Practice English Speaking&Listening with: BlizzConline 2021 - Diablo IV: What's Next

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Ever since we announced Diablo IV

at the last BlizzCon in 2019,

we've been sharing updates with you guys

through our blog,

whether it's items,


zones, even user interface updates.

You guys seem to have really enjoyed that.

Today, to mark the special occasion of BlizzConline

on Blizzard's 30th anniversary,

rather than doing a blog, we're going to share lots of videos,

introduce a new class, like we saw in the Opening Ceremony,

and cover some open world topics, including


camps and PvP.

This is the ultimate blog post. We get to hand deliver it.

This is the dream.

It's all finally out there and we can talk about all of it.

Just in case some of you missed it in the Opening Ceremony,

let's take a look at the Rogue announcement video.

MAN: Your prayers do not fall on deaf ears.


Just know they are being heard.

There is justice within the Light...

but you have to be patient.

Now, pray with me.

May Akarat guide and protect me.

WOMAN: May Akarat guide and protect me.

May he shepherd my soul...

May he shepherd my soul...

...and grant it mercy.

...and grant it mercy.

What are you doing here?

This is not the time.

But this is confession.

And I have sinned.

I was a thief...

who stole from those more fortunate.


I strayed from your Light...

and found my trade in the Shadows.

They call it murder.

I say job well done.






I am a thief...

a heretic...

a murderer, Father.

Will Akarat save me?


You mock our Light...

but those monsters were a scourge upon my flock.

And you...

you were the answer to their prayers.

WOMAN: Then we are settled.

And you owe me.

The name you seek is...

Thank the Heavens for you.


I assure you, Father...

the Heavens didn't send me.








Wow, I love that ending.


There's two things.

There's the Rain of Arrows off the mount for the win.


when the guy takes the ear and he stretches it

onto that hook right at the end.


LUIS: That ear box never gets old.

I always wondered where those ears from Diablo II,

when you kill other players, went.

JOHN: Now you know.

There's some creepy guy in a church collecting ears

and putting them in a box.

What we always thought.

No spoilers,

but we're going to be hearing a little bit more about world PvP

later in the segment,

but ears are definitely making a comeback.

Let's go back to the class,

because there's nothing more exciting

to be able to introduce to a Diablo game

than another class for players to check out.

This is a pretty cool thing. We don't get to do this very often.

I think it was you that said, John,

"There's always room around the campfire."

Always a little room.

We had our very core archetypes to begin with.

The brute strength of the Barbarian,

the arcane knowledge of the Sorceress,

a return of a shape-shifting classic with the Druid.

No RPG line-up is complete without that dexterity class

that's defeating enemies with finesse, with speed.

We kept coming back to the idea of bringing it

to the godfather of all dexterity-based archetypes,

the Rogue, that we saw in Diablo I.

You've got to be excited to have the Rogue back.

I know that when we were exploring different classes,

you would talk about some of your experiences with Diablo I.

For sure.

One of the things that's super cool is

the Rogue was always able to adapt their play style.

Fans of the Diablo I, Diablo II Rogues will be able to create

very archetypical Rogues,

starting with the weapons selection.

On the melee weapons side,

Rogues can use swords and daggers,

as well as bows and crossbows on the ranged side.

JOHN: The dagger attacks mixed with bow attacks,

it just looks great on screen.

With all the classes

having this strong identity

as far as the animations and what they do,

you think about the Druid and shape-shifting

or the Barbarian

with his leap attacks,

there's these great things you discover with the Rogue

that you can't really do with other classes.

I love that you can start cosmetically

from such an iconic place where you're wearing the red armor,

you look like a part of the Sisterhood of the Sightless Eye

from the original games.

You can maybe even

add some tattoos into the mix, some scars,

make that Rogue your own.

Or if your fantasy of the Rogue

is a more traditional RPG outlaw,

you're definitely able to create that

and put on your hood and half mask

and be more of a shadowy character.

JOHN: The character customization, you mentioned it,

being able to craft the class of your dreams or your nightmares,

was a feature that I was nervous about when we started,

because we'd never had this in a Diablo game.

But seeing where it is now,

it's one of those things I'm super excited about,

with where we're at.

