Jump to content
FORUMS
Starym

Diablo 4 Built for Much Faster Expansions + More Info From Game Informer Interview

Recommended Posts

vyiPe68.jpg
 

In an interview with Game Informer, Blizzard co-founder Allen Adham talked about the game, and an interesting part of the discussion focused around whether they considered/are considering making D4 a live service game, like WoW or similar titles. While we already know that is not the case at the moment, Adham did say that the way the Diablo 4 team is structured now is aimed at creating much faster expansions than ever before:

Quote

I will say that the team that that is making Diablo IV is ambitious. It's an ambitious game. Our hope then is that when we're finished with Diablo IV we can take that team and produce expansions at a higher cadence than anything we've done in the past. We know that our players want more content at a higher rate. We want to deliver more content at a higher rate. And it has been a goal of this team and the way we're building this team out to deliver that. So I think you'll see more of that in Diablo IV than you've seen in the past from us.

He goes on to be a bit cagey about the exact structure of releases, and we will definitely have a base game + faster expansions, but he left it open to there being other additions to that formula as well (presumably holiday events and obviously seasons).

The other big takeaway from the interview is that we might see seasons that don't make us restart or create new characters, but rather carry over our current ones.

combat_caves_multiplayer_duriel_png_jpgc

The rest of the interview mainly goes over the talking point we've heard before, hammering the "not even Blizzard soon" angle for the release date once more, touching on why they're announcing now specifically - the demo was ready and they had a good story to tell about the game (although one would assume last year's Diablo: Immortal incident had something to do with it as well).

There's also this somewhat bizarre exchange about "watchability", both from an esports and stream perspective, but nothing much is said other than the fact that D4 will be the "most watchable" entry in the series so far:

Quote

We do and in fact, that's exactly how we characterize it internally when we talk about the possibility of esports or another sort of media we always frame it in terms that it may or may not turn out to be that there's an esports approach to Diablo but the way we always think about it is we want to make sure that it's highly watchable. And we think that it is and we think that Diablo IV more than previous Diablos because of the fidelity of the engine, the beauty of what you see, the customization of the characters, that RTC (real-time camera). The opportunities to see and celebrate what you look like, they should make Diablo IV as watchable as anything Diablo has ever produced.

Other topics covered are integrating the raid-style experiences in a game like Diablo for the world bosses, reiterating that something like the paragon system is coming back, and the concern that players might farm world bosses by swapping from one game to another, layering style (they hadn't thought of that). 

It worth a read for a good overview so head on over to Game Informer to check it out.
 

CYpmW7F.jpg?1

Other significant Diablo 4 articles:

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, expansions are to be expected, no surprise there. If they are so ambitious they better focus on delivering a mindblowing, standalone masterpiece (they kinda have to), don't tell me how you already have planned content, purposefully reserved for the soon to follow expansion of a game we'd be lucky to play in 2021.

Edited by BobTheHuman
  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, BobTheHuman said:

Ok, expansions are to be expected, no surprise there. If they are so ambitious they better focus on delivering a mindblowing, standalone masterpiece (they kinda have to), don't tell me how you already have planned content, purposefully reserved for the soon to follow expansion of a game we'd be lucky to play in 2021.

I dont think that was the point. They're building the game engine, assets and world from the go so it's easier for them to slot in expansions both technically and story/world wise. At least that's how I understood it. I mean a lot of games have a lot of trouble with expansions (and even sequels) due to massive engine limitations (hello WoW), so if they're building it to be modifiable from the start that can only be a good thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would hope expansions would essentially do any combination of a few of the following:

-add a class

-add a large zone

-add a new Act

-add a new mechanic (larger runewords, gem melding, crafting)

-HOUSING?! FARMING/COOKING (alchemy/food buffs)?!

 

If they can do an expansion delivering one or 2 of these at a time (say a new class and zone, housing/profs in another, a new act in another) it could definitely give the game a long life.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, TyZone said:

I would hope expansions would essentially do any combination of a few of the following:

-add a class

-add a large zone

-add a new Act

-add a new mechanic (larger runewords, gem melding, crafting)

-HOUSING?! FARMING/COOKING (alchemy/food buffs)?!

 

If they can do an expansion delivering one or 2 of these at a time (say a new class and zone, housing/profs in another, a new act in another) it could definitely give the game a long life.

I'm more hoping expansions address problems with the base game. Reaper of Souls is one of the best expansions out there, not because it was amazing ot perfect, but because it took a seriously problematic and borderline bad game in D3 vanilla and made it solid and even good (for a while anyway). If there had been a third expansion that was like reaper D3 would be a truly good to excellent game - we just needed a proper endgame and some itemization tweaks.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Starym said:

I'm more hoping expansions address problems with the base game. Reaper of Souls is one of the best expansions out there, not because it was amazing ot perfect, but because it took a seriously problematic and borderline bad game in D3 vanilla and made it solid and even good (for a while anyway). If there had been a third expansion that was like reaper D3 would be a truly good to excellent game - we just needed a proper endgame and some itemization tweaks.

