BlizzCon 2016 Diablo 20th Anniversary Panel Transcript

The Darkening of Tristram 20th Anniversary Event

So in the beginning, this was a totally different thing. So we were just going to add the classic music tracks to the game. So as you are playing adventure mode, Interesting you hear this song, you hear some of the other songs as you wander around doing bounties or rifts, and that was going to be cool.



We’d have a party here, that video you watched… it was all going to be good; but that was not enough for this team. So instead of just the music tracks, you are getting 16 dungeon levels plus the boss level. All 4 of the bosses recreated: both the models and the AI of those bosses, all presented in glorious pixelated retro-vision, and we are giving you lots of anniversary presents.

So the Darkening of Tristram (at this point) the things to watch for are (as Frank mentioned) we checked out most of the animations. They are about 25% of the movement animations. So the character walks around all stilted, and they don’t have turn animations. The run animation is gone completely, the camera has changed to make it feel more 2D. The audio is tiny on purpose, so it sounds like the 1990s.



Our tech director told me that we are not trying to recreate 1996, because Diablo’s engine was actually really advanced for its time, so we really had to capture that late 1997 sound. So that’s what we have gone for here.

Alright. I’m just going to shut up and show you. I do want to say one thing though, on these big monitors it turns out that the pixelation doesn’t really come across very well, so maybe pay attention more to the animations and the sound; and when you play it next week on PTR, you will see the retro-vision in all its glory.

There he is heading to the Tristram Cathedral. Okay, combat is Diablo III, but the movement in everything is straight from the 90s. We have taken all the levels that most closely match those of the four different major looks of Diablo I, we have recreated the monsters with the ones that look closest to it. In some cases, we did our changes, they have new AIs so they matched the monsters from there like we always had. The fall and for example but now we have all the variants and they have more simplistic AI than they do in Diablo III, and the retro UI is one thing you can’t see in that movie.


This was another example of something that was out of scope for this, but this mode just kept scope creeping like crazy. It was good. One of our artists, Josh Manning, found out we were going to cut this part of it, and he is like: “Okay, I will do it.” So he grabbed a team of people, they did it largely on their own time just so you guys could get this little feeling from it.



When this event happens, you’re going to see this pentagram near the old ruins. and when you go there, you are going to find this portal near the fountain and you enter, and everything gets crappy.



So in the retro-vision, all Tristram, look around. There is a ton of Easter eggs there, and a lot of stuff ties into what you find in the dungeon.



You are going to unlock some mysteries. So the presents we have for you. First up, we have cosmetic items like portraits that are based on those original health and mana globes from Diablo I, we’ve got a banner and sigil to commemorate this event. You can earn this every year, and we have pets. Of course we have pets.



So bit of a spoiler: the Butcher is in the game. This is baby Butcher, and instead of a teddy bear, he has got a little piece of meat that he chews on; and we presume it’s fresh, but nobody wants to get close enough to find out; and he will follow you around. So you can earn him. I think you can imagine how you get him, and of course, at the end the cinematic plays.


Because…. every character class including the necromancer gets a transmog of the soulstone in their skull, because this is our first helmet slot legendary gem which is the soul of Diablo from Diablo I; and it unleashes a Ring of Fire (that you can’t control the demonic energy within you) every so often.



So our first helmet slot legendary with that transmog for every character class: male and female. Thank you, and for weapon transmog, of course, we have classic Butcher’s Cleaver and Wirt’s wooden Leg.



“Wait…” you might say. “Don’t we already have Wirt’s Leg in the game?” We do, because now you can do a Wirt’s Leg: both his wooden one and his original skeleton one; and I think the guilt meter of what we have done to Wirt at this point is very high. So maybe we’re not going to do any more to him in the future.



Alright, since you already know the Butcher is in the game, I did want to show you one of the four bosses and that exactly mirrors my experience when I first found the Butcher in Diablo I.



Alright, so here is an example of what we have done to the bosses. So the ones you already know like Skeleton King and Butcher, their art has been redone to look more like the 90s versions of them.



So that is just one example of the four bosses, and of course, Lazarus we had to create because he’s not currently in the game. So of course, when can you play this? It goes on PTR next week, but this is patch 2.4.3 and it has more than just the Anniversary Event, including a bunch of items that we are going to unveil tomorrow at our Day 2 panel. So please come to that.



Lastly, the event goes live worldwide in January, and this will be an annual event. So every January, for the month of January approximately, the Darkening of Tristram event will be live, and you can earn all of these rewards and all the ones I didn’t tell you about which I hope you find next week. Alright. And of course, this is on PC, PS4, and XBox One. So now I want to pass it over to Wyatt to talk about the armory.

Next: The Armory

BlizzCon 2016 Diablo 20th Anniversary Panel Transcript
Panel IntroDarkening of TristramThe ArmoryThe NecromancerNecromancer Gameplay

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Tomas Hernandez is owner of since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film.

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