Diablo 4: Everything we know

Diablo 4 - Lilith
(Image credit: Blizzard)

After years of speculation and rumors, Blizzard finally revealed Diablo 4 during BlizzCon 2019. It wasn't a surprise: Diablo 4 had been an open secret for some time. But it made a splash with a gory cinematic trailer, and Blizzard gave us a few tidbits about some familiar returning character classes. And then... we waited.

At BlizzCon 2021 we finally got to see a whole lot more Diablo 4, but Blizzard said Diablo 4 still wasn't coming soon. Not even "Blizzard soon." And it wasn't joking around. While it seemed like Diablo 4 may have been planned for a 2022 release, we now know it's coming in 2023, and more Diablo 4 leaks have even suggested a specific release window.

Diablo 4 is still a ways off, but that doesn't mean we won't see more of the action-RPG in the meantime. Blizzard has continued with quarterly updates, gave a pretty packed gameplay rundown in June 2022, and we'll be updating this page with everything new we learn.

Here's the latest Diablo 4 news

Is there a Diablo 4 release date?

Diablo 4 will release in 2023. While an announcement from Activision-Blizzard confirmed that Diablo 4 wouldn't arrive in 2022, we weren't given a window for when we could expect its release, but it's likely to be early 2023.

There's also been a fairly reputable leak that was corroborated by the Xbox Era podcast that there would be an announcement of an April 2023 release date at The Game Awards, when it goes live on December 8th. Time will tell how accurate that is.

The Diablo 4 closed beta invites will close soon

Starting back in June 2022, players could opt-in for a chance at a slot in Diablo 4's closed beta tests. The invites to the closed beta for Diablo 4's endgame play have been going out for some time now, and as Blizzard clarified in a developer update: if you haven't gotten an email invite by November 18, we're sad to say that you weren't hand-waved in and missed your shot at the Diablo 4 beta sign up.

But looking ahead, that same September 2022 developer update does note that "public testing phases will begin early next year." So if you aren't one of the lucky few who made it into closed beta testing, you still have something to hope for.

Are there Diablo 4 trailers?

The original reveal trailer 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.

The first official gameplay trailer (opens in new tab) was also a great tone-setter, showing off three of the character classes in combat, traversing the open world on horseback, and a bit of co-op against a gnarly, big boss creature.

After the Barbarian, Sorceress, and Druid were confirmed in the initial reveal, Blizzard did reveal trailers for two more classes. The rogue trailer confirms that the stealthy assassin class is back while the necromancer trailer shows off the hordes of dead you'll be able to summon as a dark caster.

What classes are in Diablo 4?

(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Druid | Druid Gameplay (opens in new tab)
The shapeshifting Druid class was one of the first to be announced for Diablo 4. They're able to use powers based on the earth and wind and seamlessly shapeshift into Werebear and Werewolf forms. Unlike past entries, the Druid won't use a skill to transform specifically into a form, but instead when using a skill that requires a particular form, they will shift into it and remain shapeshifted briefly. Druids are also able to bring some companion summons to help out, including wolves and ravens.

Barbarian | Barbarian Gameplay (opens in new tab)
The Barbarians are back with their massive strength and piles of weaponry. We know that the Barbarian will use something called the "Arsenal" system, which allows them to tote around four different types of weapons to swap between. You can even assign different skills to use specific weapons, so if you want to get really granular with your customization—or just use the specific bonuses from a weapon for a particular skill—you'll have that option.

Sorceress | Sorceress Gameplay (opens in new tab)
For the traditional elemental spellcasters, there's the Sorceress class who can hurl lightning, ice, and fire at enemies from afar, and their different specializations are precisely that—Lightning, Ice, Fire, and a sort of Universal one. Unlike Diablo 3's Wizard, the Sorceress is far more focused on elemental magic, so expect flashy displays of the elements and pure arcane shenanigans. The new Sorceress also utilizes the new Enchantment system which allows them to not only utilize six skill slots like everyone else, but three Enchantment slots that turn skills into unique passives.

