Diablo 4: Vessel of Hatred new class is an "apex predator" and we're also getting what sounds suspiciously like a raid

Blizzard released new details about Diablo 4's upcoming expansion, Vessel of Hatred, during today's Xbox event. The biggest thing to know is that it'll be releasing on October 8, 2024. Vessel of Hatred will take players into the jungle of Nahantu, where warriors known as Spiritborn battle demonic threats, and where the scholar Neyrelle will contend with the voices of Mephisto, Lord of Hatred.

Vessel of Hatred is also available for pre-purchase immediately, and anyone who does so will get a snow leapard tiger pet that picks up gold and crafting materials today.

Otherwise, anyone who grabs the deluxe edition will receieve access to a snow tiger pet, dog pet, as well as a Nahantu War-cat Mount—among other currencies and cosmetics when the expansion drops. There's also a new bundle available that puts the base game and the upcoming expansion together in one purchase.

The new class for Vessel of Hatred will be the Spiritborn, an entirely new concept that's "ranked among the apex predators of the jungle." There's not much to know about them yet, but a July 18 livestream will reveal much more. For now, we are told that they are "battle-hardened with mystical synergies" and "embrace the ethereal Spirits entwined with" their jungle home of Nahantu.

Among other new additions are the return of Mercenaries to the Diablo series, giving you an NPC companion to fight alongside as you journey through the world. Your merc will increase in power alongside you, gaining unique abilities. 

Vessel of Hatred will also include a "New PvE End-Game Co-Op Activity" in a first for the series, requiring a team of warriors to enter a dungeon and "take down various perils together" which sounds suspiciously like the kind of team-based raid instances you see in MMOs and shared world action games such as Destiny and The Division.

Vessel of Hatred will add updates to the base game, says Blizzard, some of which will rework things that have been around since launch.

"Empower your favorite Classes with new Skills, added Paragon Boards, and Legendary Glyphs. Explore new Dungeon types, added activities and rewards from the Tree of Whispers, and more," they said.

One very notable thing about Vessel of Hatred is that its plot definitely ties more into Diablo 3 than any previous story for Diablo 4 has. A common criticism from fans of Diablo 3 was, to put it simply, that Diablo 4 tried its best to sideline or even sweep under the rug most plot elements from 3.

You can read Blizzard's entire Diablo 4: Vessel of Hatred post on their website.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.