Where the future will go (imo)

There is a malaise in gaming. New releases are cycled through quickly (even one as exceptional as BG3) and the games with staying power are old - shooters, mobas, and GTA V (apparently on the strength of roleplaying). The market has been stale year after year. Yet interest and money appears to be growing rather than waning. Apparently the Singaporean government subsidized that dumb Skull and Bones flop that managers have been squabbling over since an Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag mini-game.

ARPGs are another old concept, except with inferior popularity. In the absence of multiplayer competition the games boil down to item chases with gameplay that is aptly described by the relatively popular streamer Shroud, “If you think about it ARPGs are kind of lame. All you do is spam one button to kill mobs.” In today’s market there are always people playing lame games. I do it myself out of a lack of quality options. But sooner or later it’s going to dawn on some of the background dimwits who supply video games that rather than dumping money into old ideas that seem safe and easy to project there is a need for qualitatively different things to shake things up.

As far as ARPGs are concerned the weakness is clear - they are dumb-to-play games. Ironically some of the fans of the genre may think they’re exceptionally smart because there are different “builds” and item combinations but the stupidity of gameplay is inescapable to the point of being freely acknowledged. What background complexity there is is often bypassed by following online guides as well.

Imo the key to the future is not treating players like complete idiots, at least not as far as gameplay is concerned. Games that challenge people rather than games that treat them like idiots tend to be the ones that go down as achievements. I think the controls of ARPGs is where you flip the stupidity of these games on its head. MMORPGs blew the ceiling on the number of actions available to players and proved immensely successful, again, by not treating players like idiots (incidentally BG3 did something similar). But MMORPGs are also slower-paced games that have set rotations creating the illusion of choice and complexity, or have abilities with long cooldowns that mixed with everything else require in essence third party applications to keep track of. The mechanical and mental strain of trying to port that control scheme to faster-paced ARPGs seems unreasonable.

When people think of what a really interesting game would be like they will probably eventually arrive at the notion of repeatedly having competitive choices. That is how a player has meaningful agency - making a choice from a set of options and having that matter. In ARPGs that choice is made outside of combat and usually lasts for tens to hundreds of hours. The gameplay itself is idiotic. There is no choice when you actually play an ARPG, you know exactly what you’re doing and what you’re doing couldn’t be simpler. You do the same few actions over and over again, even relying on a single one of them for much of your effect or “agency”. That is downright abysmal gameplay, albeit it can be entertaining (particularly for you know who).

In my mind the solution is simple - tiered multiple choice. People take inspiration from the weirdest things; how about from school? Repeatedly having sets of options that enable your character to do different things. I have discussed how this concept could work at significant length, for example here. Experimenting with this doesn’t even have to replace the base ARPG experience as it could be treated like an additional gameplay option. The theoretical ceiling is high.

TL;DR Stop trying to make an ARPG game for idiots, which is a common feature of all ARPG games, and take a risk at doing something actually innovative. Put that in the weekly report that doesn’t matter. Also, you can’t rely on aggregating player feedback for innovative ideas because people are idiots.

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I knew as I was typing it. :wink:

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Actually you are spamming six buttons to kill monsters and the effectiveness of those button presses depends upon how well you have built your skill tree, paragon board and selected your gear items. If it were as simple as you imply everyone would be equally skilled at the game when clearly this is not the case.

No; You do not need to be Einstein to play the game well but misrepresenting the difficulty of the game weakens your argument considerably…

How many buttons do the pulverize bear, lightning orbs sorcerer, and the warrior that slams the ground really spam? Yes, effectiveness depends on out of combat choices (not to mention item grinding…), which are generally persistent. Now, Einstein, tell me, are you aware of guides? Determining an optimal build-out is not simple, but “content creators” tend to do that. Casual players who don’t bother aren’t sitting there with Excel spreadsheets running numbers that don’t matter in a game whose difficulty is busted. Do you think they’re breaking out in a cold sweat making choices that suggest themselves once you take a path, albeit not necessarily optimal in a game that is not optimally designed to begin with? Are you sure you aren’t the one misrepresenting Diablo 4?

IMO it’s the internet and what it’s done to the average attention span and how it’s warped our desire for instant gratification. Gamers want more, faster, now, better at a compounding rate - and they want each pipe hit to be a novel experience each and every time. Like locusts moving from field to field - It’s become a crushing addiction that has destroyed peoples ability to produce dopamine reliably. It’s made a lot of folks bizarrely emotionally stunted and aggressive in their search for a never-ending fix.

If the players are idiots then the games are being made to cater to them. Why would they change that formula?