Rogue | Rogue Reveal (opens in new tab)Rogue Gameplay (opens in new tab)
At BlizzCon 2021, Blizzard added a fourth class to the mix, the Rogue, who hasn't appeared by that name since the original Diablo. We've got some details on the Rogue's abilities here (opens in new tab), and you can count on doing dirty work at range with your bow, but also up close with daggers and short range knives. The Rogue works with a "combo points" mechanic that sees your abilities build off your attacks, and they also have a specialization called "Shadow Realm" where you can become immune and drag enemies into a spooky looking grayscale where you get all kinds of powerful.

Necromancer | Necromancer Reveal (opens in new tab)Necromancer Gameplay (opens in new tab)
With a spooky showing at the 2022 Xbox & Bethesda showcase, Blizzard revealed the Necromancer as Diablo 4's fifth and final class. The Necromancer will be bringing along their expected retinue of skeletons of every variety, and plenty of bone and blood magic (opens in new tab) besides, and some weapon options that can see them in the front lines with a massive scythe, or draining the life force out of targets. The Necromancer utilizes corpses as a resource, along with the mana-like Essence. We even know we're seeing the return of Bone Prison (opens in new tab), in case you want to trap your enemies in place for all sorts of nefarious reasons. Of course, if you're more about animating bones to be your buddies, the new "Book of the Dead" feature lets you customize your minions and evolve them into different specialized skeletal pals, here's hoping there's a bardic option (opens in new tab).

Diablo 4 has actual character customization

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Diablo 4's character customization system will allow players to outfit their characters with hundreds of unique armor pieces as well as detailed facial and body characteristics, so your example of a class won't be the same as someone elses. An expanded dye system will also let players customize individual pieces of armor, or entire outfits, "in a range of colors that still feel grounded and realistic in the world we’re building."

It's not just armor though. Diablo 4 will let you change the facial features of your character, a new feature for the series. Blizzard says that your characters will get more close-up time than every before in the series, appearing in lots of different menus, but also in cinematic sequences.

Here are all the details Blizzard mentions in its June 2021 development update:

"You will be able to change the face of your character, the hairstyle, the facial hair (beards and eyebrows), and add jewelry (nose piercing or earrings), makeup, and body markings such as tattoos or body paint. You will also be able to change the color values of your character’s skin, eyes, hair/facial hair, and body markings. Some elements will be class specific, to support the classes’ unique backgrounds, but many will be shared between classes allowing more possibilities to mix and match."

What's Diablo 4's gameplay like?

Here's the latest Diablo 4 gameplay showcase

This June 2022 Diablo 4 gameplay highlights some of the systems and mechanics players will interact with in the game's open world, like public events that task you with battling massive demonic foes alongside whatever other players are in the area. It also gives a look at character creation and a few other bits and bobs, like the fact you can reclaim areas for NPC's to move in and set up shop.

If you'd also like a recent look at raw combat, this VFX video from the Blizzard quarterly update blog shows off some spicy visual effects as various classes mow down hordes of demons.

Diablo 4 is emphasizing class choice and identity

In November 2022, Diablo 4's game director Joe Shely and the Diablo general manager Rod Fergusson sat down to talk to IGN about how they designed Diablo 4's class gameplay (opens in new tab), and they had some interesting things to say, focusing on how they wanted even two players of the same class or sub-class to be able to be unique:

"We started with a couple of classes and we had some really cool ideas for class mechanics that would be specific to those classes. It proved to be very compelling not just in terms of the gameplay of the class, but also, if you're playing a barbarian, and maybe you're grouped up with a sorceress, and the sorceress is using her class mechanic, you look at that and go 'There's lots of interesting gameplay there I can check out.' We really wanted the classes to shine in their own ways."

