I think D4 isn't a Diablo game without a proper singleplayer alternative and that the open world of D4 should not be forcefully shared. Shared experience should be an option. Here are some of the main points and issues I have with it being forced:
I believe devs said that this wouldn't be a Diablo game without hardcore. There were more people who played solo than there were people who played hardcore (solo or not). Singleplayer (not offline) experience is a bigger part of Diablo than hardcore experience. It isn't a Diablo game without singleplayer experience.
Lack of proper (online) singleplayer mode goes against the overall "going back to the roots" idea which is one of their main selling points.
Makes no sense story-wise. The campaign is solo so why would we need help with some random world boss or world event after we soloed Duriel for example.
It's obviously and inherently immersion breaking. You have people arguing it's more realistic and makes sense that you're not the only one – wrong. That would be true if all those players were in-game characters. But they are players. They will behave like players in a video game. You're naive or you never played any multiplayer game in your life if you think this is in any way immersive. Should that be the reason to not have shared world? Of course not, but it is a very good reason to have solo mode as an option too.
In a series like Diablo that has strong story, worldbuilding and lore, the risk of running into all kinds if toxic or immersion breaking interactions is simply not worth it. It should be an option. Right now it is forced since the open world and all its activities are also shared. You will run into some toxic people sooner or later and if anyone ever played any mmo, you know it's sooner, not later. I don't want to hear any personal stories of making friends in vide games, it's irrelevant. Everyone had those moments. Everyone also had toxic interactions. There are positives and negatives, and different people like different things, some (like me) inherently dislike the idea if running into others in Diablo, and that's precisely why you should be the one who decides if you want to play completely alone, letting go of a possibility of meeting someone you might like, or to play with others and accepting the risk of inevitable toxicity which also by nature is immersion breaking for those who care about story/lore etc.
I want an option. Option to be able to play like I played in all previous Diablo games. If they're "going back to the roots" and they recognize that certain ways to enjoy the game, like hardcore, are a core element of Diablo then they have to include a proper, full (online) singleplayer experience. No one, even people who absolutely love multiplayer/mmos, can't possibly argue against giving people an option to choose how they want to play the game, especially when such an option does not harm anyone. No one is arguing to remove shared world, or that shared world is inherently bad. All I'm saying is: (online) Singleplayer is a big part of Diablo, forcing shared world onto everyone goes against the main selling point of D4, for many reasons not everyone will enjoy it, and thus – it should not be forced. Again – I'm not saying it shouldn't be in the game, I'm saying it should not be forced. There should be an option to play alone just like you could in all Diablo games, and to jump into the shared world experience whenever you choose to. You can't be reasonable and argue against having an option to do that especially considering the full context.
You know what will be impacted in a negative way if this core element of Diablo is in D4? Bobby's wallet. Because shared world incentivizes microtransactions, especially cosmetic ones. Because you can't ignore psychology. You're more likely to buy cosmetic mtx if you encounter other people, and you're more likely to want to gain an advantage (through other forms of mtx) if you encounter other people. And that's why I believe this is the only true reason the shared world is forced. Honestly devs saying that this one a day one decision is disturbing because that just shows a lack of care, consideration or understanding from the lead developers if they were actually the ones who made the decision, but honestly I think they weren't – to me it simply means it was forced by the corporate side of Activision Blizzard, because even if you love shared world and can't wait to play D4 you can't deny the issue of not having a singleplayer alternative. I love the idea of open world, I pretty much like all the evolution D4 shows, I even recognize that shared world is interesting for many people but it should never be forced, there's no reason for it to be forced, it should be an option.
There might be people who will say world bosses and stuff like that will not work if there is a solo mode. That's not true. You can literally just scale down their difficulty and if the overall playerbase thinks it would be unfair, you can also scale down the rewards so that it is "fair". Although imo rewards should be the same since when you're in the shared world your loot is still personal so you get the rewards for killing the boss even tho as one of many players you only took down like 5% of its health. But I'd rather have lower drop rates and be able to enjoy the game alone. Honestly I'd even rather not have access at all to world events and world bosses just to be able to opt-out of the shared world. You don't even need to change the game in any way, you can simply make world bosses and world events unavailable in solo mode and if I want to kill a world boss I'm forced to switch to shared mode for that one moment. That's still better than not having solo mode at all. We also see in the video materials available that there seems to be some sort of phasing (not sure how to call it), where people approach the world boss and you can see players from different instances appearing in that one specific place, and when the fight is over they all go back to their instances. Why not just have a solo mode where you are the only player in the world but when you approach those events and world bosses, that's when you have no choice and you see other people appear, but only then. There are many ways of doing this.
So that's how I feel about it. I don't want to argue with anyone if the shared world is good or not because that's subjective and that's not the point here, I just shared my option along with what I believe to be some objective issues with it being forced (not with the shared world itself, just with the fact that it is forced and there is no alternative). Obviously you'll have people who love it, people who don't care and people who hate it, just like with pretty much everything. The only thing I want is to point out that while the shared world can be amazing – it shouldn't be forced, and that singleplayer experience is a core element of Diablo, just like for example hardcore mode. I don't think any reasonable person or any Diablo fan would tell me that I'm wrong here and say "No! You shouldn't have that option, I like shared world and it should be forced onto everyone!". I think everyone who's reasonable can agree that regardless of our opinions and regardless of what we like/dislike, players should have that option.
Edit: Jeez, next time I think I'll skip all the reasoning and opinions and just ask "Wouldn't having a solo mode and shared mode be a good thing?"
Edit 2: Forgot about the fact that the campaign can be played entirely alone (still online) and it takes place in the open world of the game, so the solution seems to already be in the game. They can already separate your entire world into a private instance for the campaign. Why lock that functionality only to the campaign? It makes me think that what I'm asking for isn't as difficult to do as people think. And it certainly makes me think it wouldn't be more difficult than having a technology that can dynamically spread people around many instances and phase in/out people based on their location (like during world bosses).
- D4 should have an option to play alone. Shared experience in the open world should not be forced.
- Shared World should not be forced. (Private Mode)
- Focus on pvp made me lose a lot of hopes for D4.
More about DiabloPost: "D4 should let you opt out of shared experience." specifically for the game Diablo. Other useful information about this game:
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