Diablo 4 Feedback - gameplay appeal

Hello all, I haven’t posted in a very long time.

I have been a Diablo fan for 20 years and I simply adore the Diablo universe. Sadly Diablo 3 did not do it for me. I tried to force my love, but that’s not how love work. I remember being so excited to get into the early Beta, and I remember the community gave the Diablo team feedback on how to maintain the best parts of diablo and highlight areas of improvement. We also pointed out the very bad ideas that hurt D3 mechanically and emotively.

I also remember how a huge bulk of community feedback was ignored. We all know how many “great” ideas were forced down the pipeline which resulted in a lackluster game for many true diablo fans. Many left the game because of it. We’re all for progress, but we cannot lose the essence of Diablo 1 and Diablo 2.

Diablo 4 presents a new opportunity, and I hope many fans will return to the franchise they love. Blizzard says they care about feedback. I truly hope they do not pretend this time around.

Let us start with very simple straight forward feedback regarding the initial reveal of D4 gameplay.

TLDR:
Blizz wants feedback, let’s give it to them.
First topic: Gameplay appeal (based on what was revealed at blizzcon 2019)


My first comments are these:

  • Class Options: I really hope the D4 team is planning on presenting an Assassin class. Pure assassin, no hybrids please. Game needs a fast melee dps that revolves around finesse and agility. D3 Monk was not as initially advertised.

  • Weapon and gear esthetics: I like what I saw with the D4 Barbarian preview. In Diablo 3, it was more than a little off-putting to me to see items become like MMO items: Big, glowy marshmallow items… Please no: keep it simple, slick and uncompromisingly realistic. I know it’s a ‘fantasy’ world to some degree, but being subtle pays off in heaps imo. Less is more. I promise.

  • Atmosphere : The cave atmosphere with the sorceress looks fantastic, sometimes I feel it could look darker. Wilderness looks nice too, but I feel more trees and more overhanging stuff would be nice to give a more confining feeling in wilderness maps. Whether it’s line of sight, or more darkness, the game needs to obstruct more vision from the player if we want the game to have that feeling of fearful apprehension. Diablo relies on it. Anyway, looking forward to seeing more!

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Blizzards goal, when designing a Diablo game, is to create epic moments. The way they approach the problem, and their philosophy for solving it, is in my opinion backwards.

That is, instead of placing the burden and agency of deciding how my character functions in my hands, they take it upon themselves to hard code how each class works, and then allow a few tweaks here or there on top.

They make sure each class has a basic attack on left click, and a big spender on right click. I have a big ult ability that has a long cooldown. And then I have an alternative ability, maybe a debuffs or movement ability.

While this guarantees a well balanced playstyle, where I’ll be using multiple abilities situationally, and aligning my cooldowns with appropriate scenarios, it removes an entire pillar of ARPG gameplay: Character planning.

Instead of designing high detailed action figures with a few defined moves and items, give us Lego. Break the systems and abilities down to their most basic components and let us build with them.

If you have ever played path of exile, you probably know what I’m talking about. Path of Building is almost as fun as the main game.

Here’s the thing, if I want to make a character that focuses on making one ability my solution to everything, I should be able to. Half the fun is seeing how well my planned build works out. It is satisfying to see it absolutely destroy the content it was designed to destroy, even if it may struggle in other areas.

Generally ARPGs present three problems that your character will have to solve to succeed: large high HP single target units, masses of enemies that require AoE to handle, and the defenses to survive getting hit a few times.

But Blizzards approach and design philosophy does not allow us to solve these problems. Instead, we approach every encounter the same way: with our developer designed skill rotation.

Instead of assigning fireballs to sorceresses only, why can’t a barb use them? Instead of defining all of the properties of a fireball in cement, with a few possible talent tweaks or D3 runes… Why not explode those properties out and make them accessible for players to modify through the games inner workings and systems? Let me customize my fireballs AoE, it’s burning damage, its impact damage, the number of projectiles, its cast speed, its range, its mana cost, its everything.

If I want my barbarian to shoot fireballs in a nova when I leap slam, why shouldnt I be able to? I could make a build that just ignites everything as I leap slam around, and that sounds amazing and creative and unique. It may not be tactical moment to moment in every battle, but I took the time to come up with the idea, choose my items to best support it, and then execute it in game and see how far it gets. I might have trouble against single target, but leaping through hordes of little HP dudes would be fantastic.

Anyway, I really enjoyed playing the demo at Blizzcon, I like the theme and return to D2s style, but from what I can tell this is D3 in a D2 skin, not a D2 successor nor a marriage of PoE and D3 like I personally would have liked.

