News Diablo IV Announced

Amzin

No one beats me 17 times in a row!
Dec 5, 2018
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Reposting from the Steam thread as way more relevant here :face-with-stuck-out-tongue-and-tightly-closed-eyes:

I hope they don't bring the wrong lessons from PoE / D2 / Grim Dawn. I enjoyed D2 back in the day but PoE and GD kept some really dumb, old systems from it. It is not fun to dump point after point into passives, and it's not fun to spend 10-15 hours developing a character to find out if you like a build or not only to have to start over if you don't. I think the only reason PoE does as well as it does is because there's no other real competition in the same slot, D3 is its' own thing (I sort of like it and play it each season but would gladly move on to something better), Grim Dawn is basically competing for the same crowd but on a smaller scale. A solid, expansive A-RPG in that style with modern design would do wonders.

It's impossible to tell from the trailer but D4 gameplay looks like it is slowed down a lot from D3 (which is fine), but the core systems are super important. Grim Dawn and PoE are both slower and more strategic and it doesn't make up for the boring stuff they are built on. For all its' launch problems and design flaws, D3 has probably the best skill / build system in A-RPGs. If they'd gone a different route than "huge 16,000% multipliers on sets" I think it could have had even better legs.

There's also the ethical consideration. I really want the new CoD but have refused so far due to their straight up unethical ways (both in lying about not having mtx/loot boxes in previous games before adding them, and the Chinese political statements). D4 would be harder to resist IF it's done well but I could still live without it. I find it hard to imagine Activision will ever really change for the better though, I can't think of a single instance when they really have over the years and years.

Then again, maybe nihilism will take over and I'll just buy the fun things to have fun with. :confounded-face:
 

Alextended

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Jan 28, 2019
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Looks like Diablo II artistically. A bit slow as others have said, maybe like it's more beat 'em up style than constant clickety click crowd control and kiting to accommodate console/action game users better (but obviously still have decent point & click controls on PC). They better have more classes added before launch, I like none of those and only 3 is laughable anyway. Overall it looks good but it doesn't look nearly as amazing as Lost Ark Online does when you first see it. They should have looked at that game if they wanted it more like a beat 'em up. Maybe Lost Ark Online is a horrible grind (I dunno) or worse artistically but overall even after all these years it's been showcased it still looks like next gen material in comparison when it comes to such ARPGs. Crazy skills, diversity, synergies, situational functionality tweaks operated on the fly as you see fit and epic set pieces with tons of awesome shit and moving parts to go with it.

Edit: again, obviously not talking about how much of a grind or p2w or f2p it may be, just the crazy style of gameplay and grand scale of the set pieces. I don't see much difference between Blizzard's model and f2p games when it comes to services/monetization outside the fact they also charge 60 up front anyway.
 
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Amzin

No one beats me 17 times in a row!
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There was a a lot of hype around Lost Ark a few months ago but last I heard it was unbelievably grindy / expensive / slow past the early game, to the point where most streamers went to something else, which is in step with F2P KR games to be fair to it I guess. I highly doubt Diablo 4 would go the F2P route but again, Acti-Blizzard not renown for their decision making at this point.
 
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Álvaro de Campos

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Mar 12, 2019
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I've been watching the streams/watching interviews all day, I have to say that almost everything Luis Barriga and David Kim have said has very much impressed me.
Game looks very impressive both from an aesthetic standpoint and in terms of game design, although it's quite obvious that the latter aspect is still being worked on and they're not entirely sure what the game will end up as (which is normal for any game but probably more so for one of this type and scale).

GGG is going to have free reign for the next couple of years though, I don't expect Diablo 4 before late 2021.
 
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Madventure

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I have the virtual ticket and watched the presentation about Diablo IV after the Opening Ceremony

They showed off a bunch of stuff but the thing I thought that was pretty cool was they're going to basically use a skill tree system similar to Diablo 2 and bring back the runeword system but without the hidden aspect of it. They're seemingly going back to D1, D2, D3 and grabbing Good things and ignoring bad stuff (Hyper focus on sets in D3 was mentioned a lot of times for example)
 
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undu

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Mar 17, 2019
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Guess I'm the one that's not so positive, I guess I expected more in term of gameplay systems.

The main point is that it feels like an evolution of Diablo 3, with some elements taken from Diablo 2 and other games, but they feel like hand-picked elements.

