Perhaps the most anticipated game Blizzard has in development (that we know of) is Diablo 4, the next mainline installment to the iconic action-RPG series. It was first revealed during BlizzCon 2019 through a cinematic trailer alongside a gameplay showcase. Those in attendance also had the chance to get hands-on with a playable demo. There have been since then, but there’s still a lot more we want to know about the game–we expect that to change soon.
is happening this weekend, which is a virtual version of the event. Due to the global pandemic, BlizzCon 2020 was understandably cancelled, but that also means that the developer may have plenty to share about its upcoming games. In anticipation of fresh Diablo 4 news expected during the event, we’ve rounded everything we know so far about the game. For more on Blizzard’s games and what we can expect from the event, be sure to check out everything we know about Hearthstone’s future.
Release Date And Platforms
Diablo 4 is being developed for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. With the latest console generation upon us, it’s likely that we’ll hear about PS5 and Xbox Series X versions of the game too. Diablo 3 was released for Nintendo Switch, but there’s no word on its sequel getting the same treatment.
As for when it’ll launch, Diablo 4 currently has no release date or release window, but Activision has stated that the game will not come out this year.
The Story So Far
Diablo 4 is taking on a darker, more grounded approach to its story, and that tone seems to have been set from what we’ve seen. This will be a direct sequel taking place decades after the events of the Diablo 3 expansion Reaper of Souls, but Blizzard has said that it’s focusing more on commoners and their struggles within the ravaged world of Sanctuary, as opposed to just supernatural demonic grandeur.
The reveal trailer was terrifying in its own way, showing a blood sacrifice to resurrect the demonic villain Lilith, who is partially responsible for the creation of Sanctuary, which is the mortal world of the Diablo franchise. BlizzCon 2019 also featured a and offered a ton of insight into the upcoming game’s worldbuilding.
Sanctuary is made up of five different regions: Fractured Peaks (snowy mountains), Dry Steppes (desert), Hawezar (swamps), Scosglen (coastal forests), and Kehjistan (ruins of a past civilization). We’ve been able to see them in-game and in artwork and they all represent distinct biomes, and you’ll visit all of them in Diablo 4’s campaign.
Diablo 4 is set up as a shared open-world online game with multiple dungeons and regions that players can choose to explore. Whereas other Diablo games followed a more linear story progression with Acts, Diablo 4 is said to offer more freedom with where you want to go and what you want to do even with an ongoing story.
Diablo 4’s Gameplay
From what we’ve seen and played so far, Diablo 4 isn’t straying far from its roots. It’s still an isometric, dungeon-crawling action-RPG with various character classes that play differently from each other. The Diablo series is built around the loot and gear grind as you level up from fighting hordes of enemies and tough bosses, which the franchise is known for.
Some of the standout features that’ve been announced are PvP battles, mounts for faster traversal, and character build customization tools. Specifically, Rune Words (a feature from Diablo 2) are the way to tune your character and further tweak how they function–attaching rune words grants different effects and stat buffs. All classes also have skill ranks and talent trees that you’ll progress through as you level up. Skills and talent trees will be vast for each class and Blizzard said that players will only have around 40% of skills unlocked by the time they reach the endgame.
Diablo 4 will be an always-online game in a persistent world shared with other players, even for those who wish to go about things as a solo experience. However, multiplayer is a big factor in the Diablo experience–enemies will scale to the party’s levels and dungeons will be separate instances with various difficulty options.
Diablo 4’s Character Classes
As for character classes, Diablo 4 will feature five in total. So far, we’re only aware of three, all returning from previous games: Barbarian, Druid, and Sorceress/Sorcerer.
Diablo IV – Character Classes Gameplay Reveal Trailer
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Barbarian is your powerful melee class that uses axes, swords, polearms, and various one- and two-handed weapons. What’s new here is the arsenal system which grants Barbarians four weapon slots so you can swap between them easily. Barbarians have strong AOE attacks and dash strikes.
Druids are shapeshifters who use earth and storm magic. They can transform into a werewolf or werebear for different attacks, and can even transition between forms mid-combo to diversify their moveset in combat (called seamless shapeshifting).
Sorceress/Sorcerer is your standard mage class that uses a combination of fire, lightning, and ice magic with various attack properties like AOE, AOD, or straight-up damage. Of the many spells they have, one that stands out is turning into a ball of lightning and darting across the map to hit multiple targets for high damage.
Where To Find More On Diablo 4
We’ve been covering Diablo 4 since its reveal, and there are a ton of finer details about the game. If you want more check out our stories below:
We expect to see more of Diablo 4 during BlizzConline, possibly including one or both of the other two classes. In the meantime, you can check out our impressions from the Diablo 4 hands-on demo from BlizzCon 2019 to get an idea of what the experience is like. Since it is a free event for everyone, be sure to watch BlizzConline if you want to keep up with what’s new with Blizzard’s games.