I agree with you, I am just being optimistic that D4 is not broken out of the box as bad as D3 was. RoS absolutely saved D3, 100%.

 

I also loved what ToB did with D2 though, adding a few new mechanics, and entire new act and storyline, and 2 classes. It was a wild ride at the time.

 

Hopefully we see the best of both worlds!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Starym said:

I dont think that was the point. They're building the game engine, assets and world from the go so it's easier for them to slot in expansions both technically and story/world wise. At least that's how I understood it. I mean a lot of games have a lot of trouble with expansions (and even sequels) due to massive engine limitations (hello WoW), so if they're building it to be modifiable from the start that can only be a good thing.

Yeah, but anyone who knows Blizzard is well aware that they release games with the intent to update and support them for years to come.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, BobTheHuman said:

Yeah, but anyone who knows Blizzard is well aware that they release games with the intent to update and support them for years to come.

Um, that applies to every non-indie (and most indie) developers too, so I'm not sure what your point is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Starym said:

Um, that applies to every non-indie (and most indie) developers too, so I'm not sure what your point is.

There's absolutely no need telling us what an awesome tech they've built for the future support of Diablo 4. First and foremost we need to see a totally badass Diablo title, which is something to be concerned about, considering Blizzard in recent years. Let's see how soon the game will come out, how successful it is, and then we can talk about the pace at which they'll be making money out of it.

Edited by BobTheHuman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Starym said:

hammering the "not even Blizzard soon" angle for the release date once more

I like this. Better having the devs craft the whole game carefully and with no hurry, so we get a fully fledged experience from the start. Because I'm pretty sure they don't wanna repeat the fiasco that was the Diablo III launch.

Edited by Valhalen
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, BobTheHuman said:

Ok, expansions are to be expected, no surprise there. If they are so ambitious they better focus on delivering a mindblowing, standalone masterpiece (they kinda have to), don't tell me how you already have planned content, purposefully reserved for the soon to follow expansion of a game we'd be lucky to play in 2021.

Well, they are focusing on the base game. It doesn't hurt for them to state that D4 will be much better equipped to include additional content from down the line to increase the longevity of the game. Also, it's pretty much expected at this point that they deliver on this title. Which is why they are wanting people to talk about the systems they revealed, and what they can improve on further on down the road. This title has a lot of potential but Blizzard knows they have to deliver it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Rhondis said:

Well, they are focusing on the base game. It doesn't hurt for them to state that D4 will be much better equipped to include additional content from down the line to increase the longevity of the game. Also, it's pretty much expected at this point that they deliver on this title. Which is why they are wanting people to talk about the systems they revealed, and what they can improve on further on down the road. This title has a lot of potential but Blizzard knows they have to deliver it.

Exactly. Even if they deliver a mesmerizing and jawdropping experience, people will expect an expansion. In our current modern age games are expected to have post launch content, even if the game itself doesn't really need it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The game has literally just been announced and they are already saying that they plan to release multiple expansions ( with of course will cost at least 1/3 of base game's value, around 20 bucks). 

In others words instead of providing a masterpiece they will hold back on content in order to sell it as expansions . Not even surprised.

  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Kurosu said:

The game has literally just been announced and they are already saying that they plan to release multiple expansions ( with of course will cost at least 1/3 of base game's value, around 20 bucks). 

In others words instead of providing a masterpiece they will hold back on content in order to sell it as expansions . Not even surprised.

Ok, so not only are you just assuming that they will hold back content, but you are also forgetting that this is an interview between Game Informer and one of the developers... it's not like they were outright stating "OK GUYS, WE ARE ACTUALLY PLANNING ON FUTURE CONTENT RATHER THAN THE BASE GAME!". No. They are just discussing the future possibilities that D4 will have once it's out. To assume that they will cut parts of the base game and sell it without any proof is just outright ridiculous. Let me ask you this, would be a good idea for them to cut content for Diablo 4 to later than be sold back to the public? Despite the fact that everyone is expecting an outstanding game? And that expectations are much higher than they have ever been? No. In fact, I would reckon to say that it would hurt their reputation even further and cause further distrust in the community. Besides, Blizzard doesn't have any track record with their previous Diablo games in which they "cut" content to later be sold to the public. Diablo 1 was a full game before it's expansion, Diablo 2 was a full game before it's expansion, and Diablo 3 was a full game before it's expansion. Why would it be any different?

Edited by Rhondis
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great more expansions we will have to pay almsot full price for. I bet they end up with the same issue WoW has. Not everyone on a team having the same expansions so not being able to completely play together. Nice way to separate the community.   But come to think about it. Diablo has always been really an anti-social persons game anyway so why not.

