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Diablo 4 endgame progression is still undecided

Diablo 4 Concept Art
(Image credit: Blizzard)

Diablo 4's reveal at BlizzCon has naturally led to a mountain of feedback, which lead systems designer David Kim has started to address in a blog post, as well as clarifying a few features and asking for more feedback. 

Blizzard showed off a surprising amount of the upcoming RPG given that it's just been unveiled, including a playable demo, and the developer is already planning some changes based on players' reactions to the build. It's apparently discussing ways to improve base items and give them a better variety of affixes, and it's redesigning Ancient Items.

"We completely agree with the community sentiment—Ancients as they are don’t really serve a clear purpose in Diablo IV," writes Kim. "We should have done a better job of explaining the role of Ancient Items in Diablo IV. We had a preliminary direction to share, but you’ve brought up some great points, so we’re revisiting our designs with your feedback in mind."

Items will be the subject of another post that's coming soon. 

Kim also clarifies that skills will not be locked to specific slots. The demo UI didn't let players pick their skills and choose what slot to assign them to, but this will be supported in the final build. It will be an open system like Diablo 3. He also clarifies how power is gained, noting that it doesn't come mostly from items, instead being doled out when levelling up and through skill ranks and talents, as well as items. 

Diablo 4 is replacing its predecessor's Rifts with a dungeons dotted around the world that can be entered when you loot their keys, but it wasn't completely clear how they'll differ from the last game's random pocket dimensions. 

"Keyed Dungeons introduce greater challenges as their tiers increase through Dungeon Affixes," explains Kim. "The majority of dungeons are real places in the world, and players will know some information about them including what types of monsters, events, and layouts to expect. With this information, as well as the specific Dungeon Affixes being displayed on the key, players will be able to strategize their approach before going into the dungeon. We believe this is the biggest change from Diablo III Rifts: the added planning and strategizing that takes place before you decide to run a Keyed Dungeon."

It seems like they'll be something you'll want to build up to. Much of the end game is still up in the air, however, including the progression system. Blizzard hasn't settled on a cap or an infinite system, and it's looking for feedback from prospective players.  It will be a second system on top of the capped level system. In tandem, Kim explains, Blizzard hopes they'll give players a sense of completion while still encouraging them to complete endgame objectives.

If you've got some opinions on endgame progression, leave a comment for Blizzard.

Fraser Brown

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long. He thinks labradoodles are the best dogs but doesn't get to write about them much.