For nearly 2 decades (Diablo 2) the Gameplay Loop of ARPGs has been: Kill mobs, collect items, upgrade. Rinse repeat.
Why is that so? Why does a series like Diablo need to be tied up in numbers, kill rates and stats? When other 3rd person action series have evolved, the ARPG has remained stagnant.
In the Diablo 4 gameplay videos controversial (at least on this sub) abilities were introduced: Combos and Dodges. It seems at least a vocal percentage of Diablo fans are completely against the thought of "consolizing" Diablo 4. But why are combos and dodges a bad thing? If the processing power was available to the developers of Diablo 1 that we have today I guarantee you that they would have introduced both of those mechanics into the game. It makes combat more thoughtful, strategic and offers up new ways for player to interact with enemies besides swinging sticks until someone dies.
So back to the point about Gameplay Loops. If Diablo had a slower pace, like that of the original then we don't need 20+ enemies one screen at once. Great. Now we can have each encounter mean something. While blowing through weak mobs is fun, we don't want to be blowing through elite and unique enemies too. It makes the gameplay stagnant and players end up watching cooldowns, resources and the mini-map instead of the action.
Another franchise that came out around the same time as Diablo 2 was HALO. HALO, while a FPS had an amazingly fantastic Gameplay Loop. Yes, you shoot baddies and move through a level completing objectives. But each enemy had it's own behaviour and AI strategy. You can't rush in against an Elite pack, you will die. you need to use cover, grenades, every and all tricks in the books to progress. When the difficulty is increased, the enemy behaviour is again changed, it's not a matter of HP/Attack numbers getting higher/lower. Enemies do not flood the screen and yet you WILL die if you don't think about your actions. Before every encounter, even a fast-paced one, you have to think about where you will attack from, what gun you will use and where a fallback position will be. Enemy variety changes and mixes often and each type can be deadly, so you are constantly on your toes.
So let's have the same in Diablo 4! Would you like a tweaked Diablo 2/3 or something like this:
- Can be interrupted, timing them is important as an interrupted attack can stun or leave you vulnerable
- when completed, do more damage than a standard attack
- Outcome: Players are paying close attention to their character move onscreen
- Enemy attacks have a variety of skills and animations
- Players must pay attention and time dodges and counters
- Outcome: Players are watching enemy movements and well as their character's position in relation
- Smaller enemy packs
- each pack has a leader that has a unique ability (revive, buffs, ranged attack, blocking ability, etc)
- killing weak minions grants no loot
- killing the leader grants loot BUT killing the entire pack grants a higher MF%
- Outcome: Killing ALL enemies becomes the focus, not just plowing through for a high kill rate
- Elites, Champions and Bosses
- Variety of skills means a variety of ways to plan attack
- No two encounters are the same in a 2-3 minute gameplay span
- Outcome: Combat feels fresh and exciting, you never know what you will need to do next. Players are focused and feel a sense of accomplishment after every gameplay loop, regardless of loot
- Loot increases stats, grants abilities, all the fun stuff we love
- White, Magic, rare items are all viable depending on the build and crafting
- Enemies are not hemorrhaging items
- While increases to stats and skills are great, a good player can still tackle a difficult mob if they have good attack recognition, timing and skill
- Outcome: Players are focused completely on the combat action. Pace is slowed but every action is meaningful. Loot pickup is tied to the satisfaction of beating the mob/enemy. Every item can make a difference.
Does this sound like a Diablo game you would want to play?
Source: Original link
© Post "Let’s talk about the Gameplay Loop of ARPGs OR Why Diablo should be more like HALO" for game Diablo 3.
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