Blizzard announced Diablo 4 at BlizzCon 2019. The game’s tone sees a return to Blizzard’s darker side, and the gameplay features far more RPG elements than Diablo 3. With a more open world and slower combat, some Diablo fans may worry that the game they’ve come to love over the past eight years won’t carry forward.
But worry not, Diablo 3 fans; seasons, sets, and rifts will still be around in Diablo 4. At BlizzCon 2019, we sat down and spoke to executive producer Allen Adham, art director John Mueller, and game director Luis Barriga about maintaining Diablo 3’s successes.
While they wouldn’t offer up much information, the devs confirmed that Diablo 4 will have seasons. The instantly repeatable Nephalem Rift game mode will also feature into Diablo 4. Adham mentioned the team has a few different game modes in mind between Rifts and PvP.
In terms of Adventure Mode — the game mode in Diablo 3 that lets players hop around the map in a non-linear fashion — there isn’t as much of a need for it. Diablo 4 will be slower in many ways, and that includes traversal.
Players won’t teleport between waypoints nearly as frequently, and will instead ride mounts everywhere they go. But the idea of a replayable open environment is still something the team is chasing through world event enemies and repeatable dungeons.
Sets and Legendaries are also back, although they won’t be as overpowered as they are in Diablo 3. Barriga gave us an example of a Legendary in the Diablo 4 BlizzCon demo:
There’s a staff legendary in the demo that turns [the spell] fireball into a triple fireball spell. The difference might be that, you know, a set right now in live Diablo 3 gives you bonuses more in the thousands. I think we’re designing the game right now to be a little bit more constrained to avoid getting us into that super escalating power curve.
In all its aspects, Diablo 4 is a bit slower, more plodding, and dangerous. Blizzard intends the level of player power to reflect that. That sets and Legendaries are still a key part of the Diablo build process — they just won’t be as strong as they are in Diablo 3.