Diablo 4 continues to arrive in Blizzard’s hazy future, with no precise release date, but in the meantime the studio is keeping us updated on its progress with promised quarterly updates. The latest development update offers new insights into how the dungeon crawler will handle elements like storytelling, open world elements, and multiplayer seamlessly without compromising the feel of Diablo. Here is all the new information we learned about Diablo 4 in the update. It is shaping up to be one of Blizzard’s most ambitious games and a very different beast than Diablo 3.
Diablo 4 Storytelling
Blizzard began by addressing how he is changing his narrative mechanisms. While Diablo 3 used character portraits to communicate the dialogue, the studio is experimenting with bringing the camera closer to the characters so you can see the conversations first-hand. Some conversations will be based on a general animation library, while more complex conversations will have artisan animations.
For the most important moments in history, Blizzard plans to use scenes in real time. That allows the angles to be more cinematic, but you’ll still be shown as your own character with visuals like your currently equipped armor. It should keep the game more immersive than in pre-rendered cinematics.
Blizzard also said he was satisfied during game testing with the addition of Camps. These are distinct locations that have been taken over by demonic hordes, but once you clean them up they will become NPC friendly outposts and a landmark. The study says that storytelling in the camps is primarily visual, but you can put together pieces of what happened in those places by looking around. For example, a camp was a city that had been affected by a curse that turned villagers into piles of salt. Another was a crypt haunted by a skeleton jumping spirit.
The camps help you settle in an area outside the Sanctuary, and are meant to encourage exploration in the open world. Blizzard noted that during their gameplay tests, those who focused only on story missions finished in less than half the average time than others who wandered with secondary content.
Multiplayer (but not massively)
The multiplayer mode in Diablo 4 seeks to more easily integrate other players into your game, but to a limited degree. For example, after completing the story, your cities will become social centers, but you will only have a few other players in your city at any given time. You may also encounter a strange player here or there while wandering down the road. The biggest collection of players will be in a great world event, like trying to defend a point or attack a great boss. If you find yourself wandering around at a party, you can complete the event, collect the rewards, and get on with your day.
Blizzard said it was important not to make multiplayer count too much, because they don’t want the game to look like an MMO. He said this is “a philosophy rather than a technological limitation,” simply because the game stops “feeling like Devil” if you see other players too often.
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