Diablo 3 to add Armory and Challenge Rifts next year

With BlizzCon wrapped up for another year, it's now time to look forward to what was promised over the course of the two day event. We already know Diablo 3 will welcome its take on the Necromancer class next year—and that the original game is being remade within the third, to mark the former's 20th anniversary—however two new features are also en route to Sanctuary in the new year: the Armory and Challenge Rifts.  

Via a patch due at some stage in 2017, the Armory will facilitate better management of loadouts, and will allow players to quickly cycle through varying builds and playstyles. It'll support five builds—skills, items, passives, Kanai's Cube powers, and Legendary Gems—where the game handles the heavy lifting, including swapping gems over—an action which no longer costs money to unsocket. 

"We’ve all been there. Your stash is stuffed to the brim with all your different sets and legendary items," reads a post on battle.net. "You just want to take a break from pushing Greater Rifts to farm a few Death’s Breaths, but who has time to swap out all those skills and gear? "We’re making it easier than ever to swap seamlessly between your favorite styles of game play by introducing the Armory."

Challenge Rifts, on the other hand, will snapshot actual players' builds week-on-week so as to let players sample new loadouts without the hassle of cobbling them together themselves. "Have you ever seen someone using a particular build and wanted to try it out for yourself?" asks another battle.net BlizzCon roundup post. "Starting next year, you’ll be able to do just that—and you won’t even have to gear up for it either! If you’ve been hoping for a way to discover new builds while racing to beat your previous personal best in Greater Rifts, this is your chance."

Both the Armory and Challenge Rifts are heading to Diablo 3 at some stage in 2017. Until then, check out Tom in conversation with game designer Travis Day and production director John Lagrave: