Diablo 4 is unlikely to release before the end of 2022, but regular updates from the development team mean we’re getting a good feel for how the game is likely to pan out. Blizzard Activision’s fresh Q4 dev update on Diablo 4 has revealed lots on how hardcore players will be able to enjoy its endgame content for years to come – and how everyone might lose their lunch over Diablo 4’s vicious monster slaying.
"We can make blood, viscera, and gore even more realistic by having it react properly to the lighting of an environment," said Joe Shely, Game Director for Diablo IV.
"Every monster is built with a skeletal and muscular structure used for killing them in brutal ways. If your character is in the thick of combat, they will be covered in the blood spatter of nearby monsters. Over time, your character’s armor will transition back to being spotless."
New “Skill Driven Deaths” were also shown off. These are finisher-like moves unique to each character class that takes down foes in glitzy ways. A sorceress for instance might freeze a monster and shatter it into hundreds of icy pieces, while a rogue flays the skin off its enemies.
Gear and endgame changes
The Diablo 4 update also went into detail into some changes as to how gear and loot will work in the upcoming game. Legendary powers can now appear across item types, meaning you won't be forced to wear a ring you don’t want just because a power is tied to it. For instance, a sword with a power you really like can be transferred over to a helmet, by extracting the power via a new NPC called the Occultist.
But for the die-hard Diablo player, the endgame is where it's at, and Diablo 4 will be bringing back the Paragon system from Diablo 3 – albeit in a form that is pretty much unrecognizable from what came before.
Once players hit level 50, they’ll unlock the Paragon Board, a grid of linked tiles that confer new bonuses to player abilities as they progress beyond the level cap. Starting from the center and radiating outwards, players will gain normal, magic, rare and legendary skill boost tiles. Some also contain sockets for “glyphs” which are found throughout the game – powerful items that can themselves be leveled up, and further augment the Paragon Board ability bonuses.
When a player reaches the edge of the Paragon Board, they’ll then hit a gate tile, which unlocks an all-new Paragon Board to further enhance their abilities.
"The desired outcome is a personalized set of bonuses that will empower your hero and honor your dedication to their progression, that will remain fun to tweak and adjust over many playthroughs,” explains the post.
It’s a far cry from Diablo 3’s more limited Paragon system then, despite sharing the same name. Though we’ll have to wait to see if increased complexity is what’s needed to increase the endgame fun, too.
- Diablo 4: Everything there is to know so far
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Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of iMore.com. Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.