Diablo IV Quarterly Update - Q3 September 2020

Hi y’all I made a video reaction to this, if you’re curious about the perspective of an Unreal Engine programmer here it is: https://youtu.be/8c6n_yOOQQo

Generally it looks like it’s going in a great direction, would be great to have a little bit more depth and ceremony around the unique class abilities, the barb has weapon animations, druid - shape-shifting, sorceress has a just a spell book? Not sure how you visually communicate that but I’m always down for extra ceremony.

Yeah I have no issues with finding legendary or powerful items while leveling. That’s part of the fun. But it doesn’t need to be like D3 where everything is available besides set items.

Speaking of sets, I would mind seeing some 2-3 piece sets while leveling. Like a ring/ring/amulet or a sword/shield combo that gives a nice little bonus.

Gotcha. Yeah as stated above got no problem with some, just avoid them all being on the under level cap loot tables. Save some loot so we are not looking at just level capped items we already had.

Agreed… would love to see smaller sets available specifically during the leveling stages. Sets in general have completely ruined the D3 experience for me.

I would also add that a higher drop rate of set/legendary items in general during the leveling phase would help convert a lot of people to late game players. I have friends who might beat the game once and feel they’ve experienced it all. They have no idea what it’s like to kit our your character and make them super powerful. Given the opportunity to actually try to synergize equipment in early levels may help them understand what makes the late game experience so fun.

Yeah, especially if they manage to go through with the claim that set items are only starter items. Which I hope they do.

Going back to the skill tree, it would really be great to get some info on whether skill lvls are gone, or if that it just a result of the skill tree being a mock-up.

I am not a particularly big fan of skill points, but it surely adds some amount of meaningful choices to the character progression.
Like two different builds might both use frostbolt and meteor, but one got 15 points in skill A and 5 in skill B, and the other build is vice versa. More options. More differentiation.
Not to mention how it interacts with itemization etc. (though I still strongly dislike +All skills)

Removing skill lvls would be a big step backward, resulting in the skill tree being one step forward, one step back…

Same goes for the skill upgrade nodes. They too should be able to have multiple skill lvls.

When writing these blog posts, try to think about not only what you are adding, but also what came before. If you have removed something, mention it.
And if you have not removed something, but it is suddenly missing on screenshots where it naturally would occur, then also remember to mention it is still there.
Otherwise we just end up with a lot of unecessary talk and feedback about something that didn’t change… or not enough feedback on something that did change, but it was unclear whether it is gone or not.

Just wanted to clarify a bit on a few comments regarding the tree. It is still very much a WIP item with the team. It obviously will get a lot of passes on the UI/UX front, so we hear the comments loud and clear regarding readability and making sure it isn’t confusing to the players. The goal was to make sure you all could understand the concept with the skill tree and where skills and passive nodes would lie with the system.

As we progress through development, you will see more newer iterations on it.

Thanks again for all the great feedback in here as well.

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Do skills still have lvls? Yes/No/State secret? :confused:

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I’d rather their be modifiers to choose from than skill ranks you build up. Basically similar just you would have the choice of how to improve the skill.

I’d avoid sets before endgame. Even with them supposed to be basic, not as powerful, and really for those new to the game or thise that want to be handheld on building a character. Some legendaries are fine. But lests say there will be 500 legendary items. At least half need to level cap only drops. Problem with D3 was you could easily see all the loot you needed before 70, then you were hunting just better versions of the same thing. At least give use something new to hunt in addition.

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Sure, but it is not either/or. Skill mods are definitely more important than skill lvls.
It is unlikely we are getting 20+ skill mods per skill though, so it hardly replaces it.

And skill mods can’t really interact with itemization, unless they too have ranks/lvls.

It also just allows for more interesting designs of skills and upgrades.

Like what if an upgrade to Fireball is:
Fireball splits into two, but each deals 30% less dmg.
Next lvl is: Splits into three but each deals 50% less dmg.
And so on for a few more lvls.

Depending on your build, you might prefer only one point in this, rather than many, if you want your fireball to be a single target skill, rather than a weaker AoE.

Yes, each of these ranks could be its own node, that is how PoE does it, but that is just additional confusion to the UI for no good reason - well, very little good reason anyway, it of course serves as a way to move around their insanely huge skill web, giving multiple paths to the same benefits. But that is hardly relevant for Diablo 4s tree. Better to stack the same nodes into ranks/lvls for simplicity.

