Does anybody remember BlizzCon from last year? Yes, the memorable scene during the Diablo Immortal announcement gave us some hilarious memes. The quotes “Do you guys not have phones” and “Is this a late April fools joke” went down in infamy. So Blizzard took a long and hard look at their past year and probably said to themselves, “maybe, just maybe we should listen to the audience.” Who would have guessed that they actually listened? Behold at this year’s BlizzCon, a new entry in the Diablo franchise finally surfaced, and it’s our task to take a look at what awaits us in this new release.
The Good News
So let’s start from the most likable part of the reveal, the plot. While the titular lord of terror is nowhere to be seen, we are instead introduced to Lilith. If you don’t know your lore by now, Lilith is the daughter of Mephisto and lover of the angel Inarius. You might think that this is all just some boring lore, but you would be wrong. Both Lilith and Inarius were responsible for the creation of Sanctuary, aka the mortal realm as well as, the Nephalim. So as you can see, the queen succubus plays a massive role in the universe, and her story will further expand in the upcoming release.
The other great feature is the overall gameplay. Taking the approach from the beloved Diablo II with elements of Diablo III, we are greeted to the same familiar yet refreshing take on the dungeon crawler. All the staples from before will make a return, such as PvP, Randomized Dungeons, and Monsters. For now, only three classes have been announced by the developers: the barbarian, sorceress, and druid. Previously absent, I’m especially excited to see the druid, as he is by far my favorite class in the game.
As for Diablo’s world map, it will consist of five regions, each with its own unique monsters and loot. On top of that, players will have the option to mount various creatures to traverse the open-world. The game will also have a shared world system where groups and individuals could come together in large scale PvE or PvP raids. Add to that varied customization options for each class, a darker theme than previous games, and visual enhancements. Evidently, there can’t be anything wrong with it. Right? Well…
The Bad News
The apparent red flag about Diablo IV is its constant online mode policy. In practice, many games go for this approach, mostly due to games being pirated. While I do agree that each and everyone interested should buy the damn game if they want to play, constant online connectivity isn’t the solution. The idea of people just wanting an offline experience has never crossed Blizzard’s mind, and this was a bit of negative feedback from the previous title they choose to ignore. Not to mention that the developers will mostly focus on the PvP system, which brings us to our second problem.
PvP was never the stronger side of Diablo. Even though Reaper of Souls did manage to patch things up, it still wasn’t as good as everybody thought. Also, little has been described of the shared world aspect and how it will impact gameplay. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a bad idea, but given how much games tend to screw up when it comes to this, I have to say I’m a bit worried. Rumors have also been surfacing that the gear in the game would be less significant than in Diablo III. It’s one thing to make a shared world and another to deprive me of more powerful gear, I just won’t accept it.
Finally, we have to talk about the big bad elephant in the room. Microtransactions! God, I hate these things so much, and unfortunately, the same will apply to the famous dungeon crawler. It has already been revealed on Battle.net that the game will have cosmetic microtransactions, and as with every game featuring loot, it’s a big bad sign. The creators of Diablo III also departed the studio, meaning that corporate actions, from Blizzard and Activision, could easily ruin the entire experience.
To be honest, I kind of stopped giving a damn about the series long before the infamous BlizzCon announcement. After the creation of Diablo II, the founders of Blizzard North left the studio to form Runic Games, and one of my favorite RPG’s, Torchlight. Ever since then, I’ve stopped following the series as a whole. Add to that the shaky release of Diablo III, which also dissuaded me even more from picking the game up. I eventually did play it, but it didn’t resonate with me that much as its predecessor did. That being said, let’s hope the fourth entry fairs better, and who knows, maybe I’ll give the franchise another chance. Right now, I have mixed feelings about the whole thing, and rightly so.