EVERYTHING WE KNOW ABOUT UPCOMING DIABLO IV! January 18. 2023. Details on the Diablo 4 release date, beta, classes and more!
Diablo 4 is one of the most anticipated new games of 2023, and with its appearance at The Game Awards 2022 confirming a release date, we now know exactly when to schedule some vacation time for hell.
In addition to the release date, Blizzard has kept us well-informed on Diablo 4, with the developer releasing insightful development updates every few months. If you keep reading you'll find all the key information we've learned so far about the upcoming sequel, ranging from classes, combat, itemization, and most recently, seasons and monetization.
With Diablo 4 promising a darker, grittier world, and literally hundreds of dungeons to hack through, this could be the sequel fans have been wanting since the ARPG classic Diablo 2. After all, our hands-on time with the Diablo 4 beta only left us wanting more.
With new details and trailers emerging at a steady clip, things are really heating up down there in Sanctuary, so now it's high time we run through everything we know about Diablo 4.
Diablo 4 is launching on June 6. 2023. Blizzard has confirmed!
Official Relase Date Trailer:
Diablo 4 will launch on PS5, Xbox Series X, PC, and last-gen consoles in 2023. Although Microsoft (and thus Xbox) now owns Blizzard's parent company, the sequel has been confirmed as a multiplatform title with no known timed exclusivity deals on Xbox.
What a reveal this was! The Diablo 4 cinematic trailer was grim, dark, and pretty damn gruesome – which is exactly what we want from a Diablo game. You should check the trailer about above, as it sets a really good tone for what's to come.
The first Diablo 4 gameplay trailer shows off some early gameplay, a decent look at Sanctuary, classes, and combat ahead of the sequel's 2023 launch.
Official Gameplay Trailer:
Blizzard revealed three classes for Diablo 4 at BlizzCon 2019: Barbarian, Sorceress, and Druid, and 15 months later the returning Rogue class was revealed at BlizzConline. The fifth class was just revealed to be the Necromancer. Whether via trailers or dev updates, Blizzard has given a lot of information about Diablo 4's various classes, so let's dive right in.
The Barbarian class is exactly what it sounds like - a storm of swinging weapons both blunt and sharp; tactless, brute, and unforgivingly effective. His special abilities include one that projects a wave of energy to damage surrounding enemies, as well as one that buffs attacks and covers the barbarian in flaming runes.
The Sorceress takes a more tactical approach to combat, choosing to attack foes from afar using projectiles including fireballs, ice arrows, and a honing bolt of lightning. And as we learned in a dev update, the Sorceress class has a unique Enchantment system that lets you "enchant" skills, thereby making them additional, passive moves. For example, you can use Meteor as a normal, active skill, or you can slot it as an Enchantment, which would call firey space debris down from the sky and onto your enemies periodically.
A return to the series from Diablo 2, the Druid class is back with a new design and magic skills. In place of fire magic, storm and earth magic power the Druid's attacks. Shape-shifting magic transforms the Druid between human, werewolf, and werebear, which will likely be central to most Druid builds.
Diablo fans of a certain age will remember the Rogue class from Diablo 1, but it sounds like Diablo 4's Rogue is a whole new beast. The Rogue in Diablo 4 is a versatile class that serves as a sort-of hybrid of the original Rogue's long-range skillset and the cloak-and-dagger melee of Assassins from Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction.
Finally, the Necromancer sounds like a good mix of old and new. Yes, you'll still be raising the dead to do the dirty work for you, but there are some changes to how that works. For example, in a comprehensive dev update Blizzard explained how the new "Book of the Dead" feature will allow you to customize your undead army in all new ways.
The most recent quarterly update was all about Diablo 4 seasons and live service monetization, the latter of which is a particularly hot topic following the backlash to Diablo Immortal's microtransactions. Blizzard says Diablo 4's seasons will be "much more ambitious" than Diablo 3's, though the fundamentals are the same: each season there will be a full reset, meaning you'll go into a new questline with a brand new character and none of the gold or items from your old build.
There will also be season passes with paid and free tracks, offering unique cosmetics and premium currency which you'll be able to use in the in-game shop. But don't worry, the in-game shop will only have cosmetic items, so no one should be able to spend money to get a gameplay edge. There will be XP boosts available in the season pass, but they'll be free to everyone and tied to completion milestones, so again, Diablo 4 seems to dodge the dreaded pay-to-win trappings of games like Diablo Immortal.
