Second Quarterly Development Update Published for Diablo IV

Blizzard Entertainment has posted its second quarterly development update of 2020 for its upcoming Diablo IV. In it, Game Director Luis Barriga discusses aspects about the game’s storytelling, its open-world setting, and continuing plans for multiplayer implementation following a two-day internal playtest of the game’s Dry Steppes zone. Some examples of loot are also shown.

Dialog and in-game event scenes are being presented differently in Diablo IV. Whereas its predecessor implemented a UI element featuring a character’s portrait for dialog, the newest title is experimenting with a more cinematic approach. Conversations with NPCs see the isometric camera zoom in closer with character animations and movements augmenting the dialog. More important scenes will receive special care and attention to deliver bespoke moments of storytelling. The game will also employ real-time cutscenes (RTCs) for some of the game’s most important moments. RTCs are cinematics that occur in-engine and incorporate current gear, graphics settings, and resolution to make for seamless transitions from gameplay.

Diablo IV is set on the open world of Sanctuary, so there will be plenty of things to do when taking a break from the main campaign, like crafting, world PvP, and sidequests. Camps, important locations overrun by enemies, are dotted all over Sanctuary. While these are ancillary locations that don’t tie in directly with quest objectives, clearing them adds new waypoints filled with NPCs to the map. Each one has a unique backstory that can be gleaned through its environmental storytelling. Players will also be able to employ a mount to travel across Sanctuary, which can be customized by adding a trophy earned as part of a challenge in the zone to its saddle as a status symbol for other players to see.

In implementing multiplayer to the game, the designers are purposely avoiding typical MMORPG trappings. The number of other players one might run into is kept to a minimum in towns and on the road in order to preserve an air of danger for the world of Sanctuary, with world events being the most likely place to encounter a crowd. Meanwhile, dungeons and story moments will always be private, reserved just for the player and, if they choose to travel with one, their party.

Diablo IV is being developed for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, though no release window has been announced. The game is set many years after the events of Diablo III.


Pascal Tekaia

Pascal joined up with RPGamer in 2015 as a reviewer and news reporter. He's one of THOSE who appreciate a good turn-based JRPG grind almost as much as an amazing story.

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