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"The dream continues to haunt my old friend. It always starts with a journey to a distant land. There, I find a city in flames. Streets choked with corpses. Unthinkable destruction. I witness senseless slaughter. Brother against brother. Pure hatred. And then, executions. And then suffering surrounded me until my turn comes. It burned my eyes. Broke my bones. I wake in terror. There's no-one left to stand against them. You think me mad, old friend. But I know these dreams. They tell of the future. Hell is coming, brother. Hell is coming."
Diablo IV
Diablo IV logo
Developer(s) Blizzard Entertainment
Team 3
Blizzard Albany (2021–2023)
Publisher(s) Blizzard Entertainment
Released January 11, 2024[1]
March 7, 2024 (Steam Deck)[2]
Platform(s) PC
Xbox One/Series X & S
PlayStation 4 & 5[3]
Steam Deck

Diablo IV is the fourth main installment in the Diablo series. The story is centered around Lilith, Mephisto's daughter, who has been summoned into Sanctuary.

The game was announced at BlizzCon 2019 and was released on January 11th, 2024.

Plot[]

"Sanctuary was never meant for humankind. It was forged as a refuge from the war between the High Heavens and the Burning Hells. Instead, it became a new battleground in this Eternal Conflict. A secretive group called the Horadrim has kept mortals safe. But now this once powerful order is a husk of what it once was. And Sanctuary's ancient creators have returned to claim the hearts of humankind. This is the story of their downfall."

- Game intro monologue(src)

After the destruction of the Black Soulstone, the defeat of the Prime Evil, and the fall of Malthael, Angel of Death, countless lives have been lost and the denizens of Sanctuary find themselves struggling through the darkest of ages. Years have passed and, as some semblance of regular life starts rebuilding, a threat as old as the land itself begins to stir.

Diablo IV takes place fifty years after the events of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls,[4] after millions have been slaughtered by the actions of the High Heavens and Burning Hells alike. In the power vacuum, a legendary name resurfaces—Lilith, daughter of Mephisto, the whispered progenitor of humanity. Her grip on Sanctuary cuts deep into the hearts of men and women alike, cultivating the worst in its denizens and leaving the world a dark, hopeless place.[5] The main plot is similar to Diablo II in that it is a "following-in-the-footsteps-of" story;[6] specifically, the game's player character(s) is/are pursuing Lilith across Sanctuary. A core theme of the game is "hatred"; the motif of hate consuming the world, and the hearts of the player character(s).[7]

The Horadrim play a key role in the game's story, as well as Inarius. The feud between him and Lilith is one of the game's key plot points.[8]

The base game's storyline will be expanded in two areas post-launch. The first one will be via expansions, which continue the overall storyline of the game. The second one is through the game's seasons, however, seasons are self-contained storylines, unrelated to the core storyline.[9]

Gameplay[]

"True to the franchise’s roots, Diablo IV will deliver visceral combat, gruesome and varied monsters, an epic hunt for legendary loot, and endless playability and progression. Players will find a lifetime’s worth of adventure scattered across a land rooted in unique ecologies and inhabited by dangerous new foes. They’ll delve into randomized dungeons packed with unpredictable adversaries and unimaginable treasures. While continuing to fully support solo and coordinated party play, Diablo IV will also provide opportunities for groups of players to encounter each other in the same shared world—whether to tackle bigger challenges . . . or possibly even slaughter one another in player-vs.-player combat."

- Press Release(src)

Diablo IV can be played solo or in a group[10] of up to 4 players per party.[11] The game utilizes a shared world system where groups may encounter one another, engaging in both PvE (PvM) and PvP activities;[10] dungeons are instanced, however, and can only be done with multiple players through the party system. The state of the world is unique to each player, depending on their progress through the campaign as well as other variables (such as strongholds).

Players can create clans while in the game and customize a clan banner; clans do not offer any advantages to loot or power progression.[12] The game will not have an auction house.[13] Trading is enabled between players, but with certain limitations (such as the inability to trade crafting materials and Legendary/Unique Items). All loot is personal, and items dropped by monsters and treasure chests will not be visible to other players; the exception to this of course is when the player drops an item on the ground manually.

Account-wide progression is present, where all characters that the player creates will share the same stash, gold, and crafting materials. A renown system, which is divided per region in the world map, is also account-wide, allowing players to reap all the benefits of gaining renown rewards in the different zones. Some of the account-wide progression will be separate for seasons, meaning that certain progress on the eternal server will not carry over to the seasonal server.

The game is multiplatform, with crossplay being available[3]; the player can, however, opt to disable the feature in the options section and only get matched with players from the same platform. Cross-progression is also available,[7] allowing for players to transfer their progress between all available platforms through their Battle.Net-accounts. The console versions feature couch co-op for up to two players,[14] however, each player must have their own Battle.Net-account.[15] Though players in couch co-op can still form parties with other players online.

