Diablo is a pillar of Blizzard’s franchise library. Three games have been released so far in the ongoing war between Heaven and Hell, and its fourth installment was announced at Blizzcon 2019.
Despite the fact that Blizzard has kept a lot of the sequel’s details under wraps, here is everything you need to know about Diablo 4.
What is Diablo 4 about?
In Diablo 4, we revisit a Sanctuary thrown into chaos by the reawakening of Lilith, daughter of Mephisto, the Lord of Hatred. The horned nightmare has returned, having been banished for millennia.
Your protagonist has been selected as the last line of defense against the evil temptress, and must fight through legions of demons, the living dead, and other denizens of the underworld to bring her down.
Is there a Diablo 4 release date yet?
Diablo 4’s release date has been confirmed by Blizzard to be 2023, despite previous rumors suggesting a release in 2021 alongside the highly anticipated Overwatch 2. The announcement was made at the 2022 Xbox and Bethesda Gaming Showcase.
After a reorganization at the top of Blizzard was revealed on their earnings call on November 2, the developers confirmed that the release of the diabolical sequel would be delayed until 2023.
Blizzard stated that while they still intended to release a large amount of content next year, the releases of Diablo IV and Overwatch 2 would be pushed back.
Diablo 4 platforms
Diablo 4 will be released on the PC via the official Battle.net app, as well as the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles. Fans of Nintendo will have to wait a while longer to find out if there will be a Switch port of the game.
However, there is always a chance that Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision-Blizzard will result in Sony platforms not receiving Diablo 4, though this seems unlikely given that the beta is expected to arrive on PS5.
In an Xbox blog post, Phil Spencer said, “Activision Blizzard games are enjoyed on a variety of platforms and we plan to continue to support those communities moving forward.”
Diablo 4 trailers
Diablo 4’s official cinematic trailer, released at Blizzcon 2019, left a significant mark on the Diablo community.
Gameplay deep dive
Battle royale, the final boss, paragon boards, and more will all be on display at the Xbox & Bethesda Gaming Showcase 2022. Read on to find out more:
The lengthy film chronicles the efforts of three treasure hunters as they attempt to break into a mysterious tomb. The troop gains entry to what appears to be the grave of Lilith, daughter of the demon lord Mephisto, with the help of a badly wounded priest.
A sinister cultist is methodically picking off the hunters one by one, turning them into zombies, and using their blood in a ritual to call forth the demon princess herself.
The official gameplay trailer, which features the 3D world of Sanctuary in all its hack-and-slash glory, is available alongside this particularly gory cutscene. It also presents three new classes not previously seen in the series: the barbarian, sorceress, and druid.
BlizzConline 2021 Rogue Trailer
The Rogue class trailer was one of the small pieces of information about the new game that was revealed at BlizzConline 2021. She looks formidable, with her emphasis on fast-paced gameplay reminiscent of the Assassin and Demon Hunter from earlier games.
Diablo 4: New enemies
New terrifying creatures have been shown to be tearing through the veil and making their way to conquer earth in Blizzard’s June Quarterly Update.
Here you can see some of the new enemies in Diablo 4, such as the spider corpse and the beautifully bloody Blood Bishop.
Diablo 4: Character customization
After being restricted to premade characters in Diablo 2 and having few customization options in Diablo 3, players will have free reign over their character’s appearance in Diablo 4.
The next chapter of the Diablo saga allows players to create their ideal warrior by letting them customize every aspect of their character, from their appearance to their weapons and armor.
Players have complete creative control over their characters for the first time in the Diablo series.
Diablo 4 gameplay
The latest installment stays true to the formula that has made the series famous. As a dungeon crawler, the gameplay remains faithful to its hack-and-slash roots. The game’s visuals have been updated, and new features like camps, mounts, and varying terrain that adds height have been added.
In addition, there will be a “shared world” where players can team up to take on world bosses or go on quests.
Blizzard also confirmed that the game will have nearly 150 dungeons at launch, so there should be plenty of content for players to explore and loot, as well as Strongholds that must be reclaimed by defeating a certain number of enemies.
The new Ranged DPS class, the Rogue, is out to stop the spread of evil.
New Paragon system
Blizzard updated the Diablo 4 blog at the end of the year with information about the future of the game’s endgame leveling system. Once players have reached the soft level cap in Diablo 4, they will enter the Paragon system. Paragons will function differently in Diablo 4 than they did in Diablo 3.
Like in Diablo 3, the character leveling system changes at level 50, but this time players also gain access to the new Paragon Board. This resembles the sphere grid from Final Fantasy X and grants the player access to a variety of new abilities and cosmetic options.
