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September Diablo IV Developer update (Skills/Talents/Endgame)


Gold Member
Source: https://news.blizzard.com/en-us/diablo4/23529210/diablo-iv-quarterly-update-september-2020

Our Lead Systems Designer, David Kim, will take us on a deep dive into the ins and outs of the new Skills and Talent systems. We are currently playtesting the new systems, and the early feedback is super promising. I hope you enjoy it, and as always, we’ll be following conversations on our forums as well as other community sites.

Ancestral/Demonic/Angelic Powers

To begin, some of you let us know that the fantasy of Ancestral/Demonic/Angelic Power just isn’t cool enough in the current version of the pitch. Duly noted! Another problem we identified was the ratio of effort to rewards. For example, in order to gain specific, minor bonuses, players would most likely have to carry around several extra pieces of gear, each with different amounts of Ancestral/Demonic/Angelic Power on them. You would then need to constantly calculate each of the power levels of those items and compare with their overall power. It felt like an excessive amount of bookkeeping for the player.

However, one thing we really liked about the system was the gameplay of managing stats in meaningful ways to hit certain bonus thresholds that then make your items better suited for the playstyle you are going for. We need some more time for iteration/rework here and look forward to sharing more on itemization in our next quarterly blog.

Legendary Items
We are exploring some big changes in this space for two reasons:

1. We agree with the feedback that a character’s power is currently too dependent on items. We plan to put more of the player’s power back into the character to make build choices more impactful, rather than have the majority of player power coming from the items they have equipped. That said, it’s important that we strike the right balance so that itemization choices always feel meaningful.

2. We’ve also had very mixed team feedback regarding core itemization. We’re currently looking at how to best differentiate our various item qualities. For example, should Magic quality items have higher affix stats than Rare items?

New Skill System
As Luis mentioned, we have made some major changes to Diablo IV’s Skills and Talent systems. We’ve been reading through a lot of the comments from the community and agree that the Talent system needs more depth. Similarly, Skill system progression felt too simple, which created issues where a player would have no meaningful reason to spend their skill points. With this valuable feedback in mind, we’ve have been iterating on a new Skill System.

The upper Skills section is where you will spend the Skill Points that you earn by leveling up. Here, you unlock brand new skills, unlock additional functionality for these skills, and unlock Passive Points that you can then spend on the lower Passive section of the tree.

The Skill Tree you see above consists of many specific nodes, a sample of which you can see in the screenshots above. If we imagine every single node on that massive Skill Tree affecting different skills in different ways, the path that you decide to take will determine big power increases and playstyle choices.

The Passive part of this system is where you will find more general upgrades to your character. These effects are not specific to particular skills. Therefore, the Skill Tree will have a good mix of all types of different choices for players to make.

One last thing we want to point out is that players will not be able to acquire every Skill Tree node. 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.

For the Sorceress, we’ve been trying out the Enchantment System. This is how it works:

Sorceress skills can be placed into two locations: an active skill slot (that every other class also has access to), and an Enchantment slot. If you place a skill in the Enchantment slot, you can no longer use it as an active skill, but your character instead gains a secondary bonus power.

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.

This system is intended to provide more depth and replayability than what Paragon currently offers in Diablo III. We, and many Blizzard gamers, have talked about the concept of “easy to learn, difficult to master.” We believe that the end game progression system is where the difficult to master component will come in, and should meet the expectations of the most hardcore Diablo players out there.

We are excited to read through the feedback from the community regarding our revamped Skill and Talent system as well as our new Sorceress Enchantment system. We are always reading through the comments on our forums, Reddit, social media, and more for your feedback.


The sorceress enchantment system is looking promising. It takes a meaningful approach and probably will allow for flexible playstyles.

The talent tree needs Work, it needs adjustment in terms of "easy to learn hard to master, almost Impossible to perfect" it needs more layers of combinations and Interactions.

Maybe it needs even more, braver focus on skill ideas.

