After years of will – they won’t – Blizzard finally revealed Diablo 4 at BlizzCon 2019. Diablo 4 has been an open secret for years, despite the speed bump that announced Diablo Immortal at BlizzCon 2018. After several consecutive leaks of credibility growth in 2019, we finally got an official announcement with trailers, classes, and a bit of gameplay to think about.
Diablo 4 is a return to the darker look of the early Diablo with even more blasphemy and mundane imagery per capita. After the initial frenzy of information, we may not get any further details about Diablo 4 for a while. We are going to collect everything you need to know about the next Diablo game here. So check back to find out more about future leaks, trailers, and gameplay details.
Here’s everything we’ve learned about Diablo 4 so far.
What is the Diablo 4 release date?
We don’t have a release date for Diablo 4 yet, but we know there’s still a long way to go, even by Blizzard standards.
During a Diablo 4 panel at BlizzCon 2019, Blizzard said that the Diablo 4 release is still a long way off. “We’re not coming out soon. Not even ‘Blizzard soon,'” said director Luis Barriga.
We could hear more at BlizzConline 2021
If you haven’t heard, Blizzcon will go online in 2021 for an event appropriately named BlizzConline. It will run from February 19-21 and will feature similar revelations and fan-faced events as we’re used to from typical BlizzCons.
This is also our best chance to learn more about Diablo 4 in 2021. Whether it’s a new trailer, more gameplay, or feature reveals, this would be the time for Blizzard to show their work. However, the Diablo 4 release is still a long way off, so there are no guarantees.
(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)
This was one hell of a way to announce Diablo 4. The movie is beautiful and morbid, just like Diablo should be. Imagine how much better the world would be if treasure hunters didn’t accidentally revive the ultimate evil.
The Diablo 4 gameplay trailer shows the return of the druid
Diablo 4 looks slick. The game’s darker art style is striking, although we haven’t yet seen how busy the game will be with dozens of enemies jumping out of the enemies. You can ride horses! Druids are back! A lot of good happens here.
What are the starting classes of Diablo 4?
Three classes have been announced for Diablo 4: the barbarian, the sorceress and the druid. In a panel following the announcement, it was confirmed that there will be a total of five classes. Details on the remaining two are not yet available.
Here is a double druid gameplay from Diablo 4
(Image credit: Blizzard)
Game Informer released 20 minutes of fun with the Druid class of Diablo 4 shortly after the game was announced. You can find an uncommented version by scrolling down this page. You can find similar gameplay videos from Game Informer for the Sorceress and Barbarian classes as well.
Diablo 4 is making big changes to the elements
Blizzard says ideals when it comes to listing are to bolster class identity, support deeper customization, and give players a level of depth that is somewhere between Diablo 2 and 3 class, “wrote Game Director Luis Barriga in a development update.
Specific changes include adding weapon speed and other inherent physical traits that you will find with all item types. For example, each shield has a block attribute in addition to the other wealth it has.
Item qualities and affixes were also in the crosshairs. Blizzard says it wants to give players more flexibility, rather than making them feel like they should just ignore anything that isn’t a Legendary Item. “We’re increasing the potential power of individual affixes on Magic items,” said Barriga. “We’re increasing the maximum number of affixes for rare and better items in the endgame. Legendary affixes are now randomly (yes, really!) Rolled for legendary items. And unique items are replacing mythics.”
Say goodbye to inventory Tetris
Yes, you heard right. No longer do you have to shuffle different shapes around your limited inventory space and try to bring back just a little bit of loot. Blizzard wants to “avoid disrupting gameplay with bags of inventory management”. Fair.
Old items are replaced
There are no more old items in Diablo 4. Instead, Blizzard opts for a system that will hopefully encourage more unique play styles. Players are given a consumable that they can use to add a legendary add-on to non-legendary weapons, essentially creating their own ancient items.
“Our latest proposal encounters some mixed feedback: it addresses the usefulness of rare (yellow) items and increases the depth and complexity of player equipment selection in endgame,” said senior systems designer David Kim at the end of a 2019 blog post.
How exactly this system works is yet to be repeated. The fall 2020 quarterly update states that feedback from BlizzCon players indicates that changes still need to be made.
