Diablo IV shows off the development of its open world and item progression

    
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Diablo IV shows off the development of its open world and item progression

It’s going to be a while before Diablo IV is in the hands of players, but the team is certainly keeping at work even with the transition to working from home. And now there’s even a full update on how development has been going, because the most recent landmark was a full team playtest together of a single region. That gives an opportunity to go over the broader strokes of systems like how areas balance their splits between main content and side content.

One of the features that’s coming together nicely on the open world, for example, are settlements that players can free for friendly NPCs by slaughtering the demons occupying them. These areas are not flagged as quest objectives, however; the storytelling is meant to be environmental, with things like a powerful undead sorcerer jumping between skeletons or villagers transformed by a demon’s curse. The team is also looking at item progression and ensuring that affixes and item stats remain interesting wherever you go. Check out the full dispatch from the team for those curious about the state of development.

Meanwhile, the rumors of a Diablo II remaster coming later this month have been officially debunked by Blizzard on Reddit. That doesn’t mean a remaster isn’t coming or planned, but if it is… well, it’s not happening this month or being announced this month.

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1. It’s not made by Blizzard North so it’s not Diablo at all, just shares the name
2. Online only, so when you don’t have internet or the game servers officially shut down, you can’t play the game you paid for
3. The focus is not story and grinding like it was in Diablo 2 (the best of the series) but trying to emulate an MMORPG feeling instead and fill the game with microtransactions and artificially elongate it so people keep playing it like an MMORPG

It’s gonna be a massive disappointment, at least for me.

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Mr.McSleaz

People thinking that they are getting a modern Diablo II are just setting themselves up for disappointment.

The People & the Passion that made Diablo II left Blizzard a LONG time ago.

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Buddy Barlow

The loot system looks like hot garbage

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iicycube

In history people just purely love D2 but after D3 people just because of the name “Diablo” but doesnt work well enough and now come the diablo 4 which is about the same as the 3rd series but just due to nothing new coming so hype come after love.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

I liked Diablo 3 though, I still play it so don’t assume no one enjoyed Diablo 3 it just makes you look a bit ignorant.

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Your Honor

I really like the impact on mods when you hit them. I really enjoyed the ragdolls in Titans Quest. Looking forward to this. I need a fresh ARPG in my life.

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Buddy Barlow

You try Grim Dawn yet? One of the best ARPG’s in years

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Ashfyn Ninegold

And if you do try GD, don’t miss the D2 complete mod. It’s incredible.

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Armsman

So, what? BLIZZARD realized most of the PC Gamers don’t use cell phones for games? Took long enough. ;)

latorn
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latorn

Relevant

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Dug From The Earth

Seems that people have forgotten that Blizzards goal with Diablo 4 is to recreate primarily what people loved about Diablo 2. Not reinvent the ARPG genre. Players are going to expect a lot of similar aspects to what they already know (mostly from D2, but also from D3)

So when it comes to items, these are going to be kinda similar to what we have had in past games. I know its easy to forget something thats over 20 years old, so Ive included a screenshot comparing simple blue (magic) items from D2, D3 and one from the new D4 info.

Short of the D4 tooltip being a lot more compact than the one in D3, the only real thing we arent seeing thats more of a “modern” thing, is the comparison stats to what you already have equipped (which may be an actual feature, just not shown here)

Notice how in all 3 games, the magic armor pieces have
1. A defense stat
2. 2 additional item mods.

(d3 also had durability but it wasnt a numerical value shown on the item stats like in D2)

Right from the start, the mere fact that they are showing off a +skill item mod on a magic item in D4 means items are already an improvement over D3.

d4comp.png
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Vice Vandal

Damn, those items they showed off are so boring. “This is a weapon so it’s got an attack stat and that’s pretty much it. This is a shield so it’s got a defense stat and that’s pretty much it”. Riveting.

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Dug From The Earth

Um… since Im unable to tell if you are being sarcastic, ill error on you being serious…

Lets take a look at the items

Yes… every weapon has an attack stat, every armor has a defense stat. Welcome to every item based game EVER. But where you apparently stopped reading is where ill go ahead and list the other stats shows in the 2 screen shots.

The first screenshot shows a couple magic items and a couple rare items. Both are super common in Diablo and are nothing to write home about. Dont expect any unique quality flavor text or items like these. They are vendor trash and leveling gear. Even still… you did managed to cut it short in your descriptions on what is on the actual items (common items or not). For example, the very common magic staff also has a socket on it, allowing it to be slotted with a decent assortment of gem types, as well as having an additional mod of increased gem strength of any gem slotted. Normally this was something you needed a unique helmet for. So 2 additional mods beyond your claimed “its got an attack stat and that’s pretty much it.”

