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Diablo 4 Quarterly Update, December 2021: +Skill Ranks Affixes, Legendary Affix Transfers, Paragon Talents, Visual Effects

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We have another massive quarterly update for Diablo 4 on our hands, this time with plenty of systems info! We get a lot of detail into itemization, with +skill affixes returning from D2, as well as legendary affixes being much more flexible since we'll be able to transfer them from one legendary to the other. There's also plenty of info on the new paragon point system, with slottable items called glyphs and a very Path of Exile-like layout. Finally there's a lot of info on the visuals of the game, from combat, lighting and more.

Blizzard LogoQ4 2021 Update (Source)

Table of Contents


Hello and welcome to the year-end Diablo IV Quarterly Update.

We hope you enjoyed October's deep dive into sound design, the atmospheric ambient tracks, and peeking behind the scenes of how game sounds are made.

Since our last blog, we've been hard at work adding new content and systems to the game. We’ve made big strides, with every build of the game containing a host of expanded content, new art, balance changes, and other iterations. In fact, the team is currently playtesting an internal release of the game that represents a significant milestone. We have much to share with you today as a result, so let's dive in.

First, Lead Systems Designer Joe Piepiora will discuss updates to key elements of itemization. These include the return of +Skills on items, a new way to interact with legendary powers, and some early work on targeted drops. After that, grab a warm beverage and a comfortable chair as he walks us through Diablo IV's completely new end-game character growth system: the Paragon Board.

Next, Lead Visual Effects Artist Daniel Briggs will describe the philosophy that allows our talented VFX team to create huge explosions and eye-popping skill effects while keeping the game clear and readable, even when there are many players and monsters on the screen at the same time. He'll also go into detail on how Diablo IV's new game engine has allowed us to make frame-by-frame combat more precise and nuanced, while leveling up our effects to take advantage of the new lighting system. Finally, feast your eyes upon a plethora of skills across all four announced classes that show off our skill-driven death system.

We hope you enjoy this update and look forward to your thoughts and reactions. We'll be back in the new year and are ever grateful to have you with us on this journey.

-Joe Shely,
Game Director, Diablo IV

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The Itemization of Diablo IV

Greetings, Heroes of Sanctuary!

We are thrilled to once again dole out a whole heap of info on the state of systems and endgame in Diablo IV. I’m Joe Piepiora, the Lead Systems Designer, and today I’m going to share some details on two major features of Diablo IV: itemization updates and our plans for Paragon.

+Skill Rank Affixes

In Diablo IV, the +Skill Rank affix returns. As players invest points in skills, they grow in potency, and finding items with +Skill Rank can speed that along. As a bonus, when the player equips an item with +Skill Rank for a skill they haven’t learned, they will have access to that new ability. It’s a great way to try out new skills before you’re able to invest in them. Getting a lucky drop that nets you a skill you’d like for your build ten levels before you would otherwise have access to it is a huge boost!

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Legendary and Unique Items

As Joe Shely discussed back in our December 2020 update, Legendary and Unique Items remain a core part of the Diablo item chase experience. We’ve made a foundational change to Legendary items in Diablo 4 by allowing legendary powers to appear on multiple item slots. Now, if you’re searching for a legendary power, like Martial Arts—which enhances the Barbarian’s kick ability—you may find it on rings, chestplates, or helmets; there’s no need to hunt for a specific item type any longer.

Now, the real question is what happens when you find a power on an axe when you really wanted it on a ring? Or you found a great legendary amulet, but can’t use the power? Well, that is when we get to introduce our new friend, the Occultist.

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The Occultist can extract a legendary power from a Legendary item, crystallizing it into Essence while destroying the item in the process. That Essence can then be implanted into another Legendary item, overriding the power that was present in the item at that time. Essence material can also be stored and used at a later time.

Unique Items cannot be modified in this way, keeping their fantasies intact—and as their name implies—unique.

