Diablo 3’s 13th season begins on February 23, and it’s completely predictable

    
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You've seen this before.

Diablo III’s 13th season is kicking off next week. If you’re hoping for something revolutionary and thrilling for lucky number 13, this… isn’t that. In fact, the dev blog previewing the season actually uses the word “traditional.” But hey, if you like comfortable predictability, you’ll be pleased as punch.

Participants in the seasonal run will pick up more pieces of the Conqueror’s set (helm and shoulders), new Imperius portraits, and a new teddy bear pet (covered in blood, thus reducing its cute factor). Folks without four stashes can work toward an extra, and currency toward class sets is also on order.

“Speaking of Conquests, we’re rotating those, too! Love going fast? Sprinter and Speed Racer will be making a return. Enjoy testing your mettle in Greater Rifts? Divinity and Lionhearted are also coming back. If you’d rather max out your kill count with Cursed Chests, Curses! and Stars Align will be right up your alley. Those who enjoy seeing how far they can go without Set Items will get a kick out of The Thrill and Super Human. Finally, if you’re keen to show off your mastery of Set Dungeons, Masters of the Universe and Masters of Sets will be available once more.”

The season launches on Friday, February 23rd, at 8 p.m. EST.

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Yaner

Too busy working on Overwatch to give a crap about Diablo anymore. It’s a shame Diablo gets treated so poorly seeing as Diablo 1 and 2 are two of the most critically acclaimed games of the genre, hell they invented the genre for Pete’s sake. Compared to the old two, Diablo 3 was a disappointment. Here’s to hoping Diablo 4 goes back to its roots, if we ever get a Diablo 4 that is.

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Ting

People still play this game? Last I saw it was full of bots and cheaters.

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Sleepy

I see Blizzard are still firm adherents of the “shoulderpad size as indicator of progression” school of armour design.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

There’s a long thread on the forums starting with a request for other posters to “prove” D3 is in maintenance mode. I guess it’s “pictures or it didn’t happen”.

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Michael

They should just be redirected to the blog post where Blizzard themselves say that there is nothing new in this season…or the last season…..or the season before that…

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Jack Pipsam

Better than nothing I guess?
Oh Blizzard.

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angrakhan

Yah I just recently finished a GR70 to unlock primals and had one drop. In my opinion I’ve ‘won’ the game. Sure I don’t have a full set of primals or anything but it’s just a matter of grind at this point, and frankly I have better things to do with the amount of time that would take.

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Michael

You quickly realize in Diablo 3 that grinding 90+ GR with Primal Ancient set gear or whatever they are calling it at this point, is the same as doing GR like…25 or w/e with Normal set items. Progression just for the sake of raising numbers is not fun after a while. Progression in terms of ways you can improve your character’s combat potential through new mechanics, is quite a bit more engaging.

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Arktouros

Yea the predictability got old a long time ago.

Path of Exile ain’t that much better game, and in many ways it’s worse, but at least they’re doing something with their game.

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

Curious, in what ways is it worse? I’m surprised to hear that opinion.

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Dug From The Earth

I would have chosen the word “different”

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Arktouros

Rather than go through each thing, I’ll just point out my two major complaints.

First, map sustainability end game is pretty shitty. If I wanna push maps I have to acquire the maps, but the map drop system is largely random (I am aware of the rules of how maps can/do drop). Getting T6 maps to drop when you’re running T12s for example is just a shitty feeling. I couldn’t do Shaper last season not from a last of character ability but simply because I couldn’t get the maps to drop. That kind of RNG progression is infuriating. Last season I ran a particular T10 map over 20 times trying to get the T11 connected map to drop and it never did for example. D3 by comparison I can just push progression at my own pace and am not gated by arbitrary mechanics or RNG drops.

Second, the way to overcome that is to trade (presuming you’re not SSF) but simultaneously they recognize the issue that trading causes on the game (they had a whole blog on it) and have sort of vowed to make trading easier. This has given rise to numerous scammers, price fixers, and otherwise that just generally make the whole trading process cumbersome and frustrating without those kinds of quality of life fixes. So you have a situation where they don’t want to improve something they recognize as bad for the game but also don’t want to remove it. Here again I gotta give it to D3 where they recognized the AH was strangling their game and instead went with a Group, Group Found (GGF) to use POE’s terminology and in turn redesigned their loot drops to accommodate that system.

But at least POE is actively developing for their game I mean how else are they going to justify pushing out them gamble crates with numerous duplicate cosmetics?