Edited by Zelendel
  • Thanks 1
  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Rhondis said:

Ok, so not only are you just assuming that they will hold back content, but you are also forgetting that this is an interview between Game Informer and one of the developers... it's not like they were outright stating "OK GUYS, WE ARE ACTUALLY PLANNING ON FUTURE CONTENT RATHER THAN THE BASE GAME!". No. They are just discussing the future possibilities that D4 will have once it's out. To assume that they will cut parts of the base game and sell it without any proof is just outright ridiculous. Let me ask you this, would be a good idea for them to cut content for Diablo 4 to later than be sold back to the public? Despite the fact that everyone is expecting an outstanding game? And that expectations are much higher than they have ever been? No. In fact, I would reckon to say that it would hurt their reputation even further and cause further distrust in the community. Besides, Blizzard doesn't have any track record with their previous Diablo games in which they "cut" content to later be sold to the public. Diablo 1 was a full game before it's expansion, Diablo 2 was a full game before it's expansion, and Diablo 3 was a full game before it's expansion. Why would it be any different?

Yeah "assuming" , they already did it with necromancer on D3 ( and it wasnt even trully an expansion ) and regarding D4 if you hear a developer saying they are planning multiple expansions at a fast rate when the main game is at least a year away and it doesnt give any weird signals to you well congrats you achieved a new level.

Edited by Kurosu
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Kurosu said:

Yeah "assuming" , they already did it with necromancer on D3 ( and it wasnt even trully an expansion ) and regarding D4 if you hear a developer saying they are planning multiple expansions at a fast rate when the main game is at least a year away and it doesnt give any weird signals to you well congrats you achieved a new level.

A few of things:

1.) The game is definitely not a year away... when the demo was presented at Blizzcon it was an early alpha stage. They even said the game wasn't coming out in terms of "Blizzard soon".

2.) The Necromancer was a character DLC, and the character itself wasn't apart of the Diablo base game whatsoever. Also it was only a character add-on, it didn't hold back any other content in terms of story, additional items, new mechanics etc. Some would say they released the Necro because of demand (popularity) or because it was a part of scrapped content from an expansion they were working on (which is more likely seeing that years have gone by without any other major announcements for Diablo 3).

3.) Let's review what they said again shall we:

On 11/3/2019 at 11:10 AM, Starym said:

Our hope then is that when we're finished with Diablo IV we can take that team and produce expansions at a higher cadence than anything we've done in the past.

You're assuming. They are still focused on the base game. There is no talk of any expansions being worked on at the current moment. Their only and main focus is the base game. And this quote is only stating that with the new engine, and with new tools they can implement expansions at a quicker rate than applying them every two or three years. Diablo is not as massive as WoW, and people will easily burn through the base game well within a year, so it makes sense that they want to implement more expansions at a quicker rate in order to still engage the fan base with the game. 

 

But again, it's still too early to assume my dear friend. How about in the next few years when the game comes out, you come talk to me when they actually do supposedly "cut content". Then we'll talk.

Edited by Rhondis
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/3/2019 at 4:23 PM, Starym said:

I'm more hoping expansions address problems with the base game. Reaper of Souls is one of the best expansions out there, not because it was amazing ot perfect, but because it took a seriously problematic and borderline bad game in D3 vanilla and made it solid and even good (for a while anyway). If there had been a third expansion that was like reaper D3 would be a truly good to excellent game - we just needed a proper endgame and some itemization tweaks.

Damn dude, your article seems to have started a wild fire for no reason *filtered*.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Rhondis said:

A few of things:

1.) The game is definitely not a year away... when the demo was presented at Blizzcon it was an early alpha stage. They even said the game wasn't coming out in terms of "Blizzard soon".

2.) The Necromancer was a character DLC, and the character itself wasn't apart of the Diablo base game whatsoever. Also it was only a character add-on, it didn't hold back any other content in terms of story, additional items, new mechanics etc. Some would say they released the Necro because of demand (popularity) or because it was a part of scrapped content from an expansion they were working on (which is more likely seeing that years have gone by without any other major announcements for Diablo 3).

3.) Let's review what they said again shall we:

You're assuming. They are still focused on the base game. There is no talk of any expansions being worked on at the current moment. Their only and main focus is the base game. And this quote is only stating that with the new engine, and with new tools they can implement expansions at a quicker rate than applying them every two or three years. Diablo is not as massive as WoW, and people will easily burn through the base game well within a year, so it makes sense that they want to implement more expansions at a quicker rate in order to still engage the fan base with the game. 

 

But again, it's still too early to assume my dear friend. How about in the next few years when the game comes out, you come talk to me when they actually do supposedly "cut content". Then we'll talk.

I didnt even  read beyond your number  1. I said at LEAST a year away . If you dont bother to read what I am writing I see no reason to do otherwise. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Kurosu said:

I didnt even  read beyond your number  1. I said at LEAST a year away . If you dont bother to read what I am writing I see no reason to do otherwise. 

Yikes, hypocrite alert! Refuses to read what I said and tells me to read your statement, when you didn't even fully read my statement clearly. Very sad indeed. Oh well, if you are going to assume then so be it. We'll see who's right down the line. Till next time dear friend!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Rhondis said:

Yikes, hypocrite alert! Refuses to read what I said and tells me to read your statement, when you didn't even fully read my statement clearly. Very sad indeed. Oh well, if you are going to assume then so be it. We'll see who's right down the line. Till next time dear friend!

