Welcome to the Diablo IV Systems and Features panel. I hope everybody is here to hear about our systems and features. That is the only deck we have. So that's what you get. My name is Tim Ismay. I am a senior producer on the Diablo IV team. I have a moderate amount of knowledge about all the things we work on. Not to worry. I have a collection here of experts that have deep knowledge of all the things that we work on. So they will be talking more than I will.
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David Kim here is our lead system designer. Next person down is, Angela Del Priore. She is our lead UI designer. Next to her is Zaven Haroutunian. He is our lead dungeon designer. All the way to the end there is Joe Shely, lead game designer. Now we have a ton of stuff to get into, so I am going to jump right into it, and hand this over to David Kim.
BlizzCon 2019 Diablo IV Systems and Features Panel Transcript
David: First, I want to say thank you for coming to our panel. Thank you for tuning in, and thank you for all the questions that you have submitted so far. Let's get right into Classes.
So as you can see up on the screen, you saw the three classes that we have just announced: the Sorceress, the Barbarian, and the Druid. So let's talk a little bit about each of these classes.
David: The Sorceress is the master of magic. She is your fragile caster class that deals high magical damage from a distance.
So as you can see there is a good mix of returning skills, as well as brand-new skills. One of my favorites is this conduit skill. Whenever you use it, you are invulnerable, you will deal damage, and you can teleport as much as you want during the duration. I also want to talk about the chill mechanic in Diablo IV. Whenever the Sorcerer uses cold magic to attack enemies, she applies chill to the targets hit, making their movement speed slower and slower; and if you apply enough chill, the enemies get frozen completely.
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So let's check that out in this video. She is using her Frostbolt, and Blizzard skills to chill, and then freeze the enemy -- as you can see.
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The Barbarian is one of the main classes that everyone thinks of when they think Diablo, and of course, he is back.
If you like constantly jumping around, and charging around the battlefield while dealing heavy physical melee attacks, of course, this will be the class of your choice.
Again, this is the Barbarian that you know and love, but also he has some brand-new things about him as well. One of these things is the arsenal system allows the Barbarian to equip 4 weapons: 2 Two-handed weapons and 2 One-handed weapons -- allowing to have more item affixes than any other class in the game, and you can also equip more legendaries than any other class in Diablo IV.
The Druid is a shapeshifting class. The Druid can rapidly shapeshift into his human, werewolf, and werebear forms at a moments need. So let's check out how that works. So as you can see, whenever you use a werewolf skill you instantly transform into that form; and whenever you use a werebear form you instantly can transform into that form. When you use your earth or storm spells, you instantly transform back into druid form. So one of the reasons why I think this is so cool is because you can tie specific mechanics to the moment you transform. So for example, one of the talents says something like whenever you shapeshift into a werebear form, you gain damage reduction for a few seconds, so not only can you pick the specific bonuses that you want, you also control the exact timing when you activate these bonuses. So you have that full control, and that is what I think is so cool about the rapid shapeshifting.
NEXT: SKILLS & TALENTS
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SKILLS & TALENTS
David: So let's talk about the Skill point system, as well as the Talent Tree system. These are two different systems that every class in Diablo IV will be utilizing. The goals for these are to have an entry sense of power progression during level up, as well as great player choice and customization. The skill point system is pretty straightforward as you level up. You will be earning one or more skill points for you to spend and you can use it in two ways: First is unlocking brand-new skills that you didnt have access to before; and second is ranking up existing skills to make them more powerful, and unlock new choices within that same skill.
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Another way you can get skill points in the game is to find the skill point tome items and then you can use those items to have access to more skill points. For the Talent Tree, this is an example of the Sorceress's Talent Tree. Each tree is unique to that class.
So this is just one example of one of the classes. So you work your way from top to bottom, making yourself more powerful as you go down the tree; and not only that, you will be able to make very specific playstyle choices to your liking so that you have full customization option; and of course, at the bottom of the tree are the strongest talents in the game.
This is one of six that the Sorceress can choose from, and it is a fairly simple one, but we have a lot of choices ranging from simple to more complicated playstyles. So this one increases the Lightning damage against enemies within melee range. So naturally this would combo very well with a spell like Charged Bolts, and you can because it is a returning skill in Diablo IV.
