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Diablo IV Closes The Year With Latest Quarterly Update

Focuses on skill trees and itemization

Joseph Bradford Posted:
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Diablo IV is closing out the year with their December quarterly update, this time focusing in on itemization and visual effects. Additionally, the team talked about bringing back the Paragon system - this time with a new twist.

In a new quarterly update with new game director Joe Shely, Blizzard talks a bit about what Diablo IVi players can look forward to when they finally can jump into the highly anticipated follow-up to the franchise. First up is itemization, and the return of +Skills affixes to items, with a few tweaks. One major tweak is that if you pick up an item with a skill you haven't learned, you can still use the item. 

In Diablo IV, the +Skill Rank affix returns. As players invest points in skills, they grow in potency, and finding items with +Skill Rank can speed that along. 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!

Legendary Items are also getting a tweak in the way Legendary Powers work. Now, instead of hunting for a specific item to get a power, powers themselves can appear on any class of item, be it chestplate, ring or more. This means you won't need to hunt for a specific item to get a power, but what happens if you find a power on an item you don't want it on? Thankfully, Diablo IV's Occultist can help you there.

The Occultist allows you to deconstruct items in order to extract the power to use on another item. The extracted power - the Essence - replaces the power currently on the item you're applyng it to, and thankfully too you needn't use it right away. Essences can be stored and used at a later time.

The update also talks about the Paragon board, which unlocks at level 50 for each class. The team states that in Diablo IV there is heavy emphasis on custimization, and the board aims to do just that.

In Diablo IV, we have placed a heavy emphasis on build customization, ensuring that you can have plenty of control over how your hero grows. The Paragon Board unlocks for each class at level 50 and is a distillation of this focus. Your hero begins their journey through the Paragon system at the central starting tile of their class’s intro board, and from there, you make selections radiating outward. Once your hero reaches a gate tile, you’ll choose which new paragon board you would like to attach to at that location. 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.

The board itself is comprised of multiple tile types, from Normal tiles that confer a small boost in power to Legendary tiles which give players a new Legendary ability once unlocked. Additionally, the board can be augmented further with Socket tiles that hold Glyphs which give a boost in power based on the number of active tiles in the Glyph's radius.

Finally, the ARPG delves into the VFX of the upcoming game, talking a bit about what the team is doing to make Sanctuary the most visually pleasing - and gory - iteration of Diablo yet.

You can check out the full post on the Diablo IV website. Diablo IV has had some shakeups to its leadership in the wake of the Activision Blizzard lawsuit fallout, with former game director Luis Barriga being let go earlier this year. New game director Joe Shely took over and seemingly has the ARPG's development humming along, though it seems we won't be seeing Diablo IV hit digital shelves anytime soon.


lotrlore

Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore