Diablo IV will support DirectStorage thanks to a future game update
Expect faster loading times thanks to Diablo IV’s planned DirectStorage update
When speaking to PC Gamer, Blizzard has confirmed that Diablo IV will gain support for Microsoft’s DirectStorage technology though a future update, a change that should enable shorter game loading times and faster teleports between locations.
In a comment to PC Gamer, the Diablo team has stated that “MS DirectStorage is currently not enabled, but we are planning on enabling it in the future.” This confirms that DirectStorage support will arrive within Diablo IV through a future game update.
Microsoft’s DirectStorage technology is designed to help game developers to get the most from modern PC and console hardware. Specifically, DirectStorage is designed to allow developers to better utilise the potential of solid state storage. Gone are the days where traditional hard disk drives were fast enough for modern games; the era of the solid state drive is here, and that means that developers need to change the way they look at PC storage.
The DirectStorage API is designed to help developers utilise the high sequential data rates that are available though SSD storage, allowing games to load data faster and more efficiently. Currently, not many games make use of DirectStorage, though this is due to change as more and more games are built exclusively with SSD storage in mind.
While loading time improvements and faster game traversal are useful changes, DirectStorage can also help developers to load and unload game assets in a more efficient way. This can help prevent large open-world style games from experiencing loading-related framerate issues or stutters. This means that future games may not need to mask loading by forcing gamers to crawl through crevasses, or take an overly long time to open a door. With DirectStorage and a fast SSD, loading related waits can become a thing of the past.
As we have noted in our PC performance review for the game, Diablo IV already runs well on PC, but DirectStorage has the potential to improve the game further by shortening loading times and making asset loading even more efficient.