Blizzard will need to get the Diablo 4 endgame content right if they want to sate the appetites of Diablo fans who have been waiting over eight years for news on the sequel – they’ll have to wait much longer for the Diablo 4 release date.
Diablo 3’s approach to endgame was admirably simple, but left a lot of players wanting. Blizzard did a solid job of rectifying this, so we’re hoping for a more thorough Diablo 4 endgame plan when the ARPG eventually launches.
We’ve already had a look at some of the Diablo 4 classes, including the Druid class and Barbarian class. Certainly, some of the things we saw at BlizzCon will change before the game comes out, but from the looks of things, a lot of this seems firmly in place. Some of the following information has been discussed in considerable detail at panels, from dungeons and dungeon keys, to potential loot rewards. Here’s what we think about Diablo 4’s endgame so far.
Of course, the endgame will be focused on battling through dungeons, that’s sort of the point of Diablo. While you’re crushing the main campaign, dungeons will be fairly simple ordeals, facing legions of monsters and creatures along the way, such as ‘The Drowned’. As a player reaches the Diablo 4 endgame though, dungeon keys will be found allowing access to more difficult dungeons.
The dungeons will have similar conditions as the smaller dungeons from the story, such as killing bosses or clearing an area of enemies, but some new conditions may be added to make the area especially difficult. Time limits, area effects, invisible objectives, it’ll all – hopefully – lead to a very different experience and help keep endgame content fresh and replayable.
Diablo 4’s main competitor, Path of Exile, has been messing around with dungeon modifiers and challenge runs for years now, so it’s nice to see Blizzard taking some notes from developer Grinding Gear Games.
How do dungeons differ from Rifts?
Anyone familiar with Diablo 3’s endgame will of course wonder how any of this is really different. The main change with keyed dungeons is that keyed dungeons introduce greater challenges as their tiers increase through dungeon affixes. As the dungeons are already in the world, players will have a sense of the type of foes they’re going up against, and by pairing that knowledge with the dungeon affix they can form their own strategy for the keyed dungeon run.
We’ve already had a look into how the Diablo 4 loot system works, we have a guide on it and all. A lot for the excitement surrounding endgame content is going to be tied to what loot you can get. Diablo 4 Mythic items are a new tier of legendary loot that should add an extra level of rarity for dedicated players and those chasing their ideal Diablo 4 builds to work towards. These should slot neatly alongside legendaries, and from early footage it looks like Mythics will add a whole suite of legendary-tier buffs, however, you can only equip one per loadout. Legendary loot drops and loot rolls in general will also change as you enter endgame, so you’ll come across them a lot less in endgame but will feel more permanent.
Blizzard has spoken about progression in Diablo 4’s endgame in a blog post, saying that a lot of this is still undecided, even whether or not character progression will be finite or infinite. If Diablo 4 ends up shipping with infinite endgame progression then Blizzard says it can alter the power creep at later levels so as to make a satisfying power curve for players. The ultimate goal behind having two progression paths – a level cap and an endgame progression track – is so that casual players can get a sense of completion, while hardcore fans have plenty of reason to keep grinding.
The initial endgame of Diablo 4 won’t be the only potential endgame content we’ll get. As Diablo 3’s seasons were such a success and added a lot of replayability to the game in its long life, Blizzard has confirmed that they will be making a reappearance in Diablo 4.
Seasons were introduced back in 2014 and add new ways to play the game, for example, Season 19 of Diablo 3 was named ‘Season of the Eternal Conflict’. This changed the combat effects of characters to encourage killstreaks. We’ll certainly see seasons like this in 4, but Blizzard has also said we can expect to see new legendary items appearing in seasons, too – giving players even greater incentive to dive back in.
That’s all we know about Diablo 4’s endgame for now. The game is certainly still a long way off but from BlizzCon demos and footage, we hope that it’ll be a welcome return to the dark and dreary world of Sanctuary.