Why ‘Diablo 4’ Isn’t As Addicting As Previously Predicted


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I've written before about my previous long-term addiction to Diablo 2 and Diablo 3, and it really affected the parts of my life that I played a lot. I fear I'm going to get sucked into the Diablo 4 vortex in an unhealthy way, and while I did feel that old attraction at launch, in the long run, I... don't feel that way.

To be clear, this is probably good for me, although there's a clear difference between "hooray, I'm not actually addicted to this" and "well, I really don't feel the need to log in at all", lately, I tend to the latter. When Diablo 4 first came out, I thought at the very least, I'd try to get all five classes to level 100 with a solid build, and take it for granted, even if I wasn't crazy about seasonal mods after that. But my interest started to wane considerably. Why? I think I can point to three main reasons.

1. Loot - First and foremost, I think this is the main problem with the game and grind. While I still have upgrades to do, looting in this game can be exhausting in a way. The thing is, while yes, you'll occasionally be looking for a unique (you can't target the farm) or an aspect (best found via Obol gamble), the actual moment-to-moment looting is just... a lot of reading.

Yes, read books. That's because the game makes some of the best loot in the Ancestors Rare games, they just don't have aspected legendary drops. But since you can do whatever you want with them, they're better than Legendary, as they have 50x the drop rate of Legendary. But it's annoying! If you don't read all the stats for each Ancestral Rare, you may lose the scroll. But it's just exhausting, and while the philosophy encourages loot variety, it's not fun in practice.

2. Load - I wrote a whole article about this earlier this week, but it's a real factor. Once you have a build set in Diablo IV, it's hard to think about changing it, or at least changing it often. Trying out a new build is a process that involves millions of gold coins and respects dozens of skill points and hundreds of paradigm points. The cost is not high, but the time? Absolutely.

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If I could switch back and forth between my Diablo 4 gear, skill trees, and paragon boards more easily, such as a necromancer bone build, blood build, and minion build, instead of sticking with bone spears at level 80, that would really make Gameplay has a new look. Yes, yes, "building an identity", but in the modern ARPG era, it's just one of those things that sounds good in theory but isn't very interesting in practice.

3. Competition - This isn't Diablo 4's fault, but it's still a factor. Diablo 4 has been one of the most competitive video games for at least a decade. I always thought my game time would be a battle between Destiny 2's live game and Diablo 4, in reality it's Tears of Kingdoms, Remnant 2 and now Baldur Door". Armored Core, StarCraft, and Spider-Man are in the works. I can't find the motivation to hit the "maximum course" goal when there are so many other things to play with. Again, Diablo is out of luck, but that's how it's been this year.

Then again, there's nothing wrong with Diablo IV not being completely addictive. In fact, it's good for me. I'm just a little surprised! Has the game changed, or have I changed? I'm not sure, but the reasons above are why I didn't play as I thought I would.