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Hunting for Items

Sanctuary is a vast world, filled with forlorn trails through werewolf-infested forests, withered heaths crawling with cannibals, and fog-choked graveyards crawling with the restless dead. There are plenty of enemies and monsters for the hero to encounter. Each of these monsters seem to enjoy collecting certain types of items and will be somewhat more likely to drop those items than others. While bandits are fond of Maces, Crossbows, and Boots, if you’re hunting for a new pair of Pants, you'd do well to kill some of the Drowned instead.

In past discussions, we’ve received feedback that it seems deflating for so much of a character’s power to be delivered through the gear that they have equipped. Customizing and planning a character feels less rewarding if it doesn’t play a big role in how the character performs in combat. We hear you loud and clear, and in Diablo IV, we have placed a stronger emphasis on character power that is earned by all the little decisions you make while leveling up and exploring the world of Sanctuary. While we aren’t talking about everything we have planned for character power today, I’m happy to talk about one feature in particular, the Paragon Board.

The Paragon Board

In Diablo IV, we have placed a heavy emphasis on build customization, ensuring that you can have plenty of control over how your hero grows. The Paragon Board unlocks for each class at level 50 and is a distillation of this focus. Your hero begins their journey through the Paragon system at the central starting tile of their class’s intro board, and from there, you make selections radiating outward. Once your hero reaches a gate tile, you’ll choose which new paragon board you would like to attach to at that location. The desired outcome is a personalized set of bonuses that will empower your hero and honor your dedication to their progression, that will remain fun to tweak and adjust over many playthroughs.

There is a lot to take in with the image below, so I’ll walk through some aspects of what we’re looking at here.

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The Paragon Board is comprised of many fixed tiles. As the Barbarian earns experience, they will earn Paragon points, which are used to unlock a connected tile. There are a few varieties of tiles that I want to walk through.

Normal Tiles

These tiles are straightforward, providing a small but meaningful stat boost. Normal Tiles are connective tissues that can be found throughout the board and are quite common.

Magic Tiles

Magic Tiles are found in clusters throughout the board and provide a potent, more diverse set of benefits. As you might expect, they are less common than Normal Tiles, but are still plentiful.

Rare Tiles

Rare Tiles offer significant boosts in power. Upon entering the Paragon Board for the first time, these represent great goals for players to chase, particularly once you’ve narrowed builds down towards highly specific goals. Rare Tiles also have additional powers that unlock once the hero has raised an attribute to a sufficient level, requiring some choices to be made when plotting your path through the board.

Legendary Tile

After the first Paragon Board, each new board has a single Legendary Tile that can be found at its center. Legendary Tiles impart a new Legendary Power to the character that earns it.

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Glyphs and Sockets

A Socket is a special tile that can contain a Glyph. Glyphs are items found throughout Sanctuary that, when embedded into a Paragon Board, confer various benefits based upon the number of active tiles within their radius.

Glyphs can also be leveled up by delving into some particularly dangerous dungeons. Leveling up a Glyph extends the radius of their effect, allowing each one to draw power from or impart power to even more active tiles.

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Gate Tiles and Board Selection

A single Gate Tile lies at each edge of the Paragon Board. As you progress through the Paragon Board, you will eventually reach a Gate Tile, which upon unlocking will allow you to select a new Paragon Board to attach to your existing Board. Each of these boards has unique Tile layouts, new Magic and Rare Tiles, and a new Legendary Tile at the center.

The Paragon Board is extended from these Gate Tiles. Upon selecting from the Paragon Board list, you will be able to place the board down, connecting it to the newly unlocked Gate Tile. You may also optionally rotate that newly placed board.

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We’re hard at work on these and other features that we’ll be able to share more about in future updates. Though for now that’s all from the systems team. Thanks for reading and please share any feedback you have on social media, Reddit, or our forums! We’ll see you in Hell!

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Visual Effects in Diablo IV

Thanks for joining us! My name is Daniel Briggs, and I am the Lead Visual Effects Artist for Diablo IV. The VFX team gets to contribute to features across the entire game, but today we will focus on the work we do to support combat. VFX artists collaborate with designers and other art teams to create strong thematic identities for the hero classes and breathe life into monsters, in order to deliver the visceral, gruesome combat players have come to expect.