The massive world map has verticality, allowing the player to climb up and down on cliffs, giving it more depth and a larger sense of exploration. The game has a day-night cycle and dynamic weather effects as well.[16] Wild critters can be found in Sanctuary to make the world feel more alive. The map has various icons depicting specific points of interest, such as waypoints, dungeons, and quest objectives; these can be filtered and toggled. Players can also pin any part of the map, which will show an optimal path based on the player's position.

As the player progresses through the zones, they can unlock waypoints to make traversal faster. Each zone has a "hub" town, which gives players access to all features, ranging from the blacksmith and item vendors to other specialized NPCs, such as the Occultist. Once the player reaches Act IV, they can unlock the horseride function, in which the horse can then be customized with cosmetics; all horses have the same movement speed.

The campaign is expected to take 45–50 hours to complete on the first playthrough.[17] In addition to this, the game will have seasons, similar to those in Diablo III.[18] Once the player finishes the campaign with one of their characters, they have the option to skip the campaign entirely when making new characters, or when using existing characters.

Combat and Systems[]

Diablo IV retains the core aspect of the series and the ARPG genre, with a gameplay revolving around empowering the player character through a combination of abilities and equipment dropped by monsters. The game brings back skill trees, in a similar fashion to Diablo II, to allow for different types of gameplay styles and tailor a variety of builds. Each class has its own distinct identity, abilities, and skill tree.

Much like in Diablo III, characters can generate their "mana" resource with Basic Abilities, which are fuel to more potent attacks, called Core Abilities. There are also Ultimate Abilities, which are even more powerful skills, capable of either dealing massive damage or granting empowering effects, at the cost of longer cooldowns. At the end of the skill tree, all classes have access to a key passive skill which further enhances their power.

Inspired by Diablo III, the Paragon Board features a vast talent tree to continue empowering the player character(s).[19] Once the character reaches level 50, they start gaining paragon points to spend on the board, which can then be rotated to further add customization. Each board has its own special nodes which can be activated, as well as sockets for Glyphs, which drop from monsters, to grant powerful effects; these Glyphs can later be upgraded by completing Nightmare Dungeons.

The potion system combines aspects from Diablo II and Diablo III; potions no longer require cooldown when used, and replenish life instantly as well as over time. While belts do not make a return, the player instead has multiple potions to be used, which can then be upgraded, and have their maximum capacity increased as well. Potions do not take up inventory space and are also automatically picked up when walked over; however, if the player is full on life, they cannot pick them up, nor use a potion. Also, Healing Wells now fully restore the player's health, resource, and potion quantity as well (in addition to the Healers in towns doing the same thing). The Life Orb mechanic from Diablo III does not make a return, though the Necromancer has a system reminiscent of it called Blood Orb, where certain abilities will cause said orbs to drop and instantly heal the character when walked over.

Similar to Diablo III, items can be salvaged into raw crafting materials which are then used to upgrade gear. A new harvesting mechanic is also introduced, which allows players to interact with certain plants and mineral veins to gather herbs and ores, respectively, which are then used to upgrade their potions through the Alchemist.[20] In addition, players are also able to concoct elixirs, and craft gems to be socketed into equipment.

The game also adds an evade function, which in the case of the PC version, is assigned to the space bar. It allows players to dodge enemy attacks, making them completely invincible for the duration of time, and also allowing characters to move freely through their enemies.[21]

Classes[]

"These three iconic characters honor the legacy of the franchise and exemplify how Diablo IV builds upon the series’ history by preserving the core Diablo fantasy while allowing players to explore untapped gameplay possibilities with fresh inspiration. Players will be able to experiment and discover countless character builds through customizable talent trees and skills, a deep loot system filled with legendary and set items to collect, runes and rune word combinations, and even personalized mounts for traversing the open world."

- Press release(src)

BarbarianDruidSorceressRogueNecromancerD4

The game's classes

The game launched with five classes, they include the:

Skill Trees have also been revamped, now resembling an actual tree where Skill Points are spent in the 'Branches' and Passive Points are spent in the 'Roots'. Blizzard estimates that roughly 30-40% of the Skill Tree will be filled in on an average end game character.[22] Additional skill points can be obtained by progressing through the renown system.

Classes have specific quests to complete in order to unlock their own unique "specializations."[14]

Dungeons and Monsters[]

Randomized[10] and Keyed Dungeons are featured in the game. Strongholds[3] and cellars are now also featured.[23] Strongholds take place in the actual world map rather than in a dungeon, where the player takes on specific tasks while they are defeating monsters to permanently "purge" the area from them; some strongholds, once conquered, will unlock new waypoints and towns populated by NPCs. Keyed Dungeons are called Nightmare Dungeons, and function similarly to Nephalem Rifts from Diablo III, while incorporating some affix modifiers that empower both the players and monsters, a feature slightly reminiscent of the Mythic+ Dungeons from World of Warcraft.

