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Official Feature Overview and Q&A

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Now that all the panels have concluded Blizzard have a post rounding up all the features of Diablo 4. While the various panels and interviews we covered go into significantly more depth, it's good to have an overview like this to get a good broad picture. Today's article goes over the classes and their unique traits, the skill point and talent tree systems, the open world and multiplayer features, including an overview of the 5 zones, the dungeons, the monsters, bosses, monster affixes, itemization as well as a quick Q&A at the end covering some popular questions.

Check out our BlizzCon 2019 Content Hub for more details!

 

Blizzard LogoFeature Overview (source)

We know you’re all eager to learn as much about Diablo IV as possible, and we’re incredibly excited to share everything with you! To get you started, we’re taking a comprehensive look over the features and details we’re sharing at BlizzCon 2019 and answering a few of the most common questions you undoubtedly have about the next mainline entry in the Diablo franchise.


The Classes of Diablo IV

At launch, Diablo IV will have five unique character classes, each bringing its own distinct mechanics that embodies their respective fantasy. Today, let’s talk about the first three we’re bringing to life: the Barbarian, the Sorceress, and the Druid.

Barbarian

A brutal, physical warrior, the Barbarian roams around the battlefield constantly, dishing heavy damage and wielding an array of powerful weapons with ease. With the Arsenal system, Barbarians can swap between different types of weapons, such as from a heavy two-handed mace to a pair of sharp, agile hand axes, depending on the situation, skill, and your player needs.

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Barbarians will be able to haul around four total weapons and swap between them dynamically at any time. You’ll also be able to assign specific weapons to different skills, allowing advanced players even greater depths of customization.

Sorceress

Harnessing potent elemental powers, the Sorceress is brimming with all your favorite flavors of magic. Fragile but destructive, this high-risk, high-reward hero weaves between Fire, Cold, and Lightning. Her mastery of magic is an iconic and indelible part of the Diablo power fantasy, and we’ve only continued to build upon this sturdy foundation.

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You’ll be able to control and dominate enemies with a new Chilling mechanic. The more Cold damage you deal, the more foes will be slowed, frozen, and eventually shattered by your attacks.

Druid

The master of shapeshifting makes his triumphant return to Sanctuary! Seamlessly changing forms from human to Werebear to Werewolf, his command over earth and storm magic is second to none.

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Different skills utilize different forms, and entirely new skills like Cataclysm will annihilate hordes of enemies with the unbridled fury of nature itself. Storm magic persists on the battlefield, so you’ll be able to unleash torrents of lightning, wind, and rain before shifting forms to ravage foes.


Skill Points & Talent Trees

Diablo IV will feature permanent character progression as well as personal customization. To accomplish this, we’re reintroducing both Skill Points and Talent Trees.

Skill Points will be earned by leveling up as well as by hunting down rare tomes out in the world. You can choose to spend Skill Points as you go, save them up to invest more heavily in skills that are unlocked at higher levels, spread them out between multiple skills, or focus on your favorites to make them more powerful.

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Each class also has a dedicated Talent Tree for further character customization, though your choices may come at a cost. For example, the Sorceress concentrate on skills that emphasize mobility or Lightning damage while passing up more powerful Cold powers in the process. The Druid might choose to become a tanky melee combatant by investing in Werebear talents, though this doesn’t prevent him from using his Werewolf or Caster skills; they’ll just be less optimized. Where you want to specialize is up to you, and your Talent investments will reflect these decisions.

Talents get more powerful the further down the tree you travel, so make sure you’re choosing wisely as you grow!


Open World & Multiplayer Gameplay

Unlike previous Diablo games, Diablo IV is fully open world. This means you can explore any of the five distinct regions in any order, at any time, and travel seamlessly between them. Sanctuary will become a living, breathing place to explore and plunder. With introductions like monster ecologies tied to regions, a shared player world with public events, and town points of interest that act as social hubs, Diablo IV will feel a little less lonely (though no less bleak).

The distinctive regions we’re introducing are connected contiguously, for streamlined adventuring from area to area with no loading interruptions.

Scosglen

Home to the Druids, this verdant and rainy land is heavily forested and borders the coast. Werewolves lurk in the thick foliage and the new monster family, the Drowned, crowd the haunted coastlines, waiting to drag unsuspecting victims to a watery doom.

