Here’s another ‘quarterly update’
Oh yeah, Diablo IV!
I don’t know what I occasionally forget this one exists, though it’s probably because I’m so used to there not being a Diablo game in active development. There was a 12-year gap between Diablo II and III, and now, it looks like it might be at least a decade after Diablo III until Diablo IV is out. Who knows at this point? It’s kind of in the Overwatch 2 column of “when it’s finished.”
To that end, Blizzard is working on eventually finishing it, and here’s some proof, compliments of a new “quarterly update.” The gist of it includes more info on itemization, and how Blizzard wants to “strengthen class identity,” “support deeper customization,” and is aiming for a depth level “between Diablo II and III.” The team wants “years of things to discover and countless ways to build a class.” More like Diablo II? Sure, that’s going to get some people to perk up.
Blizzard is also working on shoring up skill trees, by “increasing the clustering of related skill nodes, so players don’t have to go across the tree to find skill upgrades for their builds.” The whole respec issue (the set-in-stone style of Diablo II versus the zero-penalty III) is still a tough thing to figure out, but Blizzard is going to put a cost on it this time. So while you can do it an unlimited amount of times, “it won’t be free.” Diving further into it: “as your character grows, the effort and cost required to respec will grow too. In the end-game, changing your build will require a significant investment, to appropriately match the time and effort you’ve put into defining your character.” This sounds like something that’s going to ruffle feathers at launch and will probably be tweaked.
But the best part of all? The confirmation that Diablo IV will be at BlizzCon Online in February, and that there will almost certainly be a new class reveal. Here’s the full quote: “Speaking of which, our next update will take place during BlizzConline, rather than in blog form. We’ve read speculation about what it could be and want to ensure you that it is something chunky indeed. Without spoiling the surprise, let’s just say it involves a new version of the campfire scene we showed you last BlizzCon.”
As a reminder, the “campfire” has been the character select screen since Diablo II, so we’re at least getting a new class for BlizzCon.
Diablo IV Quarterly Update [Battle.net]