So let's take a look at the full of how you would go about spending points and unlocking new tiers. So as you can see this is how the Talent Tree system works; and this time around I am going down the cold tree. So let's take a look at one of the options at the bottom. Endless Winter -- so instead of Chills leading to Freeze, you gain a massive damage bonus instead. So you can kind of imagine if I am not going for that freeze playstyle I can choose something like this to get a different benefit instead.
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MORE DETAILS ON CLASSES
So one last thing I want to mention about classes is there are even more details about skills as well as talents in the demo, so if you are here at BlizzCon, please be sure to check that out if you are interested in that kind of thing. If you are not here, please check out the streamers streaming live from BlizzCon to learn more about classes. Thank you and I will hand it over to Angela for talking about all the cool stuff coming to the open world of Diablo.
EDITOR'S NOTE: You may read all the things I learned from watching gameplay streams in my analysis, and I also embeded gameplay videos from several livestreamers here.
NEXT: SHARING THE OPEN WORLD
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SHARING THE OPEN WORLD
Angela: So you have checked out the classes, maybe you looked at your skills and talents, and you are about to enter the world of Sanctuary again.
One of the biggest differences in Diablo IV is this idea of a shared and contiguous world. What does that mean in a Diablo game?
So, to start with, the shared world concept doesn't affect dungeons. Dungeons continue to be private from start to finish, supporting you and optionally up to 3 other players -- which is our maximum party size; and what about the campaign then, because the campaign storyline is of course going to send you all around the continent, into these private dungeons, but also to parts of the open world.
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You might think that means your campaign moments in the open world are now going to be shared with a bunch of random people; but campaign areas will also start as private -- meaning accessible only to you and your party until you have completed the campaign objective for that location; and it is only after that point when it becomes shared like the rest of the open world.
So when we talk about shared open world, we mean you will see players aside your party and you will see different types of open world activities; and activities like Corbach event that was showcased in the demo, ranging anywhere from the more common Juggernaut attacking the coastline all the way up to a huge pestilence demon that is clawing its way out of a farm.
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The open world will have things like collectibles, lore books, caches, materials for crafting, as well as dedicated spaces carved out for very specific activities: like open world PvP, or one of the many other open world systems that we are still iterating and will talk about more in a future date. I am sure many of you are curious about the other players part. Right? How many people are you going to be sharing this open world with? -- and the number can actually be variable by location; meaning we might make a place less or more populated depending on what is going on there. So our guiding principle on this topic is the feeling we are trying to achieve; and we did try to get this in the demo, if you had a chance to play it; but Sanctuary should feel like a oblique and dangerous place. The more you are out in the open world, on occasion you might run into one or two other players; but most of the time you will be alone; and the exception would be something like the world boss event. That is a huge undertaking where you want to allow more players into that space so they can tackle the challenge together; and then there is towns for the opposite reason.
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PLAYING WITH OTHERS
Towns are safe places, they make natural gathering spots for grouping of your party, trading, or just chatting; and with all these ways to encounter the players, we want to make sure it is easy to play with them too. So I am going to use one of our lead game designers, Jesse, as a way to illustrate what a social player's experience might look like.
Jesse would start his campaign and throughout it he might jump into someone else's to help them out, or he might invite some to his to show him something cool, or just for company; and there shouldn be no friction there. Right? We take the party leaders stay in the campaign area shared with the rest of the party, and everyone would be able to contribute regardless of where they are on their own campaigns.
We didn't want people to feel like they were stuck in their own story modes just because they are on a slightly different step from someone that they want to actually play with. While Clans, so Jesse will probably form a clan, make a cool clan banner, initiate a lot of clan activities, because that is the kind of thing that he does in real life, he probably uses our in-game voice chat to talk to his clanmates, while he is out doing side quests; or maybe he switches out the party voice chat because he grouped with someone that he was doing a public event with and now they are going to go PvP together.
He might even be doing all this on a console, on a couch with his friend because, as you probably heard, alongside PC, we are developing for console, and we will be supporting two-player couch coop on consoles.