All of them. Unless you want to die, have longer cooldowns, or run unbuffed.

There’s a weird paradox where people are simultaneously idiots and not idiots… do I really have to try to explain? Just… trust me, bro. If this game isn’t dumb as hell it could do better. You know what the funny thing is right now? How many players do you think despise it and still play it?


This dude apparently mashes all six buttons and his brain runs at capacity.


No, its just you dont have a point when you blatantly contradict yourself.

I don’t mash them. They have to be pressed when needed. Mashing them would leave everything on cooldown when you require them. The game isn’t hard, but it does require some thought and skill. Not much, but saying just mashing them makes me think you struggle at the game and expect it to be a one button kill all mobs type game.

Exactly. You’re often spamming one action that comprises most of your gameplay.


From Shareholder Gaming Studios I agree, but not from other developers as has been shown year after year. Games with “staying power” as you put it are typically MMORPG’s or PVP games, which makes perfect sense. BG3 is a great game, no one denies that, but it will have a limited amount of replays per the average player. Similar to Elden Ring, Hogwarts Legacy, the new Spiderman game, etc.

Sometimes you just want a dumb beat’em up hack’n slash game though. No Diablo-ish ARPG on the market today is difficult to play by any means. Which is the point you’re driving home, but I feel like you just want an entirely different game here.

Said no company ever toward their customer base. If we’re being honest here.

Usually found in RPGs, not ARPGs. Not that it couldn’t be found in ARPGs mind you, but the problem comes down to efficiency and finding the quickest route to it. It becomes a number crunching game instead of a meaningful choice game. This will happen regardless of the system you put into place due to the core gameplay, kill things, get loot, rinse repeat.

Ah back to the old faithful, you keep pushing this idea, and while I wouldn’t mind it in the game, I just don’t see it happening either. Still rooting for you though. :+1:

Let’s take the barb for example. Most builds use Charge and HotA. That’s 2 skills that do damage and not 1. How about my Necro, I use basic skill, core skill and Corpse Tendrils. That’s 3. I can give more examples if you’d like, but I’d assume you just somehow call those all 1 skill, 1 button mashers as well.

The dumb people are the easiest to accommodate of all. One game can be different things to different people if it’s designed intelligently.

It’s not about what they say, it’s about what they do.

You do understand that number crunching occurs in a context, right? An environment that isn’t static?


You realize that whatever system you plan to implement won’t make it anymore diverse in a game centered around number crunching though right? You could add the most intricate systems to Diablo, and at its core nothing will change. It’ll just add more steps to get there. That’s all I’m saying. I’m not saying they aren’t good ideas, or that they shouldn’t be created, I’m just saying the game as a whole, won’t change. It’s why people still play these types of games.

Lost Ark is probably the most successful ARPG on the market right now. Yes it’s P2W but that doesn’t change the fact of how successful it is, and it’s been this way long before it came over the western audience. Public opinion doesn’t matter when you’re making money hand over fist. Their systems are fairly basic with a lot of bells and whistles, but the core of the game is the same as Diablo. You have to kill things to obtain loot so you can kill more difficult things.


Use your mind for a moment. “Number crunching” occurs within the Diablo IV environment, setting. It is dependent on enemies. A dynamic environment ties into a dynamic player character. Attacks aren’t the only options either.


Every company wants their killer live service game that can keep players invested, but as it turns out the players that like these games isn’t really growing.

To compensate this problem companies are basically making the same game hoping to keep you there by getting you to invest in things like mtx and such.

That leads to games that look and feel the same even across genres and adding to the problem now is streamers who all need these games for viewers it’s like a snake eating itself.

Big Companies have Making Money figured out.

As stated, there are a handful of games with life.

All others appear to be trying their best but EVERY ONE OF THEM MAKES MONEY.

So, we the gamer are the consuming fool in search of that next game that will hold us for years.

Our “Consumer Business Plan” does not make as much money as the 'Big Companies Business Plan".

Thus sets the Dumpster Fires here in the forums and all over the internet.

Meanwhile, don’t forget to feel sorrow somewhere for someone who tried.

We live in a day and age where everyone wins. So, slow down to the slowest…

No way!!

Never would’ve thought a number crunching system that involves dealing damage to defeat enemies would actually require enemies to defeat.

Also true, although the only thing changing regarding enemies are HP levels and damage. I feel this doesn’t really help your argument in anyway though.

Again not wrong, but how does this help your argument? You didn’t really explain anything you just described how the game works in this whole reply. You are quite literally going in circles.

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