Reaction: Full Diablo Presentation BlizzConline Feb 20, 2021
20 February, 2021...
I did a reaction to the keynote and deep dive for Diablo from Blizzconline.
Sadly, despite turning the desktop volume down in OBS my voice was still hard to hear even with 100% microphone.
So I'm to summarize some of the points I made here.
I've played the 1st and some of the 2nd.
My childhood friend Mike played the 2nd in full and I was there to watch it all.
Regardless the first Diablo was the first computer game I ever played and enjoyed on a computer so it's nostalgic.
So I've always stayed on top with the news about the game up to today.
Yes they "re-introduced" the Rogue from Diablo 1.
In Diablo 2, the rogues were only part of the background.
They only had the assassin as a dexterity based class as of Diablo 2.
I always thought it was kind of weird doing that as the assassin's' kit wasn't exactly the same as the classic rogue.
The rogue showcase revealed 3 skill lines.
- Shadow World
- Combo Points
- Exploit Weakness
Shadow World lets your rogue enter the shadow world to bypass enemies like DND's/Pathfinder's shadow walk spell.
You can also drag like up to 3 enemies in with you and deal with them there.
This is a "divide and conquer" tactic.
Combo counter is similar to Warframe's melee combo counter as the more hits you do the more damage you do to the enemies.
And if you stop attacking this combo counter either vanishes or becomes weaker.
Not entirely sure if it's identical to Warframe though.
The final skill/skill line is along the idea of critical hits.
As you're fighting one enemy gets marked and if you are fast enough to hit/shoot that enemy you do more damage.
How much more?
Dunno, they didn't explain.
You can also add elemental enhancements to modify your basic attacks.
Diabloe 4 calls them "elemental imbues" or something along those lines.
Ice will freeze enemies if you hit enemies enough for example.
Path of Exile Comparison
Path of Exile long since had these kinds of elemental differences, in fact they have even more in their skill tree to choose from.
Diablo 4's selection here seems greatly limited compared to the options available in Path of Exile.
Granted, the abilities in Diablo 4 aren't all seen in Path of Exile however few they are.
There is no Shadow World ability in Path of Exile for example.
There's more character appearance customization compared to previous Diablo games and even Path of Exile.
You can change the look of your character by finding/getting cosmetics.
Whether they're found in game or through micro-transactions wasn't explained.
Unfortunately the class is gender locked just as it was in previous Diablo games and just like Path of Exile.
The Open World
From the presentation I gathered that the open world of Diablo 4 was going to be way, way larger than previous games.
They have horse mounts and variations of the horse for travelling the open world similar to Guild Wars 2.
They still didn't do any real mounted combat like the Mount & Blade series.
Instead like Guild Wars 2, you have dismounts that also launch attacks.
Except in Guild Wars 2, dismount attacks also have extra effects.
In Diablo 4, you just have really fancy dismount attacks.
They also talked about camps or encampments.
These reminded me of Fates in Final Fantasy Online.
It's not world bosses.
It's like an above ground kind of delve (from Elder Scrolls Online) or dungeon.
And apparently it's available to all players.
Once you beat it and clear it of evil it becomes a regular town with NPCs, quest givers and perhaps even dungeon entrances.
As the devs say, "You're resettling Sanctum" after the events of Reaper of Souls.
Whether there are a set number of camps in the open world for all players or they continuously spawn is unknown.
Will the re-settled town be attacked by monsters again and become a monster den again, meaning players will once again have to clear it?
Though it reminds me of New World's idea of attacking player owned settlements with waves of monsters.
This also seems to be a big thing they've been playing with in Diablo 4.
PVP is now contained to areas of hatred.
These places are contaminated with Mephisto's hatred, causing players to attack other "heroic" players.
These PVP areas are optional and apparently you aren't automatically able to PVP until you purify shards of hatred.
Shards of Hatred
So in these Fields of Hatred, you kill monsters and do other quests and things and collect shards of hatred.
PVP can only happen when you try to purify shards of hatred so that they become actual currency that can't be lost in your inventory and can buy pvp related items (that are no more powerful than other items, I suppose they have special looks to them).
When you try to purify that's when other players can kill you and take your shards.
And this purification process seems to take a certain amount of time.
It's kind of like a horde mode or survival mode where you have to survive a certain amount of time before getting your purified shards.
This is definitely interesting in that pvp only happens at these moments.
Vessel of Hatred
If you kill enough players, you absorb enough hatred to become a vessel of hatred.
This is kind of like getting a kill streak in other games.
Now every player nearby automatically sees you and knows where you are and can come and kill you.
This too is a survival, timed mission thing.
If you survive the attacks of these players to the end of the time period you get huge bonuses of some sort.
Perhaps to shards of hatred?
Not explained in detail.
If an enemy player kills you they get huge bonuses instead.
So I can see the appeal of this pvp mode in an open world version of Diablo 4.
This would also be interesting to see happen in other games like Elder Scrolls Online or Path of Exile.
I may not be a pvp fan however I find the idea amazing enough that I'd be tempted to try it out once in awhile.
The mobile game was mentioned in the Diablo keynote presentation.
There was a deep dive however I didn't react to it.
I'm not a big fan of mobile games in general as they lack the depth or control finesse of the PC versions.
They did mention they were making process and that it was set between the events of Diablo 2 and 3.
Diablo 2 Resurrected
Finally, there was a lot of talk of "Diablo 2: Resurrected".
This is the remastered version of Diablo 2 and all its expansions.
When they showed the previous graphics in the presentation of Diablo 1 and Diablo 2, I didn't really remember it being quite that bad for Diablo 2.
Diablo 1 was definitely pixelated compared to today's standards.
So updating it to the latest engine is a good move.
They were also going to do it for all of the cinematics.
The only concern is whether it's going to turn out great as a whole considering the disaster that was Warcraft 3 Reforged.
Whether there'll be massive changes to gameplay mechanics is yet to be known or clear to me.
Would I play it again?
Diablo 1 or Diablo 2?
Diablo 2 maybe.
Diablo 1 I played to death.
The Diablo presentation from Blizzconline was okay though it was certainly nothing mind blowing.
I know some YouTube creators in the game space felt this Blizzcon was a bit lacking.
I did appreciate the actual gameplay footage (hopefully the real thing and not a forgery as we've seen from companies like CD Projekt Red for Cyberpunk 2077 and EA Bioware's Anthem).
I also remain skeptical how good the quality of Diablo 2 Resurrected will be considering the Warcraft 3 Reforged fiasco.