VFX is an integral part of the combat experience for all Diablo games. With Diablo IV, we wanted to step up the fidelity of our effects using Physically Based Rendering (PBR), as well as better support the core pillars of gameplay: deep hero customization, itemization, and combat readability.

Visual Effects - Philosophy

Every effect plays a role in the final composition of our game. It is important to understand the context of an effect, and how it best serves your experience.

One of our core values at Blizzard Entertainment is “Gameplay First,” and this drives a lot of the artistic decisions we make while developing visual effects for the game. Moment-to-moment gameplay is the focal point within the composition of Diablo IV: it should draw your attention. To achieve this, we must consider things like player skills, monster telegraphs, traps, damage areas, and character states. The visual effects for each of these components must be readable in all areas and lighting conditions, so you can quickly understand what is happening and use that information to make informed decisions.

In the chaos of combat, you’ll need to be smart—seeing a Legendary item drop is exciting, but picking it up is not as important as reacting to a monster’s attack that can one-shot Hardcore characters! Our goal is to balance the primary, secondary, and tertiary reads to help you understand what is happening. To do this, we reserve visually loud FX for powerful skills, like ultimate abilities, while weaker skills meld into the background. Each class has abilities that range from low to high in costs, cooldowns, and power. In tandem, classes have a range of visual intensity that increases with skill power.

Combat Improvements

To enhance the feel of combat, we have made several improvements to the way damage is applied in our game. In previous iterations of Diablo, an area-of-effect (AOE) or melee skill would be a single area of damage that is applied on a single frame. Thanks to our gameplay engineers, we can now animate target areas (what we call payloads) over multiple frames, which allows us to line up the animated target areas with the animated VFX that play out.

For example, Whirlwind in Diablo III is a cylinder shape surrounding your Barbarian, which applies damage every couple of frames at a rate based on your attack speed. In Diablo IV, Whirlwind is an animated pie shape that animates with your character. AOEs expand outward with time, and melee swings match the motion of your weapon. Animated target areas improve accuracy to the way we apply damage in Diablo IV; it makes combat feel more impactful, and monster ragdolls more visceral. Animated payloads also add a subtle timing aspect to a variety of skills.

Additionally, we have revamped the way we apply hit effects to monsters, so impacts flow with the direction of a spell or melee attack. We use data defined in the animation and animated target area to find the most accurate place to hit a monster, and where to apply a directional physics force to the ragdoll. In so few words, if you hit a goat-man in the knee, the blood spray would come from his knee. The physics force applied to the goat-man’s knee would send it flying as if you kicked the legs out from under him.

Visual Effects - Casting and Receiving Light

In Diablo IV, we use a PBR (physically based rendering) lighting model, which means our materials look and react to light in a realistic way. This approach brings huge rendering improvements, but this can be counterintuitive to what a player might expect for class and monster abilities. As an example, think about what a campfire looks like in full daylight—pretty lackluster, right? Next, imagine what a dust cloud or smoke plume would look like in the dead of night—it'd be nearly impossible to see. To account for this, we’ve built an engine and shader library that lets us break PBR rulesets in artistic ways. This ensures important gameplay moments shine through as clearly as possible while keeping immersive elements full PBR so they can realistically react to lighting.

Previous iterations of Diablo use primarily “unlit” particles, meaning they are not affected by the environment’s lighting. These particles give you amazing control over what the art will look like: what you paint is what you get. The downside to unlit particles is that art may look too bright in a dark dungeon, or VFX color schemes may not feel cohesive within every environment.

In Diablo IV, we use lit VFX that meld into the environment’s lighting, creating a more immersive experience. Using Whirlwind as an example (seen in the video above)—in bright daylight, the blade reflects light from the sun. In a dark dungeon, it will reflect more subtle light sources, like torches. The dust kicked up by the skill is also lit by the environment, so it blends artfully into the world.

