Diablo IV

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Diablo IV
Diablo IV logo.jpg
Developer(s)Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher(s)Blizzard Entertainment
Director(s)Luis Barriga
Producer(s)Tiffany Wat
Designer(s)Jesse McCree
Joe Shely
SeriesDiablo
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
ReleaseTBA
Genre(s)Action role-playing, hack and slash, dungeon crawl
Mode(s)Multiplayer

Diablo IV is an upcoming dungeon crawler action role-playing game developed by Blizzard Entertainment, the fourth title in the Diablo series. The game was announced at BlizzCon 2019 on November 1, 2019 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.[1][2][3] A release date has not been announced by Blizzard Entertainment; however, it has been confirmed that the game will not be released in 2021.[4] Series features such as re-playable, procedurally generated dungeons, and loot-focused character-building are returning, while new features such as an open world, and player versus player (PVP) interactions are incorporated.[5] Four playable classes have been announced – Barbarian, Sorceress, Druid, and Rogue – all of which have appeared in the series.[6] Players guide their character through quests and combat in the world of Sanctuary as the once banished Lilith returns to wreak havoc.[7]

Gameplay[edit]

The core formula for the series' gameplay revolves around gradually obtaining stronger equipment by defeating increasingly difficult enemies.[8] Enemies are fought using different character class skills which can be customised by equipment and talent trees. This concept is used to progress through the story and quests.[9] Enemies are split into monster families which are defined by a theme, combat style, and their location.[10] Each family contains different archetypes that hold different roles allowing for synergies of speciality abilities between family members.[10] To differentiate between them, they have unique silhouettes, stances and weapons.[11]

Creative director Sebastian Stepien explained the goal to create a more "grounded" story than Diablo III.[12] In order to achieve this, the plot revolves around the simple folk of Sanctuary rather than "politics, kings, or another high-fantasy theme".[12]

The playable character's effectiveness in combat is determined by their attributes and their boosts from equipped items.[13] Offensive attributes include attack and critical chance which improve damage output. Defensive stats include elemental resistance and defense which improve how much damage can be taken.[14] Diablo IV introduces three attributes: Angelic, Demonic, and Ancestral Power. Angelic and Demonic Power alter the duration of beneficial and negative effects respectively. Ancestral Power increases the chance of effects being applied to another entity.[15] Weapons and gear have increasing rarity which are a general indicator of their power. The rarest items have unique effects that alter more than just the character's parameters.[16] Gear can further be customised with runes and runewords. These items allow players to upgrade selected items with additional effects. They are split into two groups – condition runes, and effect runes. Effect runes describe the additional effects. Conditions runes describe the situations under which the effect rune will be active. These two items combine to form a runeword that then can be applied to an item.[17] In an interview with lead game designer Joe Shely and senior producer Tiffany Wat it was revealed that trading and crafting will be available in the game but will be limited to resources outside of the most powerful items.[18] The auction house, a feature removed in Diablo III as it bypassed the game's concept of gear-progression, was removed.[19][18] Limited time seasons return to the game, which alter legendary powers to shift the meta-game.[20]

Microtransactions are included in the form of cosmetic items.[21] The game is unable to be played offline and will require an internet connection.[22]

Character classes[edit]

The Barbarian, Sorceress, and Druid classes in the game's demo.

Four classes will be available at launch. Three - the Barbarian, the Sorceress, and the Druid - were announced at BlizzCon 2019,[6] while the fourth, the Rogue, was announced at BlizzCon 2021 ("BlizzConline").

  • The Barbarian, which appears in Diablo II and Diablo III, has the ability to switch between weapons while in combat.
  • The Sorceress, returning from Diablo II, is an elemental mage type character wielding fire, cold, and lightning magics. Cold magic has the ability to slow, freeze, and eventually shatter enemies, killing them instantly.
  • The Druid, returning from Diablo II, can shapeshift between human, werewolf, and werebear forms. They also possess earth and storm magics.
  • The Rogue, returning from the first game, is a quick-moving combatant alternating between melee with blades or ranged combat with a bow.

Appearance is customizable rather than being tied to a class. These include choosing a character portrait, or the skin color of their character.[23] Mount appearance can be customized.[23] Skill trees exist allowing for ability customization.[24]

Environment[edit]

Players are able to traverse through five regions within the Diablo series world of Sanctuary – Scosglen, Fractured Peaks, Dry Steppes, Hawezar, and Kehjistan.[25] Hell will also be a playable area.[26] Procedurally generated dungeons are included, and consist of random layouts of interior and exterior environments.[25] Dungeons are separately instanced so non-party players will not appear.[27] Sanctuary is a fixed area so it does not have the procedurally generated maps seen in the game's dungeon.[28][better source needed] Scosglen is a forested, coastal area home to druids, werewolves, and drowned type enemies.[24] Fractured Peaks is a snowy mountainous area containing deep cave systems.[24] Dry Steppes resides in a desert that proves to be so harsh that the inhabitants have turned to cannibalism.[10] Hawezar is home to witches and has a swamp type setting.[28] Finally, Kehjistan is a war-ravaged wasteland containing the ruins of a once prosperous civilisation.[24]

