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Diablo 4
Diablo 4

Genre: Role-Playing Game
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Friday, 13 January 2023
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 05:23pm 13/01/23 | 0 Comments
The long-awaited Diablo IV from Blizzard is on track for a June release this year, and you can check out our recent hands-on preview here. Speaking to the team at Blizzard about all things Diablo IV, we got confirmation that the team is planning some pretty epic stuff for its post-launch Seasons.

“The game is set up to be very modular, so we have a lot of control over a variety of aspects of the game,” Joseph Piepiora, Associate Game Director on Diablo IV, explains. “The intention with Seasons is to create really exciting reasons for you to want to come back to Sanctuary and have a different experience each time. Every Season we're promising you new opportunities, new adventures, new content, and new features to engage with.”

It certainly sounds very cool, but in speaking with Blizzard, we couldn’t help but wonder exactly what this meant. And so we asked about the impact on Sanctuary, citing dramatic scenarios where entire regions might be destroyed, new structures being built, or dungeons re-designed and overhauled to accommodate new threats. The sort of stuff that will lead to new stories, lore, and dynamic ways to keep an already massive open world looking and feeling fresh.

Check Out the Full Response on Diablo 4’s Seasons Here
Friday, 9 December 2022
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 02:16pm 09/12/22 | 1 Comments
Diablo IV is on track for a June 6, 2023 release across PC and consoles, with Blizzard making the announcement during The Game Awards alongside showcasing a stunning cinematic trailer. In it, we get to see fallen Angel Inarius take on the game's villain Lillith in Hell, and if you're a fan of what the cinematic team at Blizzard cooks up - this is a must watch.

Diablo IV, the highly anticipated next instalment in the genre-defining series from Blizzard Entertainment is launching 6 June 2023, with pre-purchase available now.

Explore 140+ Dungeons and Side Quests throughout the campaign and beyond, earning rewards and deepening the story experience.

Defeat World Bosses by teaming up with other players to reap bonus treasures
Local Events that will pop up throughout Sanctuary’s lands and yield quick rewards.

Liberate Strongholds that, once cleansed of corrupted demons and hostile beasts, become friendly outposts to forever alter the layout of the world.

Character Development complete with class selection, a variety of skills to harness multiple powers, and a wide array of cosmetics.

Recently we had the change to go hands-on with a preview build, and walked away impressed. Reluctantly too, Diablo IV is shaping up to be something truly special.
One of the reasons real-time combat in the original Diablo worked so well was the simple satisfaction you got from feeling the impact of each hit, spell, or thwack of a large blunt instrument. Diablo IV’s impressive art direction, animation, and world detail take this to a whole new level. Each character now has a dash move, and movement is agile and responsive in a way that puts controller input on par with the traditional keyboard and mouse setup. It’s akin to Diablo III, but with way more diversity.

Best of all skills and abilities don’t feel like the culmination of attack speed, damage over time, and other stats with a fancy elemental overlay. Even though they are exactly that. Blizzard has done a commendable job making each skill and ability feel distinct from a visual, animation, and damage-dealing standpoint.

To reiterate, Diablo IV is on track for a June 6, 2023 release across PC and console. Mark those calendars, digital and physical. 6.6.23. Buy one if you have to - 'tis the season.

Diablo IV is available for digital pre-purchase as a Standard edition ($109.95 AUD), Deluxe edition ($139.95 AUD), and Ultimate edition ($154.95 AUD).
Standard Edition: Includes Open Beta Early Access, the Light Bearer Mount in Diablo IV, the Inarius Wings and Inarius Murloc Pet in Diablo III, the Amalgam of Rage Mount in World of Warcraft, and the Umber Winged Darkness Cosmetics Set in Diablo Immortal.

Deluxe Edition: Includes everything in the Standard edition, plus up to 4 days Early Access to Diablo IV's Launch, and Seasonal Battle Pass Unlock in Diablo IV, the Temptation Mount in Diablo IV, and the Hellborn Carapace Mount Armor in Diablo IV.

Ultimate Edition: Includes everything in the Deluxe edition, plus an Accelerated Seasonal Battle Pass Unlock in Diablo IV (a Premium Seasonal Battle Pass Unlock plus 20 Tier Skips and a cosmetic), and the Wings of the Creator Emote in Diablo IV.
Thursday, 8 December 2022
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 01:39pm 08/12/22 | 0 Comments
Recently we had the chance to play through the first Act of Diablo IV's sprawling cinematic but not entirely linear campaign. Although we were limited to a single biome/zone and got nowhere near the endgame, Diablo fans will be pleased to know that you can immediately jump into the action RPG with the difficulty cranked up.

