Originally published at: https://www.alphagamer.net/index.php/2023/11/25/diablo-4-is-end-game-any-fun-episode-2/
Once level 100 is reached, a player enters the “End game” of Diablo 4. But what does that mean? For some level 100 is the end game goal, for others that is just when it all starts. For the latter group in Season 2 the goals can span from completing level 100 Nightmare Dungeons or to kill Uber Lilith.
At this point in my seasonal journey I am able to clear lvl 100 Nightmare Dungeons without much difficulty. Goal achieved, but what now? Running the same dungeon without any potential rewards that are worth the grind doesn’t sound very appealing.
At the time of writing of this blog post, the options in Season 2 regarding end game content are very limited. Two options are:
Farm for Uber uniques
Optimizing equipment and builds is a logical next step after hitting the max character level and one might even debate if this is really an end game activity. It spans from finding new armor, jewels or weapons but also includes leveling Glyphs and Vampiric Powers and is actually required if a player wants to do high level content. At first this goes fast and large steps forward are made however this soon ends up being a numbers game more than an ARPG. This numbers game becomes a thing when players can clear high level Nightmare Dungeons and solo farm bosses. Below you find an example of what this means.
Example: Replacing a Pant with a Cooldown Reduction affix from a 3.8 seconds to 4.4 seconds.
Currently the crafting and enchanting system is not robust enough to really allow the above to be done properly. Only 1 affix can be changed on an item and once an affix is changed the others are locked. You can keep enchanting that previously changed affix but the others can’t be changed. This means if you find an item with 2, well rolled, affixes but 2 that are terrible only 1 can be replaced.
This should really be changed. At this point players collect huge amounts of enchanting and crafting materials which are not put to good use. An option would be to have materials drop from bosses in high level (+lvl 90) Nightmare Dungeons that allow you to unlock another affix to be changed at the enchanter.
Another thing seen in current Diablo 4 end game is the diversity of unique items. At the point a player is able to chain clear +lvl 80 Nightmare Dungeons and is basically able to easily solo all bosses (except Uber Lilith) it becomes visible. Player stashes start to fill up with uniques quickly.
This is when the earlier mentioned Random Numbers Generator (RNG) numbers game becomes even more annoying. These are not rewards due to achieving difficult goals, these are random drops with random numbers on it. As an example, this basically means that you can run endless Grigoire kills to find a significant number of Howl from Below gloves, all with slightly different affix values.
Another point to highlight is the cosmetic part of the uniques. The cosmetic view of most items looks decent and the esthetic is “Okay”. It would be expected that once you find the class unique item this will make your character look great. For example, those who played World of Warcraft know how this worked with Epic or Legendary gear and that all other players would know what you did and where you got it. It was a status thing. Blizzard killed this in Diablo 4 as the above is only achieved by buying cosmetic skins through micro transactions from the in game shop (for real money).
The fact that the real high end of end game becomes a number game heavily driven by the RNG (luck of a good drop) aspect and the fact that there are no visibly “cool” rewards grinding through content over and over again is probably the biggest reason players step away from the game. Unless Blizzard fixes some of these things this will be the case each patch or new season.
Please let me know what you think by replying on this blog post.