Diablo IV director Luis Barriga and lead system designer David Kim returned today to share their progress on Blizzard’s upcoming dungeon-crawling sequel by way of a new quarterly check-in. This included a look at the updated Diablo IV skill tree, which is literally a tree.
Where before the game’s skills were arranged in a basic menu, the screen on which Diablo IV players will chart their character’s growth now features a magnificent painting of a rather demonic-looking tree. The branches contain skills, upgrades, and passive points, the last of which are then spent on passive skills located in the tree’s fiery roots.
The examples in the gallery below come from the Sorceress skill tree. Ball Lightning, for instance, can be upgraded to disperse as a secondary attack called Crackling Energy once it’s reached maximum range. There’s also a passive skill that makes it so critical hits have a chance to create Crackling Energy as well.
“One last thing we want to point out is that players will not be able to acquire every Skill Tree node,” Kim writes. “We’re currently aiming for 30-40% of the nodes filled in for end game, so that players can have very distinct, and different ways they build out their character.”
The developers also spent some time going over a trait unique to the Sorceress class. Where the Barbarian makes use of a dynamic weapon-swapping system, the Sorceress can equip skills as per usual or slot them as Enchantments instead, with each method bringing different abilities to her arsenal.
Take the classic Meteor spell: Kim explains that if the player chooses to use Meteor as an Enchantment, its flaming rocks will fall on enemies periodically rather than needing to be aimed manually. This seems pretty strong on paper, but the random nature of the Enchantment likely balances things out. Of course, as everything being shown is still in very early stages of development, this can all change before launch.
“The power you gain from Enchantments is extremely significant, and you can currently make builds based around your Enchantments, your active skills, or a mix of both,” Kim adds. “This new system now empowers you to make some interesting choices to strategize around which skills you would want to slot in as an Enchantment, as you won’t be able to put one skill in both places.”
Diablo IV is currently in development for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. A release date has not been announced.