And yeah, there's a Hardcore option (which was greyed out in the preview build) that offers that one-life and that's it mode for players that want every second in the new open world Sanctuary to be tense and full of danger. Hardcore mode and creating a Hardcore character is a staple of classic Diablo so it's great to see it return in Diablo IV.

Related: Diablo 4 Hands-On Preview - Stay Awhile and Listen

Diablo IV's difficulty modes are called World Tiers, which you can think of as Diablo III Torment levels or the additional difficulty levels of Diablo II.

Increasing the World Tier offers more challenges, tougher monsters, more experience, and better loot. Jumping into the game for the first time you have the option of playing in World Tier 1 or World Tier 2 - the latter offering challenging combat and tense boss battles. Taking on the open-world Strongholds to create new little safe zones with camps, in particular, feels a lot more difficult in World Tier 2 versus the default difficulty.

Naturally additional Tiers can be unlocked when you get further into the game, with Blizzard noting previously that there will be specific tasks or specialised dungeons to complete to prove you're ready to tackle the next World Tier. Some of the rarest loot in the game will be limited to higher World Tiers too.
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 03:00am 08/12/22 | 0 Comments
We sit down with Blizzard to chat about the deep levels of customisation in Diablo IV and learn that creating an overpowered build is something the team wants all players to experience. Newcomers and veterans alike.

A snippet.
“For people who've been playing Diablo for a while, there's an expectation in terms of the amount of depth associated with the systems that you're able to engage with,” Joseph says. Even though it's set in a dark and gothic world and large demonic bosses can stretch a player’s character to their limit, there’s also a power fantasy sitting at the heart of Diablo. Of a demon slayer with god-like powers emerging over time. As deep and complex as Diablo IV is in terms of its various systems and progression, the engaging action combat experience and accessibility are always front and centre.

“We recognised that we needed to make sure that we were creating a set of systems that were going to be easy enough for new players to come and engage with and not get overwhelmed by the amount of upfront depth.”

Our Full Diablo 4 Interview
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 03:00am 08/12/22 | 0 Comments
Pull up a chair and take a sip from a fresh health potion because we played through the opening hours of Blizzard’s Diablo IV as a Rogue, Barbarian, and Sorceress...

A snippet from our massive preview.
Getting the chance to go hands-on with a pre-release build of Diablo IV, a game that’s on track for a 2023 release, we got to see a near-final version of Sanctuary and play through the first 25 levels and Act I of the story as either a Barbarian, Sorceress, or Rogue. Or, as it would turn out for me - all three, on repeat. Limited to the first biome, the snowy Franctured Peaks, Diablo IV’s open world feels unlike any other. Structurally more Diablo II meets Diablo III than the vast plains of Hyrule or Skyrim, but you can pick and choose which pathways to follow and where to go. And outside of jumping into dungeons, there are no load screens.

On the visual front, it comes as no surprise that Diablo IV is a return to the dark and gothic roots of the franchise, and it’s kind of surprising how the game throws you into the deep end when it comes to bleak, overbearing dread. You begin in a snowstorm with low visibility and bear witness to horror in a darkly beautiful mix of blizzards and orange fire. The latter isn’t all that inviting, even in cozy fireplace form, with the first dungeon and village setting the tone for danger lurking behind every door and dusty bookshelf.

Our Full Diablo 4 Hands-On Preview
Monday, 7 November 2022
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 02:16pm 07/11/22 | 0 Comments
With a Closed Beta underway, testing the end-game features of Diablo 4, and a planned "first-half of 2023" release window currently - it's safe to assume that Blizzard's highly anticipated action-RPG sequel is in the final stages of development. Of course, it's strange for a game of this size to get delayed during the polish stage but new reports are pointing to a planned April 2023 release.

With a big reveal coming at the upcoming The Game Awards 2022 - where it's being reported by both the XboxEra Podcast and Windows Central (citing inside sources) that the launch date will be announced during the show. And that the big date is in April 2023.

Related: Diablo 4 Seasons, Monetisation, and In-Game Store Detailed

It's expected that pre-orders will open for digital and physical collector's editions in December, alongside confirmation that an Open Beta will begin in February. As Diablo 4 has been confirmed as a 2023 release, an April launch makes a lot of sense following an Open Beta and lots of marketing. As per the reports Blizzard is set to go all in marketing-wise on Diablo 4.

