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Post by KostaAndreadis @ 04:48pm 21/12/21 | 0 Comments
Albeit in a way that feels like the best of both worlds and something distinctly new. From the very beginning Diablo IV has felt like the next step for the franchise, something new and expansive built on the foundation laid out by previous entries.

As part of a new Quarterly Update delving into itemisation and progression systems in Diablo IV, we get to learn about the new end-game Paragon Board, Skill Affixes rolling as stats, and the ability to extract an item’s Legendary Power via a new character called The Occultist.

From a design perspective it comes down to a philosophy that’s all about “a heavy emphasis on build customization, ensuring that you can have plenty of control over how your hero grows”. This means not simply focusing on Legendary gear (Diablo III) or Skill synergies bolstered by very specific and hard to find items (ala Diablo 2).

Case in point the new Paragon Board, which will act like an end-game progression of sorts, is nothing like the simplified stat-boost system found in Diablo III featuring the same name. Instead this will be an intricate system of branching paths and the ability to add new boards where the big draw will be Legendary bonuses and stats to acquire. You start off in the beginning and unlock various tiles, whereby when you reach one side you can extend with a new board of your choosing.

According to Blizzard, you’ll earn “a set of bonuses that will empower your hero and honour your dedication to their progression, that will remain fun to tweak and adjust over many playthroughs”. It all begins to make a lot more sense when you factor in the four kinds of tiles – Normal, Magic, Rare, and Legendary - which mimic those of actual in-game item rarity. Examples of tiles for a Barbarian as as follows:

Norma: +5 Strength
Magic: 10% Fire Resistance
Rare: Grant 10 Fury per kill, +8% Max Fury
Legendary: While Fury is above 50%, deal 30% more damage

There are also socket tiles where you can place a Glyph found in your adventures through Sanctuary. Adding a Glyph can buff nearby tiles or even provide some massive bonuses based on specific requirements being met.

It’s all part of a detailed end-game system that sounds very cool.

With the Paragon Board system unlocking at Level 50, the latest Quarterly Update also has broader info on how items will work. Fans of Diablo II will be glad to learn that Skill Affixes on items are back, which will add incentive for equipping Magic and Rare items if they’ll better suit your build. These are fairly straight-forward in that they’ll add ranks to specific Skills for a class, with the great thing being that if a Skill is Level 0 it will still gain ranks and be usable. Very cool, and a nice way to trye out new abilities ahead of spending precious skill points.

On top of this is a new system where visiting the mysterious Occultist will allow for Legendary Stats on items to be extracted and then placed on another item.

Blizzard are noting that legendary stats won’t be limited to specific gear ala past games, meaning a certain buff would appear on a weapon or a piece of jewellery. Legendary and Unique Items remain a big part of the experience, though it sounds like they’ll be a lot more flexible in Diablo IV. And with the Occulstist you’ll be able to take a Rare Item and turn it into a Legendary via infusing it with a Legendary Essence.

And with a huge, seamless open world to explore, certain items will be more plentiful in certain regions.

“Sanctuary is a vast world, filled with forlorn trails through werewolf-infested forests, withered heaths crawling with cannibals, and fog-choked graveyards crawling with the restless dead,” writes Blizzard. “There are plenty of enemies and monsters for the hero to encounter. Each of these monsters seem to enjoy collecting certain types of items and will be somewhat more likely to drop those items than others. While bandits are fond of Maces, Crossbows, and Boots, if you’re hunting for a new pair of Pants, you'd do well to kill some of the Drowned instead.”

And with that here’s a new video showcasing the latest version of the game’s visual effects and skill-based combat. In a clip aptly titled “VFX Skill Driven Deaths”.

Head here for the full Diablo IV Quarterly Update - December 2021.

diablo 4blizzard2021quarterly updateparagonskill systemendgame

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