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Updated Version of Everything We Know About Diablo 4 So Far

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As 2020 approaches and we're set to receive the next big D4 update in February, we thought we'd update our massive post with all the info from after the BlizzCon announcement with everything that's recently been said about the game, from the official systems blogs, new interviews and more. The new additions are marked with (Updated) and each has a source attached if you want to read more on the subject, or just head to the bottom of the article for a list of the most relevant full posts on the game.

 Table of contents

It's also very important to note that a lot of the things listed below are just the way things are now and the developers want as much feedback on them as possible so they can adjust them to better fit the community. But before we start, we can't waste an opportunity to re-post the impressive opening cinematic.


 Itemization

  • Affixes (full list from the demo, including legendary ones)
    • (Updated) There will be more affixes on each individual item, including magic items and rares (source)
    • (Updated) 3 new affixes (source?
      • Angelic Power, which increases the duration of all beneficial effects (like self-buffs or healing)
      • Demonic Power, which increases the duration of all negative effects (like debuffs or damage over time)
      • Ancestral Power, which increases the chance of on-hit effects (aka increased proc chance)
      • The three Affixes above are also prerequisites for certain affixes, ie you'll need x Angelic/Demonic/Ancestral power for a specific affix on an item to "turn on":
        CO8WLPEGYHLM1575335678970.jpg
      • Each affix is linked to a set of other affixes so you'll be able to choose which type you want to unlock by focusing on either Angelic/Demonic/Ancestral power
         
  • Only 2 base stats: Attack and Defense (instead of Str, Dex, Int Vit etc.)
    • (Updated) Attack will only be on weapons, Defense on armor and neither will be on jewelry (source)
    • + to skill and talent affixes will be very important
    • Many returning and new ones
    • Gold/item find and similar utility affixes won't compete with combat-affecting ones
    • We might be able to customize affixes, they're not really sure how yet, presumably through crafting
       
  • Legendaries
    • (Updated) Ancient items have been removed (source)
    • (Updated) There will be a special new item, similar to Ramaladni's Gift from D3 that will be able to imbue a rare quality item with a legendary power (source)
      • This will make rares much more important in the endgame, as any of them can be turned into a legendary
    • They are the focal point of gearing
    • More legendaries than ever before (hundreds)
    • Not going the huge 300-40,000% buff route
    • 5 types of legendaries so far- skill specific, skill category specific, +x to multiple skills or talents, talent specific, non-class specific,
    • You can stack several legendary powers that affect 1 skill
    • They won't drop as much as in D3
    • Drop rates will not be modified as you get farther into endgame (possibly one drop rate while leveling and another at max, but that's it)
       
  • Sets
    • Won't be as powerful as in D3
    • They will be more introductory items
      • They will be more easily acquirable than a full suite of legendaries (perhaps given through a series of quests?)
    • Heavily class themed, to get you a better feel for the class before you move on to specific builds through legendaries
    • Can be ancient, as in D3
       
  • Mythic items are the best in the game
    • You can only equip 1
    • They have 4 legendary affixes
    • Unclear whether they have existing legendary powers or unique mythic only ones

dEDMrdL.jpg

  • Runewords
      • Only 2 word combinations
      • Condition and effect runes
        • Conditions we saw: drinking a potion, stunning an enemy, critting, freezing an enemy, when a pet dies, if you stand still for 3 seconds, when you are stunned or frozen
        • Effects we saw: 50% extra crit damage for 7 seconds, 15% reduced cooldown to random skill, random shrine effect for 7 seconds, next thorns hit deals 30% more damage, gain a 500 damage barrier
      • Might have a progression system, probably similar to the one D3 had before release (you can see all the numbers in the rune UI are highlighted yellow, indicating they might change if the rune is leveled or upgraded or similar, just like it was in D3)
    • Gems
      • Only have utility stats (gold/item find and similar)
    • Trading
      • No Auction House
      • The primary source of items should be killing monsters
      • 3 types of items
        • Tradable all the time (consumables, crafting mats), tradable once and then bound, and non tradable.
      • The most powerful items will not be tradable
      • If an item drops for you only you will see it
        • If you drop an item only those in your party will see it
    • Crafting
      • Will mostly focus around item modification and enhancement
      • A lot of the endgame will be item modification
    • You can get more powerful versions of all items even when you're in the endgame (not quite sure what this means, possibly alluding to the ancient legendary system coming back - hopefully it isn't an item level type system)
    • Gambling for gold is back
      • You can get some of the most powerful items in the game through it
    • Shoulder slot item is gone for now
    • All the best items will be available to everyone, regardless if playing solo or group
    • Transmogrification will probably return