"The necromancer is a core part of Diablo, it's this really cool summoner class. You can get this really cool fantasy of being a sort of general of the dead. But there are lots of different ways that people have played necromancers. You've got people who enjoy playing necromancers in Diablo 2 where they're kind of overseeing the battlefield and their minions are doing all the combat, you've got the more action packed necromancer of Diablo 3 where you're really sort of commanding minions more directly, and you've got players as well who want to play this sort of dark caster fantasy, but aren't necessarily attached to the army aspect of it."

Among other things, they confirmed that you will be able to re-spec your skill tree point by point, though it will have a gold cost that becomes more and more expensive as you get deeper into the game, making it so "those choices have meaning" as Diablo 4 looks to have more of a focus on your build being tied to your character, unlike Diablo Immortal and Diablo 3, which were far more focused on your build being tied to your equipment.

"There's going to be a point in time where, and I'm going to make up a number but say at level 50, you go like 'oh, I'd like to be a different barbarian, but it's too expensive to undo everything I've done, it's actually better for me to roll another barbarian and start a new one and go fresh. And we wanted that notion that with each level you progress down a character you're kind of becoming more and more attached to it. You're not just going 'okay I'm level 65, time to change my clothes and become a different barbarian.'"

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Diablo 4 is making big changes to items

Blizzard says that its ideals when it comes to itemisation are strengthening class identities, supporting deeper customisation and giving players a level of depth that sits somewhere between Diablo 2 and 3. "We aim to provide years of things to discover and countless ways to build a class," former game director Luis Barriga wrote in a development update (opens in new tab)

Specific changes include the addition of weapon speed and other inherent physical characteristics that you'll find across all item types. Every shield, for instance, will have a block attribute on top of whatever other prosperities they have. 

Item qualities and affixes have also been in the crosshairs. Blizzard says it wants to give players more flexibility and doesn't want them to feel like they should just ignore everything that isn't a legendary-tier item. "We’re increasing the potential power of individual affixes on Magic items," said Barriga. "We're increasing the maximum number of affixes on Rare and better items in the endgame. Legendary affixes now roll randomly (Yes, really!) on Legendary Items. And Unique items will replace Mythics."

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)

Here's Diablo 4's skill tree

(Image credit: Blizzard, Activision Blizzard)

In its quarterly update for September 2020 (opens in new tab), Blizzard talks about Diablo 4's new skill tree. The branches of the tree are where you'll spend experience earned while leveling to unlock new active skills, enhancements for those skills, and Passive Points. Passive Points are spent in the roots of the tree where you unlock additional effects. 

Blizzard says that it currently aims for players to unlock around 30-40% of the nodes on the skill tree by the endgame, meaning players will have quite different builds even within the same class.

In the same update, Blizzard details the Enchantment System available to Sorceresses. After unlocking a Sorceress skill, it can be placed in an active skill slot that works the way other classes' active skills work. It can also be placed in an Enchantment slot that removes your ability to use it as an active skill but grants a different secondary effect instead. As an example, Blizzard explains the current implementation for the Meteor skill (which is subject to change, it notes) "Meteor allows you to call a fiery chunk of rock from the sky. If you choose to slot it as an Enchantment, you won’t be able to control your Meteors, but they’ll fall onto enemies periodically."

More recently, in November 2022, Blizzard spoke with IGN and confirmed that the skill tree can be re-speced, but at a cost that ramps up as you level in an effort to make your investment in your character and their build deeper: "There's going to be a point in time where, and I'm going to make up a number but say at level 50, you go like 'oh, I'd like to be a different barbarian, but it's too expensive to undo everything I've done, it's actually better for me to roll another barbarian and start a new one and go fresh."

Diablo 4 is open world

Diablo 4's open world contains five regions that can be explored in any order. "Each region is fraught with dangers of their own kind," said lead environment artist Matt McDaid in 2022's first quarterly update (opens in new tab). "Many routes, and hidden corners to uncover. How you chose to make your way through this vast world is up to you. The Art and Design teams have constructed a contiguous world where you can roam from coast to coast, or high up into the glacial ridges. For the Environment Art team, we want to ensure each handcrafted location is distinct and immersive."

