I want to preface this with, I am not a blizzard or D3 fanboy. I still think D3 has tremendous design/balanced problems, which continue to crippled the game to this day.
That all said, the last year or so of 'patches', be they minor, have done wonders for this game. For the first time in years, I can honestly say S17 was actually fun. Fundamentally, what was a result of pure 'power creep'. I know thats a dirty word in ARPGs, but here me out.
In my personal experience, the worst part of D3 wasn't the end game 'grind' (e.g. infinite paragon). It was the absolute slog the was the start of a season. You were just slowing wading through a myriad of low level content 'chores' over and over, effectively at a stand still for days (or even weeks) trying to hit all the key items, sets, gem and paragon levels. Once you did, it was like a massive weight was removed, and progress suddenly increased almost exponentially in comparison. The game became tolerable at that point, assuming you could stand getting there. And thats exactly what stopped me from playing many seasons: I couldn't stand doing another round of slow bounties, doing 50+ GR just to level gems etc. just so I could, as I put it, 'start' playing the game'.
And thats exactly what made this season 'fun': all that initial 'slog' wasn't a slog anymore. The day(s) of slogging were just gone. This is largely due to:
- the power creep. Item/set power dramatically increased, lessening the impact of paragon in the early states of the game. As a result, increasing player resource generation, while the 'costs' have remained static. Pretty sure this is the first season, even, that I just casually crafted some hellfire amulets simply because I had the materials to do so.
- Simple things like 'challenge' rifts giving bounty mats, and an extra gem upgrade for not dying in a GR.
Hell, even the LoN buff, while not super amazing for most classes, was low key amazing. It made the initial gearing more interesting, smooth and dynamic until you did finish off w/e set you were looking for. It wasn't slog around on t1-3 until you finish a set, suddenly jump to t8+. Get a good ancient drop, you'll actually use it and it'll actually help you character for a long time.
Did I play it for long? No. D3 'end game' hasn't been changed (yet?), and still doesn't interest me. However, the time/stuff I did play was actually good. I'm leaving the game with a good impression, not hurling it aside irritated and 'burnt out', as some people say. I would, and probably will, pick it up again later in the season just to dick around again. These simply aren't things I've been able to say about d3 in a long time. Good job.
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© Post "S17 is actually fun. I hope Blizzard keeps going this direction" for game Diablo 3.
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