Even though we knew it was coming, Diablo 4 still managed to send a shockwave through the halls of Blizzcon 2019.
After the Diablo Immortal fiasco at Blizzcon 2018, Blizzard knew it needs to give the people what they want. So we got a glimpse of a dark future, where we can finally dust off our shields and swords, and prepare to fight a new ancient evil – Lilith.
Diablo 4 Announcement Trailer
Sanctuary has been the home of Diablo fans for over 20 years, and J. Allen Brack, president of Blizzard, knows how eager they are to return.
“We’re excited to be returning to the dark, quintessential Diablo gameplay that players love while expanding the world and story in new ways, and we can’t wait for more people to be able to experience it.”
New Heroes Rise to Defeat Evil
After killing Malthael and disproving the statement that “no one can stop death,” players find Sanctuary under a new threat. Five new heroes step up to the challenge, and we get a good look at three of them in Diablo 4’s first gameplay trailer.
The Sorceress – the most veteran class who was never missing from a Diablo game. She shapes the elements into sharp icy spikes, meteors, and lightning. Combining the three is the key to eliminate your foes in the most magnificent ways.
The Barbarian – known for his brute force in melee combat and his signature move, the leap. The Barbarian gets a new combat system called the Arsenal, with which he can carry up to four weapons and rapidly switch between them for individual attacks.
The Druid – we haven’t seen this class since Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction, and we kind of missed him. The Druid’s revamped playstyle lets him shapeshift fluidly between a werewolf, a bear, and a man who controls nature’s wrath.
What will our new heroes face on their journey in Sanctuary? In the gameplay trailer, we see the narrator drinking in front of a grave, presumably Deckard’s. He tells the tombstone (and us the viewers) of a nightmare that’s haunting him. He throws around big words like “destruction,” “hatred,” “agony,” and “terror.” If that is what awaits us in Diablo 4, then I wish us all good luck; we’re going to need it.
Lilith, the Daughter of Hatred
Diablo 4 takes place in the northeastern part of Sanctuary, in the regions of Scosglen, Fractured peaks, Dry steppes, Hawezar, and Kehjistan. By the way, we’ll likely see the return of the Demon Hunter class, since they are all areas surrounding their homeland.
After eons of exile, the succubi queen is summoned back to Sanctuary in a bloody ritual. “By three they come, by three thy way opens, by the blood of the willing, we call thee home. Hail daughter of hatred, creator of Sanctuary, hail Lilith.”
The number three is important in the world of Diablo, like the three Prime Evils – Diablo, Mephisto, and Baal. Is this a hint of what’s to come?
Lilith is the daughter of the Prime Evil Mephisto, the Lord of Hatred himself. Hence her moniker “The Daughter of Hatred.” During the Eternal Wars, she grew tired of her father’s tactics and decided to take the angel Inarius prisoner. In the end, they discovered they both wish to escape the conflict, so they stole the Worldstone and created their own safe place to live; their Sanctuary.
Lilith’s and Inarius’s union gave birth to the first of the Nephalim, and soon, other renegade demons and angels produced offspring of their own. As the Nephalim grew, the angles and demons started seeing them as a threat, and a new conflict began. Should the Nephalim be spared, or destroyed before they drew the attention of Heaven or Hell?
Lilith was driven into a frenzy by the mere thought of destroying her children. She hunted her fellow renegades and their followers and murdered them all. The horrified Inarius could not bring himself to kill his only love, so he banished her into the void. He then slowly weakened the Nephalim using the Worldstone, and eventually created a weaker mortal race known as humans.
It’s no wonder Lilith is the villain of Diablo 4 – her love betrayed her, and her children are gone, devolved into pathetic humans.
Semi-open, Always Online Sanctuary
The game offers a solo and co-op non-linear campaign in a shared online world. You’ll encounter other players in your game and can choose to work together to tackle bigger challenges or hunt each other down in PvP. It’s like Diablo 4 is an MMO.
For the very first time, Sanctuary will be one contiguous world players can explore at their own pace. There will be five regions (the same ones we mentioned earlier), a day-night cycle, and a dynamic weather system. We still don’t know how many players can inhabit an instance of this world at once, but they’ll be there, whether you like it or not.
In an interview with PC Gamer, Diablo 4’s lead designer Joe Shely confirmed you won’t be able to play the game offline. “There’s a large, seamless, connected, and shared space in the world, going down into dungeons, being able to group with your friends, trading, and PvP,” Shely said. “We feel that the best way to experience that is in a world that is online.”
Since Sanctuary is now one big space, Diablo 4 introduces mounts. The gameplay trailer shows the new heroes riding on horses, and seamlessly transitioning in combat. We can even see the Sorceress activating one of her abilities while on horseback. Players will also be able to personalize their mounts, like in Blizzard’s other MMO World of Warcraft.
When is Diablo 4 Coming Out?
Diablo 4’s release date is still unknown. We do know that the game won’t be released in 2019, and probably not in 2020. “We are not coming out soon. Not even ‘Blizzard soon’,” said director Luis Barriga.
Blizzard is working on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One version simultaneously, so that’s one factor that slows down development. We won’t be surprised to see Diablo 4 on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Scarlett.Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.