Date: February 20, 2021
Frozen rains of arrows, fights to reclaim camps, and player ambushes, oh my!
This time Diablo IV developers took their blog post updates to the BlizzCon, giving us an in-depth discussion and preview of what’s in plans for the upcoming sequel to the beloved game series.
Did you want to learn more about the Rogue Class and whether it has anything to do with the original Diablo Rogue? Or, maybe you were interested in what activities will become available with Diablo IV going open-world?
If you missed the discussion of these features on day 1 of BlizzCon 2021, we got you covered!
Rogue Class: Flexible, Customizable, and Cinematic
The developers hope that this class will inherit a little bit of everything from all of Diablo’s dexterity-based classes: iconic red-armored Diablo I Rogue, Diablo II’s Assassin, and Diablo III’s Demon Hunter. Then, it will have some cool new stuff added to it uniquely from Diablo IV.
However, Rogue’s abilities might not reflect all of this goodness all at once. First of all, there are three specializations you will be able to choose from: the unrivaled archer of the Sisterhood of Sightless Eye, the shadowy cloak-and-dagger outlaw from the streets of Caldeum, or the smuggler from the swampy region of Hawezar.
Doing quests for either of these factions will result in obtaining one of the three unique skill trees available for your character: Combo Points, Exploit Weakness, or Shadow Realm.
Each tree will be a little special — consider that with advanced Shadow Realm abilities you can break up the mob crowd by pulling them into a different plane, dealing increased damage.
Exploit Weakness is about paying attention to weakness icons marking some of your opponents in battle to jump in for an annihilating strike.
Combo Points are a bit traditional, giving your Rogue bonuses and increasing effectiveness of her attacks as the encounter progresses. Why not? Sometimes simple is best.
Keep in mind that Rogue will be able to wield both dagger-class melee weapons and a variety of ranged weapons, and all of these trees might look a little different depending on whether you pull mobs towards yourself or jump right in the middle of action (or, furthermore, if you assist your party members in multiplayer!).
However, class customization doesn’t end here: the developers took some inspiration from Diablo II’s weapon augmentation and added a very cool Elemental Imbues feature to Diablo IV.
How does it work? Well, let’s say that you absolutely love to rain arrow hell upon your battles. It’s your favorite way to make the problem much smaller.
Well, what if you imbue your bow with frost? Suddenly, you can chill and eventually freeze your enemies, like a Sorceress — in fact, you can assist your magic caster in a group to make enemies go completely still much faster by combining your debuff stacks. It’s a little hard to fight back when you are a freshly made icicle, and it’s hard not to crumble into pieces upon a powerful blow.
Or, how about acid? Rain of poison arrows is an incredibly efficient way to deal with a large mob fast, resulting in some excitingly gruesome (something a Diablo fan would say) deaths of your enemies. Or, for some gothic darkness delivered with your iconic attacks, you can try a shadow imbue.
Speaking of iconic attacks! Developers were absolutely delighted to tell you that they have been eagerly waiting for the opportunity to have a class that can leap from their horse, straight up into the air, and drown their enemies in fire arrows. This maneuver looks badass and feels badass.
Scaling Walls and Re-Claiming Camps: Diablo IV’s Open World
Well, this time around you will be in charge of your mount’s hooves because open-world exploration will take a much more central stage in Diablo IV. Sanctuary became a much larger world, and you will need to cover a lot more ground.
Scaling rocky walls and jumping over windy cliffs under a top-down environment camera are a thrilling way to navigate the terrain, but a lot of the time you will have to rely on your trusty horse. And there are a good number of them to choose from! Various horse breeds (both living and undead) can be unlocked by completing game’s puzzles, slaying dangerous monsters, and finding secret locations.
Your horse can be equipped with unique hoof plates, horse armor, and can even carry trophies that show off your accomplishments in the game. We will see which parts will be cosmetic (and what “horse armor,” if any, will be shamelessly monetized), and which — like horseshoes — will affect speed and other attributes of your mount.
So, you can explore dungeons and interesting locations at your leisure, sure, but where will you stop for the night? How about clearing up some monsters and rebuilding a small town for you to come back to?
Some villages and camps might have suffered a very unfortunate overtake by monsters, and you can absolutely help locals fight back and restore the territory. Sometimes an interesting story might be involved: say, desperate villagers making pacts with demons to defend against bloodthirsty cannibals attacking their home (and paying an unpleasant price for this service).
Emerging as a hero once again, you will be able to see the fruits of your labor as local marketplaces open for business once again and various masters of craft reclaim their stalls (a blacksmith, for example).
Aside from getting yourself a new waypoint and some services at the reclaimed location, you could also unlock some new quests: restored towns might be able to offer new dungeon entrances and storylines for your to pursue.
We highly suggest that you check these features out, and more of what we didn’t cover, in Day 1 BlizzCon Diablo livestream!
We didn’t even touch on how the developers plan on integrating PvP into the mechanics and lore of the game, and you might find their ideas pretty interesting! The Diablo community already began imagining what introducing such a system might do to player collaboration or whether the optional PvP features are optional enough.
But, please do share your own thoughts with us! How are the single-player Diablo IV features looking to you so far? What do you think about the reimagined classes for the sequel? Are you excited about the new features or do you need to hear more before you allow yourself to get attached to what the developers are trying to sell you?
Let us know in the comments below!