A lot has happened in Diablo 4 since it was announced at Blizzcon 2019. The developers publish regular quarterly updates in which they address the active development and show what feedback they have implemented. Many details, especially in the game mechanics, could change until the finished release.
In this article, we always summarize the latest information about the action role-playing game and will revise the article as soon as something has changed in a mechanic. Regardless of whether it is information about the classes, skills, the endgame, or multiplayer, here you are always up to date.
Release: When will this be out?
Blizzard has not yet announced a release date for Diablo 4. So it is important to continue to exercise patience. At least we now know that Blizzard will no longer release Diablo 4 in 2021.
But that was extremely unlikely anyway. After all, 2021 is the same year that Diablo Immortal and Diablo 2: Resurrected should appear. So a little Diablo replenishment is provided even without part four.
All classes: which characters are known?
Four classes are currently set and have their own gameplay videos. Two other classes come from a leak and have not yet been secured. Since another class has already been confirmed with the huntress, the two classes from the leak are more than unlikely.
- The barbarian
- The sorceress
- The druid
- The hunter
- The Paladin or the Amazon (unconfirmed)
Another class is still missing. Since Diablo 4 will no longer appear in 2021, it may well be that it will not be revealed until Blizzcon 2022. In earlier offshoots of the action RPG, there was still necromancer, monk, and witch doctor. Assassins and demon hunters are replaced by the slayer. But the developers may also pull a completely new class up their sleeves.
How do the classes play?
In Diablo 4, too, every class seems to stand out from the others again. At Blizzcon 2019 we were able to try out all three known classes. But there were no unexpected surprises.
The barbarian remains a brutal hand-to-hand fighter who plows through his enemies with various weapons. The sorceress is a ranged fighter who shoots with ice and fire or conjures up meteorites. The druid, on the other hand, relies on a healthy mixture. He works his natural magic from a distance, but can also shine in close combat in the form of a bear or wolf.
Only the huntress is even more diverse. She can deal with daggers and swords in close combat, uses bows and crossbows for long-range combat, has powerful shadow magic and can then also set traps. In addition, the Rogue is said to be extremely mobile, which has always been a great advantage with Diablo.
Unique class skills:
The unique class mechanics that Blizzard has come up with are completely new. For example, the barbarian can switch between different weapons in combat and equip up to four different items. The sorceress may equip her active spells as a passive effect. Then meteorites are no longer actively summoned but regularly strike around them.
The slayer even gets three different skills. However, players always have to choose one of them. You can choose between combo points, weak points, or the shadow realm. Combo points can strengthen certain finishers, weak points make opponents particularly vulnerable for a short time and the shadow realm is another dimension into which your hunter can escape.
The Slayer also unlocks her class abilities by doing quests for different factions. It is still unclear whether this also applies to the other classes.
Skills: How do the perk tree and skills work?
The skill and level system is one of the most important mechanics of any Diablo. The third part, for example, alienated a few long-established fans who would have preferred to see such a complex system as in Diablo 2. With proper skill trees for each class and upgradeable attributes.
Diablo 4 wants to do things differently without sacrificing the accessibility of Diablo 3. Originally, the skill system looked very different when it was announced, but Blizzard has since reworked the whole thing.
There is a skill tree:
Originally, only passive abilities were to have a small talent tree. Now, however, Diablo 4 has a real tree where all the abilities of a class can be found. All active abilities hang in the treetop here, as well as additional functions for them.
You can also unlock passive points here. Once you have a passive point in the crown, you can spend the point in the roots on passive effects.
In Diablo 3 you couldn’t decide which ability to get and when. In Diablo 4 you have to plan your route through the skill tree well. In the course of the main game, you only get enough points to unlock about 30 to 40 percent of the skill tree. You can redistribute your skill points indefinitely, but that costs something and becomes more expensive the more skills have already been unlocked.
Level-up: Are there attributes again?
Yes, Blizzard no longer wants your hero’s strength to be primarily determined by their items. In Diablo 3, for example, most end-game builds are still hung on the different sets that can be used to improve skills.
Diablo 4 brings back the primary attributes. Our hero should also refine his own skills in his fight against the underworld and not only find better loot. With a level-up, you, therefore, get points that you can freely invest in strength, intelligence, skill, or willpower. However, every attribute should make sense for every class. In the barbarian, strength improves damage and willpower increases anger generation, while the slayer’s intelligence increases the crit chance and dexterity increases her damage.
If an attribute is particularly highly skilled, you can use it to trigger additional side effects for some skills.
Loot: How does the item system work?
In addition to the skills and character classes, every Diablo also has a wonderful loot spiral. After all, the search for better and better equipment feeds a large part of the motivation of every Hack & Slay. As with the skills, a lot has happened here since the announcement in 2019.
Originally, Blizzard introduced a new power system, whereby items get different effects, the greater your angel, demon or ancestral power is. Ultimately, however, this system was removed again.
The quality of the items:
All items in Diablo 4 are divided into five quality levels. In addition to the usual gray items, you will later get magical items in blue or rare items in yellow. The orange-colored legendary items and the returned unique items are even more powerful.
