Diablo IV is meant to be the penultimate Diablo game, complete with Diablo III mechanics, Diablo II's style, and never-ending gameplay. Endgame progression is a huge part of that and now Blizzard discusses what could happen with their macabre sequel.
In a recent development update, Blizzard strongly hints Diablo IV will have a paragon-like system that allows gamers to keep progressing well after they hit the level 40 cap. "We haven't decided whether the character leveling and experience system should be finite or infinite. We've been discussing the pros and cons of both," Diablo IV lead systems designer David Kim said.
"We have a couple reasons for having a different experience system in addition to a level cap. A level cap gives us the ability to grant players a sense of completion. But for players who want to go deeper into the game, a second experience system allows us to capture the fun of achieving those really difficult endgame goals and ranks."
Right now, Diablo III's paragon leveling system is infinite. Once you hit level 70, the game doesn't end and you can keep progressing your stats by just playing and playing to grind out EXP. Conversely, in Diablo II, once you hit level 99 there was no more progression for your character outside of items. Most players would hit level 90 or so before petering out and making a new character.
Blizzard wants to avoid this at all costs and allow you to keep playing for as long as you want. The company wants to make the entire linear progression as rewarding and interesting as possible. To do that, they have to add in new incremental bonuses for character progression outside of finding better gear.
The paragon system is a great way to keep the endgame flow going long after players hit the EXP level cap, and I think it'll be good for Diablo IV.
I do think Blizzard has to innovate on this front if they expect to create something that's truly replayable, which of course its entire modus operandi and reason for making new games.
If Blizzard really wants to make Diablo IV this huge MMO-like live service game that doesn't actually end, they'll have to make it more like Diablo III and less like Diablo II, simply because Diablo II was designed with a steadfast ending to endgame progression. The more stuff Blizzard adds to Diablo IV, the more they have to balance. Cross-play between consoles and PC, tons of dungeons and boss battles and a shared-world MMORPG-esque world...all of these things will make the game infinitely more complex to develop systems for.
Diablo IV may release in early 2021, and has been confirmed for PS4, Xbox One and PC. It'll release simultaneously on all platforms, and will feature full native cross-play between them.
Diablo IV is also likely coming to Project Scarlett and PlayStation 5 next-gen consoles.
Diablo IV Coverage Index:
- Diablo IV may have a paragon system, but it might not be infinite
- Diablo IV has cosmetic microtransactions and paid expansions
- Diablo II's best feature returns in Diablo IV
- Diablo IV classes and skills revealed, barb may triple-wield
- Diablo IV is online-only, can't be played offline
- Diablo IV revealed with haunting and macabre trailer
- Diablo IV's MMORPG elements surface with world boss battles
- Diablo IV's missing classes may be Paladin and Amazon
- Diablo IV's trading system sounds horrible
- Diablo IV cross-play is absolutely huge for Blizzard (and gamers)
- Diablo IV won't have skill respecs, gamers must grind for skill tomes
Everything we know about Diablo IV so far:
- 3 classes: Barbarian, Druid, and Sorceress
- Talent trees buff skills
- Randomized dungeons
- Tons of endgame customization
- Legendary items buff skills in unique ways
- Four player co-op in campaign/adventure mode
- World event parties can exceed four players
- Cosmetic microtransactions confirmed
- Will have paid expansions
- Trading is in, along with clans
- Seasonal events
- No skill respeccing
- Online-only shared world
- Runewords are back, can be socketed into legendaries, rares, etc.
- Set 30 years after Diablo III
- Mepistho's daughter Lilith, the Mother of Nephalem, is the antagonist
- PC and console cross-play
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