BlizzCon 2019 had to offer big for the series, after several years of Diablo’s absence, preceded by Diablo’s booed announcement: Immortal in 2018. And most of the time it was, even when everyone saw the leaks coming from the media to the event.
On 1 November the first game trailer and gameplay video was officially announced for Diablo IV.
The game mostly gave fans the graphics they hoped for: a comeback to Diablo 1, 2 and 2’s grim and dark, but mixed with the flowing Diablo 3 battle and the open-air world of modern MMOs. While some saw Diablo 3.5 as early development, it was for others a new franchise chapter which could remediate the years of frustration with which Diablo 3 has been running for years.
Nonetheless, several questions remained open due to playing videos and tables. Although information trees and rune terms suggest that they are returning to the excitement of Diablo 2, fans are still worried about details. One major offence of Diablo 3 was the boring of items. In vanilla, characters have been head-to-toe equipped with optimised yellow articles, making them for a smooth game, so D3 was probably Blizzard’s worst game launch ever.
The director led the expansion of Reaper of Souls by empowering the legendary and set pieces, but the game eventually came back into being as a hunt for statistics. Open a bigger rift, ride it quickly, hope to find a+ 10 stat increase in your gun, see if that will allow you to repeat your next bigger rift level.
This is why the redoing of the item system is the top priority for Diablo IV devs, says Luis Barriga, director of the game.
“We also know that one topic is burning hotter than the rest”, Barriga says.
“We want you to know that we are having the same conversations about items and stats that you are having—whether on the official discussion threads or external sites, we read it all!
Getting this right is at the top of our minds, and in the coming weeks, our lead systems designer David Kim will provide a few clarifications, share some of his thoughts, and address some of your open questions. We hope you check it out and let us know what you think.”
The dev team has an important update scheduled for the audience in February according to Barriga. It is also planned to provide a quarterly update that keeps the fans on track with the Diablo IV process.