Related: Diablo 4 End Game Details

Again, this makes sense when you factor in that Diablo 3's PC launch (outside of server issues) is still one the biggest of all time. And Diablo 4 marks the first day-one multi-platform release for a new entry in the long-running series.
Friday, 19 August 2022
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 02:26pm 19/08/22 | 1 Comments
“You will not be able to pay for power in Diablo IV”, writes game director Joe Shely in the latest Diablo IV Quarterly Update. The update covers what players can expect in terms of post-game content and support, which takes the Seasons of Diablo 3 as a framework and builds on it. The detailed update confirms that all items in the store available for purchase will be cosmetic, alongside a currency that can also be used for cosmetics.

Head Here to Read Our Full Breakdown
Monday, 13 June 2022
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 01:23pm 13/06/22 | 0 Comments
Diablo 4 is coming in the first-half of 2023, and with the latest look at the game (including the fifth and final class, the Necromancer) it's shaping up to be one of the biggest releases of the year. But, with the recent release of the free-to-play Diablo: Immortal on mobile and PC, the recent controversy surrounding that game's monetisation is currently casting a shadow on Diablo 4.

Due to a model that includes multiple currencies and questional purchases in relation to being able to buy power in the game.

Yesterday we got confirmation that Diablo 4 will feature an in-game storefront, and that it will be a "a key component of Diablo IV’s seasonal content strategy". After today's big reveal though, franchise head Rod Fergusson took to Twitter to confirm that Diablo 4's approach will be very different to Immortal's.

As per above, Diablo 4 is a full-priced AAA game created for PC and console, and all microtransactions will be based around optional cosmetics and story expansions - with plans to support the game for many years. More details are expected soon too, so stay tuned.
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 12:21pm 13/06/22 | 0 Comments
Diablo 4 is coming in the first half of 2023, so be sure to put a big ol' red circle there in your calendars. It's no secret that this is one of our most anticipated releases, with the news dropping at the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase earlier today.

And with that we also got a cinematic reveal for the fifth (and final) class joining the line-up - the Necromancer. Who joins the Barbarian, Sorceress, Druid, and Rogue around the campfire. This cinematic, like the Rogue reveal we got a while back was created in-engine and showcases the sort of real-time stuff we can expect to see when the game ships.

And with the game coming to consoles and PC, with full cross-play support (and cross-progression ala Diablo 2: Resurrected) we got a pretty awesome new look at gameplay captured on Xbox Series X hardware. The visuals and art-style in particular looks dark, gritty, and intense. And as a nice little bonus, couch co-op has been confirmed!

And with that we got info on what to expect in terms of customisation, choice, story, and even end-game. Hundreds of dungeons ahoy! Here's Adam Fletcher, Senior Manager, Community Development breaking it down.

Announcing The Necromancer

We also introduced the Necromancer as the final class to join the Barbarian, Sorceress, Druid, and Rogue around the campfire. Necromancers are cunning summoners who bend blood, bone, and darkness to their will, raising armies of the undead to carry out their bidding. Known for wielding scythes to strike low any enemy in their path, the Necromancer can even use their fearsome magic to call forth Golems of special abilities to add some serious might to their macabre militia.

You Decide

At the heart of Diablo IV is player choice. With nearly limitless ways to play the game, players can choose to carve their own path forward, shaping their destiny and taking on the adventures they see fit. From character customization to exploration of the open world, social systems, to the end game, this journey will be in the hands of each player.

Character Customization

In Diablo IV, players will create and customize their character to battle onward against the unspeakable horrors that blight this land. Players begin by choosing from one of five classes then build out the ultimate warrior against darkness with the most robust character customization in any Diablo game to date. But that is only the beginning. Players will then venture onward to discover and experiment with a vast array of powerful weapons and armor, and carefully select talents and abilities to become steadfast in the face of darkness as the journey ventures onward. But they must choose wisely; the world depends on it.

