“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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
To be clear, D4 is a full price game built for PC/PS/Xbox audiences. We are committed to delivering an incredible breadth of content after launch, for years to come, anchored around optional cosmetic items & full story driven expansions. More details soon. Necro blog tomorrow!— Rod Fergusson (@RodFergusson) June 12, 2022
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”