Translator’s Foreword: Blizzard has confirmed that it has no plans to openly test the high-level content of the online action-RPG Diablo IV , so you can learn about it for the most part only from the words of the developers, who, fortunately, are now actively doing interviews.
As we rapidly approach the launch of Diablo IV on June 6th, one aspect of the game is being kept under wraps: what the end game will be like for players. So it has been until now. Last week, they released a trailer that was the first time they publicly talked about what we can expect from the endgame in Diablo IV. In addition, I had the opportunity to participate in an interview with assistant director Joseph Piepiora and lead producer Kaylie Calder, during which we discussed everything related to endgame. So, let’s dive into all the interesting details.
So, I have the maximum level; What should I do now?
I was particularly curious about what would happen if the player reached the maximum level before the end of the campaign, and how that would work. As much as I love the story in Diablo games, I tend to get distracted and level up too quickly. Piepiora explained that the campaign is only meant to be played on the first and second difficulty of the world, and as players get levels, the content on them becomes more and more difficult. After completing the campaign, if the player has reached level 50, they can complete a “final dungeon” , which will allow them to progress to higher world difficulties. Sounds great and gives a chance to check if the player is ready to move on to more difficult content.
One of the features of Diablo IV is a completely new improvement system, and, as Caulder explained, “only the name has anything in common with that in Diablo III” . They seem to be aiming for Enhancement Points to give play style variation; Calder continued, “You can level two wizards and they will feel completely different in terms of play, depending not only on the skills learned and legendaries earned, but also on the choices you make as you progress through the enhancement system.” Piepiora also pointed out that it is not possible to get everything on the cultivation board; progress will be limited. This is great because your choices on the board and how you approach them will matter much more.
One of the major criticisms I heard after the open beta over the weekend was the superficial gameplay, because your character development choices were pretty limited. However, they left much of the complexity and choice to the levels of perfection. It’s a brilliant approach because it saves new players from confusing things right out of the gate. They can quickly get comfortable and start learning what they can do as they level up. By the time they get to the levels of cultivation, they will have a lot more understanding of how things work and will be able to make better choices. More experienced players will likely be able to quickly break through the basic leveling and get to the levels of improvement.
Another important element of the endgame are Nightmare Dungeons, which can be accessed using Nightmare Glyphs. Piepiora described the process as follows: “Glyphs of Nightmare can be earned by completing Whispers of the Dead, another type of quest available to players after completing the campaign and further story, as well as regular content within the seasons… Each of these Nightmare Glyphs is directly tied to a dungeon somewhere in Sanctuary… When you get one of these nightmare glyphs, it will have several different modifiers, which we call woes, baked into the glyph itself.
They can increase a monster’s attack speed or damage from poison attacks, or give barriers to enemies when you fight one of them in combat. There are also some positive afflictions and modifiers, such as increased experience gained or gold drops and the like . ” Calder also noted that the difficulty of the world affects the difficulty of Nightmare Dungeons, so players have some control over how difficult they are looking for a challenge.
This will add variety to the dungeons as you gain levels of perfection. In addition, he mentioned that there are over 120 dungeons in Diablo IV, about 30 of them will change with the start of the new season as part of the corresponding content. He also mentioned that these glyphs can drop from Nightmare Dungeon, so we won’t be completely dependent on Whispers of the Dead to access Nightmare Dungeons. Finally, if you get a bunch of glyphs for a dungeon you don’t want to play, you can take them back to town and dust them off. You can then take that dust and turn it into new glyphs for a random dungeon, but for a specific difficulty level.
Seasonal story content
As someone who loves storytelling in Diablo games, the description of seasonal content in Diablo IV worried me a little because I might not be able to play every season, but if more story is added every season, I wouldn’t want to miss it. I’ve quit a few games in the past because I couldn’t get past a missing story after returning to them, and I wouldn’t want that to happen with Diablo IV.
Piepiora considered the situation in two parts. The first part he explained is that each season will have a specific theme, and along with that theme, there will be story content that supports it. This piece of story content will be temporary and will only be playable during the season it belongs to. It’s a little disappointing, but it doesn’t make sense. He then continued: “When it comes to expanding the story of Diablo IV, if we had content that flows from the Diablo IV ending and leads to an expansion or something like that, if we decide to continue telling the story of Diablo IV in the future, then we will make sure to keep the content consistent and available to all players at all times”. And it’s perfect. As long as I can bridge the gap between important parts of the story, I will be happy. Also, at least one expansion seems to be in the pipeline.
Battle Pass, because of course there is one
I don’t know about others, but I’ve gotten to the point where the mere mention of a battle pass makes me shudder. Tired of every game trying to tell me it should be my only one, or games like Diablo Immortal where real power comes from premium content, you often feel horrified while playing them. Piepiora spoke a little about what we can expect from the Diablo IV battle pass system:
“In terms of how the Battle Pass relates to in-game activities and how we encourage players to want to participate in it, players will progress through the Battle Pass through different types of activities to earn what we call Fame, which will be the fuel for the Battle Pass. as it passes. They will earn fame by completing quests, killing monsters, and doing all sorts of things. But they’ll also earn fame by completing objectives in our Seasonal Journey, which will be a collection of different objectives available each season… If you’re familiar with Diablo III’s Seasonal Journey, it’s not much different from the format we used and enjoyed so much. .
So, as the season progresses, players will complete these important tasks and earn a lot of renown, which will help them progress through the Battle Pass. However, if you plan to complete the Season Journey along with other in-game content, it will take approximately 80 hours to fully complete the Battle Pass. It may take a little longer to level up a character to level 100, depending on how you play .
Sounds like the perfect type of battle pass where we can do different things to progress and not have to deviate from our path for something we don’t want to do. It can be quite frustrating to log into a game looking for a specific type of content for that game session, but feel like you need to do something else in order to complete the Battle Pass. However, it looks like the most significant progress will come from seasonal progress. Also, 80 hours might be too much for some players, especially if each Battle Pass only lasts a month, as is usually the case. He also mentioned a developer post from last August that detailed how the Battle Pass would work in Diablo IV.
MMO, ARPG or both?
Diablo IV continues to teeter on the edge between MMO and ARPG, sometimes pushing the line a lot. For example, when I played during the early access beta, there were certain moments when a lot of other people were running around the map with me, which was very similar to playing WoW. However, it was also nice to go to the dungeon when I wanted to get away from everyone else for a while. This is partly because while I enjoy getting together with friends on Diablo games from time to time, I usually approach these games wanting the single player experience. Piepiora has an interesting take on this:
“The answer is that Diablo IV is first and foremost an ARPG. This is a game about dungeon crawling, monster killing, monster killing and loot collecting. It has these persistent online elements where you can see and face other players in an interconnected world – we want these things to fit together well. So, one of the things we’re not going to have at the launch of Diablo IV is that we don’t have a lot of content that’s geared specifically towards organized groups. We don’t have a concept of roles because in Diablo everyone deals damage. Playing Diablo a lot of the time is about making really powerful builds and just blowing up screens full of monsters. We want to make sure these elements are kept and we don’t have to worry about trying to carefully balance multiple players in a group..
Overall, Diablo IV’s endgame feels vast and varied, and that’s about all I could wish for. They also talked a bit about the fact that after leveling up your first character in the campaign, when creating subsequent characters, you will have the choice of whether to play the story or not, which is a huge plus. We’re a little less than two months away from the launch of Diablo IV, and hopefully in that time we’ll learn even more about how things will work for us in the endgame and more about seasons.