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    Diablo 4 Release Date: What we Know So Far

    For years now, there has been a growing anticipation for the release of Diablo 4 among enthusiastic fans. While the Activision Blizzard finally revealed the Diablo 4 release date at Blizzcon 2019, the actual date may still be a little bit further. A sneak peek into game at Blizzcon 2019 disclosed some deeper, enticing details including player vs player combat, new classes and a massive world to explore.

    Despite the improvements made by Diablo 3 over time, it still remains a controversial game among many fans. With Diablo 4 launch months away, Blizzard aims at making no mistakes. Like usual, the company has revealed less details of the game.

    Even with scanty details, the big question remains the actual release date. Blizzard remains clammed up regarding the specific release date. However, with small details on hand, there are some hints on the Diablo 4 release date.   

    The Current Status of Diablo 4

    Blizzard officially revealed Diablo Immortal at Blizzcon 2018, developed in collaboration with NetEase. The reveal was dreary and left many fans dissatisfied made worse by the lack of mention of Diablo 4.  Blizzcon 2019 was quite different thanks to few details on Diablo 4. It however emerged that the game is still in early development stages.

    During the sneak peak, Diablo 4 appeared quite large than any previous game thanks to an enormous MMO-like shared world for players to discover. Players will be required to be always online with the world featuring several dungeon areas as well as player vs player areas. Every stand point of the game will feature this scope with Blizzard revealing that there will be over 100 towns in the game. Yet to be released, Diablo 4 is indeed one of the most ambitious games ever developed by Blizzard and will come with time and manpower.

    Starting February 2020, Blizzard carried out massive hiring meant for Diablo 4, even hiring Rod Ferguson-a longtime chief of Gears of War to supervise the Diablo franchise. The massive stuffing plus the hiring of Ferguson indicated that game is quite far off its release date.

    Diablo 4 Release Date      

    At the Blizzcon 2019 during Diablo 4’s release, Blizzard took the first step to clarify that the game won’t be coming soon. Luis Barriga-the Game Director said that it won’t be “coming out soon-not even Blizzard soon.” Taking the case of Diablo 3 for instance, the game was announced in 2008 but it was until 2012 that the it was officially released. While it may be unlikely that Diablo 4 will take up to 4 years to be released, there are chances that the release would take at least half the time between announcement and release.

    There are some facts to this considering that Blizzard also revealed Overwatch 2 at Blizzcon 2019. There is a chance that Overwatch 2 will be released before Diablo 4 considering that it’s more of an update following the incredible success of the debut version and Overwatch League. This means that the most likely Overwatch 2 release date would be a late 2020 or early 2021 date. Diablo 4 release would therefore come in between late 2021 or 2022. This date is factual considering that Diablo Immortal is yet to be released and Blizzard would most likely focus on its launch instead of triggering growing anticipation for Diablo 4

    There are also chances that Blizzard could release a demo or an Early Access version before the actual release. Either way, the chances of a 2020 release date is very low.

    Diablo 4 is set to run on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. And with the upcoming release of PS5 and Xbox Series X, there are chances that it could also end up being a cross-generation game.

    Check out the released Diablo 4 trailers below

    What we Know so Far

    Three classes have so far been revealed

    Blizzard revealed three classes for Diablo 4 at BlizzCon: Barbarian, Sorceress, and Druid. The gameplay announcement trailer didn’t reveal much details but we were lucky enough to access the dedicated gameplay trailers for each of the three classes via Game Informer.

    Just as the name portrays, the Barbarian class involves a myriad of swinging weapons both blunt and sharp with tactless, brute and unforgiving effect. The Barbarian has special abilities including an ability to unleash a wave of energy to destroy surrounding enemies. He can also buff attacks and cover the barbarian in flaming runes.    

    The Sorceress is quite different from the Barbarian as he takes more of a tactical approach to combat involving attacking from afar employing projectiles such as ice arrows, fireballs, and a honing bolt of lightning.