Explore Sanctuary Your Way

Sanctuary is a vast, rich, and foreboding open world where players can choose their own path, guided by their own experience and curiosity. Strongholds are locations through Sanctuary that are besieged by evil forces. Players can reclaim them for the citizens of Sanctuary, opening new friendly towns and unlocking new dungeons to leave a lasting mark that transforms these hostile regions into safe havens. It is worth noting that Diablo IV contains almost 150 detailed dungeons — close-quarters experiences for you to root out evil in throughout the main questline and beyond. Players can also choose to participate in local events. These quick story events will appear throughout Sanctuary, allowing for solo conquests or teamwork with fellow players to earn rewards and glory. And for daring heroes craving an especially hardy challenge, Diablo IV introduces the terrors of the World Bosses — massive demons that will spawn throughout the world and require teamwork from many players to take them down.

Social Systems

In Diablo IV, players can further customize their experience by choosing how and when they want to engage with other players roaming the lands of Sanctuary with fulfilling PvE and PvP experiences. Will you face the challenges that lie ahead solo, team up with other heroes to rid Sanctuary of bloodthirsty demons, or go head-to-head against them in combat? If forming a forceful team is your preference, you’re in luck – the systems of Diablo IV have been developed from the ground up to support forming groups and playing the game together. Barriers have been removed to now allow players at different character levels, or different points in the story, to form a party and be rewarded while playing together. Players across different platforms can seamlessly join games with each other through cross-play. But if battling your fellow adventurers is more your forte, Mephisto’s hatred has cursed certain areas of the world, creating PVP zones where battles take a turn. Once players mark themselves as “hostile,” these high-risk, high-reward areas of Sanctuary allow players to take a swing at others for their valuable loot. But be warned. This also opens you up to being swung at.

End Game Offerings

Diablo IV’s endgame offers even more choice for players to continue making their way through sanctuary in whichever way they choose, offering a seemingly endless number of activities and additional customizations. Players might try to take on Nightmare Dungeons — transformed dungeons teeming with enhanced dangers and added difficulty in the form of new objectives and afflictions to the dungeon. The Tree of Whispers also offers an end-game system that will provide you with frequently cycling world objectives and bounties that deliver rewards of Legendary gear, experience, crafting materials, and more! Once players reach max level, the Paragon Board will unlock, and with it, hundreds of optional paths to further customize your hero’s build. The end game is truly just the beginning.

The first half of 2023 is certainly shaping up to be one of the biggest ever in terms of game releases, and getting a release window for Diablo IV is awesome news.
Sunday, 12 June 2022
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 01:31pm 12/06/22 | 1 Comments
Which probably means we might see some Diablo 4 action at the big Xbox & Bethesda Showcase tonight. The official Diablo IV site has been updated with a button letting you register for upcoming betas, something that has been hinted at but not confirmed. Rumblings are pointing to a potential late 2022 beta for the game which will give players their first chance to hop into the highly anticipated sequel.

The site also updates the platforms that Diablo 4 is currently in development for, listing PC (via Battle.Net), Xbox Series X|S, and PS5. Meaning that it will skip previous gen consoles entirely.

As per above the first gameplay trailer for Diablo 4 went live in 2019 - I even got to sink some serious time into it - and since then Blizzard has been fairly open and transparent with the changes it has made to the itemisation, art, and other elements. No release date has been officially set for the game, but it's expected to release sometime in 2023.

We'll have more once official Beta dates and info are revealed, but in the meantime, be sure to sign up.
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 01:16pm 12/06/22 | 0 Comments
Diablo 4 featuring an "in-game storefront" and Seasons isn't all that surprising, though coming off the heels of Diablo: Immortal's controversial launch on mobile it might be concerning. In that it brings up the question of what exactly will be sold to players.

As per this new job listing the Diablo IV's in-game store will be "a key component of Diablo IV’s seasonal content strategy", so on that front we can probably expect skins and other cosmetics to be a part of it. As a game designed for PC and console (PS5 and Xbox Series X|S) as opposed to Immortal's free-to-play mobile approach, odds are the micro-transactions won't be as contentious and expansive as what players have seen there.
Product Manager, Diablo IV

You will play a critical role in managing the Diablo IV in-game store experience for millions of players around the world. As this is a key component of Diablo IV’s seasonal content strategy, you will be the tip of the spear planning the content release schedule, configuring products using our internal tooling, and working with stakeholders across disciplines to ensure regular updates to the store throughout each season go smoothly. Additionally, you will strive to continually improve processes and encourage best practices.

But, being a key part of Diablo 4 handles post-launch content there's a definite chance what we end up seeing will be more than a straightforward cosmetic store. We can probably expect to see the arrival of a new currency (ala Destiny and other titles with Seasonal updates) in addition to things surrounding the game's MMO-like features.

