Blizzard is continuing to keep fans abreast of Diablo 4's development, and the latest quarterly update focuses on a revamped Skills and Talent system. We're also introduced to the Sorceress's new Enchantment system and treated to a few never-before-seen Diablo 4 screenshots.
Lead systems designer David Kim says the development team agrees that the Skills and Talent systems don't have enough depth in their current state, and likewise, you'll notice in the image below that Diablo 4's skill tree has been given a significant refresh. "We have made some major changes to Diablo IV's Skills and Talent systems," Kim wrote in the dev update.
One of the biggest changes from the earlier skill tree is the separation of Skills and Passives into different sections of the skill tree, with the "roots" of the tree being Passives and the branches being the Skills and Skill upgrades. Then there are many different nodes placed along the skill tree, granting new active Skills and beefing up existing Skills. Spending Skill points on square nodes unlocks active Skills, while circular nodes enhance skills you've already unlocked. Blizzard says there's a cap on how many nodes you can unlock at once, with the goal being for players to have 30-40% of nodes unlocked at the end game.
Finally, Blizzard introduces a new exclusive mechanic for the Sorceress class. While Barbarians benefit from the Arsenal system, which lets them carry and seamlessly change out multiple deadly weapons, Sorceresses have the Enchantment system. Essentially, all Sorceress skills can be slotted into the standard active Skill slot or the Sorceress-specific Enchantment slot, which adds a secondary passive skill. For example, Meteor would usually allow a Sorceress to summon meteors from the sky to cast down against enemies, but if that sorceress chooses to make Meteor an Enchanted skill, chunks of space debris will periodically land on enemies as you move through an environment.
Kim also acknowledged community feedback about the itemization system - specifically Ancestral/Demonic/Angelic powers - and Legendary items, but says we'll need to wait until the next quarterly update to hear about development in those areas.
The hands-on Diablo 4 preview from our sibling publication Edge should give you hope for Blizzard's darker, grittier sequel.