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Everything We Know About Diablo 4 So Far

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Update: The article has new additions from more recent posts noted as (Updated) and the entries with the updates have been moved to the top of their categories.

With so many articles, panels, interviews and streams coming out of BlizzCon this year, a lot of people may have missed a lot of important details announced about Diablo 4, so we thought we'd gather it all up in one spot, before going into detail and analyzing each segment separately. We won't go into the smaller details and less useful info here, so we have a better overall overview, so if you really want to know every single detail, check out the list of articles at the bottom of the page.

 Table of contents

It's also very important to note that a lot of the things listed below are just the way things are now and the developers want as much feedback on them as possible so they can adjust them to better fit the community. But before we start, we can't waste an opportunity to re-post the impressive opening cinematic.


 Itemization

  • Affixes (full list from the demo, including legendary ones)
    • (Updated) There will be more affixes on each individual item, including magic items and rares (source)
    • (Updated) 3 new affixes (source😞
      • Angelic Power, which increases the duration of all beneficial effects (like self-buffs or healing)
      • Demonic Power, which increases the duration of all negative effects (like debuffs or damage over time)
      • Ancestral Power, which increases the chance of on-hit effects (aka increased proc chance)
      • The three Affixes above are also prerequisites for certain affixes, ie you'll need x Angelic/Demonic/Ancestral power for a specific affix on an item to "turn on":
        CO8WLPEGYHLM1575335678970.jpg
      • Each affix is linked to a set of other affixes so you'll be able to choose which type you want to unlock by focusing on either Angelic/Demonic/Ancestral power
         
  • Only 2 base stats: Attack and Defense (instead of Str, Dex, Int Vit etc.)
    • (Updated) Attack will only be on weapons, Defense on armor and neither will be on jewelry (source)
    • + to skill and talent affixes will be very important
    • Many returning and new ones
    • Gold/item find and similar utility affixes won't compete with combat-affecting ones
    • We might be able to customize affixes, they're not really sure how yet, presumably through crafting
       
  • Legendaries
    • (Updated) Ancient items have been removed (source)
    • (Updated) There will be a special new item, similar to Ramaladni's Gift from D3 that will be able to imbue a rare quality item with a legendary power (source)
      • This will make rares much more important in the endgame, as any of them can be turned into a legendary
    • They are the focal point of gearing
    • More legendaries than ever before (hundreds)
    • Not going the huge 300-40,000% buff route
    • 5 types of legendaries so far- skill specific, skill category specific, +x to multiple skills or talents, talent specific, non-class specific,
    • You can stack several legendary powers that affect 1 skill
    • They won't drop as much as in D3
    • Drop rates will not be modified as you get farther into endgame (possibly one drop rate while leveling and another at max, but that's it)
       
  • Sets
    • Won't be as powerful as in D3
    • They will be more introductory items
      • They will be more easily acquirable than a full suite of legendaries (perhaps given through a series of quests?)
    • Heavily class themed, to get you a better feel for the class before you move on to specific builds through legendaries
    • Can be ancient, as in D3
       
  • Mythic items are the best in the game
    • You can only equip 1
    • They have 4 legendary affixes
    • Unclear whether they have existing legendary powers or unique mythic only ones

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  • Runewords
      • Only 2 word combinations
      • Condition and effect runes
        • Conditions we saw: drinking a potion, stunning an enemy, critting, freezing an enemy, when a pet dies, if you stand still for 3 seconds, when you are stunned or frozen
        • Effects we saw: 50% extra crit damage for 7 seconds, 15% reduced cooldown to random skill, random shrine effect for 7 seconds, next thorns hit deals 30% more damage, gain a 500 damage barrier
      • Might have a progression system, probably similar to the one D3 had before release (you can see all the numbers in the rune UI are highlighted yellow, indicating they might change if the rune is leveled or upgraded or similar, just like it was in D3)
    • Gems
      • Only have utility stats (gold/item find and similar)
    • Trading
      • No Auction House
      • The primary source of items should be killing monsters
      • 3 types of items
        • Tradable all the time (consumables, crafting mats), tradable once and then bound, and non tradable.
      • The most powerful items will not be tradable
      • If an item drops for you only you will see it
        • If you drop an item only those in your party will see it
    • Crafting
      • Will mostly focus around item modification and enhancement
      • A lot of the endgame will be item modification
    • You can get more powerful versions of all items even when you're in the endgame (not quite sure what this means, possibly alluding to the ancient legendary system coming back - hopefully it isn't an item level type system)
    • Gambling for gold is back
      • You can get some of the most powerful items in the game through it
    • Shoulder slot item is gone for now
    • All the best items will be available to everyone, regardless if playing solo or group
    • Transmogrification will probably return

