As we’re most likely hours away from Blizzard
revealing the next installment proper in the Diablo
series – with Diablo IV
– we’ve put together a list of things we’d like to see in the sequel. Considering things like the current state of Diablo III
and the excellent Reaper of Souls
expansion we got in 2014, and also looking back at the early days of the franchise with the genre defining one-two action-RPG punch that was Diablo
and Diablo II
It goes without saying but this is all predicated on Diablo IV returning as a top-down action-RPG.
A Darker More Brooding Setting
And with that lets begin at the beginning, with the first two entries in the series – Diablo and Diablo II – developed by the now defunct Blizzard North
. For those that recall walking into a store that sold big-box PC games no doubt you’d recall seeing Diablo II on shelves. With its menacing artwork, deep fiery reds, two-tone look, and logo seemingly set ablaze. And that was only the beginning, once you fired it up you were met with a grim and Gothic world to explore full of dark imagery. And excellent music. With Diablo III providing a wider colour palette and more vibrant locales we’d love to see - at least in the initial moments of Diablo IV - a return to the dark and brooding Diablo of old.
Acting Different - A Step Forward for the Series
Each game in the Diablo series, outside of the original, followed a traditional Act structure for the narrative and how you progressed in the world. A linear approach that pairs well with the progression of levelling your character and growing in skill and power. Start in Act I dispatch all the end of Act bosses and then finish things up with a big bad battle at the end of Act IV. With Diablo IV we’d love to see Blizzard mix things up a bit here, keep the town as a hub structure but add a dimension of non-linear exploration. Yeah, make it more ‘open world’. Plenty of side quests and dungeons not integral to the main story being told, maybe even use Diablo III’s randomly generated Rift approach for key dungeons and other activities to keep it all feeling fresh and different each time you roll a new class.
Brand New Classes Alongside Some Favourites
The Demon Hunter
, and Necromancer
. The building blocks of a traditional RPG meets dungeon crawler. It’s probably safe to assume we’ll see a few of these familiar faces make a return in Diablo IV. With a series as renown as Diablo, people will be disappointed if a certain class doesn’t make it into Version 1.0. Outside of that simple fact, here’s to Blizzard experimenting with something new. Perhaps some class hybrids, remixing and reimagining the old guard with a fresh coat of skill-based paint. Make what’s old new again. That said, we’d still be disappointed if the dual-crossbow wielding Demon Hunter isn’t there.
Expanded and Dynamic Adventure Mode
Arriving as part of the Reaper of Souls expansion
for Diablo III, Adventure Mode introduced a go anywhere approach that let you travel between all the hubs and locations found in each Act. A revamped endgame that also offered randomly generated dungeons in the form of Rifts, the ladder-style Greater Rifts, and a power level journey through the Torment difficulty levels that focused on finding the right Legendary gear for your build. It’s worth noting that all of this came from working within the confines of what was already available in-game – so if we are to get an Adventure Mode 2.0 then it being built from the ground-up as a core part of Diablo IV should result in a more robust and dynamic world to jump into. Events, quests, new stories, and a capacity to support more than four-players, would be a great start. Plus, the idea of a persistent and changing Diablo-world would be quite the thing.
Loot 3.0 - The Return of the Power Fantasy
Which leads us to the main action-RPG driver – shiny, shiny, loot. On that front when looking at the current state of Diablo III, we’d classify that as a little too generous in its drop-rates. The focus as it stands right now is also mostly based on acquiring Set Items. With Diablo IV, we’d love to see a return to more meaningful crafting, a way to make Legendary Items feel unique, incorporate Set Items and augmentation as more than simple damage buffs, whilst dropping the scarcity and drop-rates back down to Reaper of Souls at launch levels. The best way to put our loot dreams in an easy to digest sentence - bring back some of the late-game complexity of Diablo II item modification with the superhero-like feel of Diablo III. Which understood what loot in an action-RPG is supposed to be – power tools.
Cross-Platform and Play Anywhere
At launch, as a PvE action-RPG we’d love for Blizzard to completely dissolve the platform barriers and make Diablo IV available to play on console as well as PC on day one with crossplay and a master account that will let you shift from your desk to your couch or even to your Nintendo Switch
when on the road. Getting to play Diablo III on Nintendo
’s console hybrid this time last year felt monumental, and the excellent job
done on the port proved that Diablo is a style of game and franchise that can work on multiple devices. This might sound contentious, but Diablo is more comfortable to play with a controller than it is a keyboard and mouse. If given the option today with a hypothetical remaster of Diablo II – we’d love to play that again with a controller.
Item Trading and PvP For Those that Want It
Item trading and black-market sales have followed Diablo throughout the years, culminating in the ill-formed Auction House
that launched alongside Diablo III. It’s a component of the action-RPG that people love being able to do – trade items and gear with friends. The only problem is, how do you support this without potential exploits or stop things like bots farming loot to sell online. We’re not entirely sure what the answer is, but it’d be great to see Blizzard find some way to incorporate trading into Diablo IV. And, yeah, PvP for those that want it.
Bring Back Deckard Cain as a Force Ghost