David Kim, lead systems designer for Diablo IV, shared some updates today about the upcoming entry in the prominent ARPG franchise. Blizzard is aiming to involve the Diablo community in the development process and is placing high value on community feedback. However, while Kim is appreciative of the feedback, he also says, “The biggest challenge with parsing community feedback is that with so many opinions, the takeaways are rarely unanimous.”
Itemization in Diablo IV
It seems like Kim isn’t yet ready to go into detail about itemization. He only state that the development team is looking at ways to “add more depth and complexity” to base items and also create more item affixes to give more meaning to your choice of weaponry. He explains that they will go into more detail in a separate post later. This is in addition to a big update coming in February of next year.
He does make a note about Ancient items, which are a tier of items that sit between Legendary/Set and Mythic. According to Kim, “Ancients as they are don’t really serve a clear purpose in Diablo IV.” So we can look forward to more information about Ancients in the future as well.
Player progression is still being looked at. At the moment, the team isn’t sure whether the experience system will have a cap or be infinite. Kim lists a couple of pros and cons for both, but at the moment, it seems like they are leaning towards a level cap with an alternate experience system as well. We’ll have to wait to see how that turns out. Hopefully, though, Blizzard will have a system that encourages players to roll new toons and experiment with new items and skills combinations.
For anyone familiar with Path of Exile‘s maps system, you should grasp the idea behind Diablo IV‘s keyed dungeons. As part of the endgame grind, Kim notes that you will know what monsters and affixes will be present before entering the dungeon. This allows players to plan and strategize before hopping inside to slash some demons. That’s pretty important. I never got into rifts in Diablo III, but I’ve done plenty of maps in Path of Exile and it was always important to itemize properly before jumping in. It looks like Blizzard is doing their homework.
There are some more interesting notes in the post. Kim addresses player power sources and elective skill selection as well. Spoiler: There will be elective mode-style skill selection.
For more information, check out everything we know about Diablo IV.