Sanctuary beckons you forth, wanderer. At BlizzCon 2023, associate game director Brent Gibson, production director Tiffany Wat, lead game producer Kalyeigh Calder, game director Joe Shely, and associate director of community Adam Fletcher, gave a tantalizing glimpse into the future of Diablo IV. Toward the end of the Campfire Chat, the team answered questions from the community, collected from players at BlizzCon and afar. To watch the Developer Campfire Chat in full, check out the replay at the end of this article.
Diablo IV First Expansion: Vessel of Hatred
For the first time since Diablo II, players can return to the land of Nahantu. Vessel of Hatred, the first expansion in Diablo IV, continues from where we last left the main story. Descending deep into the jungles of Nahantu, Neyrelle struggles to control perhaps the worst possible travel companion: the Prime Evil Mephisto.
Season of Blood: Unique Malignant Rings and the Abattoir of Zir
Though many tried to staunch and sanitize the wounds of the plague ridden... malignance has a nature of spreading. Five Malignant Rings based on popular powers from Season of the Malignant arrive in our next update on November 7, available immediately in both Seasonal and Eternal realms. For full details on these and more details on our next update, read our Diablo IV Patch Notes.
During Season of Blood, based off community feedback the Occultist will now display a preview of which potential affixes are available before your selected item is enchanted. Combined with the cost changes to enchanting items made earlier, this should help players optimize their items into the endgame.
Courageous wanderers in the Seasonal Realm can put themselves through a grueling test in the Abattoir of Zir. From December 5–January 23, after completing the final tier of the Season Journey, enter the Visceral Channel to push your Vampiric Powers to the ultimate limit with this Seasonal Event. The Abattoir of Zir is an ultimate challenge, it’s recommended to only use your best builds and Characters that are at the pinnacle of their power at Level 100. Note that all rewards earned in the Abattoir of Zir last until the end of Season of Blood.
A Chill Descends on Sanctuary with Midwinter Blight
Savage Blightfiends aim to disrupt any cheer the denizens of Fractured Peaks have managed to scrounge for themselves. From December 5–December 21, cull the cursed fiends and stay vigilant in case you receive an untimely visit from the Red Cloaked Horror. Restore the Midwinter Square and protect festive goodtidings!
Further details for Midwinter Blight will be revealed in an upcoming article.
Weekly Leaderboards: The Gauntlet
Arriving with our next Season in January, The Gauntlet will test your skills in the Seasonal Realm against fellow players in a set layout, non-linear Dungeon, where a potent combination of mastery and skills achieves high scores. Players will need to collect Proofs of Might to contribute to their overall score, which can be obtained from slaying Monsters and destroying items within the Gauntlet.
Weekly Leaderboards track scores between Hardcore, Normal characters, Party size, and Classes. The top players from each week’s Leaderboard will be displayed in a permanent Leaderboard called the Hall of the Ancients. With each week’s Leaderboard reset, so does the fixed layout of The Gauntlet! Refine your most trusted builds to emerge victorious.
For a handy reference for all that is soon to arrive, our immediate Roadmap can be seen in full here:
To glean all the details from our Diablo IV BlizzCon Campfire Chat in full, watch the below video:
Thank you all for an incredible BlizzCon 2023. Sharpen your blades and strengthen your resolve for the journey that lies ahead.
On November 3, Diablo general manager Rod Ferguson and production directors Tiffany Wat and Chris Wilson took the stage at BlizzCon’s opening ceremony to recap the plethora of quality-of-life updates released for Diablo IV since Season of Blood began on October 17, and to provide a glimpse at the fiendish adventures coming to Diablo IV.
For our first Expansion, you’ll be taken somewhere more sinister than ever before—a place where hatred’s influence continues to strangle Sanctuary into submission…
Vessel of Hatred continues the grim tale that began in Diablo IV, as you learn the fate of the prime evil Mephisto and his demonic plans for Sanctuary. To do that, you’ll be visiting a region new to Diablo IV, known by the locals as Nahantu. With this continuation of the campaign’s story comes new ways to play, new evils to vanquish, and a brand-new Class never before seen in the Diablo universe. Vessel of Hatred releases late next year, and we can’t wait to share more about it with you next summer.
In the less-distant future, the third Season of Diablo IV will usher in a whole new type of weekly challenge Dungeon called The Gauntlet, where wanderers can compete for their Class ranking against anyone in the world. At the end of each week, the combatants with the highest rank will have their name cemented in the Seasonal Hall of the Ancients for all of time.
