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New Information from Dev Interview and Streams: Key Dungeons, Expansions, No AH and More

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Update: There was another dev interview on Rhykker's stream and it featured a whole lot of new info as well - from Mythic items to the level cap and only 2 base stats available, among a lot more.
Check it out right here.

We took a look at the two main streams from the BlizzCon floor by Bluddshed and Quin69, and gathered up some additional info we saw during their streams. Quin69 also actually had a developer come on to his stream and he got to ask some questions, and we'll be going over those as well. You can check them out here if you missed them as well.

Check out our BlizzCon 2019 Content Hub for all the latest details!

Developer answers from Quin69's stream (Joe Shely, one of two lead game designers):

  • Expansions will be bringing new content
  • There will be something similar to paragon levels, that "fulfills that same goal" as paragon levels did.
  • Activities:
    • Key dungeons (inspired by Greater Rifts, they will scale up)
    • There are hundreds of dungeons and at max level you will have a key drop that will turn any dungeon to a max level key dungeon (similar to Mythic+ in WoW). The key has affixes on it that changes mechanics of the dungeon and boss.
  • Items
    • Generic classless legendaries, specific skill legendaries (teleport cooldown removed, nova on target when you teleport to it etc).
    • Legendaries are to further customize skills beyond the skill system
    • Not going the +300, 3000% buffs to damage route
    • Set aesthetics are very important, but sets will not be the best items in endgame.
    • Legendaries are either as powerful or more powerful than sets - seemingly sets are weaker than a collection of legendaries.
    • Transmog will possibly be coming back
    • Predominant source of getting items should be killing monsters
  • No specific solo "self-found" game mode.
  • Leaderboards
    • Will go more in the direction of leaderboars for very specific activities like the seasonal conquest ones
  • Trading
    • No Auction House
    • No specific trading system yet, just a concept:
      • 3 types of items - tradeable all the time (consumable, crafting mats), tradeable once and then bound, and non tradeable.
  • Crafting
    • It will not be viable as an exclusive endgame (you can't "just" be a crafter)
    • A lot of the endgame will be item modification
    • Will be very much linked to the overworld
  • There will be seasons
    • Each season will have different "most powerful" items, so the metagame shifts
  • Skills
    • Leveling up gives you skill points and you can make your skills more powerful
    • Skill tomes for skill points
  • Monetization
    • Base game and expansions
    • Cosmetic microtransactions
  • UI
    • Probably no UI addons and DPS meters and similar
    • All keybinds can be changed
    • "Elective mode" is the default, any skill can go anywhere

Other things we found out from the streams:

  • The biggest thing that was perhaps a bit muddled in the official announces is the "shared world" aspect of the game. What it's looking like right now is that players will just be there as you travel the world at all times. The towns are obviously a zone where we'll see a lot of players and we do know the world bosses and PvP zones will be full multiplayer, but it seems the entire overworld will be populated by players you run in to. Dungeons, on the other hand, are clearly instanced and are only for you and your party.
    Blizzard did state that there will be an option to turn the shared world element off, and that you will be able to go through it on your own (although world bosses might be impossible to kill that way - but you can still get a custom party set up to down it without having to turn on the shared world).
  • Spacebar is a default dodge ability with no cooldown (at the moment).
  • There's an auto-walk toggle, so you just have to move your mouse and not click it for movement.
  • Sorceress active skill list, just to get a feel for the amount available, split into Minor Destruction, Major Destruction, Defensive, Conjuration, Mastery and Ultimate. The other two classes have the same setup, with the first two tabs named differently but still basically being "generators and spenders".

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  • The talent tree (Druid)
    • The upgrades are small-ish % buffs to things like move speed, resource generation, bleed on crit and similar, capping out at 10-20%. There's somewhat bigger talents as well, like gaining berserking (damage buff etc) each time you use a specific skill and other talents that buff the berserk (this is for barbarian). Obviously this will significantly change during development.

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  • Runes and runewords
    • It seems all runes requires runewords to work, if you just slot in one it doesn't work and says "incomplete". There are primary and secondary runes, with the Vex part of the rune setting up that the next tune linked to it will trigger when you use a healing potion and the Dol part determining that the buff you get when drinking it will be +50% crit for 7 seconds.

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  • Druid legendary staff

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Misc stuff in no particular order:

  • Contextual climbing and interaction with the environment
  • Much smoother gameplay with animation cancelling
  • There is a cooldown reduction stat in the game
  • There's a legendary ring that summons flame hydras
  • There was a weird bug or similar where Quin got loot from the world boss without even having seen him at all, the legendary drop just popped up on his map.
     

*All images taken from Bluddshed and Quin69's streams.

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The screenshots presumably are still a reflection of work in progress, or are they actually leaving shoulder items out of the game I wonder? Skills tab reminds me of Diablo II 🙂

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14 minutes ago, TyZone said:

The screenshots presumably are still a reflection of work in progress, or are they actually leaving shoulder items out of the game I wonder? Skills tab reminds me of Diablo II 🙂

Good question, i'd actually say the slots will stay.

