Diablo IV Quarterly Update - Q3 September 2020

Hey all,

The third quarterly update for Diablo IV is now now live! This is intended to be a dedicated thread for that purpose, and our developers will be prioritizing reviewing feedback or discussion here.

Please note that this is a dedicated thread intended for player discussion and we may not respond to or immediately answer questions in this thread at this time. We may consider questions or feedback here for future inclusion in Quarterly Updates, and look forward to reading your thoughts!


If you’d like to recap or revisit previous posts on the announcement or ongoing insights on Diablo IV development, you can see everything here:

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Look at that tree now. :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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Are the skill selections at least semi-permanent to create character identity, and not freely swappable like in Diablo 3?

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If I had to say one thing about this quarterly update, it would be that I love how eerily unsettling that skill/talent tree looks.

One last thing we want to point out is that players will not be able to acquire every Skill Tree node. We’re currently aiming for 30~40% of the nodes filled in for end game, so that players can have very distinct, and different ways they build out their character.

That’s good to hear; that said if respec is possible, please make so that players must put effort into it instead of being able to do it at the drop of a hat.

Also, the sorceress’s enchantment system seems promising, having 3 additional skills act as secondary effects is sure to be a powerful asset. I’m looking forward to the Druid’s unique system as well as the remaining two unannounced classes.

Overall, the skill/talent tree is definitely an improvement over the previous ones, and I’m looking forward to the next quarterly updates as well.

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The skill tree looks so much better now! Glad to know that you can’t max everything out. Thank you for listening to the fans. Also think the sorceress enchantment system seems pretty neat. I just hope that you can’t just respec all of your skills on the fly though.

I also like that you guys are going to rework the whole angelic power system. The initial idea was too much of a mess.

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Thanks for the update.

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We’ve also had very mixed team feedback regarding core itemization. We’re currently looking at how to best differentiate our various item qualities. For example, should Magic quality items have higher affix stats than Rare items?

Yes. They absolutely should as higher rarity items already have more affixes on them. I would like to be able to use the blue item if it has the right affix for my build even though it rolled with less total affixes. Making the difference in Attack/Defense values between item rarities too high would obsolete this choice.

A good example would be:

Normal: 70-120
Magic: 80-110
Rare: 90-100

Having some overlap in Attack/Defense values makes for interesting player decisions; Do I equip that blue item with more defense but worse affix? Do I equip the rare item with a good affix, but slightly less defense? A blue item has the affix I want, but that rare item has an extra affix and a bit more defense. Et cetera.

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After reading the skills and talents section something happened that I thought would happen. Even though I would be fully ready to handle having the ability to unlock all skills and max them out. I knew deep down that the majority of potential players of D4 are not ready for it. Much like how in City of Heroes in its early development had a completely free system of choosing powers that the players weren’t ready to handle.

I said that they would put limits on it and that is exactly what happened. My prediction came true. I made that prediction based on what was going on here on the forums and videos that I watched on youtube. All based on sound logical facts that I cannot fully explain but knew was the truth.

I want to leave a comment on Ancestral/Demonic/Angelic powers. I think that in D4 these could become the new Strength, Dexterity, and Intelligence like stats. I would like to see attribute points return to the game. Those three stats could be fleshed out to have a mixed bag of defense and offensive stats that would help the character outside of the ones that already talked about. Don’t know how to pull such things off, but I do think it is a good idea to explore and experiment with.

This would also mean that you might mean that you won’t need to carry around as many pieces of extra gear or have any extra gear at all. All because the gear that you have along with the points spent in attributes and maybe any points coming from the end game progression system could be enough to handle it where you won’t need to swap gear from time to time.

There are many ways that they can do it where it won’t be at the drop of the hat that I could get behind. Maybe a few really tough side quest that would allow you to earn one respec. Where by end game you wouldn’t have more than three respecs (here think of D2’s Den of Evil (all difficulties).

Or having to beat certain bosses to get tokens that when combined could grant a respec.

To make sure that they are not able to do it every day if the tasks become too easy then a cooldown could be put on respecs if needed.

Mind telling me what you think about my comments on skills and talents along with respec that I made above you.

Incredibly good news!

One last thing we want to point out is that players will not be able to acquire every Skill Tree node. We’re currently aiming for 30~40% of the nodes filled in for end game…

This made my day, thank you!
The tree looks awesome. It’s good enough size without being overwhelming.

Reworking of item rarities is also encouraging to read!
It would be awesome if the identity of legendaries come from the whole item, and not exclusively from it’s leg. affix.

The combination of affixes on a leg. item should be unique in their composition, found nowhere else.
What should be avoided is randomized affixes + a legendary one, is what I suggest.

Enchantment system seems to promise a lot of experimentation and choice, very good!
It’s actually very clever that a sorceress would do more with her spells instead of her weapons, like the barb.
This is a thematically fitting choice and I congratulate you!

Awesome work and promising perspectives, thank you for this update!

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Thank you so much. Love it.

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Awesome ! Thanks for listening to the community and keep your good job ! I have a very good feeling about the D4 team !

