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Diablo 4: Everything we know so far about Blizzard's sequel

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Diablo 4 came swinging from the fiery pits of hell at BlizzCon 2019, confirmed with a nearly 10-minute cinematic announcement trailer and roughly three-minute gameplay trailer. The much-anticipated action RPG sequel has apparently been in the works for quite some time, and - alongside Overwatch 2 - Blizzard finally gave fans a formal reveal at this year's BlizzCon 2019 fan expo event. 

Below, we've collated all the trusted info we know about Diablo 4 so far, including trailers, classes, synopsis, gameplay features, release date, and more. And since we're still relatively early in Diablo 4's development, we'll do some researched speculation as to what we can expect that hasn't been confirmed.

Cinematic announcement trailer

Gameplay announcement trailer

Three classes have been revealed

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Blizzard revealed three classes for Diablo 4 at BlizzCon: Barbarian, Sorceress, and Druid. We didn't see much in the gameplay announcement trailer, but we were lucky enough to get dedicated gameplay trailers for each class more recently, via Game Informer.

The Barbarian class is exactly what it sounds like - a storm of swinging weapons both blunt and sharp; tactless, brute, and unforgivingly effective. His special abilities include one that projects a wave of energy to damage surrounding enemies, as well as one that buffs attacks and covers the barbarian in flaming runes.

The Sorceress takes a more tactical approach to combat, choosing to attack foes from afar using projectiles including fireballs, ice arrows, and a honing bolt of lightning. 

A return to the series from Diablo 2, The Druid class is back with a new design and magic skills. In place of fire magic, storm and earth magic power the Druid's attacks. Shape-shifting magic transforms the Druid between human, werewolf, and werebear, which will likely be central to most Druid builds. 

Lilith is coming back as a main antagonist

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First leaked by Twitter user WeakAuras, the Daughter of Hatred has been confirmed as, presumably, Diablo 4's number one big baddie. Lilith is an extremely challenging demon we last saw in Diablo 2's Pandemonium event, and is known as the 'Mother of Misery,' 'Queen of the Succubi,' 'Mother of Deceit,' and 'Mistress of Betrayal.'

It sounds like Lilith has graduated from an uber boss in Diablo 2 to one of Diablo 4's  primary antagonist, at least judging from the reveal trailer. This is far-and-away the best look we've had at Lilith, with a properly animated cinematic, backstory, and lore. The design is dramatically different from what we saw way back in Diablo 2, this time with far fewer limbs (at least from what we can see). 

It exists in an always-online shared world

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Diablo 4 seems to be embracing its MMO side, as the new entry will demand a constant internet connection for players to play together in a shared world. You'll roam around, tackle dungeons, and square off against other players who aren't in your team.

Details are vague, but Blizzard says they're working on a way to create a shared world with random player encounters without compromising the studio's goal of bringing a darker atmosphere to the game more akin to Diablo 2.

There will be PvP

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Fans of old-school RPGs, including the first two Diablo games as well as MMOs like World of Warcraft and Ultima Online, will appreciate that Blizzard has confirmed PvP for Diablo 4. The feature was sadly missing when Diablo 3 released seven years ago, and it was never properly introduced.

A lot of questions surround Blizzard's method of bringing a balanced PvP experience to Diablo 4 without alienating PvE players. The developer did announce that the general design will work similarly to most PvP-enabled RPGs - with specific zones designated for PvP action. Still, we can't wait to learn how many zones there are, the size of each zone, specific rules for PvP like loot and consenting, and how Blizzard plans to balance each class.

Lead systems designer David Kim had this to say about PvP in Diablo 4 while talking to GameSpot at BlizzCon: "Currently, we are planning on having specific areas of the world where you can choose to PvP if you want to, and the other thing is, we are also exploring some PvP modes that would work really well in Diablo," Kim said. "So the goal is, we want to have that mixed PvE and PvP type of experience, because everyone knows the PvE, killing swarms of monsters, that's where kind of the core fun of Diablo is at. We haven't found something that we really love yet, but once we do, of course, we're going to tell everyone about it."

There will be microtransactions

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Lead game designer Joe Shely seemed to confirm the presence of microtransactions in Diablo 4, speaking to Twitch streamer Quin69 at BlizzCon 2019 (via PCGamesN).

Asked by the streamer about microtransactions, Shely said, "Diablo IV will be available as a base game, and … we’re going to have expansions. You also will be able to acquire cosmetics in the game.” The streamer then asks, “so, MTX? Is that going to be through some sort of shop?” Shely responds vaguely with, “It’s very early … but yes."

So it sounds like cosmetic microtransactions will be a feature in Diablo 4, but hopefully Blizzard is wise enough to refrain from adding microtransactions that benefit the player in gameplay situations, as we've seen before that pay-to-win mechanics can often spell doom for even the most mainstream games.

Cross-play multiplayer is Blizzard's goal

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We know Diablo 4 will initially release on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, but we don't yet know whether players on different platforms will be able to play together. That's always the hope, but it's anything but confirmed at this point.

Thankfully, Diablo 4 executive producer Allen Adham is hopeful about making cross-platform play happen. Speaking with The Telegraph at BlizzCon, Adham said there were technical hurdles to get over, but that "it's our goal to get to cross-play.”

There will probably be "many" returning and redesigned characters

Diablo 2

(Image credit: Diablo 2)

A page from the recently-released artbook, 'The Art of Diablo,' was leaked by Twitter user WeakAuras and included a quote from Diablo 4 art director John Mueller that confirmed "many" characters from previous Diablo games will be returning for Diablo 4. According to the passage, the returning characters will at least appear fundamentally different this time around. The leak includes a quote from Mueller that explains how the creative team plans on bringing back characters from past Diablo games.

"I've always really liked that about any kind of IP: letting really talented artists get a hold of things and letting them do their version of it. We're doing that with a lot of characters in the new game."

We don't know yet when it will be out

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Blizzard didn't get into a release timeline at BlizzCon, but we do have some hints that suggest it might be further along than we thought. Back in June, Blizzard opened nine new job listings to recruit help for an "unannounced project" within the Diablo universe. Keep in mind, this is well after the reveal of the much-maligned Diablo Immortal mobile game at 2018's BlizzCon event.

Then, popular French publication Le Monde, translated by a Diablo fan, revealed that an early form of Diablo 4 had already been presented to Blizzard employees, but that it wouldn't release before 2020 "at the very best."

Even 2020 seems a tad optimistic, if we're being painfully truthful. For reference, Blizzard announced Diablo 3 back in 2008, and as we all know, it wasn't until May of 2012 that it was released. It would seem incredibly efficient of Blizzard to release Diablo 4 only months after its formal reveal, but with the amount of gameplay footage we've seen, it's not out of the realm of possibility.