After years of will-they-won't-they, Blizzard has finally revealed Diablo 4 at BlizzCon 2019. Diablo 4 had been an open secret for years despite the speedbump that was the Diablo Immortal announcement at BlizzCon 2018. After several successive leaks of increasing credibility in 2019, we finally got an official announcement with trailers, classes, and a bit of gameplay to pore over.
Diablo 4 is a return to the darker look of early Diablo with even more blasphemy and profane imagery per capita. After the initial rush of information, we may not get more details on Diablo 4 again for quite some time. We'll collect everything you need to know about the next Diablo game here so check back to hear about any future leaks, trailers, and gameplay details.
Here's everything we've learned about Diablo 4 from BlizzCon 2019.
What is Diablo 4's release date?
We don't have a release date for Diablo 4 yet but we do know it's a pretty long way off, even by Blizzard standards.
During a Diablo 4 panel at BlizzCon 2019, Blizzard said that Diablo 4's release is a long ways off. "We are not coming out soon. Not even 'Blizzard soon'," said director Luis Barriga.
Watch the dramatic Diablo 4 cinematic trailer
This was one hell of a way to announce Diablo 4. The cinematic is gorgeous and morbid, exactly as Diablo should be. Imagine how much better off the world would be without treasure hunters accidentally resurrecting the ultimate evil.
Diablo 4's gameplay trailer shows the return of the druid
Diablo 4 is looking smooth. The game's darker art style stands out, though we've yet to see how busy the game will get once loot is popping out of enemies by the dozens. You can ride horses! Druids are back! Lots of good stuff happening here.
What are Diablo 4's starting classes?
Three classes were announced for Diablo 4: the barbarian, sorceress, and druid. In a panel following the announcement, it was confirmed that there will be five total classes. Details on those aren't available yet.
Here's some double Druid gameplay from Diablo 4
Game Informer posted 20 minutes of hands on gameplay with Diablo 4's Druid class shortly after the game's announcement. You can find a version without commentary by scrolling down this page. You can find similar gameplay videos from Game Informer for the Sorceress and Barbarian classes as well.
Ancient items are being replaced
In Diablo 4, ancient items are no more. Instead, Blizzard is opting for a system that will hopefully encourage more unique play styles. Players will earn a consumable that allows them to attach a Legendary affix to non-Legendary weapons, essentially creating your own ancient items.
"Our newest proposal hits a couple different feedback points: addressing the usefulness of Rare (Yellow) items as well as increasing the depth and complexity of player gear choices in the endgame," said lead systems designer David Kim a recent blog post.
Like the entirety of Diablo 4, this shouldn't be considered final. The game is still far off, and plans can change. But this represents the most up-to-date version of Diablo 4's high-level grind.
Say goodbye to inventory Tetris
Yup, you heard right. No more shuffling various shapes around your limited inventory space trying to bring back just one more bit of loot. Blizzard says it wants to "avoid interrupting gameplay with pockets of inventory management." Fair.
Diablo 4 has three new stats
Blizzard is adding three new stats to Diablo 4: Angelic Power, Demonic Power, and Ancestral Power. Each has its own effect, but they'll also be used as prerequisites for item affixes.
- Angelic Power: increases the duration of all beneficial effects (like self-buffs or healing)
- Demonic Power: increases the duration of all negative effects (like debuffs or damage over time)
- Ancestral Power: increases the chance of on-hit effects (aka increased proc chance)
Kim's blog post provided some work-in-progress examples of how the stats will factor into affix requirements.
"We think these changes will address those two main takeaways pretty well. Legendary powers should no longer completely dwarf the strength of your affixes, and the affixes themselves provide more interesting choices because their strength depends on how much of the relevant Powers you’ve accumulated on the rest of your gear. You might find an amulet with the perfect stats for your build, but some of its Affixes may require Demonic Power when you’ve previously focused on Ancestral. Maybe your current amulet is the primary source of your Ancestral Power, so equipping a new amulet would mean potentially making sacrifices elsewhere," the blog post reads.
It's a cool idea, though it does place more emphasis on affixes than ever before. If this leads to more interesting builds and fewer players running essentially the same stuff, sounds like a win.
Diablo 4 monsters are classified as "families"
Diablo 4's baddie classification will be a bit different from Diablo 3's. In D4, monsters will be part of "families" that share a fighting style. So far Blizzard has talked about Cultists, Drowned, and Cannibal families.
In the first quarterly update, senior encounter designer Candace Thomas talked through the Cannibals. They're intentionally designed with several melee type monsters but no ranged.
"Instead, they spring at the player with supernatural swiftness. Some may close the gap by leaping over obstacles and would-be competitors, while others will swiftly and deftly maneuver through other monsters to get first blood. This provides a very different experience and gives the player less time to make thoughtful positioning decisions, thus making combat with these flesh-eaters feel frenetic."
