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Of all Diablo 4’s features, one was the most requested

One of Diablo 4's new, quirky features is the emote wheel, but the real gem is the ability to pet the dog, which Blizzard devs lobbied to have included.

Of all Diablo 4's features, one was the most requested: A heavy-set man wearing bone armor holds a gnarled staff as wolves surround him in a dark forest

Of all the doom and gloom you face in Diablo 4‘s Sanctuary, there is a shining light at the end of the seemingly never-ending tunnel. For players and Blizzard alike, this is the ability to pat the adorable dogs meandering their way across the dusty plains of Sanctuary, and Diablo 4‘s lead UI designer Dorottya ‘Doro’ Kollo explains that it was the team’s love for puppers that saw the feature added into the RPG game.

To pet the dogs in Diablo 4, you need to approach them and use the ‘Hello’ emote. This lets your character bend down and give them a little ruffle on the head – a much-needed dose of cute in a bloodstained, gore-ridden world.

When I asked Kollo about the creation of the emote wheel and the inclusion of said pupper petting, she responds with a huge smile on her face. “The emote wheel was definitely fun to work on – I feel like the whole UI was really fun to work on.

“The emote wheel was a challenging area, because we wanted to make sure we didn’t have to design different UIs for controller, then keyboard and mouse, so we wanted to make sure it feels good for both platforms.”

A huge dog-like beast consumed by fire roars at a man across a misty, stony battlefield as a huge demon with wings watches from on top of a plinth

“With [petting the dog], that decision came from the whole team; the whole team wanted to pet the dog” she tells PCGamesN, beaming. “As soon as you see a dog in-game you want to pet it – it’s like a natural instinct! It was the first request that went in from everyone on our team.

“It was funny in the beginning, it was kind of a joke, but so many of us requested it that we then decided, look, you can do it – but it’s going to be a little bit hidden. You have to say ‘hello’ to the dog, and then you’ll do the pat emote.”

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“I’m really glad it got [into the game], it’s awesome!” she laughs, and I have to agree. My primal instincts kick in anytime I see one, and I probably spent more time petting dogs than playing the game in my Diablo 4 review – just don’t tell anyone I said that.

If you too want to play with dogs while simultaneously slaying Lilith’s minions, be sure to check out our rundown of all of the Diablo 4 classes ahead of the Diablo 4 release date. I’d recommend Druid, because you can literally become the dog; or well, a wolf.