Blizzard’s upcoming fourth iteration of its beloved action RPG series, Diablo 4, is the developer’s hope to bring the franchise back to its core dark fantasy roots in its earlier games. While it will still be a long while before we get to experience the new title, Blizzard has been hard at work to bring the community regular updates to the goings-on in the development process after countless player feedback.
The latest quarterly update discusses one very important aspect of any Diablo game: skills and talents. The new skill system goes back to the franchise’s earlier roots of making impactful decisions at level up; players will be locked to their chosen active and passive skill nodes on each character.
And yes, it is literally a tree.
Picking out an active skill path on the top half opens up literal branches where players pick out various potential upgrades to their skills, depending on the build they aim to focus on. This rubric also applies to the passive skills located at the bottom half too.
By endgame, players would have filled out only “30 – 40%” of the nodes, so that players will end up with very distinct builds from one another.
This new fixed skill tree system stands in contrast to the more loose version seen in Diablo 3, where players can literally swap out their active and passive skills on a whim on a single character, which eliminated the need to create multiple characters and gave little incentive for replay as endgame was the sole focus of this title.
With the revamped skill tree, players can expect to get much more out of the leveling experience and not just Zerg-rush to the endgame. At least, that’s what Blizzard aims to do here. How well this will fare in execution remains to be seen, but does seem promising prospect for players longing for a more focused experience that hasn’t been seen since the heyday of Diablo 2.
While this system seems rather rigid in theory, Blizzard aims to shake things up a little more with unique class mechanics. The Barbarian will receive the Arsenal system, which allows players to swap weapons on the fly, allowing for dynamic, varied playstyles that let them tackle different monster types easily without having to change out actual builds or loadouts.
Sorceress players, on the other hand, will get to enjoy the Enchantment system, which lets them slot skills to either an active slot, or a passive slot. This means that skills like Ball Lightning and Meteor can be activated manually, or be triggered without having to click anything, which frees players up to use other active skills.
Blizzard will unveil the unique class mechanics for the Druid at a later date.
So far, it looks rather promising for Diablo 4. We’re definitely seeing an intent to return to the franchise’s more challenging and grueling roots, in all the best ways possible. The game has yet to receive a release date, though we know it will be coming to the PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Marion has a serious RPG addiction. Sometimes it bleeds into real life; he forgets to sleep because he thinks he has a Witcher’s body clock. Forgive him in advance if he suddenly blurts out terms such as “Mind Flayer” and “Magic Missile”, because never once does he stop thinking about his next Dungeons & Dragons game.