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     Skills

    • (Updated) We will get 1 OR MORE skill points per level
    • Cannot be respecced
    • Skill tomes will drop/"be acquired in the world"
    • Skills have 15 ranks
      • There are skill rank thresholds that will add new functionality or buff the skill in some way (adding unstoppable (immune to crowd control) to it, increasing shout radius etc.)
    • There are 25-26 individual skills for each character
    • Skills are split into 6 categories for each class
      • Generally they are: Generators, Spenders, Defensive, class specific (Wrath for druid, Conjuration for sorc, Brawling for Barb), Mastery (which is Companion for druid) and Ultimate
    • "Elective Mode" from D3 is on by default, aka you can bind any skill to any hotkey

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     Talents

    • A talent tree with either 2 or 3 branches
    • Can be respecced for free or a low cost
    • Each class has something special about it (sorc has 3 branches, druid can hop from one branch to another)
    • Relatively small % buffs per point
    • Can only pick one of two talents at the bottom of each tree
    • Buffs to talent points from items will add to your progress in a particular branch and can go beyond the maximum ranks listed

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     The Endgame

    • Key dungeons are the primary endgame activity
      • You will get random keys dropped in various activities
      • The keys will be to a specific dungeon in the world
      • Keys will upgrade the dungeon to a much harder endgame one, which will scale up even in the endgame
      • Keys also have specific affixes that change how the dungeon works
        • Affixes can affect the player, enemies or environment
          • A giant indestructible stone pillar spawns, shooting lightning all around it, following the player throughout the dungeon
          • All enemies are invisible unless they're in combat
          • Double bosses in the dungeon
      • They offer a better chance of setup than Greater Rifts, as you'll probably know what type of enemies are in the dungeon you got your key for, as well as the affixes on the key and how the dungeon will change
      • Many keys will drop, you can dismantle them as well for crafting mats

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     World and Campaign

    • Campaign
      • (Updated) The story of Diablo 4 is just like "the first chapter in a book, meaning there are very big plans for the larger narrative after the game's story ends (source)
      • (Updated) Rathma is in fact, the bald summoner of Lillith from the intro cinematic (source)
      • Non-linear
      • Each part of the world will become shared with other players after you finish a specific part of the campaign. So presumably when you finish act 1 which takes you beyond the Scosglen area, that's when Scosglen will become a shared world
    • Open shared world
      • The world is preset, will not be randomized
      • You'll only run into a few players here and there in the overworld
        • Most of the time you will be alone
      • Towns will be trading hubs, you'll see more players there
      • World boss areas will be where you'll see the most players
      • 5 contiguous connected zones
        • Scosglen (savage untamed foggy forests)
        • Dry Steppes (war ravaged terrain, grasslands, canyons, salt flats)
        • Fractured peaks (snowy mountainous region, dark ruins, ancient cathedrals, Victorian gothic horror themes)
        • Hawezar (poisonous swamplands, disease, despair, swamp witches who worship massive snakes)
        • Kehjistan (last bastion of Zakarum faith, a lot of buried history from the Sin War, Lilith's agents are among the people)
      • Over 100 settlements of various sizes
      • Mounts
        • There will be mount equipment that grants stats as well as cosmetics
        • Special dismount abilities for each class (Sorceress dismounts by turning into an ice ball and rolling off)

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       Dungeons

      • Hundreds of unique dungeons
      • Always private for you and your party
      • Randomized interior and exterior environments
      • Seamless exploration - no loading screens between floors
      • Actions in one part of the dungeon can affect another part
      • Dungeon objectives
        • Progressing the objective increases difficulty and rewards
        • Enemy responds to your progress

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       Classes (All 3 class skills and talents from the demo)

