Friday, June 9, 2023

I'm not sure yet if I want to play the never-ending game of Diablo 4 even if it looks spectacular.

I'm debating trying out Blizzard's new Diablo 4 game that became widely available this week. I've been watching my roommate play it, and the one thing that struck me about this game that I distinctly don't like is that it is endless. That being said, I have liked previous installations of Diablo. And this game does look satisfying to play. I just don't know if I want to get into something that literally has no end and is designed to be played forever. I'm sure there are plenty of you out there that know what I mean.

In a different era of my life, I think I craved things that were really good and never ended. Endings always seemed sad to me. It was like there was this little voice inside that cried out, "Why does it have to end?" I think I felt this way about zombie stories that I liked until I started watching The Walking Dead and nine seasons in I threw in the towel saying, "This thing has no ending." 

So, it turns out, I do have a limit as to how much I want to consume. I suppose I could also take this approach with Diablo 4. But the thing is, it's a bit different with a game. It's harder to walk away from a game when you are "mid game" even if "mid game" was always where you were at with that thing. I played World of Warcraft for many years, throwing hundreds if not thousands of hours of my time at it. I have a lot of memories and dreams of those games. But I also see it as a distraction from growing old and keeping track of things in the real world that might sneak up on you and bite you where you don't want to be bitten.

Endless games are a phenomenon of the modern world. It used to be that companies that had endless monthly subscriptions were called "utilities." You signed up for phone service from a company like AT&T, and it was overseen by the Public Utilities Commission. In order to raise their rates, the company had to go and request a rate raise. And the public utilities commission would determine if this was warranted or not. But under this kind of subscription service, and because every citizen needed a utility, what you ended up with were enormous monopolies with incredibly deep pockets that could overpower everything unless you broke them up. That constant and ongoing subscription was the golden standard, and very few companies could replicate it. If you came out with a movie, well you went and bought a movie ticket. But the company that made the movie would generally need to make another movie to get you to buy another movie ticket. 

Now, it seems, everything is a recurring charge. There are never-ending games to keep you subscribed and paying for things. There are microtransactions. There are streaming companies that charge a monthly rate. There are subscription food services, and there are even subscription car wash things now. It's all meant to keep a thing, which previously was a "one timer" from never ending. And I actually hate this world of never ending charges and never ending things. But, I'm a minority in this I think. Most people, especially the ones I interact with, once they find something that feels good...they will hit that thing over and over until it is literally broken. It's like they don't have any restraint. And it's weird. Or maybe I'm weird because I can stop hitting the thing and walk away. I don't know yet. But something is broken there and doesn't make sense to me.

Maybe never-ending is good. Do any of you have an opinion on this? And what do you think? Should I play Diablo 4 even if it is never-ending? It could be fun for a while. I just might, but I gotta think on it some more.


  1. Give it a few weeks. I've been trying to play the past couple nights and of course, the idiots underestimated how many people would be playing the game and their servers can't handle the traffic. I spend more time in the queue waiting to get into the game than playing it. (When I do get in, it is really great though!)

  2. A lot of the early Atari games either had no ending or an ending that was so far away it would be almost impossible to beat it. In which case it'd be fun to play for a little while but eventually it gets boring and I'd move on to something else. I don't think most phone games really have an ending; again it's just when I get bored or tired of them trying to extort money from me.

  3. I don't know if I'd want a game that never ended. Although, at some point you'll probably lose interest. I'd say hold out for a bit. See if the people who are really into it right now are still into it in a month or so and then decide if you want to jump in.


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