The Queue: Queued for login edition
What a beautiful day for a Queue!
Why do you think D4 has become Blizzard’s biggest selling game ever?
I’m wondering if in part it’s because WoW is boring and exhausting it’s players with the endless grind. Also, I think it’s weird that Blizzard put back to back zones which seem to act as the sort of end-game zone we’ve come to expect but implemented in the middle of the xpac rather than it’s end.
I’m gonna agree with the rest of the Queue commenters and say I don’t think that Diablo 4’s tremendous success is a sign of WoW’s failure. Here’s why:
- These are games targeting very different audiences. WoW is pretty standard fantasy — it may go in different directions sometimes, but at the core it’s a standard fantasy game with standard fantasy races in a standard fantasy setting. Diablo has a gothic horror vibe (and some very M-rated content) with more action-oriented gameplay. I know a lot of our Battle.net friends list is in on Diablo right now… but not all of it. These are different games for different people.
- WoW is 18 years old. Yes, it’s had plenty of expansions over those years, but it’s still 18 years old, and an expansion pack doesn’t have the hype of a new game release. WoW expansions have a target audience of current and former WoW players, and while I’m certain Blizzard always hopes more people will want to join the game (and they’ve made it easier for newcomers), the core audience for expansion is mostly WoW players. That’s a relatively modest subset of gamers.
- I have my complaints about Dragonflight, but I honestly think WoW is less grindy than it’s been in a long time. They’ve done away with traditional reputations that lock rewards behind a long grind to Exalted, and now have a Renown system with 30 ranks, each with its own reward. Each rank costs the same and you can steadily advance through them just by playing the game. The Revival Catalyst (opening next week) lets you get tier gear even if you never set foot in a raid, and you don’t have to rely on RNG to give it to you. The new upgrade system lets you upgrade almost any gear you have, without forcing you to set foot in a raid. And though there’s always new stuff to do — you might eve say too much new stuff to do — very little of it is stuff you have to do to advance. Doing the Niffen weekly will get you crafting materials, but you don’t have to dig into the stories or the dailies or earn Renown if you don’t want to. A lot of activities are there for fun, if you like them, but are optional.
- Diablo 4 is just a damn good game. While WoW follows the same basic formula it always has, Diablo manages to feel like a Diablo game while simultaneously being a radical break from what Diablo games have been. It has the traditional Diablo gameplay loop of smash demons -> get loot -> smash more demons -> get more loot, but it’s added a substantial amount of story, with a massive main quest line and a world full of side quests. It’s packed with cinematic scenes, a massive environment that’s full of detail and encourages exploration, and tons of characters and side quests to expand on.
In the end, Diablo being good doesn’t mean WoW is bad. It’s just that Diablo is good.
Q4tQ Do you plan to (re)play FF7 Remake before Rebirth comes out?
I have never played a Final Fantasy game.
Are you playing alts in Diablo IV or sticking with one character? I would love to go barbarian-ing but I just got to Act II today with my sorc at level 34, and I know if I start an alt I’ll take forever to complete the campaign.
So far I’ve been sticking with one character. I’d like to finish up all the side quests to really see the story, and I’d like to unlock World Tier 4 to see what the end-game is like, so I’m staying focused. However, I’m already considering supplementing my current Necromancer with another Necromancer to play through the story again with a class I already know (though probably with a different skillset than I’ve been using on my current character). Or maybe a Druid. Or a Sorcerer? Well, there are only five classes so I can’t be too indecisive.
However, the game is extremely alt-friendly. Your gold and obols are shared across all of your characters. Your stash is shared across characters. The main rewards from Renown (extra talent points, potion slots) are shared across characters. Altars of Lilith you find unlock boosts for all characters. If you’ve played the game partway through and want to try something different, go for it. Even if you haven’t unlocked much, your new character will get a bit of a boost from what your previous character finished. Chase what makes you happy. The story will still be waiting for you.
Q4tQ What new game announced at Summer Game Fest today are you most interested in?
Honestly nothing really grabbed me this year. There was nothing on the list I’m gonna rush out and pre-order or be first in line to pick up on launch day. I’d say the most exciting thing for me was Alan Wake 2, but that’s an excitement level of maybe 4/10, and mostly because I’m intrigued by the two-character, two-perspective gameplay described, in which there are two main characters and you can play almost all of the game on either, or you can switch back and forth whenever you want. It sounds like a really interesting way to tell a story.
Spider-Man 2 also looks great, but it’s the type of game I think would make me crazy trying to play it. I’ll let other people do the playing, though I might watch folks stream it.
And that’s all I have for now, my friends. I hope you have a very excellent Friday and a good weekend to follow. Maybe I’ll run into you in Sanctuary? It’s always fun to have someone to fight against the tides of darkness with.
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