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Fractured Peaks

Snowy and secluded, a sect of devout priests find refuge in the isolation of this high mountain range. They seek enlightenment while remaining unaware of the horrors that dwell in the dark cave complexes below.

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Dry Steppes

The unforgiving, harsh environment of the Dry Steppes is home only to the hardiest—or desperate—souls. Be warned; the denizens of this land will do anything to survive, resorting to anything from petty banditry to savage cannibalism.

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Hawezar

Witches and zealots call this snake-infested swampland home, scouring the murky depths for ancient artifacts. The unaware will quickly find themselves in dire straits.

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Kejhistan

As we’ve seen from previous visits to Alcarnus and Caldeum, the desert shadows of Kejhistan make excellent cover for a group of rising cultists. They quietly plumb abandoned ruins, seeking power to aid the return of the ancient Prime Evils.

To Party or Not to Party

Whether you’re prone to partying up or an independent adventurer, Diablo IV will have a way for you to play.

When it comes to the Campaign, you’ll be able to play through the entire story at your own pace or alongside friends, with progress syncing up to the party leader so there’s no question about what’s been done or what’s next on the checklist.

While most of the world is socially open, certain, smaller parts of each region are campaign specific. Once the campaign objectives have been completed, those areas will also dynamically open to other players. This means you might see another party of adventurers pass you by or you could organically stumble into an event or World Boss other players are already battling. You won’t need to party up to enjoy these activities; whether you decide to join the fray or continue your own journey, that decision remains yours.

Delving Dank Dungeons

Dungeons will be separate, instanced experiences. While you won’t see wandering adventurers alongside you as you delve an abandoned ruin, you can opt to bring up to a party of four players in to tackle tougher challenges for greater rewards.

As has become hallmark to Diablo, Dungeons are randomized experiences, including both their layouts and the events that might occur within them. They can be interior or exterior landscapes, may mix and match between different tilesets, and offer totally seamless exploration; moving from one level or scene to another is now a natural, loading screen-free process.

We’re also introducing Dungeon Objectives, which help guide your adventure and offer greater rewards and increased danger. As you complete Dungeon Objectives, the goals you have will continue to update, and the Dungeon itself might respond by sending tougher enemies and challenges your way. Each Objective has been custom designed to give their Dungeons their own identity and character, and there are hundreds of dungeons with tons of events, ensuring each delve is a unique one!

We’re also evolving endgame Dungeons by building them around three pillars: variety, strategic depth, and player agency. One new system we’re sharing today is what we’re calling Keyed Dungeons. By finding a key out in the world of Sanctuary, you can upgrade an existing Dungeon into a special endgame version with increased difficulty, greater rewards, and dungeon affixes. Between the natural randomization, knowing the strength and affixes you’re going to face, and choosing your skills and equipment in advance, we’re hitting all three of these pillars for a unique, ever-evolving endgame.


Monsters of Sanctuary

You know where you’re going to kill things, and how you’re going to kill them. But what, exactly, is threatening you? Let’s look at some of the enemies you can expect to face in Diablo IV.

Monster Families

To breathe new and realistic life into the world of Sanctuary, we’re taking a fundamentally new approach to how we create and design monsters. Each monster is now part of a Monster Family, which usually includes a handful of different enemies based around a theme and location. Check out one of our new families, the Drowned.

The Drowned are watery entities that can be found around the coasts of Scosglen. You won’t find them anywhere else in the world, and if you’re looking specifically to hunt them down, you’ll need to travel to find them. Each member of the family has a specialty or signature ability that synergizes with other members of that family, becoming stronger when they’re fighting together.

Reimagining Affixes

Affixes work a little differently this time around. While you’ll still see expected effects like Molten, you might be surprised at how the Multishot affix changes up strategic gameplay depending on which enemy it affects.

For example, take the Fallen family. A Multishot enchanted ranged Fallen might throw three projectiles at you, as you’d probably expect. Put that Multishot enchantment on a Fallen Shaman, though, and your priorities change as he begins to revive three of his friends at a time instead of just one. Affixes should change the way you look at and strategize against your enemies, as well as offer different gameplay depending on the monsters they affect.

Ashava and World Bosses

If you got your hands on our BlizzCon demo or watched our gameplay trailer closely, you may have noticed a massive new addition: Ashava. Ashava, the first of our new World Bosses, is an ancient demon lurking below Sanctuary who will take more than just one mighty hero to fell.

