The mysterious unknown is needed in D4. And my bold ode to subtlety

The air of a diablo world is a beloved aspect of its fantasy, important to snare the interest of old players and new.
It’s an air of grand exploration and even grander mystery, pressing urgency and despair lurking just around the corner. It’s a feeling that you are a small would-be hero, in a vast foreboding world beyond.

While the finer threads that make up the weave of that fantasy can be discussed and argued over untill the last Diablo 4 expansion is released, I argue that there is a general rule that goveren this air of Diablo, and if the hard working and talented devs make sure to follow this rule they will find success with the franshise again.

What is this rule then?
The rule can be summed up in this simple scentence:
The lack of knowledge is the beginning of any question.

  • If we are to be interested in the storyline of the quest at hand, we need to be curious to find out more, there needs to be a lack of knowledge.
  • If we are to relate to the NPC’s in any meaningful way, there needs to be unknowns about them or they need to express their own inquires or lack there of.
  • If we are to feel thretened by the great beyond, we cannot feel that we own it.

It’s not our pre written story as hero, or the stories of the NPC’s around us that matter for players, old and new, so to entice us to take interest in the world fantasy and its inhabitants. It’s the whispers and screams of the world beyond, told to us through these stories and NPC personalities that will make us fall in love with Diablo 4.

We need the world of Diablo 4 to be steeped not only in gore, agony and despair, but in curiosity, fear, bigotry and myth. What drives all these is the lack of knowledge!


The lack of mystery and the humanization of inherently inhuman concepts to the extents they are (between angels, demons, the take on nephalem and other matters aside from them) are some of my core issues at this point. I don’t think there is a great deal left fundamental to the lore to ‘learn’ about the great mystery without serious extra plot thrown in or an extreme toning down of player capability to make smaller things more interesting to learn about. The Mystery was never truly integral to the series as an element, but on the other hand, it certainly helped, both in the distinct style of D1 and somewhat in the potential storytelling for D2 and its expanded media…

“Bold ode to subtlety” or “Bold reminder that Blizzard’s former Lead Writer wasn’t a writer at all!” Which is why Blizzard needs to be reminded of basic writing types like these!

Bold ode to Hire someone with a Ph.D in English or Literature to write D4!

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Hire the original D1 lorebook narrator and continue that trend.

mrpinsky on diabloii forum wrote:
“[Diablo 4 needs mystery] not only regarding story & atmosphere, but also gameplay. These days developers tend to announce way too much ahead of the release, show everything off in trailers, explain all the systems in panels and so on and as a consequence there is not much mystery left once the game arrives. Exploring the game and its mechanics is a big part of the fun. The more secrets to uncover, the better.”

I tend to agree with this, discovering and exploring the game mechanics in adventure games (including action rpgs) is part of that stuff that makes the “role playing aspect” magical. Woven into the world, these things provide excelent plot devices as well. Just make the quests better than the fetch quests in Diablo 2 and Diablo 3 please ^^

If you read the OP and found it enjoyable, you might like this other post of mine. Check it out! It needs some new blood and fresh takes:
D4 Crafting System and general/specialized play.