Monster designs are based on "families" of disparate, yet thematically-linked creatures which work well together to present interesting strategic challenges.[24] Each region has its own distinct monster families and theming. Elite monsters may appear, having between one to four affixes, which grants them new abilities and traits. There are also monsters with auras, called Champions, that will augment certain attributes (such as defense) of all nearby monsters until defeated. All monsters can drop any kind of loot, but certain monster families have a higher chance to drop a specific type of item (e.g. Fallen-types have a higher chance of dropping axes and maces).

Some monster families have support-oriented units in their ranks, such as the Fallen Shamans, who are capable of resurrecting other Fallen units. Khazra Shamans can empower other Khazra units to get into a berserker rage. Banshees can charge Vengeful Spirits and give them access to powerful lightning blasts. Other types of units, outside of the Summoner affix for Elites, are able to summon other types of creatures, such as certain Triune Cultists being capable of channel portals for Succubi and Balrogs.

Each monster family also has an associated type of crafting material which drops exclusively from them. For example, all human-type enemies have a chance to drop Pale Tongues, while demon-types can drop Demon Hearts. Those crafting materials are used in a variety of items, ranging from equipment to elixirs. Players can also find the so called "extremely rare monsters", which have a fixed spawn location and will always drop the same piece of loot: a rare item related specifically to them.

Monsters can engage with the player in various ways: they can appear directly as obstacles, but may also create ambushes. There is a random chance when opening chests that monsters will appear to attack and surround the player; sometimes creatures may emerge from the treasure chests themselves. Certain monsters, most notably skeleton units, can erect bone prisons to catch an unsuspecting player traversing the map; others may block roads using bone walls, forcing the player to destroy them in order to progress.

Boss fights take place during the story, as well as in certain dungeons as the final objective. Bosses have specific thresholds, marked in the lifebar, which will cause them to drop potions, but will also make them progressively more difficult. Bosses are completely immune to crowd control effects, but a stagger system has been introduced specifically for boss fights. By using abilities that have crowd control effects on bosses, players can raise a stagger gauge; once filled, the boss becomes temporarily stunned and vulnerable, taking more damage for the period of time.[25]

There are also World Bosses, which are encountered in specific open-world—arena-type locations.[10] They have a spawn timer, which will be highlighted in the map. Once a world boss fight starts, players who were not present cannot join midway. Defeating World Bosses will always award at least one Legendary item (with a chance for even Uniques when playing on higher difficulties) in addition to a weekly item cache which contains materials and more items.

Once the player reaches level 50, various end-game systems and activities open up, such as the aforementioned World Bosses, Tree of Whispers,[3] Helltides, and Nightmare Dungeons. The player can also unlock new difficulty settings (called World Tiers) by completing the Capstone Dungeons; much like in previous Diablo titles, those new difficulties make monsters much stronger, but also grant the player better loot and high experience bonuses. The player can change the World Tier in the character select screen menu, or at the Inarius World Tier Statue located in the town of Kyovashad in the Fractured Peaks.

Equipment & Upgrade System[]

Diablo IV has four item rarity types: Common (white), Magic (blue), Rare (yellow), Legendary (orange) and Unique (beige). All types, save for Unique, roll randomized stats, and both Legendary and Unique have an aspect that buffs a skill or specific trait, either a generic effect that can be used by all classes, or a class-specific effect. In addition, there are three types of item quality: Normal, Sacred (which only drops on World Tiers 3 and 4) and Ancestral (which only drops on World Tier 4), which differ in stats, with Ancestral boasting the highest stat bonuses. Unique Items can only drop on World Tiers 3 and 4, with the rarest Uniques only dropping specifically on World Tier 4 for characters above level 85.

Items can be upgraded up to five times, using materials that are salvaged from gear and/or dropped from specific events. Weapons and armor are upgraded at the Blacksmith, while amulets and rings at the Jeweler. The player can also add sockets or remove gems at the Jeweler, as well upgrade gems.

New to Diablo IV is the Codex of Power system, where the player unlocks legendary aspects by completing dungeons, which can be in turn imprinted on gear at the Occultist. Aspects from the Codex will always be at the lowest possible effect. In addition, the player can also extract aspects from dropped legendary items at the Occultist, and imprint them on other gear; if the player attempts to imprint a legendary aspect on another legendary, the chosen aspect will replace the existing one.

NPCs and Side Quests[]

Various NPCs are featured in the game, both friendly and unfriendly ones.[26] For simple interactions with NPCs, the game brings the camera in closer to the characters. This is designed to maintain an isometric feel, but a library of animations are used to deliver the gist of the conversation. For more complex conversations, the game takes a similar camera approach but here the character’s movements and animations are more deliberately hand-crafted. The second storytelling method used is real-time cutscenes. Here, the camera is used to treat the storytelling as being akin to a movie. These cutscenes are reserved for the most important story moments. The player character's armor is carried over to these scenes.[27] Despite the game's open-world structure, the game's story has a definite beginning, middle, and end.[28]

Players can find various side quests scattered around the world. Most of them are picked up on towns, but some can be found while venturing on dangerous areas. They can be either be given directly by NPCs or started by picking item-quests dropped from specific portions of the map. Some side quests are chains that will feature the same NPC, while others have pre-requisites and can only be started once another sidequest has been completed, or depending on the player's progress in the main campaign. All side quests will award renown depending on the region.