In the same screenshot lets look at the magic pants (again, a super common item). Yes, it has a defense stat. It also has life on hit chance, but most importantly, its got a skill bonus to a specific class skill. Up until now, it was only rare (yellow) items in diablo that ever had +skill bonuses. So this is actually pretty exciting. It means a common magic item can actually be used in specific class builds.

I wont even bother going over the 2nd screenshot showing off the legendary items. Each of those has 5 mods on it, far beyond just an “Attack and defense stat” One of the 5 stats always seeming to be hand crafted effects unique to just that item.

Either way, these items are very much on par with Diablo and other ARPG games. Grim Dawn being one of the few that has longer tooltips (that game has ridiculous item mods… which isnt always a good thing)

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Dug From The Earth

My bad, correction on the +skill items. D2 did have magic items with +skill. these were typically amulets. Just been playing D3 so long its easy to forget.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

People just showed up to this thread to act like clowns.

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losludvig

Most of the stuff they showed off sounded cool, but I’m not a fan of the items. low % proccs are not interesting, and when you have that few affixes per item they seem like an even worse deal giving you only very situational, random power spikes that you can’t rely on.

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Dug From The Earth

coming from D3 where things like Life on Hit were 100% chance, regulated by a frequency of how often it could happen, the % chance here is a bit of “will it feel worse or better?” situation.

Im also thinking that these items are of varying level. It would make sense that a lower level magic item would have a lower % chance to proc. A lot will depend on the flow of combat too. Also willing to bet, the game being so early in alpha, the numbers are hardly the final values… although Its not likely to see a 5% become a 75%.

One of the big issues with D3 that has led to numerous balancing and nerfs across the board was the 100% proc chance of things like like on hit. When you have different classes, weapon, and attack skills, the rate at which a player could be hitting something at varies drastically. Thus, creating a balance issue for certain stats like crit, life on hit, and other procs. These have been in a constant state of getting tweaked in D3 over the years because of this, with things like forced proc frequency rates being implemented. (that was a wizards meteor doesnt proc life on hit 50 times in 1 second from hitting 5 little demon scruggs.)

I have a feeling proc chance wont be capped by “number hit in an aoe attack” or frequency because of the % chance for it to proc now.

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losludvig

The thing is, you can rely on an internal cooldown, you can’t rely on a 5% chance to heal 47.
I really hope that end game loot is way better and more interesting, but this is what they chose to show us so they must feel that it’s a good representation of what the game is like right now.
It extra worries me that there were so many different low percentage proccs on display as I fear that it’ll be a large part of their affix pool and that they think it’s good itemization.
Still the game is far, far from launched and I’d be shocked if a lot of aspects won’t get changed between now and then, especially in terms of item and skill balance.

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Dug From The Earth

Life on hit in D3, for a long time now, hasnt been something you can rely on. It doesnt heal fast enough. There was a point when it wasnt limited in how often it could proc, or from how many things it would proc on… and during this time it was petty amazing. But that was years ago.

Life on Hit was also never meant to be a replacement for a healing potion.

Again, im willing to bet that a 5% chance is something you will find on a level 5 item…. and that at higher levels, we will see bigger proc chances.

its also possible that the proc chances will be additive. So boots with 5% will stack with glove with 5%, giving us 10% total chance. Not as likely, but still possible.

Either way, Life on Hit has plagued blizzard for a long time because of how overpowered it is unless its got both hands tied behind its back. I think they are intentionally trying to limit it in D4 to be a lot less of an element, so they dont have to worry about it being in a constant state of rebalancing.

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losludvig

No, life on hit is reliable because it’s guaranteed to happen, it might not be powerful enough that you can facetank everything, but that’s way beside the point I’m making.

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Dug From The Earth

you’re right… im confusing reliable with useful

A person who gave me 2 cents a month, every month, would be reliable.

But not very useful.

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Schmidt.Capela

Historically players tend to eschew procs they can’t count on or otherwise control, and flock instead to items/abilities/etc that are reliable even if they are statistically inferior. Blizzard found this the hard way multiple times in multiple games.

Personally, I won’t even touch an item whose effectiveness can vary wildly due to RNG. For me those items are relegated to vendor trash even if statistically they are BIS.

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Bruno Brito

Which is one of the reasons that theorycrafting nowadays shows that it’s better for a classic Shaman to level using either Rockbiter for 2handers or Flametongue for sword/board: They’re extremely consistent. Windfury isn’t.