BlizzCon 2019: Diablo 4’s shared open world multiplayer, soloing, and trading

It's not a traditional MMORPG, but it's closer than ever for Diablo

    
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BlizzCon 2019: Diablo 4’s shared open world multiplayer, soloing, and trading

While Diablo Immortal wasted no time labeling itself as an MMORPG, Diablo 4 has been a bit more cagey. At BlizzCon today, developers at the Systems & Features panel for the latter game shed a bit more light on everything from PvP to pay-to-win, but it was the MMO parts that caught our attention, as it sounds as if the game’s multiplayer won’t just be limited to you and your friends who port to you.

Blizzard’s Angela del Priore dropped this nugget of info: The number of players out in the overland game world will be “variable by location” – as the studio will “make a place less or more populated depending on what’s going on there.” Sanctuaries, of course, are meant to feel desolate, while big boss areas and towns should have lots of other players. Just note that doesn’t apply for your private areas, like dungeons; you can bring only three friends into those, and they stay private. And as for campaigns, you’ll need to complete the campaign objective in private before you start seeing other players in the area beyond your party. There are clans too!

We’re thinking the open-world part sounds a bit like a scaled-down Marvel Heroes and Path of Exile – not a bad thing at all for fans of MMOARPGs – except in that you can choose to play the campaign fully solo if you like.

Here’s a bit more from the Q&A:

On monetization: Blizzard will sell a base game and expansions – plural – but “we will not sell power,” so they’re saying they won’t do pay-to-win.

On customization: There will be more options beyond legendaries. As you put points into different skills, the power goes up and new “parts of the skill” and components are unlocked. Two players with lightning builds can still be pretty different.

On soloing and offline: No, there’s no offline mode, but nothing requires partying. Dungeons and campaign quest areas are private.

On trading: The goal is to make the main thrust getting loot from monsters, while also allowing trading. There are three types of tradeable items: freely tradeable items, one-time tradeable items, and soulbound items that can never be traded. Pretty typical for MMOs. (They are asking for more feedback on this.)

On PvP balance: The same skills and talents and items are in both modes, but Blizz thinks the best stuff for PvE will be different from the best stuff for PvP. They think they’ll have “enough tuning knobs” to keep it balanced.

On legendaries: They will not rain from the sky. There won’t be modification to legendary drop rates as you get further into endgame.

On combat speed: They’re expecting timing and evasion to matter a lot more as you level up and combat feels more intentional.

On item stat randomization: Affix effects are randomized within a range.

On seasons: There will be stuff beyond seasons, but yes there will be seasons with new legendaries and new and different content. (It’s a pretty vague answer.)

On hardcore mode: Yep, it’s happening.

Everything BlizzCon 2019

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Rodrigo Dias Costa

Still not touching on it

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David Goodman

Monetization: They say they won’t sell power; won’t do pay-to-win, but didn’t say anything about how they define P2W, which means a strong chance of “cosmetic” microtransactions and “utility” crap. I’m going to need a stronger condemnation of BS mtx.

No offline mode, not surprizing given Diablo 3. It sucks, and I want an offline mode. However, since they ARE continuing down the road of enforcing online servers, then the least they can do is give us other people wandering around. So… yay.

PVP: I hope this gets abandoned just like it did in Diablo 3. When they say “they think they’ll have ‘enough tuning knobs’ to keep it balanced”, I do not believe them. Adding MORE knobs makes balancing harder. And without separate skills, PVP and PVE tuning WILL conflict with each other. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.

The rest i’m neutral or cautiously optimistic about. Honestly it’ll depend on my financial situation as much as anything when it releases, and when/if more information releases of significance that it’d warrant revising my opinion.

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Darthbawl

On soloing and offline: No, there’s no offline mode

MEH. Not cool with this. This won’t insta-kill my possible buying of the game but it’s sure as heck a strong strike 1.

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G0dl355

No way they’re releasing with only 3 classes are they?

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3dom

> a bit like a scaled-down Marvel Heroes

Shouldn’t mention it, still hurts. Although the rest is good news – especially 4+ multiplayer environment. Fashion end-game is coming (I hope).

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Toy Clown

Holy meatballs, MOP staff! Can’t you put all the Blizzard news under one post?

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Kanbe

There will likely be a wrap up once the con is over.

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Jack Pipsam

Either make it an MMO or give us a proper offline mode Blizzard ffs.

Yangers
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Yangers

You know this offline thing used to be a big deal for me in the past. But then 10-15 years went by with no major drama’s and I sort of don’t care any more.

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Jack Pipsam

Error 37 was a big deal at Diablo 3’s launch, but even assuming that doesn’t repeat again, we’re still facing the issue of games in the long future, further than 10-15 years from now. Can you still play Diablo 3 or 4 then?
You’ll be able to play say the console version of Diablo 3 for sure, that works offline.

For me it’s more about preservation.

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losludvig

How does the lead dev of d4 not know the most simple things about Path of Exile?
It seems like like a large calibre shot to your own foot to not do research on what is being done in the genre? How are they planing to surpass the competition when they don’t know what it even is?
Path of Exile is by no means flawless, so looking for those flaws and making sure you don’t have them in your own product would seem like a great way to improve your game for a layman like me.

Considering how much item sets ruined gearing and build diversity in d3 I’m also baffled that they still think it’s a good idea to include

rahkeesh
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rahkeesh

Their current stated idea is that uniques should be the endgame, not sets. Sets are more for approaching max level kind of thing.

Yangers
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Yangers

Yeah, I liked that idea when the dev mentioned it. The sets in D3 tend to be mandatory for pushing.

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losludvig

If sets are not stronger than legendaries/uniques then they are not worth the effort, as the investment is much bigger (giving up more equip slots + how hard it is to find a full set). So if they’re not worth the effort, why are they there? I would love to believe that they found a good balance, but looking at how the itemization changed over time in d3 doesn’t give me much hope

Mewmew
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Mewmew

“We’re thinking the open-world part sounds a bit like a scaled-down Marvel Heroes and Path of Exile”

Marvel Heroes yes, Path of Exile – since when? I haven’t played in a number of months, but it never had open worlds with random other people. You could use a party board to find a few other people to go out into the areas with, but that’s the extent of it.

Path of Exile is mostly a solo game that you can find a party to do areas with if you want. You don’t see random other people running around an open world, you only see those random other people when in town hubs.

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Arktouros

Yea, I would think Lost Ark seems like a more apt comparison? But I haven’t looked that much into Lost Ark yet.

Yangers
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Yangers

If I’m the Lost Ark people, I’m thinking they are gonna leave it too late coming West. D4 is gonna steal all thier ideas lol.

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Sasha Alex

I’m so hyped about it.
But now the painful wait for the release date starts…