    In Diablo 4, the Druid makes a return from Diablo 2 coming back with a new design and magic skills as well. The Druid attacks using fire magic, earth magic power as well as storm. The Druid also employs shape-shifting magic to transform to different builds including human, werebear, and werewolf.

    Lilith Returns as Main Antagonist

    The return of Lilith, the Daughter of Hatred was first leaked by a Twitter user by the name WeakAuras but has since been confirmed. Last appeared in Diablo 2’s Pandemonium event, Lilith is a tremendously tricky demon also known as the ‘Mother of Misery’, ‘Queen of the Succubi’, ‘Mother of Deceit,’ and ‘Mistress of Betrayal.’ She is presumably Diablo 4’s leading baddie.

    Diablo 4 Exists Entirely in an Online Shared World

    Diablo 4 game play will require a constant internet connection for players to play in shared world. Players will roam around, tackle dungeons, and fight against other players in different teams.

    Despite the vague details, Blizzard has confirmed that they are seeking to create a shared world where random players can challenge each other without really undermining the developer’s goal of achieving a darker atmosphere to the game quite similar to Diablo 2.     

    Diablo 4 will Feature an Elective Mode

    Diablo 4 will have Elective Mode which will allow players to assign skills to keys they prefer or fancy. This was however not made clear during the BlizzCon reveal. This means that just like Diablo 3, Diablo 4 won’t lock particular skill categories to any buttons or keys on your controller or keyboard.

    Blizzard lead systems designer David Kim wrote in a community update: “Like many other things in the demo, the UI is not final and we will support Elective Mode-style skill selection. Skill selection and assignment will always be completely open for all players,”

    Ancient Items have Been Eliminated

    Through a developer update, Blizzard confirmed that Diablo 4 won’t feature Ancient items after several dissatisfied community feedback concerning the issue. To replace Ancient items, Blizzard is launching a new consumable that can only be found on monsters in the late endgame. The consumable is currently unnamed but it’s reported that it will feature one random Legendary affix, which can then be applied to a non-legendary item of your choice.

    Blizzard is Seeking to Achieve Cross-play Multiplayer

    With Diablo 4 upcoming release on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, it’s yet to be known whether it will support cross-platform play allowing players on different platform to seamlessly play together. There is some hope but this is yet to be confirmed.

    Commenting on the issue, Diablo 4 executive producer Allen Adham said that he is hopeful that cross-platform play will become a reality. Speaking with The Telegraph at BlizzCon, Adham stated that there were technical issues that were needed to be resolved, but that “it’s our goal to get cross-play.”

    Diablo 4 Will Feature Controller Support for PC

    While it’s possible to play Diablo 3 on PC using controllers, Blizzard has not implemented this feature officially. Blizzard has confirmed that Diablo 4 will feature native game support on PC.

    According to a February 2020 dev update, the decision to implement controller support for PC was the driving force behind developing Diablo 4 for consoles and PC at the same time.

    The Left-click Button Can be Rebinded

    Following pilling requests from fans to move the primary skill to a button that isn’t left-click, Blizzard has finally implemented this request as it’s been confirmed that Diablo 4 will feature left click rebinding. Additionally, all skill slots will be able to have their keys rebound.

    This is good news to players who prefer not to use the same button or key to move their character and to initiate an attack using their primary skill.

    There Could be “Many” Returning and Redesigned Characters

    A Twitter user by the name WeakAuras leaked a page from the recently-released artbook, “The Art of Diablo”. The page included a quote from Diablo 4 art director John Mueller who confirmed that “many” characters from previous Diablo games will be returning to Diablo 4. From the leaked page, the returning characters will appear fundamentally different from the previous versions. 

    Conclusion    

    2020 looks a bit optimistic thanks to painful truths. As a reference point regarding Diablo 4 release date, Blizzard revealed Diablo 3 in 2008 and it wasn’t until May, 2012 that the game was officially released. Diablo 4 may take this traditional and therefore we shouldn’t expect it to come out in several months time or even sooner following its formal reveal. Nonetheless, the sneak peak into the gameplay we’ve seen makes it possible that the release in sooner than imagined.  

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