The more I hear pro players on Twitch and YouTube and the D2 fanboys on Reddit and the Blizzard boards throw their feedback in the game devs' faces, the less excited I am for D4

It all comes down to target audience.

Pandering to addicts is pretty much an issue across gaming at large. From whales in mobile games, to those too deep in sunken cost fallacy to consider outside perspective, crapping on everyone that doesn’t share the same image for some niche game isn’t the way to go.

Streaming/Streamers are also a grossly overvalued form of advertising. Sure, the fans may think their reach is far and wide, but I have no doubt if you rattled those names past all players, you’d get some variation of, “Who?” as a reply from a good bit of them. I get it, though, it can be nice to feel like you’re with people who feel similarly. Yet like politics, it can become incredibly echo chamber when people who don’t feel similarly are chased off and/or demonized.

In the end, the most common stance I tend to take regarding design principles is to not forget the casual player, don’t assume they’re (genre) experts, don’t assume they’re all idiots, and don’t think that harshly punishing mistakes magically enhances a learning experience. You don’t create new fans by trying to push them away the moment they engage.


Pretty much this. When you only acknowledge people who share your opinion and push away or outright ignore opinions that you don’t like, you get the sense that everyone agrees with you.


/citation needed.

World of Warcraft classic didn’t even increase subscription numbers to the level of the last WoW expansion. WoW classic was basically being treated as a new expansion.

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I have yet to watch a ‘stream’ of anything. Seems like a monumental waste of time to me. I know the names Rhykker, Raxx, etc…but have never watched them play. Why would I (for that matter, anyone) spend time watching someone else play a game?

The D2 people are afraid of Blizzard working against them and the D3 people are afraid that Blizzard will cater to the D2 people too much… What we all really want is intelligent discussion, because it might lead us toward a better D4.
I’m gonna try freshen this thread up a bit with what I think might be a system both D2 and D3 fans can get behind:

The thread I’m linking too needs new blood, so if you find I’m right in that the system is catering to both fan bases, or at least takes the conversation another step, please contribute.

D2 fanboys

I really don’t understand the problem with D2 fans expressing opinions.
I’ve literally played all Diablo games, meaning D1,Hellfire, D2, D2:LoD, mods like Eastern Sun, Diablo 3 and Reaper of Souls.

So I can really give objective information as to how things work in the various games, and which parts feel the most compelling. Just because people like a lot of the things about D2, that doesn’t mean, that their takes are wrong.

The D3 playerbase is by no means a silent majority. If anything, the active D3 players are extremely small minority.


The point is many of the pro D2 guys just seem to want the complexity without the simple aspect of getting into the game.

Your D3 example is not really fair since the first few years of the game was not like this. What you are against is a design change to keep players coming back for new season on a game the stopped actively developing for. D3 would have been a bad game from day one if you could rush to level cap and have all the benefits of the seasons the way they are implemented now.


The report was WoW saw it’s greatest quarterly increase in subs in the last 10 years.

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I don’t think that is the case. Both D1 and D2 are quite simple games.
What’s so complicated about D2? It’s not like you juggle 30+ skills like in an MMO.


To ignore that they are important in today’s gaming market is naive. I share your sentiment though since I do not spend considerable time watching them regularly, just around big announcements just to get info. I would rather play than watch other play. But the streaming market is huge.

Agreed the streaming market is not going anywhere, but that is only due to the nature of the viewers. They want the reward without the work. Instead of figuring things out for themselves they want everything handed to them. I do agree that streaming is not going anywhere. Heck I stream my team game play every night but that is only so my son who is in Japan can watch. As he cant play when he is on base.

It’s the general attitude that sprews from them when responding to those that like the direction of D3, or prefer some systems seen in D4/3 to those of D2.

The complexity comes in the form of balancing attributes and affixes and some of the synergies and such that on the surface can be above the average player. And if you listen to some of these guys hey all seem to be juggling tons of skills as opposed to the 1-2 the majority played with.

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Didn’t say they weren’t. Just don’t understand the appeal of it all.