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Dear Blizzard, Please, for the love of Diablo, please make combat meaningful. What I mean is that, no one wants to pull 50 mobs into a group and AOE them down. Fighting 3-6 mobs at a time seems ideal. Make it difficult. Every fight should feel like life or death. You should be punished for pulling too many mobs, and you should be punished for dying as well. Where is the fun in trying not to die if you just respawn at your character and keep going? I think a combination of D2 and WoW would be great, Run back to your body as a ghost or something similar and also lose a little experience. Just throwing ideas out there. All I know is that I only play hardcore in D3, there is nothing like feeling your heart racing when you are about to die because you know everything you worked so hard for is about to be for nothing! That being said, id rather play “softcore” and actually have consequences for dying. The video of the sorceress fighting 5-6 mobs looks amazing! That’s what i want more than anything else, meaningful combat. Just 2 cents from a lifelong Diablo fan.

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Strongly, strongly agreed!
Well, okay, maybe each fight shouldn’t feel like life and death, that might be taking it a bit too far. But all fights should feel meaningful. All enemies should feel different from one another.

And yeah, death penalties/survival bonuses (whatever name you prefer) is really important, also in Softcore. It makes combat more fun and engaging, when there are risks and consequences to your decisions.

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Oh! I like this new way of thinking, Diablo peeps. Keep up the good work!

Hopefully some of my thoughts lead to something.

Regarding to attributes:
I do agree that the new power attributes could be implemented somehow to give players more control over their build and character. But that shouldn’t be replacing the staple RPG Str, Int, Luck attributes … and so on. Those, as basic as they sound, give lots of depth to your own character customization and that opens doors to so many other things.
Let me make a very smart and weak barbarian, who knows what that could lead to?

Regarding to skills:
I loved the talent tree!
I believe that skill points should have a cap. Making it so it’s not enough to fill all the skill tree once you’re in end game. That gives our character a sense of uniqueness, since every skill point is an important decision and a commitment.
Maybe with the introduction of synergies as we have in diablo2, or even elemental combos. For example: if an area is wet because a cold spell was recently used there, it can be used to amplify lightning damage. That would encourage hybrid builds and add lots of depth.

Regarding to loot:
YES! The fact that Legendaries won’t dictate the whole game at the end makes things so much more exciting! Remember the sensation of finding that extremely broken BLUE druid pelt in diablo 2? That should really be a thing! Make it rare, really rare, but possible.
Also, making items found on lower difficulties having potential of being used in end game. That’s a great thing! All the items have value and are not necessarily trash, because it was dropped earlier it will all depend on your own build. ( Like finding a 4 sockets flail in diablo 2, or Gull dagger. )

A personal note.
Change and balance areas instead of classes:

It’s safe to say that Blizzard kinda fell on this trend of washing all their game’s classes into looking like each other. They all feel pretty much the same, with similar CCs, long range, melee, disengage, charge, ress,… and no uniqueness. All that for the sakes of “balance”. Look at wow for an example, it feels like all classes can Bloodlust, Ress, Execute, Heal, CC, … This literally kills the purpose of classes, since everyone can do the same thing.
I’d say, keep some areas extremely disadvantageous for characters that are specced in one way, but tolerable for better adapted ones. On the other hand, you’d have other areas that would make the other builds shine.
And for that I think it would make a LOT of sense introducing back elemental resistances and elemental combos ( as mentioned before ).

I think this game and franchise have such potential, keep it deep! Not complicated, just deep. :slight_smile:

I can’t wait to see what all artists are doing! Looking forward to it!

Cheers! Stay safe! Wash your hands! <3

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Thanks, keep polishing the game and don’t rush anything guys. Tree is amazing.

Maybe after picking a branch - thus deciding which path you choose, the branch itself would be more noticeable in comparison to faded/transparent-like other branches.

Love the tree idea. Hoping for unique style looks for each class.

The only thing I saw was it was visually telling by the branches, lines connecting them would help more clearly show us what paths are what

Good update.

Ancestral / Angelic / Demonic
These words speak heavily on where the hero taps into, or sources, power.

It doesn’t suit being on items. I think It works as an alignment.

