Blizzard promised fans that they’d not only listen to their feedback, but they’ll also be acting on it and introduce some cha-cha-changes to Diablo IV during its incubation phase as development heats up. The first of those changes were revealed a few hours ago, within the company’s first of several promised quarterly updates. Based on feedback from the BlizzCon 2019 show floor where fans got an early taste of the game, Blizzard’s first focus going forward is on the how of the game and its controls, as the original setup wasn’t too popular with anyone who went hands-on with the product.
Here’s the easy to digest breakdown on what’s changing:
- PC players will be able to play with proper controllers
- Primary skills will no longer be bound to your mouse left button, but your keyboard
- Which basically means that movement on PC is once again locked to that clicky button
- Every skill slot can be rebound to custom keys
- This feature is being worked on for controllers as well
- Diablo IV’s user interface is being designed for both console and PC
- No plans currently to bring back “different-sized items” in the inventory according to lead UI designer Angela Del Priore
- Item icons will mix the 3D models with other elements to give them a more “natural texture and realism”
- Brightness and saturation of the icon backgrounds have been toned down
- Secondary visual cues for indicating rarity via the border decoration has been added to create something more visually subtle but accessible
- Inventory layout has been reorganised
- End goal is a “gritty, realistic UI” that is easy to use
- Monsters in Diablo IV are now classified into families such as the Fallen, the Drowned and the new Cannibals.
- Each family has its own quirks and habits, regions they infest and can interact with other families
- Every monster has been reimagined in a “in a darker, more gritty art style” according to senior encounter designer Candace Thomas
- Each monster family has a different combat style and feel
- For example, the Drowned has bruiser, ranged combat, melee combat, swarmer, and dungeon boss archetypes, each with their own role to play
- This is meant to force the player into “interesting positional dilemmas” and create differing encounters
Corpses riddled with bite marks. Splintered bones scraped clean of marrow. Tongues sawed off and eyes gouged out of their skulls. These are the bloody fingerprints the Cannibals leave behind—if they leave behind anything at all. No one is certain where they come from, but some legends claim they are a former tribe of barbarians, banished from Arreat years ago.
Whether their cannibalism led to their exile or developed out of desperation afterward is unknown. The outcasts brought their endless hunger to the Dry Steppes, and from there spread to the far corners of the world to prey on lonesome caravans and unsuspecting villages. The few who have survived encounters with these butchers share the same stories.
They tell of the mad fire that burns in the eyes of all Cannibals, of how eating the flesh of their victims in battle only fuels their hunger for more. They whisper of the unlucky souls spared in the attacks, hauled off like livestock for the raiders to pick clean until their next hunt. And then, they say no more. The silence speaks for them: sometimes it is better to die than to live and remember.Liya Khal’tib
- Cannibal families have four members, each one using weapons such as greatsword cleavers, a lightweight halberd and spiked clubs
- Swarmers will chare in on players with an axe in each hand, while other members will use big sweeping attacks and leaps to close the distance
- Cannibals have no ranged units, instead using their speed and Barbarian heritage to swiftly move in on players
- This results in an enemy who “provides a very different experience and gives the player less time to make thoughtful positioning decisions, thus making combat with these flesh-eaters feel frenetic”
Well that sounds…grim, but in a good way! Diablo IV is still in development and most likely will be for quite a while, but updates from Blizzard detailing improvements and glimpses into ghastly new foes such as the fine young cannibals has me hungry for the end product when it eventually ships.
Last Updated: February 27, 2020