A few names of import have been moved from the D3 team. The game is over 4 years old. A mysterious Diablo related project is hiring staff. Season six is stuck in near the same meta as season five of one dps and three support with that meta no end in sight.
This means the game is in a rut and needs a change on a fundamental level that would have not been considered in the past and that change is to finally allow solo play to advance in ways it has never been allowed before.
Why subject the D3 players to hit the same walls over and over by forcing them to reconstruct the same old group meta time and time again in order to advance? Why not free players to do what the franchise used to do and allow players no limits in solo play? What does no limits on solo play mean?
The game needs to break the barriers that force players to stay in the meta in order to advance in progression and I mean specifically gem leveling. What keeps one player down with relatively the same gear as another player is mainly gem levels. Why continue to force people who want to play the game mainly as a solo player to go into the busted meta group system when the game is looking like into is going into maintenance mode from the business perspective? Group play has pushed the game past the goal of the GR100 barrier and beyond.
Now is the time as season 7 looms to allow solo players to gain progress without the necessity of the damn busted meta. This could easily be done thru an additional method of advancing gem levels via maybe gift cubes like Ramaladnis that grant gems levels up to a cap, say 2 to 5 levels past a player's solo gr best. Maybe a gift that grants 1 gem level a 1 level bonus to a max of a gem level 100?
Grouping will always be best for rapid progress in exp, rift times, and assistance to reach new gr personal bests; However, there should now be some alternative way to also advance in gearing as a solo player in areas that have been traditionally next to impossible to progress without a meta group.
If D3 is now long in the tooth and Blizzard has eyes for a new project, why should the old biases linger against solo play?
I agree with you about solo being too sad at the moment. Blizzard wanted us to play in parties and share the game with our friends and as it were in the past, you got gimped while having your friends in the party. The solution Blizzard arrived at, was to make group play so good, that it became the rule. I dont see any other way of solving this issue, other than separate solo from group play, like you separate hardcore from softcore. This would be the very best solution to the issue imo. Then players who really wants to compete solo, can do just that. I think Blizzard is to paranoid to do this, because they are afraid too many is going to prefer solo over group.
Why should group play always be better than solo play?
=> Because if it was the other way around, people would be incentivized to tell their friends "I don't want to play with you". What a terrible prospect.
Is solo play on par with group play?
=> No. But they are making constant improvements, and the gap is closing with every patch. We did some math earlier (I'm in a hurry now and can't dig it up, but it's in my post history here and on Reddit) and a pure solo player could get to paragon 2500 in S5 and probably paragon 2000 in S6. The gap is also not 20 levels but 10-15.
Can you compete playing solo?
=> Absolutely 100% yes. Michael got rank #1 monk (and is still #2 and will most likely be top 10 by the end of the season) and he almost exclusively played solo. Yes, he played in group for the first 1-2 weeks, but he's got rank 90 gems and level 77 enchants, and hasn't done any group GRs in ages. Just one of many examples; Alkaizer in early S5 or Blatty in S4 were other examples.
Why, despite all the improvements, do people perceive solo play as being so bad?
=> Because apples and oranges. Players who do GR110+ runs play a lot and have a ton of experience. Many of them have an average playtime of 10+ hours A DAY. If you're 20 or more levels behind, you're just playing much less than them, or much less efficient, or lack in other categories. That's fine. It's the myth that "Diablo requires no skill", but people often forget that skill is nothing but the application and execution of knowledge, and Diablo is 99% about knowledge. I've seen players with 1000+ hours of playtime with zero knowledge of the game - and they therefore struggled and were 20-30 GR tiers behind others with similar playtime. Time, knowledge, and efficiency are more important than "playing the meta" or "grouping instead of soloing". Non-meta players (like Alkaizer, who has never played Twisters) and solo players (as Michael and others I mentioned) have proven that.
TL;DR: Group play is favored because of very legitimate reasons. The gap between group and solo is closing with every patch. But oftentimes this issue is just being used as an excuse for other shortcomings, such as significantly less playtime, lacking knowledge, and inefficient gameplay.
Solo play this season is not as bad as it was before. Since XP was nerfed GREATLY in higher rifts.
Still solo play lacks everything, it's slow and boring. And it's still at least 1/2 effective than group play.
That is why I love solo, wish it could even be slower since it is way to fast to level. I wish for the old days when it took a few hundred hours of game time to max a character level now it almost pointless to even have the max character level since it takes almost no time to get there.
Part of the reason the End Game is boring is it is too easy and too fast to get there.
Story mode is pointless now since for the most part it is quick bounties to get some mats, gear, and nightmare keys. Then the rest is Rifts and Grifts.
Things are handed out too fast.
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On Strike and supporting Fallout 4 Mod Makers
Some fallout 4 mod makers have had their mods stolen and uploaded and downloaded on Bethesda's site for the Xbox One.
My point was not that solo play should be on par with group play. I was seeking more ways for solo players to accomplish tasks that has thus far been best achieved by group play. My main gripe is gem leveling. The best way to level gems is in groups that can push a player into higher ranked grs than a solo player can succeed on their own in an efficient manner. With the game in the state it is in- and seems to be staying at for the future- there should be more open doors for solo progression. Gem leveling is a prime example that needs an alternative route for advancement.
Groups could remain the best way to do progression tasks, but they should no longer be the only way. The game needs refinement now that it is so old and new projects are in development. It should not be abandoned the way D2 was for so many years.
Gem leveling could be better. The crafting system is still too much of a crap shoot. The community system sucks to the point that matchmaking is a nightmare to use.
If Blizzard wants to divert internal resources elsewhere, fine, but at the same time D3 is not so old that it could be abandoned to the point that refinement is no longer a prospect. Refinement needs to happen.
This topic should not be derailed into a solo versus group offshoot debate.
I totally agree as a 1400+ para I never shy'ed from playing with sub 500 para running sub 60 grift. I take that moment and use my theory craft build and beside they are graftfull that someone can carry them and upgrade their gems