In a new series of developer blogs that update fans on progress on the new entry, fans got some great news about Diablo IV. Blizzard has revealed that Diablo IV will have a full suite of controller options on PC, with players being able to fully rebind all keys for using their controllers.
RPGs have typically been a more PC-focused realm with more complex games having to manage a full party and dozens of skills. And since this entry marks the first time an entry in the iconic franchise has been developed for both PC and consoles at the same time, Blizzard has taken some lessons to heart and will design controller schemes and UI that feel good for the players on any setup. Players have been asking for the Diablo style of controls to improve, and natively support controllers, for a good long while. Some PC gamers prefer the feel of a controller for certain games, so nothing wrong with that. And it looks like Blizzard is delivering by optimizing the experience for both of the most common PC setups.
The team also took lessons from other popular genre titles. Path of Exile players know full well the necessity of binding movement to left mouse button or a similar option, separating actions and skills from movement. This will also be a thing in Diablo IV.
Lead UI Designer, Angela Del Priore, also had some news to share on how the game will communicate info to the players. By taking into account feedback from BlizzCon and the general din of the fandom, Blizzard has made some improvements across the board. Inventory has been given some clarity improvements. And the UI surrounding item icons has been tweaked with a lower brightness to make them less distracting. In their own words, Blizzard says they “hope to both home in on our goal of a gritty, realistic UI, while balancing ease of use.”
The UI being retooled will also tie into the keybinding changes a little bit, as it should be simpler to handle differing control schemes in the new game. The development team has taken into account player habits, through eye-tracking and other data tools. to make a UI that feels natural with the simplified control and skills schemes players will find in Diablo IV.
“We try to maintain this sort of approach, of keeping established keyboard and mouse conventions while creating controller-friendly shortcuts or alternate flows, throughout the game,” Del Priore said. “Controller support shouldn’t be a limiter on how complex our game can be; it just means we have more paths that we need to consider. It’s not a simple undertaking, but we’re really striving for a native feel for both types of inputs.”