Yes my "friend" I will definately give a damn 2 years from now when you are proven wrong.Count on it.

PS; my condolences to your therapist. At least I hope you manage to stop polluting forums online.

Second PS : make sure to make another reply, since you obviously need the last word. Go ahead. Prove me right.

Edited by Kurosu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Kurosu said:

Yes my "friend" I will definately give a damn 2 years from now when you are proven wrong.Count on it.

PS; my condolences to your therapist. At least I hope you manage to stop polluting forums online.

Second PS : make sure to make another reply, since you obviously need the last word. Go ahead. Prove me right.

This is one of the major reason's why its so frustrating to have decent discussions or debates. People tend to ignore the facts, assume they are correct, and go straight for the insults. Is there really any need to the insults behind your words? Once you start throwing punches, and ignoring what I have to say you already lose the discussion by a long shot. At least stay civilized especially if you disagree with whomever is on the other side. All I can really say at this point, is that you never assume. Assuming never leads to anything. Once we get more solid proof other than them stating "we will be able to make more expansions at quicker rate". Than you will be more empowered to make those kinds of baseless statements with no proof behind them whatsoever. See you in two, three, fours years. And please be kind. Being ugly towards others on the internet is pretty pointless friend.

Edited by Rhondis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Rhondis said:

This is one of the major reason's why its so frustrating to have decent discussions or debates. People tend to ignore the facts, assume they are correct, and go straight for the insults. Is there really any need to the insults behind your words? Once you start throwing punches, and ignoring what I have to say you already lose the discussion by a long shot. At least stay civilized especially if you disagree with whomever is on the other side. All I can really say at this point, is that you never assume. Assuming never leads to anything. Once we get more solid proof other than them stating "we will be able to make more expansions at quicker rate". Than you will be more empowered to make those kinds of baseless statements with no proof behind them whatsoever. See you in two, three, fours years. And please be kind. Being ugly towards others on the internet is pretty pointless friend.

And I stand corrected

PS : I was kind and you called me a liar that only makes "assumptions". And now you try to play the polite one and shift it on me. Hillarious. Goodbye.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Kurosu said:

And I stand corrected

PS : I was kind and you called me a liar that only makes "assumptions". And now you try to play the polite one and shift it on me. Hillarious. Goodbye.

No where in my past comments did I call you a liar. Saying you are making assumptions for no reason doesn't equal me calling you liar, these are two very different terms. I'm clearly just stating that you are making assumptions far too early on an interview that Game Informer did. Just goes to show that you should really take your own advice: 

 

20 hours ago, Kurosu said:

If you dont bother to read what I am writing I see no reason to do otherwise. 

Especially since you are going to accuse me of calling you liar, I was being civilized through and through. You however, seem to not be able to control yourself in a discussion. 

 

This is obviously not going anywhere. Anyways, don't assume ok? Let's wait for beta access, lets wait till we get definite info that there are signs of them "cutting content". And if it turns out true, I will delightfully agree with you and anyone else who is assuming far too early. Just right now, them stating:

On 11/3/2019 at 11:10 AM, Starym said:

Our hope then is that when we're finished with Diablo IV we can take that team and produce expansions at a higher cadence than anything we've done in the past.

Is not enough. You seem to have misinterpreted what they said. But it happens. Till next time.

Edited by Rhondis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Rhondis said:

No where in my past comments did I call you a liar. Saying you are making assumptions for no reason doesn't equal me calling you liar, these are two very different terms. I'm clearly just stating that you are making assumptions far too early on an interview that Game Informer did. Just goes to show that you should really take your own advice: 

 

Especially since you are going to accuse me of calling you liar, I was being civilized through and through. You however, seem to not be able to control yourself in a discussion. 

 

This is obviously not going anywhere. Anyways, don't assume ok? Let's wait for beta access, lets wait till we get definite info that there are signs of them "cutting content". And if it turns out true, I will delightfully agree with you and anyone else who is assuming far too early. Just right now, them stating:

Is not enough. You seem to have misinterpreted what they said. But it happens. Till next time.

Damn you really cant stop yourself can you? Do you even realize you literally ruined this entire post with all this spamming just because someone dared to point out something that you didnt like / want to hear about ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Stan
      In the latest round of Diablo blue posts, we learn about new suspensions in D3, Community Manager PezRadar addresses a follow-up on D4 itemization and we learn that no Era reset is planned for Season 21.
      Diablo IV Itemization
      Blizzard posted the June 2020 Quarterly Update earlier this week and with it, Community Manager PezRadar addressed some concerns with D4 itemization in a follow-up, where a Redditor asked him why the itemization in the game forces you into certain skills and builds, just like it does in D3.
      (Source)
      I also thought everything looked cool until they got to the items. The items look just like D3 items. Diablo 3 forces you into skills and builds with the items you get. I wish we could go back to diablo 2 style items.
       