We know Diablo 4 will release on a variety of platforms (including PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X), but we don't yet know whether players across each of them will be able to play together. That's always the hope, but it's anything but confirmed at this point.
Thankfully, Diablo 4 executive producer Allen Adham is hopeful about making cross-platform play happen. Speaking with The Telegraph at BlizzCon 2019, Adham said there were technical hurdles to get over, but that "it's our goal to get to cross-play.”
Fans of old-school RPGs, including the first two Diablo games as well as MMOs like World of Warcraft and Ultima Online, will appreciate that Blizzard has confirmed PvP for Diablo 4. The feature was sadly missing when Diablo 3 released seven years ago, and it was never properly introduced. Of course, it won't be like Diablo 2's open PvP, and it'll be entirely optional.
Speaking at BlizzCon 2021, confirmed that there will be PvP zones, called Fields of Hatred, that players can choose to enter, and whether or not they do has no bearing on the main quest or story. That said, you'll be rewarded for entering the PvP zone with Hatred Shards, a special currency you can collect by killing monsters, completing events, opening chests, and yes, killing other players.
Entering PvP zones is a high-risk, high-reward activity, as in order to use Hatred Shards you'll need to purify them first, and doing so makes you a prime target for other PvPers. But if you manage to escape with a few purified Hatred Shards, you can spend them at special vendors for costumes, weapons, and mounts.
So, PvP in Diablo 4 is an optional, yet rewarding trade, and Fields of Hatred aren't exclusively about PvP. There are PvP events and bosses to take down too, you just need to watch your back for other players. Or, if you're of the type that other players need to watch out for, you might end up with a mighty bounty on your back. Diablo 4 has a system in place called Vessel of Hatred, which puts a target on the head of the most bloody PKer in the Fields of Hatred and pays handsomely to the player who ends their reign of terror.
Dying in PvP zones just means you lose any Hatred Shards that hadn't been purified, which could be pretty devastating depending on how many you'd collected. And, much to my delight, downed players will lose an ear for their killer to collect. It doesn't do anything, it's just a trophy for the winner and a catalyst for revenge for the dead player.
Blizzard has confirmed Diablo 4's campaign will last around 35 hours.
Lilith is coming back as a main antagonist in Diablo 4
The Daughter of Hatred has been confirmed as, presumably, Diablo 4's number one big baddie. Lilith is an extremely challenging demon we last saw in Diablo 2's Pandemonium event and is known as the 'Mother of Misery,' 'Queen of the Succubi,' 'Mother of Deceit,' and 'Mistress of Betrayal.'
It sounds like Lilith has graduated from an uber boss in Diablo 2 to one of Diablo 4's primary antagonists, at least judging from the reveal trailer. This is far and away the best look we've had at Lilith, with a properly animated cinematic, backstory, and lore. The design is dramatically different from what we saw way back in Diablo 2, this time with far fewer limbs (at least from what we can see).
Blizzard has revealed that Diablo 4 will have "five distinct regions and hundreds of dungeons." Art director Chris Ryder added that "weather and lighting play a more prominent visual role" than in previous Diablo games, but also that the team are going "for believability, not realism."
Some of the areas that got a name check were Scosglen Coast, - home to forests and werewolves - the Orbei Monastery in the Dry Steppes, and Kyovoshad, an oppressive, medieval-style settlement.
Blizzard is also making sure that players' demand for dungeons to conquer will be met with smart development techniques.
"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," associate art director Brian Fletcher explains. Diablo 4 uses dynamic dungeon "tile-sets" that can be rearranged to create a broader range of environments, meaning Diablo 4 should feel less same-y as you grind your characters to infinity."
Diablo IV Screenshots (Pre-Alpha):
A page from the recently-released artbook, 'The Art of Diablo,' was leaked by Twitter user WeakAuras and included a quote from Diablo 4 art director John Mueller that confirmed "many" characters from previous Diablo games will be returning for Diablo 4. According to the passage, the returning characters will at least appear fundamentally different this time around. The leak includes a quote from Mueller that explains how the creative team plans on bringing back characters from past Diablo games.
"I've always really liked that about any kind of IP: letting really talented artists get a hold of things and letting them do their version of it. We're doing that with a lot of characters in the new game."
GamesRadar.com By Jordan Gerblick | Contributions from Rachel Weber, Heather Wald, Joe Donnelly, Josh West