The potion system is still dead simple, without mana potions. A stark contrast with Path of Exile. They do spice it up taking the on-drink effects bonuses to unique items. Still a far cry from the flask system, a far more ellaborated and thought-out system.

Use of spells is massively limited by cooldowns, not by mana/rage etc. On multiple streams I saw all the abilities being on cooldown except the basic one. This, along with the lack of mana potions feels like players are much more limited on how they can choose to cast spells compared to Diablo 2,

The spells themselves are obviously thought to mesh well with gamepad controls, and seeing how the point and click spells have evolved on the moba genre it makes me sad that none of the ultimates they showed had a very innovative way of controlling it, with a pointer.

Regarding the leveling side.. talents are a step forward compared to Diablo 3, they don't seem fleshed out at all, with two lines per class (it's not even a tree) it looks like a big step down compared to more modern arpgs, but nothing is known about how picking spells and powering them up works.

The open world can be good, the terrain doesn't seem to be randomized at all, which is a shame, although understandable. It will be interesting to see how that drives the multiplayer interactions (it's pretty clear that the game is designed to be always-online) The longevity of the games seems like it will be driven by randomized dungeons, we'll see how that compared with the imaginative design of PoE I fully expect Blizzard to pump content in the form of dungeons for a very long time.

This feels like an direct evolution of Diablo 3, While has taken some hints from the modern arpgs, I think it needs a lot of work and I don't think it innovates enough to be elevated above the current games in the genre (I'm not convinced the open world is such a keystone feature), especially not on the points that I thought Diablo 3 was especially weak at.

Since it's still long way off, there is still opportunity to change the systems, but I'm not holding my breath.
I haven't enjoyed a lot a Blizzard game since WoW, and I think that game massively changed them, from being trend setters in design to being trend followers and polishers, fingers crossed for this one.
 
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Álvaro de Campos

O nada que é tudo.
Mar 12, 2019
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The potion system is still dead simple, without mana potions. A stark contrast with Path of Exile. They do spice it up taking the on-drink effects bonuses to unique items. Still a far cry from the flask system, a far more ellaborated and thought-out system.
Yeah I'm surprised they allow for stacks of up to 50 per slot, seems ridiculous and might as well make it infinite ala D3 at that point, which is why I'm thinking it's just temporary and they haven't really thought about it too much.

Use of spells is massively limited by cooldowns, not by mana/rage etc. On multiple streams I saw all the abilities being on cooldown except the basic one. This, along with the lack of mana potions feels like players are much more limited on how they can choose to cast spells compared to Diablo 2,
The right-click seems to always be resource dependent and have no cooldown. The other abilities all seem to be cooldown based except for the Sorceress who has Blizzard and Meteor without cooldowns, I assume the lack of cooldowns is her class gimmick.

Regarding the leveling side.. talents are a step forward compared to Diablo 3, they don't seem fleshed out at all, with two lines per class (it's not even a tree) it looks like a big step down compared to more modern arpgs, but nothing is known about how picking spells and powering them up works.
During Rhykker's stream David Kim spoke a bit about this. This is all very early (he said the demo is literally everything they have, and even the reason why they didn't allow people to pick skills is because they didn't have finished effects and whatnot) so it is subject to change.
Max level is 40, you get "one or more" skill points per level. That said, the idea is that players will be able to max out every skill by finding Skill Tomes out in the world, players will not be able to respec skills. Talents on the other hand are one per level and players are able to respec them, but can't get more of them, aside from artifacts (iirc). Artifacts will be the main way to customize characters/builds, with "hundreds" of artifacts adding tons of different effects to skills, talents, synergies, etc. and to allow all different kinds of custom builds to be viable by staying away from "X skill deals 5000% more damage." (On that note, it was also mentioned that this kind of power creep happened in D3 because the developers didn't want to nerf things, whereas the D4 team says they will specifically nerf things that are too strong.)
I think that's the central ethos of their design, and from my perspective I think that's totally valid: low commitment but still allowing for a lot of differentiation, to the point where they even mentioned support builds possibly being a thing.