There's a lot of creativity and fun looks.

You can be that tattooed, criminal outlaw

or you can be a more noble-looking

thief with good morals.

One of the things that we kept running with,

beyond the cosmetics,

was customization.

We had this niche to fill in the class line-up

that spoke to the finesse player, to the dexterity player.

Everyone's idea of what that could be

was a little bit different,

whether it leaned more on range or melee,

but we took that a little bit of a step further.

We wanted to have each class in our game

have that one thing that makes you go,

"That's bullshit!" when you see a player use it,

so you want to re-roll that class,

because no other class gets it.

For the Rogue, it's the class specialization.

The 3 specializations are Combo Points...

Shadow Realm...

and Exploit Weakness.

I like Shadow Realm, because I can

take the problem and make it smaller.

I just pull 3 guys into the Shadow Realm

and duke it out.

Then I come back in

and I'm like, "All right, smaller problem."

I love the idea of Exploit Weakness.

The way it works is, during some of the enemy attacks,

players will see an icon flash over the enemy's head

during which time they will be get to retaliate

with much more damage than an ordinary attack.

If you're quick on the draw,

this is the specialization for you.

I'm a little bit skill-capped there.

Every time I try to make it work,

I'm just a little bit shy of the skill level

that's required for that.

It's almost like you're a surgeon.

It requires a really strong ability

to assess what's happening

around you.

My personal favorite is the Combo Points specialization.

As you might expect,

this ability lets you build multiple combo points,

which enhance your spender's effectiveness in combat.

Basically, you get into this rhythm of combat

of 3 builders to a spender.

It lets you build up to these big, big moments.

It almost makes a rhythm game out of combat,

which I really enjoy.

The way the class specializations work

is you will work with one of the world groups of Rogues

around the world in Sanctuary that you will find

and do class-specific quests that no other class can do.

Whether it's the Sisterhood of the Sightless Eye,

the remnants of that Order, that you choose to work with,

or the mercenaries of Kehjistan

or the outlaw smugglers of the swamps of Hawezar.

Depending on what speaks to your class fantasy,

or depending on which specialization speaks to you

or you find more powerful,

you'll be able to complete that quest line

and activate that specialization,

which you can mix and match with any of the play styles.

You could be a Combo Points, ranged or melee player,

but you can also be an Exploit Weakness,

range or melee or hybrid player.

It just gives the class huge variety

and builds and play styles.

I love how that ties into the open world aspect,

the ability to go to Kehjistan or Hawazar

and get these special quests only the Rogue can get.

That touches on a thing I love that we've done,

which is connecting the weapons and equipment to regions.

When you're exploring the world

and you pick up a sword in Kehjistan,

it's a scimitar.

If you're up in Scosglen, which is up in the north,

it's more of a broadsword.

It's a subtle thing, but I think it really...

Armors you get in different regions

look like they're from the place.

Giving that sense of place in the world is something

that every time I play the game, I feel it,

I see it in subtle ways.

It really enhances the overall sense

of immersion and experience.

I want to see what's around the corner.

The weapons are also,

going back all the way to Diablo II,

such an integral part of the class,

and the ability to augment your weapon

through magic, through enhancements is something that

really spoke to us

when we tried to tap into the core of the class.

Going back to those mercenaries that you could hire,

it was always cool to see

what kind of special arrow shot they would come with.

It's something we paid homage to with the Imbue system,

all the way from directly elemental Imbues

like the Frost Imbue,

which feels a lot like

the ice arrows that the D2 mercenaries used to shoot.

We expanded it to feel a little gritter,

a little darker, and do things

like Poison Imbue and Shadow Imbue.

The ability to take

any sort of attack and mix and match with those Imbues.

Once that clicked for me,

that I could take any ability and Imbue it

with either of those elements,

Rain of Arrows with Frost and Rain of Arrows with acid

is completely different.

You're essentially freezing the battlefield.

And I just love Poison Imbue because of...

the gruesome deaths that all the monsters experience.

We've had a ton of fun making that art.

It's always fun to see the goat men melt into nothing.

You just kill everything on the screen in a gory mess,

which never really gets old.

