Open World Activities
While Diablo 4 still features a linear story campaign, its new open world allows for variety of side activities – the playtest revealed that those who didn’t mainline the story campaign ended up playing for roughly twice as long as those who did. Side activities includ crafting, world events, PvP and side quests.
The playtest’s most popular activities, however, were Camps, clearable outposts dotted across the game world. Each camp has been overrun in a different way (one has been cursed and turned villagers into salt, another is haunted by a spirit possessing various bodies in a crypt) and, when cleared, will become populated with friendly NPCs and become a waypoint on the map.
Diablo 4 Gameplay Reveal Images
While Diablo 4 will feature a shared world. Blizzard makes clear that it’s fine-tuned the game so that it doesn’t feel like a traditional MMO, instead making player encounters rare, with larger groups only appearing where they’d be contextually expected to.
Dungeons and key story moments are always private to the playing party. Towns will feature a few other players, and the open road will be dotted with them too. Cooperative world events sound as though they’ll feature the largest numbers of collected players, fighting against hordes of enemies or world bosses. New tools will let solo players either find open parties, or join parties in proximity with them.
Diablo 4 will feature three varieties of cutscene, aiming to make sure it rarely breaks the game’s isometric camera angle, but still feels cinematic in some way. Normal NPC conversations will see the camera draw closer, using canned animations. More important conversations will use the same camera angle, but will use hand-crafted animations to get across the story as effectively as possible.
The most important moments will use real-time cutscenes, which take a more cinematic camera style, but will include your character, in their current armour, and with your chosen graphics settings, to keep the game feeling seamless.
These are the main new details announced in Blizzard’s update, but there’s a lot more included in the report about general playtesting findings.
Diablo 4 still doesn’t have a release date, and you shouldn’t expect it anytime soon. We already know quite a lot about the game, however – including how it’s being steered by Gears of War’s Rod Fergusson, how it will feature cosmetic microtransactions, and how it’s been inspired by Junji Ito.