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This druid's body type reminds me of a Kul Tiran... Glad there is no AH and a lot of stuff to do, though some of it looks like repurposed mechanics from D3 (keys for increased difficulty). I like the style, it's still to me more like D3 than D2, but slightly darker. Would like if there was an option to disable that flashing of enemies when they are being hit by heroes, otherwise it's good. Hopefully game features less enemies at once (D3 was more like this in early gameplays), but they feel more powerful, rather than quickly storming through masses while spamming abilities, barely looking at what you are killing.

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4 minutes ago, Arcling said:

This druid's body type reminds me of a Kul Tiran... Glad there is no AH and a lot of stuff to do, though some of it looks like repurposed mechanics from D3 (keys for increased difficulty). I like the style, it's still to me more like D3 than D2, but slightly darker. Would like if there was an option to disable that flashing of enemies when they are being hit by heroes, otherwise it's good. Hopefully game features less enemies at once (D3 was more like this in early gameplays), but they feel more powerful, rather than quickly storming through masses while spamming abilities, barely looking at what you are killing.

I think both ways is good, hordes of soft enemies as well as fewer tough ones. They're to very different experiences, maybe they can have horde dungeons and tough big dude dungeons 😄

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6 minutes ago, Arcling said:

This druid's body type reminds me of a Kul Tiran...

I thought the same thing.

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Is there a source on the information about the shared world where it said you can turn it off completely? just watched Rhykkers stream and he said in the interview with the dev it can not be turned off.

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On 11/2/2019 at 4:39 AM, Arcling said:

This druid's body type reminds me of a Kul Tiran... Glad there is no AH and a lot of stuff to do, though some of it looks like repurposed mechanics from D3 (keys for increased difficulty). I like the style, it's still to me more like D3 than D2, but slightly darker. Would like if there was an option to disable that flashing of enemies when they are being hit by heroes, otherwise it's good. Hopefully game features less enemies at once (D3 was more like this in early gameplays), but they feel more powerful, rather than quickly storming through masses while spamming abilities, barely looking at what you are killing.

On the contrary, this type of gameplay brings me a lot of joy. Speedrifting and speedclear builds. Very valuable in high grs on hardcore too

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      While Blizzard have been somewhat cagey about this topic in various interviews, it did slip out that they are in fact planning on having microtransactions in the game. We have separate information from a few sources, beginning with Quin69's original interview with lead designer Joe Shely:
      Now, we didn't really need this confirmation to know there will be MTXes in the game, as the horse customization system shown off at the Diablo 4: Unveiled panel was a pretty definitive sign, and a game like Diablo is a pretty solid fit for cosmetics.
      Shely also reiterated what we heard in several different interviews and panels as well, where it was very definitively stated that you will not be able to buy power in the game. With the auction house also being confirmed as not returning, and the most powerful items in the game being non-tradeable, it seems we really will have to get the very top gear ourselves. He continued to clarify that they don't know what form these cosmetic MTXes will take, although again, considering the horse armor and customization, we'd say they have at least some idea.

      A lot of people are very opposed to any form of MTX in a Diablo game, but as always it all comes down to execution. Will the purchasable cosmetics be the best looking gear in the game? Will they overshadow the endgame and most powerful gear you have to work hard to get? Or will it just be different options and perhaps weird concepts that don't fit with actual gear in the game. We can safely eliminate the Asian MMO route where a fantasy RPG suddenly gets modern day cop outfits and other completely immersion-breaking cosmetics, at least.
      Another way that's really worked well in the past is the Destiny model... or, well, the OLD Destiny model - where you could get a lot/a majority of the cosmetics just by playing the game enough, with 2 separate currencies for buying cosmetics - one for real money and one you can earn in-game. The point being that while everyone (rightly) recoils at the mere mention of microtransactions, they can actually be beneficial to a game if done correctly - Diablo 3 would have been updated and improved much more if it had a steady revenue stream coming in, perhaps even getting a second expansion, and would it really have been that horrible if players were able to just buy the seasonal wings, portraits etc from the conquests?

      As for Diablo 4, aside from the clearly already planned horse cosmetics, there are plenty of avenues they could go with the MTXes, avoiding the inevitable trouble that would come from selling really cool looking armor set visuals. There are plenty of things they could add that wouldn't really impact the game at all, like additional head customization like scars, tattoos etc, banner additions (if they return), portrait frames, UI customization, and a lot more. Now sure, the more cynical among us might think that one of the big reasons Blizzard went the shared world route this time around is to make cosmetics more valuable, as you'll be showing off to random people all the time as you pass them by in the world, but even if that were the case as long as they don't go overboard with what they sell, it should be fine.
      In any case, there is a way to do MTXes well, and considering how much attention Blizzard are paying to the community's wishes, Diablo 4 may get out of the MTX quagmire relatively intact, or perhaps even be better for it.

      Other Diablo 4 articles:
      Cross-Play Is a Goal for Diablo 4, Blizzard "Very Excited" About It
      Everything We Know About Diablo 4 So Far
      Visible Open World Players, Skill Cap at 15 and More from Venture Beat Diablo 4 Interview
      All the Item Affixes from the Diablo 4 BlizzCon Demo
      Diablo 4 Built for Much Faster Expansions + More Info From Game Informer Interview
      All Barbarian, Sorceress and Druid Skills and Talents
      All 4 Day 1 Major Stream VoDs
      Check out our BlizzCon 2019 Content Hub for more interviews and info!
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