Ever wonder what the holidays are like in Sanctuary? Well, now you can find out in our first seasonal event, Midwinter Blight, beginning on December 12 and lasting for three weeks. Trudge through the snow-laden, winter terror-land of Fractured Peaks, and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for a mysterious, red-cloaked terror!
Now that we’ve given you a glimpse of some of what’s to come in the future, let’s come back to the present. Starting next week, we’ll introduce 5 Unique, class-specific Rings that will let you tap into powers from Season of the Malignant.
Then on December 5, an Enchanting preview feature for the Occultist will come to Diablo IV. This will allow you to see what affixes are possible, before spending your hard-earned gold. It’s another way to give you even more control over developing just the right build for whatever Hell throws your way. Also starting on December 5 is Abattoir of Zir, a highly replayable six-week end-game event experience designed for players who have reached Level 100, slain Uber Duriel, and mastered all the other challenges Season of Blood has to offer. Those who survive will attain a Paragon Glyph constructed from Lord Zir’s very own blood. But beware—the Abattoir of Zir starts at a soul-crushing difficulty and only gets harder.
All of this is made possible by the support of our players, and most importantly, your feedback. Thanks to feedback, we’ve added an endgame boss ladder for receiving Unique and Uber Unique items at a higher rate, made the ascent to Level 100 40% faster than it was in Season of the Malignant, reworked Item Power to be more rewarding, and released a ton quality-of-life updates through our patches.
For an overview of everything Diablo IV happening at BlizzCon this year, please see this article.
The fiery basin of the Burning Hells crackles and sparks in yearning—BlizzCon 2023 will soon be upon us! On November 3–4 in-person attendees can meet their favorite content creators, get a Hell’s Ink flash tattoo, receive a signature from members of the development team and more. For those tuning in from home, we’ll be broadcasting a special Diablo IV Campfire Chat live from the BlizzCon show floor and multiple Diablo-partnered content creators will be livestreaming, which can also be viewed in person by attendees.
Here are many of the activities going on in the Diablo section of BlizzCon. Unless specified otherwise, these activities will be available on both Friday and Saturday of the event.
Meet Diablo Partnered Creators
Some of the most seasoned wanderers in our community will be at BlizzCon to share their secret to culling demons, but also, to meet you! Keep an eye out for meet-and-greet opportunities with these creators:
Watch Content Creators Slay Demons Live
Not only can you meet some prominent saviors of Sanctuary, but you can watch them paint the floor red with the viscera of felled demons live at BlizzCon. These creators will be streaming their exploits for those at home to watch as well.
Take your love for Diablo to a more permanent level by getting 1 of 13 flash tattoo designs from the talented artists at Vatican Studios. Tattoos are complimentary for all BlizzCon attendees, but appointments will be on a first come first serve basis, so sign up early in person.
Prinker Temporary Tattoos:
For those who wish to display their devotion to the Burning Hells in a less permanent way, Prinker will be offering temporary versions of the Hell’s Ink flash tattoos. Appointments are not needed for this activity.
Developer Signing Opportunity:
Meet some of the makers of your favorite game during our developer signing opportunity. Members of our development team will be around every hour or so in a rotating cast to meet you.
Tarot Card Readers:
Place your fate in the hands of a professional Tarot Card reader. Will your future be as bright as the High Heavens or as frigid as the Fractured Peaks? There’s only one way to know…
Appointments are not needed for this activity.
Wings of Inarius Photo Opportunity:
“Kneel before him! And remember you are small, wonderfully small!”
Place yourself between the animated wings of the father of Sanctuary, Inarius. This photo opportunity welcomes all to envision themselves as The Prophet.
Sacrificial Altar Photo Opportunity:
As they say in Sanctuary, it isn’t truly a celebration without a few sacrifices. Offer your mortality to the cultists for a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.
Museum of Sanctuary:
Peruse a collection of long-forgotten artifacts dredged up from the furthest reaches of Sanctuary in this walkthrough exhibit.
Stay awhile and browse our selection of tomes and curios. This is where attendees can purchase special Diablo merch and literature and then have it signed by dutiful scribes.
Mountain Dew Quest:
Quench your thirst for annihilating Lilith’s legions by partaking in a Mountain Dew scavenger hunt. Attendees will need to locate cans of Mountain Dew touched by Lilith’s hatred. Find all the cans and you’ll be entered into a giveaway for an especially sinister Lilith statue.
BlizzCon Diablo IV Campfire Chat - November 4, 2:30-3:30 p.m. PDT
Join game director Joe Shely, associate game director Brent Gibson, production director Tiffany Wat, lead game producer Kayleigh Calder, and associate director of community Adam Fletcher live from BlizzCon as they talk about what’s next for Diablo IV. This Campfire Chat will also be streamed for those at home to tune in.
