Diablo 4

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Diablo 4

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:36 am

So Blizzard has announced Diablo4 with some trailers.




There are a couple things I liked. And the ending of the cinematic actually managed to give me a shiver, which I didn't expect them able of doing ever again. Atmosphere feels more like D1 in spirit and guts, which is cool.

But what's so strange about the situation is... in terms of actual game, I was never so unexcited about a major title from Blizz like now. The remaster of War3 seemed more exciting.

Back when Sc2 and D3 were announced, it was a revelation. It was mindblowing. It looked so amazing. The jump from the previous titles seemed incredibly huge, from graphics to how it plays. The hype was just incredible. Later of course we discovered some flaws with the games, but it shook us all anyway.

However now with D4 I am surprised how difficult it is to actually get excited about. The first thought I had was "uh, isn't that how D3 looked?" I mean it probably has some more polygons and stuff... but it doesn't actually look better? I even thought it kinda looked worse?... And the game itself also feels more like tweaking it up. I think this is the first time of a major Blizz announcement, it felt more like an announcement of a sequel to Borderlands or something, ya know, a more average franchise, not the next big thing that's gonna shake up the industry. Maybe D4 will actually be a good game for what it is, and combined with brand loyalty still a lot of people may play it, but... hrrrm.

I guess what I'm getting at is that it truly felt like a generational jump from D2 to D3 in technology and all. But in cases of both Starcraft and Diablo, it may be an unfair comparison, because the predecessors were stone age 2d low res stuff going 3d high res with heavy effects. I mean you can make such a jump only once. But still I don't know, I just expected to be impressed more by the graphics and tech to a sequel. The remaster of War3 felt more impressive in that regard. Maybe that is just a general issue of our time, that graphics and tech reached a level where it's just not much of a deal anymore from generation to generation, and the innovation is more in the details. But yeah, just saying, I don't really feel like I used to. I thought it would be really hard resisting the temptation of their new titles, and I am surprised to say, doesn't feel near as hard as I thought. Though I wouldn't say their showing is exactly bad.

They are saying they want to bring in the best of what people liked about D1, D2 and D3, and it's gonna be a bit of MMO-lite, and some neat little stuff here and there.

I think that aRPG in general are in need for a major overhaul, most of all in the mission scenario.
As it currently stands, the underlying concept is such a primitive and pointless endeavor. It's been done to death. Is a dead end.
I was kinda saying this last time on D3 as well, while also trashing their in-game item shop idea, which brought the aRPG concept to its ultimate conclusion and laid bare just how stupid it really is.
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Re: Diablo 4

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:21 pm

Here is something for you to laugh at though. This was a game I worked on many years ago, before moving on to other projects, never finishing it.
Called it Tides Of Blood: Tactics. It was more a Baldur's Gate type of thing, but without the fucking random dice roll shit, which I fucking hated.
As you can see, these graphics clearly are the future of gaming. :mrgreen: So yeah, I'm not exactly the one to take the high horse on other people's stuff. :lol:

It was meant to be a kind of anniversary surprise for you guys, but well... this gotta do now, lol.

The graphics were iconography, it was efficient to produce an entire game with it.
It was based on an item/icon pack, which was freely available. I modded it, recombined, frankensteined stuff to make an actual game of it.

The items a character carried in the inventory also gave it corresponding abilities/spells.
So by that you could customize your playstyle a bit, starting from basic archetype classes.

(click on image for larger version to read text)
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Re: Diablo 4

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:33 am

Well anyway. Probably too negative. I gotta admit that the general theme, tone, atmosphere does get me pumped quite a bit.
I really didn't expect Blizzard to get these things right anymore and make something interesting. So I am seriously surprised there.

There are a whole bunch of details that are pretty damn neat. The game feels more aggressive and brutal. Jumping at those cliffs and from that horse.
The character and world designs are more realistic and appropriately dark, which fits the original horror feel of the franchise. I mean it does look cool.

I am not sure how I feel about the gameplay. In the video snippets it looks vicious, but if their goal is to appeal to the originals in that as well... I'm just over this point-and-click grindfest. I am looking for significant innovations to make that more interesting than just walzing around, with your "skill" determined only by how high the integer numbers on your stats are, defined by random loot you grinded and how much time you wasted. Been there, done that. I expect a lot more now. Things are still early though, we'll see how it goes from here on out. I could imagine though that at the very least giving it one playthrough for the single player story campaign would be cool and worth it at any case.

Yeah well, I guess the major points are that from the previous titles the generational leaps were so huge that somehow I don't know what I expected from the next gen.
In that the excitement is not quite what it was when SC2 and D3 were first announced, you know what I mean? But this happens only once in gaming history.
If you ignore that one freak point in time comparison, what they showed still gets me pumped some for what it's worth.
Doesn't feel quite so mainstream as we've come to expect from modern corporate Blizzard. It got some teeth. It got bite.
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Re: Diablo 4

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:27 am

Btw, after Tides of Blood: Tactics shown above, I wanted to make a game called Stardust, which was basically Diablo in space. lmao.
Like a TwinStick shooter with rpg elements, story, dialogue, character/ship upgrades and all. Yeah, spacecraft actionRPG.

So that was my generational jump. Hyperspace jump. :mrgreen: Into the void. Also never finished. lost in space. :oops:

I just googled space images from whoever and threw them in without a care in the world. :pirate:

Image
Waypoint selection to areas around the galaxy through hyperspace portals:
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Re: Diablo 4

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:01 am

Okay, can sum up why D4's atmosphere feels badass.

It feels more like the world of Conan the barbarian.
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Re: Diablo 4

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:33 pm

A big problem for Blizzard was that a significant amount of players still stayed with D2 to this day, not going for D3, and D2 is so much less monetizable.
So from what I can see, D4 is pure fan service, in that Blizzard plays it save, and tailors it to all the previous critiques and wishlists.
In a way that's pretty cool. I just wonder if it becomes too save. I know that it doesn't seem like that, but Blizz actually took plenty innovative risks in their titles so far.

What concerns me the most is, that it seems they still think character building is the main issue of the genre -- but it really is not.
It is an important aspect. But it's already been enough developed. There is not that much more driving factor in that.
What really holds back the aRPG genre is something else entirely, and that is the actual campaign scenario.
That one is still so ridiculously underdeveloped. This is the the main potential for significantly pushing the genre forward.
I am pretty convinced you could make an aRPG that has no leveling, no items, no stats, not even cool abilities or character designs,
and yet would be so much cooler to play than anything we got now. If you got that figured out and THEN combine it with all the cool character stuff we already got,
you can have something truly special and amazing. I believe you actually have to take a lesson from how RTS mission campaigns work. I actually believe that is the key.
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Re: Diablo 4

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:12 pm

So what I want to see is strategic interest in a dungeon.
There should be more purpose to your play than just playing item lottery.
Why are you killing this monster? Why are you destroying this room? Why raiding this dungeon?
The dungeon itself should pose a strategic problem that you must solve. A dungeon with economy and ecology for you to disrupt or be crushed.
Finding its weakpoints and dissecting it. And a dungeon that is a lot more pro-active in response to your intrusion.
A dungeon that is conscious of your presence. A dungeon that is at war with you. Not just a sitting duck.
And many more mission objectives that impact the dungeon and rest of the world.
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