One of the problems with the current “everything is a live service” model in the gaming industry is that there are too many games to keep up with quickly. One of my fears is when trying to juggle two major games right now, Destiny 2 and Diablo 4, both live services, and the big standalone releases from this year, Jedi Survivor, Tears of the Kingdom, and Final Fantasy. It’s always about breaking your brain. XVI, Starfield, etc. In order for this to work, I already had to drop other games in progress and leave many titles unfinished.
Luckily, Diablo feels like the rare game that hits every season…it’s actually not that bad. From conversations with the devs and everything they’ve said publicly, this feels like a seasonal model that you can run at your own pace and comfortably finish before it expires.
Last week, I spoke with Director Joe Shelley, and he emphasized to me that completing the Rank 100 Battle Pass doesn’t give you anything. close Forcing a player to reach level 100 on a seasonal character could easily require over 100 hours of gameplay on its own. He said that the goal of the live team was that people could get involved if they wanted to, but they also wanted to design a system that would allow people who could only play a few hours a week due to their schedules to comfortably play to the end3. The battle passes by the end of the month-long season.
In Season 1, the basic story is going to be pretty short. Diablo has stated that upcoming seasons will be expanded a bit more, but at least as far as Malignant Seasons go, the first storyline will be largely centered around nurturing malignant hearts and connecting them to gear with bonus powers. It is intended to provide background to the underlying mechanism. But the actual story isn’t time gated, so you don’t have to come back every week to play or hone certain things to unlock new story beats.
The purpose of Seasons is to have fun leveling up new characters while using unique seasonal mechanics not present in the base game. I know some people will be disappointed that they can’t use existing characters (I’ve done this many times), but basically the goal is for everyone to start on the same playing field. Then you can try out classes and classes. A build I never tried.
The great advantage of a season of Diablo 4 is that you are not. lose The character of your season that has been polished at the end. So, if you’ve completed the battle pass and fully understand the core mechanics, you can just stop. If you want to return to that character in the future, or keep leveling up after the season ends, you can do so in the realm of eternity. The time you invest gives lasting results.
All of this is reflected in the idea that the Diablo 4 team doesn’t particularly care about endless engagement the way other live games do. In a recent developer livestream, Diablo’s Joe Piepiora said widely that it’s okay to pause or take a break from the game and come back later when there’s something new you want to play. I mentioned the widespread quote.
“When you’ve hit all your goals and done what you think is really important and want to take a break to do something else for a little while, that’s fine. We do the same thing.” said. “When the season ends and something new comes out, it’s the perfect time to come back, especially for those who had fun playing before. That’s when you come back and feel fresh and play Diablo 4. Please check out.”
It’s… exhilarating because it’s a break from the never-ending treadmill that always feels laggy in other live games. Yes, I’m talking about Destiny, but I’m also talking about Genshin Impact, The Division, and various similarly organized games. I can’t wait to see how it changes in Diablo 4.