How do the online features work?
BlizzCon attendees were able to get their hands on the game, and our first impression was that it's a game whose stark and desolate look is in contrast with its always-online elements, which guarantee that other players will be running past as you explore it: "There's no queuing or anything like that, but seeing players who are clearly on the same quest, but aren't a permanent part of my world, reminds me that this isn't just my adventure."
If you'd like to know more about how Diablo 4's shared world works, here's our breakdown of that. The main takeaways are that dungeons will be instanced for solo or partied players, and in the overworld you'll see more players in towns and safe areas—though there's no option to turn them off altogether, even if you're solo. World events will draw players together, and you'll be able to ride mounts to cross great distances. Difficulty can be set when you enter a dungeon, while above ground it will be scaled to your level (though there is a permadeath mode).
Here are some more facts about how Diablo 4's online world works:
- Enemy levels scale so that friends can always play together
- Dungeons are private for solo or partied players. It's only in the open world where you'll encounter the public.
- When entering a dungeon, you can select difficulty options "with great granularity."
- World events will call players together to fight as a group
- There is no option to disable seeing other players or an offline mode, but you can solo the whole game if you never feel like grouping up.
Diablo 4 will support controllers for PC
Blizzard talked in its first quarterly update about how it's designing the user interface with lots of player types in mind. Here's some UI/controller-specific stuff you can do in Diablo 4 according to lead UI designer Angela Del Priore:
- Switch between mouse/keyboard and controller without "throwing people completely off kilter"
- Choose to have the action bar in the middle center or bottom left of the screen
- Open UI screens independently in couch co-op mode
- Rebind your primary attack to something other than left mouse click
Diablo 4 Druid class skills
- Earthspike: Sunder the earth, impaling the first enemy hit. Each time you hit an enemy with Earthspike, your chance to deal a Crushing Blow to that target is increased.
- Shred: Shapeshift into a werewolf and shred an enemy. Has a chance to strike twice.
- Storm Strike: Electricity gathers around your weapon, dealing damage split between your targets and nearby enemies.
- Maul: Shapeshift into a werebear and maul an enemy, dealing damage and fortifying yourself.
- Wind Shear: Conjure a piercing blade of wind, dealing damage and increasing your movement speed by a few seconds.
- Pulverize: Shapeshift into a werebear and slam the ground, dealing massive damage to nearby enemies.
- Landslide: Crush enemies between pillars of earth. Has an additional chance to deal a Crushing Blow.
- Tornado: Conjure a vortex that moves outward and curves in a random direction, dealing damage for several seconds.
- Cyclone Armor: Powerful winds protect you, granting ranged damage reduction.
- Earthen Bulwark: Rocks surround you for a few seconds, making you Unstoppable and absorbing some damage. Upon expiration, the rocks shatter, dealing damage of the remaining shield amount to nearby enemies.
- Trample: Rush forward as a werebear, dealing damage and stunning enemies for a short time.
- Debilitating Roar: Shapeshift into a werebear and bellow with ferocity, reducing the attack speed of nearby enemies by a percent for a few seconds.
- Ravenous Bite: Shapeshift into a werewolf and tear at an enemy’s flesh, dealing damage and healing yourself.
- Hurricane: Form a hurricane around you that deals damage to nearby enemies over time.
- Boulder: Unearth a large rolling boulder that knocks back and crushes enemies dealing damage with each hit. Has an additional chance to deal a Crushing Blow.
- Wolves: Passive skill that summons wolf companions that bite enemies. The wolves follow you in battle, but you can actively direct the wolves to focus on specific enemies.
- Ravens: Passive skill where ravens fly above you and periodically attack your enemies. You can target an area to swarm with ravens. Enemies take damage and suffer Vulnerability for a few seconds.
- Vine Creeper: A passive skill that summons a vine creeper to periodically emerge from the ground and poison nearby enemies. Command your vines to strangle enemies in a target area, poisoning and stunning them for a time.
- Cataclysm: A massive storm follows you for several seconds. Tornados knock back enemies, and lightning strikes wildly for massive damage.
- Grizzly Rage: Shapeshift into a werebear for a few seconds. You are granted new werebear skills and generate spirit faster. You are Unstoppable while in Grizzly Rage.
- Petrify: Petrify all nearby enemies, stunning them for a few seconds. Damage breaks this effect and deals an additional amount of damage.
Diablo 4 Sorceress skills
- Lightning: Launch a bolt of lightning that deals damage and bounces to nearby enemies.
- Fire Bolt: Hurl a flaming bolt, dealing damage and burning enemies for a few seconds.
- Frost Bolt: Throw a bolt of frost at an enemy, dealing damage and chilling them.
- Arc Lash: Unleash arcing lightning that shocks enemies in front of you and then returns to you, restoring mana.
- Charged Bolts: Release bolts of lightning that course along the ground in an erratic pattern.
