Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How Diablo 4's World Tiers Change The Series' Difficulty Options

From the looks of everything we know so far about "Diablo 4," it seems like the highly-anticipated sequel will be putting a major focus on player freedom. The fourth entry to the long-running dungeon-crawler franchise has already announced a ton of series-first features to open up a wider range of player choices, from character customization, sprawling skill trees, the Paragon Board, and an open world with five regions for players to explore at will.

And while the open world map sounds somewhat incompatible with the heavily progression-based experience that "Diablo" fans will be expecting, it seems the developers have already accounted for the lack of linear progression structure by swapping out the traditional difficulty options with a World Tier system. Operating similarly to the World/Apocalypse Tiers as seen in "Outriders," "Diablo 4"'s World Tier system will scale enemy challenge levels and rewards based on the selected tiers instead of the in-game region or campaign progression point.

Players will be able to customize their gameplay experience

In an interview with IGN, "Diablo 4"'s Director Joe Shely and General Manager Rod Fergusson explained how the World Tier system would replace the difficulty sliders entirely in the upcoming title. Players will start out at level one and have three options to choose from, with World Tier 1 offering a standard experience, World Tier 2 presenting more of a challenge with bigger rewards, and Adventurer Mode being catered towards newcomers and players who want to focus on the story above the gameplay. 

Apparently, subsequent World Tiers will also have bosses at the end of them that unlock the next tier upon defeat, giving players a challenge to overcome before they can move on to better loot drops. Fergusson explains that this was their way of ensuring that "Diablo 4" would maintain that "core loop" of progression that's central to the loot-based dungeon-crawler experience of the franchise, but with greater freedom. With the World Tier system, players will be able to travel wherever they'd like in the open-world map while in full control of how much of a challenge they'll be facing from the area's enemies. 

Shely also mentioned that there will be a special boss at the end of World Tier 100, giving players something to look forward to tackling with their hard-won gear as they progress through the main campaign as well as the endgame grind.