On the first day of BlizzCon, attendees will be able to drop questions into a box located in the Diablo section of BlizzCon—we’ll answer questions submitted to the box and sent to us via social media during the Campfire Chat.
For more information about BlizzCon and what we have planned for our other games, visit this article.
Envisioned by acclaimed Webtoons author Jo Seok, the bone chilling Webtoons of Sanctuary collection may unsettle the most hardened of adventurers. Originally published in Korean, these tales provide a glimpse into the fabled horrors the wary inhabitants of Sanctuary might regale to unruly children under a full moon.
There are 6 ominous installments in total to shock and delight. Each individual tale of this anthology delves into the unseemly and macabre; the imagined terrors that lurk before the light of another grim dawn. A lone wanderer strikes a bargain in a sleepy village, a family cautiously welcomes their newest member, a child seeks to pay respects to a lost Grandparent, and more.
As is often the case in Sanctuary—things are not what they seem to be. Read the Webtoons of Sanctuary below!
It’s been an exciting few months since Diablo IV was released to players around the world. We launched our first Season, a number of updates and of course, slayed copious amounts of Demons. With Season of Blood arriving on October 17, we wanted to spend some time covering some of the changes—big and small—coming to Diablo IV. The changes we explore in this article can all be found in our Diablo IV patch notes, found here.
Elemental Resistances are being overhauled in Season of Blood. Here’s how they currently work, and how they’ll work in both Seasonal and Eternal realms once Season of Blood begins.
In Season of the Malignant:
Elemental Resistances were inverse multiplicative. This means that you received the same effective Life each time you gained a bonus, but the nominal value of the bonus was less. For example, if you had 20% Poison Resistance and then received 20% more, you would have 36% Poison Resistance in total.
Elemental Resistances had no hard cap— You could gain them indefinitely.
Armor provided Physical Damage Reduction as well as Damage Reduction from all elements, which imposed on the role of Elemental Resistances. This made Armor so powerful to the point that it outperformed individual elemental resistance. Rings and Amulets had 2 inherent stats that gave Resistance to two random elements.
In Season of Blood:
Elemental Resistances are now additive and have a base cap of 70%. This cap can be raised with new effects that increase the cap to a hard cap of 85%. Such as Skills, Paragon Boards, Elixirs, etc. Armor now only reduces physical damage. The more Resistance you have against a particular element the more valuable each percentage is for total effective Life. For example, going from 60 to 65% Fire Resistance is much more valuable than going from 20 to 25%.
Rings and Amulets will still have 2 inherent stats: Resist to All Elements and a random Elemental Resistance.
In Season of Blood, Elemental Resistances will become a much more important part of your character's survivability. Our goal here is to present a puzzle to solve of how to reach the maximum base of elemental resistance, while also giving you the tools to solve that puzzle through methods such as itemization, the Skill Tree, Elixirs, and your Paragon Board. We also provide a base amount of Resistance to All Elements in Jewelry to prevent players from falling behind in any individual resistance.
Around Level 80, you should be able to maximize your Elemental Resistances at the 70% base maximum. There’s a journey to solve the resistance puzzle, but it is one that you will eventually solve. Then, you can move on to other stats that you want to prioritize for your characters. It’s not about whether you will reach the maximum, but more about what methods you choose to get there.
We’ve heard the overwhelming community feedback that Unique items aren’t as exciting and impactful as they need to be. In Season of Blood, we’ve done a large design rework on our Unique items and updated nearly all of them in the game. The following is our four-fold strategy to how we’re updating our Unique items currently, and the philosophy we want to adhere to for our Uniques to have special properties in the future. Here are some theoretical examples:
Adding completely new stats to Unique items.
Ex: “Bonus Spirit Generation while Tornadoes are active,” is not a normal stat, but could potentially exist on a Unique.
Allowing existing stats that roll on Unique to roll in increased ranges.
Ex: Bonus Fire Damage normally rolls between +15–25%, but on a Unique it could roll between +30–45%.
Adding stats to slots where they typically would not exist.
Cooldown Reduction can’t normally roll on a weapon, but it can on a Unique weapon.
Updating Unique powers and effects.
A Unique power requires shooting enemies from behind to deal bonus damage. Now this power deals bonus damage on much simpler conditions, such as hitting enemies 5 times or dealing more damage all the time.
The following are some examples of our updates that you can look forward to finding.