A player can activate a digital tile to receive a variety of benefits, from minor enhancements to game-changing bonuses and even glyph sockets. These glyphs can be refined and leveled up to give the wielder greater access to new abilities as the character progresses.
A player’s post-game upgrades don’t stop once their Paragon Board is full. Once a player’s character reaches the board’s edge, the perimeter tiles open up to reveal additional Paragon Boards where they can continue to advance in level. The next Paragon Board could have even better benefits, with the possibility of uncovering magical, rare, and legendary tiles.
“The desired outcome is a personalized set of bonuses that will empower your here and honor your dedication to their progression,” Blizzard said. “That will remain fun to tweak and adjust over many playthroughs.” Developers are hoping the system will provide “more depth and replayability” than the Paragon system in Diablo 3, which merely added a new method of reaching higher levels.
Does Diablo 4 have crossplay & cross-progression?
Blizzard announced cross-play and cross-progression for Diablo 4 at the 2022 Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase.
Diablo IV will be available for Windows PC, Xbox One X/S, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4/5, and will support cross-play and cross-progression when it launches in 2023, the developers write on the official blog.
“Through couch co-op, players on consoles can take on the demons together.”
Pre-registration for the Diablo 4 closed beta is open
Players can sign up for a chance to participate in Diablo 4’s closed beta test beginning in June 2022. To pre-register for Diablo 4, visit the game’s official website, sign in with your Battle.net credentials, and click the flashing red “Pre-Register” button. Dates for the closed beta have not been announced, and if previous Blizzard closed betas are any indication, pre-registration is no guarantee of entry.
Watch the dramatic Diablo 4 cinematic trailer
The reveal of Diablo 4 in such a manner was fantastic. The cinematic is stunning and gloomy, just as a Diablo movie should be. The world would be a much better place if treasure hunters didn’t have a habit of inadvertently resurrecting the ultimate evil.
The Druid class, with its ability to change appearance, was one of the first to be revealed for Diablo 4. They can use earth and wind-based abilities, as well as assume animal forms like the wolf or bear. Shortly after the announcement of Diablo 4 in 2019, Game Informer published 20 minutes of hands-on gameplay with the Druid class.
The barbarians have returned, bringing with them an army and a plethora of weapons. You can see the Barbarian in action for a little while here.
The Sorceress is the standard elemental spellcaster, capable of casting fireballs, iceballs, and lightning bolts at her foes from a distance. This Sorceress gameplay video shows you everything you need to know.
At BlizzCon 2021, Blizzard announced the addition of a fourth playable class, the Rogue, a character type that hadn’t existed in the series since Diablo. Check out the reveal trailer for the Rogue here (opens in new tab) and read up on the class’s abilities here.
Blizzard announced the Necromancer as Diablo 4’s fifth and final class with a cinematic trailer(opens in new tab) at the 2022 Xbox & Bethesda showcase. Skeletons of all shapes and sizes, as well as plenty of bone and blood magic, will accompany the Necromancer as is customary.
Diablo 4 is making big changes to items
Blizzard has stated that its goals for itemization are to give players a level of depth between that of Diablo 2 and Diablo 3, and to allow for stronger class identities and greater customizability. “We aim to provide years of things to discover and countless ways to build a class,” said ex-game director Luis Barriga in a development update(opens in new tab).
Among the many alterations, the speed at which weapons fire and other physical characteristics are now included for all items. For example, in addition to its other benefits, every shield will also have the ability to block attacks.
Affixes and qualities attached to items have also been targeted. Blizzard claims it wants to give players more options and doesn’t want them to feel like they have to prioritize legendary items above all others. Barriga explained, “We are increasing the potential power of individual affixes on Magic items.” The maximum amount of affixes that can be applied to Rare and better items has been raised. Legendary enchantments on Legendary Items are now randomized (really!). Mythics will be phased out in favor of Unique items. ”
Say goodbye to inventory Tetris
Yes, you read that correctly. You won’t have to waste time swapping out shapes anymore to make room for more loot. Blizzard claims it wants to “keep inventory management out of the way of the game’s flow. ” Fair.
Ancient items are being replaced
Old items have been removed from Diablo 4. Instead, Blizzard is adopting a system that it hopes will lead to more diverse strategies being employed in matches. You can make your own ancient weapons by using the consumable you earn to add a Legendary affix to a weapon that isn’t already Legendary.
