Blizzard released a hefty quarterly update last night for its upcoming Diablo IV and it includes some new interesting information about the game’s mechanics, gameplay and even enemies. The highlight of the post was centred around a new group of enemies called the Cannibals and they are one of the new “families” of enemies found in the Diablo 4 universe. We know that enemy groups in Diablo 4 will be classified first by a family name (Cannibals) and then genre so the new group of enemies will include ranged types, two-handed, bruiser etc.
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Blizzard’s official description of the Cannibals reads;
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”#840000″ class=”” size=”21″]”The few who have survived encounters with these butchers share the same stories. They tell of the mad fire that burns in the eyes of all Cannibals, of how eating the flesh of their victims in battle only fuels their hunger for more. They whisper of the unlucky souls spared in the attacks, hauled off like livestock for the raiders to pick clean until their next hunt.”
Blizzard details all four of the family enemies and explained how each of them has its own unique fighting style
- The two-handed greatsword cleaver wielder that has a “slow sweeping frontal attack”.
- A more mobile attacker with a lightweight halberd for leaping great distances.
- A bruiser that can stun players with a heavy spiked club attack.
- The dual axe-wielding swarmers that aim to be a pain if left alone.
Blizzard revealed how every monster in the series has been reimagined to be darker and grittier. They went on to explain how every family will have different archetypes and each of them will play a different role in combat.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”#840000″ class=”” size=”21″]Swarmers strike in groups, making AoE attacks feel satisfying. Bruisers are larger monsters with high health values, which will make damage over time abilities feel good. Melee combat units act as shields by standing in the way of projectiles for their ranged counterparts. Situations like this provide the player with interesting positional dilemmas if they want to focus fire on ranged units. When adding all of this together, each encounter with the Drowned will be slightly different with regards to player positioning and choice of attack. These rich and varied combat experiences are the power of a monster family.[/perfectpullquote]
But the update contained a lot more information than just the cannibals and was quite exciting for anyone waiting for Diablo IV. Blizzard details changes to the UI and how they are making it look more realistic and fit into the game’s design aesthetic. They also revealed how the couch co-op inventory system will work and touched on controller support for PC and how the game will automatically adapt its menus for those using one.
Blizzard also went into details about the Diablo 4 left-corner action bar which will replace the centre bar found in all games in the past. According to Blizzard, moving the menu to the left corner will help free up the bottom of the screen where the isometric camera already sees less.
However, the developer does believe users want choice so PC gamers will be able to choose between a centre-screen menu or a left-corner menu while Blizzard believes consoles will make the best use of the left-corner menu due to the distance sit at from the screen.
As for the overall UI, the developer explained in the post that they do not plan on bringing back different sized items for the inventory system. Instead, every item will take up the same block count so users don’t have to spend time sorting their pockets while trying to fight the demons of hell. They will also be removing “painterly style” icons which were present in Diablo 3 and will be making use of 3D models in inventory slots to give items a natural texture and realism.
No, Blizzard did not share a release date for Diablo IV but we know the game is well into development and looking great. You can read all about the latest update over on the Blizzard Diablo 4 blog page