This happened recently and for this particular milestone, the members of the development team, particularly focused on some aspects of the game. Therefore, the focus so far has been on creating and developing a game zone, called Dry Steppes.
The team had a particular focus on tests in that area, paying attention to aspects such as the campaign's own content, open world elements and mechanics, items and accessories, the inevitable PvP, the inevitable dungeons and a cinematic that accompanies the narrative of that region in particular.
The idea was to play this part of the game with a strong focus and thus identify problems, fix bugs and discuss other important aspects.
According to the Blizzard statement, one of the team's concerns is related to how the cutscenes and conversations will take place in the game. The idea will be to go beyond the classic images of the actors with the texts. The team is thinking about doing something more dynamic and different.
One of these approaches may involve zooming the camera over the characters and thus watching the scene more closely. But always in an isometric perspective. For more complex conversations, the approach may be similar, but with the movements and animations of the characters more dynamic. Here is an example of these interactions:
Another method of telling the story is the inclusion of RTCs (real-time cutscenes). In these animations, the team takes the action of the moment and treats it as if it were a film. It will therefore be a technique used in the most memorable moments of the game.
These moments in real time have yet another advantage that will be the fact that they reveal the characters as they are at the moment, that is, equipped with the armor and weapons that they equip at that moment.
Another aspect focused on these tests was related to the way in which a sanctuary open to exploration (open world) will reveal itself in Diablo IV.
The team intends to develop a vast and alive system that adds diversity and surprise to the player. This, therefore, as the player evolves in his campaign, he is also discovering new zones that will have a dynamic ecosystem. They will have their inhabitants and their own content (as well as quests).
This will also have the advantage of allowing the player to take a break from the main campaign and just explore the world of Sanctuary, or even spend some time creating weapons and equipment, or even participate in multiplayer sessions.
One of the most popular features in this Open World Sanctuary will be the concept of Camps (Fields / Camps). These are locations that are relevant to the game and correspond to zones that have been cleared of enemies and have thus become safe zones for players and WayPoints. Each course will have a unique associated history that will certainly be interesting to discover.
Returning are the Mounts (horses that allow us to transport more items, weapons, armor and loot) and in a world open to exploration this becomes even more important.
According to the statement now revealed, some news are also under development for Mounts. The statement states, “Itemization for mounts also opened up a new axis of progression.”Which may mean more items and accessories to equip the Mounts and, on the other hand, a more intricate evolution system for each one.
One of the concerns in the development of the game has been an attempt that the team has made, despite the online elements of the game, that it does not lose its individual identity and that the player is not constantly seeing other players.
I understand the idea of the team. They want to keep the game more intimate rather than making it a massive game, or something like that: “We find that the game stops feeling like Diablo and the world feels less dangerous when you see other players too often or in too high numbers."
The Blizzard team also reinforced that it is developing and studying new ways to improve the online component.
It was also reinforced that, although the coordination of team efforts is important, and sometimes crucial, to eliminate a certain enemy or overcome certain events, nothing prevents the player from participating solo. In other words, a solo player can enter, complete the event and claim their individual reward.
During the tests carried out in Dry Steppes, the team also had the opportunity to test and correct various bugs regarding Diablo IV client-server connectivity.
Items and Progression
Diablo without items and without progression is not Diablo. During the Diablo IV tests that the team has been doing, in particular the tests done in the Dry Steppes region, the team has had a particular focus on how to create a feeling that progression is something permanent.
I believe what they mean is that each choice will have a real impact on the gameplay and not just at the moment of choice. That is, in the evolution of our character, each decision made in its evolution will be decisive and will have an impact, both on the day of the choice and on the following days.
In this way, the player will be led to think in advance of his goals for and the best way to get there, such as, for example, which talents to acquire, the skills to choose…
More updates from the Diablo IV development team will be revealed in the near future and the theme of the items and progression will be discussed further below.