According to a blog post(opens in new tab) written by lead systems designer David Kim at the end of 2019, “Our newest proposal hits a couple different feedback points: addressing the usefulness of Rare (Yellow) items and increasing the depth and complexity of player gear choices in the endgame.”
However, the specifics of how this system will function are still being refined. According to the quarterly update released that fall of 2020, players’ suggestions at BlizzCon pointed to upcoming adjustments.
“Players would likely need to bring a number of supplementary pieces of gear, each with a different amount of Ancestral/Demonic/Angelic Power, in order to gain specific, minor bonuses. Then you’d have to keep track of how much power each of those things has relative to their total power. According to Blizzard, “it felt like an excessive amount of bookkeeping for the player.”
“ However, one aspect of the system that we found particularly enjoyable was the opportunity it provided for strategic stat management in order to maximize the utility of one’s equipment. We’d like to take some time to refine this, and we’ll have more to say about itemization in our next quarterly update. ”
Diablo 4 has three new stats
Diablo 4 will now feature Angelic Power, Demonic Power, and Ancestral Power, three new statistics being added by Blizzard. In addition to their individual effects, they will serve as requirements for affixes on various items.
- Angelic Might: makes all positive effects (like self-buffs or healing) last longer.
- The power of the devil extends the life of any negative effect, whether it be a debuff or damage over time.
- Ancestral Might: raises the probability of critical hits (or proc chance).
Here’s Diablo 4’s skill tree
Diablo 4’s revamped skillset is discussed in Blizzard’s quarterly update for September 2020(opens in new tab). The active skills, enhancements, and Passive Points you gain as you level up can be spent along the branches of the tree. You can spend your Passive Points in the lower levels of the tree to gain access to new features.
Blizzard has stated that it intends for players to unlock between 30 and 40 percent of the skill tree nodes by the endgame, resulting in a wide variety of builds within the same class.
Blizzard also clarifies the Enchantment System for Sorceresses in this patch. When a Sorceress learns a new ability, she can put it into an active skill slot, where it will function like the active skills of other classes. If you put it in an Enchantment slot, you won’t be able to use it as an active skill, but you’ll get a new secondary effect in exchange. Meteor is a skill that, in its current form (which is subject to change, Blizzard notes), “allows you to call a fiery chunk of rock from the sky,” Blizzard explains. If you put it in an Enchantment slot, your Meteors won’t be under your command, but they will occasionally rain destruction on your foes. ”
Diablo 4 monsters are classified as “families”
The bad guys in Diablo 4 will be categorized somewhat differently than they were in Diablo 3. In D4, monsters will belong to “families” that all use the same tactics when fighting. All that we’ve heard about from Blizzard so far are cults, drowned people, and cannibal households.
Senior encounter designer Candace Thomas discussed the Cannibals in the first quarterly update. They were made with no ranged monsters and many melee monsters.
Instead, they appear out of nowhere and charge the player with incredible speed. Some may get closer by jumping over barriers and potential foes, while others may get the jump on the competition by skillfully dodging and weaving among them. In combat with these flesh eaters, you’ll have a very different experience and less time to make strategic positioning decisions. ”
Diablo 4 will support controllers for PC
In its first quarterly report, Blizzard detailed its efforts to accommodate a wide variety of players in the game’s interface design. UI/controller-specific features in Diablo 4 as described by lead UI designer Angela Del Priore are as follows:
- To avoid “totally throwing people off-kilter,” it is possible to switch between mouse/keyboard and controller.
- You can set the bar to appear in the top left corner of the display, in the center, or in the bottom middle.
- Launch user interface screens solo in couch co-op
- Change your default attack keybinding from left mouse click to something else.
The five areas of Diablo 4’s open world can be experienced in any order. According to 2022’s lead environment artist Matt McDaid, “each region is rife with dangers of their own kind” (opens in new tab). “Many paths to take and secluded nooks to explore. It’s entirely up to you how you want to navigate this enormous world. You can travel from coast to coast, or even to the top of the glacial ridges, thanks to the Art and Design teams’ seamless creation of a seamless world. The Environment Art team’s goal is to make each hand-crafted setting feel unique and substantial. ”
Watch the videos below to familiarize yourself with some of the locations in these potentially dangerous areas.
The Paragon system returns
The Paragon system in Diablo 4 differs slightly from its predecessor, Diablo 3.
At level 50 in Diablo 4, players gain access to the Paragon Board, a digital tile-based system that allows for highly granular power ups and character customization. The procedure starts in the middle of the board and spreads out to include common, uncommon, uncommon, and legendary tiles. Your character will gain advantages ranging from minor to significant as you accumulate them. Some of the tiles function as slots for glyphs that, when placed in the board, grant various advantages. The power of a glyph can be increased by raising its level.