But what if you aren't the kind of person that like grouping up with people to get your stuff done? Like me. You could be a really good friend of mine, you could be my spouse... I probably don't want to party up with you... and it is nothing personal. I just like to do things at my own pace. So you will imagine, it is a pretty big barrier for me when a multiplayer game gates content or progression behind a grouping requirement -- which makes me really happy to say that Diablo IV is not going in that direction; and all the best items, content, progression will be available to all players regardless of whether they playing solo or with a group.
So for me the campaign is really obvious, right? I love the fact that our campaign areas are going to be private, I'm going to play throughout that entire thing solo; and I might join a clan, probably not participate in any clan activities -- I get more likely to engage in the clan bank system, because I love crafting. When crafting gets boring, you run out of reasons to make items, so being able to donate items to my clanmates really appeals to me.
I will probably use text-chat or emotes over voice chat, and I'm still going to the open world for gathering more crafting materials, probably avoid the PvP areas, and target specific events with rewards that I need; but once I am all geared-up, I am just going to go straight into pushing those end-game dungeons, because that's where I get my private quiet space back.
So Diablo IV does open up Sanctuary to a lot of new shared systems, and hopefully more meaningful connected experiences. The level to which you engage in those connected experiences is still up to you. You can choose to play through the entire game solo -- from campaign all the way to end-game -- and that will be just as valuable and successful as a way to approach the game, as someone who might choose to group up for the large majority of it.
So, I have mentioned dungeons a few times now, but we barely scratched the surface on those. So I am going to hand this over to Zaven, our lead dungeon designer to go into those details next.
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Zaven: Hey, BlizzCon. Let's talk about the dungeons of Diablo IV. Dungeons are a foundational part of the Diablo series.
They are a credible part of that legacy. Randomly generated dungeons are core to a part of that. Sanctuary is a large and diverse place and we are filling it with lots of dungeons for you to explore, slay and loot your way through.
So we want dungeons to be dark, dangerous, unpredictable places in the world. Even the holiest of places can fall to corruption -- like the Zakarum Monastery behind me. Since they are randomly generated, that means until you venture down their dark corridors, you are not really sure what you are going to find. It could be treasure. It could be death. This is the tension between risk and reward that really defines that dungeon crawling experience in Diablo IV, where anything can happen.
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And also... dungeons are not always random-generated buildings. There are randomized exterior environments as well. These exterior dungeons are randomly generated just like the interiors are. So you can have like Whispering Wood, here behind me, as an example. We want dungeons to feel like real explorable places in the world. We also built our dungeon system from the ground up with this idea that we call seamless exploration.
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What seamless exploration means is no more loading screens to go down the second floor, third floor, tenth floor -- whatever any other area.
It all happens seamlessly in the game, and with seamless exploration we can even blend this randomly-generated tilesets together. We can go from a randomly-generated cave and walk straight into a randomly-generated forest; and this means dungeons can become sprawling interconnected places to explore and discover, where the actions in one part of the dungeon can actually affect what happens in the other parts.
As you are crawling your way through these profane halls, or stepping cautiously through a misty woods, what are you doing in these dungeons, what can you find? Well, we have two major pieces of content systems to talk about today. One is random events, and the other is dungeon objectives.
RANDOM DUNGEON EVENTS
First up, random events are back; and random events are a core part of that classic dungeon crawling feeling in Diablo IV; and one major change compared to our past games is that they are no longer restricted to a specific place in the world.
This is one of our new events: the Altar of Bishibosh -- and is Bishibosh found there? I am not sure. So this event can also show up in the Whispering Wood; it is in Garan Hold in the demo, you can totally find it. You got a good chance of finding it; and this allows dungeons to actually have a more broader range of possible events. Every time you play, you can actually find a different kind of event in it; and those events can actually follow monsters around, just like elites can, and makes it way more broad range of things to do.
So we have random dungeons, and we have random events; but for us it is also really important that dungeons have this sense of identity, that they have something that helps to set them apart from each other. So the other thing we are adding is the dungeon objectives. So the dungeon and its objective are designed together as two parts of a cohesive whole. Objectives are completed by doing specific things in the dungeon, like killing a Sea Witch; and progressing the objective also increases the danger and the rewards found inside that dungeon.