      • There will be 5 classes at launch
      • (Updated) Some credible leaks that had correctly predicted BlizzCon announcements also predict that the final 2 classes will be Amazon and Paladin, making it a full D2 cast (source)
      • There will be a lot of character customization
        • Gender, tattoos, hair color etc.
      • Barbarian
        • The Arsenal system allows them to wield 4 weapons
          • Two 1 handers and two separate 2 handers
          • You switch between them based on the skill you're using
      • Druid
        • Caster (human), werebear and werewolf forms
        • Shapeshifting is seamless - you can transform mid-abilitiy
          • Similar to barbarian arsenal system, you shapeshift when you use an ability from that form
        • Specific mechanics tied to the moment you transform (damage reduction when you change to werebear etc.)
        • Can pick talents from either of two branches as he moves down them
      • Sorceress
        • The main caster class
        • 3 branches in talent tree based on elements
      • All classes have a default dodge ability
        • At the moment it has no cooldown and is spammble

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       Leveling

      • (Updated) The Paragon-like system might be infinite or finite, they haven't decided yet (source)
      • Maximum level is 40
      • There will be level scaling
        • They still want you to feel that you're getting more powerful as you level
        • In a party, the game will scale to the party leader's level
      • There will be something that fills the paragon level role, but they haven't decided on what exactly

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       PvP

      • Dedicated PvP zones, similar to the World Boss zones
        • You have to opt in to PvP in those zones
      • The game and classes were designed with PvP in mind from the ground up
      • There won't be separate PvP balance for items and skills
        • But they expect the builds to be very different from PvE
      • Specific PvP modes are being explored, as well as PvPvE modes

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       Mechanics

      • No crowd control diminishing returns
        • Makes the "unstoppable" buff very important, as it ignores CC
      • Death penalty
        • You have to corpse run and you drop a pile of gold you have to reclaim
      • The stagger system for bosses
        • Crowd control effects don't affect bosses directly but deal damage to their stagger bar. When it's depleted the boss goes into a unique state for each of them - the world boss Ashava has one of her blade arms destroyed and is less dangerous after that, and can lose both.

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       Social

      • Leaderboards
        • Will go more in the direction of activity-specific ones, similar to the current Diablo 3 seasonal conquest leaderboards
        • Will also focus more on leaderboards between friends and not more broad ones
      • Group play vs. solo play should be completely balanced in terms of rewards
        • If they can't quite achieve that balance, they will choose group play to be more rewarding
      • Couch co-op on consoles (2 players only)

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       Monsters

      • New Enhancing affix
        • Improves a skill a specific monster type has (skeletal ballista now fires 3 shots instead of one, Fallen shaman resurrects multiple allies etc.)
      • Monster families have synergies
        • They work together to provide a bigger challenge
        • The Fallen
        • The Drowned - undead from the oceans, created by maritime curses and similar
        • Skeletons

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      Scosglen_Goatmen.jpg.00200ad50c7096e4c72


       Monetization

      • (Updated) There will be microtransactions (source)
      • Base game + expansions
      • There was a mention of cosmetics only in an interview but was not mentioned again when the question was asked elsewhere
      • You will not be able to buy power

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       Post-launch content

      • Seasons
        • Seasons might not require you to roll a new character
        • They will shake up the meta and perhaps focus some less used builds or items
        • New legendaries

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       Platforms

      • (Updated) Cross-play between platforms is one of the big goals for the game (source)
      • PC, PS4, Xbox One and probably next gen consoles as well
      • They're looking into cross-play

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       Progress updates

      • We will be getting quarterly progress updates starting in 2020

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       Misc

      • There's an auto-walk toggle, so you just have to move your mouse and not click it for movement
      • Contextual interaction with the world (you can climb or drop by clicking on a prompt in the environment)
      • Animation-cancelling (you can instantly back out of a skill you're in the middle of)
      • Controller support for PC
      • The game is full 3d for the first time in the franchise (D3 had some 2.5d trees and other assets)
      • Hardcore mode will return
      • No offline mode
         

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       Release date

      • Not even "Blizzard soon"
         

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      That's about every significant piece of info we gathered from all sources we could find. The story details and constant mentions of "darkness", "gothic" and "gritty" we decided to skip and focused on the game part. If you've run across anything we missed, do let us know in the comments!