- Fireball: Hurl a ball of fire that explodes on contact, dealing massive damage to nearby enemies.
- Ice Shards: Launch shards that deal damage. Deal more damage to frozen enemies.
- Incinerate: Channel a beam of fire, burning enemies. Damage increases each second.
- Chain Lightning: Unleash a bolt of lightning, dealing damage and jumping to nearby targets.
- Frozen Orb: Unleash an orb that chills and expels piercing shards for a total and then explodes into Frost bolts.
- Flame Shield: Engulf yourself in flames for a few seconds, burning nearby enemies.
- Ice Armor: After not taking damage for a few seconds, ice accumulates on you, absorbing some damage.
- Blizzard: Summon a frigid blizzard that deals damage and chills enemies for a few seconds.
- Teleport: Transform into lightning, becoming Immune and surging to the target location.
- Frost Nova: Unleash a torrent of frost, Freezing nearby enemies.
- Lightning Spear: Conjure a cracking spear of lightning that seeks out enemies for a few seconds.
- Ice Blades: Conjure ice blades for a few seconds that rapidly slash enemies and chill them.
- Hydra: Summon a three headed hydra for a few seconds. Each head spits fire at nearby enemies.
- Firewall: Create a wall of flames dealing big damage to enemies over time.
- Nova: Each time you spend a certain amount of mana, this passive ability unleashes a burst of lightning dealing damage.
- Meteor: Summon a meteor that strikes the target location, dealing damage and burning the ground for a few seconds.
- Deep Freeze: Encase yourself in ice, becoming Immune for a few seconds. For the duration, you emanate Chilling waves that deal damage and freeze longer than normal.
- Inferno: Ignite a roaring inferno that pulses in and out of the target area, burning enemies for a lot of damage over time.
- Conduit: You become lightning incarnate. While in this form, you are immune. Nearby enemies are continually shocked, and you can surge quickly between locations.
Diablo 4 Barbarian skills
- Bash: Bash the enemy with your weapon, dealing damage. Has a chance to stun enemies for a bit.
- Warlord: Flay the enemy, dealing damage and inflicting bleed over a few seconds.
- Frenzy: Unleash a rapid flurry of blows, dealing damage with each pair of hits. Your attack speed is increased for a few seconds.
- Lunging Strike: Lunge forward and strike an enemy.
- Rend: Cleave enemies in front of you, dealing damage and inflicting bleed over a few seconds.
- Hammer of the Ancients: Slam your hammer down with the fury of the Ancients, dealing damage to a concentrated area.
- Double Swing: Sweep your weapons from opposite directions, dealing damage with each weapon. Enemies caught in the center are hit by both.
- Upheaval: Tear into the ground with your weapon and fling debris forward.
- Whirlwind: Rapidly attack nearby enemies.
- Rallying Cry: Bellow a rallying cry, granting all allies Unstoppable, increased movement speed, and reduced damage for a few seconds.
- Ground Stomp: Smash the ground, stunning nearby enemies for a few seconds.
- Undying Rage: When you take fatal damage, you have a few seconds to fight for your life. Killing an enemy in time will revive and heal you.
- Challenging Shout: Fortify yourself for bit and taunt nearby enemies. During this time, you generate additional Fury when hit.
- Kick: Kick an enemy for a few seconds and knock them backwards. On collision, enemies in the area take additional damage.
- War Cry: Bellow a mighty war cry. You and nearby allies deal increased damage per nearby enemy for a few seconds.
- Leap: Leap forward and slam downward, dealing a lot of damage.
- Charge: Rush forward and push enemies, then swing through them for extra damage.
- Primal Axe: Throw your weapon with a chain attached, dealing damage and pulling in enemies.
- Rupture: Skewer enemies in a line, inflicting a lot of damage over a few seconds. If an enemy dies while bleeding, the cooldown is reset.
- Death Blow: Attempt a killing strike, dealing a lot of damage to enemies in front of you. If this kills an enemy, the cooldown is reset.
- Wrath of the Berserker: Go Berserk for a few seconds. As you generate Fury, you increase these effects.
- Call of the Ancients: Call upon the ancients to aid you in battle for a few seconds.
- Iron Maelstrom: Whirl your weapon around on a chain, continually dealing damage.
Diablo 4's endgame is still undecided
Despite showing off a healthy chunk of Diablo 4 at Blizzcon 2019, the game is still very much in development. Even some basic elements are still up in the air, like the endgame.
Blizzard is already changing the game based on feedback from the demo. Ancient items are under the microscope. "We completely agree with the community sentiment—Ancients as they are don’t really serve a clear purpose in Diablo IV," writes lead systems designer David Kim in a blog post. "We should have done a better job of explaining the role of Ancient Items in Diablo IV. We had a preliminary direction to share, but you’ve brought up some great points, so we’re revisiting our designs with your feedback in mind."