JOE: Definitely. Now, Careena, I know that you’re very excited about PvP.

CAREENA: I’m a huge fan of PvP. I love the first time we all had a chance
as a whole team to play PvP, because the amount of feedback it generated, I think it took the DesignTeam about 3 days to go through it all.

What that showed me is that everyone either loves it or they hate it. I personally love it. I really enjoy it. The way that PvP works is that the Hatred of Mephisto has been bubbling up from Hell and has created these areas in the open world that you can freely walk into that consumes you and makes you turn against your fellow players.

JOE: PvP, even in these areas, these Fields of Hatred, it’s not mandatory.
These are optional places people can choose to go to collect Shards of Hatred that they can collect from killing monsters, from completing events, opening chests, all kinds of ways to earn these things, not necessarily just killing players.

As you earn these Shards of Hatred, they’re in an un-purified state. They’re in a basic state. You need to bring them to a Purification Event in order to turn them into a currency that you can use in the nearby, small encampments around the Fields of Hatred.

What’s neat about that is when you’re trying to purify these things, that’s when everybody nearby finds out and hears, “Someone’s trying to complete a Purification Ritual, we need to go and kill those players and take their shards before they finish.”

Once you purify them, they’re yours, you can’t lose them. But before they’re purified, they’re free game. It’s really important to note that, even if you don’t want to engage with othe PvP players, you can actually explore those areas and collect those Shards of Hatred from specific monsters, but the second you need to turn them in and purify them into a currency where you can spend them on gear, trophies and other content, you are hostile yourself and can be attacked during that single moment.

But, I think that creates a lot of opportunity for you to team up with friends for just that one moment in order to gain the reward you spent so much time collecting.

JOE: You called out earlier that the Shards of Hatred are used for some of the vendors you’d find in the Fields of Hatred, there are some special vendors that only arrive in these areas who’ll have special costumes or new mounts, and weapons, and things along those lines.

Nothing strictly more powerful than stuff you get in other parts of the game, but stuff that speaks to your desire as a PvP player. I think one of the things that’s neat about the system in general is that as a player, if you choose to go hostile, betray the players who are near you, try to get as many Shards of Hatred as you can, you’re going to slowly begin to infuse yourself with that same Curse of Mephisto and you’re going to become a Vessel of Hatred.

Once you do that, everyone within a very large radius of you is going to be able to see you as a threat on the map and they’ll get a bonus for killing you.
So when that occurs, you have a set amount of time you need to survive.

If you’re able to do that without running away or jumping into a town portal to try to escape, if you can do that and finish that period and manage to escape or defeat people who are coming to try to destroy you, you’ll get a really big bonus at the end.

That’s been really exciting to watch in our play tests already. People are wrestling for this status and trying to defend it once they achieve it.

CAREENA: There’s also the ears that you get to collect as a trophy. It harkens back to D2, where I think you could… sell the ears for 1 gold.

I don’t know if we’ll do that. I know we played with them as a currency at one point, but I think right now it’s just a cool trophy that you get to collect and show off.

JOE: Yeah, right now, a very cool trophy. The thing that was neat about the D2 ears was, you could fill up your whole inventory with them, being able to see the people that you took the ears from, seeing their character names on there.

It was always the interesting, fun part and proof that “Yeah, I got that person that time.” We want to make sure we embraced that aspect of it. That’s the important part for u. I think that’s going to be a great call back to Diablo II PvP.

Yeah. I love where PvP is going and I love that it is only one part of how large and open the world is, and really harkens back to the adventurer in me when I play the game. How do you feel?

JOE: I’m super excited. There’s so much to look forward to in Diablo IV right now. What we talked about today just scratches the surface. In general, as a Diablo fan, there’s a lot to be looking forward to in the franchise in the future.

Thank you so much for watching today. We look forward to speaking to you more about this game and others in the future.

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BlizzCon 2019 Panel Transcripts