BlizzCon 2019 Diablo IV Systems and Features Panel Transcript

Q&A

Tim: So over the past 24 hours or so, since we announced this game, you guys have been submitting questions. Some of you right here on the floor. There have been places for you to hand in your questions. We have also been looking online. We got Twitter sending us questions, Reddit sending questions, even as many questions as usual. I have taken a list of some of the most asked questions that we have got, and now I am going to ask our panel.

So starting right in. One of the most common one that we have got, a lot of people want to know more about monetization, or business model, or how do I buy this game. So how do I buy Diablo IV? I will divert that one over to Joe Shely.

Joe: So, of course, it is very early days here, but what I can confirm is that we will sell a base game, and expansions; and I can also confirm that we will not sell power.

Tim: I think that is the answer that they wanted to hear. Ok. On to the next one. Lot of questions we saw from various sources: Customization of my build. People want to know… am I only customizing my build through the Legendaries that I choose, or are there other options?

David: Yes. Customization is one of the main biggest goals in Diablo IV. So, of course, we will have more options outside of just Legendaries. So for example, I will talk a little bit about the skill point system. As you put points into a specific skill, they will unlock brand-new things.

For example, the Unstoppable that Joe talked about, it doesn’t appear from Rank 1 of that shout, but as you rank it up, new parts of the skill unlock, brand-new components are unlocked, as well as the power goes up. So that’s one example.

On the talent tree side, you can check it out in the demo to get a feel of where we are at currently, but the hoop is even if two players are going the same sort of build — say like we are both going a Lightning build, then we have enough choices within the talent tree system for us to make our kind of adjustments that cater specifically to me, and to the other person; and then, on the other side, item affixes — we, of course, want to have even more choices, and even more playstyle choices specifically; so we are going to be looking for opportunities to add as much customization as possible across the board.

Tim: Alright. Diverse answer. On to the next one. We have got a lot of questions along the line of: Will I be able to solo in this game? But also, will it support a full Offline Mode? Tricky question.

Angela: So we are not going to support an Offline Mode, but as I said before, nothing in Diablo IV is going to require partying up. You can play Solo, and dungeons are private, and campaign quest areas will remain private.

Tim: We saw a million questions about trading. We have people asking is there trading? Some people in the audience agree. They want to know. Is there trading? They want to know how it is implemented, how does it work, is it like D2, is it like D3?

Zaven: Our underlying philosophy here is we think it is the best when you can kill a monster, and get loot that way. So we want to make sure that whatever we do, we kinda respect that part of Diablo. It is core to Diablo. But with that in mind, we also do want to allow trading. So our current strategy is this, and you know, it is still early days — so we really want to hear your feedback on this in particular.

So the idea is that we have kinda three different types of tradeable items, so to speak: there is a class of item (a bunch of items) that can always be traded, no matter what, freely. I can give it to Angela. She can give it to David. He can give it to Joe. So on, and so forth.

— and then, we can also have a class of items that are tradeable one time. So I have an item. I use it for a year, and then I’m like: “I don’t want this item anymore;” and I give it to Angela. But now, she can’t trade it anymore. It is bound to her. So things like that can only be traded one time.

— and then, we are also thinking that– probably — the highest quality, most powerful things in the game, especially in that area, there should be items that you can’t trade at all. That you have to earn yourself. You have to go do those end-game dungeons, and kill monsters, etc. to get that loot.

So you can kinda see, just like with these very simple kinda gradient of things and options here, where we kinda do the call off when do something becomes a one-time trade, or a never trade — we have a lot of flexibility there; and we are going to be listening to you, guys, in kinda getting that feedback as well. So please, let us know what you think.

Tim: Complicated answer, but the important part of the tale there: “Let us know what you think.” So if you have opinions on that, make sure they come our way. I mean you can yell them at us, but it is even better if you go online and talk about it. We are going to be reading that. Alright, next up. Big question around PvP. We mentioned that it will be in the game. People are curious, though. What does that do to Balance? Are we going to have separate rules for PvP? Is this going to affect the Balance of the PvE experience? That is a tricky question.

David: That is a great question, I think, because many people must have noticed that we have the same source of skills, same talents, and same items in both PvP and PvE. So I guess that is a natural question that you would ask. Right? But our goal is to have enough choices and options available for players; and what that means, I think, is the best skills, the best talents, and the best items in PvP would be very different from the set of skills, items, and talents in PvE that are the best.

So the current plan is to make sure to locate issues as they arrive, and strategically make the right tuning choices to make balance good in both formats. Right? So every balance probably is so different. So we will have to see what the problem is, and then fix it that way; but we will have enough tuning nobs across these three systems to be able to balance tune properly.

