For the first time in the series, Diablo 4 makes it possible to customize characters visually fully. From hair and eye color to facial hair, jewelry, tattoos, and more. Through a ‘dye’ system, it becomes possible to adjust the color of the armor.
Blizzard shared more information about the game in a new ‘Diablo quarterly update.’ This includes the new customization. In the past, players had little choice when it comes to the appearance of the characters, but that has to change with Diablo 4.
“It becomes possible to change your character’s face, hair style, facial hair, piercings, makeup, and tattoos or body paint,” explains Arnaud Kotelnikoff. Kotelnikoff is the Lead Character Artist for Diablo 4. “It will be possible to adjust the skin color, as well as the color of the eyes, hair and tattoos. Some elements are specific to certain classes, but it becomes possible to adjust the different options to mix with each other.”
The armor you wear is an important part of the character’s appearance. Diablo 4 will therefore have a dye system that goes deeper than that of Diablo 3. “Every part of your armor can be dyed. This applies to the helmet, chest, gloves, legs and boots,” says Kotelnikoff. “You can give each part a different color or put a certain color on all parts immediately.”
This system can be accessed from your Lair, where players can use a new ‘Wardrobe’ system to mix and match armor.
In another section of the update, Blizzard explains more about the game’s tech and art design progress. Following the style of Diablo 3, Diablo 4 will return with a dark look that the series was known for years before. John Mueller, Art Director for Diablo 4, explains that this is a development that stems from the cinematics of Diablo 3. They were much darker than the almost cheerful in-game graphics. The new look for Diablo 4 is made possible by new techniques, but it’s still a Blizzard game.
“We wanted to use the latest tools and techniques and thought a lot about the ‘realism’ of the game. So it has become a handcrafted style that fits very well with a Blizzard game. We don’t want the characters to feel generic or familiar with this processes,” said Mueller.
The advantage of these tools and techniques as part of the in-game engine ensures that the story can be told better. “Most of our cutscenes are rendered using the in-game models,” Mueller said. “In previous Diablo games, all cinematics were pre-rendered. We still have great cinematic moments created by Blizzard Animation, but now we have those moments with your character in the picture as well.”
An example is the in-game engine cinematic shared for the announcement of the Rogue class. While that video isn’t up to par with the pre-rendered cinematics, it’s still high quality and a leap forward compared to Diablo 3’s in-game look.