Blizzard announced Diablo 4 during Blizzcon 2019. The teaser clip showcases a movie-quality animation. The short story follows a group of rogues seizing an ancient temple until they wake up an unknown evil.
Years have passed since the Sanctuary trailer, and fans are asking: when is Diablo 4 coming out? After all, Blizzard revealed the introduction of the daughter of the Lord of Hatred, Lilith. That was enough to keep players excited.
Diablo 4 release date
There were many years of silence after 2012’s Diablo 3 and 2014’s Reaper of Souls Expansion. When Blizzard revealed the game back in 2019, though, it was already a loud secret.
Back then, the company offered a look at the classes and a small preview of the mechanics.
During BlizzCon 2021, Blizzard showcased the Rogue class and gave further insight into the RPG game. They also revealed some details regarding PvP zones, known as “Fields of Hatred.”
Sadly, though, there’s no release date yet. The best we have is Blizzard’s confirmation of a 2022 possible premiere.
Diablo IV could debut in late 2022. However, a mid-2023 seems more likely given the amount of work the game takes. For example, Blizzard created a new engine to improve gameplay, visuals, cinematics, and performance.
Also, the title’s director Luis Barriga said Diablo 4 was “not coming out soon” back in 2019.
Additionally, the latest Diablo IV quarterly updates on the webpage say nothing about a release date.
What do we know about Diablo 4?
Even if we can’t detail a release date, there’s plenty of information we can share for the eager fans.
We’ll start by talking about the latest updates from the game directors. Then, we’ll jump into the classes, story arc, world, and mechanics.
Let’s start by talking about…
Who is Lilith, the First Mother?
If you’ve played Diablo II, maybe remember Mephisto. He’s the Lord of Hatred, boss of Diablo II – Act 3, and brother to Diablo himself.
Lilith is Mephisto’s daughter, albeit she doesn’t appear in any of the games. We only hear her by mention, legends, and texts. She’s also Lucion’s sister, the Queen of the Succubi.
His father and uncles are the generals of the Eternal Conflict, the ongoing war between angels, demons, and mortals.
However, she didn’t take the side of her father at first. Instead, she fell in love with a prisoner angle, Inarius. Both abandoned their duties to have an affair, a son, and a creation.
Their creation was Sanctuary, the moral realm. And their son was the first Nephalem, an offspring between demons and angles.
Lilith is known in both realms as “The First Mother.” She’s a rogue, cunning, and constantly changing sides. She’s currently a member of the Temple of the Triune, according to the Wiki. It’s the religious body the Prime Evils created to turn humanity to their sides.
After finishing Diablo II: Resurrected, the remake of the classic RPG, the whole team began focusing on Diablo IV.
Blizzard announced they’ve been working on the open world during 2020 and 2021. Notably, they created their signature mechanic to randomize every area of the game. Plus, they added ominous lighting effects and “horrifying details” at every corner.
They’ve also been working on hand-crafted combat animations and visual effects to make combat visceral.
Like so, they’re hand-crafting most items to keep the style of the game consistent across the board.
Equally important is character art. This is why the developers are creating new looks for the classes. So, even though we’ve already seen these classes, they look distinct.
Because developers want to give you distinct characters, Diablo 4 allows customizing your character’s look.
Aside from hundreds of unique gear pieces, you can also tweak facial and body characteristics on a creation screen.
You’ll be able to change hairstyles, facial hair, and facial features. Additionally, the menu grants the option to add jewelry, makeup, markings, paint, and tattoos. Finally, you can change skin, eyes, hair, and marking colors. Some of the elements, like tattoo designs, are class-specific, though.
With these changes also comes an increased amount of close-up scenes, cinematics, and visuals. That means you’ll get to see your character many times, even in the game’s menus.
There’s also a dye system that lets players paint armors and outfits in various colors. You can dye each part of your armor. That means chest, helmet, gloves, legs, and boots. If you want, each part can have a different color.
