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

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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.

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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.
 

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Other significant Diablo 4 articles:

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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
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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

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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
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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
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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.

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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
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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
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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*.

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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. 

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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!

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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 ?

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      The big takeaway here is that, with the new skill tree system and its limited nature, choosing whether to make a skill active or an enchant will be a very big deal and, depending on how limited our skill tree selection will be, some Sorceresses might even have empty slots on their skill hotbars! For now it's looking like we'll have 6 active skill slots and only 3 enchant slots, but hopefully Blizzard widen that enchant number so players can actually just stack themselves up with passives and have only a couple of active skill if they so choose.
      Enchantment System (source)
      Many of you might remember the Barbarian’s unique Arsenal system—their ability to carry and smoothly swap between multiple deadly weapons—which greatly increased their power. We’ve also been exploring unique class mechanics for our other classes. The main goal for us here is to have very unique class-specific mechanics in Diablo IV. We have this goal because Diablo is the kind of game where many players try out different builds or classes, especially during seasonal play. We believe that unique class mechanics with very different strengths and playstyles compared to other classes will make exploring the different classes—and playing the game—much more fun.
      For the Sorceress, we’ve been trying out the Enchantment System. This is how it works:
       
      The Ball Lightning skill. Unlike other classes, each Sorceress skill has two possible effects.
      Sorceress skills can be placed into two locations: an active skill slot (that every other class also has access to), and an Enchantment slot. If you place a skill in the Enchantment slot, you can no longer use it as an active skill, but your character instead gains a secondary bonus power.
       
      Ball Lightning as an enchantment. You can gain the secondary effect of a skill by placing it in an Enchantment slot instead of an active skill slot.
      The power you gain from Enchantments is extremely significant, and you can currently make builds based around your Enchantments, your active skills, or a mix of both.
       
       
      Here is an example of this system using the Meteor skill. Meteor allows you to call a fiery chunk of rock from the sky. If you choose to slot it as an Enchantment, you won’t be able to control your Meteors, but they’ll fall onto enemies periodically. This skill is still under development and may be different in the final game.
      We’ve been testing this class mechanic for a while now, and the team feedback has been really positive. This new system now empowers you to make some interesting choices to strategize around which skills you would want to slot in as an Enchantment, as you won’t be able to put one skill in both places.
      Blizzard also mentioned that the Druid class mechanic is being worked on and we'll find out more about it soon as well. While we still don't know what the final 2 classes are (although there are solid rumors), they'll also get very unique class identities thanks to this new design decision! This is one of the best decisions the Diablo 4 team has made and it's really looking like it will improve the game immensely, especially in conjunction with the limited selection of skills in the skill tree.
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