Enjoyed FortimiD’s steampunk approach. No joke, when I encountered Uzrael for the first time I went all “wtf is Blizzard working on a Steampunk game?” on Twitter. That bazooka thingy was just too reminiscent of something a Thief
character would have to deal with.
Still, I don’t think Blizzard will abandon the mediaeval vibes inside the Diablo franchise. But a spin-off perhaps?
As this whole thread is pure speculation anyway, let me introduce Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer.
Obsidian / Atari had a similar problem with the chars being too powerful at the end of the original campaign. There’s just so many skeletons, ghouls and goblins to fight that are more of a challenge after you’ve managed to kill The Guardian and his Shadow Reavers. I.e., none.
Being an AD&D game, they could just have browsed higher level canon monsters – the original NWN2 went to Lv20, the expansion to Lv30 – but they did something akin to what Zabasaz suggested on page 1 already:
03/31/2014 03:34 AM
Posted by Zabasaz
Diablo tapes together the Worldstone and uses it to control the Nephalem, forcing them to engage in war with one another. You must resist the corrupting influence of Diablo and defeat him before he infuses himself with the power of the Worldstone.
In MotB your char got hit by a curse. He wakes up, weakened, then recuperates, just to learn that the curse is both blessing and, well, a curse: He needs to stay alive either by restraining himself (good path) or devouring spirits (eeevil). The latter makes his own spirit level drop even faster, so he needs to eat more to stay alive to finish the game, at which point everybody in the world including your companions just think you’re one twisted little bugger. But you gain much power, more easily.
If you restrain yourself once a day instead, you stay on the good path, people like you and grant you powerful buffs, and you can use spirit globes for accomplishing side quests. But you’re weaker by far and in the latter stages of the expansion have to struggle to survive even sleeping.
In the endgame, you fight yourself both literally and figuratively.
Now, I know MotB is a role playing game, not an ARPG. Nor is it Diablo, it’s AD&D. So I don’t know how well such an approach would work inside the framework of two decades DIII tries to be part of. But the end cinematics (for lack of a better word) hint strongly at a “choice” aspect to either a next expansion or a possible Diablo-4.
Out of how DIII has worked so far, though, I think it might be the “Redeem Leah” approach often mentioned in this thread. Add an anger-management Imperius as a decoy final boss, and it might work from the point of view of a Diablo game. We’ll have to fight six Great Evils sans
Diablo at the same time in the real finale. Cinematic, make the player sacrifice himself as (s)he realises so much power in one person will destroy the whole of creation eventually (perhaps urged on by ghostly Leah and Cain), and you’ll have a clean slate for Diablo 4. Cliffhanger being Diablo cackling at the futile sacrifice while rising from the ashes of both the six other Great Evils, and
the Nephalem. Or something.
Still, I would welcome more choice in how the story, and the game, evolve for each player. But then, as I said – this is an ARPG, or at least tries to be one.