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Diablo 4: Systems and Features Panel Summary

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It's time to go deep with the classes, skills, dungeons and more for D4! We had a slot of snippets from the two developer interviews from the streams yesterday, but a lot of it was left in the air and somewhat fuzzy, so hopefully we get a clearer picture today, as the presentation is about to start! We'll be updating this post with all the news.

Check out our BlizzCon 2019 Content Hub for more details!

We have the Lead Systems, Lead UI, lead dungeon and Lead game designers for this panel.

The big message throughout the panel is user feedback - they want to know what players think so they can adjust their development goals.

  • Sorceress - the main caster class
  • Barbarian - the master of weapons
    • Arsenal system - 2 1 handed weapons, 2 2handed weapons, so he can equip more legendaries than any other class
  • Druid
    • Werewolf and werebear forms
    • Specific mechanics tied to the moment you transform (damage reduction when you change to werebear etc.)
    • You can control the timing on when you get the bonuses from shapeshifting
  • Skill point tomes, points from leveling
  • More powerful talents as you go down the tree


Open World

  • Shared and contiguous
  • Dungeons are private all the way - up to 4 player party
  • Campaign goes to some dungeons and overworld
  • Campaign areas will start as private until you complete the specific objective of that section of the campaign, at which point it becomes public and you'll start seeing other players
  • The number of players you share the overworld with varies by location
    • Most of the time you will be alone
      • With the exception of world bosses and towns
  • You will be able to play with friends who are on different parts of the campaign and you will progress together
  • Couch-co-op on consoles
  • All the best items and content progression will be available to all, regardless if solo or group


A very helpful illustration of the social options - solo, party, clan, voice chat, public and couch co-op


  • Randomized interior and exterior environments
  • Seamless exploration - no loading screens between floors
  • Actions in one part of the dungeon can affect another part
  • Random events
    • No longer restricted to a specific place in the world
    • Bishibosh Altars can appear in different parts of the world
  • Dungeon objectives
    • Progressing the objective increases difficulty and rewards
    • Enemy responds to your progress
  • Endgame dungeons
    • Varied content, strategic depth and player agency are the pillars
    • Dungeon key drops in the world for a specific dungeon
    • It will upgrade an existing dungeon to a more difficult endgame one, with affixes
    • There are affixes that affect the players, enemies and environment
      • Example: all enemies are invisible unless they're in combat
      • Double bosses in the dungeon
      • Lightning pulse - a giant stone follows you around the dungeon and damages you, you cant destroy it
    • Hundreds of dungeons and each can become and endgame one with the correct key
    • They key provides you with information ahead of time, so you can specialize your build and items to tackle the specific dungeon, as you know it from previous times you've played, with the addition of affix specific build adjustments
    • Many keys will drop, you can dismantle them as well for crafting mats



Fallen Lunatic

  • Monster families are important - fallen, skeletons
    • They work together to provide a bigger challenge
    • Shield skeletons which stun, crossbow skeletons fire from mid-range and the skeletal ballista - an amalgamation of skeletons that can fire from multiple screens way

Skeletal ballista

  • Elites
    • Enhancing affixes
      • Improve upon the monster's base abilities - multishot skeletal ballista
      • Shaman can resurrect multiple fallen

Tomb Lord boss

  • Bosses
    • Tomb Lord - resurrects skeletons, summons bone walls that explode, blinds you with bone storm
    • Ashava - First World boss
      • The camera has to pull out because of its size
  • Stagger system
    • Crowd control effects have an effect on bosses - they fill the stagger bar
    • When the stagger bar fills, each boss goes into a specific behavior
      • For Ashava you break one of its arm blades, changing the encounter
      • You can break both arm blades, making the encounter much safer
  • Evade ability aka dodge
    • Every class has it
  • Unstoppable status
    • Granted by many skills
    • Immunity to crowd control


  • Items
    • Normal, Magic, Rare as the standard
    • Affixes are both new and returning
    • + x to skill or talent rank
      • This allows you to gain access to parts of the talent tree you wouldn't normally have
      • You can go beyond the maximum of talent ranks (6/5 etc)
  • Legendaries and Sets
    • Regular and Ancient legendaries and sets
    • Legendaries will be equal or greater power than set items
    • Examples
      • Teleport creates a barrier that absorbs 30% of your max HP
      • Teleport creates a rift in your path on the ground which increases crit when you stand in it
      • Teleport has no cooldown but teleports you randomly
      • Cast nova at teleport location
      • All of the above are different item slots and can be used together
    • There will be non-skill specific legendaries as well


  • Mythic items
    • Best items in the game
    • Can only equip one
    • They have 4 legendary powers on them
    • More info to come
    • Unclear whether they have existing legendary powers or unique mythic only ones


  • Runes
    • 2 types of rune - condition and effect
    • You can combine any condition with any effect rune
    • Runes will have progression, more info to come



  • Monetization
    • Base game and expansions
    • They will not sell power
  • Build customization
    • More options than just legendaries
    • Additional points in skills also add new effects (unstoppable component for Barbarian shout)
    • Item affixes will be important
  • No offline mode
  • Trading
    • Core part is getting loot through killing monsters
    • Currently there a re 3 different types of items
      • Always tradaeble
      • Tradeable 1 time
      • Not tradeable, you have to earn them - endgame items
    • A lot of flexibility on which items will be in which category
  • PvP
    • Same skills, talents and items for PvP and PvE
    • Builds should be very different in PvP, but come from the same pool
    • No different rulesets or balance for PvP and PvE
  • Legendary drop rate
    • They won't drop as much as in Diablo 3
    • Drop rates will not be modified as you get farther into endgame
  • Speed/pace of combat
    • Will depend on the specific key dungeon and its affixes
    • Some dungeons will be a faster run through and skip mobs, while some you'll be chased by the lightning stone and some you have to clear all enemies so you can be slower
  • There will be a varied difficulty of content in the endgame
  • Affixes will be randomized within a range
  • Customizing affixes, not really sure how yet
  • Post-game release support
    • Seasons
      • Change up the meta and gameplay styles each season
      • New legendaries
      • Spotlights on existing legendaries, making them more powerful
  • Hardcore mode will be in the game
  • Like 1

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        And finally, the big ones which we're all very interested in but have no idea if they're real or not:
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      And that's the complete overview of the leaks from 4 months ago. It's up to you to decide how much weight you want to put on them based on what was proven to be correct and not, but it seems the leaker may indeed have been legit. The various things he got wrong can be attributed to changes between then and BlizzCon or systems Blizzard weren't ready to announce this early, the only major discrepancy being the beta and release timings. Those are very flimsy, as the devs' "not even Blizzard soon" comments seem to indicate it taking significantly longer than 1-2 years for release (hell, that's even faster than Blizzard soon). On the other hand, they could have been managing expectations and the leaked dates are still their target, but we won't know more about that for a while still. As for the Amazon and Paladin, they seem a little on the nose, to go with the entire D4 roster ported over from D2, but again, the leaks seem solid and it might be something Blizzard decide to go for.
      So what do you think? Is the leak credible considering all the info we now know? Could we really see Diablo 4 in as little as a year, with an Amazon and Paladin class in tow?

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      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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