What is the most important aspect of a Diablo game?

Diablo pollIn the forums, Azimuthus  has asked the question “What is the most important aspect of a Diablo game?” I think you’ll agree that’s a tough question to answer when you have to pick three answers and prioritise them.

Is it loot, the skill system, characters, the end-game, lore, graphics, multiplayer, or even randomisation?

All of these I see as core to the game in some respect so it’s not easy to pick the top three. With Blizzard obviously now working on something new now might be a good time to post what you think.

Blizzard ignored a lot of criticism of Diablo 3’s features prior to the game’s release and I think most players would be very disappointed if they made the same mistakes again with a new Diablo title.

Drop into the thread and cast your vote.

Tagged As: | Categories: Diablo 4


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  1. how about friend trading? friends with achievement reach, remove account bound

  2. That’s true, what kind of biased poll is it when it doesn’t even have “trading”? It’s what kept Diablo 2 alive for years – great economy, ability to freely exchange items etc. Stupid poll.

    • Tradning is included in “loot/item system”.
      I didn’t give much explanations and details on the poll, because on russian forum just a few peeps read them.

    • I wouldn’t call it so great economy.. It is ruled by forum gold (which persists from season to season) and item sellers + bots & dupes.

      It used to be nice in Vanilla and early days of LoD (before massive duping and hacks).

  3. Poll is pretty sad. The very idea that you could get by on just 3 features of the diablo series is a recipe for disaster that Blizzard would sadly be all too happy to embrace. The diablo series is a multilayered achievement, before the game play is even taken into account you have to consider setting, story & lore.D3 has a lot of lore but tanks badly in the story & setting departments. Next up is the actual combat, items & skills. D3 did well with the skills, ok with the combat, but totally tanked again on items, both in how they’re pretty shitty & in their role in the combat system. Next up is the interaction between players, which b.net0.2 is just plain awful, a complete joke. Also lack of trading, & 4 players per game. Pathetic. Horrible. I seriously doubt Blizzard will be able to make a decent Diablo game ever again. They only have the talent to make hack WoWesque crap under different brands. And now they’ve moved onto FPShooters with Overwatch.

  4. Consumerism always trying to quantify qualitative components of artistic success. A glaring example of mediocrity. Keep running polls and collect data ’cause the developers got not a thing to work with.

  5. RPG rogue like element for me.

  6. I think there are 2 important aspects: get you to keep playing, and make it fun to play. The first aspect has to do with goals and progression and it’s a combination of leveling, upgrading equipment, and in any other way just getting stronger. I think Diablo 3 fails at this aspect for a number of reasons, but mostly that you don’t really get stronger. The leveling from 1-70 is atrocious because you actually start out strong and end up weaker, then finally at 70 the “real game” begins and you start getting stronger by building a set and auxiliary legendaries. If you analyze the level 70 “endgame” further, it turns out you aren’t really getting stronger.

    The 2 paths of endgame progressions are paragon levels and better gear and are fulfilled in 2 ways: gaining exp, and finding gear. Both of these means of progression are better accomplished at higher difficulties. This creates a system where every time you get stronger, you make the enemies stronger. You’re not actually progressing at all.

    The 2nd aspect of the game I think Diablo 3 does succeed at to some extent. Playing from 1-70 is very fun the first time, maybe even the first 5+ times as you try different classes, but doing it every season is not great. The reason it’s fun is because the game plays well. Not only are the graphics and audio good, the atmosphere generally good, and the audio/visual feedback for combat great, but the characters drive very well (the best of any ARPG IMO) and the combat is fluid. When your gear is bad and you rely on potions with a cooldown, challenging fights are actually pretty fun.

    Things start to fall apart at high power levels though. You die less often because of poor play than because your lifesteal/life on hit was inadequate, or your DPS too low, or your % damage reduction too low. You run past enemies in zones because they aren’t worth stopping to kill. You optimize not for power but for speed so that you can increase your hourly production rates. You don’t feel danger because pushing yourself hard enough to die regularly is inefficient.

    To me the biggest issue is the speed, not because I’m a dying old man of the age of 30 and can’t handle high APM (I regularly play FPS and Fighting games that are demanding), but because the sense of danger and challenge are diminished. Diablo 1 and 2 started (and sometimes stayed) slow. You were struggling with a constantly empty mana bar. You were struggling with the easiest foes because of misses, stunning hits, and masses of projectiles. You ran in fear from lightning enchanted enemies. Combat wasn’t just a rotation of attacks against enemies, it was a dance of dodging attacks to survive. Sure Diablo 2 was easy at times and lifesteal trivialized things more than Diablo 3, but that was your reward for progressing to that point.

