 'godly' powerful
  • Your character has its own unique identify that you have slaved over "you are now an accomplished "Hammerdin" or "Fireball Sorceress"
  • You can speed run the most challenging content but you still have to be careful as the big bosses can still catch you off guard. You know if you push on there is approx. 20% more efficiencies that could be made but you have achieved your desired goal for now.
  • Its time to re-roll a new character maybe the same class but with a different focus

Reaching max level

  • One of the highest peaks to obtain
  • Its been a slog and many hundreds of hours have been invested but you know only 5% of players will make a max level character
  • You swear 'never again' but deep down inside that internal challenge has now been set
  • Even though the power level difference might only be marginal from level 95 to 99 you know talent points matter and everyone does make you more powerful
  • There is little more you need to do on this character and its now a walking trophy you can show off to others.
  • Time to take a break and come back and do it all again soon

The Eternal item hunt

  • The Everest – the hardcore 1%
  • Your items are near perfect and you have been at max level for sometime. Probably have multiple characters near max level also….
  • You are 'god tier' and very little in the game can threaten your supremacy but there are still efficiencies to be found
  • You might only be 20% more powerful than someone that has invested a third of the time on their character but its perfection that drives you and its more than enough to show them who is boss in PvP
  • You are dedicated to your Bowazon and know its the niche in this game you want to play for another 1000 hours. No other Bowazon is like you and your character is the image you want to project to others in the game
  • You are after the ultra rare drops and not worried if its not for your current spec as you can find someone to trade with and/or use it on another character

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