The latest Diablo 4 quarterly update is all about talents and skill trees. Most notably though we got a closer look at what the new skill trees will look like and it’s quite striking.
The update begins with an update on the balance between how items vs. skills will effect your character’s power. Luis Barriga, lead designer of Diablo 4, admits that previously they were weighing legendary items too heavily and that they will look to tune it so that character builds based on the skills and talents you pick are more impactful than they currently are.
Barriga notes that you can expect a more detailed discussion about legendary items in a future post as they haven’t yet come to a final decision exact how items vs. skills will be balanced, and how item progression will work exactly.
Next the update dives into player skills and talents, using the Sorceress’s skill tree as an example.
Aside from just being very beautiful and visually appealing (check it out in all its glory here, it’s quite large), a notable change from Diablo 3 is that passives and active skills will be separated into different parts of the same tree. In this case, the passives make up the root while the active skills make up the branches.
Right now the developers believe that players will only be able to progress through about 30%-40% of the tree when fully maxed out with the goal being that players will have to make meaningful choices and that characters will be different from each other.
Here are some of the important notes that lead system designer David Kim used to explain the skill tree:
- “The Sorceress skill tree. The branches contain skills and skill upgrades, while the roots contain powerful passive effects.”
- “You can spend skill points on square nodes to unlock new active skills for your character.”
- “Spend points on circular upgrade nodes to enhance active skills you’ve unlocked.”
- “As you explore the branches of the tree, you will find passive points.”
- “You can spend passive points in the roots of the tree to unlock powerful effects.”
In addition to showing off the skill tree, they also spent some time explaining the Sorceress’s unique mechanic: the Enchantment System.
In Diablo 4 each class is going to have its own unique mechanic that will further make each class’s gameplay distinct from each other.
The Sorceress will be move their active skills into a unique enhancement slot that only they will have access to. This makes the active skill no longer usable but will instead alter the effect of an active skill they tie it to.
Here’s an example provided by Kim:
“Meteor allows you to call a fiery chunk of rock from the sky. If you choose to slot it as an Enchantment, you won’t be able to control your Meteors, but they’ll fall onto enemies periodically. This skill is still under development and may be different in the final game.“
Finally, the developers discussed the end game very briefly. While they aren’t ready to go into detail just yet, they did want to mention that they end game system they have planned will be another significant source of power for your character and that it will ” provide more depth and replayability than what Paragon currently offers in Diablo III.”
While that covers the most important news and notes from the latest quarterly update, there are lot of smaller details and commentary that are worth going over to Blizzard for to check out as well.
Diablo 4 has no release date or window yet and will release on PS5, Xbox Series X and PC.