“In order to receive certain minor bonuses, the players would most likely have to carry around several additional items of equipment, each with different amounts of ancestral / demon / angelic power. They would then have to constantly calculate each of the performance levels of these items and compare them with their overall performance. It felt like an inordinate amount of bookkeeping to the player, “says Blizzard.
“One thing we really liked about the system was the gameplay of managing stats in a meaningful way to hit certain bonus thresholds that would make your items more suitable for the style of play you are aiming for. We need something here more time for iteration / revision and look forward to learning more about the listing in our next quarterly blog. “
Diablo 4 has three new statistics
Blizzard adds three new statistics to Diablo 4: Angelic power, Demonic power, and Ancestral power. Each has its own effect, but they are also used as prerequisites for article attachments.
- Angel power: increases the duration of all positive effects (such as self-improvement or healing)
- Demonic Power: increases the duration of all negative effects (such as debuffs or damage over time)
- Ancestral power: increases the likelihood of hit effects (also known as increased proc chance)
Here is the Diablo 4 skill tree
(Image credit: Blizzard, Activision Blizzard)
In its quarterly update for September 2020, Blizzard talks about Diablo 4’s new Skill Tree. In the branches of the tree, you can gain experience gained as you level up to unlock new active skills, improvements for these skills and passive points. Passive points are spent in the roots of the tree, where you unlock additional effects.
Blizzard says it is currently aiming for players to unlock around 30-40% of the nodes in the skill tree by the endgame, meaning players will have vastly different builds even within the same class.
In the same update, Blizzard describes the enchantment system available to sorceresses. After a sorceress skill is unlocked, it can be placed in an active skill slot, which works in the same way as active skills of other classes work. It can also be placed in an Enchantment slot, which negates your ability to use it as an active skill, but grants a different secondary effect instead. As an example, Blizzard explains the current implementation for the Meteor skill (subject to change). “Meteor lets you summon a fiery boulder from the sky. If you use it as an enchantment, you win. You cannot control your meteors, but they regularly fall on enemies.”
Diablo 4 monsters are classified as “families”.
(Image credit: Blizzard, Activision Blizzard)
Diablo 4’s Baddie classification is a little different from Diablo 3. In D4, monsters will be part of “families” who share a fighting style. So far, Blizzard has talked about cultists, drowned people, and cannibal families.
In the first quarterly update, senior encounter designer Candace Thomas spoke about the cannibals. They were intentionally designed with multiple melee monsters, but with no range.
Instead, they leap towards the player with supernatural rapidity. Some can bridge the gap by jumping over obstacles and potential competitors, while others maneuver quickly and skillfully through other monsters to get the first blood. This offers a very different experience and gives the player less time to make thoughtful positioning decisions, which makes fighting these carnivores feel hectic. “
How do the online functions work?
BlizzCon attendees got their hands on the game, and our first impression was that it was a game whose strong and bleak looks contrasted with its always-online elements that guarantee other players will run by when you do it explore: “There are no queues or anything like that, but seeing players who are clearly on the same quest but are not part of my world reminds me that this is not just my adventure.”
If you want to learn more about how the Diablo 4 common world works, here is our breakdown. The key takeaways are that dungeons are instantiated for single or party players, and in the overworld more players can be seen in cities and safe areas – although there is no way to turn them off entirely, even when you’re alone. World events will bring players together and you can ride mounts to cover great distances. The difficulty level can be adjusted when you enter a dungeon while it is scaled to your level above ground (although there is a permadeath mode).
You cannot play offline.
Here are a few more facts about how Diablo 4’s online world works:
- The levels of the enemies are scaled so that friends can always play together
- Dungeons are private for single or party players. You only meet the public in the open world.
- When entering a dungeon, you can select difficulty options “with great granularity”.
- In world events, players are called together to fight as a group
- There’s no way to turn off other players’ viewing or an offline mode, but you can solo the entire game if you never feel like grouping up.
Diablo 4 supports controllers for the PC
Blizzard talked in its first quarterly update about how the user interface is designed with many types of players in mind. Here are some UI / controller-specific things you can do in Diablo 4, according to lead UI designer Angela Del Priore:
- Switch between mouse / keyboard and controller without “completely throwing people off balance”
- Select the action bar in the middle middle or bottom left of the screen
- Open the UI screens independently in couch co-op mode
- Re-tie your primary attack to something other than a left click