Diablo 4 offers underwhelming end-game progression experience
While Diablo 4 was a captivating experience during its campaign, the same cannot be said for end-game progression. Players who have reached the end-game will realize that the Renown progression system was the only thing giving the game’s end-game meaning. The end-game primarily boils down to three activities: Helltides, Tree of Whispers, Nightmare Dungeon pushing, and as a capstone, uber Lilith. Once players have completed this progression, they are left with limited activities and lack of meaningful progression. Diablo 4 requires a substantial improvement to break free from the paradox of being simultaneously tedious and meaningless.
Grinding through the Renown system
The Renown system in Diablo 4 is a tedious mechanic that can only be accessed after completing the game. It offers a false impression of progression and is the only path to maxing out renown and finding all Altars of Lilith. Once players have completed the grinding, there is a sense of relief that this tedious mechanic would no longer be a problem. However, the actual end-game progression does not start in earnest.
Without the Renown system, the end-game comprises only three possible activities: Helltides, Tree of Whispers, Nightmare Dungeon pushing, and uber Lilith. Helltides and Tree of Whispers lack any real difficulty, leaving Nightmare Dungeons and uber Lilith as the only real activities that compare to Greater Rifts from Diablo 3. At this point, the gear treadmill becomes functionally nonexistent, leaving players with unique hunting, which is not a satisfying gameplay loop.
The illusion of choice
The end-game progression in Diablo 4 offers versatility in terms of the Paragon Boards system and the skill-tree. However, the ability to respec whenever players want is false, as refunding up to 250 paragon points and all skill points can cost millions of gold. Additionally, it is cost-prohibitive to experiment with different builds in the end-game unless players are farming for multiple builds simultaneously. Thus, most players will opt to stick with a single build, regardless of their level of enjoyment, leaving them with limited activities.
The end-game needs meaningful progression
Diablo 4’s end-game progression is a paradox, simultaneously tedious and meaningless. The end-game lacks challenges, has limited activities, and no meaningful progress beyond level 75. Unlike other games, such as Greater Rifts in Diablo 3, there is no meta-framework or powerful build-defining uniques. The game needs to add challenging content, meaningful itemization, and true build versatility to break free from this paradox.