       

       

       

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      Related Diablo 4 Articles:

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      I'm beyond excited for D4. I hope it doesn't flop at launch. Also, a shared world is going to be cool. I've heard it is similar to how Destiny works. You'll see players doing their own thing. Plus, the new or at least updated Engine looks amazing! Might re-install D3 just to get that feeling again.

      Highly Interested on how Towns (Social Hubs) will play out with random players, hopefully just like any other MMO. Trading, questing and help from randoms that may turn into long life Diablo friends.

      Edited by Knoxtane
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      2 hours ago, Knoxtane said:

      randoms that may turn into long life Diablo friends.

      I respect your possitivity and hope / wish in this term, but i mostly met extrem psychopath's in both WoW and D3 in the past. At this point i welcome their idea of "you dont need people for every action" aka. Soloplay also brings happiness.

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      HYPE! Reading through all the infos, good vibes, really excited about D4. Hopefully Blizz gonna stay motivated enough so to deliver some next level action rpg... action 🧀.

      @Baharok Haha, "psychopaths", classic. I always found open privat community chats to be great for finding ppl that know how to have fun. Hopefully D4 will have a strong community backbone, making it easy to have fun. And an ignore option for the occasional "psychopath" 😉.

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      • They won't drop as much as in D3
      • Drop rates will not be modified as you get farther into endgame (possibly one drop rate while leveling and another at max, but that's it)

      Having D3 release legendaries flashbacks. Back when they didn't drop at all and were still inferior to good proc Rare items.

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      I'm so sad that the runes and runewords won't be closer to the way they were in D2.

      It is to this day so satisfying to see that HR drop, save runes and eventually craft that sweet runeword in a piece of carefully selected gear.

      I'm also a bit scared that they won't really listen to the community through the development of D4, but only time will tell.

      Edited by Osmodium

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      5 hours ago, Kuarinofu said:
      • They won't drop as much as in D3
      • Drop rates will not be modified as you get farther into endgame (possibly one drop rate while leveling and another at max, but that's it)

      Having D3 release legendaries flashbacks. Back when they didn't drop at all and were still inferior to good proc Rare items.

      While I 100% agree you have to admit the few legendaries you got back then (as shitty as they were) were a *filtered* EVENT. I can seriousl still remember at least 2 and exacty where and how I got them. I really REALLY miss this in games nowdays.

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      5 hours ago, Osmodium said:

      I'm so sad that the runes and runewords won't be closer to the way they were in D2.

      It is to this day so satisfying to see that HR drop, save runes and eventually craft that sweet runeword in a piece of carefully selected gear.

      I'm also a bit scared that they won't really listen to the community through the development of D4, but only time will tell.

      While with any other company and Blizzard at any other time you'd be right, this time I'm 100% sure they'll listen. Why? Because they don't really know what they're doing. I don't mean this in  an incompetence way, but they do not have a vision for this game (unfortunately). D4 is a hail mary "we need to give something, anything to the community" and they're piecing it together from all the complaints and "wants" of the Diablo community.

      It's both sad and good, as the game will be fine, good even since Blizz know how to do good combat, but it won't have any new ideas or concepts - they will do EXACTLY what the community wants which is why they're practically begging for feedback.

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      Ahhw awesome summary! Really excited about the new Diablo.
      Already in love with everything from art to gameplay. There is absolutely nothing what I actually don't like. Can't wait that 'not even Blizzard soon'! 

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      Thanx for all this, Icy!

      I miss the Old D2 Crafting - I don't remember exactly how it worked, but I remember getting a White Item like a Grandfather Sword and Crafting it into something really kickass.  Maybe I'm Hallucinatin'.

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      Curious what you guys think about the Skills not being able to be respecced.

      Edited by albabe

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      I just want to say I have a lot of friends that are gamers but have never dabbled in Diablo, and they are talking about this game's announcement. People never playing Diablo before are interested and saying maybe they should give it a try.

       

      And my friends who have moved on from Diablo years and years ago are super hyped about it.

       

      So thus far they have done a fantastic job on rebranding this old school franchise, and I hope they continue to build on this momentum and deliver!

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      9 hours ago, Baharok said:

      I respect your possitivity and hope / wish in this term, but i mostly met extrem psychopath's in both WoW and D3 in the past. At this point i welcome their idea of "you dont need people for every action" aka. Soloplay also brings happiness.