So as an example, this is Domhainne Tunnels -- playable in the demo today. The objective here is to slay all enemies. We have seen that before; but in Domhainne as you make progress in that effort, the enemy respawns. They send powerful elites to hunt you down, and kill you no matter where you are, no matter what you are doing in that dungeon. Yes, even during the random event. Yes, even during the boss fight; and since every dungeon has its own custom objective, we have varied gameplay across the dungeons as a whole; and memorable dungeons with a strong underlaying identity.
Now we are still exploring multiple other dungeon systems and features; but we do have one more thing to talk about today. Yea, let's talk about end-game dungeons in Diablo IV.
What do we look for in a Diablo end-game? What would we be excited to play? When we started thinking about this, like Ok, varied content. That's critical. I don't want to be just doing just one thing over and over again in end-game. Making powerful, unique builds as a core part of Diablo; and we need content that encourage that level of strategic depth; and honestly, player agency is super important. Random dungeons are awesome. I love them; but I I dont want to just feel like I am reacting to what the game is giving me. I don't want to feel like I am in rails. So how are we doing this?
We are adding a new type of item called a Dungeon Key. How do they work? Well, when a key drops in the world, it drops for a very specific dungeon in the world. Using this key will upgrade that dungeon into an end-game dungeon. The key also has a specific difficulty rank. The higher the difficulty, the higher of the quality of the drops that you get within that dungeon; and finally, Dungeon Keys can roll specific dungeon affixes. Now this is an entirey new feature.
These are modifiers that increase the difficulty and complexity of the dungeons found throughout the game. They apply the affix to either: the players; the enemies; the environment; or any or all of the three of these. So within a system like this, you can imagine an affix that says something like All enemies are invisible unless they are in combat (or something like that). Every time you walk in a room, you are not sure what you are going to find; and you can also have another affix that says there are double bosses in this dungeon; and how having both of those affixes in the same key can be a very different outcome when you are playing any of the dungeons in the game.
Let's look at an example. This is Garan Hold. Has Lightning Pulse. Let's see what that looks in the game. So Lightning Pulse as this cool pilar of lightning energy and stone that hunts down the closest player, and deals damage to them. You can't kill it. You can't stun it. You can't stop it until that dungeon objective is complete.
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But this is still Garan Hold. The same dungeon we have playable in the demo today. You still has the same objective. You will still the same enemies, and you still have access to the same randomized content within it -- and this is how we get all three of our goals. We get varied content, varied gameplay, and any regular dungeon can become an end-game dungeon by finding a Dungeon Key for it; and the plan is to have hundreds of dungeons in the game. We get strategic depth. The key provides a lot of information for you to plan a specific build around. You can customize your loadout, your skills, your talents, your items -- to tackle that specific dungeon.
We also get player agency. You can decide whether you want to use a key and upgrade a dungeon; or if you want to salvage it for crafting. Our plan is to drop a lot of keys so that you guys actually have exact control over which dungeons are your end-game dungeons. So we will learn a lot about dungeons. Let's learn more about the monsters that you kill inside them; and for that I'm actually going to hand it over to Joe Shely, lead monster wrangler, really.
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Joe: So this is my very close friend, the Fallen Lunatic. I know he is my close friend because he always wants to be really close to me; but the Fallen Lunatic is a really interesting case because he is part of the Fallen family. This idea of families is really important to Diablo IV. In the case of the Fallen, the Lunatic runs forward and tries to explode.
The Fallen Grunt tries to surround the player, while their Shaman friends hangout in the back, throwing fireballs and resurrecting grunts.
Let's take a look at another example of families in Diablo IV. The skeleton family. A great thing about the skeleton family is that like the Fallen, the members of the family can work together to do something greater than they could do by themselves. So, of course, you have got skeletons with swords, shields... Shield skeletons can stun you, while two-headed axe skeletons bring down their axe on your head. You have got crossbow skeletons who are firing from the middle distance; and in Diablo IV you have got my personal favorite... the skeleton ballista.