The open world can be good, the terrain doesn't seem to be randomized at all, which is a shame, although understandable. It will be interesting to see how that drives the multiplayer interactions (it's pretty clear that the game is designed to be always-online) The longevity of the games seems like it will be driven by randomized dungeons, we'll see how that compared with the imaginative design of PoE I fully expect Blizzard to pump content in the form of dungeons for a very long time.
Kim also mentioned 'Dungeon Keys', which work similarly to PoE's maps. They will be based on an existing dungeon (but scaled up) and then affixes will apply modifiers to the mobs, bosses, etc. It seems like that will be D4's alternative to D3's Greater Rifts and will provide with more variety/longevity.

For some more info here's a summary on Reddit of Quin's and Rhykker's Q&A with devs:
 
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Dandy

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I've never gotten into Diablo. It's like a stripped down RPG that is 95% trash fights.
 

Durante

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The spells themselves are obviously thought to mesh well with gamepad controls, and seeing how the point and click spells have evolved on the moba genre it makes me sad that none of the ultimates they showed had a very innovative way of controlling it, with a pointer.
This is actually one of the most regrettable gameplay regressions going from 2 to 3.
(And I really didn't expect them to fix it. They aren't going to design and balance 2 entirely seperate skillsets for PC and console)
 

gabbo

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Dec 22, 2018
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So things this thread has shown me:
1. Blizzard cgi team is still on point
2. Yep, that reminds of the Diablo2 colour palette alright, but with 3d and better graphics
3. 1 and 2 are not enough to get me interested, at least not in the diablo style clickfest that is arpg. My wrists are more weary of those kinds of games than i was doing diablo2 marathons in highschool over a weekend with friends.
4. Always online is a no go for me, even if I rarely lose connection, it's a privacy/principle thing
 

Amzin

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Dec 5, 2018
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About slow poe though

I mean yea I'm aware it can be fast, but my point wasn't that fast = good either, and that in PoE is usually specific end game builds which I've never gotten to (partially because those weren't the builds I wanted to try). The game for most of the pre-farming stage is slower :face-with-stuck-out-tongue-and-winking-eye: I just don't think the "build" mechanics of PoE are very good, objectively, and it succeeds because the other competition is equally flawed in other ways.I have given PoE honest tries multiple times over the years and pretty much always the same conclusion.

I'm not real sold on what I've seen so far of D4, it really depends how annoying they make trying out things and grindy it turns out to be. The combat looks fine enough for an early early version.
 

inky

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Path of Exile stopped being "slow" ages ago. The early game window where you were more deliberate and methodical, with little resistances, increased chance to miss and slow mobility has shrunk so much that these days you are a couple of lucky drops away in Act I from overcoming it. It's just not that kind of game anymore, for better or worse (I liked when the game was harder, but there is so much content now that it doesn't make sense to make the first hours of every character so redundant).

Having watched a couple of hours of D4 now it's pretty clear they are just building on D3 with a very light D2 coat of paint. Console UI and controller focus are obvious and in this genre they are always a burden, limiting movement options and the ability to leverage your mouse movement and ability to precisely control your character and spells.

Beyond the art-style the only thing that separates it from feeling like a straight up D3 expansion are the shared instances and timed events (inlcuding the more open areas of course), and honestly the MMO feel is the last thing I enjoy from the genre. Skill progression is obviously very early, so it's impossible to say how separate talents and runes drastically change progression from D3, but at least it feels like a slightly more open system. Itemization is probably not even in early stages of development from what I've seen, and skills look completely underwhelming (except for a couple of the Shaman stuff), but that's hardly final and I'm sure there will be at least 2 more classes.

My initial complaints about D3's always online were always that the game never justified its permanent connectivity like a proper gaas game did (as much as I hate those), and I think to this day I was proven right for as much shit as we caught back then because 'hurr durr always online durm hurr durr h8rz'.

It was never a competitive game, so the sanctity of its item integrity was moot. There was nothing in terms of regular content, balance patches, multiplayer quality of life, seasonal events, or anything remotely similar to what you would expect a connected game to do. The game launched without even a cosmetic system in place. Like, that was shit online games already did to justify their existence back in 2012, and even after the RoS expansion, the online integration with seasons and cosmetics felt more like life support than an online platform to build on, and it was prove right once again
when they couldn't even find ways to monetize it (because the hooks in the game itself were not even there at the start), and when the second XP got cancelled and all we got was a $15 underwhelming extra character class that added nothing to the game.

