'Diablo 4' ability customization could win over angry Blizzard fans

The fan service 'Diablo' needed.

Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard Entertainment will take its classic dungeon crawler series back to its dark roots with Diablo 4. The upcoming game’s Blizzcon 2019 trailers looked like an interactive Slayer album cover and three classes from the beloved Diablo 2 are making a comeback.

Everything we’ve seen about Diablo 4 has suggested Blizzard wants to do right by fans by sticking to the core mechanics and brutal aesthetic that has defined the series for more than 20 years. On Tuesday, Blizzard developers announced that Diablo 4 would keep “Elective Mode” that made Diablo 3 so customizable.

The feature let players bind all of their skills to any button they choose, a customization feature that was not available in the first two entries of the series. It can be toggled on under “Gameplay” in the Options menu and lets gamers make better use of multi-button mouses or fancy keyboard.

“There’s a misconception that Diablo 4 will lock skills to specific slots because of the BlizzCon demo user interface,” said Blizzard. “Like many other things in the demo, the UI is not final and we will support Elective Mode-style skill selection. Skill selection and assignment will always be completely open for all players.”

Blizzard reveals that *Diablo 4* is in the works at Blizzcon 2019.


Alongside ensuring players that Elective Mode won’t be scrubbed from Diablo 4, Blizzard put out an open call for suggestions about the post-game experience.

“We haven’t decided whether the character leveling and experience system should be finite or infinite,” wrote Diablo lead systems designer David Kim. “We’ve been discussing the pros and cons of both and would love to hear your thoughts.”

The blog post received with more than a thousand comments across Diablo’s site and Reddit. Responses were overwhelmingly positive and surprised about the open and receptive nature of Diablo 4’s development.


Blizzard seems to have put the franchise back on the right track, especially after the last year’s cringe-worthy reveal of Diablo Immortal, a mobile-only version of the game that disappointed fans across the board. The company broke its silence about the public face-plant days later with a brief “we hear you” that was subsequently bashed by users for being tone-deaf.

But Diablo 4 is shaping up to be a massive love letter to fans who fell in love with the series nearly two decades ago. It appears Blizzard will let players steer this express train into hell, and fans are more than happy to take charge after Diablo’s shaky 2018.

Diablo 4 will be released… eventually.

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