Before I begin, I just wanted to say I am a long time big fan of Diablo franchise. After playing Diablo IV for a couple of days, I don't think I will be as fanatic as before (I started playing Diablo II more than 20 years ago). Heck, maybe I won't even be playing it anymore.

Let me get straight to the point. Diablo IV is boring. Or maybe I am just too old for this $hit.

It is true that Diablo IV graphic looks amazing, and there are lots of QoL improvement over the old Diablo games. The play style is like Diablo III (not a good or bad thing), storyline is alright (I am not a big fan of it). The end game is alright if you are still leveling up and advancing gears, however, when you reach a point where you don't know what you are grinding for, the game just died.

----- SPOILER ALERT -----

The end game goes like this:

  • Complete side quests and dungeons to get renown points so you can unlock some bonuses (skill/paragon points, increase obol limit, etc.). Of course, you only need to do this if you want to get those bonuses.

  • Wait for helltides to happen and slash some enemies. Open the unofficial 3rd party website on the browser to check for mystery chest locations to ensure your ciders get the best reward.

  • If legion event shows up on the map, quickly get over there and join the event to slash some enemies. Likewise if the world boss event is around, get there and kill the world boss (world boss is too weak imo, or maybe the other players are too imba).

  • Lastly, use nightmare sigils to create nightmare dungeons. Nightmare dungeons are just like regular dungeons, except the monster will get some special affixes like what you see in Greater Rift in Diablo III. After finishing the dungeon, you get some XP to upgrade your glyph (glyph is a node that can be placed in the paragon board).

Now, why I say Diablo IV is boring?

To be specific, the end game of Diablo IV is boring. To be even more specific, the late end game (level 70 and above) is boring. I am not against how the game is designed or how it should be played, the game mechanics and whatnot are all fine by me TBH (I am not some pain in the ass who is hard to be pleased, lols). The problem with the end game is that it lacks the purpose of grinding. I am not a youtuber or streamer, I am just a regular Diablo fan who gets to play this game after work. Unfortunately, it only took me less than 10 days to ditch this game.

I started playing as a Sorcerer and run with the ice-shard build. I hate to admit, but this is by far the most popular and strongest build on the Internet for the Sorcerer class, and it seems that Blizzard dev team also expects players to play the build like this. It is quite satisfied to see enemies melting as you approach them, the build is so strong and you can even fight enemies that are 10 levels above your character level. You just need to be extra careful as the enemies can usually one hit and kill you instantly. And that is also one thing that I hate about, but I will accept it.

Typically, the end game starts after you have defeated the final boss. In Diablo IV, it is to defeat the Lilith boss. In order to get into World Tier 3 (where end game contents are available), you will also need to complete the capstone dungeon. The Curator boss is kind of difficult for me, and I have to grow some levels and grind for some items before I can kill him. That is the time I start socketing some gems and pay attentions on the dropped items (basically the higher the number the better).

After getting into WT3, I am already at level 50 which is the recommended level. At this point, what I do every day is the same - find enemies and kill enemies. Gears changing also happen quite frequently, as the item stats can grow pretty wildly. I am also starting to do some research on how to distribute skill/paragon points. Keep repeating the same procedure until I feel ready to fight Elias boss in the capstone dungeon for World Tier 4. It is quite tough for me, died so many times and that I decided to do some research on how to fight the boss, grind for a little while before facing him again. I was at level 60+ when I defeated him. Feels kind of ashamed to keep roaming in TW3 with a higher level than most of the other players, maybe that's also what forces me to do a better item gearing.

With that, I am entering WT4. All of the enemy's levels are so much higher than me (enemies 73+ vs me 60+). Ancestral item starts dropping, and I got the chance to upgrade my gears to Ancestral levels and re-evaluate item stats (see what I need more from one item to another, for example, getting cooldowns on the hat is a must, attack speed might be useful on gloves, etc.). The royal gem can also be crafted at level 70. My build is getting more mature and stronger - not only it is good for fighting crowds but also good for fighting single boss. The resource does not run out anymore, the character is getting so strong, both offensively and defensively.

At level 70-80, most of the items are already the temporary best one that I can find out there. It is very unlikely for me to find a piece of item that is worth replacing the current one. Most of the time it is just slightly better, which I feel meh to even consider the upgrade. I also play lots of nightmare dungeons just to increase the glyph rank. Also, the enemies in nightmare dungeon can be much higher level than me, so that I get more experiences when I kill them, hence leveling up faster.

I continued to play until I reached level 80 and decided to stop playing, simply because I wanted to see what's in the grand cache dropped from world boss (requires level 80 to unlock). After unpacking the cache, only one shitty sacred item dropped.

