BlizzCon 2019 Diablo 4: Unveiled Panel Transcript

THE WORLD

John: Yeah, the world. This is something we’re so excited about. I think when the concept team got ahold of this (you know), this idea of this vast open world was really exciting; and what we would present to the players. Diablo levels have always felt a little bit like, you know quarters; or you know I kind of skirt around the edges and work my way in towards the middle, but there was always that border that was a little frustrating; and I think like for this game those borders are gone; and so on the concept team when we were kind of imagining what this space would look like, we had to imagine what that would be.

So, what if the region itself was 10 or 20 times larger than any previous Diablo region? So big that mounts might actually be required across these distances. There’s gonna be 5 connected regions to explore with distinct geological and unique biomes.

We will have the icy mountains of Fractured Peaks. We’re really excited about this one. It’s beautiful. We all have the dark forests of Scosglen; and we’re going to have the desolate grasslands of Dry Steppes; sprawling deserts of Kehjistan. Of course, we’re going to go back to Kazakhstan. We’re really excited about this; and then the foul swamps of Hawezar to explore.

Tiffani: Why can’t they be regular swamps?

John: Because they need to be foul. This is super-important foul. Foul swamps. Sounds pretty dark, right?

Tiffani: So, the world is also how you engage with other players in Diablo IV. So we’ll have social hubs in major towns. This is one from our demo. This is Corebach.

In these towns not only is this where you pick up quests and talk to NPCs, you can also trade, ask someone about their gear, maybe investigate their build, take a look at how they customized their character, or what awesome armor they’re wearing. You might even be able to look for a group, and you might be wondering: “Why do I want to look for a group?”

Well, as you’re exploring the open world, you’ll come across world events, and your Druid here is gonna come up on one in a second; and you may not want to fight these events alone, because they’re a little bit tougher experiences. I think it’s pretty exciting. I’m gonna wait for this one to pop up. Alright. Here we go. So this was in the game trailer. This is Ashava. This is in our demo. I’m curious how many people Ashava is going to murder this weekend.

John: Anybody want to venture a guess? I’m guessing thousands? Maybe everybody.

(Audience: Everybody)

John: Everybody. I like that. Everybody here.

Tiffani: Probably everyone who plays the demo is going to die to this. So you can group up with other people, you’ll be running around the world, you’ll come across other players and they’ll be able to help you defeat this demon and get some awesome loot. That’s why we fight demons, right? So I know what you’re thinking. What if I don’t really want to play with other people? Well, there will be areas of Sanctuary where players can opt-in to PvP. So you can just murder them instead.

You’ll be able to complete the entirety of Diablo IV without ever necessarily engaging in these social activities. You can continue to crawl dungeons on your own, or form private parties of your own; but I’m really excited about what grouping and trading is going to do to the longevity of this game. The most important thing for me for playing games these days is player stories, and I have so many of my own; and I’m curious do you have any?

Luis: I mean, yeah. I love PvP. Not because I’m a great PvPer. I’m like kind of middle-ing; but it’s the sort of thing where I don’t remember a lot about other games; but I remember how I lost my hardcore characters in Diablo II. I lost my sorceress. Basically, someone befriended me, we did Baal runs for a couple hours, I’m like… this person is pretty chill. My bags were full after killing Baal. So I went to town, took the town portal back to get the rest of my loot; and I don’t know how this person must have been telepathic or something; but they went hostile right as I was loading, I loaded up to like a million firewalls died in like a second. Your deeds will be remembered, and that person really enriched my online experience… I must say.

(Audience laughs)

Tiffani: Luis didn’t realize we had met before.

Luis: I’m not even mad. Maybe in Diablo IV I’ll finally get revenge. So…

Tiffani: Alright, well… John and Luis talked about this expansive open world, and there will still be waypoints to travel around, because I think that’s really core to the fantasy of Sanctuary with so much world to explore we saw the opportunity to add a new feature, and that is mounts.

So, we took a very Diablo approach to this feature, both thematically from a gameplay perspective. So, taking a look at this concept art right here, you’ll be able to swap out the armor pieces, change the saddle, change horse armor, and maybe swap out that Fallen head for a different trophy.

Not only does this add aesthetic customization, but also changes the gameplay. So if you’re in PvP, and you’re running away from a sorceress that’s turned hostile on you, you may want to equip some items that decrease the damage that you take on a mount, or maybe you make your mount go a little bit faster so you can outrun that firewall, or outrun that Blizzard, and keep your ears for another day.

So it’s really important that mounts feel grounded in this world. Everything that we add; you’ll hear me say it time and time again; for this to feel like a dark grounded world, we want these mounts to feel at home in Sanctuary. John, I saw on your desk, you had this picture of a rainbow unicorn?

John: That is not true. It was on fire. If it was on my desk, it was certainly on fire.

Tiffani: Alright, that’s why there’s a fire horse there.

John: Or dead; or flayed; or something else.

Tiffani: We’ll have demon horses, flayed horses. This horse doesn’t even have a face anymore. That feels pretty at home in the world of Sanctuary; and so these are the kinds of mounts that you can expect to ride around>

Because Diablo is an action RPG, we want to get you back into the action as quickly as possible, and we want to do it with some flair. So, we’ve added dismount abilities. Each class will have class-specific abilities that fit their fantasy perfectly. If you are a sorceress, and you just want to get off your horse like normal, you can still do that; or you can turn into an ice storm and freeze everything in your path. Let’s take a look at the Barbarian and the Sorceress, and some of their Mount abilities in action.

Luis: What do you think are they chasing each other or are they friends?

John: I think they’re about to kill each other.

Luis: Probably.

Tiffani: Alright, check this out. Combo dismount abilities. I guess they’re friends for now.

Luis: Don’t trust them.

NEXT: DUNGEONS

BLIZZCON 2019 DIABLO IV: UNVEILED PANEL TRANSCRIPT
1. Intro2. What is Diablo IV?3. Classes4. Character Customization
5. The World6. Dungeons7. Monsters8. Legendary Items

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BlizzCon 2019 Panel Transcripts

Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film.

Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers.

I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com)

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