I want you to say that this is the best “Diablo” – “Diablo IV” developer interview | A gamer

The “Diablo” series boasts immense popularity as a quarter-scene hack and slash monument. From March 18th to 21st Japan time, early access to the open beta for pre-orders will be implemented. In addition, the open beta production, which anyone can participate in, is scheduled to take place on March 25, Japan time. If you are interested in this work, why not read this interview and go to the open beta?

The interviewees this time are Rod Fergusson, general manager of the “Diablo” franchise, and Joe Shely, chief director.

Rod Ferguson (left) and Joe Shely (right)

――With the release of Diablo IV just a few months away, tell us how you both feel about Diablo IV.

Mr. Joe:I’m pretty confident. The development team put a lot of effort into this open beta, and what we were able to achieve is a major milestone. Not only that the Open Beta has come true, but we are also looking at the fact that we can thoroughly test it here, so we would like to check the reactions and impressions of the player and make detailed adjustments.

Mr.What is interesting to me is how the “Diablo” team makes games. Very early on, it was possible to play through the prologue and epilogue. Of course, in terms of content, there were no textures, and the characters were stick figures, but from the start it was fully playable. It’s a way of doing things that you don’t often see in other game studios. The word they use is “soup test”… it means to taste the soup I do how to make it by adding.

In addition, although this was unavoidable, due to the impact of the coronavirus, all members of staff had to take their buildings home to test them, so I think this process has been further refined. The result was a game called Diablo IV.

――What points do you want people to pay special attention to in the open beta?

Mr. Joe:This open beta test is for testing purposes, not for marketing purposes. We’d like to see how everyone reacts, how stable the server is, and make adjustments like leveling speed in the early stages of the game, so we’d like to get feedback after actually playing the game.

Mr.We want you to feel so much love and passion that the developers put into Diablo IV. In terms of quality, I think we can provide the best, and I want the existing “Diablo” fans to say, “This is the best “Diablo” “Also, for new users, I want you to enjoy “Diablo” o’ the bottom of your heart.

――One of the appeals of Diablo is the huge skill tree, but it can be confusing for beginners. Is there a mechanism for recommending builds and skills for users who have access to Diablo from this game?

Mr. Joe:Expect the process of learning a new skill to be slower than it has been in the past. Strictly speaking, it depends on the level range, but you will learn one skill every time you level up. There’s nothing to confuse newbies like multiple options unlocked at once in one level. Things like sub-skills called characters are also slowly released in the same way, so you can progress while exploring them. Skills can also be redone to gain access to new items or change your mind to use a different skill. The lower the level, the lower the reskilling cost, so it’s easier to start over.

This can be said for every class, but I designed it imagining how it will take care of growth for each playstyle. For example, when it comes to Barbarian builds, Whirlwind and Bleed immediately come to mind. The skills and goals of each series can be explored in the skill tree, and you can check which skills are compatible with each other. If you’re aware of it, I don’t think you’ll end up with an inconsistent structure.

Mr.In fact, the skill tree system has been reworked many times since its inception. I want the depth of the skill tree, but if it makes it hard to understand, it would be putting the cart before the horse. The existing skill tree allows you to intuitively understand what to do, so we believe that even new users will be able to understand it easily.

――I think you can create multiple general playstyles by combining skills and goals. How many such building instructions are there?

Mr. Joe:As it is, consider 4-5 base plans for a class. This includes the Whirlwind barbarian I mentioned earlier. However, not all barbarians using Whirlwind have the same build. Depending on the goal or item, you should have a different color for each player. There are 5 classes, and considering individual customization, I think there will be quite a few types. There are more than 100 types of legendary items, and there will be new buildings that players will discover by using this.

――On the other hand, is there anything you remembered for true “Diablo” fans?

Mr. Joe:First of all, the growth method is similar to “Diablo II”. As those of you who have played “Diablo II” may know, you don’t need to be at the highest level to clear the game. In this work, around level 40 is nearing the end of the game. After clearing the story, the real thing is the same as before.

Furthermore, Paragon level adjustments and the level cap… Currently, the upper limit is 100, but it is possible to raise the World Tier even after reaching that level. It’s designed so that you have to defeat a boss to get one global tier, and I think there’s enough content that even core players can enjoy.

Mr.We also think that the real thing is after clearing the story, and the users also think so. So, I think I have prepared something that will satisfy me from there. This work will be released with the final content firmly packed at the time of release. There are plenty of things besides Paragon Level and World Tier, so I think core players will enjoy it too.

