Diablo 4 Leaks Highlight Difficulty Options, In-Depth Character Creator

It seems Diablo 4's friends and family beta has sprung a leak.

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Leaked Diablo IV screenshots and footage from a private build of the game have given fans their first look at how the next entry in Blizzard's iconic ARPG franchise will handle difficulty settings and character creation.

Screenshots show players will be able to choose from a number of different body types, faces, hairstyles, accessories, tattoos, and more when it comes to customizing their character, with the leaked images appearing to show options for what looks like Diablo IV's Barbarian (or possibly the Druid). Players can randomize their appearance of their character and will have the option of creating hardcore (permadeath) or seasonal ladder characters, as well as the ability to choose between "more or less" guidance in regards to the game's tutorials.

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Now Playing: Diablo 4 - Official Xbox Gameplay Showcase

When it comes to difficulty settings, at least at the start of Diablo IV, it looks like there will be two--Adventurer and Veteran. Enemies will be weaker on the Adventurer difficulty (which is recommended for new Diablo players) and will drop average loot. Veteran, on the other hand, is more challenging and is recommended for longtime players of the franchise that "want to be tested." Playing on Veteran difficulty will award better loot, more gold, and more XP.

Diablo as a franchise is known for having numerous difficulty settings. Diablo II, for example, has three difficulties (Normal, Nightmare, and Hell) which are unlocked by completing the game with a character on each difficulty in order. Diablo III has five base difficulties (Normal, Hard, Expert, Master, and Torment), with the hardest, Torment, being broken down into 16-different tiers of challenge. Given the franchise's history, it seems a safe bet that Diablo IV will have more difficulty options for higher-level, endgame characters, but what exactly those settings will look like still remains to be seen.

The leaks are believed to be from a "friends and family" private beta for Diablo that is currently ongoing, according to reports. Most of the leaked images and videos of the private beta have been pulled from sites like Twitter, but can still be found around the web (like the gaming leaks and rumors subreddit).

As Diablo IV is still in development, details like the difficulty and customization options seen in the leaks are still works-in-progress and could change between now and the game's official release, which is slated to arrive sometime in the first half of 2023. Blizzard is currently accepting signups for a public Diablo IV beta, but has not yet released details on when the beta will start.

Blizzard's most recent Diablo game, the free-to-play and mobile-first Diablo Immortal, has been heavily criticized for its microtransactions, which many players argue are pay-to-win. That has led to Blizzard clarifying that while Diablo IV will have an in-game microtransaction shop, it will only sell cosmetics, with no way for players to make their characters more powerful by spending real money.

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