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     Skills

    • (Updated) We will get 1 OR MORE skill points per level
    • Cannot be respecced
    • Skill tomes will drop/"be acquired in the world"
    • Skills have 15 ranks
      • There are skill rank thresholds that will add new functionality or buff the skill in some way (adding unstoppable (immune to crowd control) to it, increasing shout radius etc.)
    • There are 25-26 individual skills for each character
    • Skills are split into 6 categories for each class
      • Generally they are: Generators, Spenders, Defensive, class specific (Wrath for druid, Conjuration for sorc, Brawling for Barb), Mastery (which is Companion for druid) and Ultimate
    • "Elective Mode" from D3 is on by default, aka you can bind any skill to any hotkey

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     Talents

    • A talent tree with either 2 or 3 branches
    • Can be respecced for free or a low cost
    • Each class has something special about it (sorc has 3 branches, druid can hop from one branch to another)
    • Relatively small % buffs per point
    • Can only pick one of two talents at the bottom of each tree
    • Buffs to talent points from items will add to your progress in a particular branch and can go beyond the maximum ranks listed

    OLSA844LMZO51572717239192.gif

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     The Endgame

    • Key dungeons are the primary endgame activity
      • You will get random keys dropped in various activities
      • The keys will be to a specific dungeon in the world
      • Keys will upgrade the dungeon to a much harder endgame one, which will scale up even in the endgame
      • Keys also have specific affixes that change how the dungeon works
        • Affixes can affect the player, enemies or environment
          • A giant indestructible stone pillar spawns, shooting lightning all around it, following the player throughout the dungeon
          • All enemies are invisible unless they're in combat
          • Double bosses in the dungeon
      • They offer a better chance of setup than Greater Rifts, as you'll probably know what type of enemies are in the dungeon you got your key for, as well as the affixes on the key and how the dungeon will change
      • Many keys will drop, you can dismantle them as well for crafting mats

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     World and Campaign

    • Campaign
      • (Updated) The story of Diablo 4 is just like "the first chapter in a book, meaning there are very big plans for the larger narrative after the game's story ends (source)
      • (Updated) Rathma is in fact, the bald summoner of Lillith from the intro cinematic (source)
      • Non-linear
      • Each part of the world will become shared with other players after you finish a specific part of the campaign. So presumably when you finish act 1 which takes you beyond the Scosglen area, that's when Scosglen will become a shared world
    • Open shared world
      • The world is preset, will not be randomized
      • You'll only run into a few players here and there in the overworld
        • Most of the time you will be alone
      • Towns will be trading hubs, you'll see more players there
      • World boss areas will be where you'll see the most players
      • 5 contiguous connected zones
        • Scosglen (savage untamed foggy forests)
        • Dry Steppes (war ravaged terrain, grasslands, canyons, salt flats)
        • Fractured peaks (snowy mountainous region, dark ruins, ancient cathedrals, Victorian gothic horror themes)
        • Hawezar (poisonous swamplands, disease, despair, swamp witches who worship massive snakes)
        • Kehjistan (last bastion of Zakarum faith, a lot of buried history from the Sin War, Lilith's agents are among the people)
      • Over 100 settlements of various sizes
      • Mounts
        • There will be mount equipment that grants stats as well as cosmetics
        • Special dismount abilities for each class (Sorceress dismounts by turning into an ice ball and rolling off)

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      UAraGPz.jpg


       Dungeons

      • Hundreds of unique dungeons
      • Always private for you and your party
      • Randomized interior and exterior environments
      • Seamless exploration - no loading screens between floors
      • Actions in one part of the dungeon can affect another part
      • Dungeon objectives
        • Progressing the objective increases difficulty and rewards
        • Enemy responds to your progress

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       Classes (All 3 class skills and talents from the demo)