It's a flexible way to take a build

that you're already comfortable with,

that you already like.

Say you're really comfortable with Flurry and Shadow Step

as your melee skills

and you find yourself needing more crowd control,

without changing your play style,

you can just add the Frost Imbue to your bar.

Now you're able to use those same abilities

to slow down enemies or build up to a full freeze.

Frost Imbue plays pretty well with group play as well.

I can freeze an enemy and somebody else can blow it up.

Or also, the way that Chills work in the game,

they build up to a full freeze.

So if your best buddy is a Sorceress player,

your Chill spells and your Frost Imbues

will actually build up faster

than if you were

using a single player.

Ask to open with Blizzard before you Frost Imbue

and you'll be freezing enemies twice as fast,

which is awesome synergy.

The last thing

that's worth spending some time talking about with the Rogue is

how mobile the class is,

how able the class is to close the gap

between themselves and the enemy,

even while mounted.

You might find yourself a full screen away

and dismounting into a Rain of Arrows,

closing the rest of that gap with a Dash,

and then getting back out of there, dropping some caltrops.

They can basically

control the fluid motion of combat

in a way that no other class can.

That's something that, beyond all

of the other customization options that you have,

whether it's the play style,

whether it's the range at which you engage with enemies,

whether it's the cosmetics,

the sheer mobility of the class

lets you adapt to the situation.

Even when you would have totally been toast as another class,

a room full of elites,

you're able to use offensive abilities in creative ways.

Abilities like Shadow Step,

abilities like Shadow Realm,

abilities like Dash,

you're able to use them to your advantage

in a way that gets you out of a very dangerous situation

by picking that one, lone skeleton archer

that's not surrounded by everything else.

You can Shadow Step there, get out of the way,

and live to fight another day,

which feels like such a Rogue thing to do.

JOHN: When I play the Rogue,

I really do feel surgical precision.

I really feel like I can move through the whole screen.

It feels kind of effortless

and almost sometimes a little unfair.

When I go into the Shadow Realm and I'm dashing,

I'm like, "Am I cheating? Did I break the game?"

We'll hear more about PvP in a little bit,

but I couldn't go without mentioning

that some of our most feared PvP players on the team

play Rogue.

It's just the way they're able to surprise you.

You might be with a group of friends

and that mobility lets them go to the middle of the group,

unleash a Rain of Arrows that's Frost Imbued

and before you know it, you're all frozen.

Looking at a Rogue while you're frozen, let me tell you,

there are fewer scarier things in our game right now than that.

So this was the ultimate blog post.

This has been a lot of fun,

getting to share a new addition to the campfire.

There probably will be more in the future.

We always say there's a little bit more room.

That's right. That pretty much wraps it up for the Rogue.

So, why don't we go to Joe and Careena

and learn more about those open world features we promised,

Thank you to Luis and John

for introducing the Rogue,

which I'm really excited

we finally got a chance to talk about and announce.

We're here today to talk to you

about Diablo IV and the open world.

I think the best way to start this conversation, Careena,

would be for me to ask you what are you most excited about,

of what we're adding in Diablo IV in the open world?

What feature, what mechanic,

what are you most excited to talk about?

I am really excited about

exploring the world.

I am a huge completist naturally,

that's the way I play.

I love exploring and looking out

into every single nook and cranny.

The more this game has been growing,

particularly since last BlizzCon,

the more fun I'm having

riding around the open world on my mount

and exploring everything I possibly can.

It's really fun, I think.

Now that we've taken Sanctuary

and made it so much larger when you're playing through the game,

when you compare it to Diablo III or Diablo II.

There's tons of exploration and movement throughout the world

in those games, obviously.

But now we've really been able to embrace

the open world concept,

we can dive much deeper

into how Sanctuary actually all fits together,

be able to ride

from Scosglen to the Fractured Peaks.

It's very interesting that way.

One of the things about that I think is really neat

is the collection aspect of mounts.

So, there's all these horse breeds

and other mounts you can find throughout the world

from completing puzzles or finding hidden locations

or slaying particular kinds of monsters.

Find various horses or things to customize your horse with,

like horse armor,

there are hoof plates you can get

and trophies to show off your accomplishments.

