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Diablo IV Opinions

Opinions 13 June 2023, 14:10

After 80 Hours of Diablo 4, I Know What This Game Needs

I'm in love with Diablo 4. The fate of a game-service can go differently depending on Blizzard accountants' mood, but I have a few ideas how to develop this hellish newborn – with a few concrete propositions.

Dear Blizzard. For the first time in a long time, you have given the world a real breath of fresh air, superior product – excluding remakes. Don't screw this up. A few scratches can be seen, but some of them are easy to get rid of. Either way, this game doesn't need a major redesign. Rather, it needs to be enhanced with some new options and modes that we liked in previous installments. I'm having a great time already and I get the feeling I'm not the only one.

Now, dear Activision Blizzard accountants, imagine the reality when this game gets expansions like Reaper of Souls, Lord of Destruction or even a massive patch like 1.10 for Diablo 2. There you have it, dear gents in suits staring at excel sheets! You'll get our cash without driving us up the wall! Cause as you know, a good vibe about a game gives it dedicated players who support it for a long, long time. That's why below, I'm dropping some ideas on what to add or tweak to improve the game and enhance the experience with add-ons, patches or leagues.

Paladin or crusader and other classes

Diablo 4 has launched with a very nice set of starting classes, such as sorcerer, barbarian or necromancer, all at their best. Plus, we got the much-loved (although in need of slight tweaks) druid from Diablo 2 and the rogue from the original Diablo, whose skills were mixed with the assassin added in Lord of Destruction. Simply – it’s a great set. But someone is missing, who has become almost an icon of the series when it comes to classes, and practically saved Diablo 3 all by himself. It's the Paladin/Crusader. To be honest, I am personally more connected with the nomadic concept from Diablo 3, but maybe that’s just me.

Anyway, a gothic Action RPG needs an armored arrogant bastard who, wielding a sword and shield, will slay hordes of demons and bring down the wrath of the heavens upon them. And of course – they will heal their companions a little bit. You don't even have to change a lot here. All you have to do is adapt this character to the Diablo 4 skill tree, give it an interesting lore and create a proper stronghold with class quests, which will unlock the specialization. It's a recipe for simultaneous success and a return of players missing the paladin or crusader.

Diablo IV, Blizzard Entertainment, 2023

Guess who's gonna line up first? I will. In Diablo 3 the thorn-based crusader is my biggest "munchkinist" success. Created in the style I like – you come up to rumble and only need to hit once, even at levels higher than suggested. Inadvertently, you'll die countless times along the way – it just happens.

This is also a character with a set of iconic skills and concepts ready to use. You can give them a slight upgrade to make skills easier to enjoy (just like with the druid), but who wouldn't love to chop through Lilith's spawn with a holy hammer and dive into their swarm with fiery zeal?

Paladin is a sure bet, but to be honest, I think two slightly more exotic and controversial classes are just begging to return. All you have to do is spice them up with the right flair. I'm talking about monks and shamans. I would link the first ones with the Kyovashad or a quasi-Asian country like Thailand. Let them be tough, ruthless, yet spiritualized brutes who like various narcotic substances and Thai (Sanctuary?) boxing.

The matter with the witch doctors is so simple that Blizzard probably already has a ready-made solution. The eastern marshes surrounding the Whispering Pines on the current map are just asking for their representative to join the roster. A less colorful, more disturbing, not-at-all-voodoo shaman – I would play that. You just need to put a little more effort into the project to make it more distinct from the necromancer.

Return to old locations

One of the greatest advantages of the Diablo series is the world and its lore. A bit bruised by the hastily written plot of Diablo 3, but still intriguing. Vast, full of myths, legends and cultures that slightly resemble ours, but with an interesting twist caused by contact with heaven, hell and magic. A very simple fantasy, yet it works. The map in Diablo 4 is huge, but it's just a part of Sanctuary.

I sincerely hope that Blizzard will take us through the lands that we have only known so far from mentions in dialogues, notes, or playbooks for previous installments of the series. This series needs every single boost of freshness that the developers can afford, as well as combinations with very different landscapes, because the classic "forest-desert-swamp-tundra" is familiar to us inside out, although it’s difficult to avoid it.

Diablo IV, Blizzard Entertainment, 2023

On the other hand... it would be nice to visit iconic places from previous installments (and stay as far away as possible from Diablo 3’s "heaven") to see how they've changed. Really... it's about time. I would really like to look at Tristram, the Sightless Eye Monastery, Lut Gholein, and Kurast from a new, fresh perspective. Probably whatever we visit will be a ruin, but these often hide secrets. A few quests from Diablo 4 main storyline are connected to the rogue artifact, so we even have an excuse to go there sometime.

The value of the second and third Diablo from the plot and atmosphere perspective was – besides the horror – the feeling of wandering through these tormented lands, a sense of space, mystery, terror, a kind of infinity. The world in Diablo 4 is big, but not so vast to give the illusion of an endless journey. However, if more regions appear, including those we already know, and the game expands further – an incredible adventure awaits us.

Rune words

In all this tumult, I missed some developer diary or another form of announcement, but tell me, Blizzard, where are my promised runewords? There were supposed to be there, but "there aren't any." Unless you want to recreate the "ultimate Diablo 2 experience" completely. In that case, we'll have to wait until the launch of the expansion pack for more significant changes.

And why are rune words so important? It's simple – they greatly enhance the itemization and ways of building characters – one of the most important mechanics in Diablo. Ordinary gems are a nice addition and pleasant enhancements, but they don't give a wow effect and don't provide the same satisfaction from completing and arranging them as rune words. We could also place the other ones in the sockets of the object, but when inserted in the correct order, they turned an ordinary thing into an impressive artifact.