Mass vs. Single Target,
DoT vs. Burst,
Distance vs. Close-up
Fast hits vs. Massive Hits
Single Skill vs. Multiple Skills (Frozen+Lightning)


The Endgame we'll See..I guess.

How about we collect ideas Here at GAF and someone shares them in a big E-Mail to Blizz or in their Forums?
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There was a game, maybe Two Worlds, where you could make your own spells by mixing element + type (bolt, meteor) and after effect. something along those lines.

I would like to see Diablo to something similar, so that a meteor could be ice, fire, lightning etc. Really customize spells to make them unique.


I'm really liking the dev team's focus on player feedback. The WoW team has also been doing very well in that area with development of the Shadowlands expansion.

The skill tree concept looks pretty solid and I'm hoping we can make some different distinct VIABLE builds. I'm wondering how permanent the skill choices are or if we can just swap them on the fly like in Diablo 3.
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Seeing as it seems so far off I think it would be best if they released Diablo 2 remastered soon (or at all. Just give us a remastered version. Please).


I guess Path of Exile really did, finally, get Blizzard to sit up and try to compete again. I dunno, though; there's something about new Blizzard that gives me so little faith this will be worthwhile. That it has followed so "relatively" close after D3 makes it feel like it's new Blizz reactionary vs. old Blizz visionary.


What are the chances Activision screws this up?
Diablo 3 was such a disappointment for me.

I didn't like the "public event" where there were 30 people fighting a boss monster during blizzcon.
I'm skeptical of this game, let's hope they deliver.


What are the chances Activision screws this up?
Diablo 3 was such a disappointment for me.

I didn't like the "public event" where there were 30 people fighting a boss monster during blizzcon.
I'm skeptical of this game, let's hope they deliver.

To be fair D3 launched in a horrible state and is now really really good in my opinion - a gadzillion patches and overhauls later...


Looks good to me. Any chance this game will be out anytime soon? The Blizzard announce to release schedule is frustrating.. Not really looking to get hyped on a game that's forever away.


Looks interesting. It's not POE levels of crazy skill tree wise but a big step up from D3. This game seems to be progressing at a good clip. I'm hoping we see this sooner rather than later.


So..... we're not seeing this for another 2-3 years, right? I really loved my time with Diablo III, but I stopped playing quite some time ago.


The Sorceress spells looks really weak in the footage I've seen, I hope they update them and make them look more powerful... They just look puny xD.


We ain't outta here in ten minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space
Fuck, I'm going to play this, aren't I?

I'm going to give money to Blizzard again and play this on release day, aren't I?

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Bitmap Frogs

Mr. Community
Everything seems nice, but we're so far from release it's hard for me to get excited about it.

I'm glad they're making a premiere arpg again tho.


Gold Member
As a long time Blizzard fan, this really doesn't excite me anymore.

Diablo 3 still stings a lot, wow expansions aren't that great anymore, and I suspect this will be no different.

The veterans has left, and Blizzard are very bad at receive user feedback.

I probably get this down the line, but this time it's not important to get there day one.


Gold Member
I totally get these kind of mash fests are pure arcade action, but would be great if characters and enemies reacted more to the objects hitting them. Like most games out there, aside from stun, freeze, slow, most attacks don't affect the character/enemies movement at all.

- You can have a creature at 1 HP and it acts like it's full health

- You can slash and hack at monsters and it's like swinging through air and hitting 10 enemies at once

- In the GIF above, one of the monsters on the left gets nailed with two flaming meteor balls and it's like nothing happened. Just got damaged with some flames. Should make any monster hit by them have a lot more reactions.... knocked to the ground stunned kind of thing.
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Diablo III was hot trash (at least on release). I have no faith in this game, but it looks more promising than III.

I just wish we'd get a modern day Diablo 2.
Diablo 3 development team at least 500 times between reveal and release said:
dude let's just overhaul this shit up

It's happening again isn't it?
IIRC the last major overhaul happened in winter 2011, 5 months before release.


I'm still not confident in believing they will deliver something promissing out of this.
But gonna keep my eye on it. Who knows, they may got things right this time.
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