After the Diablo IV announcement came a special “Unveiled” panel, where new features of the game was introduced quite briefly during the first day of BlizzCon. On the second day, a new developer panel titled “Diablo IV: Systems & Features” came on, and the world got to know more about what will make Diablo IV click. Personally, I would advise all readers to take the details with a grain of sale, as Blizzard did mention Diablo IV is still in the early development phase, and I think some features might change. Here are the main highlights!
Note: Do visit our previous Diablo IV articles for more details as well!
● First up is the Sorceress. In her ball lightning (conduit) form, she can teleport as much as she want and deal damage to all surrounding enemies. Her cold skills can chill enemies with each attack, slowing them down. Chill them enough and they become frozen. I have no idea why, but they skipped the fire skills. I am guessing that the mechanic is still bring worked on. Damage over time burn should be a no-brainer, but we shall have to wait.
● Next up is the Barbarian. Mentioned yesterday, the new feature for this class is the arsenal system, where each Barbarian can equip up to 4 different weapons (2 one-handed and 2 two-handed) at any time. All bonuses of the 4 weapons will be active, even if they are not being actively used. Yes equipping 4 legendary weapons is possible in Diablo IV.
● Finally, the last of the first 3 classes revealed, the Druid. My personal favorite from Diablo 2! Back in Diablo 2, players need to transform into either the Werewolf or Werebear to use the related skills. In Diablo IV, players can simply use the skill, and your Druid will shift into the corresponding form immediately. Vice versa, using the normal Earth and Lightning spells will shapeshift back to human form. This auto-shapeshift feature can be turned off. However, this system was made in mind for players to create their own combo of spells.
● Skill Point System is back, and players get 1 or more skill points whenever they level up. These points are used to either activate new skills or level up existing skills (which in turn unlocks other passive choices). New skills or more powerful current skills? Hmn… There is an item call Skill Tome which grants players more skill points too.
● Talent Tree system is back as well! Similar to the previous iteration, each class has its own unique talent tree. Working on activating different talents from top to bottom, this allows the creation of unique builds in Diablo IV within the same class.
Shared Open World
● Dungeons continue to be private to the player and 3 party members. So yes, the max party size remains at 4, which I feel is definitely a downer.
● Story campaign areas will also continue to be private to the player and 3 party members. It is only AFTER completing the location’s quest objectives that the location becomes a shared open world.
● In the shared open world, players will see other players from outside their party and access to open world activities such as public events. Pretty much similar to those found in Guild Wars 2 I guess. There will be open world PVP spots too, not the whole map. There are still more open world features being worked on, and will be announced in the future.
● So how many other players can you see in the shared open world maps? The number is not confirmed, but for now it depends on the activities going on in the map. So yeah, there is no fixed number of players. This is still being worked on as well.
● Players can invite others to join him or her to help complete objectives, no matter which part of the campaign the others are currently at.
● Clans (guilds) is an important part of the co-op experience.
● 2-player couch co-op is a feature unique to the console versions of Diablo IV.
● Despite having all these co-op party gameplay features, the game caters to solo players as well. The best items can be obtained no matter if a player is playing solo or with a party. Diablo IV aims to provide the same experience to both types of players.
● Dungeons are still randomly-generated in Diablo IV, no matter external or internal environments.
● Through the new “Seamless Exploration” system, there will be no more loading between different dungeon levels. Players just continue as though it is one big map. This even works when players exit from a cave dungeon to the external forest part.
● Random event (within dungeons) is back. This time, any event can appear in any dungeons. For example, the one below (Altar of Bishibosh) can appear in a forest dungeon. Instead of static events, this random system will make dungeon crawling more exciting.
● Then there are dungeon objectives. The more objectives cleared, the better the rewards and drops gradually become within the same dungeon. Every dungeon will have its own unique objectives to make them distinctive.
● Finally, there are end game dungeons in Diablo IV. Keys, such as the one shown below, will drop and upgrade a specific dungeon into an end game dungeon. Each key also has a specific difficulty rank stated on it. Higher ranks means tougher monsters and better loot.
Each key also has an affix, such as all enemies in this end game dungeon being invisible or even double bosses. While keys having 2 affixes are mentioned, it is not clear if there will be more. The example screenshot above says “Lightning Pulse”, which is actually a pillar of lightning energy which attacks players as shown below. It will follow players throughout the dungeon, and cannot be killed or stunned. This feature is aimed to get players to customize their builds and items. The plan is to drop many end game dungeon keys for players.
● Every class in Diablo IV has an evade ability in the form of a short distance dash which immediately gets them out of danger (such as a skeleton cage spell from a boss).
● Some class skills grant players the “Unstoppable” status. This status helps players to break out of an control impairing effect, such as stun and blind. The Barbarian’s rallying cry even grants party members the “Unstoppable” status!
● For the world bosses, players can cast their stun spells repeatedly to fill up what is called a “stagger bar.” Once it is full, the world boss will be stunned. This goes for other effects such as freeze as well.
● There are stagger effects as well. For example, after the first stagger effect triggers, a boss monster’s body part will come off. All attacks it deals with that part will have lesser damage. We have some Monster Hunter level mechanics here!
● The proposed item qualities are as shown below. Do note that they used the word “proposed”, so things might still change in the future.
● Here are a couple examples of the legendary items.
● Mythic items are the strongest in Diablo IV, and only 1 can be equipped at any time. Here is an example of a Mythic item.
● As mentioned before, runes are back! Combine a Condition Rune and Effect Rune to form a Rune Word, which is pretty straight forward. A feature known as Rune Progression is being worked on, and more details will be announced in the future.
Q&A from community
● Diablo IV will be sold normally as a game with future expansions. No power will be sold.
● There will be no offline mode in Diablo IV, but players can still play solo and progress in the game.
● Currently for trading, there are 3 categories of tradeable items. First, there are items which can always be traded. Second, there are items which can only be traded one time. Finally, the most powerful items cannot be traded. This is still a work in progress.
● Balancing for PVP and PVE will take place as the game progresses and issues arise.
● Weapon affixes customization is being planned, but it is still not confirmed what form it will happen in.
● Seasons will be in Diablo IV which will introduce new legendary items.
● Hardcore mode is in Diablo IV.