If we rely solely on environment lighting and follow true PBR rules, then gameplay readability is muddied, particularly in dark environments where a weapon swing would naturally be hard to see. To counteract this, many VFX have emissivity to cast light onto the environment. Several ultimates in our game will even allow you to change the weather and lighting of the environment for a limited duration. We strive for a healthy balance of gameplay clarity and thematic immersion.

Dynamic Player Skills

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what the art looks like if the gameplay isn’t fun. One of the goals for creating player skills is to ensure that the System Design team has a variety of modifiers they can utilize to create meaningful skill trees, class mechanics, Legendary items, and Paragon Boards.

Choices should affect more than your character’s stats. Once we have a class skill we are happy with, the VFX team adds the ability for developers to dynamically change the size, intensity, and duration of a skill. The visual intensity of a skill will increase as you stack upgrades and items that increase the power of that ability.

In addition to these skill modifiers, we create variants of abilities that completely change the functionality of a skill or the damage type that it deals. These skill variants can be changed by the scale, intensity, and duration modifiers as well. This allows variants of skills to be affected by a wider range of legendary modifier groupings. Your skill tree/paragon decisions, along with the items you have equipped, will make your character look and play differently from other characters of the same class.

Each of these ranges is handcrafted by an artist to ensure the art holds up at all supported sizes and intensities. We do not uniformly scale every piece of an effect when changing size and intensity; we modify things like spawn rate, velocity, emissivity, and color ranges to make certain the art still fits in the world of Diablo.

We want your character to look incredible as well! Our items are built in a way that allows us to easily apply weapon buffs to any weapon in the game. Not only will your legendary items do awesome things, but they will make your character look amazing as well. Here is an example where we apply the same fire and poison buff to several weapons in our game.

Skill Driven Deaths

Sanctuary is a dark, gothic world filled with horrific monsters that do horrendous things. To survive in this bleak landscape, you must be merciless toward your enemies. We are bringing back a popular feature from Diablo III: skill-driven deaths. This system allows you to decapitate, bisect, freeze, shatter, eviscerate, and burn your enemies, to give a few examples.

With our new PBR pipeline, we can make blood, viscera, and gore even more realistic by having it react properly to the lighting of an environment. Every monster is built with a skeletal and muscular structure used for killing them in brutal ways. If your character is in the thick of combat, they will be covered in the blood spatter of nearby monsters. Over time, your character’s armor will transition back to being spotless.

The Sorceress studies the art of elemental magic. They slow enemies with cold before freezing them solid and shattering them to pieces. They strike their enemies with stunning bursts of lightning, causing bodies to pop and sizzle. Enemies collapse to the floor and char to the bone as the Sorceress engulfs foes in fire.

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Some examples of death types that Sorceresses can trigger:

  • Freeze/Shatter - Break frozen monsters into pieces
  • Char - Singe the corpse of a monster with lightning
  • Burn – Scorch the monster’s flesh, leaving the remains of a charred skeleton

The Barbarian takes pride in their physical capabilities. Their arsenal of weaponry makes them deadly in close combat. With the power of their ancient bloodline, Barbarians crush foes into piles of gore or send them flying across the battlefield. Their brute strength is equally matched by their speed and ferocity as they unleash fury on the battlefield, dismembering limbs from all that stand in their way.

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Some examples of death types that Barbarians can trigger:

  • Crush – Flatten a monster under the weight of a heavy object
  • Decapitate - Remove a monster’s head from its body
  • Cut In Half - Sweet ?
  • Break Lower Limbs- The monster’s lower body is shattered, splitting several of their joints

The Rogue is dexterous; their attacks are methodical. Monsters are often oblivious to their presence until it is far too late. A precise stab from one of their daggers, or a well-placed arrow, is enough to bring most monsters to the floor. The Rogue finds the most opportune time to take on a fight, and they imbue weapons to gain an advantage. Shadow magic can make a superb distraction, but their shadow clones are as deadly as their blades.