At major town hubs, players can encounter the following NPCs providing specific services:

  • Equipment Vendors, where the player can buy weapons, armor jewelry, or sell unwanted items;
  • The Healer, who fully recovers the player health and healing potions when interacted with;
  • The Blacksmith, who can salvage unwanted gear into raw materials, as well repair and improve equipment;
  • The Alchemist, who can upgrade the player's healing potions, craft elixirs and incences, and refine resources;
  • The Jeweler, who can craft and upgrade gems, add sockets to ellegible equipment and also upgrade jewelry items;
  • The Occultist, who can extract and imprint Legendary Aspects, craft and salvage sigils and enchant items;
  • The Purveyor of Curiosities, who provides gambling services to the player in exchange of the special currency Murmuring Obols;
  • The Stable Master, who can manage the player's horse mount, and also sells other horses and armor.

In addition, on hub towns the player can also access the wardrobe and stash. At Kyovashad specifically, the player can interact with the statue of Inarius to change the World Tier; this can also be done at the character select screen.

Other Systems[]

In-game cinematics are featured, as well as pre-rendered ones (in contrast to previous games, where all cinematics were pre-rendered).[29] The in-game cinematics include the player's character, and adjusts the character's appearance in accordance with their gear.[15]

Players are able to earn titles[15] by completing specific challenges, such as using certain abilities, completing quest chains or killing a specific number of enemy types; there are also titles that are class-specific and even titles earned through playing a Hardcore character. The Transmogrification system from Diablo III returns, and new cosmetics can be unlocked by salvaging gear; dyes and the wardrobe are also present.[29] The game has a shop for cosmetic-only microtransactions.[30]

While exploring the world, players can find Altars of Lilith, which will grant permanently minor bonuses to a specific stat for all characters in the player's account; this won't apply for Seasonal characters, as they're in a separate server from the Eternal Realm. There are also pilgrim statues with faded plaques, which will hint the player to do a specific emote; doing so will grant the player a temporary buff, such as becoming unstoppable for some minutes, or causing a rain of gold on their next kill.

The gambling system from previous titles returns, more closely resembling the Diablo III version: players can spend a currency called Murmuring Obol, which is obtained by completing world events and other activities, to buy specific pieces of equipment. As the player progresses with the renown system, they can carry more Obols.

The player can customize an emote wheel for quick communication with other players. In addition, the player can pet dogs in towns by using the "Hello" emote in front of them.

A new feature in Diablo IV is the addition of a "lost item" system. If the player fails to loot a legendary / unique item by whatever reason (ignoring, leaving the instance, or logging out), the item will be automatically sent to the stash, in an exclusive, temporary tab, that can hold up to 10 items; if the player exceeds this number, any items not looted will be lost. To notify the player that they have lost items, the stash icon in the mini-map will flash showing another icon with an exclamation point next to it.

When playing with a controller, target lock system is available, which can be changed manually in the options. By pressing the right analog stick, the player will target the nearest enemy and all attacks will be automatically aimed towards it; by pressing it again the player cancels the target lock. After a monster is killed, the game automatically targets another monster. In the case of ranged area attacks, controllers will try to lock meteor on top of large groups as best as possible.[31] The player can also manually change their lock-on target by moving the right analog stick. There are currently no plans for WASD-based movement for PC.[32]

Similarly to previous titles, players can create Hardcore characters, which provides a perma-death system.

World Design[]

Diablo IV utilizes an open world structure with five unique regions. These are Kehjistan (specifically its northern desert region), Scosglen, the Dry Steppes, the Fractured Peaks, and the swamplands of Hawezar.[10] Each of these areas are around 10 to 20 times larger than even the largest areas in Diablo III.[16] Each of the regions are connected, and players can traverse the areas without interruption. The geography of the regions shifts in accordance with this. For instance, if a player heads south from the Fractured Peaks to Hawezar, they will see a series of waterfalls, as snowmelt feeds the swamps.[33]

The open-world is fixed, and not randomized.[34] While the game has shared-world elements, it is not an MMO. Towns may become social hubs for a player once key story elements have been completed.[27] Roads link various areas—sticking to the roads allows players to bypass monsters, while heading off the path will take them towards higher monster densities.[28] Each zone has associated renown that the player can earn.[7]

PvP zones, called Fields of Hatred, allows players to "mark" themselves and battle against each other.[26] These areas have a very distinct red tint on the map, to notify players. By defeating monsters in those zones, players can earn Shards of Hatred, a special currency that disappears if the player leaves the Fields of Hatred. However, they can take those shards to an Altar of Extraction, which starts an event, where the player must survive agains waves of monsters (and other players) to convert their Shards of Hatred into Red Dust, which is a permament currency added to the player's acocunt, which in turn can be used to buy exclusive cosmetic gear, horse gear, equipment gambling and other items. Marked for Blood can only be removed in Altars of Cleansing located in the PvP zones. If a player is killed while inside a Field of Hatred, whether by a monster or another player, they will drop all their current collected Shards of Hatred, which can be picked by other players; Red Dust will not drop on death.