Helpfully, the environments team over at Blizzard has produced six videos to start giving you an early look at what you'll find in Diablo 4's regions, which you can see below:

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

How does endgame work?

The Paragon system returns

Diablo 4 has its own Paragon system, and it doesn't quite work in the same way as it did in Diablo 3. 

Once players hit level 50 in Diablo 4 they'll gain access to the Paragon Board, which uses digital tiles to enable very specific power boosts and character customization. The process begins at the center of the board and radiates outward across normal, magic, rare, and legendary tiles. Each one earned will give your character a boost of some sort, from the very basic to the extremely powerful. Some tiles are sockets for glyphs found throughout the game that confer different benefits when inserted into the board. Glyphs can also be leveled up, enabling them to become even more powerful.

Diablo 4 Paragon Board

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Eventually, you'll reach the edge of the Paragon Board, but that's not the end of the process. Instead you'll find a gate tile, a special kind of tile that unlocks and connects to other Paragon Boards, each with a unique layout and new magical, rare, and legendary tiles.

"Once your hero reaches a gate tile, you’ll choose which new paragon board you would like to attach to at that location," Blizzard said in the 2021 end of year update (opens in new tab). "The desired outcome is a personalized set of bonuses that will empower your hero and honor your dedication to their progression, that will remain fun to tweak and adjust over many playthroughs."

Blizzard also confirmed in their August 2022 quarterly update that the metagame would change regularly, including additional paragon boards and glyphs—so you can expect your character to have to adapt over time.

What's the multiplayer like?

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Diablo 4 will have cross-play multiplayer

There's good news for anyone who has friends that play on Xbox or Playstation consoles, at the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase back in June 2022, Blizzard slipped in that Diablo 4 crossplay is going to be fully open between platforms: "We've got fully enabled crossplay. If you have an Xbox, and your buddy has a PC, you're going to be able to group up. Or you can play couch co-op."

You'll be able to jump into games together with your friends characters regardless of what they're playing on—and after all, isn't slaying the forces of hell together what it's all about?

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 (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab). 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 (these will be horses, and yes, you'll be able to buy horse armor for them). 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).

You will not be able to play offline (opens in new tab).

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.

PvP will take place in Fields of Hatred

At BlizzCon 2021, Blizzard reveled how Diablo 4's open world PvP will work. You can find the full details here (opens in new tab), but the gist is that PvP will be contained to areas called Fields of Hatred. Enter one, and you're fair game. 

Inside a Field, you'll collect Shards of Hatred by fighting monsters, opening chests, killing other players, and completing other tasks. Hold onto your Shards long enough to cleanse them at an altar, and you'll be able to spend them on items from special merchants. If you're killed while holding uncleansed Shards, though, you'll drop them, and whoever took your life will get to grab them.

What other information is there?

What will the Microsoft purchase mean for Diablo 4?

If you somehow missed it, Microsoft announced it's buying Activision Blizzard in the latest mega-deal to drag us towards the inevitable corporate cyberpunk future. This of course will shake up the Etch A Sketch at least a bit on everything Blizzard has in the tank, including Diablo 4. However, it's really too early to tell what's going to happen, since the next Diablo is quite far out. We probably won't hear anything concrete about plans until the deal is finalized and the ink is dry.

Diablo 4 replaced its game director in late 2021

Following the harassment and discrimination lawsuit against Activision Blizzard by the state of California, the company confirmed that Diablo 4's game director Louis Barriga was no longer with the company. Blizzard then introduced senior game designer Joe Shely as the new game director. Shely has been on the Diablo 4 team since 2017, previously working as a designer on multiple World of Warcraft expansions before becoming a senior game designer on Diablo 3.

"Like many of you, our team has been reflecting upon recent events," Shely wrote in the Diablo 4 quarterly development blog from October 2021. "A lot has happened since our last blog and the hard work of practicing the values we aspire to must continue. In parallel with that important work, development of Diablo 4 continues too."

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog. 

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