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This is an amalgamation of skeletons that have come together to barely hold out this giant bow that can fire from multiple screens away; and when we talk about how important legacy is to Diablo IV, this is a great example. The inspiration for the skeletal ballista came from Diablo II, where you could walk out of the doorway, and be surrounded by skeletons, and then be getting shot from offscreen by ranged skeletons. It creates this choice moment where do I stay engaged with the skeletons I am fighting and try to dodge these arrows, or do I get deeper into danger and lay the smackdown on the skeleton ballistas. In Diablo IV, that gameplay is back.
But of course, skeleton ballista is not the dangerous thing you will face in Diablo IV, there are also Elite monsters; and if you play Diablo III, there are some monster powers or affixes that are making a return -- like mortar or frozen; but in Diablo IV, there are a new category of affixes that we call Enhancing Affixes.
These affixes take the monster's base powers and improve on them. In the case, of a skeleton ballista, it might have a multishot affix. So he is firing 3 ballista shots instead of the usual one; and the cool thing about Enhancing Affixes is that when we apply that same Multishot Affix to something like a Fallen Shaman, he can resurrect multiple grunts or brutes instead of the usual one. Totally changing how the gameplay plays out.
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Now, of course, there are lots of bosses in Diablo IV; and if we go back to that previous slide with the skeletons you might see the tomb lord standing pride and tall in the middle.
The Tomb Lord is a master of necromantic magic and bone, and he can resurrect his skeletal minions, he can create bones of walls and shatter them, and he can spin his magic into a storm bone that can blind you; but in Diablo IV, you have additional combat options to fight back. One of these is the new evade ability. Every class can do a short distance dash that gets you immediately out of danger, and allows you to strike back very quickly, and get back in the action. It is perfect to get out of something like this bone storm.
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Also, many class skills in Diablo IV grant the unstoppable status. This status allows you to break out of any control impairing effects. So if you are stun, blinded, slowed... you can break out of it, and grant immunity for the duration of the stat. In the case of our Barbarian friend who just doesn't want to deal with this bone storm anymore, he can rallying cry -- becoming unstopabble and granting his allies unstoppable as well, and immediately dish out more pain onto the Tomb Lord.
Now, you had a chance to play the demo. You may have seen this one. This demon, Ashava. This is our first world boss in the Diablo series, and it is so big that we had to pull the camera out just to frame the action, and show everyone engaged with it.
Ashava is a huge undertaking, and looking at some of the stats already that we have come in, I see that a lot of people have fallen to Ashava.
But the really cool thing about the Bosses in Diablo IV, and Ashava is a great example of this, is the new stagger system. This mean that you could bring your control effects into fights against bosses -- like your stuns, your freezes, chills; and when you apply them to bosses, it builds up the stagger bar. When it is filled, the boss becomes staggered, and something really cool happens.
EDITOR'S NOTE: In the case of Ashava, when the stagger bar fills completely, Ashava's huge arm blade shatters into pieces, and he drops to the ground stunned for several seconds.
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I came over that term myself; but basically, what it means is that for each boss that we design, we build some unique behavior. So when you stagger Ashava, you can break off its arm blades; and this changes the whole fight, because this giant sweeping attack that it performs are greatly reduced in their range; and areas of the battlefield that were dangerous, become safer. In fact, if you stagger Ashava multiple times, it breaks, you can break off both arm blades, and this changes the remainder of the fight.
Now, of course, you take on something like Ashava, you will need some Legendary gear. David is going to talk a bit more about that.
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David: So let's take a look first at the item qualities in Diablo IV. So as you can see up in the screen, normal items are the weakest items and the mythic items are the strongest items that we are proposing for Diablo IV. So let's take a deeper look at each of these categories.
