Diablo 4 has been well-received by fans and critics alike so far, although the game has yet to come out in its entirety, and the fact that Blizzard is transparent about the development process and the team’s goals is making a big difference. One of the biggest concerns coming from Diablo Immortal was that Diablo 4 would have in-game purchases that weren’t limited to cosmetics but offered ways to gamble money away or purchase power increments, but the team was very clear that this won’t be the case, not even with the season pass. Diablo 4‘s betas have also offered players a way to check out the game before launch, and Blizzard has been quietly considering feedback in many areas.
An example comes from the many Diablo 4 class balance changes in the recent Server Slam beta, with further adjustments being made in the middle of it to buff the Necromancer’s minions. As such, it’s likely that Blizzard will keep on making the necessary changes to the game even after its launch, but there are things that Diablo 4 is deliberately missing, and it feels like it’s shooting itself in the foot for not having at least two of those features ready when it releases.
Diablo 4’s Missing Quality-of-Life Features Could Have Taken it to the Next Level
The map overlay in action RPGs is something that the Diablo series is very familiar with, and it was largely successful too simply because players prefer having a clear way to check the map that is not clicking on the same button over and over, periodically closing it after a few seconds. Games like Path of Exile found success with it for the same reasons, as players can even customize its opacity and possibly icons that appear on it. Diablo 4 could have included a map overlay too, but Blizzard was against it.
The main reason for this was that it ruins immersion in the game, and while that might be true to a degree, players still need to look at the map from time to time to check where they are going, and having it pop up in a separate screen does pretty much the same thing. Diablo 4‘s minimap is actually a very good one that can also be used by players to highlight the quickest path to a specific destination, removing the need to check the full-scale map, but it’s not something that will be feasible at all times.
Furthermore, Diablo 4‘s classes all share the same health pool, with only the resource pool differing in color, name, and how it is spent and refilled, but they are only visible on both sides of the skill bar. This can be problematic for a specific reason, which is something that many ARPGs before Diablo 4 have struggled with, and it is that players would often rather keep their eyes on the character and the surrounding enemies. What follows is that having a small health and resource bar on top of the character model could be beneficial in making the gameplay feel smoother.
Probably for the same reason, Blizzard is seemingly not going to include something like this in the game due to how immersion-breaking it could be. Yet, these are both massive quality-of-life features that would dramatically improve the experience of those slaying Diablo 4‘s powerful bosses and uncovering Lilith’s plans. Not having them on launch doesn’t mean they will never find their way into the game, but it would feel like a misstep after what has otherwise been a great pre-launch experience for Diablo 4 thanks to its current model and its three betas.
Diablo 4 is available on PC, PlayStation 4 and 5, and Xbox One and Series X/S.
MORE: Diablo 4’s Necromancer Shouldn’t Keep its Skeletons in the Closet on Launch
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