‘Diablo IV’ will not be an MMO, according to its game director

“Fine tuning the right approach to multiplayer in ‘Diablo IV’ has been challenging”

Blizzard Entertainment has released a lengthy quarterly update for its upcoming action RPG, Diablo IV, from game director Luis Barriga.

The update revealed details surrounding the title’s camp mechanic, storytelling style and, most importantly, how multiplayer mode works.

Barriga noted that although the integration of other players into the game will be more seamless in Diablo IV, incorporating more massively multiplayer online (MMO) qualities, the game will still remain an ARPG at its core.

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“Fine tuning the right approach to multiplayer in Diablo IV has been challenging,” Barriga wrote. “Our goal has always been to incorporate elements from shared world games without the game ever feeling like it’s veering into massively multiplayer territory.”

“To be clear, this is a philosophy rather than a tech limitation. We find that the game stops feeling like Diablo and the world feels less dangerous when you see other players too often or in too high numbers,” Barriga added.

He also stated that, despite the game’s open world, key moments in the game – such as important story moments and dungeons – will be kept private to the player and their party. However, there will also be world events where gamers will “see a larger congregation of players”.

The open-world aspect of Diablo IV also features a brand-new mechanic, Camps, which Barriga called “the most popular open-world feature”. These spots are locations of importance that have been overrun by enemy units, but once cleared they will transform into friendly outposts with NPCs and a waypoint.

Lastly, Barriga also touched on how the story of Diablo IV will be delivered to players. For smaller interactions for NPCs, the developer is currently bringing the camera in closer to the characters, while using “a library of animations to deliver the general gist of the conversations”. A similar method will be taken with more complex conversations, but with “more deliberately hand-crafted” animations.

However, for the main story moments, Diablo IV will use real-time cutscenes, which allows for the storytelling to be more cinematic while still using a player’s current character customisation and equipped armour.

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Read Barriga’s full update on the official Blizzard website here.

Diablo IV will be the fourth main instalment of Blizzard’s long-running dungeon crawler ARPG, Diablo. The game was first announced in 2019 at Blizzcon. A release date and launch systems have yet to be announced.

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