As the early access period for Diablo 4 comes to an end, players have already delved into the game’s endgame systems, sparking debates among hardcore grinders. Although Diablo 4 has received generally positive reception, several pain points keep coming up in endgame discussions.
Class balance is always a bugbear in Diablo games, and Diablo 4 is no exception. With the first big patch rolling out tweaks for almost every class, every class is playable right now, although some seem to be pulling ahead. Meta builds are changing regularly as abilities are retuned and combos are discovered. Many players have asked Blizzard to reduce the cost to respec their character during the game’s launch phase, not just to make experimenting easier, but also to reduce the frustration caused by balance changes.
After the latest round of balance changes, resource-generating abilities have seen widespread criticism, with fans of several classes arguing that their resource-spending abilities are currently outstripping their generators by some margin, resulting in a lot of downtime in combat. As players learn the ropes and level up, this complaint will naturally die down, but there’s always a chance of a resource rebalance in the game’s early days.
The fiercest debates in Diablo 4’s endgame discussions are centered around level scaling, which ensures that enemies stay close to your power level. This keeps the challenge alive even when revisiting earlier content, but some players argue that it’s weakened Diablo 4’s sense of power and progression, and potentially undermined its tiered difficulty system. This system can also blur the line between what’s a Big Endgame Threat and what’s a Regular-Ass Skeleton. However, level scaling has a positive side effect, co-op scaling for players at different levels.
The endgame of Diablo 4 has too much intentional friction, laying into tiny inconveniences that add up and consume time. The game’s live service nature will likely be a net positive in terms of ironing out the endgame. However, sometimes it seems like some players want to do nothing but stand still in town and grind dungeons for six hours while they slurp down a milkshake. That doesn’t strike some players as any more fun than what is currently in the game.
When players level up and upgrade their gear, the world around them simultaneously levels up with them. The relative power of their character compared to the content always roughly stays the same. So what’s the point? Players farm gear to make it easier to farm more gear.
Diablo 4’s endgame systems have sparked debates among hardcore grinders. Although the game has received generally positive reception, several pain points keep coming up in endgame discussions. Players have argued about class balance, resource generation, level scaling, and itemization. However, Diablo is the ultimate loot treadmill and is just its latest incarnation. Players are only supposed to stay on the treadmill as long as they want. If and when they feel like they’ve had enough, they can stop and play something else. It feels ridiculous to say this so early on, but maybe come back when there’s new loot, like when a season starts. That’s the best way to enjoy any live service game in experience. And as Blizzard said, Diablo 4 isn’t “intended to be played forever.” The game’s technically not even out yet, so sleepless grinders aside, Diablo 4 is undoubtedly still a ways away from any sort of content drought. It’ll be interesting to see how early access impressions compare to the general population once the floodgate breaks on June 6.