In particular, “Lair Scene” is the character creation scene. Then, the “Wardrobe” is where you can change outfits and armor colors.
General Visual Quality
As for cinematics, Blizzard is mixing hand-crafted elements and real-time game rendering for the environment. The cinematics will show footage rendered with the game’s engine.
We saw pre-rendered characters in Diablo III cinematics. It made the game look beyond its time. However, Diablo 4 is a complete overhaul of the saga’s graphics, including a new game engine.
The overhaul also includes improvements to hair, cloth, fur, metal, and skin simulation. There’re other important highlights like eyes and facial expressions. With the character customization options, there’s new art for all of the five different classes.
The artistic department assures they’re committed to quality. We expect Diablo IV will ease fan suspicion against Blizzard. In particular, Warcraft III: Reforged left a bad taste to thousands of players.
Like previous games, Diablo 4 is working with isometric looks as well. Blizzard intends Diablo 4 to look “grounded” and “realistic.” That’s not always the best, but it has a purpose in a game full of gore and horror.
Moreover, Blizzard is putting the same levels of detail to designing the enemies you’ll face.
Diablo 4 will have four classes available at launch. We’ve seen four so far.
The Barbarian is the brute class, as always. His strength comes from his arsenal, intimidating cries, kicks, punches, and ground-slams.
The Sorceress wields the power of the elements. She conjures lighting, ice, and fire.
The Rogue is the agile warrior that can master either close quarters or ranged combat. She can use imbued weapons, combo attacks, deadly potions, and shadow magic.
Lastly, the Druid is a shapeshifter. He can transform into a mighty bear or a vicious wolf. The Druid can also summon wild creatures to fight with him. Additionally, he directs earth, wind, and storm powers.
I see the classes are similar to Diablo II classes. The Rogue is the former Amazon. She’s able to use bows and javelins for ranged combat; and spears for closed combat.
The Barbarian, the Druid, and Sorceress appear to be very similar. Notably, the Druid was part of the Diablo II expansion, Lord of Destruction. We suspect the developers will release different classes on expansions or DLCs.
Below is a Diablo 4 gameplay video showcasing the Barbarian, Sorceress, and Druid classes. There’re also PvP and co-op clips within the gameplay trailer.
As for the stats, Diablo 4 was going to have three new attributes (Angelic, Demonic, and Ancestral Power). However, those were deleted in favor of a classical setup: Strength, Dexterity, Willpower, and Dexterity.
You can allocate stats as you gain points by leveling. Attributes may grant buffs to your passive skills at certain thresholds. For example, 150 Dex points may improve the movement speed passive point at the skill tree.
Skill Tree and Skills
Diablo 4 will have a new skill tree for each class. It’s a literal tree with branches where you’ll spend the skill points you earn when you level.
The tree has both active skills and passive points. The passive points are the roots of the tree. Picking these points makes you unlock more effects.
Also, you can map your active skill on your keyboard or controller to use them in combat and exploration.
Blizzard says players will be able to unlock about 30 to 40% of the tree by the endgame. That means players will have quite a leeway to play around with a build.
Lilith returns to Sanctuary to execute revenge on the mortal realm. She summons a Dark Ritual to usher an age of misery, darkness, and pain.
She, as the co-creator of the human realm, comes to claim what belongs to her. But The First Mother is thirsty for revenge. Her offspring, the Nephalem, was a threat to both demons and angels because of his immense power. Thus, both sides hunted all Nephalem equally.
She unleashes chaos into the Sanctuary, and evil creatures begin to spread. At the same time, her influence in the world created a wave of cult followers to worship her.
The Daughter of Hatred, the enemy of all creatures, demons, and angels, is the evil to defeat. Her mere presence arises profound emotions of fear, sinful desires, and rage. You, the hero, have to be brave enough to stop her.
You’re back in Sanctuary, a hero once again fighting Burning Hell creatures. Across the land, there’re camps and villages to help and discover. There are also tons of secrets and gear to loot.