While Diablo IV has MMO-esque features, it is not divided into server regions.[7] The game's regions are all their own separate instances with varying numbers of players in each, meaning that players will gracefully transition from one densely populated area to a more sparsely populated one without realizing it. For instance, towns have high population caps, and players will generally see each other there. Overworld zones have lower caps, so player encounters will be less frequent. The cap soars for World Bosses, in order to allow players to team up to defeat them.[35] The players one encounters are those closest to their latency range. However, one can invite international friends (e.g. between the US and EU) to party-up.[36] If one kills a monster when in the proximity of another player, the player gets 5% bonus experience. If near a member of their party, a 10% bonus applies.[37]

Monetization[]

Diablo IV is pay-to-play. It has a Cosmetics Shop where transmog sets and horse armor can be purchased with Platinum, a currency bought with real money. It will also have both a free and premium Season Pass, that will also award cosmetics. None of these monetization systems will provide pay-for-power options.[18]

Development[]

"Diablo IV is being developed using modern technology that pushes the franchise to dark, new depths. This technology is at the heart of everything players will see, hear, and feel—delivering much higher fidelity and a more engrossing experience. It opens up countless possibilities for the Diablo series, from smooth character animations, such as the Druid’s fluid shapeshifting, to the seamless, vast overworld players will travel across in search of the next loot-filled underground dungeon. Ultimately, Diablo IV will ground players in a grittier and deadlier world."

- Press Release(src)

The game was worked on by a separate team from the Diablo Immortal one,[38] and it was simultaneously developed for both consoles and PC.[39][20] Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Blizzard was able to test Diablo IV on consoles earlier and for longer, which opened up a lot more opportunities to develop the game for older platforms in order to reach as many players as possible.[40] The game was originally planned for a 2022 release, but was postponed.[41] According to employees commenting under conditions of anonymity, the game's release date was postponed numerous times.[42]

Diablo IV pulls from the previous games of the series, combining the aspects of Diablo I's darker tone and atmosphere, as well as the looming sense of dread, the class lineup and loot chase of Diablo II, and the combat fundamentals of Diablo III all into one.[43] In this context, Diablo IV's main addition to the formula is its open world.[44]

The base game is expected to receive expansions,[30] and to be supported for years after release.[18] The expansions will be released annually.[45]

Original Version[]

Main article: Project Hades

The roots of Diablo IV lie in late 2013 or early 2014, where Diablo III: The King in the North was cancelled, with the instruction that Team 3 move onto Diablo IV and Diablo Immortal, regardless of what form the game might take. Team 3 was split up, with some of its members transferring to different projects within Blizzard. Those who remained were assigned to provide patch support for Diablo III while simultaneously developing Diablo IV. Development of the game began in 2014. The initial project was referred to internally as Hades. However, Hades was cancelled in 2016, and Team 3 began work on Project Fenris.[46]

Project Fenris[]

"Fenris is, all of our sources have confirmed, the current incarnation of Diablo IV. Blizzard’s Team 3 has been working on this version of the game since 2016, and some who have seen it say they’re optimistic about the direction."

- Jason Schrier(src)

Work on Project Fenris began in 2016 after the cancellation of Hades. Sources indicate that Fenris remains the current version of Diablo IV, (a moniker originally held by Hades to some extent). The project's design director was Luis Barriga. Reportedly, Fenris is aiming to harken to Diablo II in its art direction, with many on Team 3 feeling that Diablo III had drifted away from previous titles in its art style and spell effects. One of Fenris's design pillars is "embrace the darkness." Practically, this has resulted in getting rid of anything that was considered cartoony in Diablo III. There has been debate as to whether the game will use the same over the shoulder camera as Hades, or whether it will use a traditional isometric style. As of November 2018, the game is reportedly using the isometric style.

Another pillar of the game is to make it more social, to incorporate so-called "light MMO elements" into the game. The designers have considered something equivalent to the instanced dungeons of World of Warcraft, or the strikes of Destiny. Another idea is whether the game should use a kind of shared world model, with multiple players on the map at the same time.[46]

2016-2017[]

D4-bag

The supposed "Diablo IV" logo

By June, 2016, Blizzard had opened a position for a game director.[47] The position openings were either filled or removed by September, 2016.[48]

For BlizzCon 2016, the event's "goodie bag" was sent out ahead of the event to a number of individuals. Not long afterwards, a number of sites reported on an apparent printing error with the dice. Where they should read 1-1-1, they were instead been printed as 1-1-4. It has been suggested that this is a code for the date of the event (the 4th day of the 11th month). Likewise, the insignia on the dice bag was not the Diablo III logo, but rather a four-sided compass with four smaller points, with a "D" located inside a square (a four-sided shape). Media speculated that this was a hint at a supposed "Diablo IV" game.[49][50][51] No such game was revealed at the event.

