We look at the open world of Diablo 4 with one laughing and one crying eye (image similar).
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Does Diablo 4 need an open world? No, it doesn’t need to. After all, its predecessors have proven that the monster and prey hunt also slides wonderfully in a linear level chain.
But Diablo 4 will get an open world – even more: a shared world in which we can run into other heroes almost everywhere.
The key question now is: does this open world actually make Diablo 4 better – or does it even harm the action role-playing game?
Micha – actually open-world affine, but in this case skeptical – discusses this in the podcast with two guests:
- With Fabiano, who, as a role-playing fan, finds the story much more important than collecting loot, for whom a monster-infested world damages the credibility of the Diablo universe.
- And with Mary, who knows monster-infested open worlds from online role-playing games à la Lost Ark and Final Fantasy 14 Online and says: It depends on the filling (and on toilet quests, but more on that in the podcast).
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Together we talk about the danger of the open world becoming an irrelevant backdrop through which we boredly gallop to get to the next loot collection point. However, we also have solutions on how Blizzard could avoid this – the Diablo lore is full of interesting stories that could be woven into the world. If necessary with the help of an old friend…
One advantage of the open world is the diverse side activities: instead of grinding one nephalem portal after the other as in Diablo 3, Diablo 4 should offer a wealth of wayside tasks – from side quests and dungeons to PvP skirmishes to the recently announced one Helltide or the Whispers of the Dead.
However, this will be a balancing challenge, especially since Blizzard is tripping up the Diablo gameplay here. Because action role-playing games are efficiency games. Quests that don’t yield enough loot leave fans in the dust, diversity or not.
That could also prevent more original gameplay ideas. What use is Blizzard, for example, to a particularly clever puzzle or a great story dungeon if the community ignores both because it’s easier to bag loot elsewhere?
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