Diablo 4's open world borrows elements from Ubisoft's biggest games.
Blizzard has posted a new Diablo 4 development update that talks about some of the mechanics the studio has been recently testing, and explain how the sequel's changes in structure will affect players.
For starters, the developer recently hosted internal play tests to specifically track what players are doing in the open world and how to make it more interesting. Blizzard found that players who mixed in open-world activities with story content got the most enjoyment out of the game. Part of Blizzard's goals with Diablo 4 is to make the world worth exploring.
The developer, of course, previously revealed Diablo 4's public events, but the world also includes other activities such as world PvP, and crafting. The focus of this update, however, was on camps, another feature of the open world of Sanctuary. These operate similarly to bandit camps in Far Cry and Assassin's Creed games, in that you must clear them out of enemies to claim them.
When that happens, vendors get to move in, and you can freely fast travel to any camp you previously cleared. You'll have to stumble upon camps as you explore their area, and each of them has its own story you can uncover as you liberate them. Blizzard wanted players' actions to be reflected on the world itself, as you reclaim it inch by inch.
The blog post also explained how multiplayer is going to work. The developer does not want Diablo 4 to be an MMO where you see players everywhere, so it made a few decisions about how and when you encounter other players.
Major story moments and dungeons are locked to you/your party, so they're always private. When certain story moments are finished, towns get turned into social hubs, where you'll run into other players. Out in the open world, you may also see other players here and there. Obviously, if you go looking for public activities like world events, you'll come across the largest number of players as everyone joins the big fight.
With that said, Blizzard wants the entire game to be played solo. You don't need a party to join world events, for instance. You're free to jump in, do some damage and walk away with a reward.
Away form the nitty gritty, Blizzard revealed that while the entire team has fully transitioned to working from home, Diablo 4 has not yet hit beta or even alpha stage yet.
"We don’t typically discuss our early milestones publicly during the course of development, but we think it’s especially important to continue to share our progress during a year without a Blizzcon," Blizzard wrote.
You can read the full thing at the link at the top.