Tim: Next big one from the internet. They really wanted to know: Legendaries, these are important to the game, but as varied a bit across the different Diablos of how they drop, how common are they going to be? As some people even commented, is it going to be like D3 where they basically fall from the sky? Good question. Legendaries. How much are they going to drop. How big are they in my loots?

Joe: So Legendaries will not rain from the sky in Diablo IV. When you are playing through Diablo IV, and you are playing harder and harder content, you are going to be getting better and better items; and because of this, we don’t think that there is any need, at least currently, to modify the droprates of Legendaries as you get further and further into end-game.

Tim: Next one. This question is about speed of combat. So we have a few people asking us in various different ways: what is the speed of combat going to be in Diablo IV? Is it going to be as fast-paced as it was in Diablo III? Are you guys going to try and slow it down a little bit? Is it more tactical? Good question.

Zaven: For those of you who have played Greater Rifts in Diablo III, you might know that there is like a timer there; and one of the side effects of doing things like that and you have learned a lot about this, is that it makes you want to rush through, skip things, you start to get very specific about what you want to kill and what you want to do.

So for the Dungeon Key end-game experience we can talk about right now, the plan is that since we have all these various dungeons, and they will all have different objectives, you need to do a different thing to complete each of those dungeons. It is going to mean that the pace of combat, and the exact thing you are valueing in everyone of those dungeons, is going to be very different. Particularly when you add dungeon affixes.

So for example, in Domhainne Tunnels, the objective is: kill all monsters — having the Lightning pulse chase you throughout that dungeon, there is constant pressure. You have to kill everything to complete the objective. Comparing that to Garan Hold, where you have to find the Fallen Idols, you have a bit of more leeway.

So even just that small affix in two different dungeons can yield a very different experience; and on top of that, that short distance evade that Joe mentioned; and what that does is it really helps make a lot of the combat very intensional, particularly at higher levels of play. So you have to be very careful. Very good at timing your combat, and your evade skills when you are doing this stuff. So the plan is to make it a little bit more intense experience.

David: I guess, one thing to add is that it kinda relates to what Joe was talking about, of more powerful monsters drop more powerful loot. So naturally, you are going to be wanting to go and take on these like really tough challenges. Right? But at the same time, we believe that replayability is best when you have a very played experience (like Zaven was talking about). One of the other hooks is we are going to make sure that players at least have some hooks to be able to play different varied difficulty content in the end-game, to help with the replayability as well.

Tim: So, it is going to take a variety of forms, but intensional combat. Next up: there were a number of questions about item randomization. Are we going to have random stats on the items that are dropping, or will each item actually have static stats on it?

Angela: So affixes will be randomized values within a range — which means, you aren’t just comparing attack and defense on an item, you could have two items that contain the same affix effect, but it could have completely different values; and we are also looking into or planning to support modify and customizing your affixes. We just don’t know what form that will take yet.

Tim: Next question up. A number of questions around How are we going to support the game once it is live. So people mentioned that they really enjoyed playing Seasons, other people said they wanted to see more; questions about are there going to be major content drops, what does that loot is going to look like. So post-game support Seasons. That kind of stuff. Ahh… broad weird question.

David: Yeah. Of course we are going to have Seasons in Diablo IV. The main goal for Seasons will be to change up the player experience whenever they play from Season to Season. We don’t have all the details worked out yet in order to achieve that goal; but I want to give you a very slight example for it. Right? So if we just look at just the Legendary items slides, that we can maybe talk about, we are planning to introducing brand-new Legendary items to Seasons.

On top of that, we want to spotlight sub-sets of different Legendary items from Season to Season, so best builds and what you are exploring can change a little bit. So I am not saying this is the only thing that is going to change the player experience. Of course, we are going to try to hit it at all different angles across the whole game; but that is our goal; and we will, of course, have more information to share in the future on the specifics.

Tim: Alright. We have time for one more question. I am going to go to this one because it was heavily asked. Everybody wants to know: Will we have Hardcore in Diablo IV?

Zaven: Of course we are going to have Hardcore Mode. It wouldn’t be a Diablo game without it. You know, Hardcore is actually– it was basically invented by the community in Diablo I. It was officially supported starting in Diablo II. We are going to carry on that legacy. We will absolutely going to support Hardcore Mode in Diablo IV.

Tim: There you go. Hardcore Mode is a Yes! That unfortunately is all the time we have; but it doesn’t mean you should stop sending us your questions. We have just started the effort of learning how to make a better Diablo IV game. There are still a lot of game to make. We want to see you posting online, telling us what it is you expect to make this game amazing. We are going to be reading it, and we are going to be responding to it in the future.

So thank you, everybody, for coming. If you are here on the floor, you can go play more Diablo IV right now behind you. If you are watching from home, there are two more panels coming up later today. Thank you, everybody.

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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