Heroes could choose an alignment that opens up a set of global skills / passives on a ‘wheel’ where one alignment blurs into the next. (e.g. Angelic powers overlap with some demonic powers on one side and into ancestral on the other.) such that we can build an Ancestral Barbarian. or an Angelic sorc or something in between)

This could build on the end of D3 where the Tyrael / the Angels realise the nephalem has the power to take down the champions of angels and demons, and one day will be tempted to the side of the demons.

So - points instead are earned in another way and spent on a second chart.

Maybe it enables the use of specific items or outcomes as you develop your alignment. e.g Tyrael’s Might may require angelic alignment. or maybe it requires ‘not Demonic’ . most items are not restricted by this - just some. Passives / skills / weapons are based on an alignment they would offer various perks that might be useful to any number of builds. Like additional damage % to ‘x’ or defense or faster run speed. or magic skills or weapon augments. So a Melee might want to add a fire spell. or the sorc might want to be warrior-sorc and buffs to melee stuff. Skills could even level themselves up with use so they stay relevant through to end game.

Grim Dawn has something like this implemented very well using constellations.

Skill tree
I like where the skills are going. Tt looks like every skill needs only 1 point invested in it and then additional tiers make it stronger. If this is the case then there needs to be a lot of diversity in each tree. I also enjoy investing multiple points into a skill. One idea might be to grant multiple skill points per level so we have more to play with. As you get to higher levels you level up less often so receiving 1 pt doesn’t feel particularly exciting.

End game
I’m more a single player guy. I enjoy the main campaign. Once I’ve beaten the campaign in the main difficulty settings I lose interest. Grinding rifts to get loot to grind rifts isn’t appealing to me. Having an ultra hard final campaign run is:- where your equipment, patience and skills are equally important to progress. I’d like to see mobs (even trash mobs) have to be tackled differently depending on your char and skills etc. I’d even like to see some mobs get special skills in the final difficulty that makes you have to re-think how you best them.

Thus I’m suggesting a game where to beat normal difficulty requires little grind. To beat hard requires some farming or a strong build. (as power comes from your player character you are less dependent on items) but to beat ultimate difficulty does require farming and effort as you need good items to assist.

I feel better about heroes hitting their inner-potential at max-level and, from there, power comes from loot, user’s skill, and employing more effective strategies. I’m looking forward to seeing what you reveal for end game - but I didn’t enjoy the paragon system - it just introduced generic power-creep based on generic time played (being that if 100 players all played for 50hrs they’d all still be about the same paragon level and power). Its not exciting or rewarding really…

** edit ** I love the idea of decorating the tree that some others have put up

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Personally, it seems to me that the enchant system with active skills is a fail, leave the randomization for the players in “Heartstone”. Now, if it was possible to add up to X rune words to the spell adding various effects, then this would ultimately give more opportunities in building your build. And the more different rune words and characteristics that you can roll on them, the better. By analogy, I recall the rare gems that were inserted into the tree of passive skills in another arpg game.
And it looks harmoniously added text(rune words) to the supposedly pronounced spell), if you go further with this … you can voice the caste of some spells with 1 word that sometimes the character will shout out.

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Time for another quarterly update reply.

  1. I’m glad you’re acknowledging the awkwardness of the demonic/angelic/ancestral power. If you decide to continue with that, I think there needs to be a graphical display in one of the menus or something to show, relatively, how the 3 forces are being manifested. Maybe a triangle with an average-point being pulled toward one of the 3 corners. Maybe that position of the average-point in the triangle would somehow dictate what abilities turn on or off.

Make us feel the struggle for power among the 3 forces. Make us want to focus or balance. Maybe just have 7 spots on the triangle (imagine a triforce symbol with another triforce symbol in the center triangle… that would display the 7 regions representing the 3 mono-powers, the 3 different combinations balancing 2 of the 3 powers, and 1 balancing all 3 powers ), and whether item abilities activate or not rely on relative powers that we can visualize… I think that would help with the lore, bring them front and center, and make it more user friendly.

it doesn’t completely solve the tetris issue, but i’d rather be able to have a general understanding of what types of abilities are turned on and off by looking at a triangle than by going through each piece of armor to see what the stat cutoffs are for each ability and comparing it against the number on my stat sheet.

also, it’s a hell of a lot more interesting doing bookkeeping than just not playing because everything you pick up is pointless unless it has a slightly higher damage stat than what you’re currently using. err on the side of complexity.