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yoh_sl

You know you can combine lower tier maps into higher tier maps right?
I think it’s like 3-4 of the same map creates one of the next tier up in a particular order.
https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Map

It’s not entirely random, and since the Atlas of Worlds, you can increase your drop rates quite a bit. You shouldn’t be getting stuck if you use the tools available.
Such as trade.

Speaking of which, it is cumbersome on purpose, and it isn’t for everyone.
From what I understand that trade changes will be slowly rolled out, and we are still in the middle of them.
It’s certainly easier to trade now then it once was, but there is still room for improvement.

At least with this game that improvement will eventually happen, GGG don’t rest on their laurels.

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Arktouros

Once again, I’m well aware of the map system and how it works. If you use this link and look towards the bottom there are portions of the map that have multiple splits. For example Tower leads to both Precinct (10) and Shipyard (10) and Estuary (9) leads to Shipyard (10) and Arachnid Tomb (10). So that’s 3 tier 10 maps connected to 2 tier 9 maps so no upgrade is possible for a chain there.

Furthermore while I appreciate your “advice” let me educate on how the map drop system actually works with Atlas of Worlds. When a map drops it’s tier is determined. So lets say you kill something and it determines you will get a tier 6. Now lets say you have 105/158 on the map. You have a 5% chance it’ll become a tier 8, and then 100% chance if that fails to become a tier 7. However this doesn’t reduce your chance of getting lower tier maps even if you are running higher level maps. There were numerous times last season where I’d run out of Red tier and be stuck back down in Yellow due to lack of map drops.

If you also read their Trade Manifesto straight from Chris Wilson he goes into great detail as to why they don’t want to make trading easy in POE which is why they refuse to implement quality of life features for it. This is from November of 2017. You can make the argument that difficult trade makes it not for everyone but the simple reality is it when your end game progression is reliant on RNG mechanics (because who says you’re even going to get 3 of the same map to combine in the first place with over 100 maps?) to the point the only way to overcome them is trading then that becomes something for everyone (or at very least anyone who doesn’t want significantly slower progression).

Once again, my positions aren’t based on ignorance. There’s a clear difference in design direction where D3 is focused on establishing a strong and good experience regardless how you play the game where as POE uses the rationale that because players can do something then they will balance the game around that fact in turn enforcing that’s the only reasonable way to play the game.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Since D3 has nothing but end-game content, a very ritualistic grind, that is rife with the RNG you bemoan, it’s hard to call this a “good” experience. It’s an arcade shooter with loot. Plain and simple. You either enjoy the bashing or you don’t. When you get tired of it, you do something else. That’s the sum total of the D3 “experience”.

I’ve never gotten to end-game with PoE. Okay, I have completed all the acts and I’ve done a few maps, which I found completely uninteresting, but I’ve never capped. The Atlas does nothing for me. What I care about and the reason I play PoE is that there’s a lot of game there before end-game. I like screwing around with different builds and I enjoy the leagues for the most part. And I enjoy the loot scrabble.

If you only play end-game in both games, they are exactly the same. Grind maps/rifts. The difference is that PoE gives you a structure (the Atlas) to give meaning to your grind; whereas D3 gives you jack.

It just seems that the experience of end-game in both would be the same, were it not for the Atlas giving you goals for each of your grind runs. If D3 had a comparable structure you were trying to complete (with its current RNG unchanged), you would likely have the same opinion of D3.

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Michael

Few other things you can do in end game: Uber Lab, League goals, stuff from leagues like the zones you can specifically do from drops, Shaper, Azriti, Dailies, building up your hideout

There is much more to do then Diablo 3 end game for sure. You are right though, Diablo 3 is only end game. Path of Exile just has so much more depth to the leveling experience. Diablo 3 is basically the most casual you can get when it comes to an ARPG with very little scope beyond taking a few hours to cap and grinding rifts. Oh yeah, while you are leveling, you are also just grinding rifts. Grinding rifts forever is Diablo 3 at this point.

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Arktouros

All of those things have their own issues. Lab is designed for certain character types. League Goals usually need to be bought. Shaper you need to buy maps to get to. Building up your hideout requires dailies which again require a dailies group if you want to max out in a league (Zana).

This is all again because GGG thinks, “Oh well players can just group up and share Daily rewards so therefore we’ll keep that amount high.” even though solo Zana would take more days than there are in a league to max out. The whole game is rife with design decisions like that where the game is balanced around what players can do in their game rather than what is a good experience in the game.

As to your last point, I said the same in my very first post here:

but at least they’re doing something with their game.

