BlizzConline, which took place on the 19th and 20th of February, brought more news about Diablo IV. It is not yet the release date, but at least we know one more class: Rogue, which returns to the franchise after appearing in the first Diablo. In addition to more details on exploration, PvP and missions, the event also announced a surprise: the remaster version of the second game, called Diablo II: Resurrected.
Diablo IV is expected to launch on PC, PS4, and Xbox One (but it is very likely that it will also reach the new generation consoles and Switch). Already Diablo II: Resurrected will have versions for PC, Xbox Series X | S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4 and Nintendo Switch. In fact, this is the first time that the second game of the franchise goes to consoles.
THE Tecnoblog participated in an interview with two developers from Diablo IV, the first game in the series in the open world, as well as chatting with part of the Diablo II: Resurrected. You can check some of the news, below.
Diablo IV: Rogue, the arrival of the rogue and murderer
As stated before, we do not yet have a release date for Diablo IV, but for the game not to go blank on BlizzConline, Blizzard introduced a new class: Rogue. Well, actually not that new, since the character was part of the first Diablo.
As much as in Diablo I, the lore surrounding the Rogue class was around a female character and her affiliation with the “Sisterhood of the Sightless Eye”, in Diablo IV you can play with a male character in this class as well. Even the possibilities for personalizing your hero (much wider now than in any game in the series) apply to any class.
The gameplay of this character is extremely agile and versatile. You can see that this is a class for players who like to work things out “more personally,” but who are also clever enough to readjust their position for a back attack. There is no fair play with Rogue, what matters is victory.
On handling the actions of the characters as a whole, but focusing on the new class, Lead Animator, Careena Kingdom, says that the player will always control all movements of the heroes.
“The player will always be in control of his hero’s actions. Playing with Rogue is a lot of fun visually, especially with all the agility that the class demands ”, comments Kingdom. “Even so, nothing will be automated in terms of gameplay; we want you to really feel and know that everything that is happening on the screen is the result of your own decisions. ”
Regarding specializations in this class, Rogue can follow three different paths:
- Combo Points: The rogue manages to hit several enemies at a time and accumulates points that are reversed in a subsequent devastating attack;
- Shadow Realm: Stealth is the main part of this specialization. It is possible, for example, to enter the world of shadows and remain invisible. In this mode, the Rogue is immune for 1 second and does 50% more damage;
- Exploit Weakness: Perhaps the specialization that requires more skill from the player. Enemies will now have special icons on their heads. Hitting these monsters will result in very powerful blows.
In addition, the possibility of adding elemental properties to the class’s weapons and arrows promises to increase the variety of combos and forms of attack. It is a very interesting character to choose for those who enjoy more frantic action.
Diablo IV: open world and greater exploration
Right away, Joe Piepiora (Lead System Designer) states that “the biggest challenge, in terms of system design, that we had was the integration of an open world to the gameplay of Diablo IV. ” Until then, the franchise scenario Diablo it was generated as it crossed through some areas, but now – according to the developers – these “barriers” have been broken down in favor of a much more extensive exploration.
What is possible to notice, at first, is that Diablo IV it will be the most daring title (we can say) of the entire franchise in terms of exploration and gameplay. Of course, this observation is being made according to what Blizzard has gradually revealed. Even so, it is interesting to note how the game “felt” the need to reinvent itself, especially with other competitors of the ARPG (Action Role Playing Game) style being successful, as Path of Exile – which constantly gains new content.
Piepiora also said that even with the expanded world, the essence of Diablo it’s still there, how to kill monsters, find caves, complete quests, discover hidden treasures, set up encampments of evil forces, etc.
On a continuity of the history of Diablo III for the fourth game, Lead System Designer says that despite all Nefalem’s struggle being remembered and felt in the current game world, this will not be a sequence of its history, but something new, with new heroes and new threats. Even if on the rubble of the events of Reaper of Souls, expansion of Diablo III.
Movement and verticality of the scenario
Diablo IV brings some news in the mechanics of movement of the heroes and in the way they interact with the scene. Even still using the classic aerial camera, that is, giving a broader view of the map, it will now also be possible to explore the world in a more vertical way, climbing and descending mountains, in addition to jumping between cliffs.
Lead Animator, Careena Kingdom, says that from the point of view of animation, the verticality of the scenario brought some very interesting challenges.
“Every class can jump over a cliff, climb a mountain or slide down a hill, for example. This exponentially increases the possibilities for exploration ”, comments Kingdom. “In terms of animation design this is very complex, because not only do we need to balance this crossing mechanics, eventually during combat, but also to make each class perform these movements according to their particularities”, he explains.
What Kingdom meant is that, for example, the Rogue class, much more agile and versatile, will have a fluidity of movements and, consequently, animation very different from the Arcanist, more stationary, when jumping, climbing and sliding. The Arcanist, in turn, is very likely to use teleportation for these same actions. Even, as you can see in the Rogue presentation video, the class can jump from the horse straight into the action – sending a shower of arrows over enemies.
