Yeah, I know...no official announcement has yet been made about Diablo 4 but I'm 99.999999% sure that the big red bad boy from the long-running series is definitely being primed for a comeback. The biggest question is when Blizzard will finally get around to telling the world officially...because they sure missed the boat at BlizzCon, didn't they? At any rate, here are a few things I'd like to see come the big day when we finally learn that Diablo 4 is on its way.
1. What happened to Leah?
So you may not like lore or may not even believe it exists in Diablo but I do and I've wondered for a long time what actually happened to Leah after the ending events in Diablo 3. I'm almost 100% positive that Leah will be back, but it's what form she'll take that's intriguing.
For those of you not up on the lore -- I mean, I'm pretty sure most people didn't pay attention dang it -- Leah's mother was Adria who had a fling with the Dark Wanderer / Adan. You may remember him as the guy who jammed Diablo's soulstone into his forehead. Being "infected", for lack of a better word, by the soulstone, when Adria had her affair with him, his DNA gift was to provide the baby, Leah, with a few demonic gifts of her own. At the end of Diablo 3, Leah has turned into Diablo with a distinctly female form. After killing her, roll credits, right? Welllll....maybe.
Cue Covetous Shen, the jewelcrafter in D3 who says of Leah:
Covetous Shen: Do you think that Leah is lost forever?
Player: Diablo consumed her. She is gone.
Covetous Shen: Do you not think Leah's soul is stronger than that? But, oh, but then sometimes I-I forget that you have not seen everything that I have seen.
Now...the real question, the real thing I'd like to see in Diablo 4 is how she comes back? Will her soul be strong enough to overcome Daddy's / Diablo's DNA? Or will she yield again, only more fully this time and become the true Prime Evil that she hinted at in D3?
2. Real PvP
I want my EARS back, dammit! For awhile there in Diablo 1, I had quite the collection going...
The Diablo series needs true PvP -- not PKs like the ones that infested Diablo 1 and 2. While PvP was present in a more organized way in Diablo 3 via its arena (up to 8 players can duke it out simultaneously), that can be expanded on in Diablo 4. Make it fun and crazy with larger-scale no-holds-barred fights. Let players team up in groups of 10-15 and fight for dominance against the other team similar to arena brawls in WoW. In short, the sky's the limit. The key is, however, to make it lucrative -- not in a full loot way though -- but perhaps with a special currency, leaderboards or even a fun, wild and crazy esports division of the game where mayhem rules the day.
Similarly, players should be allowed to toggle PvP mode on in their public games. Then like-minded individuals can spend hours hunting one another down across acts and levels and hidey holes throughout.
3. Real, actual content on an ongoing basis
This one's a no-brainer. The era of games coming out and releasing massive expansions years later is over. Make Diablo 4 an episodic experience with beefy DLC and content additions akin to those that are put out by its biggest competitor, Path of Exile. Players need new things to do -- new leagues, new gear to collect and...good God almighty...something better than Seasons. Offer up a season pass to fund the DLC that can also be purchased separately -- but make the price fair, something that Blizzard has struggled with over the years. Make some of the content additions free, some paid, some seasonal...you get the drift. There are a million and one fine examples of great content being dished out in tons of games. It's time for homeworks, Blizz.
Seasons were a great start but grew tiresome over the long haul. Iterate on the ideas where each season has unique armors, for instance, or weapons and tons of cosmetics or "glyph-like" effects. Blizzard can go crazy here. Each Season needs its own map too, perhaps something thematic. Players will come back for a unique, fun, new and novel experience. Coming back for an armor set you already have completing the same content you have for literally years is boring and needs work to bring back the excitement of the hunt.
4. More MMO-like elements like bigger co-op & shared lobbies
Bring some MMO into the world of Diablo by providing players ways to group up. I remember so well in Guild Wars 1 the large gathering places where players could meet up, find other players to group with or just hang out and chat in. Let Diablo 4 have spaces like this with shared vendors for spending currency earned in the New & Improved Seasons mentioned above. Put the crafting vendors that are unlocked during the single or cooperative game be placed in a shared space. Not only does a shared space give players a place to hang out and get a few things done, but it's a great way to show off that brand new cool set of armor or wicked glyph effect earned in the last season's play and much more.
5. New or returning classes
I know a lot of people would have loved to have seen both the Diablo 2 Druid and the Assassin make it into Diablo 3, but that hasn't and won't happen. Those two definitely need to make a return to the series. But what about some new classes? How about a Bard? How about a true healing class? Something shamanistic perhaps? At any rate, bring back the old to hang on to the legacy of the series, but bring in the new to attract new players too.
And while we're at it, what about the return of weird, yet useful, abilities like the Barbarian screaming at a corpse to get potions? Or the old Hammerdin build? Or maxing out magic find at the expense of defense or damage? Good times...good times...
Honorable Mention: More Lore
A series of Diablo comics was announced, but subsequently canceled, that centered on the origin of the Nephalem and that explores the cooperation between the Angels of Sanctuary as embodied by Inarius and the Demons through Lilith. How cool would it be to explore those events "real-time" in a game?
So there you have it: A short list of a few things that would be cool to see in Diablo 4. What ideas do you have for what you'd like to see? Just don't say....mobile.....