Blizzard makes “major changes” to ‘Diablo IV’ skill system

The developer wants players to have “distinct and different ways” of building characters

Blizzard Entertainment has returned with another detailed quarterly update for its upcoming action RPG, Diablo IV.

The new update takes a closer look at the game’s Skill and Talent systems, which have received some “major changes” since fans last saw them. The tweaks were made based on community feedback and address the need for “more depth”. Blizzard noted that the previous system was “too simple [and] created issues where a player would have no meaningful reason to spend their skill points”.

The developer showed off the skill tree – portrayed as an actual tree – for the Sorceress class. The skill tree consists of many different nodes, representing different abilities, passive upgrades and more. “If we imagine every single node on that massive Skill Tree affecting different skills in different ways, the path that you decide to take will determine big power increases and playstyle choices,” Blizzard said.

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The company also noted that players should not expect to and will not be able to unlock every node on the tree in a single playthrough of Diablo IV: “We’re currently aiming for 30 to 40 per cent of the nodes filled in for end game, so that players can have very distinct, and different ways they build out their character.”

Diablo IV
Sorceress’ Skill Tree from Diablo IV. Credit: Blizzard Entertainment

Elsewhere in the update, Blizzard also detailed the new Enchantment system – similar to the Barbarian’s Arsenal system – for the Sorceress. The new mechanic will allow players to convert and active skill into a passive one, which gives the player a secondary bonus power.

“The main goal for us here is to have very unique class-specific mechanics in Diablo IV,” Blizzard explained. “We have this goal because Diablo is the kind of game where many players try out different builds or classes, especially during seasonal play. We believe that unique class mechanics with very different strengths and playstyles compared to other classes will make exploring the different classes – and playing the game – much more fun.”

In addition, Blizzard is also looking to overhaul items and gear in the game as they currently don’t feel “cool enough” in the current Ancestral/Demonic/Angelic Power system, which requires “an excessive amount of bookkeeping for the player”. Read the full September update for Diablo IV here.

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Blizzard’s last quarterly update for Diablo IV was released in June. Back then, the company revealed details surrounding the title’s camp mechanic, storytelling style and, most importantly, how the multiplayer mode works.

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