In terms of straight-up power, Diablo 4 game director Joe Shelley has in the past noted that the in-game store will not allow players to buy power in the game.
Wednesday, 30 March 2022
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 04:13pm 30/03/22 | 0 Comments
The latest Diablo IV Quarterly Update has dropped and this time the focus is on environments, the diversity of locations found throughout Sanctuary, and how the team at Blizzard is working to make the game’s 150-plus dungeons look and feel different from one another.

“The environments of Diablo IV cover a lot of territory and visual real estate of the game: five distinct regions and hundreds of dungeons that you will experience,” writes Chris Ryder, Art Director, Environments Diablo IV. “It is where all the monster-slaying, loot gathering, and exploration happens. Of course, none of this would be possible without the collective efforts of our talented designers, worldbuilders, engineers, environment artists, lighting artists, and technical artists.”

Compared to previous entries the world of Diablo 4 is being built using physically-based rendering, which means weather, time of day, and other elements will affect how things look and behave. Rain will make the ground and elements wet, wind from the coast will wash over grass-lands, and dry and dusty plains will carry that look that’ll make you glad you bought that 20-pack of N95 masks.

But beyond all of the technical advances that a decade can bring (yeah, Diablo 3’s debut was back in 2012) the goal for Diablo 4 is not only to return the series to its dark and gothic roots, but to do so with an eye towards realism and a seamless open-world. And a nod towards the “old masters”.

“We filter concepts, locations, and final implementation through the dual pillars of "old masters" and "a return to darkness", adds Chris Ryder. “Using these pillars has been instrumental in keeping us consistent and aligned with the visual tone of Diablo IV. The "old masters" pillar gives us a lens to filter our art through, considering the techniques classical painters like Rembrandt used, with their controlled use of detail, tonal range, and expert use of color palettes. The "return to darkness" pillar is a through-line in everything from dungeons to lighting and embodies the idea that Sanctuary is a dangerous and dark medieval gothic world.”

As per above, the results look amazing. With the post going into great detail on specific locations like Scosglen Coast, Orbei Monastery, and Kyovashad. Each location carries that dark and gloomy feel and then some, it’s impressive. And with there being over 150 dungeons in the game, a mixture of hand-crafted and procedurally generated, the team is employing advanced tile-sets that can be used across multiple, visually-distinct locations and settings.

“Dungeons are still that randomized content that you know and love from previous Diablo titles,” Diablo IV team’s Brian Fletcher says. “However, we added new and exciting features that allow us to make even more dungeons across the world of Sanctuary than ever before. In order to support over 150+ dungeons, we’ve had to shift the way we make environment art so that it's flexible enough to be used in multiple locations and not just in a single dungeon. We break it all down into what we call tile-sets.”

Which can be seen in the following ‘Forgotten Places’ example.

“The fixed camera is one of our best tools since it allows us to place assets in the foreground without blocking the playable space,” Brain continues. “Because we always know where you are looking, we can dial in and customise the layouts, vistas, and foreground elements to make sure there's a good composition. The spider legs are placed in specific locations for their unnerving silhouettes twitching in the background. Our dungeon design counterparts give us some great layouts to play with, which allow us to push the depth of each scene. We want you to have the impression that the dungeon goes on forever, and you’re only seeing a small part of a large underground labyrinth.”

And with multiple tile-sets, objects, and detail to play with, the team has also made it possible for dungeons to change and feature seamless transitions between different thematic tile-sets. Very cool.

All in all Diablo 4 continues to impress, here’s hoping its eventual release isn’t too far away.
Tuesday, 21 December 2021
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 04:48pm 21/12/21 | 0 Comments
Albeit in a way that feels like the best of both worlds and something distinctly new. From the very beginning Diablo IV has felt like the next step for the franchise, something new and expansive built on the foundation laid out by previous entries.

As part of a new Quarterly Update delving into itemisation and progression systems in Diablo IV, we get to learn about the new end-game Paragon Board, Skill Affixes rolling as stats, and the ability to extract an item’s Legendary Power via a new character called The Occultist.

From a design perspective it comes down to a philosophy that’s all about “a heavy emphasis on build customization, ensuring that you can have plenty of control over how your hero grows”. This means not simply focusing on Legendary gear (Diablo III) or Skill synergies bolstered by very specific and hard to find items (ala Diablo 2).