In January 2017, Julian Love stated that in regards to another main series installment, "I think everyone wants that."[52] In February 2017, David Brevik stated that "there's no doubt in my mind" that there would be a Diablo IV.[53] At BlizzCon 2017, Brandy Camel confirmed that Blizzard was "exploring what's next" for the franchise, but that they had nothing to show (to the public) yet. Diablo content creators were asked for feedback on what they speculated would be in the works.[54]

2018[]

"First off we want to mention that we definitely hear our community. We generally don’t comment on rumors or speculation, but we can say that we didn’t pull any announcements from BlizzCon this year or have plans for other announcements. We do continue to have different teams working on multiple unannounced Diablo projects, and we look forward to announcing when the time is right."

- A statement from Blizzard on the subject of Diablo IV(src)

Reportedly, 2018 was decided as the year where the game would be revealed. In January, it was planned to have a playable demo released in the year. By May, the game had progressed slower than anticipated, but the decision to reveal the game this year still remained.[46]

In September, Goldman Sachs sent a message to investors advising them of several launch announcements at BlizzCon 2018, including Diablo IV and a Diablo or Warcraft mobile title.[55] In October 2018, a "Reign of Terror" title was leaked via BlizzCon 2018 merchandise.[56] Afterwards, addressing the issue, Blizzard stated "these are names and copy used for some of the new products available at BlizzCon this year, and not direct references to content at the show."[57] In the same month, Blizzard stated that it wouldn't announce all of its Diablo projects at the event.[58]

At BlizzCon 2018, Wyatt Cheng confirmed that in addition to Diablo Immortal, other Diablo games were in development.[59] In an interview with Kotaku, Allen Adham stated that Blizzard had expected some backlash to the game, but "not to this degree" and "that being said, we knew our audience here desperately wants to see and hear about one thing in particular." Nathan Grayson noted that Blizzard had made a blog post that had effectively told fans not to expect Diablo IV, but postulated that some might have taken this as an attempt at reverse psychology. Adham confirmed in the same interview that the blog post had indeed been intended to dissuade fan expectation for Diablo IV.[60] At a BlizzCon 2018 press conference, Adham stated that multiple Diablo games were being worked on, indicating that at least some of them would be playable on PC.[61] In a separate interview, he indicated that the same held true for console games.[62]

A few days after the event, a separate Kotaku article by Schrier claimed that Blizzard had originally intended to reveal Diablo IV at the event, but had pulled the video beforehand. The article was updated after a response from Blizzard, stating that they had made no such plans. However, the Schrier stated that the video had indeed been confirmed to exist, but that the point of contention was as to whether it had originally been meant to be shown, and two separate sources within Blizzard had confirmed its existence. The sources further claimed that the game had been in development since at least 2014, but had changed drastically over the last four years and had gone through two different directors.[63] In a follow-up podcast, he reiterated that he had been in contact with those who had developed, seen, and/or playtested the game.[64] Later in the month, he posted a followup article after talking to 11 (former) Blizzard employees under conditions of anonymity. Reportedly, the game is intended for PC and console release, but as of November 2018, Team 3 has not decided whether the game will have a simultaneous release, or whether one platform will follow the other. It was noted that many of the design decisions of the game are still up in the air, and it was estimated that Fenris would get a 2020 or later release. On the subject as to the supposedly planned reveal of the game, one employee commented that Team 3 was "paranoid" about revealing the game too soon. Reportedly, Titan and StarCraft: Ghost still hang over Blizzard. Ghost was announced and never released. Titan was never announced, but its existence had been leaked, and it had been a huge sink of time and money, even if Overwatch had resulted from it. In a statement from Blizzard, they confirmed that they would not share details with unannounced projects until they were ready, and this included games in the Diablo series as well.[46]

In an interview at BlizzCon, Adham stated that future Diablo PC games would be rated M.[65]

In December 2018, Blizzard stated "we have many plans for Diablo across multiple projects which we'll be revealing over the course of the coming year. We are eager to share more about all of our projects, but some will have to wait as we prefer to show you, rather than tell you, about them."[66]

2019[]

"I can promise everybody that Diablo 4 is in development. I have talked to many people who have worked on it, or seen it, or played it. The game is being made right now. That's not to say the game won't be cancelled, because we have no idea what's going to happen in the coming years, but the game is in development."

