Blizzard’s trying some interesting new things with the next big Diablo game.
It’s been more than six years since Diablo 3 came out, and over five years since Reaper of Souls, so it goes without saying that we’ve all been starved for more new Diablo content. Meanwhile, last year, Blizzard thought it’d be a good idea to placate those demands with the announcement of the mobile-only Diablo: Immortal, which, as we all know, didn’t do them any favours.
This year at BlizzCon though, they started to make up for last year’s infractions, by announcing Diablo 4, which looks like it’ll be taking the series back to what everyone loved so much in Diablo 2, while also adding in plenty of its own interesting ideas. The game, by Blizzard’s own admission, is not going to come out anytime soon, and we’re probably gonna have to wait a few more years still before we get our hands on it- but Blizzard did reveal some interesting new details during BlizzCon. In this feature, we’ll be taking a look at five such details.
Without further ado then, let’s get started.
SHARED OPEN WORLD
Diablo 4 is being billed as a shared open world title, which means when you’re playing the game – either solo or with a party – you’ll run into other players as well. Certain sections for the campaign will be private to you and your friends, while dungeons (of which there are supposedly hundreds in the game) will be instanced, which means you won’t run into other players here.
Since Diablo 4 is a shared open world and, as such, will function as an MMORPG in many respects, that also means the game will not be playable offline. Though you can play through the entire thing solo if you wish to, you will require a persistent internet connection to play nonetheless.
Blizzard have, though, said that they’ll be mindful of making sure that running into other players doesn’t impact the game’s atmosphere and narrative context. As such, how many players you will encounter, and how frequently you will encounter them, will change based on where you are in the world. So for instance, while towns will be populated by plenty of other players, as you venture out into the wilds, the frequency with which you run into other players will keep lowering.
Diablo 4’s open world is supposedly huge- enough that you can traverse it o mounts (which, by the way, can also be decked out with different kinds of armour). There’s a day-and-night cycle, and a dynamic weather system, and various different kinds of areas in the world.
The world itself will have five different regions, while within these regions, there will be several kinds of areas players will be able to visit. There will be instanced dungeons and towns, which will act as social hubs, both of which we’ve mentioned earlier. Meanwhile, there will also be world events in the open world itself, which will see groups of players banding together to take down massive monsters and beasts spawning in the open world. Finally, there will also be PvP areas, which we don’t have too many details on just yet. What’s interesting is that the entire level will be open to players, dropping the linear structure of previous Diablo games for a more open-ended approach here. If you have the requisite gear, you can go ahead and explore whatever and wherever you want.
As you may have guessed, the fact that Diablo 4 will have a shared open world will result in some changes to difficulty. For starters, there will be no game-wide difficulty levels, since the open world will be occupied by various different players of differing levels and skills. That said, Blizzard did mention Hardcore difficulty at BlizzCon, so it should be interesting to see how that is implemented.
Diablo 4 will have level scaling, though players will still be able to become more powerful than enemies by finding better gear, in spite of the fact that enemies will essentially be leveling up right alongside you. Additionally, though there is no game-wide difficulty, dungeons will also allow players to select difficulty options.
Diablo is a series that lives and dies by its endgame. The end of the campaign is always just the first tiny step in a long, long journey for most people who play Diablo games, so obviously, we’re expecting Diablo 4 to have plenty of endgame content as well. And while Blizzard haven’t yet gone into too much detail about that, they have revealed a few interesting things.
World events – which we already spoke about earlier – will probably be one of the endgame activities on offer. Meanwhile, another endgame activity Blizzard described is Keyed Dungeons. The way this will work is, players will be able to get special kinds of keys, which they can then use on one of the many dungeons in the game to turn them into much harder versions of themselves, which will presumably give out better gear.
Diablo 3’s auction house was one of its most controversial aspects when it launched, but fans of the series will be happy to know that that will not be making a return in Diablo 4. That said, trading will still be possible in the game. For example, you will be able to trade loot with other players in towns. Meanwhile, if you’re part of a guild, guild leaders will also have the option to distribute loot to members.