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Diablo IV
Diablo IV

Diablo IV Dev Update – System Design, Itemization

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A post yesterday on the Diablo III official blog gave fans the first update regarding the itemization and system design coming in Diablo IV.

Written by Diablo IV Lead Systems Designer David Kim, the post aims to answer several questions raised by fans of the franchise since the game’s official announcement earlier this month at BlizzCon. Kim states that while Diablo IV is still in active development, the team plans to keep players informed of their process as they continue bringing the game to completion.

In regards to player feedback around itemization, Kim states that the team is still working through the vast amount of feedback they have received, and are trying to find ways to add more “depth and complexity” to base items, including rare items. This is something many players have asked for, since it’s fun to make interesting and oddball builds based on an interesting item one finds. Kim also says that the team wants to give players more freedom in item customization, to allow for more fun exploring different builds rather than simply looking one up online. The post also acknowledges that ancient items as they exist now in Diablo IV serve no clear purpose, and goes on to say that the team is revisiting their ideas with player feedback in mind.

The demo version of Diablo IV playable at BlizzCon didn’t allow players to switch what slots their skill abilities sat in, leading many to believe the game would not have an elective mode as Diablo III does, which allows gamers to select which abilities sit in which slot, as well as use more than one ability of the same type. In the blog post, Kim clears up the confusion, stating that there will indeed be more changes to the D4 user interface, one of which will allow players to use an elective mode as in D3.

In regards to the endgame progression system coming in Diablo IV, Kim states that the team hasn’t decided yet whether character leveling and experience should be infinite, or have a cap. Some players have expressed concern regarding infinite progression, as paragon levels in Diablo III create a power gap between those who must work or spend time with their families and those who can either dedicate all their time to the game or run an unmanned script to cheat the system. To address this concern, Kim points out that the development team can control how much power each system gives players, whether it’s infinite or finite.

Kim also touches on sources of power available to players in Diablo IV, saying: “In Diablo IV, power doesn’t come mostly from items. We want to have a good mix of power sources: characters naturally get stronger as they level up, skills have ranks that increase power, talents provide specific playstyle choices and additional character power, and of course items grant power and meaningful choices as well.” He then goes on to add that Legendary powers are merely one portion of an item’s power, and that they will not invalidate other affixes.

As a final note, Kim implores players to continue to share their thoughts and feedback, stating that the team wants fans involved in the design process.

“I personally believe in making the best decisions for the game based on the strongest design ideas,” he wrote. “No matter where they come from. My biggest hope is for us to be able to constructively discuss and iterate on the topics that are most important to the community—so keep the feedback coming!”

Check out Kim’s blog post here, and be sure to follow Gaming Instincts on Facebook and Twitter for more news and updates on Diablo IV’s continuing development.

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