Why it matters: In its first quarterly progress update for Diablo 4, Blizzard said it is expanding control options for the PC version. In addition to adding gamepad support, players will also be able to remap the primary skill trigger to the keyboard. The user interface is getting a lot of other changes as well.
In the playable Diablo IV demo shown at Blizzcon 2019, the primary skill was activated by the left mouse button. Both during the event and for months after, fans requested they consider moving the control to the keyboard to separate abilities from movement.
Lead User Interface Designer Angela Del Priore said that they would add the option to map the skill to the keyboard. Additionally, the game will give players the ability to assign any power into any slot, another highly requested feature dating back to Diablo 3. Slots will also have customizable bindings, so players can set them up any way they choose.
Another UI tweak being made to the game is moving the Action Bar back to the middle bottom of the screen (above). In the Blizzcon demo, the Action Bar was in the left corner (below). The developers did this to make the battle area more visible but found through feedback and in-house testing that it just didn’t work for desktop play.
“We wanted to try clearing the central combat area and freeing up the bottom of the screen where the isometric camera already sees less,” said Priore. “However, based on usability test results, the team’s feedback, and the feedback we received from the demo, we’re going to move the default position of the action bar back to the bottom center for PC players.”
She explained that moving it to the corner will remain in the console version because of the difference in viewing angle and distance. PC users will have the option to have the bar in either position, depending on their setup and preference.
You can check out all of the other details coming to Diablo 4 in Blizzard’s new blog for the game.