The internet is abuzz with the announcement of Diablo IV during Blizzcon 2019. In This Diablo 4: Everything We Know article, we’ll guide you through all Diablo 4 Classes, all their skills, we’ll analyze the announcement trailer and available gameplay, and discuss all the new features including Open World and Mounts.
Everything We Know: Diablo 4 all Classes, Skills, Gameplay, Lore, Open World, Mounts!
- Title: Diablo IV
- Genre: ARPG
- Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
- Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
- Platform: PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One (Probably Playstation 5 too)
- Release Date: TBA
The Story of Diablo 4
Diablo IV takes place many years after the events of Diablo III. If you need a refresher: Diablo III ended with the destruction of the Black Soulstone and the defeat of the Prime Evil, and the expansion dealt with Malthael, Angel of Death. However both events claimed countless lives and destroyed large portions of Heaven, Hell and particularly Sanctuary.
As years pass and Sanctuary slowly rebuilds, a threat as old as the land itself begins to stir. In the power vacuum left behind by the Great War, a legendary name resurfaces—Lilith, daughter of Mephisto, the whispered progenitor of humanity. Her grip on Sanctuary cuts deep into the hearts of men and women alike, cultivating the worst in its denizens and leaving the world a dark, hopeless place. You can see more information about this on the Diablo IV Lore page.
The Classes of Diablo 4
Out of 5 classes that have been confirmed to be available with the release of the game, only 3 have been revealed. Classes are not necessarily gender-locked, and players will enjoy character customization beyond what was available in previous titles. While not fully a Character Creation feature, Blizzard confirmed that face choice and skin tone options are available for all classes. If you’re into cosmetics: a transmog system is also being looked into.
Players will obtain one or more skillpoints when leveling up that are then used to unlock or rank up Class skills for each class, and ranking up the skill not only makes it more powerful, but can add more effects to a specific skill, much like Diablo II. At least during the demo, the class you play also determines the loot you get, which follows Diablo 3’s smart loot system.
Crush enemies and wade through combat with reckless abandon.
Shift between primal forms while commanding the fury of nature itself.
New Features and Gameplay of Diablo 4
Diablo 4 is being developed in a new engine, that runs a lot smoother than previous iterations, and also brings about power to give the game longevity. With a new engine come new features, such as:
No Skill Re-Spec: Skillpoints that have been spent cannot be re-assigned, however players can obtain Skill Scrolls, that will give players more points that can be used to unlock further trees.
Talent Trees: Passive abilities to enhance your character. Each Class has a unique set of talent trees and putting points into talents unlocks those further down. Some Talents can also be found on gear, making equipment tinkering even more interesting, as you might not only get to invest more points than the total normally allocated, you might be able to unlock disparate paths and create more intricate builds.
Level Progression: Paragon levels are not making a return, but “something like it” is being worked on – Blizzard is just not yet sure what the exact format will be, but it will share a similar objective.
Mythic Gear and Sets: The gear progression is going to be very similar to Diablo, but with less of an emphasis on sets and more on individual items, encouraging people to make builds around those items instead. This means that legendary and ancient legendary items will be in the same standing as Sets – and as such you’re not cookie-cuttered into a specific powerful set and may combine your own. Mythic gear has 4 legendary powers within it, and is the highest item category. Each character may only have one, as they are extremely powerful.
Runes & Runewords: Runes are divided into Condition and Effect runes. Combining them creates a “Runewords” which can be applied to a piece of equipment. The Blizzard team is currently working on adding progression to the Rune system, so no more was shown on that regard, but it should remind players a bit of Titan Quest’s Charms and Relics.
Crafting: Crafting will be a feature of Diablo 4 and incorporate the world, encouraging players to go out and find materials. Promising an enhanced version that is not bare bones as Diablo 3’s was, players can create items from materials, however the game is focused on defeating enemies so the best gear will be obtained by defeating bosses instead. Endgame is expected to utilize crafting to modify items based on materials and finds.
Dungeons: Not a lot has been explained about endgame but Blizzard has revealed Dungeons. Dungeons are private and randomly generated in both interior and exterior environments, as well as the enemies within them – all seamlessly without loading screens. Dungeons feature Random Events as well as special scripted Dungeon Objectives that give the dungeon cohesiveness, and increase the danger and rewards.
Endgame Key Dungeons: Special High Level Dungeons are unlocked by obtaining Keystones (such as the Garan Hold Key shown in the Blizzcon Build). Dungeon Keys give dungeons special “affixes” such as Rank and Conditions (for example Lightning Pulse is an effect where a rock follows you around dealing AOE damage the entire dungeon), and harder dungeons give better loot and better Legendaries. Dungeons will have no time limit, which breaks from the timed Rifts of Diablo 3. Blizzard has explained this as your objective being to defeat enemies to obtain loot, and each enemy defeated increasing the difficulty of the whole thing.
Other Activities: More Endgame activities are planned but not yet announced, confirmed by Blizzard.
