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What’s New to Diablo 4? A Diablo 3 Player’s Guide to Blizzard’s New Installment

What’s New to Diablo 4? A Diablo 3 Player’s Guide to Blizzard’s New Installment

David "TheFeralTurtle" Hickey
What’s New to Diablo 4? A Diablo 3 Player’s Guide to Blizzard’s New Installment

Long-time Diablo fans may have missed the Diablo 4 beta, or may just be struggling to keep the new mechanics apart from their past experiences in the series. Jumping into Diablo 4 after playing Diablo 3 can lead to some confusion, but this guide will help you prepare to change gears and jump into a whole new level of hell.

What’s New In Leveling for Diablo 4?

In Diablo 3, players became accustomed to a certain flow for character leveling. Some grouped up with friends and did cursed chest runs or bounties while some played solo and tried to level off of high massacre bonuses.

No matter your party’s leveling preferences, Diablo 4 drastically changes the formula and overall experience.

In Diablo 4, we will be leveling through the story, much like in PoE or Torchlight Infinite. At level 50, you will attempt the Capstone Dungeon in order to continue and have the option to climb to the next difficulty level (called “World Tier” in Diablo 4).

Unlike Diablo 3, we will not hit max level by the time we start the endgame loop. Max level is a more distant goal that is only achievable through unlocking higher difficulties, grinding and playing the game.

What is the Endgame Loop in Diablo 4?

In Diablo 3, the endgame starts when you do your Seasonal Journey after hitting level 70. Get your first set of gear and start blasting through Nephalem Rifts and Greater Rifts to level up and upgrade your gear.

Diablo 4’s endgame is vastly different, largely because of the enormous open-world map. Scattered around the world are many dungeons, but also tons of events such as Helltides, Tree of Whispers, and World Bosses.

These will all be a challenge for players to jump into and will offer powerful rewards for success.

And if you liked the grind of Greater Rifts in Diablo 3, you need not worry: Diablo 4 has reinvented this system with their Nightmare Dungeons. Dungeons scattered around the map can be upgraded into Nightmare Dungeons using keys that we will craft called ‘Nightmare Sigils’.

You can start earning Nightmare Sigils once you complete the campaign and Cathedral of Light capstone dungeon in Kyovashad (the main city of the campaign’s first region). This allows you to upgrade your World Tier (e.g. your game’s difficulty). Once playing on the third tier (Nightmare), Nightmare Sigils can drop as loot.

These keys will add powerful affixes to the dungeons and have a tier difficulty system similar to Diablo 3 GRs. This is going to be another great source of grinding for XP and powerful rewards.

This, alongside the Helltide events which unlock at tier 3 difficulty, will help give you a boost toward the endgame loop when you pass level 50.

What Classes are in Diablo 4?

  • Rogue - The Rogue is a returning class from Diablo 2 and is quite similar to the Demon Hunter in Diablo 3. Rogues are a very fast paced class that can be played either melee, ranged, or a mix of both, where you weave in and out of combat.
  • Necromancer - A popular class that is returning from Diablo 2 and Diablo 3. Necromancers will have a few different playstyles. One way to play them is to summon hordes of undead that you will command to defeat your enemies. Others may want to focus on shadow, bone, or blood magic and sacrifice their minions for some incredible buffs and run it solo.
  • Sorcerer - The sorcerer is also a returning class from Diablo 2 and Diablo 3 (called wizard in D3). This class has a lot of returning fan favorite abilities as well as some new ones. Their playstyle will be defined based on whether you want to focus on fire, lightning, or ice magic. This class has a really unique system called Enchantments that make them very flexible and versatile.
  • Barbarian - The Barbarian is another returning class from both Diablo 2 and Diablo 3. Barbarians have access to four weapon slots and a unique system that allows them to change which weapon is used with what skill. This opens windows for many playstyles like the sorcerer. If you like jumping into the middle of a fight, this is going to be the class for you.
  • Druid - A returning class from Diablo 2 that focuses on storm and earth magic or shapeshifting skills. Druids can be played as a long range caster, a tanky werebear, or an almost rogue-like playstyle with the werewolf. There are also some pretty cool uniques and legendaries, allowing you to mix and match lightning and werewolf skills and shred with your claws while conjuring lightning and tornadoes around you. You can also play a super tanky version of the werebear, utilizing both werebear and earth magic skills.

What is the Paragon System in Diablo 4

In Diablo 3, when you hit level 70, each level after this gives you a skill point that you can put into 4 categories, Core, Offensive, Defensive, and Utility. The latter three categories will be maxed out when you hit level 800 since each stat in these categories will be maxed out at 50 points. From level 800 onwards, you are putting points in the core category.

In Diablo 4, the paragon system is significantly different. It may look a bit overwhelming at first, but it isn’t as terribly complicated as it looks.

Each class has the same starting board. Once you reach the ‘gate node,’ you will be able to add a board of your choosing to continue your path down (unique to each class). Each time you level up past 50, you get paragon points to spend on this board. At time of writing, the cap is 220 paragon points.

The board that you choose will be named after the legendary paragon node. These nodes will define your build’s direction, so you want to pick the nodes that will synergize with the playstyle you plan on locking into as your character scales.

How does Diablo 4's Skill Tree work?

Diablo 4 introduces a skill tree to the franchise, more similar to Diablo 2 than Diablo 3. In Diablo 4, each character has 6 categories of skills, all beginning with the ‘basic’ skill cluster. This will be your ‘generator,’ which is a term people will understand coming from Diablo 3.

The skill cluster is the skill we will primarily be using to generate our class resource, which we will spend to cast our more powerful core skills. Certain skills will synergize better than others, and each player may take a different route down this tree.