- Jason Schreier(src)

In January 2019, Blizzard registered the Diablo4.com domain name.[67]

In February, games journalist Marcus Sellars reported that Activision Blizzard had four Diablo games in development—Diablo IV, a prequel, and two spin-offs.[68] In the same month, Activision confirmed that "several Diablo projects" were in the works.[69] In June 2019, it was reported that staff had been transferred from canceled Blizzard projects to work on the game.[70] In the same month, it was reported that the game had been showcased to Blizzard employees, and that the game would not be released before 2020.[71] In September 2019, a News Corp publication that Blizzard had a Diablo sequel set to be released "in the coming years."[72] In October 2019, a German advertisement for The Art of Diablo listed Diablo IV as being among the games the artbook covered.[73] When asked for comment on the supposed leak, a Blizzard spokesperson stated "we don’t comment on rumors or speculation, but next week we will have exciting news to share so please stay tuned!"[74]

In the same month, Twitch streamer Metro who had previously accurately leaked Blizzard reveals stated that Diablo IV would be revealed at BlizzCon 2019 along with a remaster of Diablo II.[75] The former claim was correct, while the latter, at least initially, was not.

2021[]

Luis Barriga and Jesse McCree were fired in 2021. According to some employees, there was not a lot of vision for the game under their leadership. When asked for comment, neither responded. After McCree was fired, some of the changes he had made were reverted.[42]

2022[]

In 2022, the press was given a build of Diablo IV called "Renegade." It allowed them to play through the story up to level 25, and only in Fractured Peaks.[76]

2023[]

The game went gold on April 17, 2023.[77]

Betas[]

The game had a closed beta. It was confidential, meaning players invited were unable to publicly talk about or share their gameplay experience.[78]

Public testing phases were held in early 2023.[79] An open beta[80] was held from March 24-27, with players who pre-ordered the game also able to play from March 17-20. In these beta weekends, players were able to play through the game's Prologue, Act I, and up to level 25. The beta was held on all platforms.[81] Players could choose the Barbarian, Rogue, and Sorcerer in the first week-end of the beta, Druid and Necromancer were added to the playable characters list during the second week-end of the beta, and could have up to ten characters per account. Progress in betas won't carry onto the launch version. However, players who partake in the betas are able to obtain rewards that carry over to launch. These include two titles and a unique cosmetic.[15]

World Bosses operated in the betas.[15]

A final beta called a "server slam" will run from May 12, 12 p.m.–May 14, 12 p.m. PDT, across all platforms. The Prologue and Act I will be playable, and all classes will be playable.[82] During the "server slam" beta, players may level up to level 20 only, progress of the previous beta won’t carry on to this "server slam" beta, nor will the progress of this new beta be carried to the final release. The titles and cosmetics of earlier betas will again be available for those how haven’t yet unlocked them, and a new reward will be offered to those would slay the World Boss Ashava at level 20.[82]

It was stated that a Closed End Game Beta would be playable on PC and Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, and PlayStation 4 consoles—cross-play and cross-progress for all platforms would also be supported. The beta would focused on the game's end-game content, in order to avoid story spoilers.[78] However, this didn't come to pass.

Dev Updates[]

A series of quarterly updates, mainly in blog form, were published on the development process of Diablo IV. These updates were based on internal discussions as well as parsing feedback from the Diablo community[83]

Art[]

"I always feel that Diablo is medieval, but it's not Tolkien-type fiction—there aren't orcs and elves. It's very much about mankindangels and demons torturing man—and that's from our own world, so I look at medieval history, and I want the world to feel like that on the surface. It was very intentional, to evoke this medieval presence in the way our art was executed."

- Igor Sidorenko, on the art direction for Diablo IV(src)

The game's icons initially had a painterly style, in order to keep in with the game's overall art direction.[39] Much of the game's artwork takes inspiration from Renaissance paintings.[84] The game's art style is primarily inspired by Diablo II, as reportedly, the team considers it "the true Diablo."[85]

By early 2020, the icons were being redesigned to give them a more realistic look. Every monster returning from previous games has been reimagined in a "darker, more gritty" art style. The redesigns were done from the ground up.[39] Initially, the approach was to give the game a hand-crafted style, while leaning into realism. The cinematics of Diablo III were used as inspiration for how Diablo IV should look in-game. The process involved the developers to completely rebuild our rendering engine and authoring tools.[29] In comparison to the real world, Diablo IV was designed to evoke the feeling of the medieval period.[84] As of March 2022, the game's art approach was based on "believability, not realism."[86]

Real-world locations were visited to provide inspiration for the game. For the more fantastical elements, anime has been cited as an inspiration. The art of Junji Ito is one such example.[85]

At least some weapons and armor differ in appearance depending on which region they're obtained in. For instance, in Kehjistan, swords are based on scimitars, whereas in Scosglen, they're based on broadswords.[87]

Gameplay[]

The game is designed to incorporate shared-world elements, while not feeling like an MMO. This was a decision of design, and not one driven by limitation. The developers found that "the game stopped feeling like Diablo" and the world felt less dangerous when they saw other players too often or in too high numbers.[27] Inspiration was taken from the Adventure Mode of Diablo III in regards to the game's more open design.[88]

Monster density in the open world was scaled down during development, as it made it difficult to traverse the world while on a mount.[28]

A battle royale mode for the game was discarded early on.[42]

Story[]