      I should note that items are still so so very early on. Everything is not final nor should be considered. As Luis mentioned in the blog, items is a hot topic and will be discussed in further detail as they continue development and we will have blogs that will provide those updates as the team works further along.
      Same for talents ?
      Recent Diablo Suspensions
      Following the June 19 ban wave, Community Manager PezRadar confirmed that additional accounts have been suspended in Diablo 3.
      (Source)
      Hi everyone
      We closed or suspended additional accounts this morning. As always, no additional comments on these specific disciplinary actions beyond confirming that we performed them.
      No Era Reset With Season 21
      Blizzard does not currently plan to reset Era Leaderboards in Season 21, but rather next Season as there will be balance changes to multiple sets.
      (Source)
      Hi all - Sorry been a bit slammed this week with all the Diablo beats this week with S21 Preview, Patch and D4.
      RE: Eras
      Currently we aren’t planning to reset eras for this go around but are planning it for the next season as there will be some overall balance updates to numerous sets.
      Razeth's Volition in 2.6.9 Patch Notes
      Razeth's Volition is supposed to give you 35-50% damage reduction, not 35-60% as stated in the official patch notes. This was just an error in the patch notes.
      (Source)
      In the patch notes we have the following:
      But, at least on Switch, it has 35-50%. So is it a bug or an error in patch notes?
      Thanks for this! It is an issue with our patch notes. This has been corrected.
      It should be 35-50%.
    • By Starym
      We finally have the second Diablo 4 quarterly update! We get to hear a whole lot about how the story will be presented, the new itemization affixes and new items, the open world and "camps" which we'll conquer and more!
      Here are some highlights:
      Not at an alpha or beta stage yet. Next update will be about talents and more items, possibly music as well. The team is now testing the Dry Steppes, which were pushed to have a complete and cohesive experience ready for the team playtest, including the final cinematic for the zone. Several ifferent ways conversations play out: a more general, just zoomed in camera style for more casual ones, and a more directed one, with specially animated movements for the characters, for slightly  more important conversations. The bigger scenes get a special treatment, with the camera moving more like in a movie, but they're still in-engine and showing off you character with their current gear etc. (we've already seen one of these at BlizzCon, with the snowy area with a Cain-like figure talking. Camps are full of enemies, but once cleared become outposts with friendly NPCs and a waypoint. Each camp has their own unique story (a ravaged town, a crypt etc.) Mounts have their own equipment such as trophies from an achievement in the local area. The multiplayer aspect is explained as seeing a few people in town, 1 or two on the roads and then a bunch at world bosses. We get samples of some of the new items with the new affixes.
        Quarterly Update June (source)
      Table of Contents
      Introduction
      Team Playtest
      A Word About Blockout
      Storytelling
      Open World
      Multiplayer
      Items and Progression
      Other Thoughts
      To the Diablo Community,
      Hello, and welcome to our latest Diablo IV quarterly update! We are excited to share some of the progress we’ve made on the game today.
      As is the case with many other game and technology companies at the time of writing this, the Diablo IV team has fully transitioned to working from home. While the transition has introduced challenges, we feel very fortunate to be able to keep momentum going strong on the development of Diablo IV.
      Back to Top
      Team Playtest
      As with many other games, we organize the development of Diablo IV around team milestones. Often, these culminate with a build which we to play together and talk about as a team. For example, the milestones leading up to BlizzCon 2019 culminated in a team playtest of the demo that helped us unveil the game during the show. Besides getting an early look at what other team members had accomplished, this also allowed us to stress test the demo, catch additional bugs, and make improvements before the show.
      For our most recent milestone, we focused on blocking in all the elements in a region known as the Dry Steppes, complete with campaign content, open world elements, itemization, a PvP subzone, dungeons, and a cinematic to cap the completion of the region’s narrative. Our goal was to then have the team play the game from home over the course of two full days, and then spend some time analyzing data and discussing our reactions.
      Of course, we play the game all the time, but we’re often examining individual features or areas. Taking the time to play the same build together as a team over multiple days gives us a different perspective. It lets us see how all the current features harmonize over a longer playtime. We had this as a goal before we knew we were going to move to a work from home environment, but as it turned out, it ended up being a really good way to reconnect as a team. Similarly, we hope that chatting about this playtest and sharing some screenshots with you will provide context for future blog updates (or pique your curiosity about future topics).
      It’s worth noting that the playtest also didn’t represent the entirety of our progress. Other regions of the game are underway. The Dry Steppes is just the region where we made a concerted push to create a complete and cohesive experience that we could draw observations from. Let us know if you liked this approach to the blog (or if you didn’t) and we can adjust future updates accordingly. As always, your feedback is highly appreciated.
      Back to Top
      A Word About Blockout
       
       
       
      Blocking out or “grayboxing” levels allows us to play areas where the art isn’t finished.
      As part of development, visuals are often kept in rough form so the game team can cheaply test ideas and iterate on them. If something isn’t fun, it’s much cheaper to change or discard a “blockout” asset than a final one.
      When we share models or screenshots with you, they are often quite far along to adequately convey our vision for the game. We don’t typically show blockout assets as they don’t really do justice to the engine or the artistry of the folks on the team, but as part of showing the “behind the scenes” of how we make the game, we thought you’d appreciate seeing the transition of blockout assets into more polished ones.
      Some of the assets shown in this blog might not be final, so please bear that in mind as you check the screenshots below.
       