      • There will be 5 classes at launch
      • (Updated) Some credible leaks that had correctly predicted BlizzCon announcements also predict that the final 2 classes will be Amazon and Paladin, making it a full D2 cast (source)
      • There will be a lot of character customization
        • Gender, tattoos, hair color etc.
      • Barbarian
        • The Arsenal system allows them to wield 4 weapons
          • Two 1 handers and two separate 2 handers
          • You switch between them based on the skill you're using
      • Druid
        • Caster (human), werebear and werewolf forms
        • Shapeshifting is seamless - you can transform mid-abilitiy
          • Similar to barbarian arsenal system, you shapeshift when you use an ability from that form
        • Specific mechanics tied to the moment you transform (damage reduction when you change to werebear etc.)
        • Can pick talents from either of two branches as he moves down them
      • Sorceress
        • The main caster class
        • 3 branches in talent tree based on elements
      • All classes have a default dodge ability
        • At the moment it has no cooldown and is spammble

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       Leveling

      • (Updated) The Paragon-like system might be infinite or finite, they haven't decided yet (source)
      • Maximum level is 40
      • There will be level scaling
        • They still want you to feel that you're getting more powerful as you level
        • In a party, the game will scale to the party leader's level
      • There will be something that fills the paragon level role, but they haven't decided on what exactly

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      Combat_Caves_Multiplayer_Drowned_Seahag.


       PvP

      • Dedicated PvP zones, similar to the World Boss zones
        • You have to opt in to PvP in those zones
      • The game and classes were designed with PvP in mind from the ground up
      • There won't be separate PvP balance for items and skills
        • But they expect the builds to be very different from PvE
      • Specific PvP modes are being explored, as well as PvPvE modes

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       Mechanics

      • No crowd control diminishing returns
        • Makes the "unstoppable" buff very important, as it ignores CC
      • Death penalty
        • You have to corpse run and you drop a pile of gold you have to reclaim
      • The stagger system for bosses
        • Crowd control effects don't affect bosses directly but deal damage to their stagger bar. When it's depleted the boss goes into a unique state for each of them - the world boss Ashava has one of her blade arms destroyed and is less dangerous after that, and can lose both.

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       Social

      • Leaderboards
        • Will go more in the direction of activity-specific ones, similar to the current Diablo 3 seasonal conquest leaderboards
        • Will also focus more on leaderboards between friends and not more broad ones
      • Group play vs. solo play should be completely balanced in terms of rewards
        • If they can't quite achieve that balance, they will choose group play to be more rewarding
      • Couch co-op on consoles (2 players only)

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       Monsters

      • New Enhancing affix
        • Improves a skill a specific monster type has (skeletal ballista now fires 3 shots instead of one, Fallen shaman resurrects multiple allies etc.)
      • Monster families have synergies
        • They work together to provide a bigger challenge
        • The Fallen
        • The Drowned - undead from the oceans, created by maritime curses and similar
        • Skeletons

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      Scosglen_Goatmen.jpg.00200ad50c7096e4c72


       Monetization

      • (Updated) There will be microtransactions (source)
      • Base game + expansions
      • There was a mention of cosmetics only in an interview but was not mentioned again when the question was asked elsewhere
      • You will not be able to buy power

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       Post-launch content

      • Seasons
        • Seasons might not require you to roll a new character
        • They will shake up the meta and perhaps focus some less used builds or items
        • New legendaries

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       Platforms

      • (Updated) Cross-play between platforms is one of the big goals for the game (source)
      • PC, PS4, Xbox One and probably next gen consoles as well
      • They're looking into cross-play

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       Progress updates

      • We will be getting quarterly progress updates starting in 2020

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       Misc

      • There's an auto-walk toggle, so you just have to move your mouse and not click it for movement
      • Contextual interaction with the world (you can climb or drop by clicking on a prompt in the environment)
      • Animation-cancelling (you can instantly back out of a skill you're in the middle of)
      • Controller support for PC
      • The game is full 3d for the first time in the franchise (D3 had some 2.5d trees and other assets)
      • Hardcore mode will return
      • No offline mode
         

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       Release date

      • Not even "Blizzard soon"
         

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      That's about every significant piece of info we gathered from all sources we could find. The story details and constant mentions of "darkness", "gothic" and "gritty" we decided to skip and focused on the game part. If you've run across anything we missed, do let us know in the comments!