I posted a thread a couple posts up, where you both might find something that might be intriguing to you.

@Beefhammer Do you find the crafting system written about in that post, to be easy to get into?
@ElobaCarcen Would you agree that the crafting system in that thread make all tiers of items described in it valuable to the player, (with the right balancing of course), both early and late game, while still being easy to get in to for new players?

Let me see if i got what you have in mind…

Are you all saying professional players and critcs alike, who spent hours in games, testing, playing, criticizing them, code breaking it, merging in them in ways i never would understand by myself, they know less how to direct game development than casual players, who spent maybe 2-5h in a month playing?!?!?!?!

Sure devs should give ears to peopling like that…

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There’s a difference between understanding games and understanding players. The concern is that if you design a game solely for those in the categories you listed, they’re going to alienate everyone else who does not. You further have those that think that is 100% okay hiding behind the mantra of fandom or often exaggerated self-promotion.

The primary flaw of many who subscribe to this logic in that they think in making a game only 100k could really play instead 10 million, is that the latter game would be garbage. There’s not even really room for an in-between where maybe it’s 8, 5, 3, or whatever million satisfied players. If they’re not happy, it’s trash. Screw everyone else. Some of us recognize this is a problematic behavior as basically gamer self-cannibalism.

Otherwise, people need to be careful with confirmation bias, too. With WoW Classic being brought up, it’s presumed that it’s popular because it’s old, more difficulty, blah blah, etc… To an extent, it has the benefit of what’s old being new again, precisely because there are a generation of gamers who did not exist during its peak while you have people here and there that love to wax nostalgia just like with the D2. The main problem with hailing it as a success now is that we actually haven’t seen the long term results (MMOs ARE long-term games predicated on milking subs, after all), as well as knowing it’s not really the true olden days with “new” content being released more frequently to avoid burnout pitfalls or old knowledge cutting out part of the challenge. Will it be as profitable in another 3 months? 6? This time next year? I’m not inclined to say it will be, as the novelty will have worn. People will get hungry for original content eventually, even if that means seeking out a new game entirely.

Which circles back to a very simple, yet very crucial point to understanding gamers. They can, do, and should play more than one game. Expecting one title to hold their attention indefinitely, particularly with no or little content development, is not a reasonable position to be taking. Pretty much anything regarding time sink is crucial to this, which for a game like this, goes on to include how long it takes to level, find gear, and tackle late game challenges. A game where only people who play 8+ hours a day have a chance will not be a good game to any other rational person. Correlating it to any sort of job-like status is a problem, really, which further wrangles in the streamers who basically try to make their living playing games. They’re the exception, not the norm, and that status confers others benefits your average player will never see.


I actually like that crafting system. As opposed to just breaking down unwanted gear into resource to use to craft. You could use say blues with preferred affixes to make a rare that has what you want. If I’m understanding your system correct.

I can see a system like this being comsidered complex if not given a clear tooltip/walkthrough explaining it. But it would beat anything Diablo has seen to date.

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I enjoyed D2 and D3 which I unfortunately feel like I have to restate on these forums all the time before someone flames you for being a fanboy of either game if you advocate for any idea from 1 of the 2. I’m probably a little bit more of a D2 fan moving forward mainly just for some of the core concepts (because a lot of it is admittedly quite dated).

I don’t feel like what you’re suggesting is what the average pro D2 person wants. There are some hardcore people on either side of the argument that mindlessly ask for extreme solutions but I don’t feel like its fair to group everyone into that.

Diablo 2 wasn’t honestly that hard. Some people act like D2 was some crazy difficult and punishing game, but it really wasn’t. Normal/nightmare were pretty easy to get through if you just used logic and tossed some skills at synergies.

The complexity I would ask for shouldn’t be messing with anybody who’s starting out or engaging and giving the game a try. It should come later in the game through itemization and skills at higher levels. One example of something I think D2 did relative to this concept is that the experience penalty for death wasn’t even really relevant till hell difficulty when it started kicking in.


Well said…real life will always trump d4 depth