So for the three first categories: Normal, Magic, and Rare -- of course, if you played Diablo games in the past, you will notice that you have more item affixes, the higher the quality; and our main goal for item affixes is to increase the number of playstyle choices and options for players when they are picking item affixes. So, of course, we will have a good mix of returning affixes, as well as brand-new ones. For example: Attack Speed, Critical Strike Chance, Critical Strike Damage, Damage against far away enemies, cooldown reduction, damage resistances, damage bonuses to specific elements -- like all this stuff and more, but what I want to talk about on top of that is one of the affixes on the stream -- it says +1 rank to Master of Arms on the rare amulet. It is the bottom one that you see. What that is doing is giving me +1 rank to one of my talent points, so what that is going to allow me to do is as I put my talent points and pick a playstyle, I'm not going to have enough choices to go down every single tree; but with items I can break some of these rules by getting access to talents that I normally couldn't access before; or I can use them to go past my maximum talent point through items as well.
So we want to add many of these types of affixes as possible in Diablo IV. For Legendary Items and Sets, the goal is to provide as much player choice and customization as possible, while forming your end-game build; and in order to do that, the most important change in Diablo IV is to make sure that Legendary Items are on equal or greater power level compared to set items in Diablo IV; that way you will have full customization of picking every single slot, and which specific legendary power you want to use.
So let's take a look at a simple example of customizing your playstyle through one specific simple skill in Diablo IV, as well as items that only modify that specific skill; but of course, we will have a wide range of Legendaries in the game.
So this is Teleport, as you can see. Pretty straightforward. You teleport to the targeted location -- like you just saw. Say you are struggling on the Defense, and you can pick something like this up. Every time I teleport, I get damage barrier.
-- and this one, whenever I teleport I create this rift on the ground, and whenever I stand in it, I gain increased critical strike chance.
This next one, I can use teleport as much as I want now. It has no cooldown, but it is random, and I need mana to use it.
-- and this last one, I can cast damaging ligthning nova whenever I teleport. So let's check that out.
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So pretty straightforward. Let's try to equip the one that let's me teleport as much as I want, and now I turn my mobility skill into a damaging skill at the cost of it being a little bit random; and I just want to stress once more that not all Legendaries will work so specific to one's skill. We will have a wide range of skills ranging from Legendaries that are generic and good for every type of build; Legendaries that are good for specific categories of skills; and Legendaries such as the ones that you saw here.
-- and finally, Mythic items are the strongest items in Diablo IV. Their equip limit is 1, but they have 4 Legendary powers on them. This is simple example of a Barbarian legendary: a Barbarian mythic amulet. So you can look forward to more info coming in the future on the Mythic Items.
-- and there are Runes and Runewords in Diablo IV.
How they work is quite straightforward. You have two different types of Runes in the game: Condition Runes and Effect Runes. You can take any Condition Rune, combine it with any other Effect Rune in the game, to form our Runeword. So this example on the screen it says the Condition Rune -- whenever you freeze an enemy and the effect is reduce a random skill cooldown by 15%, and as you can see from that item, I have formed my Runeword.
So let me show you some more examples of Condition Runes and Effect Runes. One thing that is not described here that we are working on is -- we are working on adding progression to Runes as well. So you can look forward to more info on that in the future as well.
So I will hand it back to Tim for Q&A, so you can quickly read this before he goes to the next slide.
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Tim: So over the past 24 hours or so, since we announced this game, you guys have been submitting questions. Some of you right here on the floor. There have been places for you to hand in your questions. We have also been looking online. We got Twitter sending us questions, Reddit sending questions, even as many questions as usual. I have taken a list of some of the most asked questions that we have got, and now I am going to ask our panel.
So starting right in. One of the most common one that we have got, a lot of people want to know more about monetization, or business model, or how do I buy this game. So how do I buy Diablo IV? I will divert that one over to Joe Shely.
Joe: So, of course, it is very early days here, but what I can confirm is that we will sell a base game, and expansions; and I can also confirm that we will not sell power.
Tim: I think that is the answer that they wanted to hear. Ok. On to the next one. Lot of questions we saw from various sources: Customization of my build. People want to know... am I only customizing my build through the Legendaries that I choose, or are there other options?
David: Yes. Customization is one of the main biggest goals in Diablo IV. So, of course, we will have more options outside of just Legendaries. So for example, I will talk a little bit about the skill point system. As you put points into a specific skill, they will unlock brand-new things.