Larger Existing Stat Ranges
Adding Stats to New Slots
Updated Unique Effects
We sometimes see a Unique with a potentially powerful effect fal l by the wayside due to a lack of specific stats that are too important to ignore. In this vein, you’ll see that our Unique items will have key stats for the builds they fit in far more often, including powerful new or thematic stats that relate to their effect. We’re hoping that this will reduce the opportunity cost of playing with these items, which should entice players to try them out more often.
How damage is calculated in Diablo IV is also receiving an overhaul. Before, damage sources such as Critical Strike Damage, Vulnerable Damage, and Overpower Damage were in different buckets, and when these buckets mixed with each other, the full amount of bonus damage from each bucket was multiplied together.
This meant the most effective way to increase your damage was to get as much bonus Critical Strike Damage and bonus Vulnerable damage and then Critically Strike Vulnerable enemies. Because access to these two buckets was generally more attainable than something like Overpower damage—which has a fixed chance to occur at 3%—most builds that did not take advantage of this multiplicative synergy fell behind.
This is all changing with Season of Blood. There will still be different damage buckets, but now only the base amount of bonus damage that these methods provide will be multiplicative. The rest of the bonus damage to these categories will be additive when they are combined. The base bonus multiplicative damage these categories provide are:
Vulnerable Damage: x20%
Critical Strike Damage: x50%
Overpower Damage: x50%
Additionally, we fixed some issues with how Overpower damage is calculated, so in Season of Blood it will be much more competitive as a damage source compared to before.
Your character profile will also display this bonus damage, though the math is a little complex under the hood. Here’s a breakdown of how it works with the following example:
In this case, we are showing how much bonus Vulnerable damage the player will inflict on an enemy. The player gets the standard x20% bonus damage that Vulnerable Damage provides, and they have an additional +18.0% from gear and no other bonus Vulnerable damage. The calculation to find their total bonus Vulnerable damage would be the following:
In the interest of avoiding extremely long tooltips, they will not specify any additional multiplicative sources of damage. These types of damage bonuses are uncommon overall, so it’s less vital to include on a tooltip. If the damage bonus value doesn’t match up based on the additive bonus alone, it is likely from having a multiplicative damage bonus on your character.
So what does this all mean? With these changes we expect the following to happen:
Player damage numbers will be lower overall due to the lower multiplicative synergy of mixing different damage buckets. However, Monsters and enemies have been rebalanced around the new player power. You can still kill the monsters you were killing before about just as quickly.
Mixing damage types will still be powerful, but less mandatory for all builds.
Individual damage sources will be much more equal in value. As an example, Damage-Over-Time and Overpower builds will now be much more competitive than they were previously.
Monsters and enemies have been rebalanced around the new player power. You should not experience a significant difference in your effectiveness from these changes.
Since we’re lowering the baseline bonus that players get for mixing damage types, this also creates an exciting design space where we can reinsert that multiplicative damage via other methods where the player has the choice to opt into, and build around, that power. Our overall goal with these changes is to reward players for investing into their primary vector of damage—and to be competitive for doing that—while also giving them tools to find other vectors of damage scaling as they customize their character and progress further in the game.
In addition to systemic changes, we’re making a slew of balance updates and general improvements to our Classes to address community feedback. A couple examples of the types of updates you can expect are the following:
For Sorcerers: Incinerate’s ramp-up time for its bonus damage has been reduced from 4 to 2 seconds.
For Druids: the free Skills from Nature’s Fury now count as both Earth and Storm skills.
Another way we are looking to improve the experience of build creation is through adding scaling effects to many mechanics across all Classes. As we mentioned previously in our changes to damage buckets, because we no longer inherently have so much multiplicative baseline damage, we now have the opportunity to give these bonuses to players in other areas. The following are some examples of this in action:
For the Barbarian, Blood Rage now increases all the Barbarian’s damage based on their Damage while Berserking bonus.
For the Rogue, Victimize’s explosion damage increases as the player builds their Vulnerable Damage Bonus stat.
Our goal with these changes are two-fold:
We’re aware that our damage bucket changes in a vacuum would result in lower player power. However, we’re balancing Monster power to compensate for these changes to keep player power at a similar level. We also want to add some of that that power back in a more interesting way.
We want our players to have a more nuanced experience with their itemization, particularly as players get into the later portions of the game.
We’re particularly interested in how this combines with our Unique item changes, since stats that normally were competitively inferior now potentially have a chance to shine in specific builds that can take advantage of them.
For more details on all the changes we discussed, you can read our official Patch Notes for the Season of Blood launch at this article.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about the damage changes coming with Season of Blood. Resistances have shifted, damage has been re-balanced, Unique items should feel more powerful, and Classes have been improved. We look forward to playing alongside you and hearing your feedback on these changes, and we are excited to bring you more updates in the future