There are many different ways to play each class, so use the DiabloBuilds class tools to experiment with some hypothetical options before making a final decision on the type of character you want to create.

What is the Codex of Power in Diablo 4?

In Diablo 4, we will find many powerful Legendary Aspects through dungeons, which when completed, will be added to our ‘Codex of Power.’ There will also be legendary items that drop that we can extract the legendary aspect from.

This is a big quality-of-life improvement over Diablo 3. For example, say there is a rare item drop with the perfect roll for your build. You can take this rare item and upgrade it to a legendary with the aspect of your choosing, either from your codex of power, or from another legendary item whence you extracted the power.

Does Diablo 4 have Seasons?

In Diablo 3, what kept players coming back was their seasonal format. Every few months, they would release a new season with a different theme. These seasonal themes brought new mechanics that greatly increased the power of your character and added a new and engaging twist to the gameplay experience.

Each season, you would start with a fresh seasonal character from level 1 and repeat the same grind as you would in the past seasons and push to climb the leaderboard. Diablo 4 is going to have a similar format, though we’re still waiting for more details on the first season of Diablo 4.

We expect the first Diablo 4 season to start on June 20th, 2023.

What are the Difficulties in Diablo 4?

Unlike Diablo 3, where you could play any stage of the game on any difficulty, Diablo 4 will lock difficulties based on your progress in the game. When leveling from 1-50, you only have access to two different difficulties

There is a beginner's tier (called “Adventurer”) we only recommend for players brand-new to the Diablo franchise. Anybody with experience in past Diablo games, or similar games, should feel comfortable starting with World Tier 2 (Veteran). This will give a more engaging challenge and help you level and scale faster because monsters will grant 20% more experience and drop 15% more gold.

To unlock World Tier 3 (Nightmare), you must reach two milestones.

  1. Completing the Campaign
  2. Completing the Capstone Dungeon Cathedral of Light in Kyovashad on World Tier 2.

World tier 3 gives the following benefits:

  • Sacred and Unique items.
  • Nightmare Sigils, which you will use to access endgame Nightmare Dungeons, can now drop.
  • Helltides, which are a world event that allows you to farm for powerful gear, will begin happening around Sanctuary.
  • Champions, a new enemy tier with damage resistance auras.
  • Enemies are more difficult and give 100% increased experience, 15% more gold and overcome 20% resistance

The last difficulty level, World Tier 4 (Torment) will unlock once you complete the Capstone Dungeon Fallen Temple on World Tier 3. you will gain access to Ancestral items and enemies will give 200% increased experience, 15% more gold and overcome 40% resistance.

Is there crafting in Diablo 4?

Diablo 4 crafting will be done through the Artisan system. There are four NPCs that you will use to upgrade your character in a variety of ways.

  • Blacksmith - At the blacksmith, you will be able to craft and upgrade your armor and weapons. Items can be upgraded a certain amount of times based on the rarity of the item. You can also salvage unwanted gear in order to receive much needed crafting materials. Also, if you accidentally salvage a piece with gems socketed, the gems will be returned to your inventory.
  • Jeweler - The jeweler is going to be used to craft Amulets and Rings. You can also upgrade your jewelry just like at the blacksmith. Another big feature of the jeweler is that you are able to upgrade, socket, and unsocket gems. This is very similar to the jeweler in Diablo 3.
  • Alchemist - The alchemist is new to the Diablo franchise. Here, you will upgrade your health potions. Unlike Diablo 3, you would find legendary potions and equip them and they just had a set cooldown on them. In Diablo 4, upgrading your potion will increase the amount of charges you will have as well as the potency. You will also have access to Elixirs that you can craft that will provide a wide range of buffs for your character.
  • Occultist - Lastly, we have the occultist. The occultist is where you will be able to enchant your gear, rerolling a stat of your choice, much like in Diablo 3. But, the difference here is that you will craft Nightmare Sigils to access Nightmare Dungeons through the occultist. This is also where you will be able to imprint legendary aspects onto your Rare gear, upgrading it into a legendary item.

    You can also imprint a different aspect onto a legendary item if the stats are really good, but the legendary aspect is not the one you need. This gives flexibility and customization to make your character your own. You will be able to extract legendary aspects from items to imprint on your gear, or use any that you have unlocked through the Codex of Power.

Graphics and System Requirements

Some players forget that Diablo 3 is now an old game. Diablo 3 first released in 2012, at the time it was on the cutting edge, however, like all things, looks fade with time and Diablo 3’s once crisp image leaves much to be desired when compared to other titles in the genre today.

Diablo 4 has set a new bar for the series with crisp character models and landscapes that look incredible while still capturing the dark and gritty theme of the Diablo universe.

However, if you’re playing on PC, you’ll need double the RAM (8GB compared to Diablo 3’s 4GB) and a much better CPU/GPU just to get it running.

To get a “recommended” (mid-tier) experience, you’ll need the following specs on PC:

Diablo 4 PC minimum requirements

  • OS - Windows 10 64-bit
  • CPU - Intel Core i5 2500K AMD FX-8100
  • RAM - 8GB (DDR4 or better)
  • GPU - Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 AMD Radeon R9 280
  • Disk Space - 90 GB (SSD recommended)

Diablo 4 PC recommended system specs:

  • OS - Windows 10 64-bit
  • CPU - Intel Core i5 4760K AMD Ryzen 3 1300X
  • RAM - 16GB (DDR4 or better)
  • GPU - Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 AMD Radeon RX 470
  • Disk Space - 90 GB (SSD recommended)

Note that for CPU & GPU requirements, many other system components will work, but they should be equivalent or better than the suggested models, at least if you want a reliable experience.

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