Journal

Diablo Season 4: Day 2


The changes made for Season 4 continue to impress me. The blood gem vendor is slightly relevant, ever so slightly. This is a huge step up from their previous complete uselessness. Next the enchantress has become much more forgiving in terms of what resources she requires to reroll things. It’s not a walk in the park, you still need a lot of gold, but the game will deliver if you put in the time.

This is what I’m liking about this experience. The flow of gameplay is pretty slick. You do things, go back to your home, and upgrade. I know folks look at a game like this and, on occasion, lambast them for being “too simple” or some pseudo psychology term. Like “a classical conditioning skinner box.” Which, yes, technically it is. But so is basically every other game. Your entire life is full of skinner boxes. That’s how biology works, animals are experiencing this madness all the time. The backbone to religion itself is fed by it. We give meaning to randomness and grave the delivery of good things through it.

Predictable things are less enticing because in their predictability we see the time required. Sure, you might for certain get a huge return on your investment in 30 years, but you must also admit that you must wait 30 years. 30 years closer to death, 30 years of decreasing health, and 30 years of missed opportunities. People like random delivery because it suggests that they might get the glory now. They might feel that touch of joy before death grips tightly around their throats.

Appropriate then that the expansion to Diablo 3 has you defeating death itself. All the while getting random rewards from risk and persistence. I am certain it isn’t for everyone but I don’t know how much I can knock it for being a “skinner box”. There are very few experiences that people treasure that are not largely random. I’m sure a reader could name quite a few, but when compared to the vast expanse of chaos all around us it is still a drop in the bucket.

Fun time, still a zen garden with zombies and demons.