Case in point the new Paragon Board, which will act like an end-game progression of sorts, is nothing like the simplified stat-boost system found in Diablo III featuring the same name. Instead this will be an intricate system of branching paths and the ability to add new boards where the big draw will be Legendary bonuses and stats to acquire. You start off in the beginning and unlock various tiles, whereby when you reach one side you can extend with a new board of your choosing.

According to Blizzard, you’ll earn “a set of bonuses that will empower your hero and honour your dedication to their progression, that will remain fun to tweak and adjust over many playthroughs”. It all begins to make a lot more sense when you factor in the four kinds of tiles – Normal, Magic, Rare, and Legendary - which mimic those of actual in-game item rarity. Examples of tiles for a Barbarian as as follows:

Norma: +5 Strength
Magic: 10% Fire Resistance
Rare: Grant 10 Fury per kill, +8% Max Fury
Legendary: While Fury is above 50%, deal 30% more damage

There are also socket tiles where you can place a Glyph found in your adventures through Sanctuary. Adding a Glyph can buff nearby tiles or even provide some massive bonuses based on specific requirements being met.

It’s all part of a detailed end-game system that sounds very cool.

With the Paragon Board system unlocking at Level 50, the latest Quarterly Update also has broader info on how items will work. Fans of Diablo II will be glad to learn that Skill Affixes on items are back, which will add incentive for equipping Magic and Rare items if they’ll better suit your build. These are fairly straight-forward in that they’ll add ranks to specific Skills for a class, with the great thing being that if a Skill is Level 0 it will still gain ranks and be usable. Very cool, and a nice way to trye out new abilities ahead of spending precious skill points.

On top of this is a new system where visiting the mysterious Occultist will allow for Legendary Stats on items to be extracted and then placed on another item.

Blizzard are noting that legendary stats won’t be limited to specific gear ala past games, meaning a certain buff would appear on a weapon or a piece of jewellery. Legendary and Unique Items remain a big part of the experience, though it sounds like they’ll be a lot more flexible in Diablo IV. And with the Occulstist you’ll be able to take a Rare Item and turn it into a Legendary via infusing it with a Legendary Essence.

And with a huge, seamless open world to explore, certain items will be more plentiful in certain regions.

“Sanctuary is a vast world, filled with forlorn trails through werewolf-infested forests, withered heaths crawling with cannibals, and fog-choked graveyards crawling with the restless dead,” writes Blizzard. “There are plenty of enemies and monsters for the hero to encounter. Each of these monsters seem to enjoy collecting certain types of items and will be somewhat more likely to drop those items than others. While bandits are fond of Maces, Crossbows, and Boots, if you’re hunting for a new pair of Pants, you'd do well to kill some of the Drowned instead.”

And with that here’s a new video showcasing the latest version of the game’s visual effects and skill-based combat. In a clip aptly titled “VFX Skill Driven Deaths”.

Head here for the full Diablo IV Quarterly Update - December 2021.
Wednesday, 3 November 2021
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 11:44am 03/11/21 | 0 Comments
Although neither Overwatch 2 or Diablo 4 have actual release dates, according to the latest Activision Blizzard financial report the expected 2022 release window for both titles has been pushed back. "While we are still planning to deliver a substantial amount of content from Blizzard next year, we are now planning for a later launch for Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV than originally envisaged".

Which puts the release dates sometime in 2023.

"These are two of the most eagerly anticipated titles in the industry, and our teams have made great strides towards completion in recent quarters," the report says. "But we believe giving the teams some extra time to complete production and continue growing their creative resources to support the titles after launch will ensure that these releases delight and engage their communities for many years into the future."

"These decisions will push out the financial uplift that we had expected to see next year," adds the report in a nod to expected revenue not including these two games. "But we are confident that this is the right course of action for our people, our players, and the long-term success of our franchises."

The report cites new leadership within Blizzard, due to the recent toxic revelations about the studio, as a reasoning for the delays. When it comes to Diablo 4, recently the game has seen a shift in leadership with a new Game Director announced recently. This is on top of Overwatch's Jeff Kaplan leaving Blizzard.

Activision Blizzard cites long-term multi-year support for both games, so hopefully we get to see more of what that means in the months to come.
Friday, 8 October 2021
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 11:27am 08/10/21 | 0 Comments
With Blizzard in the midst of high profile lawsuits and reports of both a toxic and sexist culture, it was revealed that Diablo 4's game director Luis Barriga and lead designer Jesse McCree had left the studio back in August. With things shaky to say the least the latest Quarterly Update on Diablo 4 confirms that the new game director is studio and franchise veteran Joe Shely.