For example, the Unstoppable that Joe talked about, it doesn't appear from Rank 1 of that shout, but as you rank it up, new parts of the skill unlock, brand-new components are unlocked, as well as the power goes up. So that's one example.
On the talent tree side, you can check it out in the demo to get a feel of where we are at currently, but the hoop is even if two players are going the same sort of build -- say like we are both going a Lightning build, then we have enough choices within the talent tree system for us to make our kind of adjustments that cater specifically to me, and to the other person; and then, on the other side, item affixes -- we, of course, want to have even more choices, and even more playstyle choices specifically; so we are going to be looking for opportunities to add as much customization as possible across the board.
Tim: Alright. Diverse answer. On to the next one. We have got a lot of questions along the line of: Will I be able to solo in this game? But also, will it support a full Offline Mode? Tricky question.
Angela: So we are not going to support an Offline Mode, but as I said before, nothing in Diablo IV is going to require partying up. You can play Solo, and dungeons are private, and campaign quest areas will remain private.
Tim: We saw a million questions about trading. We have people asking is there trading? Some people in the audience agree. They want to know. Is there trading? They want to know how it is implemented, how does it work, is it like D2, is it like D3?
Zaven: Our underlying philosophy here is we think it is the best when you can kill a monster, and get loot that way. So we want to make sure that whatever we do, we kinda respect that part of Diablo. It is core to Diablo. But with that in mind, we also do want to allow trading. So our current strategy is this, and you know, it is still early days -- so we really want to hear your feedback on this in particular.
So the idea is that we have kinda three different types of tradeable items, so to speak: there is a class of item (a bunch of items) that can always be traded, no matter what, freely. I can give it to Angela. She can give it to David. He can give it to Joe. So on, and so forth.
-- and then, we can also have a class of items that are tradeable one time. So I have an item. I use it for a year, and then I'm like: "I don't want this item anymore;" and I give it to Angela. But now, she can't trade it anymore. It is bound to her. So things like that can only be traded one time.
-- and then, we are also thinking that-- probably -- the highest quality, most powerful things in the game, especially in that area, there should be items that you can't trade at all. That you have to earn yourself. You have to go do those end-game dungeons, and kill monsters, etc. to get that loot.
So you can kinda see, just like with these very simple kinda gradient of things and options here, where we kinda do the call off when do something becomes a one-time trade, or a never trade -- we have a lot of flexibility there; and we are going to be listening to you, guys, in kinda getting that feedback as well. So please, let us know what you think.
Tim: Complicated answer, but the important part of the tale there: "Let us know what you think." So if you have opinions on that, make sure they come our way. I mean you can yell them at us, but it is even better if you go online and talk about it. We are going to be reading that. Alright, next up. Big question around PvP. We mentioned that it will be in the game. People are curious, though. What does that do to Balance? Are we going to have separate rules for PvP? Is this going to affect the Balance of the PvE experience? That is a tricky question.
David: That is a great question, I think, because many people must have noticed that we have the same source of skills, same talents, and same items in both PvP and PvE. So I guess that is a natural question that you would ask. Right? But our goal is to have enough choices and options available for players; and what that means, I think, is the best skills, the best talents, and the best items in PvP would be very different from the set of skills, items, and talents in PvE that are the best.
So the current plan is to make sure to locate issues as they arrive, and strategically make the right tuning choices to make balance good in both formats. Right? So every balance probably is so different. So we will have to see what the problem is, and then fix it that way; but we will have enough tuning nobs across these three systems to be able to balance tune properly.
Tim: Next big one from the internet. They really wanted to know: Legendaries, these are important to the game, but as varied a bit across the different Diablos of how they drop, how common are they going to be? As some people even commented, is it going to be like D3 where they basically fall from the sky? Good question. Legendaries. How much are they going to drop. How big are they in my loots?
Joe: So Legendaries will not rain from the sky in Diablo IV. When you are playing through Diablo IV, and you are playing harder and harder content, you are going to be getting better and better items; and because of this, we don't think that there is any need, at least currently, to modify the droprates of Legendaries as you get further and further into end-game.
