Diablo IV: What We Know So Far
All your Diablo IV news in one place.
It’s been over 7 years since Diablo III graced our consoles – and back in November we finally received the news that we’ve been waiting for. Blizzcon 2019 revealed rumours of a Diablo IV being produced to be true – and here is everything we know about it so far.
1) The Story and World
Diablo IV is set to take place after the events of Diablo III. The gates of Heaven are closed after Malthael, Angel of Death, destroyed much of Sanctuary in an attempt to wipe out the impure race known as Humanity. It is through Heaven’s ignorance of the activity in Sanctuary that our villainess – the esteemed Lilith – is able to be freed from her prison. Lilith is the daughter of Mephisto, and the mother of humanity, and her design showcased in the trailer was absolutely breath-taking.
The game will feature a large open world map with five regions, day/night cycles and a non-linear campaign. Players will be spending a lot of time in various dungeons, with hundreds of randomly generated dungeon maps just like in Diablo III. There will of course be quests to fulfil, but developers at Blizzard have said that players will be able to take most of them in any order they choose.
2) Internet Connection Required
In order to support an extensive map, Diablo IV will require a steady internet connection to play, and will not be available offline. This news has caused a backlash from fans who have said that Blizzard are ‘failing to learn from past mistakes’, however the developers are insistent that the experience they are aiming to provide will have to come at the cost of offline features.
3) Five Playable Classes
Back to positive news – Blizzard has confirmed that there will be five fully customisable classes to choose from. Three of the five have already been revealed, along with some of their features. First on the list is the Barbarian, a series staple the Barbarian will retain the ability to wield single and double handed weapons in one build and will be given four weapon slots. Next, we have the Sorceress, another fan favourite who will feature AoE attacks that can control the battlefield, and the ability to turn into a ball of energy to incinerate enemies. The last to be revealed for now is the Druid. First available in a Diablo II expansion, but not making it into Diablo III, the Druid is returning with an NPC animal companion and Shapeshift ability.
Whilst the remaining classes have yet to be confirmed, we suspect that we may see the return of the Demon Hunter and the Monk in the initial release, with the Crusader and Necromancer following on behind in a later expansion.
4) Items are Changing!
Attack and Defence stats will only be on related items. To increase your attack you’ll need to find a good weapon, while for defence you’ll be looking for armour. This combats the frustration of previous instalments in the franchise where you may have found an item with an amazing attack increase that tanked your defence to the point you could barely get a hit in.
Diablo IV will also see the addition of new affixes to items. Some items will have abilities that require a certain amount of points in one or more of three new attributes – Ancient, Angelic and Demonic powers. You’ll need to bump up these attributes to activate these abilities. Blizzard released an example of such an item; the Fiery Amulet of Malice. The amulet has a 15% critical hit chance, and three attribute-related abilities (one requiring 55 in Ancestral Power, one requiring 55 in Demonic Power and one needing 60 in Demonic Power).
Even more notably, Ancient Legendary items are being scrapped in favour of a new, unnamed consumable item which will allow players to customise late-game builds. These consumables will drop from enemies and possess a random legendary power which can then be attached to non-legendary items. The goal of these changes is to create more unique items and bring more diversity to character builds.
5) Runes are Out
The rune system allowed players to customise their abilities with additional effects, from increased damage to passive healing to casting status effects on enemies. According to Eurogamer, we will not be seeing the rune system return in Diablo IV. Instead, players will get points to spend on skills in order to improve them, with some gaining new effects as you gain levels.
Developers aim to create an experience where players do more than just pile their base stats up with fancy items. You’ll gain power through levelling, skill ranks, the talent tree and end game progression as well as customising your items, as outlined above.
A highly controversial subject that pretty much every gamer has an opinion on, I’m sure many of you have been wondering whether Diablo IV will feature the same blight that many games have been inundated with in recent years – microtransactions. While we could go on about how this form of monetisation is creating a negative experience for gamers, it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing the back of them any time soon. Diablo IV’s lead designer Joe Shely has said that the game will likely have microtransactions, however they should only be cosmetic in nature and shouldn’t have a large effect on gameplay.
Meanwhile, developers do hope to release expansions after the base game, as in previous versions. Art director John Mueller said that the team want to “treat Diablo IV like the first chapter of a book”, with the opportunity to expand the story and explore characters new and old in the coming years.
Developers did emphasise during interviews that the changes they have reported may not be final, and they are hoping to hear feedback from fans to aid in their decisions for the final game. Diablo IV is currently being designed on a new engine for the PS4, Xbox One and PC with plans to be released simultaneously across all platforms. While there is no set release date yet, Blizzard has promised quarterly updates starting February 2020. We are just as excited as Mueller to ‘explore the darkness’ of Diablo IV, and we will eagerly be awaiting more news throughout the year.