Who writes.
I’m honored to continue the vision of Diablo IV as its new Game Director, and I’m humbled to represent the team pouring their hearts into this game.

Like many of you, our team has been reflecting upon recent events. A lot has happened since our last blog and the hard work of practicing the values we aspire to must continue. In parallel with that important work, development of Diablo IV continues too.

Joe Shely, who has previously worked on World of Warcraft and Diablo 3 has been with the Diablo 4 team for a number of years now -- focusing on the combat side of the experience. In terms of the vision for the long-awaited game he adds, "Sanctuary should always be items glittering in dark dungeons. Tales of powerful heroes standing against the onslaught of hell. Lands where trials, treasure, and terrible monsters lie around every corner, equal parts familiar and boundless in its possibilities. Doing this world justice is a solemn responsibility."

And with that the latest Quarterly Update focuses on sound design, which Joe Shely notes is "a sometimes underappreciated yet integral element of the game's design, serving as a channel for communicating everything from incoming damage, to confirmation that a button press was registered by the game, to the intensity of a combat sequence".

What follows is a pretty extensive and fascinating look at how sound effects are put into the games we play, with Kris Giampa, Sound Supervisor for Diablo IV, outlining the extent that the teams at Blizzard go to.

Here's a look at recording some of the more gruesome sounds you hear by using various foods.

And here's a look at recording various combat effects for the Sorcerer skills Firebolt and Inferno.

With Diablo 4's action taking place on a massive open world Sanctuary the team is implementing something it calls "Living Audio", dynamic ambient sound that changes based on the environment. "Because of the importance of the massive open world, we wanted to give the ambience as much detail as possible and think of it on the same level of Hero sound design," writes Kris Giampa. "Having the audio and the systems changing subtly over time is key to this pillar. We always want the subtle changes in ambience (that might not be very noticeable) less repeatable and feel more natural and immersive overall."

Diablo 4 currently has no release date or window, but rumours are suggesting that a 2022 release is on the cards.
Thursday, 12 August 2021
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 12:27pm 12/08/21 | 0 Comments
It's been a tumultuous time for Blizzard of late, from high profile lawsuits to additional reports of both a toxic and sexist culture. Earlier today Kotaku broke a story that a number of high profile developers working on Diablo IV and World of Warcraft have left the company - which has since been confirmed by Activision Blizzard.

Diablo IV's game director Luis Barriga, lead designer Jesse McCree, and World of Warcraft designer Jonathan LeCraft are no longer at Blizzard. Apparently the news was broken to the teams today.

“We can confirm Luis Barriga, Jesse McCree, and Jonathan LeCraft are no longer with the company,” Activision Blizzard confirmed in a statement to Kotaku. "We have a deep, talented roster of developers already in place and new leaders have been assigned where appropriate. We are confident in our ability to continue progress, deliver amazing experiences to our players, and move forward to ensure a safe, productive work environment for all.”

Jesse McCree, whose namesake led to the naming of the popular Overwatch character McCree, has previously been named or associated with the lawsuit's claim of "frat boy" like culture, sexism, and toxicity. So much so that Overwatch fans are currently asking Blizzard to rename the character.

With Diablo IV currently one of the highest profile games currently in development, losing both the game's director and lead designer sounds like a pretty significant blow. That said, veteran Microsoft and Gears developer Rod Fergusson recently joined the company to oversee the franchise - with Rod known in many circles for getting development on track.
Thursday, 1 July 2021
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 12:00pm 01/07/21 | 0 Comments
The latest Diablo IV Quarterly Update from the team at Blizzard gives us a closer look at the characters we'll play and the monsters we'll go up against. We break it all down.

The latest Diablo IV quarterly update has arrived and it delves into the art side of the experience, where the dark and gothic imagery meets new 3D rendering techniques and real-time cinematics. Character stuff that not only looks incredible but features your character up-close-and-personal and decked out in whatever armour you’ve got equipped. And speaking of armour, we’ve got confirmation that you’ll be able to dye individual armour pieces, from individual shoulder pads right down to boots and gloves.

“Our goal was to make the characters in Diablo IV look as artistic and as hand-crafted as possible using the latest tools and techniques,” writes John Mueller, Art Director on Diablo IV. “We didn’t want the characters to feel procedural or generic because of these processes. We also embraced realism in terms of materials and character appearance. I think the touchpoint being the amazing pre-rendered look from the Diablo III cinematics. We loved those and it felt like a strong foundation to build upon in regards to the characters and achieving that warm quality that came through in the cinematics but in a real-time game environment.”

