What are your pros and cons of Diablo II and Diablo III and what are your hopes for Diablo IV?
Diablo II Cons
- Spending points on skills could brick your character
- Spending points on attributes didn't provide meaningful choices
- The game is too easy and not challenging until suddenly you may not be able to progress at all because you lack the resistances/damage types
- The endgame content is repetitive and boring
- Character builds are fuzzy and amorphous. You can use every spell in your spellbook, but almost no one does that, and doing so is very clunky.
- Inventory tetris is tedious and makes no sense. I can carry way more than is realistic, and the proportions of things are nonsense.
- Spamming potions dominates gameplay.
- Potions take up inventory space meaning that I can't easily pick up gear and see if I would like to wear it if my inventory space is full. Tension can be a good thing for games, but I don't think this is a good tension.
- Similar tension with charms. And again, tension can be a good thing, but in this case it mostly detracts from the game for me.
- Strangling Gas Potions dominate gameplay at low levels making my character not matter.
- Combat is awkward and boring.
- Abilities are poorly balanced. Putting points is some abilities will make your character straight up non-viable. Not every build should be optimal, but abilities shouldn't brick your character.
- High levels don't introduce any new gamplay.
Diablo III Pros
- Choosing six of your class abilities creates high impact character builds.
- Campaign is punchy, fun and well written.
- Dialogue between NPCs is entertaining.
- Follower abilities are cool.
- Every drop is useful because it can be funneled into crafting. Crafting is fun and rewarding.
- Combat is intuitive, dynamic, fluid and visceral.
- Elite monsters pose new challenges.
- Legendary items change how the game plays.
- Dyes, transmogs, and enchanting is fun and engaging.
- Gold sinks are meaningful.
- Treasure Goblins.
- Kenai's Cube is awesome and adds a whole new system to explore in the endgame.
- Seasons keep the game fresh
- Greater Rifts take a game that normally poses no challenge (Diablo I, Diablo II, and the rest of Diablo III pose no challenge) and introduces a challenging element to it.
- Less cheating
- Diablo III is fun to watch
- Adventure Mode keeps you in the action, while providing a natural and rewarding way to get different content from the game.
- There's *way* more content in Diablo III, especially the different events that can happen throughout the game. These events also lend some fantasy to an otherwise very mechanical game franchise.
- Massacre bonuses mean that you care about "trash" mobs.
- Every level introduces new gameplay.
Diablo II Pros
- Groundbreaking game. Best graphics for an RPG at the time.
- Better captured RPG fantasies — Sorcerer has more compelling abilities than Wizard for example.
- Putting points in skills and attributes provides fun choices during level up. (Even if these systems are deeply flawed.)
- But man…I found this game to be super boring even when it came out, so this is hard for me.
Daiblo III Cons
- The "runes" for skills aren't runes, they're just more skill choices. I think Diablo III would be so much better if they'd stuck with the design of *finding* runes as drops, and slotting them into your skills. That would have introduced variety to the leveling experience and made it feel less like your journey didn't matter at all aside from amassing levels.
- Paragon Levels are garbage. Just getting more and more powerful the more you play is incredibly linear and boring and transparently a treadmill. Some form of Paragon could be interesting in which you make additional spec choices. As long as the game is introducing you to a new system that adds depth, which D3 paragon does not.
- Similarly, choosing difficulties is dumb (Normal or Hard would be fine as a genuine toggle for, I suck at this game, vs I don't). You grow in power, outgrowing your current difficulty, and so you have to manually increase the difficulty. Instead, there should be content that you genuinely can't defeat until you're powerful enough. Now, this is tricky because you have to be able to complete the story without reaching that power level, so I think that content has to be added specifically as endgame content rather than as part of the campaign.
- Greater Rifts make no sense. The hardest content in the world is a fever-dream form of training? Dumb.
- Greater Rifts are too similar. It's challenging to try to complete a rift fast enough, but there are other things the game could challenge us with than speed. For example there could be some greater rifts that test our ability to use good positioning to avoid damage instead of testing speed only.
- Non-elite monsters are trash, and you want to just skip them to find Elite monsters (unless you're using massacre bonuses to gain levels/paragon). Trivializing monsters is never a good thing.
- The whole "the environment interacts with the monsters" thing turned out to not be as cool as it looked. Dropping a chandelier on monsters is fine, but having the fastest way to level be going to the area with a bunch of giant meat cleavers is dumb (and an unintended consequence of something that turned out not to be of any real value to the game).
Hopes for Diablo IV
- Better capture RPG fantasies like Diablo II. Elemental Sorcerer. Shapeshifting Druid. Barbarian will feel the same, but the Diablo III Barbarian is awesome.
- Rewarding leveling journey that feels unique to the player. Everything could have gone differently with the same class by making different choices.
- Building on Adventure Mode, after the campaign you go to the open world where there are tons of new quests to go on. Just doing each quest once might take significant time. Like Adventure Mode, this keeps the endgame content variety high, but unlike adventure mode, it can be more immersive than teleporting around.
- Hoping they keep Paragon Levels finite and introduce a new system that adds depth to character building.
- Hoping they add endgame content that can't be done by a max-level character without enough additional power and skill.
- Hoping they keep the pacing of the game slower in every way. I'd like to see it take longer to get to level 40 than it does to get to level 70 in Diablo 3. I'd like to see items drop less frequently. I'd like to see non-elite monsters be more difficult to kill. I'd like to see the paragon leveling system be slower (not faster) than the regular leveling system. I'd like to see every thing just slow down for Diablo IV compared to Diablo III.
- That said, I think that building primarily on Diablo III is the way to go.
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