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Not only will you need to group up (or at least join several other players) to challenge Ashava, but you’ll want to pay close attention to her abilities and carefully make use of your skills. Avoid her deadly strikes with the baseline Evade ability and leverage the new Stagger mechanic in your favor. Rather than having bosses be immune to crowd control effects, they can instead become Staggered, losing some of their capabilities or powering down once a certain threshold has been met. When battling Ashava, Staggering her will shatter her arm blades and greatly diminish the range of her whirlwind attack, making her a little less deadly for you and your friends.


Itemization

It’s not a Diablo game without tons of new loot to find, and we want to share a broad, top-down approach to our itemization. First, you’ll see the familiar return of most item categories:

Normal -> Magic -> Rare -> Legendary/Set -> Ancient -> Mythic

In Diablo IV, we want Legendaries to be just as, if not more, powerful than Set items. We don’t want you to feel beholden to one particular class set to play your chosen style. Ancient items are a system we’ll be leveraging for Seasons, but we’ll dig into that at a later date. As for Mythic items, these will be so powerful you’ll only be able to equip one of them at a time, so choose wisely!

When it comes to combat statistics, we’ve simplified the math problem. Players should spend more time thinking about stats that change how they play rather than solving arithmetic. Attack and Defense will be your bread and butter; one stat for increasing your damage, and one stat for decreasing damage taken.

More complex stats like Attack Speed or Melee Damage Reduced will still exist; however, these are stats that can change your approach to combat in more than a numerical way. While they might still increase your damage output or reduction, they do so in ways that make you think about the battlefield or which skills work best in different situations.

Some items will also boost individual Talents, effectively acting as bonus points spent in them. If you want to go all-in on Pulverize, you can do so with Skills, Talents, and items!

Legendary Powers

Legendaries should fundamentally change the gameplay of abilities, and that’s exactly the approach we’re taking in Diablo IV. The best way to illustrate this is to review a few powers we’ve worked on for the Sorceress skill Teleport.

One Legendary might increase your defense shortly after you Teleport, making it a great defensive escape tool. Another might increase your damage for a short period of time after you Teleport, making you more likely to want to jump into the fray. Still another removes the Teleport cooldown entirely, but now sends you in a random direction, so you have high, but unpredictable mobility. Lastly, we have a power that adds a burst of area damage to enemies upon your arrival.

Combining all these Legendaries can result in some pretty wild and satisfying results, and it’s up to you (and perhaps a little luck) to decide which ones to combine.

Runes

Runes are back and better than ever! Runes in Diablo IV translate to another layer of gear customization. They come in two types: Conditions and Effects. It’s as easy as socketing in one Condition and one Effect to create your own Legendary power. There will be a great variety of both types of Runes and we can’t wait to see what sorts of combinations you come up with.


Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question not covered above? Check out the FAQ below.

Q: Will there be trading?
A: Yes. While we’re still working on the details, we know this is a huge community request and we want to reintroduce some level of trading while still preserving the loot-finding experience.

Q: Will there be clans?
A: Yes! Clans will be a key feature in Diablo IV.

Q: Will there be PvP?
A: Yes. Some areas of the world will offer opt-in PvP experiences where you’ll need to watch your back while you adventure.

Q: Will there be Seasons?
A: Yes! Seasons will be returning, and we’d like them to heavily impact your approach to gameplay. More details to come.

Q: Will there be Hardcore?
A: Yes! We’ve loved this feature ever since it started as a player-created and self-imposed challenge in the original Diablo.

Q: Is Diablo IV coming to consoles?
A: We are working with our partners to bring Diablo IV to both PC and console, including Xbox One and PS4. We have no additional platforms to announce at this time.

Q: What about [insert game feature we haven’t yet mentioned here]?
A: We know you have a lot of questions about what the final form of Diablo IV will look like. While we’ve been hard at work on all the art, story, and systems we’ve shown so far, we’re far from done and still quite early in the development process. What you’ve seen this weekend is a high-level overview. As we continue working to get the next iteration of Diablo into your hands, it’s likely many things will change.


A Lot to Share, More to Work On

Diablo IV is early in development, but we just couldn’t wait any longer to share with you where we are so far. While we don’t have any news on when we’ll be moving into our first public access stage, we will be keeping up with quarterly updates available here on the Diablo community site and mirrored on our forums for your easy access.

We’ve got a lot of work to do and even more hell to raise. We can’t wait to see you on the other side!

Want to continue to discussion? Head over to the General Forum!

 

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