Mr. Joe:Since this work is done as an open world, we want you to adventure around the world. There is a system called Coeden Sibrwd that allows you to access quests, etc. From here you can receive quests and get play guides, so I would like you to refer to this and take action.

There is also an ending content called Heltide. Even in the area of ​​this test, there will be times when the area changes slightly depending on the helmet tide. Enemies are stronger during Helltide, but unusual rare items may appear. In addition, you can choose which part of the item you want before taking on the challenge

The third element is the dungeon. 150 dungeons are prepared throughout the game, and it is possible to challenge them by upgrading them to Nightmare dungeons by using items such as combs. In the Nightmare Dungeon, the enemies will naturally get stronger, but the quality of the items you get will also improve. You can also enjoy challenging difficult dungeons as one of the final content.

And there are traditional PvP elements too. There are areas in the game where PvP is possible, and you risk being attacked by others when you enter, so be careful when entering. Of course, there are not only players in this field, but also monsters. Defeating players in the PvP area will increase your reputation, but if you defeat a player with a good reputation, you will receive many chaos pieces as redeemable rewards. By the way, familiar to “Diablo II” players, “Ears of defeated opponents” can also be collected as items.

In addition, we are considering a live service type for this work, and we plan to continue adding final content even after the game is released.

――In “Diablo III”, the final content focused on collecting paragon levels and set items, and there were no difficult goals like in “Diablo II” Hardware Mode. Do you have any target content for those players who want to play the game to the max?

Mr. Joe:One of the feedbacks we got from Diablo III players was that they didn’t have an environment where they could try out their characters as they got stronger, so we were aware of that problem. In this work, we believe that the boss you will fight while raising the World Tier will be the best. Collect equipment, defeat the boss of that world tier and go to the next tier. Repeating this to climb to the top tier is the answer to the fun of trying.

In addition to this, the Nightmare Dungeon is likely higher than the level cap a player can reach. So, in order to clear this, you must sharpen your skills and collect as many good items as possible. I still can’t tell if it’s still clear enough, but … However, as a final way to play, I plan to prepare different elements.

Mr.It is a live-service game, so elements may be added or changed with each new season. The final content immediately after launch and the final content a few seasons later can be completely different, so I don’t think players will get bored.

――Joe was also involved in the development of the MMORPG “World of Warcraft”, but how is that knowledge used in “Diablo IV” where you share the world with other players?

Mr. Joe:I had a great time developing World of Warcraft and learned a lot. When it came to making games, I thought the more I made, the more I would gain problem solving skills. In the knowledge sense, maybe it’s that kind of problem solving ability.

There may be scenes where this work feels like an MMO, but the base is an A-RPG. Like the atmosphere of “Diablo”, it is made with an emphasis on adventures only. Although the relationship with other players exists as an element, only one player is aware of it.

――In the case of a long-term title like the “Diablo” series, I believe that the starting point and ideal image of “Diablo” may be different during development. How do you organize your policy when there are generational differences in your opinion Diablo?

Mr. Joe:I believe the same can be said about all games, not just the “Diablo” series, but basically every designer has a different opinion, and it’s absolutely impossible to get 100% agreement on something that isn’t. Opinions often conflict. Diablo has a history of 25 years, so we all have our ideal vision and our favorite vision. However, I think that the fact that we are a team with very different age groups has produced good results. This is because we can absorb opinions about “Diablo” from different age groups within the team. The opinion of a team that has a passion for “Diablo” can be a source of quarrels, but I believe that it will definitely make “Diablo IV” better, so I try to actively incorporate it.

Mr.From the beginning of development, we shared our vision and worked hard to convey to the team what kind of game “Diablo IV” is. Within the team, we often use the phrase “return to darkness”. Based on this image, we have collected feedback from different generations of “Diablo” fans. “, I absorbed the excitement of the battle. By making it an even more open world, we added gameplay that gives the player a choice and created “Diablo IV”.

In keeping with the “return to darkness” theme, we appreciate a dark fantasy feel, so we decided to release the Japanese version on CERO:Z. It was a big mission to present it to Japanese fans in a state as close to the original version as possible, so I’m happy to be able to do that.

――Finally, give a message to the Japanese players.

Mr.I’m excited to bring Japanese players back to Sanctuary and see how they react. As I mentioned earlier, I am happy to release the dark fantasy “Diablo IV” on CERO:Z.

Mr. Joe:We have packed a variety of demons into the game, so we would appreciate it if everyone in Japan could help us defeat them (laughs).

Diablo IV
Diablo IV

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