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Diablo 4 devs show us the “fun decisions” waiting in endgame

Blizzard reveals more Diablo 4 details in a developer update livestream, discussing some more details about the upcoming RPG game.

Diablo 4 developer update - Lilith, a pale-skinned demon with large horns, stands in a church backlit by a stained-glass window

A Diablo 4 developer update livestream has given us another juicy deep dive into the upcoming Blizzard RPG game. Just a few weeks after the first two public test weekends, some of the team’s lead developers have dug into player feedback, along with revealing a few more details about what we can expect from the final game when the Diablo 4 release date arrives.

The livestream, which saw a “secret announcement” teased ahead of time by Diablo general manager Rod Fergusson, features a couch conversation between game director Joe Shely, associate director Joseph Piepiora, community manager Adam Fletcher, and Diablo YouTuber and Twitch streamer CJ ‘Rhykker’ Miozzi.

That announcement, as it turns out, is another chance to play Diablo 4 ahead of its full release date on June 6. The Diablo 4 server slam is a public test aimed at pushing the servers to their limits, and the team encourages as many people as possible to hop on – with the opportunity to earn any beta rewards you missed alongside some new ones.

Diablo 4 server slam - image of Lilith next to text dating the May 12-14 server stress test event

First up, we get a look at the ‘capstone dungeons’ that players will need to best in order to move up to subsequent world tiers and push to increasingly challenging difficulty levels. Rhykker says his time testing these has immediately felt like a notable step up from the veteran difficulty level included in the public beta.

“I definitely felt it – the world seems more hostile and more aggressive,” Rhykker remarks, noting how the increased difficulty feels more dramatic than a simple ramping up of enemy health and damage numbers. You’ll want to push that difficulty level up, though, Piepiora notes, so you can earn more powerful Sacred and Ancestral tier items.

“Not every item in world tier three is Sacred by default,” he explains, but they offer a wide power range that might give you a huge potential power boost with a lucky drop. Despite the fact a Sacred item might drop that’s the equivalent of level 70 in power, it won’t necessarily be lumped with a matching requirement – instead it will drop at the level you loot it, meaning you’ll have the chance to utilise that large power boost immediately.

Diablo 4 Helltide event - a player fights a large demon in a red-tinged, blood-soaked landscape as glowing loot spreads across the floor

Next, we dive into Helltide zones, where blood falls from the sky and the challenge posed by monsters ramps up dramatically. These zones provide a good opportunity for target farming. Piepiora explains. As you farm a Helltide zone, you’ll earn Cinders – but dying will see half of your collected Cinders drop, with no way to recover them. You’ll also need to deposit them before the Helltide event ends, or risk losing them altogether.

The team gives us a glimpse at some of the Sigils players will use to craft Nightmare dungeons, which can fill zones with enemies that might not ordinarily appear there, as well as applying all manner of weird and wonderful modifiers to make your run more challenging. Along with earning you plenty of experience, as well as Sacred and Ancestral items, you’ll also be able to upgrade your Paragon Glyphs upon completing these dungeons.

Diablo 4 Nightmare Sigils - three items used to apply unique modifiers to nightmare dungeons

We get a nice look at some of the more advanced Nodes you’ll be able to unlock using the Diablo 4 Paragon boards you’ll unlock through the endgame. These can provide some rather potent bonuses, especially in the case of Rare and Legendary Nodes. Rare Nodes give you some strong boons out the gate, but can boost their effects even more if you meet certain requirements, such as passing a certain core stat threshold.

Each Paragon board has a Legendary Node somewhere on it that is likely to be key to your decision to choose a board – but Piepiora notes that these are not the be-all and end-all of the board’s power, instead working in concert with the potent Rare Nodes and the bonuses offered elsewhere. The power of Legendary Node effects, in many cases, will ramp up based on your character’s stats.

Diablo 4 Paragon board - a Glyph inserted into a socket that boosts the power of nearby Nodes

On top of this, you’ll have the opportunity to apply Glyphs to your Paragon board. These powerful tools fit into sockets on the board, and can boost the effect of certain nodes within a nearby radius.

For example, the team shows a ‘Tactician’ Glyph granting a 50% bonus to all Rare nodes within range, along with an extra bonus for players with enough active dexterity nodes nearby. That offers up some really interesting potential for buildcrafting as you look for the optimal slots to make the most out of your Glyphs.

Turning to Diablo 4 dungeons, the team shows off some of the map redesigns aimed at reducing the need for backtracking following beta feedback. Primary objectives will now be placed more consistently along the main path, with a handful of side paths allowing players to explore without having to backtrack too often through already-cleared zones.

Diablo 4 dungeon redesign - a dungeon map with a green line drawn to show the player's path through it, and a drawn-on smiley face

Shely explains how dungeons will now automatically reset over time, removing the need for manual resets. Completed dungeons with no players or open town portals inside should reset naturally after 60 seconds, he explains, while those left partially complete will remain for 150 seconds before resetting.

If you’re desperate for more Diablo 4 news, don’t worry. Fletcher announces that another Diablo 4 developer update in “early May” will focus on the seasonal structure and the game’s battle pass, so it won’t be long until we get even more details about what to expect when Lilith arrives.

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Make sure you’re ready for launch by checking your Diablo 4 beta stats to see how you performed during the public tests, and making sure your PC matches up to the Diablo 4 system requirements. If you need something else to fill the void until Lilith arrives, take a look at the best games like Diablo on PC.