      I have found as I've gotten older that I enjoy the journey much more than the destination I'm getting to. The majority of people you group with seem to be in a fury to burn through and race as fast as possible, skipping things as much as possible, to get that shiny thing at the end. Dungeons in WoW for example give you zero chance to even stop and chat, let alone admire the interesting atmosphere or architecture of the area. I hope they keep solo play or at least a slower-paced style available for people.

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      40 minutes ago, albabe said:

      Thanx for all this, Icy!

      I miss the Old D2 Crafting - I don't remember exactly how it worked, but I remember getting a White Item like a Grandfather Sword and Crafting it into something really kickass.  Maybe I'm Hallucinatin'.

      It was the runeword system, you'd need an item with 5-6 sockets and then a whole lot of extremely hard to get runes to crate a 5-6 world runeword that turned yout white item into basically a legendary.

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      13 minutes ago, albabe said:

      Curious what you guys think about the Skills not being able to be respecced.

      I'll be writing up a full article on skills and talents and that's a biggie I want to discuss

      8 minutes ago, TyZone said:

      I have found as I've gotten older that I enjoy the journey much more than the destination I'm getting to. The majority of people you group with seem to be in a fury to burn through and race as fast as possible, skipping things as much as possible, to get that shiny thing at the end. Dungeons in WoW for example give you zero chance to even stop and chat, let alone admire the interesting atmosphere or architecture of the area. I hope they keep solo play or at least a slower-paced style available for people.

      Can't agree more, I consistently either play solo, even in MMOs or with friends that I know won't just run around burning to get to "the endgame". I still get that pseudo-competitive urge when other friends are "already" max level or grinding the endgame content, but I manage to fight it off (mostly) and just enjoy. I still play a ridiculous amount of time but I really take my time to look around and enjoy the journey as much as possible, as you say.

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      As someone who wanted to play D3 on my Laptop when I deployed overseas, I know the lack of "offline mode" will continue to annoy veterans, and I don't blame them.

      With today's technology and crypto as it is, it shouldn't be hard to generate keys for each buyer that are impossible to duplicate.

      I.e. the game key would be generated server-side at time of purchase and then linked to that battle.net account permanently (and require online authentication for a one-time register to new devices if you were to switch from laptop to pc and vice versa) This way people couldn't add devices, go offline and play a LAN game with one Battle.net account

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      Lack of respec might be annoying to most players. Freedom of choice is good, but as usual people will quickly figure out what is the best build. Anyway, not planning to be "competitive" or anything of that sort, so I will just pick whatever I like.

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      While I want to get excited, I'm apprehensive as well. I've lost a lot of faith in Blizzard's direction this last year and their content seems to be gearing more towards profit than play. The idea of keyed dungeons and pvp says to me they want to invest D4 into e-sports, which could mean more investment into that side of the spectrum rather than the single/co-op version. Always online, well, that's a given these days it seems. But an open world where you see other players? Sounds like they want to make it an MMO without it being an MMO. Right now, if it were available for pre-order I wouldn't touch it. Later down the line when we learn more and it becomes available, I'll have to wait and see.

      TBH, as much as I was looking forward to D4, I was more interested in a D2 remaster. But given that Starcraft 2 got one and Warcraft 3 is getting one, I think next year we'll see a D2 remaster announced. Hopefully.

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      seems decent i really enjoyed d3 over d2 so not sure how illl like this . for me d3 is great i can hope on do 2 or 3 grifts real quick then get off fr a bit and come back d4 doesnt seems liek ill be able to play like that alot more time will be needed to invest . and shadowlands will prob be out way before this comes out 

       

      Edited by elmurufdd

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      On 11/5/2019 at 8:43 PM, Starym said:

      It was the runeword system, you'd need an item with 5-6 sockets and then a whole lot of extremely hard to get runes to crate a 5-6 world runeword that turned yout white item into basically a legendary.

       

      On 11/5/2019 at 8:43 PM, Starym said:

      It was the runeword system, you'd need an item with 5-6 sockets and then a whole lot of extremely hard to get runes to crate a 5-6 world runeword that turned yout white item into basically a legendary.


