BlizzCon 2019 Diablo IV Systems and Features Panel Transcript

SHARING THE OPEN WORLD

Angela: So you have checked out the classes, maybe you looked at your skills and talents, and you are about to enter the world of Sanctuary again.

One of the biggest differences in Diablo IV is this idea of a shared and contiguous world. What does that mean in a Diablo game?

So, to start with, the shared world concept doesn’t affect dungeons. Dungeons continue to be private from start to finish, supporting you and optionally up to 3 other players — which is our maximum party size; and what about the campaign then, because the campaign storyline is of course going to send you all around the continent, into these private dungeons, but also to parts of the open world.

You might think that means your campaign moments in the open world are now going to be shared with a bunch of random people; but campaign areas will also start as private — meaning accessible only to you and your party until you have completed the campaign objective for that location; and it is only after that point when it becomes shared like the rest of the open world.

So when we talk about shared open world, we mean you will see players aside your party and you will see different types of open world activities; and activities like Corbach event that was showcased in the demo, ranging anywhere from the more common Juggernaut attacking the coastline all the way up to a huge pestilence demon that is clawing its way out of a farm.

The open world will have things like collectibles, lore books, caches, materials for crafting, as well as dedicated spaces carved out for very specific activities: like open world PvP, or one of the many other open world systems that we are still iterating and will talk about more in a future date. I am sure many of you are curious about the other players part. Right? How many people are you going to be sharing this open world with? — and the number can actually be variable by location; meaning we might make a place less or more populated depending on what is going on there. So our guiding principle on this topic is the feeling we are trying to achieve; and we did try to get this in the demo, if you had a chance to play it; but Sanctuary should feel like a oblique and dangerous place. The more you are out in the open world, on occasion you might run into one or two other players; but most of the time you will be alone; and the exception would be something like the world boss event. That is a huge undertaking where you want to allow more players into that space so they can tackle the challenge together; and then there is towns for the opposite reason.

 

PLAYING WITH OTHERS

Towns are safe places, they make natural gathering spots for grouping of your party, trading, or just chatting; and with all these ways to encounter the players, we want to make sure it is easy to play with them too. So I am going to use one of our lead game designers, Jesse, as a way to illustrate what a social player’s experience might look like.

Jesse would start his campaign and throughout it he might jump into someone else’s to help them out, or he might invite some to his to show him something cool, or just for company; and there shouldn be no friction there. Right? We take the party leaders stay in the campaign area shared with the rest of the party, and everyone would be able to contribute regardless of where they are on their own campaigns.

We didn’t want people to feel like they were stuck in their own story modes just because they are on a slightly different step from someone that they want to actually play with. While Clans, so Jesse will probably form a clan, make a cool clan banner, initiate a lot of clan activities, because that is the kind of thing that he does in real life, he probably uses our in-game voice chat to talk to his clanmates, while he is out doing side quests; or maybe he switches out the party voice chat because he grouped with someone that he was doing a public event with and now they are going to go PvP together.

He might even be doing all this on a console, on a couch with his friend because, as you probably heard, alongside PC, we are developing for console, and we will be supporting two-player couch coop on consoles.

But what if you aren’t the kind of person that like grouping up with people to get your stuff done? Like me. You could be a really good friend of mine, you could be my spouse… I probably don’t want to party up with you… and it is nothing personal. I just like to do things at my own pace. So you will imagine, it is a pretty big barrier for me when a multiplayer game gates content or progression behind a grouping requirement — which makes me really happy to say that Diablo IV is not going in that direction; and all the best items, content, progression will be available to all players regardless of whether they playing solo or with a group.

So for me the campaign is really obvious, right? I love the fact that our campaign areas are going to be private, I’m going to play throughout that entire thing solo; and I might join a clan, probably not participate in any clan activities — I get more likely to engage in the clan bank system, because I love crafting. When crafting gets boring, you run out of reasons to make items, so being able to donate items to my clanmates really appeals to me.

I will probably use text-chat or emotes over voice chat, and I’m still going to the open world for gathering more crafting materials, probably avoid the PvP areas, and target specific events with rewards that I need; but once I am all geared-up, I am just going to go straight into pushing those end-game dungeons, because that’s where I get my private quiet space back.

So Diablo IV does open up Sanctuary to a lot of new shared systems, and hopefully more meaningful connected experiences. The level to which you engage in those connected experiences is still up to you. You can choose to play through the entire game solo — from campaign all the way to end-game — and that will be just as valuable and successful as a way to approach the game, as someone who might choose to group up for the large majority of it.

So, I have mentioned dungeons a few times now, but we barely scratched the surface on those. So I am going to hand this over to Zaven, our lead dungeon designer to go into those details next.

NEXT: DUNGEONS

BLIZZCON 2019 DIABLO IV SYSTEMS & FEATURES PANEL TRANSCRIPT
1. Classes2. Skill & Talents3. Sharing the Open World4. Dungeons
5. Monsters6. Items7. Q&A
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BlizzCon 2019 Panel Transcripts

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