More depth, more choices, more builds, more challenge, more End-game system (No Paragon/Infinite leveling and Rift/GRift). Really nice Update !

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my list of Diablo IV Feedback Ideas

*A Blockout Secret Level:

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*Build-a-Figure/Character:
Could have it so players can obtain (or unlock through a Nephalem Class-specific progressing leveling system) one of five pieces of a doll, or something, after completing the main story with a class. Completing the main story with five different classes, the player can then combine the five pieces to unlock a new playable character not previously seen in the character select screen and isn’t a Nephalem. Because this isn’t a Nephalem, this character could be made with weaker skill damage, making the game more difficult for players who play as this character. Imagine playing as this weaker character in hardcore mode. Then when/if releasing Action Figures for Diablo 4, people could build this character if they buy all five Nephalem figures.

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*A Blockout Secret Level:

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*Another leveling system (bonus Class-specific leveling system):
A Nephalem progressing leveling system that is Class-shared only. If you create two Sorceress, they share the same Nephalem bar but creating a new class you haven’t played yet starts the Nephalem bar at level one for the new class. Could also add Class-Chain-unlocks where like if you reach Nephalem system level 12 with Sorceress Class, you unlock one thing for Sorceress Class but you also see that there are other things that can be unlocked at 12 for the Sorceress Class. You have to level other Classes to 12 in order to unlock the chain-bonuses and every new Expansion can add on to this.

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*A Blockout Secret Level:

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*Lots of Options is a Must:
The game should have Lots of customization options for Players. Just like with how the UI positioning will be optional on PC, other small things such as Shared-Loot and Tetris Inventory should also be optional for everyone who wants them. Also hoping for the option to turn Off auto pickup on gold and other things (auto-pickup On by default).

I’m hoping the gold will work similar to how it works in D2 where when you pick up gold, it is stored under your inventory until you put your gold into your stash in town (*gold can automatically be put into your stash everytime you return to town). If you die, any gold you are holding under your inventory will drop and any other player, including players in your party, would be able to take the gold. Can make this pile of gold totally separate from the gold that normally drops in the world and have this pile not be auto-picked up and the Player actually has to click on this pile of gold in order to pick it up. I also hope we’ll be able to drop our gold when we want. I find it fun being about to create a trail of 1 gold pieces that eventually leads to a large pile of gold that another player can find, lol.

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*A Blockout Secret Level:

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*Easter Egg Boss:
Could add the Tokusatsu demon “Absolute God N Ma” to the game in some form as a hidden Easter Egg Boss that grows in power when attacked by magic spells because he consumes all magic. If your playing as a Sorceress and you only have magic skills active, all your attacks will make the demon “Absolute God N Ma” much more powerful instead of causing damage to it but will increase a stagger bar instead. When this stagger bar is 100%, a part of the demon explodes as it consumes too much magic and the demon loses health. If the demon is killed this way by stagger explosions, you receive a hidden achievement.

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*I really hope for a Blockout Secret Level with Blockout enemies to kill, lol:

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*Accessing Inventories:
Could have it so players can access all inventories in-game of any created character without the need to switch to the character.

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*Multiple Secret Levels:
With Multiple Secret Levels, could have each secret level contain an item or a piece of a bigger item that, when combined using the Cube, gives an item for a super hard secret level, or something.

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*A Blockout Secret Level:
I hope they also add a secret Blockout “Grayboxing” level. As a reward for completing the secret Blockout “Grayboxing” level, we could get an item (with low or no stats on it) that when equipped turns your character into a Blockout model and other players would be able to see your Blockout character in town.

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*Cows and and Secret Levels:
Pleeease make the Cows taller in D4. The Cows in D3 are too short. One Easter Egg I want of course is the Secret Cow Level :slight_smile:. Maybe they could even add a secondary small secret Moo level that is just a little easter egg for the secret Moo quest in D1.

Could have an Undeadshire where the entirety of Whimsyshire has gone into chaos with all the colors turned to darkness and the unicorns are now dark Undead unicorns with red glowing eyes or something. Could have a unique Lance weapon drop that is actually an undead unicorn’s head. And in Undeadshire is a hidden quest where if you kill every undead creature in the place, including a boss, Whimsyshire then returns to normal with all its colors but filled with all the corpses and blood of all the creatures you killed. But, as you are about to leave the place, Whimsyshire suddenly turns dark again and your character says, “Oh Well.” lol

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*Player Character Speech Hotkeys:
Please Please Please add these lines in D4 from D2 - “Die!” and “Time to die!”

Also could have it so if you press the Key button that makes your character shout out “Help!” when you are close to some random NPC characters in the open world, some might come to you to help or others might decide to attack you thinking that this Nephalem must be in a weakened state. Or if you press the “Follow Me!” Key, some NPC characters might decide to join you in battle.

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Skill tree looks like its moving in the right direction but I’m still not a huge fan. From what I’m seeing on the tree it looks like those are all available skills and passive skill modifiers for a given class. I’m seeing one skill node with 2-3 passive nodes attached and that’s it. No other way to customize the skill or your build.