       
       
      A classic demon from concept, to blockout, to in-game art
      Back to Top
      Storytelling
      A couple of things have evolved with how we deliver story in Diablo IV. First, we have conversations. In D3 we relied on UI panes with a character’s name and portrait. We’re experimenting with a mix of tool-generated and manually choreographed cameras to tackle conversations. For simple interactions with NPCs we bring the camera in closer to the characters (while still maintaining an overall isometric feel) and use a library of animations to deliver the general gist of the conversations. For more complex conversations, we take a similar camera approach but here the character’s movements and animations are more deliberately hand-crafted. This lets us deliver story moments that are complex while keeping you in the world as much as possible. Here’s a shot from one such interaction.
       
      A more zoomed in overhead camera helps us deliver simple story beats.
      The second storytelling method we are developing is real-time cutscenes (or RTCs). Here we grab your camera and treat the storytelling more like a movie, so we’re reserving this technique for the most important story moments. Having these be real-time has great advantages—we can show your character with their currently equipped armor as part of the scene, for example. But we can also display them at your current resolution and with your currently enabled graphics settings, so they end up feeling more seamless and like a part of the game.
      We showed you some early work on real time in-game cinematics during the BlizzCon demo. Our cinematics and engine teams have made a lot of improvements since then, so we were excited to see a fully produced cinematic serve as the climax to the Dry Steppes experience, and the team was not disappointed. Here’s a screengrab that the story and cinematics folks have given us the go ahead to share with you as it shouldn’t spoil the details of what’s to come.


      In-game cinematics in Diablo IV set a properly dark mood
      Back to Top
      Open World
      One of the main new features we are bringing to the Diablo series is the open world of Sanctuary. So, while you can concentrate on the story campaign and work through that, we have a variety of open world systems and pieces of content that you are also discovering along the way. If you want to take a break from the main campaign and go exploring, crafting, or PvPing, you are free to do so.
      During the playtest, we saw this variability in action quite a bit. On an average playthrough, team members took several hours to complete the campaign content for the region, but those who focused only on the story finished the arc in less than half the average time (and were, of course able to do side content after that). We think the ability to approach the game with a different mix of story and side content tailored to your own appetite will make playing (and re-playing) the campaign more enjoyable than it has been in previous ARPGs.
       

      Playtests like this one allow us to collect and aggregate data to help guide our design.
      This distribution heatmap indicates areas in the Dry Steppes that saw the most traffic.
        While we have many open world activities, such as crafting, events, world PvP, and side quests, perhaps the most popular open world feature was Camps. These are locations of importance that have been overrun by enemies, which once cleansed turn into friendly outposts with NPCs and a waypoint location. While there is a backstory to each camp, most of the storytelling is visual and quests don’t directly send you to them. For example, one of the camps in the zone was a town afflicted by a curse that turned villagers into piles of salt. Another was a crypt, haunted by a spirit that possesses the bodies of various undead—jumping from skeleton to skeleton until you defeat him.
      We really dug the impact of seeing the world change as you reclaim a small piece of Sanctuary and bring hope back to its common folk. We look forward to the Open World designers showing you more about this feature in the future!



      Camps start out as hostile and turn into small hubs with a waypoint and vendors after being completed
      Finally, mounts were another thing you could obtain during the playthrough. We really liked how the open world interacts with mounts—you could get to your objectives more quickly without trivializing travel or combat. Itemization for mounts also opened up a new axis of progression.
      One of my favorite things about mounts was customizing it by attaching a trophy to the saddle to signal to other players an obscure challenge in the zone that I had completed. Of course, there is more work to be done on mounts. For example, on navigation and tuning, it is currently too easy to get stuck on stray pieces of collision or to get dismounted by a random enemy projectile. These are all things that are just going to get better the more we play and tune the feature.
      Back to Top
      Multiplayer
      Fine tuning the right approach to multiplayer in Diablo IV has been challenging. Our goal has always been to incorporate elements from shared world games without the game ever feeling like it’s veering into massively multiplayer territory. To be clear, this is a philosophy rather than a tech limitation. We find that the game stops feeling like Diablo and the world feels less dangerous when you see other players too often or in too high numbers.

      Towns become social hubs where you can run into other players once key segments in the story are completed
      I’ll break down our experiences during the playtest with some examples. Dungeons and key story moments are always private—just the player and their party. Once story moments are complete and towns turned into social hubs, you’d run into a few people in town. While on the road, you’d sometimes run into a player here and there. And then finally, if you went to a location where a world event was happening, you would see a larger congregation of players trying to defend against an attack by a cannibal horde or trying to take down Ashava, the demonic world boss we showed at BlizzCon.
      It’s worth calling out that while some coordination is helpful during these events, you are never forced to join a party. Solo players can walk in, help complete the event, and claim a reward. We think this seamless approach to multiplayer is working well and look forward to sharing more about this approach with you. In our tests so far, the world feels alive and dynamic without compromising the feel of Diablo. And for players that do want to party up against the minions of Hell, we have new tools available to find a group, whether by activity or proximity in the game world.