Now, I am at level 80. Other than melting the enemies with ice, I don't know what else I am supposed to do to enjoy playing the game. There is no particular thing that I need to do anymore, my gears are already top-notch and there are no particular items to get or things to work on to make my character even stronger (I can see how my current build is already approaching the ceiling). Other than reaching level 100 or fighting Uber Lilith, which I don't think I will go for (I am not that hardcore, all I want is to enjoy the game, not spending countless of hours just to be in the top stats), there is really nothing else that I can do to make me happy and willing to play the game, to say at least.

So, that goes with why I am quitting the game for now. You might say, there are 4 more other classes for you to try out, so maybe you can play for another month or so? No thanks, I don't see myself enjoying the game if I have to go through all these (exploring maps, do dungeons, etc.), and even if I finish all the characters, I will still get bored after all the things I want to do are accomplished. In fact, this reveals the sad and ugly truth, the end game is boring and not fun.

What makes Diablo a Diablo is its end game. Without a good and sustainable end game content, a classic game like Diablo will no longer be able to hold onto its audience. For me, Diablo II is still the best.

Is Diablo II really better than any of its successors? I don't know. Back in the day, I can literally play Diablo II for years, regardless how routinely it is to run the same runs over and over again, ex: mephisto runs, baal runs, etc. Even with the release of Diablo II Resurrected, I still manage to play all the characters with their signature builds, ex: BlizzSorc, Hammerdin, Javazon, Trapsin, Summoner, etc. Even though the game mechanic is so bad, ex: using separate mules to hold items, restarting the game just to repeat bosses, etc., its inconveniences didn't kill the game though. On the other hand, the itemization is so good that I get so mad excited when a super rare item dropped, or something that you have been wanting for a goddamn long time, and with that piece of new item, your entire play build is just completed. Remember the time when 'ber' rune drops and you create your first Enigma? Pepperidge farm remembers.

In Diablo II, you might be using a low level unique item with special attributes just to work with other items for your current build. You might be playing with half of the set items just to get the only bonuses you want. You might be doing runewords after you have collected all the required runes. How you play your character depends very much on the item gears that you equipped.

In Diablo IV, it is always the higher number the better. It makes no sense to keep using a level 10 gloves because the stats are lower but powerful in some sense. You just need to keep finding those items with the stats that you want but higher numbers, ex: reduce cooldowns, critical chance, +x% damage, etc. If an item has 5 attributes and 1 or 2 of them is useless, you can always spend some golds to reroll 1 attribute until you are satisfied. You can always add sockets by spending some gold as well, which makes items that originally come with sockets cheap and unworthy. You can always extract the legendary aspect (a special item attribute) from a trash-rolled legendary item, as one way to discard the legendary items other than selling for golds or salvaging them for materials. Basically what you do is pick up rare ancestral items hoping they roll with the best desired and highest stats, pick up legendary items so you can extract the legendary aspect only if the aspect is good or its value is higher, save them in stash in case you ever need it to apply the aspect onto another item. Sometimes, a unique legendary item might be useful for you, but it is not that rare or unique though.

If I am a new first time player, would I appreciate Diablo II (the Resurrected one, better graphics) more than Diablo IV? Set aside personal touch and nostalgia-sake, I really don't know which one I would choose. The itemization is really important, which makes Diablo II more stand out than Diablo IV, unless Diablo IV can also improve its itemization or come out with something even better, otherwise people are not going to keep spending their time playing this game.

Maybe it is the youtuber ruined the game? They took away the fun of exploring the game, or maybe it is just me. Am I simply too old for this $hit?

Anyway, here's some footage of me playing Diablo IV:

Fighting Ashava world boss in Diablo IV Beta
Stupid Butcher stucks bug
A quick run on Legion Event
Super quick and easy world boss killed
Quick run in nightmare dungeon with end game build

Updates 6/26/2023:

I know no one is going to read this post, but I just feel like there are lots of things that can be done and make the game fun again.

Here's the list for improvement (not in particular order):

  1. Introduce charms (Diablo II)
  2. Introduce set items (Diablo II)
  3. Introduce rune words (Diablo II)
  4. More unique items
  5. Smart/intelligent way to sort and search the inventory
  6. Make inventory as many page as possible, but comes with an increasing cost
  7. Make killing difficult bosses more meaningful with a higher chance of dropping rare items (not those useless legendary items)
  8. Variety of events (to name a few):
    a. Farm keys and open portal for Uber Bosses (Diablo II)
    b. Castle defense, probably bunch of players defending the strongholds
    c. Angels vs Demons (saw it somewhere in the D4 forum, where you can choose which side you would like to defend, sort of like DotA)
    d. Randomly spawned event to hunt down thousands of goblins (Diablo III)
    e. Survivor game, see who can stand the heat from hell till the end

I just realized most of the ideas are coming from Diablo II. I am not being creative here but honestly, Diablo II is a hell of game and I really appreciate the good work from Diablo II team!

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