    Diablo 3 removed the ability to kite effectively, giving mobs incredible forgiveness on their attack range as you walked away. It added damage to the Jailer and instant damage to Frozen in the pre-explosion phase. It kills you with attacks not because you failed to avoid them or run away and heal, but because you didn’t stack enough CC or damage reduction to out-stats them. They removed Immune Minions because it slowed things down. Sure the affix was flawed in execution and not fun to play against, but it at least changed how you approach the situation.

    I’m not completely blinded by nostalgia and think that running Baal and Cows for hours and hours was the pinnacle of the ARPG genre; I accepted it because I was young and games were young and growing. But I will still claim that Diablo 2 is a more fun experience than Diablo 3 even without doing endgame. The leveling experience in Diablo 2 rewards you with loot that you might actually keep for more than the next 20 minutes and challenges you with a set difficulty; meanwhile, Diablo 3 is a car that you pour time into as fuel to the engine, letting you drive faster and faster towards your destination while the wind blows through your hair and good music plays, only to realize that your wheels are just spinning and that time spent didn’t get you anywhere.

  7. It can’t be downgraded into one thing. It’s the harmony of many things that made Diablo 1 and Diablo 2 great masterpieces while the others such as Path of Exile, Diablo 3 and Grim Dawn are only very good arpgs. I think Brevik summarised it perrfect.

    MMORPG: What do you see as the most important part of an ARPG, and the genre’s future?

    David Brevik: The most important parts of an Action-RPG are visceral combat, random levels, random items, character customization and atmosphere. When all of these come together, you can create a superb experience that gamers will enjoy for years. I see all of these as critical parts of the future of ARPGs. The genre has changed a lot in twenty years and I’m sure the future will bring many exciting changes as well as long as people stick to the core tenets I described.

    • Yah I think Brevik is way off the mark on that one.

      Evidence is Torchlight 2. TL2 had great combat, random levels, random items, character customization, atmosphere and technically was a great game. What TL2 lacked was any sense of in-game community, or community at all for that matter. As a result, no one played it.

      The #1 priority of an online RPG is to create a vibrant in-game community.

      • I guess Brevik assumes (considering his plan for D3 and Marvel Heroes) in today’s world secure online servers for competitive multiplayer aspect is a must for any game that wants serious replayability.

        Torchlight lacked that AND the atmosphere with that way kid-friendly look.

        • I think Fizoo was using Torchlight as an example of a game that had all of the things that Brevik was talking about but was still lacking, rather than implying it was something he worked on (or that’s how I took his post at least),

          • Correct. I never said Brevik worked on TL2. I just said his recommendations lead towards the path TL2 took, and that didn’t work. In fact, the poll is pointing towards another TL2, which is rather alarming. Are we just going to keep making the same mistake over and over? We can’t continue to have the focus be on items, skills, stats and mechanics over social gameplay elements. That path is absolutely killing the ARPG genre.

            And I’m not saying those things should be totally neglected. They should be good. But the MAJOR overhaul needed is in social features.

          • @Fizoo

            I guess you didn’t get my post. Brevik definetely assumes secure multiplayer aspect that you can engage with other players to create a vibrant community is a must for any game.

            I know he even wanted ingame towns where lots of players could meet in Diablo 2 instead of battle.net lobby but couldn’t put them in time for D2. He was going to make an MMO Diablo 3 and he made an MMO called Marvel Heroes that mostly rely on the community.

            So, I’m 100% certain he knows community is a must for any game not just an ARPG and that’s why he didn’t list it. Torchlight 2 lacked it with it’s peer-to-peer multiplayer and TL 2 also lacked the atmosphere aspect which Brevik also listed.

  8. I think most of us know instinctively that its a poor question. Even trying to work out which is the single most important aspect of the game is impossible. Why? Probably because everything needs to support each other. So a good question might be, which parts of D3 were doing the laziest jobs supporting the rest of the game and to provide examples of how this didn’t happen in D2.

    My opinion; its the item customization. Relying solely on gems to vary your load-out over streamlined the experience. In D2 you could put gems, jewels, and runes into gear to create a very diverse range of play experiences. When they designed-out these wonderful additives it really made that horrible feeling that we were being controlled and guided the whole way. The soul of the game vanished.

  9. Question is not poor, but “not easy to answer”, because it demands certain ammount of inquiry into this issue. For different people “most important aspect” is different.

  10. I think the most important aspect of a “Diablo” game is exactly that: Diablo. Virtually all other video games are themes based Norse and Greek mythology. Diablo is one of, if not the only, video game based in medieval Christianity. A lot of people call it a “dark theme” but look at any painting from the renaissance. Bam. There’s Diablo. Take a walk through a museum some time. A lot of developers lean on Norse and Greek myth for content but it’s hackneyed. Need to look elsewhere.

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