Diablo 4: A Preview of What's to Come in the New Game
Blizzard’s next big game, Diablo 4, is set to release soon behind a ton of hype. Fans have been waiting years for the new entry in the long-running series, and a lot has changed in the almost 11-year period since Diablo 3 came out. Things are looking positive, and there is plenty to look forward to when the game launches fully.
Diablo 4 release date
Diablo 4 is coming to PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One on June 6, 2023, and is available for preorder at the Blizzard Store and at various retailers. A Diablo IV Limited Collector’s Box is also on sale exclusively from the Blizzard Store for those who want to get their hands on Diablo-related collectibles.
The Diablo series
Diablo is a fantasy action role-playing video game series developed by Blizzard Entertainment. The series comprises four core games: Diablo 1, 2, 3, and the soon-to-be-released 4. The series also includes expansion games, namely Diablo: Hellfire, which followed the first game, Lord of Destruction, released after the second game, and Reaper of Souls, the expansion for Diablo 3.
Diablo 1, released for PC in 1996, is a genre-defining classic that laid down the foundations for the rest of the series—interesting loot, archetypal character classes, repetition and randomization, and multiplayer gaming. The game made the RPG genre fast, accessible, and exciting.
Diablo 4 story
The Diablo series is an epic story of heaven versus hell. Diablo 4 draws on the plot of the entire series so far, and with the original Diablo having been released almost three decades ago, the series has built up a rich lore and expansive storyline. The story of Diablo 4 looks like it primarily draws on events that predate Diablo 1: a never-ending war known as The Great Conflict.
In the backstory of the Diablo universe, the world known as Sanctuary was created by a renegade angel called Inarius and a renegade demon named Lilith. The world was designed to be a refuge from the eternal war between the entities of the High Heavens and Burning Hells. Sanctuary ultimately became yet another battleground in the war between Heaven and Hell. After the apocalyptic battles of Diablo 1 and the events in the subsequent games, the civilizations of Sanctuary lie in tatters, and the scattered settlements of humanity remain vulnerable to attacks from monsters and corruption by Lilith, who recently returned to the world she made. In the face of this peril stand five potential heroes.
Diablo 4 classes
Diablo 4 has five character classes. Each has unique skills (i.e., abilities that can be activated), talents (i.e., passive skills), and specific quirks to make them stand out.
- Sorcerer: The Sorcerer is your traditional spellcaster who can harness the power of the elements to burn foes with fire, freeze them with ice, or zap them with lightning. The class also uses the Enchantment mechanic, in which active skills can be equipped for a passive boon.
- Barbarian: These brutes charge headlong into battle, leaping down to smash opponents. Barbarians use the Weapon Arsenal mechanic and swap between different types of weapons to take advantage of specific abilities (i.e., slicing, bludgeoning, and two-handed attacking).
- Rogue: Rogues are agile and nimble, speedily dashing to avoid attacks and striking when least expected. Rogues provide a mix of both melee and ranged expertise. Moreover, the Imbuement mechanic lets them infuse attacks with either poison, cold, or shadow damage.
- Necromancer: Necromancers can raise undead minions/golems, make corpses explode, and generally use the powers of bone and poisons.
- Druid: The Druid is a hybrid. They can do some spellcasting, as their communion with nature lets them call on the elements. They can also shapeshift into ferocious beasts, tearing apart enemies that get too close.
Diablo 4 gameplay
Check out the official gameplay trailer here, originally unveiled by Blizzard three years ago:
One of the main gameplay features of this new entry in the Diablo series is the depth of customization and specialization options it offers, which allow players to build their own truly unique characters. Diablo 4 has several other features that are new to the series, including a shared open world design, which allows players to meet with friends to trade in towns or join with others to fight against towering bosses, and challenging PvP zones.
The Diablo 4 skill tree is designed to give you maximum flexibility over the build of your hero. By leveling up during gameplay, you earn Skill Points which you can spend to unlock brand new skills for your class, increasing your utility or combat efficiency. You will be able to respec your skill tree point by point, although doing so will have a gold cost that becomes more expensive as you get deeper into the game.
In addition to single-player mode, the game allows up to four players to play in cooperative mode. Players on PS and Xbox have the option of two-player couch-op. Cross-platform support will be available from day one.
Microtransactions will be a part of the game; however, given the poor response to Diablo 3’s auction house and Diablo Immortal’s pay-to-win structure, the only things players can purchase in Diablo 4 are cosmetic items.
Open-world regions of Diablo 4
Diablo 4’s open world design is a shift from the instanced zones that previous games in the series offered. The map in Diablo 4 is 10 to 20 times larger than the map in previous installments in the series and contains five main regions that can be explored in any order:
- Scosglen: sprawling green highlands, rocky paths, and plenty of rain, inspired by the highlands of Scotland.
- Dry Steppes: a mountainous desert area.
- Fractured Peaks: a snowy region inspired by the Carpathian Mountains.
- Hawezar: a dark and swampy area.
- Kejjistan: a barren desert area with sweeping sand dunes.
Diablo 4 endgame
As discussed in the following video, Blizzard has crafted a massive endgame experience that will keep players engaged well after completing the main quest.
In addition to higher difficulty tiers that are unlocked after finishing the main story, Diablo 4 will have several repeatable endgame activities.
- Nightmare Dungeons can be accessed by using Nightmare Sigils looted from enemies. The sigils increase the associated dungeon’s difficulty and imbue the dungeon with better loot.
- Whispers of the Dead are bounties from a gruesome, cursed tree. Players will see various Whisper bounties scattered throughout the world and will be rewarded with experience, gold, and other items for completing them.
- Fields of Hatred are PvP-enabled zones where players earn shards that need to be purified before they can be used as currency in town. Other players will be notified whenever a player is purifying shards, introducing an element of urgency to the gameplay.
Diablo 4 beta
Blizzard ran an open beta period in March that offered a first taste of the campaign via the Prologue and the entirety of Act 1, with players able to roll up to 10 characters and try out the five classes available in the game. The game was well received and managed to ramp up expectations for the upcoming final launch.
Diablo 4 is the most modern game in the mainline Diablo series, expanding upon the games that came before it yet maintaining the series’ core class-based gameplay. From grouping up with friends for dungeon runs to leveling up your favorite characters, the game is sure to keep fans highly engaged. Although Diablo 4 will not be available on Xbox Game Pass, be sure to check out the Game Pass to find out why Acer is an official sponsor.
Ashley is a technology writer who is interested in computers and software development. He is also a fintech researcher and is fascinated with emerging trends in DeFi, blockchain, and bitcoin. He has been writing, editing, and creating content for the ESL industry in Asia for eight years, with a special focus on interactive, digital learning.