Diablo IV developers talk about the difficulty of the World Tier, World Bosses and how Legendary items combine the best of the second and third games.
Diablo IV recently launched its closed beta. Finally, concrete information about the game’s features, classes and gameplay cycle has been revealed. What’s more, this time, the news comes straight from Blizzard and focuses on the open-world approach of Diablo IV. Like its predecessors, the fourth instalment will be set in the world of Sanctuary. But unlike its predecessors, its game world is one giant, interconnected labyrinth players can explore at their whim. This is closer in concept to the Adventure Mode introduced in Diablo III: Reaper of Souls.
Diablo IV’s open world caters to all types of players, with featured Player vs Player zones scattered throughout, as well as eight-player “World Boss” battles across five playable regions, similar in size to an Act in previous Diablo titles.
Despite the game’s free-form open-world experience, Blizzard is introducing another system familiar to Diablo III players: the World Tiers.
In an interview with IGN, CEO Rod Ferguson and game director Joe Shely discuss how World Tiers evolved from Diablo III’s difficulty slider. It will give a sense of verticality and progression in the open world of Diablo IV. Players can choose from the first two World Tiers immediately at level 1. Here, the first tier corresponds to the difficulty of Story Mode. After level 50, the areas of the World Tiers are unlocked. Players can progressively unlock additional levels by defeating World Bosses in the highest World Tier available.
In contrast to the difficulty sliders in Diablo Immortal and Diablo III, World Tiers in the fourth instalment offers a more tangible sense of progression. The next tier is locked behind encounters with bosses, which effectively act as gatekeepers. The developers have said that the final World Tier will be locked behind an incredibly challenging boss fight for level 100 characters.
Similarly, Diablo IV’s Legendary Items are an evolution of the Kanai Cube concept introduced in Diablo III, where players can select a legendary power and use it without having to use the original item.
Unlike the Kanai Cube, in Diablo IV, players can transfer the power of a Legendary item from the original item to a new rare item of their choice. This brings back the significance of Diablo II’s rare items. However, it does not diminish the importance of Diablo III Legendary Items.
The closed beta for Diablo IV ends on November 18. Players will not be able to try out these features until early next year. That’s when Blizzard plans to open the beta to more people. The game’s release is not too far away if rumours are to be believed. It is currently set for April 2023.