The game world is an open world setting; travelling between different regions or dungeons has no loading screens.[29] Additionally, each region can be completed in any order as decided by the player. In order to support these new changes, enemies are scaled to the player (or the party leader in multiplayer) and the story is non-linear.[30] Hardcore mode is present in the game.[31] Select areas within each region have player interactions restricted until sufficient milestones in the story are reached, and such progress will be synced to that of the party leader.[30] Over-world areas have non-party player interactions, such as PVP, and boss events that passing players can join.[32][33] Player population in the world will shift depending on the area. Large settlements will display large populations, while to enforce a sense of desolation, more wild zones will change the number of players shown to others.[25]

Diablo III received criticism for deviating from a dark atmosphere.[34][35] When questioned about the topic of atmosphere game director Luis Barriga stated: "We want users to feel like they're in a medieval city."[36] For the first time in the series all assets are standard 3D game assets and terrain has elevation, allowing for in-game cinematics, and environment interaction.[37]

Plot[edit]

Set in the Diablo series' world of Sanctuary, Diablo IV takes place following the aftermath of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls.[37][38] Cultists have summoned the main antagonist and daughter of Mephisto, Lilith.[39] After the events of previous games, the forces of demons and angels have been depleted, allowing an opening for her to establish power in Sanctuary.[40][7]

Prior to the game's events, Lilith and the angel Inarius created the realm of Sanctuary to provide refuge. This demon-angel relationship led to the birth of the Nephalem, a powerful race that the protagonist falls under. Those in Sanctuary believe this power would bring attention to their shelter and, as a result, the inhabitants spoke of destroying them. Lilith, not wanting her children to be killed, destroyed any that opposed her, causing Inarius to banish her to the void.[41][42][43]

Development[edit]

Diablo IV was announced on November 1, 2019 at Blizzcon 2019, and is planned to be released for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.[1] Development of the PC and console builds is happening simultaneously.[10] Diablo IV's game director is Luis Barriga, who worked on Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, and World of Warcraft: Legion.[44][45][30]

Game designer Jesse McCree stated that the aesthetic of the game was inspired by that of heavy metal.[46] Their artistic direction tried to achieve an aesthetic between that of the second and third game in the series, with the darkness of Diablo II and the hand-painted feel of Diablo III and medieval fine art.[47]

The development team drew on past editions of Diablo to design characters. For example, the Rogue was intended to capture the high dexterity gameplay of the second game's Assassin and the third game's Demon Hunter.[48]

Marketing[edit]

Before the announcement, there was evidence of its imminence in a description for a Diablo artbook.[49] In celebration of the Diablo IV announcement, Blizzcon 2019 physical and virtual ticket holders received a cosmetic based on the wings of Lilith.[50]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Blizzard Announces Diablo IV". Kotaku.
  2. ^ Webster, Andrew (November 1, 2019). "Diablo IV announced at BlizzCon 2019". The Verge.
  3. ^ "BlizzCon 2019: Blizzard announces Diablo IV, Overwatch 2, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands". PCWorld. November 1, 2019.
  4. ^ Chalk, Andy (February 4, 2021). "Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 won't be out this year, Blizzard says". Bloomberg.
  5. ^ "Diablo 4 will have the PVP combat that Diablo 3 promised". Blizzard Watch. November 1, 2019. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Senior, Tom (February 26, 2020). "Everything we know about Diablo 4". PC Gamer. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Diablo 4 - Blizzard on the Return to Darkness, Lilith, and the Shift to an Open-World Sanctuary - AusGamers.com". www.ausgamers.com. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  8. ^ Salter, Alexander William; Stein, Solomon (March 1, 2016). "Endogenous currency formation in an online environment: The case of Diablo II". The Review of Austrian Economics. 29 (1): 53–66. doi:10.1007/s11138-014-0289-1. ISSN 1573-7128. S2CID 189953028.
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  10. ^ a b c d "Diablo 4's Creepy New Cannibal Enemies Are Fast And Hungry". GameSpot. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
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  13. ^ "Diablo 4: All about the loot system & statistics - Millenium". Millenium US. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
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  27. ^ blizzplanetcom (November 13, 2019). "BlizzCon 2019 Diablo IV Systems and Features Panel Transcript - Page 4 of 7 -". Blizzplanet | Diablo III. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
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  31. ^ Pepito·November 4, Christan; 2019 (November 4, 2019). "Diablo IV To Have Extensive Customization, Release Not Soon". Sirus Gaming. Retrieved May 29, 2020.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
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  42. ^ Cain, Deckard. (2016). Book of cain. [Place of publication not identified]: Insight Editions Incredib. ISBN 978-1-60887-802-4. OCLC 944380537.
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