  1. magic items should absolutely have higher ranges than rares, or maybe just allow magic items to roll prefixes and suffixes that are identical so they combine, while rares can only roll one or the other. allow these items to be used in the legendary system where you add legendary affixes to base rare items (except allow them to be added to magic items too). give us a reason to actually pick up, look at, and identify the items you put into the game rather than having us autoselling or autosalvaging based on color. having white items in crafting recipes in d3 or socketables in d2 made item hunting a lot more interesting.

  2. The tree makes no sense. Is it supposed to? Or did you just put random icons in random places? There are 2 fireball spells on different branches and what looks to be a hydra upgrade node on some other random branch away from its base spell. If this was intended, the tree was poorly explained. If this was not intended, it was poorly executed.

In any case, it would be interesting to be able to dictate how many passives, actives, and upgrades you unlock based on how you place points. If that’s what you were going for, I strongly approve. It’s a lot more interesting to make those choices. I wonder if that makes it harder to balance, but it definitely makes it more interesting.

On the other hand, it feels super clunky to spend talent points to get passive points from branches to spend on roots, and it seems like a poor implementation just to find reasons for people to spend their points. Are we not leveling up our skills with points anymore? We should be. having to balance points spent on throughput vs. upgrading things is a lot more interesting than having exactly X spells and exactly Y possible ways to cast each spell, and you choose some combination of them.

  1. The sorc enchanting system looks great. I can’t wait to have passive hydra.

Please don’t feel obligated to make different systems for every class. You could definitely use an arsenal system on a melee+ranged character or the enchanting system on another caster if the system works. No need to deprive a class of a good system just to be different. But hey, if you can come up with 5 different and equally useful systems, then more power to you.

I don’t know if you really need 3 enchantment slots. 1 or 2 would definitely still provide the flavor. You want to avoid just having the passive spots be where you dump lame or clunky spells. and if you’re excitedly spending talent points to unlock a skill you’re just going to make passive, it needs to be pretty spectacular. and i don’t know if 3 feels like too many spectacular things.

how about the frequency of the enchant proc depends on how many enchants you slot in, so having just 1 enchantment slot filled would give you more uptime on that one spell? that would allow for a ton of customization.

  1. i would like the end-game system to have a permanent passive buff to a specific spell or maybe a specific spell type… infinitely with diminishing returns… they can always change where they put their NEXT point, so it’s not like they have to start over or something if they change specs. or maybe they would. who cares? there needs to be something permanent about your choices that makes that character unique and meaningful rather than a doll that can be whatever you want by changing its clothes. the only reason it was a hassle in d2 was because there was a limited amount of points to spend. but if this was infinite, a few misplaced points wouldn’t matter because by the time you restarted, you could have just gotten a few more paragon levels.

After sleeping on this and watching some thoughts from other people i have some additional feedback to the skilltree.

Currently it feels like the skill tree is very confusing because it mixes all elements. It’s difficult to see where you want to go without having to hover on every single skill.

SUGGESTION: I will take an exampIe for sorceress. I would enjoy it a lot more if there was one skill tree per element. For example you could click “Cold tree” / “Fire tree” / “Lightning tree” and the tree artwork would change to ice, fire or lightning. - (I’m not sure how feasible this is considering there are many classes with each of their own different skill path, but nonetheless with or without new artwork doesn’t matter much) - This would obviously mean a bit more skills added to all elements, however it doesn’t need to be a whole lot more, it just needs to be a little more spread out. But for example the tree branches could be divided into defense, aoe and single target spells or something in those lines. Also the passive roots would only be towards that element, which means more passives but i think this would be good.

Just throwing an idea out there but instead of passives being the roots it could be the skill enhancement passives that are now located in the top section of the tree. And then i don’t know where the actual passives would be located though, but it’s an idea i guess.

This is a great idea to have some extremely rare items you can only use with a specific attitude (demonic/angelic/ancestral).
If you would find this one desired legendary you might have to consider to change your build and your preserved domain just because it is so rare. Maybe you can not change your domain past a certain level. And you can only unlock a single path to the next domain.

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