IMO, I think it would be nice to have one of these trees for EACH SKILL. Imagine having a tree for sorcerer’s hydra (for example) where you could spec into it’s elemental affinity for an ice hydra, fire hydra, chaos hydra etc. You could pick up passives that split the hydra into many lower-damage spawns, or a passive for a singular gigantic hydra. This would give players a lot more agency when designing their builds and differentiate between two sorcerer players who picked up the hydra node and its 2 related passives.

Overall, I’m pretty disappointed in this update but I am (desperately) trying to hold on to hope they can make it right.

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Honestly, I think the tree is terrible.
First impression is kinda ok, but then you look into it and see that it’s lacking choice, depth and anything that would make creative builds possible.
Looks more like you will choose 3 maxed out abilities with 1-2 upgrade each and then 2 half skilled abilities.

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Quin69 copyrighted statement

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The whole skill tree looks like GRIM DAWN copy, but with much less customization.

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This skill tree is awful and I can’t believe the comments above me. They are not moving in the right direction they literately put the old skills but into a tree form ,there is no depth at all. This was not a move forward but sideways.

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The skill tree looks pretty shallow to be honest. The progression seem to be linear from start to finish. So I can image that, each branch will be balanced to have all of the passive notes unlocked for the skill, and no unlocks on the branch will influence different skills. Pretty much D3 skills but in form of branches instead of runes.

For example the node for additional bolt could affect every spell that has projectiles adding +1 to the amounts of projectiles shot, that would promote more diversity among builds. Otherwise we can expect that there are going to be only 3-4 builds per class and probably one of these will be “meta” , so effectively we will look at one or two viable builds per class.

Also the graphical design is quite unclear there are red nodes on red branches… Is that Teldrassil? But in all honesty - it’s kinda hard to read.

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I read through the whole thing and in regards to the Skill Tree, I think you are going in the wrong direction.

What I think is not a good idea is that you mix Passive Skills and Active Skills together - at least if my understanding is correct that you unlock Passive Skill Points by spending Active Skill Points into Nodes that unlock (additional?) Passive Skill Points - , instead of separating them into two distinctively different Systems and let each System have its own Points (Skill Points for Active Skills and Talent Points for Talents/Passive Skills).

Mixing the Active Skill System and the Passive Skill System together will cause them to compete for Skill Points, which imo is not a good thing in this specific case.

It is good that players can not get everything and have to make meaningful choices, but just like letting Charm compete with Inventory Space in Diablo 2, letting Passive and Active Skills compete for the same Points is detrimental.

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Say what you want about Diablo 3, but one of the things that it actually did better than D2 was that Passive and Active Skills were separated and during D3’s development, you could spend Points into both Passive and Active Skill separately (Trait Points for Passive Skills and Skill Points for Active Skills), as you can see here:

https://i.imgur.com/YaBJRNr.png

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However, this all is based on my assumption that you gain (additional) Passive Skill Points by spending Active Skill Points into Nodes on the Active Skill Tree.

I might be wrong with that and may have misunderstood something, dunno, but if not, I think it is better to tell you now so you can eventually revert this issue if you desire to.

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There is another issue with Skill Systems that take the form of a Tree (regardless of them being for Active or Passive Skills) is that you have to waste Points into pre-required Skills, Talents or Nodes, just to get to the Skills, Talents or Nodes that you actually want.

A solution to this is simple: make it a Skill List and a Talent List instead of a Tree.

There still can be Skill Trees for each individual Skill, like in Last Epoch, where each Skill also has its own Skill Points (that can be spend on basic upgrades, but also on effects that completely change the way a skill works, like Runes in Diablo 3).

In the Passive Skill System some Talents can be connected to prerequired Talents if it makes sense for these two Talents to be connected.

You even can have Normal Talents (with Ranks that you can progressively upgrade by spending one point after the other which give more basic bonuses) and Major Talents (that significantly change how a Skill or Mechanic works, similar to PoE’s Keystone Passives), which costs several Points at once to unlock, without needing the system to be a tree with pre-required Passive Skills.

A few Examples:

forgive me for using D3 images, but it was the best that I had available at the time of me making this post to illustrate what I was describing

What I am suggesting here is not a demand that you put it in the game, it is just a suggestion for an alternative which solve the intrinsic problems described above that lie in the very nature of Active and Passive Skill Systems that take the form of a tree.

But if you don’t want to go in this direction, then I understand and respect that (since it is your game and your vision), although I disagree with that particular design decision.

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Lastly one good thing that I wanna point out is your decision that players will not be able to unlock every Active and Passive Skill. This is good since it creates very different and distinct builds as you pointed out in the blog, but also because it forces players to make meaningful choices.

Unlocking 30% of what is available sounds like a good number (though I personally would like to have 7 Active Skill on the Hotbar instead of just 6).

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The Enchantment System sounds interesting, but before I can give it more and better feedback, I have to think a bit more about it.

But that you for the blog!
It was a good read and I think it is good that you share some of D4’s development process with us.

Thank you!

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