The Diablo IV development team put out a new quarterly update on the game's official blog, detailing some of the progress that has been made on the highly anticipated new installment of the Diablo franchise.
The main focus of this Diablo IV info dump is the brand new Skill System, which does seem to be inspired by Path of Exile given its significant complexity as you can see with the many tree branches.
We have made some major changes to Diablo IV’s Skills and Talent systems. We’ve been reading through a lot of the comments from the community and agree that the Talent system needs more depth. Similarly, Skill system progression felt too simple, which created issues where a player would have no meaningful reason to spend their skill points. With this valuable feedback in mind, we’ve have been iterating on a new Skill System.
The upper Skills section is where you will spend the Skill Points that you earn by leveling up. Here, you unlock brand new skills, unlock additional functionality for these skills, and unlock Passive Points that you can then spend on the lower Passive section of the tree.
The Skill Tree you see above consists of many specific nodes, a sample of which you can see in the screenshots above. If we imagine every single node on that massive Skill Tree affecting different skills in different ways, the path that you decide to take will determine big power increases and playstyle choices.
The Passive part of this system is where you will find more general upgrades to your character. These effects are not specific to particular skills. Therefore, the Skill Tree will have a good mix of all types of different choices for players to make.
Even at endgame, players will only be able to unlock between 30 to 40% of the nodes, which according to the developers should lay the foundation for very different character builds.
Beyond the Skill System, Blizzard also introduced the class-specific Enchantment System for the Sorceress. This character will get the unique chance to put active skills into enchantment slots; by doing that it won't be usable as an active skill, but it'll grant a 'secondary bonus power'.
For example, the default Meteor skill drops down at your targeted location. By adding it to an enchantment slot, you'll lose the ability to control it, but it'll periodically fall on enemies.
Last but not least, the developers have teased a brand new endgame progression system for Diablo IV. The goal is to craft something that's deeper and provides more replayability than Diablo III's Paragon system. More details on this one will be provided in the future, though.
Diablo IV doesn't have a release date, but it's a fair bet that we'll learn more about it during BlizzConline 2020, scheduled to take place on February 19 and 20th, 2021.