Diablo 4 game director Luis Barriga has issued his first post-BlizzCon letter to the fans. The essence of the letter is to expect quaterly updates from the Diablo IV team which includes behind-the-scenes looks at the progress made in its development.
Luis Barriga teases there is a cool update coming in February 2020. Hopefully, we get to learn whether the Horadric Cube is back, as that system has not been mentioned at all at BlizzCon 2019. There are many systems that were not revealed for Diablo IV yet such as: Transmog, Enchanting, Jewelcrafting, Blacksmithing, Gambling Vendors, and many others.
It is a big departure to have updates every 4-months right after BlizzCon, compared with Diablo Immortal which went completely silent for a whole year. Very good sign, but that means only 3 Diablo IV updates per year.
If you missed the BlizzCon 2019 virtual ticket VODs, feel free to read our full Diablo IV panel transcripts.
Elizabeth: Hello, everyone. I have been waiting a long time to say this, but: Hello, BlizzCon! Hey, guys! Thank you so much. I am Elizabeth Seminario. I’m a producer in the Diablo team, and this is Diablo IV: World and Lore. Are you guys excited? Awesome.
We are excited too. We are excited because we finally get to talk to you about some of the things that make this such an amazing game. So that could be the places that you travel, or the friends and foes that you meet along the way, and the stories that you collect during your adventures. So I ask you to play along a little bit longer with my extended metaphor. Grab your dusty Barbarian pelt, or maybe it is a Sorceress cloak, and stay awhile and listen.
With lack of Diablo Immortal spotlight at BlizzCon 2019, and through observation, I think we can now discard what NetEase said back on February 29, 2019 about their side of development been wrapped up.
BlizzCon 2019 showed that the developers are polishing the game in-house to meet their quality standards. While Diablo Immortal did not get a spotlight at BlizzCon 2019 with its own panel, there was activity in the form of a Diablo Immortal press kit and a new gameplay video featuring the Demon Hunter.
So when exactly is Diablo Immortal going to ship? Blizzard Entertainment hasn’t set a date for release date, nor for beta testing at the moment of this posting.
However, I think it is safe to gauge at this moment based on some trends.
Diablo Immortal was unveiled at BlizzCon 2018 with three playable Classes: Barbarian, Wizard, and Monk. The website was silent for a full year until BlizzCon 2019 when the Demon Hunter’s abilities were updated. However, for a full year of no news and showcasing only the Demon Hunter instead of two Classes or the remaining three… that’s telling upon itself. Reveals are now been gated as “one Class per event” — and before BlizzCon 2019 there were three remaining classes’ abilities not yet featured: the Demon Hunter, Crusader, and Necromancer.
So if we use BlizzCon 2019 as a gauge to measure when the game is going to be released, I might dare to say that we might hear about the next Class at PAX East on February 27; or at GamesCom on August 25. Then final Class’ abilities might be revealed at BlizzCon 2020, then.
Or PAX East and GamesCom as the reveals with beta starting shortly after August 25 with a release date near October-November range. That would leave BlizzCon 2020 to focus on post-launch content.
So I am using my sham magic ball to predict the game might release a short time before or after BlizzCon 2020.
At the moment, and this is concerning, the Diablo Immortal beta registration Android app is only accessible to those with Android 8 (Oreo) or above. I can tell because I have two Android devices: One runs Android 5 and the tablet runs Android 7. My Android PC emulator runs with a Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus profile with Android 8. That’s the only one that can see the Diablo Immmortal registration app in the Google Play.
Concerning because as of August 2019, the latest Android version available is Android 9 (Pie) — which leaves a lot of phones out there in the dark unable to register. To me that says that Blizzard has not yet readied to support older phones. I assume that when beta testing is nearing we might see older versions of Android become able to load the Diablo Immortal registration app in the Google Play store. At least, I hope.
In the meantime, if you don’t own an Android phone or tablet, I suggest checking out my recent article about installing an Android PC emulator (which also works in Mac computers). You can register to participate in the Diablo Immortal beta through your PC emulator which thankfully emulates a Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus phone at 1080HD.
What do you think about Inarius being in the Diablo IV Cinematic? Wait… Inarius was in the cinematic?! Yes, indeed. Well, technically in a blink and you miss him moment. When Lilith was breaching the veil of the bloody gateway, between her eternal prison and Sanctuary, there were fractions-of-a-second flashes in unison with the creepy music strokes.
In three of those flashes, if you pause at the right frame, you will see Inarius chained in what we know is the Chamber of Mirrors deep in the Burning Hells.
These flashes tell me that Inarius immediately sensed Lilith’s return. Kinda like a spider-sense of terror.
Luis: Hello, BlizzCon. My name is Luis Barriga — game director for Diablo 4.
Tiffani: My name is Tiffani Wat — senior producer on Diablo 4.
John: My name is John Mueller — art director on Diablo 4. Wow. What’s up? We are here.
Luis: We can finally say it.
John: I know, right?
Tiffani: We can finally talk about Diablo 4.
John: Yea, it’s been a long time.
Luis: Can we just take a minute to just recognize how stacked this BlizzCon is? Overwatch 2, Shadowlands, Battlegrounds, Diablo 4. I am kinda jealous of you, guys. For sure.
David Kim mentioned in one of the interviews that the Diablo IV Legendary loot seen in the demo was set to drop from specific locations. Usually at the beginning in the Corbach Crypts, from the world boss: Ashava the Pestilent, or from the Garan Hold dungeon. That it would be different in beta and the shipped game.
That might explain why the same loot would drop from the tough world boss and the trash mobs. I watched over 5 hours of Diablo IV gameplay livestreams, and took screenshots of all the legendaries I saw, including those that repeated to compare their stats. Let me know what you think, and what you would like to see in Diablo IV.
The developers really want to hear your feedback and welcome new ideas as well. I can forward them to our Blizzard Entertainment contact.
The Sorceress feels very powerful with her skill kit devastating large groups of enemies with a meteor, or becoming immune and chain lightning everything in her path.
The Skills Tab looks similar to Diablo II. You can choose one out of a few abilities per Skill type: Minor Destruction (Left-Button), Major Destruction (Right-Button), Defensive (1), Conjuration (2), Mastery (3), and Ultimate (4).
The Diablo II Barbarian is back in Diablo IV along with his old-school skills and talent tree. Hello, Call of the Ancients! The Demo showed four customization options: Two different male and female variants that aren’t the same character model. The Barbarian was the only class that showed this variation, so it is logical that the other classes will get the same treatment when those are ready. That’s just what was available in the alpha demo build, so who knows how much more customization will be available in the shipped version.
The Diablo IV demo provided only two customization options for the Druid: long beard or short beard. The Druid has 6 types of skills: Basic, Spirit, Defensive, Wrath, Companion, and Ultimate. The player must pick one of each type to set the 6 Skill Buttons. Like in Diablo II, you assign skill points to any of these to increase their damage.
The Druid doesn’t have a specific shapeshift toggle. Some of the skills triggers a transformation to attack, switching between human, bear, or werewolf form.
During the Diablo IV panel, Blizzard Entertainment posted a list of livestreamers who would share gameplay videos. Below you can watch their adventures.
The BlizzCon 2019 Diablo IV demo starts with only three heroes in the lobby: Barbarian, Sorceress, and Druid.