       

       

       

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      Related Diablo 4 Articles:

      • Thanks 1

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      i like the updated parts very much, just not sure what to feel about the angelic and demonic thing, with requirements on items. I hope that they cant appear mixed, like on one item one affix needs angelic, and one demonic. So that an item is completely, either for the angelics, or demonics.

      But in general i like the "generic" stats, that are good for all classes. angelic for buff builds, demonic for DoTers and the general attack and defense values, instead of main stats. Looking forward to hell. 🙂

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      I am skeptical on a lot of the itemization changes occurring, and culling of runes/gems seen from previous games.

      I am hyped for more character customization though.

      And I am hopeful they stay somewhat respectably true to treating solo players with the same care as group players.

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      On 1/1/2020 at 11:21 AM, MZLICH said:

      If there gonna be controller support for PC,why there won't be couch co-op for PC?

      It's because of the inventory char screen etc, it's radically different for consoles, which would mean they'd need 2 whole UIs on PC and to be able to switch between them seamlessly which is a problem. Maybe they can pull it off though who knows, but I wouldn't bet on it.

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      9 hours ago, Starym said:

      It's because of the inventory char screen etc, it's radically different for consoles, which would mean they'd need 2 whole UIs on PC and to be able to switch between them seamlessly which is a problem. Maybe they can pull it off though who knows, but I wouldn't bet on it.

      I'm not professional about details but I just know PCs these days have better specs than consoles and if they did it on console, they can do it on PC too. I'm playing many couch multiplayer games on PC from all genres(even like diablo ) whether they're split screen or not, online or offline etc but I'm sure if they did it on console it shouldn't be a big challenge for them. 

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      7 hours ago, MZLICH said:

      I'm not professional about details but I just know PCs these days have better specs than consoles

      Wasn't this always the case?

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          Towns become social hubs where you can run into other players once key segments in the story are completed
          I’ll break down our experiences during the playtest with some examples. Dungeons and key story moments are always private—just the player and their party. Once story moments are complete and towns turned into social hubs, you’d run into a few people in town. While on the road, you’d sometimes run into a player here and there. And then finally, if you went to a location where a world event was happening, you would see a larger congregation of players trying to defend against an attack by a cannibal horde or trying to take down Ashava, the demonic world boss we showed at BlizzCon.
          It’s worth calling out that while some coordination is helpful during these events, you are never forced to join a party. Solo players can walk in, help complete the event, and claim a reward. We think this seamless approach to multiplayer is working well and look forward to sharing more about this approach with you. In our tests so far, the world feels alive and dynamic without compromising the feel of Diablo. And for players that do want to party up against the minions of Hell, we have new tools available to find a group, whether by activity or proximity in the game world.

          The World Boss Ashava shown during Blizzcon 2019 in Scosglen can spawn in the Dry Steppes as well
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          Items and Progression
          One of the things that was very useful about our two-day playtest was that we could get better feedback on progression as there was a sense of permanence. Gear and skill choices you make on day one have an impact on day two (though some people chose to roll alts as we had multiple classes to test). A friend of mine used to say that Diablo is the game that you keep playing inside your head and Diablo IV is no different. In addition to the official play time allotted to the team during the playtest, I could feel the game lingering in my mind, thinking about the items that could possibly drop for my build, and talents I could finally unlock to get me those key skill interactions.
          You might have already read the developer blog by David Kim shortly after last BlizzCon. In it, he describes new affixes and itemization philosophies. We’ll have a beefier update on items later in the year, but in the meantime, here are some items that dropped during the playtest to whet your appetite!


