If I just had the gameplay video to go on — I probably could’ve quite easily avoided the hype mobile for this one. It doesn’t look bad just nothing to get all bouncing-on-the-couch excited about either.

The 9-minute cinematic was also very cool — but in terms of a game hype… Well, it’s a cinematic.

Don’t get me wrong, the base-level of hype for a Diablo 4 was pretty high. But with it being so far out (not even ‘Blizzard Soon(tm)’ apparently) and it looking just like a minor iteration over current genre fare… Well, yanno… It was just kinda alright.

But then I came across some of the gameplay videos from Streamers, in particular I watched the near two-hours of Rhykker’s play and learnt more about what was intended and how things were shaping up. And then like it or not — the hype meter started to climb. I liked what I was seeing and hearing.

But not everyone will.

Apparently some people still get mad about not being able to play games offline. (What year is this? ;))

It seems a sorry is in order to those people though, as Diablo 4 is following Lost Ark down the path of becoming almost MMO-like in nature.

There will be areas of the map where you can run into other players outside your party. There will be shared events ala Guild Wars 2 or Rift. These events can include world-bosses (one of which was on display in the vertical slice playable at BlizzCon).

My hope, personally, is that they lean really heavily into these aspects. That they unashamedly copy from Lost Ark. Take the Cinematic Dungeons. Take the world bosses. Take the heavy end-game with extensive character progression.

I want it all. (♫ And I want it now. ♫)

But especially it it not coming any time soon (ETA 2021 in my mind) — it does leave me with a bit of a side question, too.

Path of Exile 4.0?

ExileCon is on this month — the 16th and 17th to be precise. At which we’re going to find out information on not one, but two expansions. The 3.9.0 expansion, or a ‘normal’ expansion. i.e., I would expect it bring a new league with a new gameplay mechanic similar to Delve, or the recent Blight tower defense.

That’s cool and all, I will often go back for a new league. So I’m curious what we’ll see for this.

But the big news will be what the 4.0.0 ‘Mega Expansion’ will include. The developers envisioned this as a significant update with proactively tackling Diablo 4 in mind.

Now that we’ve seen at least an idea of how Diablo 4 is shaping up and the path it has taken, I wonder whether the PoE devs still think so. Did they accurately predict the path? Will their answers be compelling in the face of this path?

And hell, with a 2020 release on the Path of Exile 4.0 patch, does it even matter? Typically the mega expansions jumping PoE up a full version number come every couple of years. It’s entirely possible they’ll have another shot with the 5.0 update to more directly tackle Diablo 4.

Similarly though, anything particularly great that PoE 4.0 brings to the table — Blizzard will likely have time to *cough* ‘borrow’ for Diablo 4.

Frankly, this sounds a great situation for ARPG consumers. Finally, a competition between ARPG titans that may push things forward. Lost Ark is fantastic, and it does appear that some aspects are being drawn in to Diablo 4 at least. But it isn’t going to act as a direct competitor in the Western market for some unknown number of years to come.

I would expect Diablo 4 to hit our harddrives before a Lost Ark western release.

I can’t wait for the day we have all three, though!


Sidebar from the main post: The weekend is closing in, and hopefully I’ll be able to actually play something in my list again.

This week has been nuts with work, I’ve been leaving quite late in order to work through a presentation for leadership early next week. Leaving late + a post every day has not been great for playing anything.

But! Preso was finished today yesterday, and it’s Friday tomorrow today, when this publishes. So soon my precious, soooooon. :)