Tim: Next one. This question is about speed of combat. So we have a few people asking us in various different ways: what is the speed of combat going to be in Diablo IV? Is it going to be as fast-paced as it was in Diablo III? Are you guys going to try and slow it down a little bit? Is it more tactical? Good question.
Zaven: For those of you who have played Greater Rifts in Diablo III, you might know that there is like a timer there; and one of the side effects of doing things like that and you have learned a lot about this, is that it makes you want to rush through, skip things, you start to get very specific about what you want to kill and what you want to do.
So for the Dungeon Key end-game experience we can talk about right now, the plan is that since we have all these various dungeons, and they will all have different objectives, you need to do a different thing to complete each of those dungeons. It is going to mean that the pace of combat, and the exact thing you are valueing in everyone of those dungeons, is going to be very different. Particularly when you add dungeon affixes.
So for example, in Domhainne Tunnels, the objective is: kill all monsters -- having the Lightning pulse chase you throughout that dungeon, there is constant pressure. You have to kill everything to complete the objective. Comparing that to Garan Hold, where you have to find the Fallen Idols, you have a bit of more leeway.
So even just that small affix in two different dungeons can yield a very different experience; and on top of that, that short distance evade that Joe mentioned; and what that does is it really helps make a lot of the combat very intensional, particularly at higher levels of play. So you have to be very careful. Very good at timing your combat, and your evade skills when you are doing this stuff. So the plan is to make it a little bit more intense experience.
David: I guess, one thing to add is that it kinda relates to what Joe was talking about, of more powerful monsters drop more powerful loot. So naturally, you are going to be wanting to go and take on these like really tough challenges. Right? But at the same time, we believe that replayability is best when you have a very played experience (like Zaven was talking about). One of the other hooks is we are going to make sure that players at least have some hooks to be able to play different varied difficulty content in the end-game, to help with the replayability as well.
Tim: So, it is going to take a variety of forms, but intensional combat. Next up: there were a number of questions about item randomization. Are we going to have random stats on the items that are dropping, or will each item actually have static stats on it?
Angela: So affixes will be randomized values within a range -- which means, you aren't just comparing attack and defense on an item, you could have two items that contain the same affix effect, but it could have completely different values; and we are also looking into or planning to support modify and customizing your affixes. We just don't know what form that will take yet.
Tim: Next question up. A number of questions around How are we going to support the game once it is live. So people mentioned that they really enjoyed playing Seasons, other people said they wanted to see more; questions about are there going to be major content drops, what does that loot is going to look like. So post-game support Seasons. That kind of stuff. Ahh... broad weird question.
David: Yeah. Of course we are going to have Seasons in Diablo IV. The main goal for Seasons will be to change up the player experience whenever they play from Season to Season. We don't have all the details worked out yet in order to achieve that goal; but I want to give you a very slight example for it. Right? So if we just look at just the Legendary items slides, that we can maybe talk about, we are planning to introducing brand-new Legendary items to Seasons.
On top of that, we want to spotlight sub-sets of different Legendary items from Season to Season, so best builds and what you are exploring can change a little bit. So I am not saying this is the only thing that is going to change the player experience. Of course, we are going to try to hit it at all different angles across the whole game; but that is our goal; and we will, of course, have more information to share in the future on the specifics.
Tim: Alright. We have time for one more question. I am going to go to this one because it was heavily asked. Everybody wants to know: Will we have Hardcore in Diablo IV?
Zaven: Of course we are going to have Hardcore Mode. It wouldn't be a Diablo game without it. You know, Hardcore is actually-- it was basically invented by the community in Diablo I. It was officially supported starting in Diablo II. We are going to carry on that legacy. We will absolutely going to support Hardcore Mode in Diablo IV.
Tim: There you go. Hardcore Mode is a Yes! That unfortunately is all the time we have; but it doesn't mean you should stop sending us your questions. We have just started the effort of learning how to make a better Diablo IV game. There are still a lot of game to make. We want to see you posting online, telling us what it is you expect to make this game amazing. We are going to be reading it, and we are going to be responding to it in the future.
So thank you, everybody, for coming. If you are here on the floor, you can go play more Diablo IV right now behind you. If you are watching from home, there are two more panels coming up later today. Thank you, everybody.
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