PCG Article Diablo 4 going to an "open world" & "free choice" environment; what do you think?

Diablo 4 dev says players 'want open world and free choice, but they also want to be told where to go' | PC Gamer

Admittedly, I haven't been following the development of D4 very closely, mainly because it's apparently "online only" and I'm only interested in the single player aspects of ARPGs. I've never played D3, but I've spent hundreds of hours in both D1 & D2 and loved the single player portions of those games (D1 is still my favorite), but they were all "map-based" ARPGs as opposed to the "open world" type game play. So I'm interested in what you think about that change, especially are resident ARPG guys @Colif and @DXCHASE .

I pretty much wrote this game off after reading this article: Diablo 4: Early gameplay, announced classes and more | PC Gamer, especially the following paragraph:

You will not be able to play offline(opens in new tab).
Here are some more facts about how Diablo 4's online world works:
  • Enemy levels scale so that friends can always play together
  • Dungeons are private for solo or partied players. It's only in the open world where you'll encounter the public.
  • When entering a dungeon, you can select difficulty options "with great granularity."
  • World events will call players together to fight as a group
  • There is no option to disable seeing other players or an offline mode, but you can solo the whole game if you never feel like grouping up.
I don't want other people in my game, I want a single player campaign in an ARPG that immerses me in the world, combat and loot. But after reading the article about the open world structure, I have visions of what D4 could be if it had a single player campaign along the lines of Sacred 2, which in my opinion is the most under-rated and under-appreciated ARPG of our time. There was a main quest line that unfolded gradually, as well as numerous side quests and optional areas, and you could go in any direction you wanted (though high-level enemies might force you to come back later). Pipedream I know, but I just envision what Activision/Blizzard could do with an open world structured ARPG if they weren't so focused on the online-only aspect and any possible monetization garbage they might employ.
 
I'd been meaning to make a comment about this article, but I hadn't gone around to it yet. I disagree with the statement that players want to be told where to go. I think it's reductionist. Minecraft is the perfect example of an open world where players don't need to be given a direction at all, because all directions are a valid way to go.

You only need to be told what to do if the game is structured in a way where you need to know where to go. But then I'd argue that games that need to tell you where to go aren't full open world games. Just like how adding RPG elements to a game doesn't make the game a full RPG.
 
Sacred 2 had a story? Can you remember what it was? I can't... it was only there to be a barrier to new areas. You couldn't get to some places without doing it. But it didn't really mean anything, hard to stand out in a game with over 600 side quests.

I assume it has a shop... understands why you can't play offline now... cause you never see other peoples shiny and want to buy them.
Diablo 3 was online only but you could play alone if you wanted to. Just cause its open world doesn't mean we all forced to play on same servers.

But you should be able to play without constantly seeing other people... okay, maybe not 1st few weeks. Hopes its not a game where you have to wait for things to respawn as someone else killed X first.

I heard it was an mmo and was inheriting POE skill tree. No more the innovator, just the copier... guess most people who made 1st two games are long gone. Most who made 3rd probably as well. Amazed its not being made by Koreans.

I will wait and see.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: mainer

Zloth

Community Contributor
I'd been meaning to make a comment about this article, but I hadn't gone around to it yet. I disagree with the statement that players want to be told where to go. I think it's reductionist. Minecraft is the perfect example of an open world where players don't need to be given a direction at all, because all directions are a valid way to go.
Or Skyrim.

It depends on the player, though. Giving some players a choice like that will freeze them. They'll start looking for the "right" way to go, even if you tell them all ways are the right way. I haven't seen Diablo in a long time, but I don't think it has been big on players making big choices about direction, so they could easily have a higher concentration of "freezers" than average.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pifanjr
Or Sacred 2...

You could go in any direction you liked from start. You could spend a few days doing all the quests and stuff in the area just around start area before you even got around to looking at the main quest. It was a big game where 98% of the content wasn't necessary to finish game. if you just followed the main quest and ignored side quest, you could finish it in probably a day or so. Well, the story anyway. That other 98% is still there... (you mainly follow quest on normal difficulty just to get into higher difficulties with better chance you don't out level mobs, and can spend more time exploring the map before you have to follow main quest.

@mainer remember the ghost village where you had to fight a demon to turn all the ghosts back into normal npc you could trade with.
remember the easter quests... oh wait, they from Community patch. remember being killed on your lvl 135 character by a glitched boss? Maybe that was just me.

I am sad I won't play anything like it again, but I am glad I did. It must have been good if we still talk about it 14 years after it was released. It was made by people who cared.

Its a while since I said same about a Diablo game. I fear their last game has rubbed off on this one.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY