Update: Seems like the leaks are true. The story is bumped forward & updated as such to reflect this.
It’s rare to see leaks popping out from BlizzCon, a game expo from a company that used to keep big secrets like these tight-lipped. Still, take these bits of news with grains of salt.
First up: long-awaited action RPG sequel Diablo IV will introduce a new class this BlizzCon: the Rogue. Here’s the breakdown (via ResetEra).
- The Rogue uses bows, crossbows, swords, and daggers.
- He/she is the most mobile class among the group (Barbarian, Sorceress, and Druid for folks keeping score).
- The Rogue will be missing an ear, look-wise. Otherwise, the male/female Rogue looks like a revved-up version of the Diablo 1 version. You can also customize her look so that she has a traditional cloak over her head to conceal her identity.
Diablo IV will also feature more character customization: skin, tattoos, makeup, and hair colour. And class specialization will be a thing: this is dependent on the faction you will support and the class quests that you complete in the open world of Sanctuary. The Rogue has three different specializations skills: Shadow Realm, Combo Points, and Exploit Weakness.
- Shadow Realm pulls target enemies into the Shadow Realm with you for 5 seconds. For those seconds, you are stealthed, unstoppable, and deal 50% more damage to afflicted enemies.
- Combo Points gives your basic attacks the ability to gather points. Certain skills consume combo points for additional effects.
- Exploit Weakness lets you crit enemies during certain enemy attacks, when an icon flashes above their heads. All hits against them deal 60% increased damage.
For those who want to kill other players, there’s PvP where you can collect Shards of Hatred to buy cosmetics with. The PvP areas are called Fields of Hatred, where you get these shards from killing monsters, completing events, killing other players, opening chests, and so forth. You have to purify them before they can be used; during that time, you will be a prime target for other players. If you die, you lose all your Shards of Hatred.
There’s also a king-of-the-hill type system called Vessel of Hatred, where the most infamous player killer in a PvP area gets a target painted on them. Any player who takes that target out gets a bonus. Oh, and if you’re playing Hardcore mode, if you die in a PvP area, your character is lost forever.
Unfortunately, there’s no news on Diablo IV’s beta test periods and release dates. Enjoy the following screenshots and concept art instead!
Let’s hope BlizzCon 2021 at least drops some hints for that.
But Wait, There’s More!
There’s also news on the Diablo II Remaster: it’s slated for this year, with a technical alpha early registrants can sign up for in the middle of 2021. The remaster will feature the following:
- New 3D engine with 60fps, with the option to switch to the older graphics on the fly. Dynamic lighting options also included.
- Remastered audio and cinematics.
- Shared stash, so you can farm items for your other selectable classes.
- Toggleable auto gold pickup. Honestly, just leave it on.
- Controller support, meaning the Diablo II Remaster will be out for all major consoles including Nintendo Switch. Also, cross-progression so you can continue progress from your PC to your Xbox Series, or PS5, or whichever major console(s) you own.
- 4K support and high refresh rates like 144Hz.
- A US$39.99 price tag for the PC version.
Here are some key quotes from Diablo producer Rod “I did Gears of War” Fergusson.
“It helped define the ARPG genre. It was the 20th anniversary of the game last year, Blizzard’s 30th anniversary now, and as we’re getting ready for Diablo Immortal and Diablo 4. It feels like a great moment to bring this game back.”
Again, take all of this with a grain of salt. Besides, it’ll be only a few more hours until BlizzCon happens; precisely at 6am later on 20th February. We’ll be sure to update this page with concrete BlizzCon news, or just make new ones after 6am later. It’s the weekend; cut us some slack.