There's lots of ways you can personalize your mount

and make it feel like your companion.

It's really cool, like you mentioned,

with the horse shoes, you get to change the speed

at which your horse can run.

I like to be able to customize the horse

to the type of gameplay that I like to enjoy as a player.

It's really fun.

I like the amount of variety that you give us.

There's more to mounts than that as well.

One thing we knew we didn't want to do with mounts in Diablo IV

was we didn't want to have jousting.

This idea of fighting from horseback.

It's not really the Diablo experience.

Yeah, that's something I'm super excited for.

At last BlizzCon, we had the Sorceress.

We showed her dismount skill, Ice Dash,

where she shoots forwards off her mount

and destroys everything in her path.

With the Rogue, we got to have a little bit more fun.

The animation department has done a fantastic job

of having her leap up

into the air

and fire down the Rain of Arrows that destroys everything.

It's really cool. It feels really good.

JOE: Leaping from your saddle

and raining arrows down on your enemies as you pass by,

then get in the fray and starting to stab people

and poison people,

that is

spot on what we're looking for.

Being able to jump in, engage with enemies, from your horse,

and then duke it out using your skills

and everything else like we want.

It's interesting that

your mount can't get damaged,

but if a monster attacks you while you're mounted,

you will be forced to dismount.

So, there is a flipside of judging for yourself

when you do want to use that skill

to prevent you from being forced off unintentionally.

There's definitely a bit of gameplay there

to make sure you use it

in a way that's appropriate to help you get where you're going

and fight the monsters you want to.

One of the things I'm most excited about for the open world

is this feature we have called camps.

Camps are basically these strongholds of evil

out in the overworld.

You've got to remember that, decades ago,

during the events of Reaper of Souls

when Malthael rose to power,

the Reapers killed 9 out of 10 people

throughout Sanctuary.

A tremendous number of people passed away.

Now there's a big power vacuum out here decades later,

and these monsters have started to move into these places.

Bandits, monsters, goat men, all kinds of different creatures,

skeletons, the undead, have started

to resurface and come back into these areas

and take them for themselves.

You, as the hero of Sanctuary,

get to wander through these spaces

and begin to reclaim them for the people of Sanctuary.

That's part of what makes them really neat.

Each of them have their own story.

They're their own unique, fixed place in the world.

Unlike quests, quests are something that happen randomly

and you can come across them anywhere,

camps are a permanent fixture

that you, as the player, when you come across that evil,

can actually have a real impact

on the open world that everyone else can see.

Because, once you have defeated that evil,

one of the really fun things is

that you basically unlock that camp

and you make a new waypoint that previously didn't exist for you.

Suddenly all the marketplaces open up

and now you have a blacksmith

in a location that previously didn't exist,

which I think is cool.

JOE: What we're looking at here,

this was a village, the village of Qara-Yisu.

Now, it's fallen to ruins.

The people here in the dry steppes had a problem.

The problem was

there were bloodthirsty cannibals that dwelled nearby

and would regularly raid their community.

The people had to find a solution.

They weren't strong enough to defend themselves.

So, they made a dark bargain with a demon

and they were able to gather enough power

to push these cannibals out and protect their community.

But not without great cost, as you can see here.

You're helping re-settle

parts of Sanctuary when you take these camps back from the enemy.

Vendors will come back

and now there might be new quest-givers,

new stories that need to be told.

Dungeon entrances can appear in some of these places afterwards.

There's all kinds of things that occur

after you take over the Camp

and liberate it from forces of darkness.

Again, it's so cool to see you permanently change the world

as you find these places,

wander through and solve these problems.

One of the other neat things about camps,

and in general the overworld broadly speaking,

is we have many more opportunities now

to play with movement.

CAREENA: It pushes the bar vertically

as well as horizontally.

We now have been playing around with the idea

of jumping across chasms

to allow the player to get access to a location

they previously didn't have.

JOE: There's all kinds of areas players can find their own path,

allowing them extra movement options

they haven't had in previous games.

CAREENA: We are also in a vertical

top-down camera for the environment,

so it really breaks up the plane that you typically see

not only as a developer or an animator, but also as a player.

