Game director Luis Barriga shared the news during the new December quarterly update, where he also provided a hint at what gamers can expect from the February showcase. “[Our] next update will take place during BlizzConline, rather than in blog form. We’ve read speculation about what it could be and want to ensure you that it is something chunky indeed,” he said.
“Without spoiling the surprise, let’s just say it involves a new version of the campfire scene we showed you last BlizzCon,” Barriga added. The campfire scene in reference is the upcoming game’s class selection screen.
Blizzard previously confirmed that Diablo IV will feature five classes. During BlizzCon 2019, the developer showcased three of the five classes – Barbarian, Sorceress and Druid – suggesting that the upcoming showcase during BlizzConline might reveal a new class or two.
Checkout the original campfire scene below.
In the new quarterly update, lead game designer Joe Shely also shed some light on the progress of the game’s development, from changes to itemisation to tweaking the Skill Tree.
Item Qualities have been tweaked so that players won’t have to “scrutinize every single item that drops to see if it might be an upgrade for them — blue Magic items are good, but yellow Rares are usually better”.
Shely noted that the potential power of individual affixes on Magic items are being increased, along with the maximum number of affixes on Rare and better items. Additionally, Legendary affixes will now roll randomly on Legendary Items, while Unique items replace Mythics.
The new Legendary affixes will roll randomly on different items in different slots. Certain affixes can only be used by a particular class, while most should be attainable for all classes. Blizzard is also adding new affixes to the game to match the increase in number of max affixes on an item.
Unique Items will be build-around items with “completely fixed affixes, heavily thematic and usually class-specific powers, and distinctive looks”.
Diabo IV’s skill tree is being worked on to give players more freedom to experiment with different skills in the early stages of the game. Players will be able to re-specialise their skills and passives an unlimited amount of times, but as players’ levels progress, the effort and cost to respec will increase accordingly.
Primary stats are also being reworked from the last quarterly update, which originally showed that “too much of a character’s power came from the items they wore”. The latest development makes it such that a player’s power will come from the Strength, Intelligence, Dexterity, Willpower and skill points that they obtain with each level gain.
Additionally, players can supplement their stat build with items for an added edge, although “the vast majority of your stats will come from how you choose to spend your points”.
Other changes being made to the game include the implementation of weapon speeds and inherent weapon characteristics.
In other Blizzard news, World Of Warcraft: Shadowlands has become the fastest ever selling game on PC, having sold over 3.7million copies in a single day, according to a press release from the studio.