Blizzard has reimagined every monster in a “darker, more gritty art style.”
Blizzard Entertainment has provided new details on Diablo 4 as part of a series of quarterly updates. It talks about changes to the inventory system, the action bar and delves into the different monster families that players can expect. In fact, you can see one of them – the Cannibals – in the trailer below.
The inventory system has undergone some visual changes with less brightness and saturation for icon backgrounds. Along with changing the inventory’s layout, decorations on border provide “secondary visual cues for indicating rarity.” As such, this isn’t the final design and lead UI designer Angela Del Priore says feedback is appreciated since players will interact with the inventory the most. As for the action bar, it’s back to the center for PC players.
This after testing and feedback though it will stay the same for console players. PC players have the option to shift it to the left hand corner, especially if it’s preferable when playing with a controller. Speaking of consoles though, while couch co-op is making a return, players can now access their UI independently as opposed to pausing the game for everyone. This is for two players though so we’ll see how it applies to four player co-op.
Finally, the development team talks about reimagining monsters as part of families. As senior encounter designer Candace Thomas notes, “Every monster has been reimagined, but in a darker, more gritty art style. We have lovingly handcrafted every creature you’ll encounter from the ground up: that includes demons, NPCs, Act Bosses, and even the skittering critters you can crush underfoot. Though we still pay tribute to some hallmark gameplay—such as Fallen Shamans resurrecting other Fallen—we have completely reimagined things in other places.
“To have these creatures feel more sophisticated and robust, we designed them in what we call ‘monster families’ and archetypes. Each family has a different combat style and feel. For example, the Drowned family has five members in various archetypes: bruiser, ranged combat, melee combat, swarmer, and dungeon boss.”
The Cannibals are another example and they’re fairly ravenous while moving at high speeds towards the player. “Some may close the gap by leaping over obstacles and would-be competitors, while others will swiftly and deftly maneuver through other monsters to get first blood. This provides a very different experience and gives the player less time to make thoughtful positioning decisions, thus making combat with these flesh-eaters feel frenetic.”
Diablo 4 is currently in development for Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Stay tuned for more details in the coming months.