You will get to the very edge of the Paragon Board, but that is not the final step. Instead, there is a gate tile, which allows access to and connection with additional Paragon Boards, each of which features a different design and a new set of magical, rare, and legendary tiles.
According to Blizzard’s 2021 year-end update(opens in new tab): “Once your hero reaches a gate tile, you’ll choose which new paragon board you would like to attach to at that location. The goal is to create a unique set of bonuses that will strengthen your hero and reward your commitment to their development, and which will be enjoyable to modify across multiple playthroughs. ”
How do the online features work?
In our hands-on time at BlizzCon, we found that the game’s stark and desolate aesthetic stood in stark contrast to the constant presence of other players thanks to the game’s always-online features (opens in new tab): “ There is no waiting in line, but encountering other players who appear to be on the same mission but aren’t local to my world serves as a reminder that this isn’t a solo experience. ”
Here’s our rundown of Diablo 4’s shared world (opens in new tab) if you’re interested in learning more about it. The most important takeaways are that dungeons will be instanced for solo or party play, and that you can expect to see more players in towns and safe areas of the overworld, even if you’re playing solo. Players from all over the world will come together for world events, and you can travel great distances by riding mounts (horses, for which you can purchase armor). The game’s difficulty is adjustable in dungeons, but adaptive in the overworld (though there is a permadeath mode).
Here are some additional details about the online component of Diablo 4:
- As the difficulty of the enemies increases, friends can continue to play together.
- Players can go into dungeons by themselves or in small groups. Only out in the open world will you run into the general populace.
- When exploring a dungeon, players have a wide range of difficulty settings from which to choose. ”
- Players’ participation in global conflicts will force them to band together.
- You can’t turn off the presence of other players or play in an offline mode, but you can play the entire game by yourself if you never want to team up.
PvP will take place in Fields of Hatred
Blizzard revealed the rules for open world PvP in Diablo 4 at BlizzCon 2021. Fields of Hatred will serve as PvP zones, with additional information available at this link (opens in new tab). If you enter one, you become an easy target.
Defeating monsters, opening chests, killing other players, and completing other tasks inside a Field will earn you Shards of Hatred. If you can hold on to your Shards long enough to purify them at an altar, you can use them to buy unique items from specialized vendors. However, if you are killed while still holding unpurified Shards, you will drop them and your killer will be able to claim them.
What will the Microsoft purchase mean for Diablo 4?
In case you missed it, Microsoft recently announced that it will acquire Activision Blizzard in the latest corporate cyberpunk mega-deal. Naturally, this will cause a minor redraw on the Etch A Sketch of everything Blizzard is working on, including Diablo 4. The next Diablo is still quite far off, so it’s too early to tell what will happen. Until the deal is signed and sealed, we probably won’t know the specifics of the plans.
Diablo 4 has actual character customization
Players of Diablo 4 will be able to give their characters distinct appearances and play around with hundreds of different armor pieces. With the addition of a more robust dye system, players will be able to personalize their armor and clothing “in a wide variety of hues that are still consistent with the setting we’re creating. ”
However, it’s more than just protection. Diablo 4 introduces a first for the series: the ability to customize your character’s face. According to Blizzard, your characters will be featured in a greater number of menus and cinematic sequences than ever before in the series.
In its development update for June 2021, Blizzard provides the following specifics:
“You can alter your character’s appearance by selecting from a wide variety of facial features, hairstyles, facial hair (beards and eyebrows), jewelry (nose piercing or earrings), cosmetics, and body markings (tattoos and body paint), and more. Skin, eye, hair/facial hair, and body marking color values can all be adjusted by you. While there will be some class-specific features to accommodate each character’s history, many features will be universal across all characters. ”
Diablo 4 has a new game director
Activision Blizzard confirmed that Diablo 4 game director Louis Barriga had left the company after the state of California filed a harassment and discrimination lawsuit against the company. Joe Shely, previously a senior game designer at Blizzard, has been announced as the studio’s new game director. After serving as a designer on several World of Warcraft expansions and a senior game designer on Diablo 3, Shely joined the Diablo 4 team in 2017.
Shely said in the October 2021 installment of the Diablo 4 quarterly development blog, “Like many of you, our team has been reflecting upon recent events.” A lot has happened since our last blog, and we still need to put in the effort to live up to the ideals we’ve set for ourselves. Diablo 4’s development also continues in tandem with that crucial work. ”