Diablo IV, Blizzard Entertainment, 2023

I actually get why Blizzard is hesitating to introduce something like this. In Diablo 2, there was this problem that at some point, everyone aimed to have a few specific artifacts, including the unforgettable Enigma. Everyone in the game was simply looking for it as soon as the ranking season began. Blizzard clearly wants to avoid a similar unification of builds this time. And actually, that's good.

And so, I am curious, because the initially announced solution was supposed to appear in the game, but – as it turned out – not on the release day, sounded intriguing and might diversify the combat. This time, we got two types of runes – state and effect. The first ones determine which factor triggers the special property, and the second ones – what will happen. It seems to be quite an intriguing system that requires player activity and initiative, but I understand that this would be a complicated overlay on the already existing and functional mechanics.


Not everyone wants to wander around Sanctuary alone. On the other hand, not everyone is comfortable with the company of FatJoe69 or DominatronixRaptor37. For such people, Blizzard has kept mercenaries, who worked excellently in the final versions of Diablo 2 and 3.

Of course, during the Diablo 4 campaign, NPCs occasionally are joining us, but it's not the same. The mercenary was a nice idea of a permanent companion for hire, who had their own equipment (at least since Lord of Destruction) and fought alongside us. Sometimes even helped with things our character couldn't handle.

And then we turn the spotlight on Diablo 3, a game full of good intentions. And in this one case with pretty good implementation. The game entered the fray with not-so-stupid, but still not fully developed ideas (for example, greater focus on the plot in gameplay – it paid off in D4). However, the new system of mercenaries was a job well done. First, we could adapt them better to our needs not only through equipment, but also by selecting specializations. Second, this time they were specific characters with opinions, identity, and even their own side tasks. And I had the impression that their dialogues were written by someone a bit more competent than the main story screenwriters.

Diablo IV, Blizzard Entertainment, 2023

I would really like to see a similar solution in Diablo 4. We meet or hire companions who serve us with a blade and magic, have some secrets, and generally are interesting – you must admit it suits a more story-focused Diablo 4, right?

Sharper, crispier sound

Time for a strange point, but more important than you think. The magic of the first two installments of Diablo didn't come from nowhere. These damn things were as addictive as high-stakes gambling. With gameplay, unpredictability, and a good loot system, they aroused the desire to hunt for loot. Nevertheless, just like in casinos, not only mechanisms and numbers (as well as setting up the gameplay... – ahem, Diablo Immortal, ahem!) were important, but also the design. Graphics are obvious, but also – the sound. The sound played an extremely important role in how we perceived Diablo 1 and 2 and how deep a bond we formed with their elements. These were audible experiences.

I don't know if it's a matter of mastering, but the sound in Diablo 4 seems too soft and indecisive. Too subtle. Maybe it's the fault of the technology used to create the sound, but moving objects around – for example – didn't give me as much pleasure as in Diablo 2, where every sound related to weapons or armor gave the impression of the tangibility of the equipment. Feeling like we're really wearing the armor. Blizzard probably focused too much on realism this time.

It is better than Diablo 3, where the sound was even safer. The music definitely turned out better, closer to Diablo 1 and 2. However, when it comes to all the sounds, dear Blizzard, maybe just replace the soundfonts with those from the previous Diablo? Stealing from yourself, after all, is not stealing, and all those vivid, sharp clangs, thuds, and clinks – or sizzling discharges of energy – really made an amazing impression, creating an excellent background. And if you want to make us addicted to this game as much as possible, then what’s stopping you?

Diablo IV, Blizzard Entertainment, 2023

Offline mode

Oh, Blizzard, you did it again. And this time I'm not talking about anything good. You're as stubborn as a goat in a field of cabbage about this damn always online, as if your life depended on it. This form is simply not necessary for Diablo 4. Like putting shoes on a dog. Well, the dog looks interesting, but only for 23 seconds of the TikTok clip. It’s the same with always online in Diablo 4.

You, dear developers, want 70 dollars for your game at the least. With the battle pass and microtransactions, you will collect much more. There are quite a few things you can invest that money in. And people will pay. So why does it bother you if some of the players want to play without being limited by a weak connection? You know, you actually alienated a part of the audience, which is really uncool. Ideology will not change this – it's somehow possible on consoles. What's more, the lion's share of the game is perfectly suited for solo playthrough. Moreover, like any pure hack'n'slash, Diablo 4 has so many variable components that it begs for playing with mods. But it's impossible with the always-online service!

So let's make an agreement. Let it be like with the auction house or classic servers in World of Warcraft. When you've had enough, at our expense, you will give us what we actually want, pretending that it was the plan all along, right?

When you finally earn enough for Kotick's new Bugatti, please expand this game by adding two options. First, the offline mode, and second, the possibility of setting up a private land for yourself and/or a few friends. It must have crossed your mind. So maybe, when the accountants will be looking elsewhere, dear Blizzard, you could add such fancy features in secrecy? We won't tell anyone.

Hubert Sosnowski

Hubert Sosnowski

He joined GRYOnline.pl in 2017, as an author of texts about games and movies. He's currently the head of the film department and the Filmomaniak.pl website. Learned how to write articles while working for the Dzika Banda portal. His texts were published on kawerna.pl, film.onet.pl, zwierciadlo.pl, and in the Polish Playboy. Has published stories in the monthly Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror magazine, as well as in the first volume of the Antologii Wolsung. Lives for "middle cinema" and meaty entertainment, but he won't despise any experiment or Fast and Furious. In games, looks for a good story. Loves Baldur's Gate 2, but when he sees Unreal Tournament, Doom, or a good race game, the inner child wakes up. In love with sheds and thrash metal. Since 2012, has been playing and creating live action role-playing, both within the framework of the Bialystok Larp Club Zywia, and commercial ventures in the style of Witcher School.


Diablo IV

Diablo IV

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