The plot of Diablo IV was designed to be accessible for both newcomers and series veterans.[89] More work was put into the game's story than previous titles.[11] The game's plot was designed to be more grounded than Diablo III. Inspiration was taken from characters such as Wirt and Marius when it came to designing the NPCs. Kings and "high fantasy themes" were avoided.[90] According to Rod Fergusson, the story and narrative of Diablo IV is designed to feel different from Diablo II, Diablo Immortal, and Diablo III, as all three games have currently active playerbases.[91]

The game's characters were designed to be "in a very dark place" (in terms of circumstance/personality), but "still trying their best to live." The game's story was written as a tragedy, focused on characters rather than the apocalyptic circumstances they find themselves in.[89]

Under Sebastian Stępień, a number of revisions were made to the game's script. According to interviews with Blizzard employees under condition of anonymity, Stępień delayed the story development for months. In 2019, many Blizzard employees were disgusted by a version of the game’s script that repeatedly mentioned the rape of a love interest and referred to this female character as the raped woman as her primary description. Employees pleaded with leadership to revise his version of the story, saying rape had no place in a Blizzard game. Many expressed discomfort with the idea of adding rape to the game in what they considered to be an effort to make Diablo IV feel grittier and tonally darker than the previous game, rather than engaging with the subject in a sensitive way. The "rape version," as multiple employees called the script, was ultimately overhauled in the same year, and the female character was cut from the story.[42]

A number of employees also complained about the representation of women in the game.[42]

Development Team[]

The following people from the development team participated in interviews at BlizzCon 2019 (alphabetical by last name):

Special Editions[]

For the similarly named product, see Diablo IV Limited Collector's Box.
Diablo IV Ultimate Edition

The full cosmetics of the ultimate edition

Diablo IV has a number of editions. They include the following (note that bonuses stack):

Standard Edition
Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Up to 4 days early access to Diablo IV's launch
  • Seasonal battle pass Unlock in Diablo IV
  • Temptation mount in Diablo IV
  • Hellborn Carapace mount armor in Diablo IV
Ultimate Edition
  • Accelerated seasonal battle pass unlock in Diablo IV (includes a premium seasonal battle pass unlock plus 20 tier skips and a cosmetic)
  • Wings of the Creator Emote in Diablo IV[94]

System Requirements[]

At least for the beta, settings to run Diablo IV are at 1080p native resolution / 720p render resolution, low graphics settings, 30 fps. Diablo IV will attempt to run on hardware below minimum specifications, including HDDs, dual-core CPUs, and Integrated GPUs. However, the game experience may be significantly diminished.

Minimum Requirements for PC[95][96]

  • Operating System: 64-bit Windows 10 (version 1909 or newer)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K or AMD FX-8350
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 or AMD Radeon R9 280
  • DirectX: Version 12
  • Storage: SSD with 50~90 GB available space
  • Internet: Broadband Connection

Recommended Medium Specifications for PC[95][96]

  • Operating System: 64-bit Windows 10 (version 1909 or newer)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-4670K or AMD Ryzen 1300X
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon RX 470
  • DirectX: Version 12
  • Storage: SSD with 50~90 GB available space
  • Internet: Broadband Connection

Recommended High Specifications for PC[96]

  • Operating System: 64-bit Windows 10 (version 1909 or newer)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-8700K or AMD Ryzen 2700X
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 or AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT
  • DirectX: Version 12
  • Storage: SSD with 90 GB available space
  • Internet: Broadband Connection

Recommended Ultra 4K Specifications for PC[96]

  • Operating System: 64-bit Windows 10 (version 1909 or newer)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-8700K or AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
  • Memory: 32 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 (NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40 Series for DLSS3 full support) or AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT
  • DirectX: Version 12
  • Storage: SSD with 90 GB available space
  • Internet: Broadband Connection

Note: The 50 GB available space is required for the low textures version, but around another 40 GB is required for highest quality textures (optional). By default, the installation is set to install the highest quality textures, but this can be changed during installation process (by unchecking the checkbox). However, 85 GB free disk space is required to get to that setting screen.

Reception[]

Diablo IV earnt $666 million in its first five days, and was the fastest selling game in Blizzard's history.[97] As of August, 2023, the game has 12 million registered players.[98] The game was review bombed on Metacritic after its first season was released, due to changes made to the game.[99] Criticisms of the game included its endgame and lack of dungeon variety.[100]

With the release of the fourth season, the game had a resurgence in popularity, with over 29,000 concurrent Steam players.[101] It reached its peak number in June 2024, with a concurrent 38,981 players.[102]

Scores[]

Trivia[]

WikiLogoSmall
This section contains facts and trivia relevant to this article.
  • On October 20, 2023, the official announcement of a blood donation event in the United States was made. The grand prize for the event was a computer filled with human blood.[108]
  • The majority of Diablo IV players play the game solo.[44] As of June 2024, the majority of the game's playerbase is Battle.net and Xbox platforms.[102]

Images[]

Concept Art[]

Story[]

Regions[]

Videos[]

References[]

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External Links[]

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