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^This. No huge shoulders and weapons almost as big as the characters please.

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Totally agree.
d2’s combat is superior to d3’s combat. D2’s physical mechanics are superior.

BUT d3 spells mechanics and balance IS superior.
Blizzard has not treated this nuance yet. I hope they will.

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They should not relate mostly on items for builds. Makes them too static, not random enough. Im seeing too little stats/affixes. Need lot more and more random. Torchlight or path of exile style.

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I think I figured out what is wrong with the combat visuals of the D4 demo. It took me a moment, but: the white-flashy-on-hit-effect that spans across all three available classes needs to be removed. It’s incredibly immersion disrupting and what is even worse, it makes combat for all available classes look really similar, because it’s more noticeable than class specific effects.

Plese, please, please. Completely remove the effect, when creep is hit by axe, there should be blood, when hit by frost spell there should be chill or freeze effect, if such effects exists. This white flash acting as visual aid to confirm hit is really bad. (Also the same thing is still in D3…)

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This may never get seen by someone that is working on the game or even make it to their ear, but I have to comment on the trading aspect. I liked almost everything you guys said at blizzcon about the trading in diablo 4 except for a couple minor details. I strongly believe that in ANY MMO, including the diablo franchise, that all items should be tradeable. For example, I like the idea you guys mentioned about only being able to trade certain items just once. I think that this should apply to the end game most powerful items and make everything else in the game tradeable always. The only thing it does is add more value to items as well as solve certain problems. Two problems this could solve is that, what if you are grinding and get the same best end game item you already have? It would be nice to be able to trade it to someone that doesn’t have it, hence the one-time trade option for even end game items; the second problem this could solve is getting best end game items that you do not care about or want at all. If these items were untradeable, it is completely useless. You don’t want it, nor is it tradeable, which i think is a sad way to describe an end game item. The trading system, in my honest opinion, would be perfect if you guys implemented this. Make all items always tradebale, except end game strongest items (being mythic I’m guessing) will be tradeable only once. Please, anyone who agrees like the post, if not, comment why! Thank you to anyone taking the time to read and good luck diablo team on creating the best game possible :slight_smile:

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Fix the way the female Sorcerer looks while hold the staff and jogging. Animation looks bad. Nobody holds a staff straight up and down. should be at an angle with your arm straight pointing to the ground.

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The overall darker look looks nice but there are huge red flags that are in the core game play mechanics.

The lack of common attributes on items like: Armor, Fire, Cold, Lightning, Poison Resistance. No attack or cast speed, no Strength Dexterity or Intelligence. Do you really think in a game where the core game play is to make your character stronger people will be happy with a stupid design of attack and defense stats. You really think this is good?

Next the run system. Why do you try to invent it new? Because the runs of D2 have stats that you think are to complicated for the current idiot generation of casual players in your eyes? Just copy the D2 runes system.

Next why do you give each class different resources to use skills. No one needs rage or spirit energy crap just make mana for all classes so players can use items how they want.

And finally the game needs to be play offline and even if I am online i don’t want random duds in my maps!!!

Get your job done and stop experimenting, The community want a D2 game in current generations Graphic and not a water down version of your stupid mobile games on PC.

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I agree with your thoughts. They probably won’t engage with their community though. The forums are severely neglected and they participate in a thread maybe twice a year if we’re lucky? Same deal with Heroes of the Storm…if you ever want blue updates you got to take to twitter -.-

Although they are making significant progress from what I’ve seen with D4; they said there won’t be free trade like in D2…that’s a problem for me. I’ll just keep playing PoE if there’s no free trade.

Also; if they make loot as common as it was in D3 then that’s also a problem… Uniques are supposed to feel…unique. Hard to get = more value and appreciation. In the demo; streamers were finding high runes in the first area; first run. Maybe that was just for demo purposes but hopefully drop rates will be more akin to D2; and i hope they don’t do random mods like they did in D3… Random values is fine; but random mods is not cool with uniques…

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I found Diablo 3 on session 16 and I absolutely love it the Necromancer got me hooked on the game.

Diablo 4 looks epic so far. I only have 5 pleas for Diablo 4

  1. I noticed the Diablo 4 UI is in the left bottom corner. I have a 34” screen and it would be so much easier to glance at it the UI was in the bottom middle.

  2. Please bring the Necromancer into Diablo 4 as it’s the only Diablo class I love. If you don’t want the Necromancer in this game then I’d love a really evil Death Knight.

  3. I’m actually disabled with bad hand control and in Diablo 3 I can’t complete any season just because my hand and arm are just too slow to beat the Greater Rift timer. Can Diablo 4 have no timers to get loot etc.

