BlizzConline 2021: Critical Role Diablo Campaing hints D2R?
Right off the bat. This is bordering between wild speculation and a longshot.
The BlizzConline schedule seems to only have room for two Diablo games on Day 1. It could be Diablo 4 and Diablo Immortal. Or it could be Diablo 4 and D2R announcement — leaving Diablo Immortal out as Blizzard did in BlizzCon 2019.
I will lay out both possible scenarios.
SCHEDULE SCENARIO #1: DIABLO 4 + DIABLO IMMORTAL
In a scenario where the BlizzConline 2021 schedule might refer to Diablo 4 and Diablo Immortal, the first panel “Diablo: What’s Next” might be Diablo 4 focusing on a new Class and new content we haven’t heard before.
Then the Diablo: Developer Roundtable might be Diablo Immortal focused to detail level 45-60 content and end-game, and systems we haven’t heard of before.
The Diablo Deep Dive panel could go both ways: Diablo 4 related or Diablo Immortal.
However, Diablo Immortal is coming out in 2021. Whereas Diablo 4 is not. Up to Blizzard.
SCHEDULE SCENARIO #2: DIABLO 4 + D2R
This scenario doesn’t make much sense. However, Blizzard decided not to feature Diablo Immortal at BlizzCon 2019. Instead, they had Diablo Immortal playable at the demo stations without any mention or fanfare. Blizzard also posted a Diablo Immortal update blog silently without even a tweet or acknowledgement in social media. Likely a PR strategy to prevent bad feedback from PC-player purists.
Diablo Immortal sought great feedback with the technical alpha test, so to me it makes sense to feature Diablo Immortal at BlizzConline. Especially, if there are plans to announce an upcoming new test. Remember, the technical alpha blog mentioned multiple rounds of tests. This follows the same multiple rounds of testing pattern of Call of Duty: Mobile — rather than just the usual Technical Alpha, Closed Beta, and Open Beta pattern of past Blizzard games.
But for the sake of speculation, let’s say that the Diablo II: Resurrected rumor was true. Vicarious Visions joining Blizzard Entertainment to focus on Classic Games in the Blizzard portfolio was too much of a coincidence. Just a year after the rumor that Vicarious Visions was working on D2R.
Can it be possible for Blizzard Entertainment to announce a remake of Diablo II at BlizzConline 2021? Plausible.
But for that to happen, as per the schedule, Diablo Immortal wouldn’t have a panel. Blizzard would have to simply post a Diablo Immortal blog like they did in 2019.
A CRITICAL ROLE DIABLO CAMPAIGN
Some people might be confused by what “Critical Role” means or refers to in that BlizzConline schedule. Critical Role is an american web series where professional voice actors play Dungeons & Dragons campaigns. Matt Mercer (the voice behind McCree in Overwatch) is one of the cast members of the show. Laura Bailey (voice of Jaina in Warcraft III / WoW) as well.
Why is this particular panel suspect? Well, for instance, the description mentions “Old Tristram” — and it’s not the first time we have heard of a Diablo campaign.
The first question crossing your mind might be: Why a Dungeon & Dragons diablo campaign in BlizzConline? I don’t know the answer to that, but there is precedent. That right there harkens back to a Dungeons & Dragons Diablo campaign Tabletop RPG by Jeff Grub, published by Wizards of the Coast in May 1, 2000 — Dungeons & Dragons: Diablo II Edition.
A D&D Campaign Setting
Adventure through the exciting and dangerous world of the Diablo II computer game while learning the Dungeons & Dragons game!
The Dungeons & Dragons Diablo II Adventure Game is the perfect bridge between computer and paper-based roleplaying games. Using the award-winning D&D rules and the best-selling Diablo II setting, this boxed set contains everything needed to start playing now. It features a rules book, a book of quests, monsters from the world of Diablo II , five ready-to-play heroes from the computer game, dice, and quest tiles so you can build each adventure as you play.
This game is written by award-winning game designers Jeff Grubb and Bill Slavicsek, and features fantastic illustrations by rk post.
Item Code: TSR11548
Release Date: May 2000
Format: Boxed Set
Page Count: 112
This panel might be a hint that Diablo II: Resurrected might be announced at BlizzConline — or it is simply coincidence. Only one way to find out. Watch BlizzConline on February 19.
Here is something posted in the Critical Role Twitter account.
MULTIPLE DIABLO PROJECTS
The Critical Role Diablo Campaign also harkens back to what Nevalistis said in August 2018.
There is a high chance that this is just a fun panel that has no hints or ties to an announcement now or in the future.
But for theorycrafting’s sake, can Blizzard Entertainment be working on a Diablo Tabletop RPG video game? We have seen Blizzard bring to live CCG into a video game: Hearthstone. How can a tabletop RPG translate into a video game?
It can be a literal tabletop board with animated cards and figures; or as (GG)Gregg says, similar to Baldur’s Gate 3.
Would an animated multiplayer Diablo-themed D&D tabletop RPG video game be of interest to you? That would be an interesting project to see.