          Various items from the playtest utilizing the new attribute system. Note that the item icons are not final art
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          Other Thoughts
          The overall feedback from the team was that even at these early stages, Diablo IV is very fun to play. The classes especially are going down a promising path that we’re excited about. We’re taking cues from what makes the Barbarian’s Arsenal system or the Druid’s shapeshifting feel special and looking for ways to apply similar innovations to all classes (more on this in a future update).
          The playtest was also a really good way to put our tech through its paces. Since we played at home, we got to test the game on a lot of different setups—from graphics cards, to screen aspect ratios, to network speeds. We also had the opportunity to exercise our client-server technology, including deploying builds with fixes to bugs during the playtest.
          Of course, we still have a lot of work ahead of us and to be clear, we are not at an Alpha or Beta stage yet. We don’t typically discuss our early milestones publicly during the course of development, but we think it’s especially important to continue to share our progress during a year without a BlizzCon. Also, this was an important milestone for the team as we feel it corroborated that we have all the key ingredients for a great Diablo IV (of course, we’ll continue to seek feedback and iterate as we drive to completion).
          We hope you’ve enjoyed this update and, as always, we welcome you to share your thoughts on the platform of your choice—whether it’s our own forums, other sites, or social media, we read and appreciate your comments and feedback. We were happy to see lots of great discussion after our last blog (which seeded a bunch of conversations on our end as well).
          We are also excited to see the range of topics you want to hear about. Based on your response so far, we think talent trees are by far what you’re the most eager to discuss, so we’ll make sure to queue that up for our very next blog. Items continue to be a popular topic and there was also a lot of interest in music. We are shooting to have more updates around those topics later in the year. Let us know how that sounds.
          Thank you for taking the time to read this update. We can’t wait to share more of Sanctuary with you!
           

          Development is well underway outside the Dry Steppes. More of Sanctuary awaits in coming updates!
           
          -Luis Barriga-
          Game Director, Diablo IV Team
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          Have a question, comment, or feedback about the information we shared today? Join the conversation here on our General Forum. We can’t wait to hear from you!
          The Q2 Diablo 4 update is here!
        • By Starym
          We have some news on the second Diablo 4 quarterly update, in the form of a very short reply from Community Manager Lead PezRadar, confirming that it's still planned for this month, with a note that things can change. But we do now know it's at least written (in some form), so that's something. You can check out the previous quarterly update from back in February here, which focuses on the UI, controllers and co-op and the Cannibal monster family.
          We also recently took a look at whether D4's release could be closer than anticipated, a cool Assassin fan concept, a hate/excitement meter on some D4 features from reddit and discussed whether local co-op was in the cards for PC players as well.
          2nd Quarterly Update (source)
          One simple question, is the D4 Q update still on track for this month?
          Yes but will caveat that things can always change. But I have read it/gone through it.

