Blizzard Entertainment has revealed yet more details to whet the appetites of Diablo fans. While Diablo IV’s release date hasn’t been confirmed, the developers have outlined some of the on-going discussions in the game’s development and asked for help from fans.
David Kim, Lead Systems Designer at Blizzard Entertainment posted on Diablo III’s US website, opening the discussion up to fans of the series and addressing some of the new game’s key questions.
He said: ” Diablo IV is still very much in active development, but we plan to keep you in the loop as we continue to design and iterate so that you can be a part of what we’re building. I am so incredibly appreciative for all the feedback we’ve received so far and I’m eager to dive into some of the most talked about topics.”
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So what were the most talked about topics? Firstly, the game’s ‘Ancient Items’ were brought into question by fans. As were ‘Elective Mode’, itemisation, sources of power and the endgame progression system.
Here’s what Kim said regarding itemisation, which has been much-discussed among Diablo fans ahead of the new game:
“We’re actively discussing ways to add more depth and complexity to base items (including Rares), ways to add greater variety to item affixes to make those powers interesting and your choices meaningful, and ways to give players more freedom to choose how to customise items, so you can have fun exploring a wide range of effective gameplay possibilities instead of just looking up ‘the optimal build’ online.”
Kim promised a separate post, with more detail, in the near future. So if this is one of your in-game concerns then stay tuned.
Kim was quick to correct what he saw as a common misconception surrounding skill selection and character skill trees in the game.
He said: “There’s a misconception that Diablo IV will lock skills to specific slots because of the BlizzCon demo user interface. Like many other things in the demo, the UI is not final and we will support Elective Mode-style skill selection. Skill selection and assignment will always be completely open for all players.”
Equally, Kim was ready to respond to community concerns about ancient items in the game. He said: “We completely agree with the community sentiment — Ancients as they are don’t really serve a clear purpose in Diablo IV.
“We should have done a better job of explaining the role of Ancient Items in Diablo IV. We had a preliminary direction to share, but you’ve brought up some great points, so we’re revisiting our designs with your feedback in mind.”
The itemisation post, mentioned earlier, will seemingly offer updates on ancient items too then.
Another consistent discussion has been whether the game should feature a finite, or infinite, levelling system.
Kim understood that players would be interested in Blizzard’s ideas on the subject and said the following: “We haven’t decided whether the character levelling and experience system should be finite or infinite.
“We’ve been discussing the pros and cons of both and would love to hear your thoughts. There seems to be some concern around infinite being worse because it will eventually overshadow all the power granted by other sources. However, we can control how much power each system gives, whether it’s infinite or finite.”
Kim went on to discuss the value of completion versus continuation. If a player reaches the highest level in a game they are more likely to feel that they have completed the game, whereas an opening levelling system can leave the game to simply peter out as players lose interest.
Kim closed by requesting more feedback from fans and insisting that the game developers will use any good idea, wherever it comes from. So if you’re a fan with a bugbear, it’s well worth getting in touch!