Style Character Customization Could Make Diablo 4 a True RPG Again

08:31  04 october  2022
08:31  04 october  2022 Source:   gamerant.com

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Blizzard launched Diablo in January 1997, with the grim world of Sanctuary introducing gamers to a new type of action RPG that hooked many right away. From Deckard Cain's voice as Tristram to the exploration of the catacombs beneath the cathedral, role-playing in video games really took a leap forward. Diablo became Blizzard's second multi-game franchise, surpassing the company's wildest expectations, and now Diablo 4 has the chance to recapture its RPG sensibilities with expanded character customization.

  Character Customization Could Make Diablo 4 a True RPG Again © Provided by GameRant

The franchise grew in popularity as Diablo 2 maintained the atmosphere and aesthetics with added gameplay mechanics and an expansive world. However, as Blizzard added more action-oriented mechanics, the roots of the role-playing game were fading away. While Diablo and Diablo 2 managed to walk the line of introducing and refining hack-and-slash gameplay while retaining storytelling and character development, Diablo 3 seemingly forget what made the franchise so great, opening plenty of opportunities for its successor.

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Diablo 3 Was Action First

Diablo 3 was by far the biggest hit in the franchise, although much of it can be attributed to gaming markets evolving over the years. Diablo 3 was also a massive success because it borrowed a page from the company's cash cow, World of Warcraft. It leaned on multiplayer aspects, introduced a more family-friendly aesthetic, and downplayed the importance of role-playing in the truest sense.

People flocked to the game as they did with World of Warcraft, with 30 million gamers buying Diablo 3 as of February 2021. But the game changed a lot, as meaningful dialog, interesting storylines, and gripping narration made room for shiny objects, multiplayer marketplaces, and cartoonish graphics. Diablo 3 certainly made plenty of money for Blizzard, but it seems the company is now looking back to the original Diablo. While the predatory monetization of Diablo Immortal didn't give much to look forward to, the company's intentions have proven better with Diablo 4.

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Diablo 4 Takes the Franchise Back to its Roots

Blizzard has stressed that Diablo 4 will be returning to its roots in terms of gameplay, storytelling, and aesthetics. This means a grittier, darker, and more realistic Diablo is returning, with the action portion of the game seeming less hectic and slower-paced. Blizzard is even introducing new elements that are going to make it more RPG-like than any of its predecessors.

One thing Diablo has never done right is character customization. There have only been a handful of characters since the series' inception, and this means a limited physical representation of the classes that people take on. In Diablo 3, the only choice beyond class is whether the player wants to be male or a female. The player's banner has more customization, although it is largely meaningless.

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Much of the player character's visual changes are applied by acquiring new equipment. Carrying a massive axe or glowing staff makes the character stand out, but it doesn't really scratch a role-playing itch. Bringing Transmogrification from World of Warcraft to Diablo was a good move, but didn't go far enough. In World of Warcraft: Classic players can customize their characters with different skin and hair colors, facial structures, hairstyles, and accessories. With later updates, World of Warcraft has only increased the customization options.

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Fortunately, Diablo 4 promises to rectify this. Blizzard revealed early on that better customization was a priority, and the first drafts and demos showed different hair colors and skin colors. Concept art revealed Blizzard was planning something much more elaborate.

Diablo 4's Characters Are Fully Customizable

Fully customizable characters in Diablo 4 extends to character creation as well as equipment via Transmogrification. According to the official screenshots, customizable elements include skin color, hair and facial hair colors, hairstyles, facial structures, eye colors, accessories, tattoos, and scars.

Most customizations are universal among Diablo 4's character classes, but some are unique depending on the culture and history of the class. Blizzard's screenshots don't reveal the full scope of options, although a few variants are shown. There will be a top selection for face and body, hair, accessories, and color. However, there's no look at the first two categories, and some leaked images are only in Russian. However, the first two are likely to have multiple options to change the formation of the face and body, as well as different hairstyles.

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In terms of accessories, Diablo 4 offers three tabs that include makeup and jewelry. There's a separate section for colors of different customization options, and screenshots show 17 different pieces of jewelry for what appears to be Diablo's classic Necromancer class. The color options seem to vary from 16 to over 20.

It looks like Diablo will allow players to create characters of their own, not unlike character creation in Elden Ring or other modern RPGs. If Blizzard keeps on working on making its systems more expansive, the game's customization might be better than average. This will make the game more engaging and allow players to better identify with their characters. If the monetization of the recent mobile game can be forgotten, and the detour of Diablo 3 forgiven, there are signs that Diablo 4 could become not only a great RPG, but a remarkable entry in the Diablo franchise.

Diablo 4 will launch in 2023 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

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