They really just bet everything on the RMAH just to grab a quick buck in lieu of a secondary item market and that completely undermined everything else they did. They greedily tried to solve a problem they had for a decade before the game launched because they missed out on that money train instead of trying to smartly anticipate modern solutions to leverage their always online crutch. That's how games like Path of Exile managed to leave a game that sold 30 million copies from the biggest company in the world behind in terms of active userbase and time spent.

There is to this day absolutely zero reason why a separate offline mode wouldn't have been the better experience and that's just a bummer because we never had the game we deserved and they never accomplished the game they wished for anyway. They fucked themselves over to spite us and everybody lost. I think the game got to a pretty good place after all, and I was secretly thankful that Blizzard didn't find ways to fuck it over with lootboxes or item store or micro-transactions, but every time I wanted a new session I was greeted with a permanent 120ms latency for what was essentially an offline game and that's just the shit icing on the turd cake.

So it's hard to find any excitement for D4 when you actually know today how Blizzard leverages always online gaas instead of having to wonder if they will. On top of that, the lack of fresh ideas and talent behind the wheel is pretty evident from this Diablo 3.5 showing. It really doesn't feel like it's pushing ideas from the next stepping stone in my favorite genre, it feels more like spinning wheels appealing to a nostalgia I wanted a decade ago with D3, not now that I know what Blizzard has become.

It's pretty as hell and production values will be through the roof, so I'm not gonna hold most of the other minutia against it because either this is as far forward as they can push the genre right now, or this is not at all representative of what the game will look like at all. Tough shit for me whatever the answer might be. Even with how crap Blizzard has been lately, this should feel like the next pillar in the ARPG pantheon, instead it feels like redundant compromise where you are just waiting for the other shoe to drop i.e. when they announce their mtxs, and you see the final form of the game pulls more and more away from the core tennants of what made Diablo 2 such a jewel.
 

Aelphaeis Mangarae

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Blizzard's attitude towards always online in Diablo games has always come across as a bit "We know better than you." And granted, sometimes devs do understand the shape of a problem way better than their audience. But what this boiled down to was Blizzard really not caring about the audience of Diablo games that just wanted to play on their own. They didn't matter anywhere near as much as online players being inconvenienced. They've expressed regret for allowing Diablo 2 to be played offline.
 
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Stevey

Stevey

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But what this boiled down to was Blizzard really not caring about the audience of Diablo games that just wanted to play on their own.

You can still play solo in D3, but you have to be online which kind of doesnt really make sense.

I know a lot of people dont agree with always on, but for me, I solo through the game once then tend to party up with a clan or randoms as you get better loot that way.
 

inky

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I know I ranted about this game earlier in the thread, but it's looking not that terrible all things considered. Still too early so nothing there is even close to final.

But, I have to say, it's alarming that they are surprised that people want to rebind their keys and especially LMB to move instead of attack. I have to wonder if Blizzard even plays other games in the genre or understand it. I'm not ready to have the controller limiting the PC version conversation either, but if anyone has the resources to do it properly at least it's them.
 
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ISee

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The cinematic looks cool and interesting. There was certainly a time when I would have pre ordered this one immediatly. Blizzard was a trustworthy titan in the industry, focused on awesome games. That is long gone imo. D4 will have to stand and proof itself before I buy it.
 

undu

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I also find it disappointing they didn't bother explaining any pros or cons on why they discarded for any variant of "objects may have different sizes in the inventory".
It seems my fears are coming true: blizzard only cares about replicating the diablo 2 aesthetic, while taking d3 as the base for everything else. This completely ignores why has the rest of the genre followed Diablo 2 in terms on gameplay systems,

We're talking about Diablo IV Quarterly Update—February 2020
 
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TheLetdown

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I'm really glad that they're considering controller support (and it seems like couch co-op) on PC.

ARPGs are one of the few types of games that my SO and I can play together for a long time. They have depth to keep interest, are accessible enough for her, and have the gameplay loop that draws me in. For that reason, I played the helllllll out of Diablo 3 on console, but never even finished it on PC.

This is coming from someone who used to play D2 pretty seriously, getting into theorycrafting my builds and sharing them. It took a while to break into it, because you have to have money to do that. I got lucky and popped someone, looted them, and suddenly had well over 100 SOJs to play with. God, trading was so brutal, but weirdly exhilarating...
 
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