Revealed at BlizzCon today, Diablo 4 is looking to bring the series back to its darker roots, but that doesn't mean it's not tacking on a few modern conventions. Diablo 4 will eschew the traditional act-based structure for an open-world with social hubs, world events, PvP, and even mounts.
Game director Luis Barriga took the stage with two other Diablo 4 developers for a panel following today's opening ceremony to discuss the new look of Diablo. The team was inspired by Reaper of Souls' Adventure mode, which was a much more open approach to the Diablo structure. In Diablo 4, Blizzard's looking to open the world up even more.
"We are making Diablo 4 open from the ground up," Barriga says. "We are making it an open-world with a non-linear campaign, so you can decide how you want to level."
If you're a story fiend, Barriga reassures that you can still play through the story uninterrupted at your own pace. The idea, it seems, is to open things up a bit more and potentially flesh out the post-game experience, as shown by the reveal of social hubs and world events.
You'll be able to meet up with other players in towns to trade gear and form groups to venture forth into the hellish landscape of the five different biomes of Diablo 4. When you're out in the world, you can come across world events—much more powerful creatures, like the one shown below, that would be a challenge for a solo player. Game producer Tiffany Wat says you won't want to tackle them alone, as they're a little tougher than other encounters.
You can also opt into PvP and fight other adventurers, if that's your jam. And travelling the world takes time, so mounts are also getting added with Diablo 4. You can customize your steed and cruise around the world, and each class will have its own "dismount" ability, letting you do a special attack while hopping off your mount.
Diablo 4 was one of several major announcements during today's BlizzCon opening ceremony. The publishing giant also announced Overwatch 2, a PvE expansion-sequel for Overwatch, and a new expansion for World of Warcraft.
Diablo 4 is currently in development for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. No release date has been set, though the way Barriga tells it, it's not going to be in the near future.
"We're not coming out soon," Barriga jokes. "Not even Blizzard soon."