Diablo 4 looks great in a lot of ways. The graphics look excellent, and the return to more of a Diablo 2 tone is what most Diablo fans have wanted since before Diablo 3 came out. There looks to be lots of content coming, and perhaps most importantly, it feels like the game is taking some much-needed cues from Path of Exile.
But gamers aren't excited for the game to actually come out. So, in this article, we'll explain why Diablo 4 looks great but why gamers aren't excited.
Why Does Diablo 4 Look Great?
For a lot of reasons, Diablo 4 looks great.
First up is the look and feel of the game. It's a lot darker than Diablo 3 which oftentimes had the tone and style of an action movie, while Diablo 4 is much closer to the dark, claustrophobic spaces of Diablo 2. It's a murkier, more sinister feeling game that's, in a lot of ways, returning Diablo to its roots.
In terms of gameplay, one of the biggest focuses of Diablo 4 comes down to class choice and identity, giving players the ability to truly make their particular build unique. This is one of Path of Exile's greatest strengths, and fans are ecstatic to see some of that customization come to Diablo.
Building on top of class choice and identity are the changes to loot coming in Diablo 4. The idea with loot in Diablo 4 is to give players years' worth of items to search for to use to upgrade their character. In Diablo 3, it didn't take that much time to essentially finish off a build with the best gear you could want, but that's changing in Diablo 4.
Then, there's the skill tree in Diablo 4. It's rather large, and it once again takes a note from Path of Exile's insanely gigantic skill tree and allows every player to create a unique build. What's more is that the estimate is by endgame players can expect to fill out just 30% to 40% of the tree, so there should be a good variety of builds of even the same class.
Of course, then there's the move to an open world, which is a pretty huge, fundamental change to the layout of Diablo. The basic idea is that there are big open-world regions that will have their own monsters to fight, loot to pick up, and dungeons to access instead of a more familiar linear experience.
There are also tons of other cool things with Diablo 4 to look forward to, like controller support on PC, cross-play multiplayer, a fresh take on the Paragon system, and more. To put it simply, if you're a Diablo fan, especially one who might not have loved Diablo 3, you're probably quite intrigued by what's coming with Diablo 4.
But gamers, in general, aren't excited about Diablo 4.
Why Gamers Aren't Actually Excited for Diablo 4
To put it simply, well, because the game is being developed by Blizzard. Diablo Immortal, a mobile Diablo experience, has scarred the minds and hearts of gamers permanently because of its ungodly monetization.
Now, you might think that predatory monetization is par for the course with a phone game, and that is the unfortunate reality, but Diablo Immortal was predatory and out-of-line by even phone game standards, being completely pay-to-win, requiring cash in the hundreds of thousands to max out a character, etcetera.
What's more is that Diablo Immortal is only one drop in the well of Blizzard hate out there. The company has been making headlines for its awful management practices and terrible employee treatment for years, and there's a host of other games out there ruined by Activision-Blizzard's greed, from Overwatch to Warcraft III: Reforged and much more.
The fear, or perhaps expectation, with Diablo 4 is that Blizzard is going to take an old-school, hardcore RPG all about progression and loot and random luck and turn it into a pay-to-win microtransaction fest that essentially kills dead any desire of Diablo fans to actually play the game. Of course, Blizzard has been saying over and over that the game won't be pay-to-win, but there are already concerns about the game's monetization.
For one, cosmetic microtransactions and battle passes are coming. For a premium-priced AAA game all about what gear you can find, the ability to buy cool-looking cosmetics is already a blow. In Path of Exile, for example, they sell cosmetic microtransactions and a battle pass, which admittedly few are huge fans of, but Path of Exile is a totally free game that you don't have to pay for.
For many, Blizzard's history and what we already know about Diablo 4 is enough to make them wait, at least, until the game comes out to see how bad the monetization actually is and if it truly isn't pay-to-win. For others, what's been revealed is already enough to just skip Diablo 4.
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One of the biggest insults in all of this comes down to Diablo's legacy. It's one of the oldest-running franchises which managed to put out some of the very best video games ever that so many folks grew up on. Plus, the Diablo 2 remaster has only reminded gamers how much they love old-school Diablo even today. This has always been a hardcore RPG series all about finding the best gear you possibly can and making an awesome build.
To see that whole gameplay loop undercut by tacked-on purchases and monetization and the ability to pay for in-game items leaves a sour taste in most Diablo fans' mouths. Of course, we'll have to wait and see how Diablo 4 shakes out when it launches, but there's definitely cause for concern.
And that's why gamers aren't excited for Diablo 4.