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Some examples of death types that Rogues can trigger:

  • Eviscerate – Spill the insides of a monster
  • Shadow – Shadow energy deteriorates the life from a monster's flesh.
  • Freeze/Shatter - Break frozen monsters into pieces
  • Poison – The monster’s skin melts off leaving a heap of muscle and bone
  • Flay – Flay the skin from an enemy, leaving the muscle structure intact

The Druid is one with nature magic. They conjure storms and call down lightning on their enemies. They control the battlefield with gusts of wind as their animal companions tear the flesh from monsters. Druids manipulate the earth with nature magic, molding it to their will and bludgeoning enemies from afar. As their enemies approach, they see the innate power of the Druid, shapeshifting fluidly between an agile werewolf and a hulking werebear.

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Some examples of death types that Druids can trigger:

  • Roadkill – The monster is crushed by a moving object, leaving a smear of blood on the ground
  • Devoured– The monster's flesh is eaten away by a swarm of ferocious bites
  • Lightning Gib – Lightning causes the monster’s body to pop, exploding into pieces
  • Maul – The monster’s skin is completely mangled, covering them in blood

That is everything we have to share with you today. It has been a dream to work on this franchise, and I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to share some of our development process with the community.

Thank you for reading our last quarterly update blog for 2021. I hope you found it exciting and interesting. We are actively listening to your feedback, and we strive to make Diablo IV the dark, gothic game we all want to play. Please continue to share your thoughts and provide feedback on social media, Reddit, and our forums!

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The paragon board reminds me of the node grid they had in Final Fantasy X. Obviously reminiscent of Path of Exile as well. Seems a little involved, though potentially rewarding and personal.

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I really love the hard work they putting forth into this game. The paragon board and being able to move legendary essences is great for people trying different builds! Looking forward to it.

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This paragon board looks like it's going to be a rather linear thing, you just pick what you want to unlock first. Will be also hard to balance with all these extra effects like glyphs, I'm sure people will quickly discover some overpowered builds. Pretty nice effects. Some of these animations are maybe a little bit too flashy, I don't like seeing enemies highlighted when they are getting hit.

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      Book of the Dead
      Speaking of armies, what self-respecting Necromancer isn’t wandering around with one? Well, actually, that might be you! While we absolutely have the full support you would expect to fulfill all your undead summoning needs, we are also giving some love to players who want a more independent playstyle.

      Cue the Book of the Dead, the Necromancer’s unique class mechanic. Right from the moment you log in, you will start with an extra skill on your bar—Raise Skeleton. With this button, you will immediately be able to raise undead warriors to fight by your side. In addition to this, you will have access to the Book of the Dead. This is a space where you can customize your army (or lack thereof), with increasing options as you level your character.
      There are three customizable summons in this space: Skeletal Warriors, Skeletal Mages, and the Golem. Each summon also has one of three specializations that you can choose from. As an example, you can have your Skeletal Warriors be Skirmishers, Defenders, or Reapers. Skirmishers are a more standard warrior but have increased damage and reduced Health, Defenders have bonus Health, and Reapers have slower attacks, deal damage in a AoE in front of them, and have a special wind-up attack that deals a high amount of damage. In addition to this, each specialized unit in the army has unique upgrades available to them, giving you even more customization over how each unit in their army functions in their overall playstyle. These units and upgrades will have synergies with the various playstyles mentioned above, as well as add other potential ways to play.