  4. What would really help a lot for people like me is having the option to remap the movement keys like Up Down Left Right to the arrow keys and have a “select nearest target” button on the number pad keys like they have in WoW.

  5. I’m begging you please bring Diablo 4 out on Mac as I’m a Mac User.

Thank you for Diablo it really helps me in life
Kain

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Welcome back. I hope this community will post their ideas but with same unified goal-to make Diablo what it was back in a day. But improved,of course.

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it was mentioned many many times by me and others.
more realistic combat is needed

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Hey all,
I want to say that the game overall looks ok to me.
Few things that I think should be improved:

  • PLEASE REMOVE the YELLOW GLOW around the bosses (in the demo you can see the world boss having a yellow glow around it, reminding too much of D3 and it’s colorful graphics.)
  • please make sure to not have damage and stats in millions and trillions. There is absolutely no point in that, as you can easily divide by 1 million and make things simpler.
  • endless dungeons are going to bore people. You need to have some kind of maximum that is not hard to access but hard to clear even with high gear. Something that people will look to (dream if you like) and say “I’m not strong enough to go there, I need to farm more to go there”. But you should not close the place with 100 levels before it.
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Sorry in advance for a long post… Tldr at the bottom.

Unfortunately the best way to say what I want to say about player experience is to tell a story. For me, as a player who first picked up Diablo 2 when I was about 13, there is one defining moment within act 1 that created the world of Sanctuary. There I was, glued to the screen and scanning every shadow in the catacombs for movement. I moved through the catacombs relatively slowly because I could barely see into the room I was in, let alone to where it led. Every step was further away from the safety of the waypoint. That was my only safety because I was young and stupid and didn’t save any gold for teleportation scrolls.

Every time I cleared a floor I had to make a choice: do I head back to safety and regroup; or do I press further into the demon infested halls? My nerves were fried and even though my avatar was walking stoically onward I was making a deal with myself after every fight that the next one would be the last before I went back to safety. The game felt oppressive in the best way: it forced me to literally confront my fears and demons not because I was the Chosen One or an overpowered Nephalim but because I’d promised a woman living in a ripped tent that I’d do what I could to help. I could always do a little more. So I did. The feeling of accomplishment had nothing to do with achievements or stat increases because it was me growing alongside my character. I was getting braver. The deeper I delved into the catacombs the more I thought I might be able to do this. It wasn’t a foregone conclusion that I would win.

Then Andariel came sprinting at me from off-screen.

I literally yelped and held my breath as I ran away and tried to open a town portal. I only started breathing again when I barely jumped through in time to avoid a poison spray, and didnt take any further action for several minutes.

When I eventually returned to the portal in town I had to steel myself before going back through because I KNEW she’d be waiting for me on the other side.

That moment has stuck with me as the most defining moment in my gaming life. The game presented me with a world and something that genuinely scared me; but I was going to make myself go through that portal because I wanted to help the rogues take back their ancestral home.

I want Diablo IV to recapture that Sanctuary: the world that isn’t dark because you toned down the colours, but because it feels like you’re part of the losing side desperately trying to do what you can to survive. Killing Andariel for that first time was both terrifying and exhilarating not just because the fight was long (I was bad at the game… Don’t judge me) but because everything leading up to that fight had exhausted me.

TLDR:

I enjoy playing Diablo 3, but it has one flaw that will always make Diablo 2 a more imersive experience for me. In Diablo 3 the entire experience feels like the victory lap when you haven’t done anything to deserve it. Everything you do is flashy and your unstoppable march through the world is punctuated by gory explosions. For Diablo IV I hope the game can feel bigger and more deadly than my character.

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Be nice in this day and age that it was unlockable and moveable to our liking.

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#WORLDOFDIABLO I said it many times and I will say it many more times.

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You’ve put into words exactly the feeling that was captured because the scale/scope/design of dungeons/areas in D1 and D2 great, which was largely missing in D3. In D3, dungeons hardly made you feel like you were challenged to push further/deeper because areas didn’t seem to be large and dangerous enough to put a strain on your resources. It felt like a totally different beast in this regard.

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Hello! I know that You had the idea to climb ladders and walls since Diablo 3. (It was on early gameplay), but it didn’t make it. I think tha climbing walls is bad for Diablo. It slowing the gameplay the same as loading screens. I hope Diablo 4 will be just smooth gameplay like old Dungeon Siege.

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I hope they don’t make intro animations to boss. One thing that made D2 scary for me is when you just open the Door or go to an area and the boss just runs right to you. Intro animations like in King Leoric in D3 gives you time to brace your self into what’s coming.

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