This year at BlizzConline, Blizzard is looking to win disillusioned or bored Diablo players back through a multi-pronged approach. The studio isn’t just putting all of its hell-eggs in one basket; Blizzard has multiple Diablo projects in the works.
We’ve known all that, of course, but a lot of the details and timeline for these games has been murky at best. So at this year’s event, we were paying close attention to see what news Blizz has about Diablo IV, Diablo Immortal, and even Diablo II. We compiled all of the Diablo franchise information from the keynote, the “what’s next” panel, and the deep dive.
- Diablo II: Resurrected was officially announced as a full remaster of the classic game.
- It will be a full high-definition remaster of both the core game and the Lord of Destruction expansion, bringing it into the 3-D realm.
- The new graphics utilize physically-based rendering, dynamic lighting, revamped animations and spell effects. And yes, it can be played in 4K resolution.
- “Diablo II: Resurrected welcomes back veteran heroes and invites a new generation of players to experience the game’s sinfully dark storyline, thrilling loot chase, and visceral hack-and-slash gameplay with modernized visuals that take advantage of the latest gaming hardware.”
- All 27 minutes of the game’s cinematics have been re-created and updated to look good for today’s players.
- It’ll utilize Dolby 7.1 surround sound.
- Resurrected will be released in 2021 for both PC and consoles with cross-progression.
- These consoles are Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.
- It looks surprisingly good, especially as the original 2-D graphics melted away to reveal the new 3-D ones.
- The team are adding some quality-of-life features to this game, such as a shared stash.
- Diablo II creator David Brevik commented on Twitter, “They seem to be doing a good job so far, from what I can see. They are definitely keeping the atmosphere and graphic-style, which is great. It is a promising first-look.”
- Players can sign up for the upcoming technical alpha test on the Diablo II website.
- Blizzard wasn’t really talking about Diablo III at BlizzConline this year, but we knew the studio had practically put it in maintenance mode.
- The big news is, of course, the addition of the Rogue class to the upcoming roster.
- Rogues are flexible and adaptable with options to play as either an archer (bows and crossbows) or a cloak-and-dagger (swords and daggers) assassin. It’s based on the Rogue from the very first Diablo game.
- “No RPG line-up is complete without that dexterity class.”
- Rogues start by looking like they’re from the Sisterhood of the Sightless Eye with blood-red armor, but players can customize them right off the bat to look however they like.
- Rogues will work with their choice of rogue groups in Sanctuary to accomplish class-specific quests and access a specialization. The three Rogue specializations are combo points, shadow realm, and exploit weaknesses.
- Rogues are great at adapting and using skills like Shadow Step and Dash to get out of tough spots.
- The devs feel that Rogues have a “surgical precision” approach on the battlefield. Blizzard’s best internal PvP players seem to prefer this class.
- Weapons and armor in Diablo IV will be tied to regions, so they’ll look like they’re from that place and have a visual connection. This is for the sake of immersion.
- Weapon skills can be customized and imbued, such as with frost or shadow, to mix-and-match abilities with certain effects.
- Charging into combat will get even easier and more visceral with mounts. There’s a collection aspect for mounts.
- Players can set a mount’s speed. They won’t fight from mounts, but they will have a dismount skill that’ll look and feel amazing.
- The open world nature of Diablo IV’s huge landscape will be a joy for explorers and completionists. Blizzard can now show how the realm of Sanctuary is pieced together.
- One feature that the devs talked about are camps, which are strongholds of evils like bandits, goat-men, and undead. Players can reclaim these areas for good and unlock those camps to become a new waypoint and vendor spot.
- There’s a lot more effort to give player characters extra movement options, such as leaping across chasms.
- There are fields of hatred in the world that will allow players to turn against each other and earn “shards of hatred” that can be turned into a currency. Unpurified shards can be looted from enemy players, but purified ones can’t. These shards can be spent on gear and other goodies.
- If you engage in PvP too much, you’ll turn into a vessel of hatred that puts a large bounty on your head. If you can survive that bounty period without getting killed, you’ll get a huge reward.
- And yes, you’ll be able to collect player ears in PvP as trophies.
- There’s a dungeon in the game that throws players back in time.
- Blizzard can’t wait for more players to get their hands on the technical alpha.
- To remind you, Immortal takes place between Diablo II and III in terms of story and setting.
- “Within the legendary capital city of Westmarch, players will run into other adventurers, join guilds, carouse in the local tavern, or scour the Bounty Board for lucrative missions in search of glory, experience, and treasure.”
- Diablo Immortal will launch with six large open-world zones (such as Bilefen and Library of Zoltun Kulle), each with a unique zone trial.
- Dungeons, elder rifts, and challenge rifts can be entered solo or with groups.
- Diablo Immortal will be the first Diablo game to use an item ranking system that can salvage good gear to make their own items even better.
- The title also added paragon trees for more specialization and growth past the level cap.
- Alpha players killed 70 million monsters in two weeks over the holidays.
- The team wants to bring something new to the franchise while still retaining that classic feel. “You want some things that are new, some things that are improved, and some things that feel familiar.”
- There’s a concerted effort to make the cadence of amazing gear drops not too frequent — but also for every play session to feel worthwhile. The slower pace of drops helps with the “discovery process.”
- The team is focusing on giving players a variety of things to do and to “double-down on progression.” The latter includes gems, gear rank-ups, paragons, and so on.
- Every zone in the game has its own event, such as one where a ghostly carriage rumbles through and players can try to attack it for its loot. Another zone has a cemetery where players will fight shadow versions of themselves. And in the Library, players can unlock secret random levels by picking up certain tomes.
- The free-for-all PvP event in Bilefen is absolutely nuts (and testers have loved it).
- Paragon trees offer a whole lot of different choices for player builds, and players can switch between different trees for various activities.
- There’s a dungeon that throws players back in time to experience historical events. It was influenced by World of Warcraft’s Caverns of Time and Timewalking features.
- Deckard Cain is in this, so now you know it’s a Diablo. But there are brand-new characters that you’ll be meeting too.
- To become a mobile MMO, the team worked to make Westmarch as the main player hub where everyone will congregate between adventures. “It feels almost like a living city.”
- A town hub was what Blizzard originally thought of doing for Diablo III.
- Blizzard is trying to find reasons for players to be social and enjoy being with each other. To wit, the studio provides rewards to incentivize grouping.
- Controller support is highly requested, and Blizzard is investigating that possibility.
- Lairs will feature visual continuity with their respective zones.
- The team felt bad about the Diablo Immortal announcement at BlizzCon 2019, but they’re happy that now it’s all looking better.
- “We have an epic endgame planned for Diablo Immortal.”