Legendary and unique:
Magic and rare items not only have better values but also have additional affixes. Legendary weapons and armor, however, have a legendary property instead of a fifth affix. These are then particularly powerful bonuses. As in Diablo 2, there are also unique items. These objects always have predefined properties and are not generated randomly.
Blizzard has not yet decided how to proceed with sets. In Diablo 3, these collections of items were still largely responsible for the builds, in Diablo 4 they should play a smaller role. There may also be no sets at all. But that is not yet certain. At the moment it seems unlikely that sets will not be included in some form. If so, they will probably be smaller and by no means dictate a build for the players.
Editor: Can I customize my character?
For the first time in Diablo history, you have a huge amount of creative freedom to customize your hero’s appearance. There are no sliders like with Skyrim, but you can choose between the different face and skin types and determine the gender. In addition, you are allowed to put a lot of tattoos on your character, change the color of your eyes or dye your hair. The armor can also be optically adjusted and, as with Diablo 3, also completely recolored.
Incidentally, this does not only apply to your hero. You can also customize your trusty steed. You determine the color of the coat, armor, saddle, and even which horseshoes are attached.
Endgame: What happens after the story?
In the endgame, Diablo 4 is inspired by Path of Exile and relies on key dungeons instead of the previous rifts. Thanks to special dungeon properties, they should offer significantly more diverse and flexible challenges and are determined by keys. Blizzard is currently still discussing whether the experience point system and level should be finite or infinite.
More details are currently not known. But you want a system that provides more depth and greater replayability than the Paragon system from Diablo 3.
Open world: What is the shared world all about?
The Open World: For the first time, Sanctuary in Diablo is not divided into individual zones. You can seamlessly explore the entire game world. You can travel through regions such as the burning desert of Kehjistan, the forests of Scosglen, the wild dry steppe, the rugged cliffs of the Shattered Peaks, and the blighted swamplands of Hawezar without loading screens.
One exciting detail: Items in Diablo 4 adapt to the region in which they are found. So if you’re riding through the desert in the Open World and find a leather helmet, it will look different than it does high in the north.
Mounts: So that you don’t have to completely traverse the open world on foot, you can also ride a horse. This is also a novelty in the series. However, the horses only serve to speed up your progress. If it comes to a fight, you can dismount with a powerful attack or you will be thrown off after a hit.
Camps: Since an extremely large number of people died during the events of Reaper of Souls, there are many abandoned structures in the open world. Monsters, demons or bandits have taken up residence here. Players can march in here and flatten everything. Then people move back in and open up new waypoints and marketplaces. This gives players the feeling that they are changing the game world through their actions.
The Shared World: Diablo 4’s shared game world is inspired by games like Destiny 2. You meet other players in an open world, just like in an MMO, but not in the dungeons or story missions. You can also encounter so-called world bosses. These are huge enemies that can only be defeated by a large group of players.
Co-op or PvP: how does multiplayer work?
PvP: Blizzard is planning its own PvP areas. There you earn special hate splinters, which in turn act as currency for special items. But you can’t earn the best endgame loot here. These zones are even explained in the story. There are areas in which Mephisto’s hatred surfaced and made heroes more aggressive.
If you play particularly aggressively, kill many other players in PvP and steal their splinters, you will eventually become a vessel of hatred. Then you are visible to all other players for a while and a bounty is offered. If you withstand the following attacks without running away, you will get a great reward. As with Diablo 2, you will again get ears from the players you do in PvP.
Co-op: You can still go to dungeons with a party of friends – or alone if you prefer. Pure co-op capabilities are currently not planned. However, there may be synergies between the classes.
Story: Who is Lilith and what is it about?
We can say very little about history at the moment. Only the rough starting point is known. Accordingly, even decades after Diablo 3, the world of Sanctuary has not yet recovered from the bloody campaign of the angel of death Malthael ( Reaper of Souls ). In addition, high heaven has cut itself off from humanity.
To make matters worse, the daughter of the great evil Mephisto returns. Lilith once created sanctuary and humanity but was banished into the void due to various intrigues. Now she is back and appears to be a great opponent. We don’t know what their plans are.
Beta: Can you sign up for it?
At the beginning of 2020, there was a little confusion about a possible beta phase for Diablo 4. So far, however, Blizzard has not announced a date. It is now considered certain that there will be a beta sooner or later.
Occasionally there is a hint on the net that you can already register for a possible beta. To do this, you should press the “Register” button in the upper right corner of the official website. So far, however, you’ve only signed up for the newsletter. But if there is a beta, it doesn’t hurt to find out about it in good time via the newsletter.
Microtransactions: is there a shop?
Yes. Like every Diablo, many players play Diablo 4 for a very long time. In order to benefit from this, the RPG should get an in-game shop. However, you shouldn’t be able to buy any items in this shop that provide a playful advantage. At the moment we are only talking about cosmetics. So you can dress up your heroes or their mounts a little with real money