When Diablo 4 was revealed at BlizzCon 2019, developer Blizzard didn’t share a release date, but promised regular development updates. While the game isn’t releasing any time soon, a new quarterly update highlighting the journey so far was posted earlier today.
The June 2020 quarterly update for Diablo 4 goes over a lot of interesting aspects of the upcoming hack-and-slash ARPG, such as open world, items and progression system and multiplayer elements.
“One of the main new features we are bringing to the Diablo series is the open world of Sanctuary,” notes Blizzard. “So, while you can concentrate on the story campaign and work through that, we have a variety of open world systems and pieces of content that you are also discovering along the way.”
Open world elements such as crafting, PvP, and exploring are part of Diablo 4. Camps are what Blizzard says are the game’s “most popular” open world feature. Throughout the world of Diablo 4, players can encounter camps which, upon clearing out enemies, become a friendly outpost. Each camp has its own unique backstory, such as being “afflicted by a curse that turned villagers into piles of salt”.
Additionally, Diablo 4 allows players to obtain mounts. Mounts make it easier to travel to new locations without having to slash through hordes of low level enemies or waste time running across the map. The updated items and progression system, which will be discussed further on, also extends to mounts.
Results from early playtests of the game indicate that the open world mechanics greatly complemented the gameplay experience, especially for players who managed to finish the story quicker than expected.
Items and Progression
Items and skill progression has always been an important part of Diablo games. As always, the new game will introduce new items and skills. Blizzard is still in the process of figuring out which items work and which don’t. Here’s a preview at some of the items contained in Diablo 4:
The multiplayer element in Diablo 4 functions differently compared to its predecessors. Dungeons and Key Story Moments are private instances where only the player and their party can interact with each other. Following the completion of story moments, Social Hubs where the player can encounter others are unlocked.
Furthermore, Diablo 4 has regular World Events where you can either go solo, or work together with randoms.
“We think this seamless approach to multiplayer is working well and look forward to sharing more about this approach with you. In our tests so far, the world feels alive and dynamic without compromising the feel of Diablo. And for players that do want to party up against the minions of Hell, we have new tools available to find a group, whether by activity or proximity in the game world.”
All in all, Blizzard reports that the recent playtest of the Diablo 4 demo build was fairly successful. There’s still a lot of work to be done, and the game is not even at an “Alpha or Beta stage yet.” As development on the game continues, expect to hear a lot more from Blizzard via quarterly updates. Diablo 4 currently does not have a release window.