As you clear camps and villages from the demonic forces, you claim these areas to Sanctuary citizens again. That means you can transform a hostile version into a recovering safe haven.
Clearing enemies also rewards new merchants, waypoints, and quests. However, safety is fragile, which means enemies can return at any time, at least you bet the area bosses.
Diablo 4 will see the return of the darker tones of the original Diablo. There’s going to be gore, blasphemy, profane visuals, and an adult storyline.
There’s a downside, which some people might see as a positive element. The upcoming dungeon crawler is an online-only experience with a shared open world. It’s a massive change of the formula that may turn into a live-service, free-to-play disappointment.
As you explore the open world, other players might run across you and join your party. Co-op is available on Diablo 4, but extra party members increase the monster’s difficulties. You’ll see most players in safe areas, though, and there’s no option to turn them off.
Then, world events and challenges will draw players to travel together. By the way, you’ll have mounted, like horses, to travel great distances with your friends or solo.
As for dungeons, you can go either with your friends or solo. When you enter a dungeon, you can select the difficulty.
Also, PvP will only work on contained areas known as “Fields of Hatred.”
Lastly, there’s no word of how trading will work between real players.
PvP happens within these contained areas only. Inside the Fields of Hated, you can collect Shards of hatred by fighting waves of monsters. You can also open chests, kill other players, and complete other tasks.
You may want to hold your Shards long enough to take them to an altar. On the altar, you’ll cleanse the Shards and then use them as currency to buy powerful gear.
If a player kills you, he takes your uncleansed Shards, but nothing else. It seems like a fair, safe, fun, and primarily risk-free PvP feature.
New Item Mechanics
The new item mechanics include custom aesthetics for gear sets and armor parts for each class. That increases the level of customization available.
On top of that, there’re new stats like weapon speed and other physical characteristics. This will make the previously underpowered Barbarian class better.
Item qualities, stats, and affixes have also improved. Blizzard wants to make all gear pieces usable, not only legendary items. Because of this, the developers increased the maximum number a Rare item can have in an endgame. They’ve also improved the quality of the overall loot.
Also, Legendary affixes are random on Legendary Items. Next, Unique items will return to replace Mythics.
On top of this, players will earn consumables they can attach as a Legendary affix on non-legendary weapons.
Overall, it seems the developers want to make the loot system easier and friendlier. This doesn’t mean dumbing down the system. It means decreasing the amount of “mathematics” users have to do to calculate the character stats.
The developers also overhauled the inventory. You no longer have to place items in a geometrical pattern to make the items fit. Instead, there’s a more traditional weight system to carry your loot.
What is the Release Date for Diablo 4?
Diablo 4 has a 2022 release date.
What are Diablo 4 Classes?
Available classes at launch are Barbarian, Sorceress, Druid, and Rogue. It doesn’t have a Necromancer, Paladin, or Witch Doctor.
Is Diablo 4 Gender Locked?
You can change the gender of the classes, apparently.
Is Diablo 4 a Cross-Platform?
As the game is launching in 2022 earlier, we believe it will be for new-gen platforms only. However, it will launch for Xbox Series, PS5, and Windows PC.
What are Diablo 4’s PC requirements?
Is Diablo 4 like World of Warcraft?
Even though it is an online-only experience, Diablo IV is not an MMORPG. That means there won’t be infinite content like we see on WoW or fetch quests. Instead, the game will follow a traditional linear storyline to complete side quests in the open world.
After you finish the game, it will most likely have an expanding endgame to keep players coming back.
What Can I Play While I Wait?
It’s known as “Diablo II’s spiritual successor.” It’s the most complex RPG out there, with new expansions every three months or so, adding new RNG mechanics (randomly generated loot, monsters, and areas).
The thrill of the game is making a viable “build.” You see, PoE is so complex that reaching the endgame requires careful planning.
Would I say it’s better than Diablo 4? I don’t think so. It lacks the storytelling power Blizzard has…when they want!