Diablo IV
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Details
Diablo IV is an upcoming action role-playing game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment, and is the fourth main installment in the Diablo series. The game was announced at BlizzCon 2019 and is scheduled for release on June 6, 2023. Public betas were released in March 2023. Series features such as re-playable, procedurally generated dungeons, and loot-focused character-building will return, while new features such as an open world, and player versus player (PVP) interactions will be incorporated. Players create their character from one of five playable classes, Barbarian, Sorceress, Druid, Rogue, and Necromancer, and guide them through quests and combat in the world of Sanctuary after the resurrection of the demon Lilith.


Gameplay

The core formula for the series' gameplay revolves around gradually obtaining stronger equipment by defeating increasingly difficult enemies. Enemies are fought using different character class skills which can be customized by equipment and talent trees. This concept is used to progress through the story and quests. Enemies are split into monster families which are defined by a theme, combat style, and their location. Each family contains different archetypes that hold different roles allowing for synergies of specialty abilities between family members. To differentiate between them, they have unique silhouettes, stances and weapons.

Creative director Sebastian Stepien explained that the goal was to create a more "grounded" story than Diablo III. In order to achieve this, the plot revolves around the simple folk of Sanctuary rather than "politics, kings, or another high-fantasy theme."

The playable character's effectiveness in combat is determined by their attributes and their boosts from equipped items. Offensive attributes include attack and critical chance which increase damage output. Defensive stats include elemental resistance and defense which increase how much damage can be taken. Diablo IV introduces three new attributes: Angelic, Demonic, and Ancestral Power. Angelic and Demonic Power alter the duration of beneficial and negative effects respectively. Ancestral Power increases the chance of effects being applied to another entity. Weapons and gear have increasing rarity which are a general indicator of their power. The rarest items have unique effects that alter more than just the character's parameters. Gear can be further customised with runes and runewords. These items allow players to upgrade selected items with additional effects. They are split into two groups: condition runes, and effect runes. Effect runes describe the additional effects. Conditions runes describe the situations under which the effect runes will be active. These two items combine to form a runeword that then can be applied to an item. In an interview with lead game designer Joe Shely and senior producer Tiffany Wat, it was revealed that trading and crafting will be available in the game but will be limited to resources outside of the most powerful items. Limited-time seasons return to the game, which alter legendary powers to shift the meta-game.[clarification needed]

Microtransactions are included in the form of cosmetic items. The game cannot be played offline and will require an internet connection.


Environment

Players will be able to traverse through five regions within the Diablo series world of Sanctuary: Scosglen, Fractured Peaks, Dry Steppes, Hawezar, and Kehjistan. Hell will also be a playable area. Procedurally generated dungeons are included, and consist of random layouts of interior and exterior environments. Dungeons are separately instanced, therefore non-party players will not appear. Sanctuary is a fixed area, therefore it will not have the procedurally-generated maps seen in the game's dungeon.[better source needed] Scosglen is a forested coastal area home to druids, werewolves, and drowned-type enemies. Fractured Peaks is a snowy mountainous area containing deep cave systems. Dry Steppes resides in a desert that proves to be so harsh that the inhabitants have turned to cannibalism. Hawezar is home to witches, and has a swamp-type setting. Finally, Kehjistan is a war-ravaged wasteland containing the ruins of a once-prosperous civilization.

The game world is an open world setting; travelling between different regions or dungeons has no loading screens. Additionally, each region can be completed in any order as decided by the player. In order to support these new changes, enemies are scaled to the player (or the party leader in multiplayer) and the story is non-linear. Hardcore mode is present in the game. Select areas within each region have player interactions restricted until sufficient milestones in the story are reached, and such progress will be synced to that of the party leader. Over-world areas have non-party player interactions such as PVP, and boss events that passing players can join. Player population in the world will shift depending on the area. Large settlements will display large populations, and to enforce a sense of desolation, more wild zones will change the number of players shown to others.

When questioned about Diablo IV's atmosphere, ex-game director Luis Barriga stated: "We want users to feel like they're in a medieval city." For the first time in the series all assets are standard 3D game assets and terrain has elevation, allowing for in-game cinematics, and environment interaction.


Plot

Set in the Diablo series' world of Sanctuary, Diablo IV takes place 30 years after the events of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. Cultists have summoned the main antagonist and daughter of Mephisto, Lilith. After the events of previous games, the forces of demons and angels have been depleted, allowing an opening for her to establish power in Sanctuary.

Prior to the game's events, Lilith and the angel Inarius created the realm of Sanctuary to provide refuge for those who wished to escape the eternal conflict between the High Heavens and the Burning Hells. This demon-angel relationship led to the birth of the Nephalem, a race that the protagonist falls under neither Angel nor Demon, but a distinct combination of both. Those in Sanctuary believed that this power would bring attention to their shelter and, as a result, the inhabitants spoke of destroying them. Lilith, not wanting her children to be killed, destroyed any that opposed her, causing Inarius to banish her to the void.