The game is set decades after the events of Diablo III, with humanity having endured great devastation, and heaven itself having suffered losses, forced to shutter its gates. Humanity was left to its own devices.
Against this backdrop of despair Lilith returns. Being Mephisto’s daughter, she represents a link to an even greater threat. With Heaven having closed its gates, there is no one answering mankind’s prayers.
Speaking of gameplay, Diablo IV is going to be a classic isometric action-RPG featuring a dark, non-linear campaign.
It’ll come with a shared open world including five distinct and contiguous regions. There will even be weather and a day/night cycle, topped by hundreds of dungeons and legendaries to find and equip.
While today only three were revealed (sorceress, barbarian, and druid), the game will include five classes at launch.
This time around development for PC, PS4, and Xbox One is being done simultaneously.
Below you can check out an overview of these elements.
The game will be dark and faithful to the legacy of Diablo. This affects all aspects of Diablo IV and everything in its world.
According to the developers, the vast open world will immerse players in the apocalyptic medieval fantasy like never before.
The world encapsulates the feeling of Diablo II that you’re always “a day late and a dollar short,” and at times evil may win. This permeates the art, the gameplay, the world, and in the story.
Speaking of classes, in the gallery at the bottom of the post you can see the character select screen of the demo playable at BlizzCon, with the sorceress, barbarian, and druid around the classic campfire.
There is no text explaining who they are, as they are iconic on their own.
The barbarian will come with the Arsenal System featuring four weapon slots and letting players use both one-handed and two-handed weapons in the same build.
You can assign items to each skill slot and depending on what skill you use the barbarian will automatically pull out the weapon he or she needs, ensuring seamless combat.
The druid wasn’t part of the initial lineup, but “that lasted about a day” an artist drew a concept (which you can see in the gallery) and the team was convinced to include the class.
Fire magic, which didn’t feel very in-tune with nature, has been replaced by storm and earth magic.
Pets are still in the game, alongside a mechanic named “seamless shapeshifting.” You can assign a form to each attack, and you’ll seamlessly transform during the attack in mid-swing.
If you’d rather use only one form, you can simply assign it to all your attacks.
Moving on to the sorceress, she is “elemental carnage” on the battlefield with fire and ice spells. She basically lights up the dungeons (which are very dark), and can basically make you feel like a dungeon boss.
The game affords the player more customization than ever in the Diablo series, allowing players to create the barbarian, druid, or sorceress of their dreams.
Among other things you can customize hair, skin, scars, jewelry, tattoos, and more.
Of course, customization also involves gameplay, and the game lets you deeply customize your build with talent trees, skill ranks, and runewords.
We also get to see the map, which is open. Players will be able to explore and enjoy repeatable and side content.
That being said, you can experience the story uninterrupted if you prefer.
Each one of the five regions has its unique biome and geological features.
There are social hubs like villages or towns where you can meet other players and receive quests. Grouping is encouraged because there are world bosses that you better not face alone, as you can see below.
You can complete Diablo IV without ever engaging with social abilities, and you can go to PvP zones if you feel like the opposite of social.
Mounts will be in the game, and you’ll be able to change their armor pieces, saddles, and trophies.
Equipment for your mount has gameplay effects, including influencing speed, damage resistances, and more. There will be demon horses and all kinds of interesting steeds.
Classes even have dismount abilities that let you get off the horse in a way that’s appropriate to your class while dealing damage to the enemies around you.
Next, we hear about dungeons. They’re still randomized, and there are even randomized exterior dungeons. They’re also very dark.
Of course, players will still be able to go to hell, even if it wasn’t shown today besides artwork.
Speaking of loot, the development team realized they emphasized sets too much in Diablo III, so this time around they’re “really leaning into legendaries” as a way to empower build customization and variety.
Sets will still be included, but they won’t be dominant, while affixes will improve skill ranks and passive talent ranks, further differentiating builds.
There will be more legendaries than ever.
Interestingly, we also hear from the game director that what we’re seeing today isn’t coming out soon, “not even Blizzard-soon,” so it may be a long while before we see the finished game.
The official website will receive quarterly updates on how development is going.
Below you can check out all the artwork showcased during the panel.