      Well there was crafting and there was a runeword system, for crafting the item would have to have been normal/magical/scoketed, for runewords it would have to be grey (or made grey via crafting, so you technically the original post would still be refering to crafting and not runewords)
      And yes runewords were more often than not better than legendaries.
      https://diablo2.diablowiki.net/Crafting_Recipes
      https://diablo2.diablowiki.net/Runewords

      Edited by Koxsos

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      On 11/5/2019 at 11:46 AM, Starym said:

      I'll be writing up a full article on skills and talents and that's a biggie I want to discuss

      Can't agree more, I consistently either play solo, even in MMOs or with friends that I know won't just run around burning to get to "the endgame". I still get that pseudo-competitive urge when other friends are "already" max level or grinding the endgame content, but I manage to fight it off (mostly) and just enjoy. I still play a ridiculous amount of time but I really take my time to look around and enjoy the journey as much as possible, as you say.

      Let us know when your article is up, sir.

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          The Diablo Lilith 24.5" Premium Statue can be purchased for $499.99 on Blizzard Gear Store and will ship no later than October 16, 2020, according to the shipping description. Here are some images of the statue provided by Redditor lethalbeaver.









        • By Starym
          We have a couple of news bits from the Diablo 4 universe to share, which may indicate that the game is coming along nicely and we maybe won't have to wait 3-500 years to see it. First off Blizzard are hiring a director of Business Performance, but the focus in the recruitment post is on creating the overall business model for the game and especially post-launch monetization. Now, we've known D4 would have microtransactions ever since they announced it, with cosmetics for the mounts and probably more, so it makes perfect sense that they'd need someone in charge of the business side of that. Despite many players being afraid that Blizzard will (eventually) offer MTXes for power itself, they've firmly stated that's never going to be the case.
          Here are the relevant highlights from the job listing:
          Monetization Director (source)
          We are on a quest to find a legendary Director/Senior Director, Business Performance who is a master of their craft to support the Diablo franchise. The ideal candidate will partner with the design leadership to define and execute the Diablo IV business model and post-launch live service approach and support other franchise topics. Importantly, they will have a deep understanding of and empathy for our players because they are a player themselves. The Director/Senior Director, Business Performance functions as a team lead, manages the end-to-end lifecycle of a game spanning multiple feature areas and collaborates with the game team on roadmap planning. 
          Objectives
          Manage the post-launch business service for Diablo IV to drive acquisition, retention, and monetization while maintaining a healthy community Define, coordinate, and execute in and out of game activities and events (e.g., pricing and promotions); propose compelling features to improve engagement, retention, and monetization; and report out on performance Identify discreet player segments and develop or propose initiatives to address them Create, maintain, and optimize ethical monetization models that maximize long-term franchise revenue Track player life cycle and acquisition funnel and execute initiatives to grow the player base Competencies
          Deep knowledge in the key performance metrics that drive game performance 8+ years of experience including product management, live ops performance, or monetization design The second piece of news is that project Fenris (which is almost certainly Diablo 4) has been updated, with the encrypted vendor version moving up to 0.0.1.24218. Redditor RandomMan00 (from Spanish fansite DiabloNext) has actually dug around the configuration file of this version and found a few minor changes, namely that language compatibility for non-English have been added, and the .exe itself as been renamed to Fenris_ra.exe (from just Fenris.exe). RandomMan00 also noticed that the Fenris builds are linear with time, so he extrapolated when development began: February 1st, 2015. Obviously all of this is speculation, but it's still pretty interesting that additional languages are already being configured. If you're interested in the full details of the digging, here's the reddit thread.
          We've already had someone poke through Fenris details before, which led to the conclusion that D4 may not be as far away as we think, and you can check out that speculation here.
          And finally we have a fun little thing, as new franchise director Rod Fergusson recently tweeted a Diablo 4 clothes patch that he's upset he doesn't get to show off enough due to the pandemic:
          So, while there's isn't a whole lot going on with Diablo 4, we alt least get some snippets of progress every now and then. The biggest discussions in the community are, as you'd expect, when exactly the game is coming out, with predictions ranging from 2021 to 2024.
           

           
          Related Diablo 4 Articles:
          Diablo 4 Quarterly Update 2: No Alpha or Beta Yet, Storytelling Techniques, Multiplayer, Items and More 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 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
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          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!
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