BlizzConline 2021: Diablo IV: What’s Next Transcript

WEAPONS & IMBUES

JOHN: I love how that ties into the open world aspect, the ability to go to Kehjistan or Hawezar and get these special quests that only the Rogue can get. That touches on one of the things that I love that we’ve done, which is connecting the weapons and equipment to regions.

When you’re exploring the world and you pick up a sword in Kehjistan,
it’s a scimitar. If you’re up in Scosglen, which is up in the north, it’s more like a broadsword.

It’s a subtle thing, but armors you get in different regions look like they’re from the place. Giving that sense of place in the world is something that every time I play the game, I feel it, I see it in subtle ways. It really enhances the overall sense of immersion and experience. I want to see what’s around the corner.

LUIS: The weapons are also, going back all the way to Diablo II, such an integral part of the class, and the ability to augment your weapon through magic, through enhancements is something that really spoke to us when we tried to tap into the core of the class.

Going back to those mercenaries that you could hire, it was always cool to see what kind of special arrow shot they would come with.

It’s something we paid homage to with the Imbue system, all the way from directly elemental Imbues like the Frost Imbue, which feels a lot like the ice arrows that the D2 mercenaries used to shoot.

We expanded it to feel a little gritter, a little darker, and do things like Poison Imbue and Shadow Imbue. The ability to take any sort of attack and mix and match with those Imbues.

JOHN: Once that clicked for me, that I could take any ability and Imbue it with either of those elements, Rain of Arrows with Frost and Rain of Arrows with acid is completely different.

You’re essentially freezing the battlefield, and I just love Poison Imbue because of… the gruesome deaths that all the monsters experience. We’ve had a ton of fun making that art. It’s always fun to see the goatmen melt into nothing. You just kill everything on the screen in a gory mess, which never really gets old. It’s a really flexible way to take a build that you’re already comfortable with, that you already like.

Say you’re really comfortable with Flurry and Shadow Step as your melee skills and you find yourself needing more crowd control, without changing your playstyle, you can just add the Frost Imbue to your bar.

JOHN: Now you’re able to use those same abilities to slow down enemies or build up to a full freeze. Frost Imbue plays pretty well with group play as well. I can freeze an enemy and somebody else can blow it up.

LUIS: Or also, the way that Chills work in the game, they build up to a full freeze. So if your best buddy is a Sorceress player, your Chill spells and your Frost Imbue’s chills will actually build up faster than if you were
using a single player.

Ask to open with Blizzard before you Frost Imbue and you’ll be freezing enemies twice as fast, which is a super-awesome synergy. The last thing that’s worth spending some time talking about with the Rogue is how mobile the class is, how able the class is to close the gap between themselves and the enemy.

Even while mounted, you might find yourself a full screen away and dismounting into a Rain of Arrows, closing the rest of that gap with a Dash, and then getting back out of there, dropping some caltrops.

They can basically control the fluid motion of combat in a way that no other class can. That’s something that, beyond all of the other customization options that you have, whether it’s the playstyle, whether it’s the range at which you engage with enemies, whether it’s the cosmetics, just the sheer mobility of the class lets you adapt to the situation.

Even when you would have totally been toast as another class, a room full of elites, you’re able to use offensive abilities in creative ways. Abilities like Shadow Step, abilities like Shadow Realm, abilities like Dash, you’re able to use them to your advantage in a way that gets you out of a very dangerous situation by picking that one, lone skeleton archer that’s not surrounded by everything else.

You can Shadow Step there, get out of the way, and live to fight another day,
which feels like such a Rogue thing to do.

JOHN: When I play the Rogue, I really do feel surgical precision. I really feel like I can move through the whole screen. It feels kind of effortless and almost sometimes a little unfair. When I go into the Shadow Realm and I’m dashing, I’m like, “Am I cheating? Did I just break the game?”

LUIS: We’ll hear more about PvP in a little bit, but I just couldn’t go without mentioning that some of our most feared PvP players on the team play Rogue.

It’s just the way they’re able to surprise you. You might be with a group of friends and that mobility lets them go to the middle of the group, unleash a Rain of Arrows that’s Frost Imbued and before you know it, you’re all frozen.

Looking at a Rogue while you’re frozen, let me tell you, there are fewer scarier things in our game right now than that.

JOHN: So this was the ultimate blog post. This has been a lot of fun, getting to share a new addition to the campfire; and of course, there probably will be more in the future. We always say there’s a little bit more room in the campfire.

LUIS: That’s right. That pretty much wraps it up for the Rogue. So, why don’t we go to Joe and Careena and learn a little bit more about those open world features that we promised?

NEXT: OPEN WORLD

BLIZZCONLINE 2021 - DIABLO IV: WHAT'S NEXT TRANSCRIPT
1. Rogue Intro2. Specialization3. Weapons & Imbues
4. Open World5. Diablo IV PvP

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