      In addition to all this customization, we have also added the ability for players to sacrifice different components of their army for personal benefits. Next to each unit type in the Book of the Dead is an extra option to sacrifice the ability to summon that unit in exchange for a personal, permanent buff. These buffs are carefully designed and placed so that players can mix and match having none, some, or all the possible summoned units while still having relevant options to enhance their build.
      Our goal with this system is that there should be something for everyone to be excited about. There are relevant, powerful options to choose from whether players want to play with the full army, part of the army, or even for those who wish to forgo their army completely and play solo. We’ve had a blast playing with this system so far, and we’re excited to see the various combinations that you all come up with to push your Necromancers to the next level.
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      Final Thoughts
      We’re so excited to be able to bring the Necromancer to Diablo IV, and we can’t wait to get it into your hands. Whether you’re a veteran player who’s put in thousands of hours over many years, or a new adventurer in the world of Sanctuary, we hope you will have a lot of fun with what we’ve been able to create.
      As always, please leave us your feedback on what we’ve shown you so far. While we’re confident that we’re on the right track, we know that the best ideas and the best games are created with input from the community. Thank you all so much for your patience, and for joining us on this epic journey through the world of Sanctuary—we promise it will be worth the wait.
      -Adam Jackson,
      Lead Class Designer, Diablo IV
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    • By Staff
      With the Necromancer announced as the final class for the Diablo 4 launch, we also got an intro cinematic to go along with the reveal, as well as the key art for the class. 
      Here's the trailer:
      The class at the character selection campfire:

      The key art:
        

    • By Staff
      Blizzard have clarified that while Diablo 4 will have an in-game shop, it will only have cosmetic items available, responding to player concerns of potential Diablo Immortal-like pay to win options. They've also emphasized the story driven expansion model as the basis for the game. 
    • By Staff
      Blizzard today revealed during the 2022 Xbox Games Showcase event that Diablo 4 will launch on Windows PC, Xbox One X|S, Xbox Series X|S, and Playstation 4/5 in 2023 and will host cross-play and cross-progression for all platforms.
      Console will also support couch-op. The fifth and final class available at launch is the Necromancer.
      (Source)
      During the 2022 Xbox Games Showcase Event we told the story of an unremitting conflict between the Burning Hells and High Heavens, foretold the return of Lilith, Sanctuary’s demonic creator, and shared scorching-hot details around the next installment in the Diablo saga—Diablo IV.
      Before you read further, we are excited to announce that Diablo IV will launch in 2023 on Windows PC, Xbox One X|S, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4/5 and will host cross-play and cross-progression for all platforms. On console, players may also slay demons side-by-side with a friend through couch-co-op. We have another bone-chilling announcement: in addition to the Barbarian, Druid, Rogue, and Sorceress, the fifth and final class available at launch is the scythe-wielding purveyor of death, the Necromancer!
      If the flames of our hellish segment of the showcase died down before you could gaze upon them, do not fret, we have provided all the invitingly dark details below. Grab a spot around the campfire as we shed some light on Diablo IV!
      Journal
      Introducing: The Necromancer
      You Decide
      Character Customization
      Explore Your Way
      Social Systems
      End Game Offerings

