Blizzard confirms some interesting new features coming to Diablo 4 on PC, including full controller support and total controller remapping/custom keybinding.
Diablo 4 is being developed for consoles and PC simultaneously, and Blizzard is going through great lengths to make the two versions as uniform as possible. This is actually the first time a Diablo game is getting made for two platforms at once--that could be both a good and bad thing.
It's only natural that the two platforms will share a lot of features in common, like being able to use a controller on both PC and consoles. There's also parity in aesthetic and UI design decisions. The inclusion of cross-platform controller support is affecting menu presentation, which is arguably one of the game's most important feature. For example, Diablo 4's skill menu is being designed so that it's controller-friendly, and a lot of the game's development decisions will center around compromising.
"We wanted to give players the ability to switch between the two options freely, so our UI needed to be unified enough that swapping hardware inputs on-the-fly wouldn't throw people completely off kilter," Diablo 4's lead UI manager Angela Del Priore said in an update.
"A unified UI means our layouts are more grid-based for ease of navigation, but it doesn't necessarily mean an identical interaction flow."
Another nifty feature is being able to customize your skill bar, button layouts, and keybindings whenever you want.
"In addition to giving players the freedom to assign any skill to any slot from the get-go, all skill slots can now have their keys rebound. We're committed to supporting skill rebinding for controllers as well."
Blizzard also confirmed Diablo 4 will have 2-player couch co-op, which is a welcome bonus. But remember that Diablo 4 is an online-only game and can't be played offline.
Diablo 4 has a huge QoL improvement for co-op that gives each player their own separate inventory screen that can be opened up wherever they are. In Diablo III, gamers had to take turns checking their gear or setting up skills when playing co-op.
The other updates on Diablo 4 concerns monsters and monster design, but ultimately the blog post wasn't all that meaty. A lot of these things we could've guessed but it's still good to get a confirmation.
Based on the incredibly slow pace Blizzard is making on Diablo 4, and it's approach to constantly second-guessing itself and asking for feedback, Diablo 4 probably won't be released until 2023 at the earliest.
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