Diablo IV's reveal trailer took a harsh toneSource: Blizzard Entertainment - Diablo IV reveal trailer

At BlizzCon 2019, Blizzard revealed the long-awaited Diablo IV, latest in the series of top-down, demon-obliterating games. Diablo IV is a sort of return to form for the series, with art and styles that longtime fans will appreciate. Blizzard stated that the game is a world of gore, occultism, and horror, where victories are never clean or guaranteed.

What is Diablo IV?

Diablo IV is an action-RPG and the long-anticipated sequel to Diablo III, which first released on PC back in 2011 before making its way to consoles a few years later. At BlizzCon 2018, Blizzard confirmed that multiple Diablo titles were in development, one of which was clearly Diablo IV. Now, at BlizzCon 2019, the game has been announced. You can check out the Diablo IV reveal trailer below:

What does Diablo IV's gameplay look like?

While Diablo IV is using a far harsher tone than Diablo III, the gameplay is still classic top-down action-RPG. There will be friendly towns where you can meet up and trade with other players. There'll also be PvP zones. There are three classes that have been revealed so far: the Barbarian, Druid and Sorceress. Each class has multiple possible looks, depending on armor and other customization options chose. You can take a look at the first gameplay trailer here:

Diablo IV overview of features

The archangel Inarius and the demon LilithSource: Blizzard Entertainment

Here's a summary of what we know about Diablo IV so far.

  • The main antagonist is the demon Lilith, daughter of Mephisto (Lord of Hatred), one of the creators of Sanctuary and Queen of Succubi. She fell in love with with the archangel Inarius, which led to the creation of Sanctuary and the Nephalem race, ancestors of humanity.
  • The story takes place a decade after the events of Diablo III and the angels in Heaven are not answering humanity's pleas for help.
  • Duriel, one of the Lesser Evils and the Lord of Pain, is returning. As for the other Lesser Evils and the Prime Evils, Blizzard says we'll have to wait to find out.
  • Diablo IV is using a new, custom engine, which allows for better lighting, weather effects and more.
  • Diablo IV is coming to Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. There has been no word on enhancements or version for next-generation consoles.

Diablo IV takes place in a dark world

A barbarian faces demons in the sand-swept ruins of Kejhistan in Diablo IVThe swamps of Hawezar are home to dark things in Diablo IVThe harsh desert lands of the Dry Steppes in Diablo IVA cozy building in the snowy Fractured Peaks of Diablo IVOverlooking the region of Scosglen in Diablo IVSource: Blizzard Entertainment

Veteran fans of the series will notice that Diablo IV is taking a much darker tone all around. The art style and mood are grittier, meant to evoke the harshness of the world, like in Diablo II. Bleak tones and Gothic architecture dominate the visuals. The reveal cinematic and the first gameplay trailer further emphasized this harsh, oppressive tone. Blizzard has also released some concept art for the game. Here's what we know about the world specifically. (You can click on one of the images above to enlarge it)

  • There are five regions that have been shown so far: Scosglen, Fractured Peaks, Dry Steppes, Hawezar and Kejhistan.
  • The world is far bigger than any past Diablo games and the overworld is all connected.
  • Beast-like Goatmen, savage werewolves and a new enemy faction, the Drowned, are just some of the horrors lurking in the world.
  • Each region is meant to feel extremely distinct, with its own culture, inhabitants and unique foes not found elsewhere.
  • Different challenging World Bosses can be found, each of which require multiple players to defeat. The first World Boss revealed is Ashava.
  • When you use a crowd control ability on a World Boss, it builds a stagger meter. Staggering the boss will hinder them in some way. For example, Ashava's arm blades are shattered, limiting the range of her whirlwind attack.
  • There are PvP areas, where players can fight each other.
  • Trading and Clans are both included, though there aren't many details right now.
  • Hardcore mode is returning.
  • The game is always online however, you can play by yourself if you choose. If you choose to play in a party, campaign progress is synced to the party leader.
  • Certain areas are campaign specific, so you'll only be able to interact with other players in these areas after finishing the relevant missions.
  • Dungeons are returning, with differing interiors and exteriors, randomized layouts, special objectives and more. Dungeons won't have any loading screens. There will also be special endgame dungeons.

Diablo IV classes allow major customization

Barbarian Legendary gear in Diablo IVDruid Legendary gear in Diablo IVSorceress Legendary gear in Diablo IVSource: Blizzard Entertainment

Classes in Diablo IV have received several big improvements. Three classes are being talked about right now but there will be five classes at launch according to Blizzard. Here's what we know about classes in Diablo IV so far.

  • The Barbarian is all about smashing and slashing with heavy weapons. Barbarian characters can use the Arsenal system to shift between different weapons, allowing them to adapt to different situations.
  • The Sorceress uses Fire, Lightning and Ice magic, but is physically weak. She can use her Ice magic to inflict a Chilling effect that slows, freezes and shatters foes.
  • The Druid commands Earth and Storm magic, while shapeshifting into a Werebear or Werewolf. Druids are nature unleashed, with skills like Cataclysm, which can obliterate entire mobs of enemies.
  • There will be mounts like horses, usable by all classes.
  • All classes can earn Skill Points and Talent Trees. Skill Points are used to boost different Skills, while Talent Trees offer extreme boosts to different playstyles in exchange for making a less balanced character.
  • Item categories return, with Normal, Magic, Rare, Legendary/Set, Ancient and Mythic gear. Ancient gear will be tied to seasons, while Mythic equipment is incredibly powerful and players will only be able to equip one Mythic item at a time.
  • Runes return with two components: Conditions and Effects. Combining a Condition and an Effect creates a unique Legendary power.
  • Legendary powers are meant to fundamentally change up the gameplay systems.

When will Diablo IV release?

There's no release date right now but Diablo IV could be released sometime in 2020. That's not a guarantee however, since during a panel at BlizzCon 2019, Blizzard stated that Diablo IV wasn't coming soon. "We are not coming anytime soon, not even Blizzard soon."

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