          Related Diablo 4 Articles:
          Rod Ferguson's Diablo 4 Tweets, Art Director Images Diablo 4 Quarterly Update: February 2020 Diablo 4 Beta Signup Clarifications New Head of the Diablo Franchise Is Rod Ferguson of Gears of War Quarterly Updates on Diablo IV in 2020 Updated Version of Everything We Know About Diablo 4 So Far System Design, Part 2 (Official) Lilith's Summoner Is Rathma Confirmed Diablo 4 Will Be "Like the First Chapter of a Book", Diablo May Not Even Show Up System Design in Diablo 4, Part 1 (Official) A Letter from the Diablo 4 Game Director Leaks Before the Diablo 4 Announcement: Amazon, Paladin and Release Date? Diablo 4 Will Feature Cosmetic Microtransactions Cross-Play Is a Goal for Diablo 4, Blizzard "Very Excited" About It
        • By Starym
          Blizzard's Diablo 4 release timeline has never been outright stated, and the most accurate piece of info on the matter we have is from BlizzCon, where we learned it was "not even Blizzard soon", implying quite a few more years of development were to come. However, the demo that was presented at the convention looked very polished, and even if it was a vertical slice, it was quite far along, which has prompted many discussions on the game's potential 2021 or 2022 release date.
          Today we have redditor poundcake_64 discussing the recent additions to the Blizzard CDN (Content Delivery/Distribution Network), which include not only project Fenris that we already talked about, but also many updates to it in recent weeks. This is all speculation, obviously, and there are differing opinions on poundcake's interpretation of the facts, but we're going to summarize his conclusions anyway, and you can check out the different opinions on the matter in the reddit thread.
          The main claim here is that Diablo 4 is much further along than most of us assumed, with a possible release in 2021. The reasoning given is based on the authors 20 years of experience on the IT field and the patterns of update patches and their contents on the Fenris/Diablo 4 CDN. The first argument is a comparison of the Diablo 3 builds and the fact that the current D4 build already has 142% more versions than the original D3 release build. The second is that Blizzard are already adding things like RGB product integration testing with Corsair and a Vivox SDK (a voice and chat commonly used for video games, like Overwatch), which would be somewhat strange if the game was at an early stage of development. He also reveals the current version on the CDN is playable and is possibly being used by Corsair and co. to test their product integration. He also found out the game is currently 30 GB large, which would be a lot for something not that far along. Finally, he claims that Rod Ferguson was actually brought in to push the project over the (near) finish line, and that Activision are pushing hard for releases, especially knowing Blizzard's usual slow/procrastinating nature of development. Read the full details of poundcake's arguments at the bottom of the article, as he goes into far more detail and is certainly more convincing than this summary.
          My personal thoughts on all this are mixed, as the game build versions could mean anything, as the way Blizzard mark or update them could have changed many times since Diablo 3. The Corsair and Vivox integration, on the other hand, could go either way, but to me it does sound like the game is a significant way along, and this news is actually quite positive for those of us (aka all) that want the game to release as soon as humanly possible (while still being a quality product). Rod Ferguson's addition could be both a good and bad sign for the game's previous development (and I think it's definitely a good sign for its future development, having played most of the Gears games - (regardless of what you think of the games themselves, they're very efficiently made and solid quality products), as he could have been brought in to finish the game quicker/at the finish line or because there was trouble in leadership in the previous regime. Unfortunately I'd say the latter is more likely, as we know/heard solid rumors that another version of Diablo 4 was already scrapped and the team lead left the company, so it wouldn't be that hard to believe the current version of D4 also had leadership issues (especially with the rather uninspired "what do you think we should do" presentation of the game at BlizzCon).
          Having said all that this particular post does give me a lot of hope, as I was completely shocked to see a finished demo of the game at BlizzCon already, and any evidence that the game is much further along that we thought, no matter how flimsy it might be, is something I'm going to be inclined to believe. With the quarterly updates for 2020 we can be sure the game won't be coming early in 2021, as the marketing push needs some time to play itself out, but if these are just the preamble and the real push starts in early 2021, a release in the same year could be possible. The "not even Blizzard soon" comment was somewhat conspicuous, especially considering Activision's constant pushing to get more frequent game releases out, so it might have been a bit of a cover, so they can pull out a huge reveal at this year's BlizzCon about the release date next year. The current pandemic may have thrown off all of these calculations, of course, but I have to say I'm more optimistic now and significantly more hyped.
           
          What do you think about all this? Just random reading into things that we want to have happen, or is there something to it? When do you think we'll see Diablo 4 released?
          Source.
        • By Starym
          Some news on the Diablo 4... well news, as the official twitter has commented that the second quarterly update is being "aimed" at the end of June! In   the February update we heard and saw a lot about the UI and the Cannibal monster family, and got the great news that the game would be playable on controller on PC, with detailed explanations and images, so hopefully we get another great update in June as well. We also learned that the first encrypted build for Diablo 4 may have made its way to the Blizzard CDN earlier today, so check that story out as well.
           

          Related Diablo 4 Articles:
          Diablo 4 Beta Signup Clarifications Diablo 4 GamesRadar Hands On - Death Kits, Difficulty and More Diablo 4 Vs. 3 Vs. 2 Graphics and Art Style Comparisons Quarterly Updates on Diablo IV in 2020 Updated Version of Everything We Know About Diablo 4 So Far System Design, Part 2 (Official) Lilith's Summoner Is Rathma Confirmed Diablo 4 Will Be "Like the First Chapter of a Book", Diablo May Not Even Show Up System Design in Diablo 4, Part 1 (Official) A Letter from the Diablo 4 Game Director Leaks Before the Diablo 4 Announcement: Amazon, Paladin and Release Date? New Gameplay Videos Without Commentary Diablo 4 Will Feature Cosmetic Microtransactions Cross-Play Is a Goal for Diablo 4, Blizzard "Very Excited" About It Visible Open World Players, Skill Cap at 15 and More from Venture Beat Diablo 4 Interview All the Item Affixes from the Diablo 4 BlizzCon Demo All Barbarian, Sorceress and Druid Skills and Talents
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