      The World Boss Ashava shown during Blizzcon 2019 in Scosglen can spawn in the Dry Steppes as well
      Back to Top
      Items and Progression
      One of the things that was very useful about our two-day playtest was that we could get better feedback on progression as there was a sense of permanence. Gear and skill choices you make on day one have an impact on day two (though some people chose to roll alts as we had multiple classes to test). A friend of mine used to say that Diablo is the game that you keep playing inside your head and Diablo IV is no different. In addition to the official play time allotted to the team during the playtest, I could feel the game lingering in my mind, thinking about the items that could possibly drop for my build, and talents I could finally unlock to get me those key skill interactions.
      You might have already read the developer blog by David Kim shortly after last BlizzCon. In it, he describes new affixes and itemization philosophies. We’ll have a beefier update on items later in the year, but in the meantime, here are some items that dropped during the playtest to whet your appetite!


      Various items from the playtest utilizing the new attribute system. Note that the item icons are not final art
      Back to Top
      Other Thoughts
      The overall feedback from the team was that even at these early stages, Diablo IV is very fun to play. The classes especially are going down a promising path that we’re excited about. We’re taking cues from what makes the Barbarian’s Arsenal system or the Druid’s shapeshifting feel special and looking for ways to apply similar innovations to all classes (more on this in a future update).
      The playtest was also a really good way to put our tech through its paces. Since we played at home, we got to test the game on a lot of different setups—from graphics cards, to screen aspect ratios, to network speeds. We also had the opportunity to exercise our client-server technology, including deploying builds with fixes to bugs during the playtest.
      Of course, we still have a lot of work ahead of us and to be clear, we are not at an Alpha or Beta stage yet. We don’t typically discuss our early milestones publicly during the course of development, but we think it’s especially important to continue to share our progress during a year without a BlizzCon. Also, this was an important milestone for the team as we feel it corroborated that we have all the key ingredients for a great Diablo IV (of course, we’ll continue to seek feedback and iterate as we drive to completion).
      We hope you’ve enjoyed this update and, as always, we welcome you to share your thoughts on the platform of your choice—whether it’s our own forums, other sites, or social media, we read and appreciate your comments and feedback. We were happy to see lots of great discussion after our last blog (which seeded a bunch of conversations on our end as well).
      We are also excited to see the range of topics you want to hear about. Based on your response so far, we think talent trees are by far what you’re the most eager to discuss, so we’ll make sure to queue that up for our very next blog. Items continue to be a popular topic and there was also a lot of interest in music. We are shooting to have more updates around those topics later in the year. Let us know how that sounds.
      Thank you for taking the time to read this update. We can’t wait to share more of Sanctuary with you!
       

      Development is well underway outside the Dry Steppes. More of Sanctuary awaits in coming updates!
       
      -Luis Barriga-
      Game Director, Diablo IV Team
      Back to Top
      Have a question, comment, or feedback about the information we shared today? Join the conversation here on our General Forum. We can’t wait to hear from you!
      The Q2 Diablo 4 update is here!
    • By Starym
      We have some news on the second Diablo 4 quarterly update, in the form of a very short reply from Community Manager Lead PezRadar, confirming that it's still planned for this month, with a note that things can change. But we do now know it's at least written (in some form), so that's something. You can check out the previous quarterly update from back in February here, which focuses on the UI, controllers and co-op and the Cannibal monster family.
      We also recently took a look at whether D4's release could be closer than anticipated, a cool Assassin fan concept, a hate/excitement meter on some D4 features from reddit and discussed whether local co-op was in the cards for PC players as well.
      2nd Quarterly Update (source)
      One simple question, is the D4 Q update still on track for this month?
      Yes but will caveat that things can always change. But I have read it/gone through it.

