Diablo 4's Fields of Hatred PvP zones are not for the faint of heart, Blizzard says.
During today's developer livestream, associate game director Joseph Piepiroa confirmed that Diablo 4's PvP areas won't protect solo players from being ganked by bigger squads, although there will be "bucketing" in place to prevent super high-level players from killing low-level players.
"The fields of hatred that we have in D4 are not a place for honor, they are a place for slaughter, so if you go into those places you need to be mindful that you are entering a chaotic realm of danger and threat. That's the fantasy. That's what we're trying to do."
"There are things in place in terms of how we bucket players by level to ensure that you're not always going up against really really high level players at a very very low level. But in terms of like, 'I'm walking into this space, is there any guarantee that there aren't three people roaming around this area looking to gank lonely people like me?' The answer is, there is no mechanic in place to prevent that from occurring, so you need to be mindful of that when you're walking around here."
Unlike Diablo 3's controversial release, Diablo 4 will have a fully fledged PvP system in place when it launches on June 6. Separated into distinct zones called Fields of Hatred, Diablo 4 PvP will let daring adventurers loose into the Wild West of Sanctuary, where not only can players free and openly kill each other, but they can also take your loot.
Fields of Hatred aren't just PvP-exclusive arenas; they're huge areas to explore with their own PvE activities to complete and an exclusive currency to earn called Shards of Hatred. And here's where the risk vs. reward element comes in. Once you've collected a Shard of Hatred, you'll be marked as hostile on the map and become a prime target for other squads, who by killing you will have the chance to take any Shards you've collected. However, if you manage to make it to an altar before then, you can cleanse your Shards of Hatred and at that point, they're yours to keep whether or not you die.
Piepiora wasn't specific about how Diablo 4 will prevent high-level players from griefing low-level players, but he did clarify that the Fields of Hatred are big enough that you probably won't run into the same player twice in the same session.
Blizzard confirmed today that there's another developer livestream happening in "early May," but it's unlikely to touch on PvP all too much, as it's confirmed to be focused on the seasonal progression system and battle pass.
There's also a new Diablo 4 open beta happening in May.