Campaign: Final observations, and Appeal

Diablo is a bit special. One of the most iconic words in computer games history.
I know several people like your friend, more “RPG” than “ARPG” players, who will always play through a Diablo game’s campaign at least once, for a walk on memory lane. But would never touch PoE or other too technical ARPGs.
[Edit: it just occured to me that we are supposed to walk DOWN memory lane, not ON it. Shame on me.]
I believe Diablo 4 will sell more copies just to these casual “tourists” than the total number of players of PoE and LE put together.

The big question is, who is the target audience?
Releasing without a coherent story risks cutting off these casuals you mention.
But to be honest, targetting the hardcore ARPG players who just care about endgame and will come back season after season probably makes more sense in the long run, in financial terms.

That’s a good question. I haven’t followed D4 development closely but afaik you have an open world with other players in and even pvp. I don’t know if this changes if you are in a group or not but that rather mmoish design will most likely alienate a lot of diehard isometric hack and slay players.

That’s another thing people might be not happy with in D4 seeing a bazzillion of people actively doing the same quest as you and talking to the same npc about the same stuff should be the most imersion breaking thing for story players.

Then again Diablo is written over the product so most people will go the “Shut up and take my money!” route anyway.

I have played for the campaign. I do not enjoy endless grinding anymore where there is little connectivity or meaningful change in what I am experiencing.

Games like SWTOR set a benchmark for me. I like the story in LE and had hoped it would be more of a central focus for the developers leading toward an official release.

I am concerned the “Target Audience” for Diablo 4, will be anyone susceptible to addiction and gambling with an open wallet. I believe Corporate Gaming has had its hand in that, seen the massive available bounty and is now unwilling to turn from it regardless of the damage to creators, individual gamers and the “gaming world” (I don’t mean the gambling world).

I applaud the Devs of LE for taking the course they are, and being considerate in how MTX mixes with the game.

An opinion on “beta” vs “released”. In the world of professional design and engineering, milestones matter; Payment, implementation, legal boundaries… and lots more.

Being “in beta” is largely an innocuous statement in today’s market of “early access” and to me is more about a funding model that uses a high number of small (and small control) investors, instead of large Capital investors who can get a hook into you if you produce a turd and try to run off. Extracting maximum early (broad) financial support from a group of investors who won’t have the same say as large scale corporate investors. It’s a great strategy to get a LOT of money, deliver on your terms without significant accountability, and get away at the end with a chunk of it.

In some instances “Beta” is an excuse to not have a marketable standard that meets expectations, or a thin protection against those who call your product inadequate (not just a gaming thing).

What does the gamer get?
For me as a consumer, it means I am a small time investor with total loss potential on promised product not financial return, and depending on when I enter the arrangement and the product I may actually have a lot of quality (fun!!!) I gain along the way (LE is a good example of this. Star Citizen in many ways is becoming this… though many arguments about scale of $ etc are very fair!).

Undoubtedly, I suspect they can’t help themselves and are addicted to it as much as (some of) the players.