      Introducing: The Necromancer
      As a Priest of Rathma, known by outsiders as a Necromancer—the word death evokes a sensation of power, potentially even excitement when it graces their ear. These legendary summoners bend blood, bone, and darkness to their will, and subjugate the ranks of the undead to carry out their bidding. Unknowing adversaries who pick a fight with this death-defying class will quickly learn they’ve made a grave mistake, for they are darkness in its wake.
      We have a casket-full of news to share with you around how the Necromancer class will decimate and reanimate demons in Diablo IV. Take a gander at our June 2022 Diablo IV Quarterly Update blog coming out tomorrow at 10 a.m. PDT to learn more about the class’s new mechanics, such as the Book of the Dead, with Lead Class Designer, Adam Jackson.
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      You Decide
      At the heart of Diablo IV is player choice. There is no one singular way to play the game; players will carve their own path forward, shaping their destiny in a nonlinear way of their choosing. This ethos extends to character customization, player skills, exploration of Diablo IV’s shared open world, its social systems, and of course—the end game. Let’s dive into these gameplay systems and some of the choices they provide.
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      Character Customization
      The denizens of Sanctuary are a diverse people. We wanted this same diversity to be reflected in the hero YOU bring to life. And thus, whether you set off into Diablo IV as a Barbarian, Druid, Necromancer, Rogue, or Sorceress, you’ll be greeted by a fleshed-out character customizer offering a plethora of options. This level of player choice doesn’t just reside in aesthetics, it is also seen in the expansive Skill Trees for every class, each offering endless ways to rip through the Burning Hell’s forces with your hero.
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      Explore Your Way
      As we said, there is no singular way to traverse Sanctuary in Diablo IV—we leave that up to your motivations. The world is vast in scale; home to frigid mountain ranges, sand-swept canyons, plague lands bubbling with pestilence, and many other biomes. All with no shortage of demonic dangers to encounter and secrets to uncover. You won’t simply traverse through an empty world in Diablo IV—every inch is built for combat.
      As you navigate around, taking notice of the wounds Lilith’s return has inflicted upon the land, you’ll encounter a new type of evil: Strongholds. These are locations the Burning Hell’s minions have claimed for themselves, casting a shadow of darkness upon them for you to lift. Clearing out Strongholds will bring about permanent change to these locations, repopulating them with non-demonic life and rewarding you with loot. Clearing a Stronghold may also reveal new dungeons to delve into and other hidden experiences. Speaking of dungeons, Diablo IV contains almost 150 detailed dungeons—close-quarters experiences for you to root out evil throughout the main questline and beyond. Each time you step foot into a dungeon, its layout and distribution of adversaries will vary, keeping the challenge alive while still allowing you to strategize a way to overcome the dangers within.
      Sanctuary is alive…with demons to dispose of! Aside from dangerous dungeons and heavily defended Strongholds, there are also local events to be completed solo or with a team in the name of glory and rewards. And for daring heroes craving an especially hardy challenge, towering world bosses roam the world with a desire to end those who oppose them. Band together with fellow defenders of Sanctuary to topple these nightmarish titans.
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      Social Systems
      Teaming up with other heroes to rid Sanctuary of bloodthirsty demons or going head-to-head against them in combat has long been a staple of the Diablo experience. Diablo IV will continue this tradition by offering both fulfilling PvE and PvP experiences. Providing players with the option to pursue Lilith on their own or with the aid of others is just another way players have additional agency when playing Diablo IV.
      To make demon slaying with friends a breeze, we have rebuilt the party-forming experience so that regardless of character levels or where you may be within a particular questline, you can still band together. This is also our intended experience for players on different platforms looking to cleanse Sanctuary of evil together.
      But if vanquishing hordes of demons with other players is not your preference, you may prefer a more mortal opponent. Mephisto, the Lord of Hatred, forever looking to instigate a skirmish, has cursed specific areas of Sanctuary, transforming them into Fields of Hatred. Here, his influence pits mortal versus mortal in designated PvP Zones. If you give into Mephisto’s temptation by marking yourself hostile, you open yourself up to facing the full fury of others who are marked hostile, but should you be successful in striking down your opponent, their spoils shall be yours to claim. These zones are not for the faint of heart, rather for heroes looking to bring renown to their name through blood and zeal!
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      End Game Offerings
      Closing the final chapter of Diablo IV’s main story will be a monumental moment, but it will certainly not signify the end of your hero’s journey. We want players to see the end game of Diablo IV as a new beginning filled with quite a few decisions ahead on what to experience next. First, you might try to take on Nightmare Dungeons: transformed and teeming with enhanced demonic dangers and added difficulty in the form of new objectives and added afflictions to the dungeon. Perhaps you want to branch off into another direction, say, place down roots for your future. Look no further than the Tree of Whispers, an end-game system that will provide you with frequently cycling world objectives and bounties that reward you with Legendary gear, experience, crafting materials, and more!
      In Sanctuary, there is unrelenting ever-present danger waiting for you at every turn. To best whatever the Burning Hells may throw your way, you must grow stronger. Once you reach max level, the Paragon Board will unlock, and with it, hundreds of optional paths to further customize your hero’s build.
      We thank you for joining us around the campfire to learn more about what is coming in Diablo IV! As we march forward to our 2023 launch, additional parcels of information will manifest from the darkness. Keep an eye out for future Quarterly Update blogs and more.
      We bid thee farewell. . . for now,
      -The Diablo IV Team
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