Diablo IV Update - Limitless Endgame Progression, Itemisation Changes & Visual Improvements

Diablo IV Update: Limitless Endgame Progression, Itemisation Changes & Visual Improvements

Although it will be a long while before we get our hands on Blizzard‘s Diablo IV, with the game getting a lengthy delay, it is still exciting to see what the development team is doing on their end with the extra polishing time. In the latest quarterly update, we get a peek at the endgame progression system in Diablo IV, alongside new itemisation changes and the impressive graphical treats that await.

Changing up the Diablo IV endgame with the Paragon Boards

Rather than let gear dictate your characters’ overall strength in Diablo IV, the endgame is all about the Paragon Board system. Upon reaching level 50, characters will start earning the important Paragon points, which can then be used to unlock tiles with various passive bonuses.

The Paragon Board will be key to the endgame in Diablo IV

You might be hunting down small stat bonuses for the variety of stats in the game, or beeline for the Rare tiles that bring bonuses to specific skills that can be enhanced further when meeting certain conditions. There are also tiles that can be equipped with Glyphs, which allow for even more customisation.

Each Paragon Board also houses a Legendary tile at its core. Unlocking this tile will grant a powerful new legendary ability that will have a big impact on how you play. Once you have filled up a board or reached one of the gate tiles, you can select a new board to progress in. Each board will have a unique layout and tile selection, so your endgame in Diablo IV can be very different from others.

Itemisation Changes

Another big change Blizzard is adding in Diablo IV is the return of the +Skill Rank affixes, which should make veteran players really happy.

“As players invest points in skills, they grow in potency, and finding items with +Skill Rank can speed that along,” Diablo IV Lead Systems Designer Joe Piepiora explained. “As a bonus, when the player equips an item with +Skill Rank for a skill they haven’t learned, they will have access to that new ability. It’s a great way to try out new skills before you’re able to invest in them. Getting a lucky drop that nets you a skill you’d like for your build ten levels before you would otherwise have access to it is a huge boost!”

The team has also switched things up, with legendary powers now being able to appear on multiple item slots. No more searching for a specific item just to get the power you want. A new NPC, the Occultist, is also on hand to extract a legendary power from a Legendary item, crystallising it into Essence while destroying the item in the process.

That Essence can then be implanted into another Legendary item, overriding the power that was present in the item at that time. Essence material can also be stored and used at a later time, but Unique Items will still remain as they are.

If you are looking for certain items to get that perfect endgame build in Diablo IV, the team also shared that certain enemy types in the game will drop particular types of items in higher quantities, which should make your hunt much easier.

Diablo IV Visual Effects

Visceral combat is a big part of the series, and that is not going to change with this latest entry. The team is stepping things up with the help of Physically Based Rendering (PBR), which also better supports the core pillars of gameplay – deep hero customization, itemization, and combat readability.

This results in a “Gameplay First” approach, where “moment-to-moment gameplay is the focal point within the composition of Diablo IV: it should draw your attention,” Daniel Briggs, Diablo IV‘s Lead Visual Effects Artist, shared. It is also vital players are able to read the action in all conditions.

“To do this, we reserve visually loud FX for powerful skills, like ultimate abilities, while weaker skills meld into the background. Each class has abilities that range from low to high in costs, cooldowns, and power. In tandem, classes have a range of visual intensity that increases with skill power.”

In addition, we can all look forward to skill-driven deaths, whether you are just starting out or deep into the endgame in Diablo IV. The heroes of Sanctuary can decapitate, bisect, freeze, shatter, eviscerate, and burn your enemies, and there is bound to be even more ways to bring the hurt.

Blood, viscera, and gore will be even more realistic, especially with the new lighting system. It is also helpful that every monster has a skeletal and muscular structure in place that can be affected in different ways. The Sorceress can use lightning to make bodies pop and sizzle, the Barbarian can crush foes into piles of gore, and the Rogue can flay the skin from an enemy, just to name a few.

It is clear that much work is being done for Diablo IV, and with no release date in sight just yet, we can expect more of such updates in the future. The anticipation is certainly high, but from what we have seen thus far, the signs are good. With a potentially exciting endgame awaiting us in Diablo IV, we cannot wait until Sanctuary opens its doors one more time.