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Diablo Developer Talk Recap: New Maps, Challenge Rifts, UI Updates

by - 2 years ago

A Diablo Developer Talk and Q&A was on the panel stage at Blizzcon. It consisted of several developers, including :

  • Kevin Martens – Lead Game Designer
  • Wyatt Cheng – Senior Game Designer
  • Adam Phul – Senior Game Designer
  • Joe Shely – Senior Game Designer
  • Travis Day – Senior Game Designer

The Developer Talk wasted no time in getting down to business, starting with details about the seasons coming to console. While Seasons will work like how seasons work on PC, there will be some key differences.

Some features like Haedrig’s gifts and season journeys will be almost verbatim out of how PC seasons are designed. Certain rewards will appear at different times then they would for PC users, while the leaderboards will be console specific to the Xbox One and the PS4.

Hacked items was briefly discussed in a question asked by the community later, to which Blizzard said they are working on it but refused to go into specifics, as per their policy on discussing hacks.
After the console seasons and leaderboards were discussed, the developer team moved on to UI improvements and items changes coming in the next patch (2.4.3).

Some of the big UI changes coming in the patch include:



  • The dye tab! The mystic is getting a tab for discovered dyes. Once discovered, they will be available through the mystic like transmogs are done.
  • Koni’s cube is getting a fill button! Each recipe in the cube has a button to fill in the mats needed to use that recipe. No more having to click every silly mat!
  • Crafting materials getting their own inventory tab! No more having stash space filled with thousands of mats. This includes basic crafting materials, Death’s Breaths, bounty materials, and hellfire regents.


Other improvements were mentioned that were going to affect Greater Rifts. Some of these changes included

  • a new algorithm for mob density which SHOULD lessen huge empty areas in rifts.
  • making different floors more varied, thus allowing players to see different tiles sets more regularly within a run.
  • Monsters tweeks which allow them to be killed in midair, emerge from invisibility/ burrow sooner, and shielding cancels instantly when secondary mobs are dead.
  • To make dieing in normal matter more, if a rift is completed without dieing you get an extra upgrade chance. This applies to hardcore too, so hardcore will pretty much always get the extra chance

After the discussion on Greater Rifts, the team dove right into the new Challenge Rifts. These rifts are static rifts that are the same for everyone – the same class, the same build, the same map, the same pylons, everything. This is a way for players to try out new build ideas without spending a huge investment in time to level up a different character.

The Challenge Rifts will stay for a set period of time ( a week or perhaps a little longer) and then will be rotated out for a different Challenge Rift. They will also be taken from community builds, so they should stay relevant as the meta shifts.

The development team mentioned the new Act II areas coming as well. Most of what was mentioned of the new zones was mainly concept art and screen shots of the zones. The Shrouded Moor is more greens and crumbling ruins, while the Temple of the First Born has a dark atmosphere and Gothic vibe. Each area has new monsters to fight and new events to find.


Rounding up the panel was some Q&A, notable questions including:

  • What is the Necro class weapon going to be? The answer was currently the Scythe as seen in the Necro cut scene and there are plans to do like the Wizard and have an offhand item as well, though what that is right now is still being discussed.
  • What is some noteworthy loot from the upcoming Darkening of Tristram event? The development team was quick to point out the legendary halm gem and transmog. They also hinted at other loot, but no specifics were given.
  • A question about how the upcoming armory system works came up, and the developers made sure to point out that the armory moved armor around but it still had to be stored in either the stash or the character inventory in order to work.