Blizzard has given us a new look at Diablo 4’s art, character designs, and a few of the game’s bosses.
In the most recent Diablo 4 quarterly development update, Blizzard offered some insight into the art creation process as it pertains to player characters, monsters, and NPCs.
Among the many reveals made in the lengthy blog post, Blizzard said that players will be able to customise how their characters look in-game. Though every class has a certain unique look, players will have control over their skin colour, hairstyle, facial hair, tattoo and body paint, and even accessories like jewellery and piercings.
Certain elements will be limited to each class, but others can be used by anyone. Blizzard shared a few examples of created characters, and they look consistent with the game’s overall darker tone and muted colours, so you likely won’t be able to create Shrek or any of the monstrosities the Souls games allow, for instance.
This emphasis on customisation extends to character armour, which players will be able to tweak the look of with the help of dyes. A dye system isn’t new to Diablo, of course, but Diablo 4’s implementation allows for individual colours per armour piece. Your helmet, chest, gloves, legs, and boots can all be dyed different colours in Diablo 4.
As with the rest of your character’s appearance, dyes have to also be consistent with the game’s look. Because all materials follow physically-based rendering (PBR) rules, colours will react realistically to light.
“This system was challenging to implement because materials such as metal do not allow themselves to be dyed with inappropriate colors when they follow PBR rules,” explained lead character artist, Arnaud Kotelnikoff.
“To address this, we added data to our armor that identifies specific material types and tells the dye system what color goes on what material, such as leather, fabric, metal, and other specific surfaces. The result is armor that is dyable in a range of colors that still feeling grounded and realistic in the world we’re building for Diablo 4.”
The rest of the update goes into the game’s darker, more grounded art style, and how that direction affected the design of locations, bosses, and NPCs. It also offers some curious insight into the game’s camera and the surprising amount of work it takes to make characters look good, as well as readable, from different angles. You can read it at the link at the top.
Diablo 4 does not yet have a release date.