Diablo 4 skill intensity explained by dev as beta raises questions

Following the Diablo 4 beta, one Blizzard visual effects specialist explains how skill intensity works in the upcoming fantasy RPG game, and what goes into it.

Diablo 4 skill intensity explained - Lorath, a lightly tanned man with a simple beard, looks on in awe

Seeing your Diablo 4 skill intensity amplify the effects on your abilities as you level them up is one of many cool touches that makes the grimdark RPG game really stand out as a visual showpiece in 2023. Following the Diablo 4 beta, there were questions about whether the much-touted feature still existed. Fortunately, the game’s associate art director has confirmed its presence and explained exactly how it works in the full game.

Responding to a fan query about whether the feature was still included, Diablo 4 VFX developer Daniel Briggs confirms, “Yes this is still in the game!” He notes that at its level 25 cap, the beta doesn’t show off quite the full extent of how this feature will operate. “There is a ton of additional content, especially at higher world tiers,” he explains, “Your skill intensity is based on your skill points and legendary affixes for that skill.”

Briggs details the various factors that determine the size and intensity of your skill effects. He says, “it is a bit gradual as you level but comparing a maxed-out skill to level one is noticeable. The blog examples are in game! Blue flames on sorcerer skills are the most obvious [right now].”

As for what exactly will increase your skills’ visual intensity, Briggs lists four different factors. Up to five points can be spent on the skill in your skill tree directly, up to six can come from skill point affixes, up to three can come from skill category affixes, and four more can come from an “extremely rare -REDACTED-” source. He adds that the likes of legendary items and legendary paragon nodes and glyphs can also have an effect on its size.

Diablo 4 skill intensity - comparison shots showing the incinerate skill at a lower level (with a light stream of fire) and a higher level (a billowing cloud of flame with lashings of blue towards the source).

It’s an extremely cool feature, so I’m personally very pleased to see that it’s definitely making it into the full product. Nothing sells your character’s progression quite as well as your skills ramping up over time from simple thwacks into screen-clearing, ground-cracking wallops.

While you wait for the Diablo 4 release date, make sure to read up on all the Diablo 4 classes to help decide which one you’re going to start with. You might also want to check in on the Diablo 4 system requirements and ensure your gaming rig is ready for Lilith’s arrival – we know we are.