BlizzConline Diablo News Roundup
Diablo dominated much of the conversation yesterday during BlizzConline due to some monumental announcements! A roundup of all the biggest Diablo news can be found below!
Diablo II: Resurrected
In May of last year, we had reported on the potential that Vicarious Visions, a studio well known for their recent work on the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and Tony Hawk's Pro-Skater 1+2, had been working on a remaster of Diablo II. The announcement in January that Vicarious Visions would be merging with Blizzard seemed to confirm the report. At long last, Blizzard announced the long rumored remaster during day 1 of BlizzConline! Here is everything we know:
- The goal was to stay true to what Diablo II was, without adding anything that did not belong.
- Any changes or additions came with great deliberation.
- This is a Remaster and not a remake.
- Diablo II is running underneath all the visual upgrades, and players can freely swap back-and-forth between the new and old graphics on the fly.
- Due to this, the game still respects the grid that Diablo II adheres to, despite having a 3D engine running above everything.
- The game respects the 25fps cycle of the original, and abilities/movement will feel how it does in the original.
- The 3D game engine running on top of everything allows the game to run in silky-smooth high framerates without breaking the 25fps cycle in the background.
- The game can run in 4K.
- All cinematics have been painstakingly remastered shot-for-shot.
- Much of the audio has been improved, and the game now has surround sound features and additional ambient noises/effects.
- All items have a new 3D model. This means your character will be wearing items that match the item icon in your inventory.
- Due to players already using mule characters to manage stash space, a shared stash has been introduced.
- Non-ladder characters cannot access a ladder shared stash and vice-versa.
- Offline characters cannot access the shared stash of online characters and vice-versa.
- Item comparison tool-tips have been added, but do not suggest gear upgrades.
- An advanced stat screen has been introduced.
- Auto-gold pickup has been added, but is opt-in.
- A new camera zoom has been introduced.
- There are five more supported languages.
- The character screen has been updated.
- Due to global servers and cross-progression, duplicate names will now be allowed but will be appended by a gamertag or ID.
- Character expiration will no longer exist.
- PvP and Multiplayer works how it does in Diablo II.
- The online game browser has been much improved.
- Trading still exists.
- Ladder season will be reduced in length to increase engagement.
- The leaderboard will be saved at the end of each season, and will be easier to filter.
- While this is a PC first experience, the game will be available on consoles.
- Controller support is in.
- Cross-Progression works between PC & consoles.
- A technical alpha on PC will be happening soon, and the game will release in 2021.
Even though the expectations leading into BlizzConline were that we would hear about a new class coming to Diablo IV, fans were surprised at the announcement of the Rogue--which is a re-imagining of the class from the original Diablo. The Rogue is a swift, deadly, mobile class with unparalleled versatility. Rogue players can choose from a variety of ways to stab, shoot, and trap their enemies and can enhance their combat through poisons, shadow magic, and specialized techniques. Assassin and Demon Hunter players will notice some of their favorite tricks of the trade are present with the Rogue, and it's safe to assume that we will not be seeing the Assassin or Demon Hunter classes be playable in Diablo IV.
- The Rogue uses Swords and Daggers for melee weapons, but can also use Bows and Crossbows for ranged weapons.
- Rogues will have three different specializations: Combo Points, Shadow Realm, and Exploit Weakness.
- Rogues can imbue their attacks with different elements, like poison or frost.
- Chill effects slowly stack into a freeze in Diablo IV.
- It's likely we will see more classes added to Diablo IV.
- Players can collect different looking weapons and armor from the different regions within the world.
- There are many mounts to collect within the game, and will be customizable.
- The team didn't want players fighting while mounted, so dismount skills were added to bridge the gap between being mounted and starting combat.
- Players who are attacked while mounted will be immediately dismounted.
- Camps are strongholds of evil in the world which can be cleared.
- Monsters have moved into the abandoned places left behind after the reapers killed countless people during Reaper of Souls.
- When cleared, camps will become hubs/towns with waypoints.
- Clearing camps unlocks new activities for players.
- The ability to jump over chasms or passable terrain has been added without the need for teleport/leap abilities.
- There is an optional PvP zone called the Fields of Hatred.
- Players collect Shards of Hatred from doing content in the Fields of Hatred.
- In order to use the shards as currency, players must cleanse them.
- Cleansing shards can be interrupted by monsters and players.
- Ears are trophies that can be collected by killing other players.
- A bounty system has been added that is similar to Warmode in WoW.
- Players who are a menace to others in PvP will be worth far more if you manage to defeat them.
Diablo Immortal recently held a short technical alpha that gave the team a huge amount of useful feedback, and news about Immortal was overshadowed by the announcement of Diablo II: Resurrected and the Rogue for Diablo IV; however, good information about Immortal was still present.
- The level cap in the technical alpha was 45, but is planned to be 60.
- Challenge Rifts in the technical alpha served as a temporary end-game for players, but a more robust endgame with diverse activities is planned for launch.
- Controller support was one of the most requested features following the technical alpha, and the team is investigating how they could bring in controller support.
- The Library of Zulton Kulle gives players an opportunity to go back in time and fight Baal alongside Kulle & Tal Rasha. More cool content like this 'time-walking' dungeon is planned.
- The new paragon system is far less linear than the one in Diablo III, and allows for greater specialization which will be expanded over time.
- Despite the disastrous announcement of Immortal in 2018, the positive feedback given from people who played it on the show floor gave the team some much needed encouragement.
- The next testing phase will add another playable class and will be available to more players for a longer period of time.
- We are going to hear about the next testing phase soon.