Diablo 3 is back! Well sort of – it never really leaves us at all – things just seem to wane and fall into a weird limbo state when a season is almost over. It’s an interesting thing – I always hear people talking about how they really enjoy playing Diablo for the first few weeks of the season – then it tapers off and it’s not heard of again until there’s a big patch or a new season begins. But what makes this game always pull people back? What makes people dive headlong into a character for a few weeks, then fall off the radar?
Is it the desire to get your character up to the maximum level and just get there like some kind of mountain climb? In a way – yes – this is certainly part of it. One of the great joys of playing Diablo – and indeed any true RPG – is that you’re always able to go one more… Whether it be another level, another rift, another item – there’s always a challenge around the corner, and naturally for most people this is such a driving force. That lust for completing the next goal is what makes us gamers, it is a binding force that a vast majority of gamers will feel. We tend to be people who are goal orientated and love a challenge – love the pursuit of something greater than what we currently are. Diablo 3 does a wonderful job of that – through a myriad of methods of keeping the player interested.
Perhaps what drives you to play is the need to get those fancy new items so that you can kit up your character. A common aspect of RPG games is the driving force and gluttony we all have to pick up something new and shiny. Diablo 3 and it’s predecessors do a wonderful job of always dropping that carrot in front of the player – and the latest Season of Diablo 3 has done it again. Not only are the seasonal items available once again with new and improved “shiny things”, but the crew at Blizzard have also thrown down yet another objective for players – the Cube of Kanai. A distant cousin of the once treasured Horadric Cube, the Cube of Kanai has great value as you can use it to extract legendary properties and it gets embedded into your character. I’m still only just starting to mess about with it – but it seems like it’s going to add a great layer of fun and customisation in Diablo.
Layer upon layer of customisation is another great drive of RPG games, and this not just something that spawns from items themselves. Different methods of playing a particular character, different ways of playing the game on a fundamental level itself and other things come together to customise each experience that we have when playing Diablo. No doubt the greed of trying to find the right item for your character tends to be a priority motive – but some people like to go deeper than this. Pulling out a specific coloured dye, or even using unusual skills can all make things personal and unique to the player themselves.
Of course no one can dismiss the passionate cry that emits when being surrounded by a bunch of enemies, and having your character fall in battle. The anger and craving for revenge is a common feeling – causing us to slap that “Respawn at Corpse” button with gusto, making us dash about to vanquish the foes who’d haphazardly knocked us down. This need to dispense justice is another great feeling that we can have when playing Diablo. On many occasions I have set the difficulty a bit high for where my character is at; and I’ll get slaughtered by a champion pack. Then comes the exhilarating challenge to try and cut down the heretics who’ve struck you down. Once again – that need and desire that we have to achieve a goal rears it’s head, pushing us down the rabbit hole futher.
There’s no doubt about it – the bubbling violence and explosive, colourful, almost whimsical nature of Diablo 3 is an enticing beast. The many layers of customisation and the ability to “be yourself” really pulls in a lot of players – and they’ll get caught up in the honeypot of the objectives, rifting, and levelling fun that is quite rapturous. But how long does it all last?
There are some players who enjoy all of this fun for a short time, levelling up and reaching their goals to say they were “there” in the particular season and they have a character. They may then move over to another RPG or MMORPG and continue on their experiences there. I know there are also a lot of players that also enjoy playing Diablo 3 as their main game, exclusively rolling through the rifts and greater rifts with glee. Regardless of the case you can bet your bottom dollar that many players return each new season to enjoy the fun and excitement that is Diablo.