Diablo 4’s World Tier 4 Experience Feels Like It’s Missing Significant Pieces of Content
I actually enjoyed Diablo 4‘s campaign content. It wasn’t perfect, but the story was interesting, and reaching each new level from 1-50 typically felt pretty significant. Once you unlock World Tier 3 after beating the campaign (or reaching level 50-ish), you’ll also unlock new content such as Helltide events, Nightmare Dungeons, fresh gear, and Paragon points. Again, those systems aren’t perfect, but they do feel fresh when you unlock/uncover them.
However, from about level 70 to 100, Diablo 4 feels shockingly uninspired. The game’s final difficulty level (World Tier 4) has very little to offer besides tougher monsters, a few new pieces of gear, and an XP buff. Much of the core content (dungeons, Helltide areas, etc.) remain pretty much the same as they ever were. Even if some of that new loot was more exciting (which, as noted above, it typically isn’t), you’d still be left running most of the same basic content during what is already the “slowest” leveling part of the game.
Some will argue that reaching this part of the Diablo 4 experience means that you’ve already gotten dozens of hours of entertainment out of the game, which is typically an impressive metric in terms of entertainment value. That’s certainly true. However, that World Tier 4 content is still part of the game, and right now, it simply doesn’t have anything most substantial to offer than the feeling that your desire to continue playing the game at that point is being exploited.
Diablo 4’s Shared World/MMO Elements Might As Well Not Exist At This Point
Some weren’t happy to learn that Diablo 4 would support the kind of shared-world gameplay elements typically seen outside of MMOs. However, I actually think that things like World Bosses and being able to participate in certain events with other players actually enhances the core Diablo experience. The problem is that Diablo 4 doesn’t do nearly enough with that aspect of the game.
This is a problem of both quantity and quality of the shared world content. Remove the “thrill” of seeing other players out in the world or in towns, and you’ll soon realize that Diablo 4‘s shared world doesn’t offer much for you to actually share unless you form a party with friends. A few World Boss fights a day, some events that can typically be cleared just as easily by yourself, and…well, that’s about it. At the moment, the most significant piece of shared content in Diablo 4 are the “Helltide Events,” and those only feel significant because they organically encourage players to share a relatively small part of the map for a brief period of time. Even then, you can fairly easily complete them without ever having to interact with anyone.
That seems to be the fundamental problem with this entire system. On some level, it feels like the Diablo 4 team is worried about emphasizing this aspect of the game out of fear that it will alienate those who do not wish to participate in it. I understand that fear, but much like the game’s World Tier 4 content (or lack thereof), it results in a theoretically large part of the intended experience that simply has so little to offer for those who are interested in it.