As if magically summoned by reports that a Diablo 4 alpha playtest is running for family and friends of Blizzard, various images and titbits of information are making their way online.
We'll discuss some of them in this article, so you might want to skip to the end if you want to go into the game without knowing anything. That aside, take this as a general public service announcement that spoilers are out there, so keep your head on a swivel.
Still here? Grand. Stay awhile and listen. We've seen various leaks pop up on Diablo's subreddit, though they've typically been taken down reasonably swiftly. However, images are still circulating on multiple forums and other websites. Most of them feature snaps of the character creator, revealing tattoos and the like. We've also seen chatter about Diablo 4 having restricted trade and smart loot – for example, you can reportedly trade lower-tier items in a limited capacity. However, unique and more valuable loot like legendary is a no-go.
The flurry of leaks has prompted the moderators of Diablo's subreddit to tackle the topic with an individual post. In short, game-specific features in betas are subject to change, so keep that in mind. Also, players won't be punished for posting leaks on the subreddit, though they might be banned on Battle.net.
"What Blizzard chooses to do to individuals who leak pre-release information is entirely outside of our jurisdiction of power (which is solely r/Diablo) and may include actions taken against your battle.net account (including suspension, permanent suspension, etc) as well as legal action against your persons if you signed an NDA or caused damages to the company or IP," a statement reads. "Once again, these actions are something that we have no bearing on and are entirely outside of our control."
The leaks follow word from Bloomberg's Jason Schreier that a Diablo 4 playtest is underway for non-Blizzard employees, dubbed the "friends-and-family alpha test".
Schreier also noted that there are no microtransactions in the alpha build, though Blizzard has previously confirmed that Diablo 4 purchases will be cosmetic-only aside from larger story expansions. The question was likely raised because Diablo Immortal has invited plenty of criticism due to how it handles monetization, though it looks like you won't see anything like that in Diablo 4.
Prior to that, series general manager Rod Fergusson took to Twitter to clarify that a Diablo 4 beta spotted on Battle.net was for internal purposes only.
Want to join in? You can get Diablo 4 beta access, too - if you get a permanent tattoo.