Blizzard Entertainment’s next Diablo may be a long way off, but a fresh look at the game’s graphics, ranging from character classes to new and reinvented monsters, to smaller details like armor colors, shows how Diablo 4 goes on. In one Blog post published on Wednesday, Diablo 4 Art Director John Mueller, Lead Character Artist Arnaud Kotelnikoff and Associate Art Director Nick Chilano offered new insights into the dark fantasy world of Blizzard’s sequel.
Speaking to Mueller about Zoom, the art director told Polygon that the content on display was “pretty polished” and “a good representation of where we are today” Diablo 4‘s development.
Some of the highlights from the blog feature characters like the villains and the barbarians, and what the players’ gear will look like Diablo 4the variety of body types.
The equipment shown reflects the dark, grounded and more realistic art direction for Diablo 4, but Mueller said players can still expect a lot of blitz from armor and equipment they acquired in the endgame.
“I have the feeling that we have created a lot more space for the contrast between the very high level and your starter equipment,” said Mueller. “We want to have that really strong, iconic sense of the high-ranking barbarian, you know, on the top after you’ve explored the entire world of Sanctuary, you’ve been to all of the dungeons and your gear should reflect that. So it should be contrary to what you start with, right? I think we took a much toned down approach because we know it’s a very long runway that we’re trying to create. “
Mueller added, “It has been a huge investment to achieve this level of fidelity with hundreds of pieces of armor and equipment down the line and [multiple] Body types and characters for five classes, and that they all feel as if they are of the same quality. “
The art team would like too Diablo 4 “A very inclusive experience,” said Mueller of character creation and customization. “We are very pleased with the variety of options we offer players,” he said. “If you just stay seated and randomly type, you know I’m really happy with what I see. I feel like it’s a very broad spectrum that when you think of previous Diablo games […] to like, Diablo 3 has very, very solid looks and body types. And I think in Diablo 4, we opened that part of the game really dramatically. “
Diablo 4 will also bring back classic enemy types like the demonic succubus and resuscitated skeletons, as well as threats to the “natural family” like wasps, tree spirits and bears. The game will also introduce new horrors like the Blood Bishop and a newly invented Skeleton Lord. Talking about balancing the world of Sanctuary, Mueller noted that “it can’t just be demons and skeletons continuously”.
“It’s fun to take these very traditional Diablo themes, like skeletons, and really blow them out,” he said. “There are all sorts of things you can do with it that feel really good. This is kind of the bread and butter of our work, and there is a boundary between the natural world – like the tree spirits and wasps and the wild boars or bears you might encounter – and the demonic and horror themes. This is something from the early days of Diablo. I think we always tried to … have the universe ground.
“Through the Diablo 4 Lens, this open medieval world for you to explore, was such a compelling idea that we felt it was no longer just a series of just connected dungeons, but now this very large, open world. And that requires a sense of credibility. “
One type of enemy that Mueller has proclaimed is the Spider Host, one of the classic “exploding” Diablo enemy types that can tap players’ disgust and fear of swarming creepy crawlies.
“I knew we had to have [something] explode and lots of things have to come out, ”he said. “The spider hosts [are] actually one of those things and you know, I’ve probably killed thousands and thousands of spider hosts by this point, but I still enjoy it [to see it explode].
“Spiders are one of the funniest families of monsters in the game because they’re so firmly anchored in our brains that they’re creepy,” added Mueller. “You want to find a way to treat these things in a way that makes it feel like a dark fantasy and if it feels too high we try to curb it somehow and say, well, that idea was really cool Diablo 3 or Diablo 2 … How can we do that in Diablo 4 and did it like working with the aesthetics and what we are trying to do in the new game? “
How could this realistic approach work with a theoretical cow-filled level in, for example? Diablo 4, Mueller said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Cow level? What?”
Mueller, Kotelnikoff and Chilano share more details Diablo 4‘s Art Direction and the technology that makes it possible in the new Blizzard blog postthat offers an additional look at characters in motion. Mueller told Polygon that with the team’s new tools and drive to create something down to earth and realistic looking, he hopes it doesn’t overshadow what players love about the Diablo aesthetic.
“When we started, I think our main goal was to create something that felt very handcrafted and something that felt very artistic,” Mueller said. “Blizzard has [an artistic legacy] that’s super important in the studio. My fears were that if we adopt a lot of new tools and technologies, we might lose some of that soul. We could lose some of that energy that people connect to through our art.
“I’m very close to work, but I’m incredibly proud of the work the team has done, and I think advances in tools and technology have not exceeded our desire and goals to make art the top priority that we are proud of. It is always up to the audience to decide how we are doing, so I look forward to hearing what people have to say about what they are about to see. “