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Diablo 4 will bring back Elective Mode, Blizzard confirms

Put your skills wherever you want

Diablo 4 dungeon wizard Blizzard Entertainment
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

In a new blog post on the Diablo 3 website, Blizzard developers posted a system design update for the upcoming Diablo 4. The goal of the post is to garner feedback from the Diablo community, so the Diablo 4 team has an idea of what players want. The post discusses a few interesting philosophies behind Diablo 4, but, more importantly, reveals the beloved Elective Mode from Diablo 3 will return in the sequel.

By default, Diablo 3 and 4 assign certain skill categories to certain buttons. If you want to use a primary skill, that’s on left click, and you can only have one. If you want to use a defensive skill, that’s on the one key, and so on. Turning on Elective Mode gives players the power to choose their own build.

Maybe you don’t want to use a Primary, since none of the skills in that category work with your build. With Elective Mode, you can place anything on left click, or run a full build of primary skills on left click, right click, and the number keys. It’s an important feature for hardcore Diablo players, as it allows for the kind of build flexibility you need to really push the game’s hardest content.

In the post, Blizzard corrected a misconception that players — ourselves included — got from their time with Diablo 4 at BlizzCon 2019. “There’s a misconception that Diablo 4 will lock skills to specific slots because of the BlizzCon demo user interface,” said Blizzard. “Like many other things in the demo, the UI is not final and we will support Elective Mode-style skill selection. Skill selection and assignment will always be completely open for all players.”

With this post, Blizzard confirms that the customization Elective Mode offers is key to the Diablo experience — calming the minds of anxious build-crafters everywhere.

Blizzard’s yet to reveal a release date for Diablo 4. While you wait, check out some of our impressions from the BlizzCon 2019 demo.

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