There’s no additional depth to the leveling experience. It’s literally walking through acts as fast as reasonable in a few hours. If people could grind maps from level 1 they would, easily, but instead people are forced to run through acts they have dozens of times to the point it’s all predictable. Then it’s all about that end game grind as well. Again, the only thing POE has over D3 is they’re at least updating and adding new content to do in the game.

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Arktouros

They have basically eliminated the end game RNG in D3 by making certain things drop always on higher difficulties. For example a long time ago getting GRift keys was a huge RNG grind but no more. Same with Ubers (oh I despised that uber grind). While fishing for maps with the right mob types or density can be a thing it’s something you can do over and over with few limits.

The rest…well…it’s honestly hard to take criticism about a game aspect from a person who openly admits upfront they haven’t experienced it. There’s just as much structure in the Atlas as there is structure in GRift levels. The concept of pushing up to a tier of difficulty you’re capable of doing is similar. The difference is one lets you push freely, the other gates your progress by RNG Drops and then forces you to partake in a subpar trade system that they refuse to improve. I mean imagine you were level 60 in a MMO and you go to run a dungeon for your level and you instead you can only go run level 40 dungeons because that’s all the game gives you access to.

I don’t have an issue with the end game content. My issues here, plainly repeated, are that D3 never expands upon the end game content they do have and POE’s end game is gated behind RNG walls that can only be overcome by half supported systems they refuse to improve.

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Michael

The main issue with the way loot works in Diablo 3 is that it is too easy to get to the point where you are “done”. You basically get max level in a few hours, then in a few days you have your full set. There is no spec, you just pick your skills based on the set and go. This means there is 0 reason to have multiple characters of the same class, which eliminates replay value pretty quickly….especially when most classes have only a handful of viable builds that let you get to high GR tiers. Most seasons it is 1-2 builds. This generally means that most people get to the point of being “done” with a season in a week as there is no goal at that point other then just get higher GR.

PoE on the other hand, has multiple end game paths to take and tons of builds to go through as they don’t have sets to restrict build diversity. This allows there to be dozens of builds for each class that can tackle end game and hundreds more if you are focused on specific end game goals. This means there is loads of replay value, even within a season.

PoE also introduces new gameplay elements each season as well as new content. This means that the replay value is even higher. There is no reason whatsoever to play a new Diablo 3 season once you have acquired your seasonal set and played each class a couple of times. (Which can take you 2 seasons max if you play the game a lot)

I think Diablo 3 is a game for casual players and PoE is more about the hardcore crowd that likes more character customization. Diablo 3 does have a little better gameplay, but the replay value of the gameplay is what really matters more then the gameplay itself. It is not like PoE has bad gameplay or anything, I just think Diablo’s is slightly more fluid and impactful. (Obviously being it is made by Blizzard) I think ultimately they are VERY different games and cater to different crowds of players. The biggest thing that I think just makes PoE flat out better is the lack of content in Diablo 3.

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Arktouros

The Wardrobe system certainly eliminated having multiple characters of the same class because now you can swap all your stats and gear via a handy wardrobe rather than have to reroll 3-4 characters one for each set or build (IE: zDPS build, Solo Build, Speed Farmer, etc).

POE certainly has many builds but not all of them are end game viable. Some characters are better boss kills which make them superior for Shaper and the like while other builds are amazing for map clear which makes them extremely strong early league. I see this as no different from D3 where I might run a Speed Farmer build early on for mats then a zDPS character for grouping to farm Paragon levels then my solo character for Grift pushing. The difference being is rather than have to replay content over and over and over (cause LOL Orb of Regrets) I can just do it once and use a Wardrobe to swap gear/abilities.

The rest of what you say is already why I said what POE has over D3. D3 does nothing with their game. They rolled out Reaper of Souls. Patched in a Necro. Left everything else the same as its’ been since seasons started. It’s stagnated as a game, where as POE has not only expanded upon new content but also revised old content as well. So while there’s certainly more and will be more to do in POE, I still think D3 is the superior game for the content it does have and would play it more if they released more content.

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Michael

You are entitled to your opinion about PoE and Diablo 3, but personally I think PoE is a better game. The main reason I love PoE so much more then Diablo 3 is also because they actually come out with new content reliably. Diablo 3 has barely had any new content since the RoS expansion and is basically in maintenance mode at this point.

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Arktouros

Yes, hence the whole:

at least they’re doing something with their game.

part of my post.

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Indigo Salma

I really hope they are working on a new game….

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Michael

Pretty sure they are. Diablo 3 hardly gets anything update wise at this point. The hiring they are doing for an unannounced Diablo project seems to imply that it will likely get a sequel of some sort in the future.

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yoh_sl

Meanwhile in Path of Exile, were getting Pokemon.