There's such a huge variety

of things that you can possibly do

to mix it up and make things a little bit different.

There's certain puzzle elements to it.

It's not straightforward or always obvious.

It's not just a matter

of running through the role and getting to your goal.

You have to think.


Now, Careena,

I know that you're very excited about PvP.


I'm a huge fan of PvP.

I love the first time we had a chance

as a whole team to play PvP.

The amount of feedback generated,

I think it took Design 3 days to go through it all.

What that showed me is

that everyone either loves it or hates it.

I personally love it. I really enjoy it.

The way that PvP works is that

the Hatred of Mephisto has been bubbling up from Hell

and has created these areas in the open world

that you can freely walk into


consumes you and makes you turn against your fellow players.

JOE: PvP, even in these areas, these Fields of Hatred,

it's not mandatory.

These are optional places people can choose to go

to collect Shards of Hatred

that they can collect from killing monsters,

from completing events, opening chests,

all kinds of ways to earn these things,

not necessarily killing players.

As you earn these Shards of Hatred,

they're in an un-purified state.

They're in a basic state.

You need to bring them to a Purification Event

in order to turn them into a currency that you can use

in the nearby, small encampments around the Fields of Hatred.

What's neat about that

is when you're trying to purify these things,

that's when everybody nearby finds out

and hears, "Someone's trying to complete a Purification Ritual,

we need to go and kill those players

and take their shards before they finish."

Once you purify them, they're yours, you can't lose them.

But before they're purified, they're free game.

It's really important to note that,

even if you don't want to engage with othe PvP players,

you can actually explore those areas

and collect those Shards of Hatred from specific monsters,

but the second you need to turn them in

and purify them into a currency

where you can spend them on gear,

trophies and other content,

you are hostile yourself

and can be attacked during that single moment.

But, I think that creates a lot of opportunity

for you to team up with friends for just that one moment

in order to gain the reward you spent so much time collecting.

You called out earlier that the Shards of Hatred are used

for some of the vendors you'd find in the Fields of Hatred,

there are some special vendors that only arrive in these areas

who'll have special costumes or new mounts

and weapons and things along those lines.

Nothing strictly more powerful

than stuff you get in other parts,

but stuff that speaks to your desire as a PvP player.

I think one of the things that's neat

about the system in general is

that as a player, if you choose to go hostile,

betray the players who are near you,

try to get as many Shards of Hatred as you can,

you're going to slowly begin

to infuse yourself with that same Curse of Mephisto

and you're going to become a Vessel of Hatred.

Once you do that,

everyone within a very large radius of you

is going to be able to see you as a threat on the map

and they'll get a bonus for killing you.

So when that occurs,

you have a set amount of time you need to survive.

If you're able to do that

without running away or

jumping into a town portal trying to escape,

if you can do that and finish that period and manage to escape

or defeat people who are coming to try to destroy you,

you'll get a really big bonus at the end.

That's been really exciting to watch in our play tests already.

People are wrestling for this status

and trying to defend it once they achieve it

There's also the ears that you get to collect as a trophy.

It harkens back to D2, where I think you could...

sell the ears for 1 gold.

I don't know if we'll do that.

I know we played with them as a currency at one point,

but I think now it's just a cool trophy

that you get to collect and show off.

Yeah, right now, a very cool trophy.

The thing that was neat about the D2 ears was,

you could fill up your whole inventory with them,

being able to see the people that you took the ears from,

seeing their character names on there.

It was always the interesting, fun part

and proof that "Yeah, I got that person that time."

We want to make sure we embraced that aspect of it.

That's the important part.

I think that's going to be a great call back

to Diablo II PvP.

Yeah. I love where PvP is going

and I love that it is only one part

of how large and open the world is,

and really harkens back to the adventurer in me

when I play the game. How do you feel?

I'm super excited.

There's so much to look forward to in Diablo IV.

What we talked about today just scratches the surface.

In general, as a Diablo fan,

there's a lot to be looking forward to

in the franchise in the future.

Thank you so much for watching today.

We look forward to speaking about this game

and others in future.

The Description of BlizzConline 2021 - Diablo IV: What's Next