“This sense of scale that Diablo IV has is very important for us to be able to show what there is to do for the world ”, explains Piepiora. “You will be able, for example, to climb a mountain, look around and see where a group of enemies is, or possibly also see other players and settlements. Sanctuary is its own character. ”
Diablo IV: PvP will be optional
Player versus player experience, that is, PvP experience may not be to everyone’s liking and, in Diablo IV, the developers guarantee that this mode will be completely optional and will not affect the progression of the campaign. What’s more, you will not be at risk of falling into a PvP area by accident, while unpretentiously exploring the scenery. The combat regions between players will be duly marked on the map.
These areas specifically marked for PvP mode have been called “Fields of Hatred”, or “Fields of Hatred” – in free translation. And that appellation suits the purpose of the place a lot. Upon entering one of these regions you will know that you are in a Field of Hatred.
These are cursed places that have been corrupted by evil entities. Players will find monsters to exterminate and chests to find. As you complete these tasks, you will earn “shards of hatred” (fragments of hatred), which is the currency of PvP mode.
These fragments are still in a cursed state and need to be purified. To do this, the player must take the shards, which he managed to collect, to a location (within the Field of Hatred itself) and purge their curse. Once purified, the player will be able to carry these shards out of the Hate Camp and exchange them for exclusive prizes – at specific vendors.
The point is that when starting a purification event, all other players in the PvP area will be notified that someone, in a certain location, is trying to clean up the fragments. That’s where things really get interesting: as long as a shard (or several of them) is cursed, it can be stolen from you, or rather, from your body after being killed by another player.
Diablo IV: Solo players will have the same experience
This whole open world, with PvP areas and the possibility of finding other players on the map can cause some strangeness in players of Diablo old fashioned. More precisely, those who prefer a more intimate and solo gaming experience, or even just playing with friends.
The developers guarantee that the gameplay news and new mechanics will not negatively impact these players. Piepiora explains that “Diablo IV it’s not just a solo game, but it’s also not just an MMO. The game has the benefits of both sides ”, he comments.
“Throughout the campaign there will be locations on the map that will be private to the player and / or his teammates only. These will be quite large areas, too. You will be able to complete the game completely solo and will occasionally pass through public regions, but you will not need to make contact with these other players if you don’t want to. ”
He also says that even when exploring the Sanctuary, you will very rarely find another random player. “Apart from the moments of public events around the world, where x number of players are needed to face a situation, nothing else will require you to join a team to advance the campaign,” says Piepiora.
Diablo II Resurrected: same gameplay with new clothes
The announcement of a remastered version of Diablo II, considered by many to be the best game in the franchise so far, arrived as a welcome surprise on this BlizzConline. Diablo II: Resurrected will have a completely redesigned look, but respecting the visual identity of the original, and will also accompany the expansion Lord of Destruction.
A request for many years from fans of the second game will finally be granted: the implementation of a chest shared among its characters, which will work the same way as in Diablo III. In addition, the remaster will bring the shared progress system, that is, your save file (synchronized on Battle.Net) can be redeemed on any other platform that has the game installed.
According to Chris Amaral, Lead Art Director of Resurrected, the 2D game has been updated with 3D rendering focusing on physics, dynamic lighting, as well as animations and effects of strikes and renewed spells. The title can run in up to 4K resolution. In addition, all 27 minutes of the videos that tell the journey of the Dark Wanderer have also been completely redone. The audio has been revamped and supports Dolby 7.1 surround sound.
“Everything that involves art and sound has been redone: every stone, every character, every insect that you crush when walking around, every horrifying sound”, comments Amaral. “But if the player still prefers the original experience, it is also possible to play Diablo II the style of 20 years ago ”.
“One of our main goals was to keep the gameplay of the original game the way players expect it, as well as its visual style,” explains Amaral. “We are looking for other ways to make these upgrades without impacting this nostalgic experience. The fact that you now have Battle.Net security, to save your save, and the shared chest will help a lot in the players’ lives ”.
No specific release date yet, Diablo II: Resurrected will have an Alpha test, still in 2021, and you can sign up to try to participate on diablo.com.
“We’ll have some alpha testing over the months,” says Chris Lena, Lead Producer for Resurrected. “In this first moment, we’ll focus on testing in single player mode even to analyze the feedback from players regarding the feeling of still playing Diablo II, even with all the upgrades ”.
Lena also says that afterwards a multiplayer test will also be made to evaluate the servers and so on. Lead Producer also states that the first single player test will be for PC only and that it cannot yet provide information about the possibility on other platforms.
Diablo II: Resurrected will bring back the seven character classes (which make up the main game + expansion): Amazon, Barbarian, Necromancer, Paladin and Mage, from the main game, and Assassin and Druid from the included expansion, Lord of Destruction.