Monsters: Monster design follows a “family” system so groups of enemies such as skeletons will be divided into different units that act cohesively to stage a proper attack, with ranged units in the back and melee guards at the front. Elites for Diablo 4 will have new and enhanced affixes, that will make traditional elites even more challenging. Bosses will also feature new attacks and CCs, that players will counter with unique CC break abilities and a special “dash” mechanic similar to a roll-dodge, although it does not provide iframes.
Boss Stagger System: A yellow bar is displayed under bosses that slowly fills up as players use Crowd Control effects. When the bar is full, the boss will trip up for a short time, during which the bar turns blue instead. The staggered boss creates an opportunity for players to get close and unleash further attacks, but also has a scripted break that changes the fight. In the Blizzcon build, the Ashava World Boss, would lose its arm-blades when staggered, limiting its attack range and motion. Staggers can happen multiple times and have multiple effects.
Seasons: Seasons are a confirmed feature of Diablo 4. Seasons will be theme-based, and similar to Diablo 3 in terms of balancing, addition of new items, etc. An example is to introduce legendary items with seasons, and highlight specific ones during them, making different items into the most powerful for that season.
Trading Restrictions: Some gear can be traded indefinitely, but not all of it. Some items can only be traded once before becoming bound – meaning there won’t be a second-hand market for all those amazing Legendaries. Lastly some items are not tradeable at all, which may possibly include the Mythics.
The World of Diablo 4
Diablo games have typically limited exploration based on a campaign system, with acts presenting new regions with escalating challenges based on the expected player level progression. Diablo 4 is changing this formula by going open world. You can visit any of the game’s 5 regions whenever you want, and can progress the story at your own pace through a seamlessly connected world map.
The world will also have day and night cycles and weather effects, providing an original feel and look to each region and making spending in-game time a more noticeable feature. Blizzard has not confirmed whether we can expect different enemies, bosses, npcs or activities to be based on the time of day or the weather conditions, however Diablo 3 did feature rare spawns and drops in specific locales, so we believe there’s a strong possibility.
Mounts in Diablo 4
A new addition to enhance your free-roam exploration are mounts. It is not yet known how many will be available or whether they will feature different styles based on the class you’re playing, but mounts are listed as a character customization item. It will be interesting to see if these are simply cosmetic and whether they include stats, equipment space, runspeed, and if they may have their own sets and enhancements beyond cosmetics. Of course, monetization is also a concern of many, and this will be at the forefront of questions regarding mounts.
Mounts can be customized and each class will have a special dismount ability, such as a ground slam AOE attack for the Barbarian.
Persistent Online World, PVP in Diablo 4
Diablo 4 is an online-only game with a shared world. Blizzard boasts of social activities such as “complete public events with others or explore populated town social hubs to party up and trade. Challenge a world boss or even other players for treasure and glory!”
If this is sounding more and more like an MMO, it’s because it is! It would seem that Blizzard has taken onboard some of the concepts tried and tested by Path of Exile, and is planning on introducing more comprehensive online mechanics. There will be no offline mode – meaning this is a permanently online world, so of course the internet is abuzz with Diablo 4 being an MMO in all but name.
Of the tidbits gathered from developers, a point of note is that they want to limit the amount of people that you see when out in the open world. Some World Bosses will need more players to be defeated (such as Ashava The Pestilent shown in the Blizzcon demo), and players will have to finish the zone’s campaign to unlock that interactivity, meaning you can opt to play solo or with friends before you start seeing lots of other heroes. The developers promise that there will no longer be an advantage for group play, and solo players can enjoy the same rewards as their social counterparts.
Players can now also form clans, that will even feature a shared bank – which can be extremely useful given the changes to the trade system. Other social features include quick invites to other players worlds, in-game voice chat and text chat, and 2 player couch co-op on consoles.
Solo players will have access to all content, items and progression, which is being emphasized to reassure those worried about the lack of offline modes.
PvP has been confirmed as a feature, and PvE will share the skills, talents and items, meaning it all has the same balancing. However Blizzard expects some skills will be tailored for one or the other, and their build granularity will ensure there is a good balance for both game modes.
Diablo 4 Release date
“A game of this scope takes time. This is a very, very early first step. We’re not coming out soon… not even Blizzard soon.”
Blizzard is warning people not to expect Diablo 4 soon, and emphazising that they are looking for player feedback on core mechanics, from Skills and Talents to Trading, PvP and Leaderboard implementation. If you’re interested in giving your feedback, you can chat them up on their social channels, which has been successful as, for example, PC players will now enjoy controller support.
Based on the things we’ve seen from the demo: Skills with the same name as Diablo 3, typos, very short skill descriptions, we believe Diablo will not release until at least 2021.
Monetization-wise, the game will not have a subscription. This means there’s a price paid for the base game and additional content is delivered as paid expansions. Blizzard promises to have free seasons and updates to keep the game fresh, and offer no “pay to win”. There will be, however, microtransactions on cosmetic items.
Diablo 4 is being developed for PS4, Xbox One and PC, and you can keep up with news with in our blog, or find all demo information including a list of all skills, talents, locations and shown items and features on the Diablo 4 wiki.