Our Full Diablo IV Quarterly Update Breakdown
Tuesday, 20 April 2021
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 10:35am 20/04/21 | 0 Comments
From the impressive Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 and 2 remake from last year and Diablo 2: Resurrection on track for release later this year (check out our hands-on impressions here) Vicarious Visions has been on something of a hot-streak. And with the studio now officially an in-house Blizzard studio, we’ve not got word that it will be spreading its Diablo-loving arms towards the upcoming TBC release that is Diablo IV.

As per this new job listing, we’ve got confirmation that Vicarious Visions is hiring and expanding as development on Diablo IV looks to be ramping up. The specific job is asking for someone to help “writing cutscenes, in-game dialogue, character biographies and lore” in addition to “working with our quest designers on copywriting, editing of dialogue scripts, and keeping consistency with character and tone”. That and facilitating recording sessions with actors -- probably for those that take place in New York, which is where Vicarious Visions is located.

Related: Diablo 2: Resurrected Preview - It's Back and We Had a Hell of a Time Playing It.

With the recent Blizzcon reveal bringing with it a new look at the game and a new playable class in the form of the Rogue -- D4 could be on the cards for a 2022 release window. Which is wishful thinking on our part, but the impression we’re getting is that, yeah, progress is moving pretty quick on the next numbered installment in the long-running franchise. If the team at Vicarious is helping populate the world with quests and lore, odds are a lot of the foundation has been sorted.

Still, there’s also Diablo II: Resurrected to look forward too -- a project that Vicarious Visions is leading development on. And based on what we’ve seen and played, the classic action-RPG is getting a remaster treatment befitting of such an iconic release.
Saturday, 20 February 2021
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 10:21am 20/02/21 | 0 Comments
Announced at BlizzConline we dive into this new take on an class-ic, and chat to Blizzard as the Rogue officially joins Diablo IV. Ahead of the announcement this morning we got the chance to sit down with Blizzard to talk about the arrival of a class "you don't want to meet in a dark alley".

The Diablo IV campfire is expanding -- with the Rogue being the fourth class reveal for the highly anticipated release, joining the Barbarian, Druid, and Sorceress at the campfire selection screen. Described as a “swift, deadly, mobile class with unparalleled versatility” the Rogue dates all the way back to the original Diablo but will also feature shades of Assassin and Demon Hunter as seen in Diablo II and Diablo III -- and some new stuff too.

Without further ado, here’s the Diablo IV Rogue in all their shoot, stab, freeze, trap, and poison glory.

Head Here For Our Deep Dive into the Rogue - Including Our Chat with Blizzard.
Friday, 5 February 2021
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 02:59pm 05/02/21 | 0 Comments
That is, according to Activision Blizzard. Which made the statement during its latest financial call -- with Activision chief financial officer Dennis Durkin saying, "Our outlook does not include Diablo IV or Overwatch 2 launching in 2021." With both titles announced and showcased at BlizzCon 2019 there were hopes that we'd see one or both this year.

It looks like that ain't happening -- cue sad face emoji.

That said, with BlizzConline kicking off this month -- full details here -- odds are we're going to get updates on both games. I mean, they're right there on the official art for the digital event. Which will no doubt be awesome, but make the wait that much harder.

Diablo IV is currently one of the most anticipated releases currently in development, with the team at Blizzard building a buzz around it thanks to its incredible (and dark) art style in addition to action-RPG mechanics that are as inspired by the seminal Diablo II as they are by the idea of taking the Diablo-style game into the future.

Also, this cinematic trailer that announced to the world that Diablo IV weas real and in development is quite possibly the best cinematic/trailer for a game. Ever.

Overwatch 2 is another highly anticipated Blizzard release, with it set to introduce story-based missions, co-op, and other elements into the mix. It's also interesting in how its multiplayer will merge the old with the new, in that all current Overwatch players will get a free upgrade to the new and improved engine and overhaul.

It's also been over a year since we've seen anything substantial on the Overwatch 2 front -- so getting to see where that's at will be great. Finally, Activision also revealed that it has more remastered/remake content set to be unveiled this year -- which points to the rumoured Diablo II: Resurrection potentially coming out soon. With Diablo IV now looking like a 2022 release, getting a D2 remaster this year would be an epic way to make the wait bearable.