      Related Diablo 4 Articles:
      Rod Ferguson's Diablo 4 Tweets, Art Director Images Diablo 4 Quarterly Update: February 2020 Diablo 4 Beta Signup Clarifications New Head of the Diablo Franchise Is Rod Ferguson of Gears of War Quarterly Updates on Diablo IV in 2020 Updated Version of Everything We Know About Diablo 4 So Far System Design, Part 2 (Official) Lilith's Summoner Is Rathma Confirmed Diablo 4 Will Be "Like the First Chapter of a Book", Diablo May Not Even Show Up System Design in Diablo 4, Part 1 (Official) A Letter from the Diablo 4 Game Director Leaks Before the Diablo 4 Announcement: Amazon, Paladin and Release Date? Diablo 4 Will Feature Cosmetic Microtransactions Cross-Play Is a Goal for Diablo 4, Blizzard "Very Excited" About It
    • By Starym
      Blizzard's Diablo 4 release timeline has never been outright stated, and the most accurate piece of info on the matter we have is from BlizzCon, where we learned it was "not even Blizzard soon", implying quite a few more years of development were to come. However, the demo that was presented at the convention looked very polished, and even if it was a vertical slice, it was quite far along, which has prompted many discussions on the game's potential 2021 or 2022 release date.
      Today we have redditor poundcake_64 discussing the recent additions to the Blizzard CDN (Content Delivery/Distribution Network), which include not only project Fenris that we already talked about, but also many updates to it in recent weeks. This is all speculation, obviously, and there are differing opinions on poundcake's interpretation of the facts, but we're going to summarize his conclusions anyway, and you can check out the different opinions on the matter in the reddit thread.
      The main claim here is that Diablo 4 is much further along than most of us assumed, with a possible release in 2021. The reasoning given is based on the authors 20 years of experience on the IT field and the patterns of update patches and their contents on the Fenris/Diablo 4 CDN. The first argument is a comparison of the Diablo 3 builds and the fact that the current D4 build already has 142% more versions than the original D3 release build. The second is that Blizzard are already adding things like RGB product integration testing with Corsair and a Vivox SDK (a voice and chat commonly used for video games, like Overwatch), which would be somewhat strange if the game was at an early stage of development. He also reveals the current version on the CDN is playable and is possibly being used by Corsair and co. to test their product integration. He also found out the game is currently 30 GB large, which would be a lot for something not that far along. Finally, he claims that Rod Ferguson was actually brought in to push the project over the (near) finish line, and that Activision are pushing hard for releases, especially knowing Blizzard's usual slow/procrastinating nature of development. Read the full details of poundcake's arguments at the bottom of the article, as he goes into far more detail and is certainly more convincing than this summary.
      My personal thoughts on all this are mixed, as the game build versions could mean anything, as the way Blizzard mark or update them could have changed many times since Diablo 3. The Corsair and Vivox integration, on the other hand, could go either way, but to me it does sound like the game is a significant way along, and this news is actually quite positive for those of us (aka all) that want the game to release as soon as humanly possible (while still being a quality product). Rod Ferguson's addition could be both a good and bad sign for the game's previous development (and I think it's definitely a good sign for its future development, having played most of the Gears games - (regardless of what you think of the games themselves, they're very efficiently made and solid quality products), as he could have been brought in to finish the game quicker/at the finish line or because there was trouble in leadership in the previous regime. Unfortunately I'd say the latter is more likely, as we know/heard solid rumors that another version of Diablo 4 was already scrapped and the team lead left the company, so it wouldn't be that hard to believe the current version of D4 also had leadership issues (especially with the rather uninspired "what do you think we should do" presentation of the game at BlizzCon).
      Having said all that this particular post does give me a lot of hope, as I was completely shocked to see a finished demo of the game at BlizzCon already, and any evidence that the game is much further along that we thought, no matter how flimsy it might be, is something I'm going to be inclined to believe. With the quarterly updates for 2020 we can be sure the game won't be coming early in 2021, as the marketing push needs some time to play itself out, but if these are just the preamble and the real push starts in early 2021, a release in the same year could be possible. The "not even Blizzard soon" comment was somewhat conspicuous, especially considering Activision's constant pushing to get more frequent game releases out, so it might have been a bit of a cover, so they can pull out a huge reveal at this year's BlizzCon about the release date next year. The current pandemic may have thrown off all of these calculations, of course, but I have to say I'm more optimistic now and significantly more hyped.
       
      What do you think about all this? Just random reading into things that we want to have happen, or is there something to it? When do you think we'll see Diablo 4 released?
      Source.
    • By Starym
      Some news on the Diablo 4... well news, as the official twitter has commented that the second quarterly update is being "aimed" at the end of June! In   the February update we heard and saw a lot about the UI and the Cannibal monster family, and got the great news that the game would be playable on controller on PC, with detailed explanations and images, so hopefully we get another great update in June as well. We also learned that the first encrypted build for Diablo 4 may have made its way to the Blizzard CDN earlier today, so check that story out as well.
       

      Related Diablo 4 Articles:
      Diablo 4 Beta Signup Clarifications Diablo 4 GamesRadar Hands On - Death Kits, Difficulty and More Diablo 4 Vs. 3 Vs. 2 Graphics and Art Style Comparisons Quarterly Updates on Diablo IV in 2020 Updated Version of Everything We Know About Diablo 4 So Far System Design, Part 2 (Official) Lilith's Summoner Is Rathma Confirmed Diablo 4 Will Be "Like the First Chapter of a Book", Diablo May Not Even Show Up System Design in Diablo 4, Part 1 (Official) A Letter from the Diablo 4 Game Director Leaks Before the Diablo 4 Announcement: Amazon, Paladin and Release Date? New Gameplay Videos Without Commentary Diablo 4 Will Feature Cosmetic Microtransactions Cross-Play Is a Goal for Diablo 4, Blizzard "Very Excited" About It 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 All Barbarian, Sorceress and Druid Skills and Talents
×
×
  • Create New...