Diablo IV Interview

With Blizzard Entertainment announcing a release date for Diablo IV and showcasing an alpha build of the game, it's no surprise that we can now check out this Eurogamer interview with the game's director Joe Shely and lead class designer Adam Jackson.

The interview covers a lot of ground, including Diablo IV's numerous systems, its sprawling open world design, online features, pricing and monetization, and more.

Here's a couple of sample questions:

One thing I noticed when logging into the game is there's an online queue thing there. And obviously there aren't many people playing this demo so the queue was nearly non-existent. I still noticed it, though, and given what happened with Overwatch 2 and the queue times around launch, it worries me what could happen here. How are you going to mitigate against queues when people flood in?

Joe Shely: So the first thing, of course, is that if we somehow end up with more people than a server can handle at any given time, we actually need a queue system so that the game doesn't say, 'No! You can't play - sorry!' [he laughs]. So we're testing that and so that's why you're seeing it in the demo.

But we've been working very hard on our network infrastructure, on our server infrastructure, learning lessons from other launches, because of course at Blizzard we have other titles [...] So we're learning lessons from other launches that we've done recently, and our server architecture is very strong. We're preparing to host way more players than we think will actually be there, and we're very committed to having a smooth launch and having people be able to play on day one. We want to be in a situation where a person can be excited about the launch and say, 'I'm gonna take launch day off and play the game,' and for them to have a good experience. That's what we're working toward.

Something I'm concerned about - maybe because of what happened with Diablo Immortal - is the in-game shop. And I know you've talked about this as a cosmetic-only shop, but people tend to promise this exact same thing - I think even Diablo Immortal did, and then this whole gem thing became apparent and people were spending all sorts of money on that. Can you tell me what exactly is going to be sold in the game's shop?

Joe Shely: Sure - and we did a blog on this recently, back in August, that goes into a lot of detail. But yes, it is a cosmetic-only shop. You're going to see lots of different things like armour, armour-visuals for your character - cosmetic armour. If you check out, in the build, our wardrobe in the towns - of course there's lots and lots of armour that you see in the game and you can salvage to get new looks. [But] you can also go in the shop and get new looks that way. And there are a variety of other cosmetic things, like you could get markings for your character, character customization, things like that. We plan to have a variety of those kinds of things. If you check our August blog, it goes into a lot of detail.