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The latest Diablo 4 quarterly update is dedicated to the Necromancer, the fifth and final class available at launch.
In the mid-year update, Lead Class Designer Adam Jackson is doing a deep dive into the core playstyles of the Necromancer, showcasing some of its skills and its unique Book of the Dead class mechanic.
The Necromancer class was revealed yesterday during the Xbox event.
Hello and welcome to the mid-year Diablo IV Quarterly Update. We hope you enjoyed last quarter’s behind the scenes look at the art of Sanctuary and its Dungeons. That blog and our previous updates are available here if you missed out.
I’d also like to take a moment to congratulate Diablo Immortal on its launch. The Immortal team worked incredibly hard to bring Diablo to life on mobile, and it’s exciting to have another way to enjoy Diablo.
Today, we’re going to look at the final launch class: the Necromancer. Now that it's been announced on the big screen, we can jump into some of the grittier details and mechanics of the class. You can think of this blog as a companion to that announcement, with our Lead Class Designer Adam Jackson doing a deep dive into the core playstyles of the Necromancer, some of its skills, and its unique class mechanic: Book of the Dead. We'll also look at a selection of the incredible armor and weapons that Necromancers can use.
Diablo IV is committed to the principle of player choice. It shapes how we approach many of our systems, from character customization, to the density and layout of our open world, to the design of our classes and builds. As you'll see below, the Book of the Dead focuses on this idea of choice and what kind of Necromancer you want to be.
We hope you enjoy this update and look forward to your thoughts and reactions. Later this year you can expect to hear more about how we plan to support Diablo IV after launch, including our plans for Seasons. We're grateful to have you with us on this journey.
Thank you for playing the games we make.
Game Director, Diablo IV
Greetings, Heroes of Sanctuary!
Today we are thrilled to announce that a fan favorite, the Necromancer, is once again returning to slay and subjugate their enemies with necrotic magics. We had a blast working on this iconic class, and we can’t wait to get it into your hands.
We know that the Necromancer has a storied history in our franchise, and we are taking a lot of care to give players an experience that lives up to the hype. We have also spent a considerable amount of time making sure that fans of the Diablo II, Diablo III, and Diablo Immortal versions of the Necromancer see something familiar with what we have to offer while at the same time creating something unique for Diablo IV. Read on to see what the Necromancer is all about!
Table of Contents
Class Features Playstyles Book of the Dead Final Thoughts Class Features
The Necromancer has two different types of resources that they use: Essence and Corpses. Essence is their primary resource, which restores itself automatically at a slow rate. Using Basic skills on the Necromancer will also grant Essence, allowing them to cast their skills more often. Corpses, on the other hand, are the leftover remains of enemies who die near the Necromancer. These remains can be used to summon skeletal minions or to power various other skills, such as Corpse Explosion. In addition to appearing when enemies are killed near the Necromancer, Corpses can also be generated via various effects, giving you additional control over how often you want to interact with them. While there will be plenty of Corpses at a baseline level, we’re aware that some players will want to lean into this resource, and as a result have included plenty of options to ensure that they are not left wanting.
As far as weapons and other unique gear, Necromancers use Swords, Daggers, Wands, Focuses, and Shields. In addition to these, they are also the only class that can use Scythes.
Additionally, what self-respecting Necromancer would be running around the world of Sanctuary without Curses? We’re happy to say that you will be able to put these nasty debuffs on your enemies to your heart’s content with skills like Decrepify and Iron Maiden making a return.
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The Necromancer has four high-level playstyles that players can choose between. These playstyles are Bone, Darkness, Blood, and the Army.
Bone skills are relatively physical in nature, and thus benefit more heavily from effects such as Critical Strike. These skills also benefit from having and spending large amounts of Essence, as they have various effects that can cause each of their individual attacks to be even more powerful.
Bone Spirit is back in Diablo IV, and it now has a unique twist that exemplifies what Bone skills are all about. Bone Spirit not only has a cooldown, but also consumes all Essence the player currently has. Once cast, a spirit of bone is conjured that seeks out the nearest enemy. Upon reaching them, the spirit will explode, dealing a high amount of damage to the target and all other enemies in the area. This damage is increased by a certain percentage per point of Essence spent, meaning that players who spend the maximum amount of Essence will deal a significant amount of damage to enemies hit. This skill can also be upgraded so that when it Critically Strikes its cooldown is significantly reduced, meaning that players who commit to generating lots of Essence while also having a high Critical Strike chance will get a lot of damage from this skill.
Another Bone skill that Necromancers will have access to is Bone Prison. When the player casts Bone Prison, they slam their weapon into the ground, calling forth a circular wall of Bone to surround the targeted enemy or area. Enemies cannot move through this space while the Bone Prison persists, which makes it incredibly versatile and able to be combined with many other skills, even those that are not themed around Bone. Bone Prison is great for blocking off hallways, trapping groups of enemies inside to set them up for an AoE attack, or for simply sectioning off a group of enemies to deal with later while you handle higher priority targets.
Darkness skills use Shadow magic to overwhelm their enemies. These kinds of attacks tend to be DoT-based or attack multiple times in a short window, with various benefits and rewards being granted for damaging enemies in this way. Darkness skills also tend to have various debuffs and crowd control elements so that they can keep their enemies at bay while they die a slow, painful death.
Decompose is a Basic Darkness skill that allows you to channel dark magic onto enemies, dealing damage to them while also generating Essence. Unlike other Basic skills, Decompose also periodically summons Corpses, making it much easier to ensure that you have a steady supply on hand to use for summoning Skeletons.
Another Darkness skill is Blight. Blight launches a ball of dark energy in a direction. Upon hitting an enemy or expiring, it deals an explosion of damage while leaving behind a defiled area, dealing periodic damage to enemies inside over time. This skill deals a high amount of damage to enemies who are standing in place, whether that’s due to fighting your undead minions or to being contained via other skills like Bone Prison.
Necromancers can also use the power of Blood magic to siphon the life from their enemies. Not only do these skills tend to have defensive-oriented benefits, they also have many ways to turn that defense into offense for the player, empowering them and rewarding them for having large amounts of maximum Health as well as keeping their current Health total high.
Blood Surge draws a small amount of blood from nearby enemies to the Necromancer that then expels a blood nova, dealing damage near the player’s location. The damage of the blood nova is increased per enemy drained, which incentivizes you to be in the middle of a pack of enemies for maximum effect.
Another Blood skill is Blood Mist. Upon activation, the Necromancer disperses into a bloody mist, becoming temporarily Immune to all damage while draining the life of any nearby enemies that they pass through. This is a universally powerful defensive skill that can give you the time you need to regroup in those dire moments where you become overwhelmed.
As you would expect, Necromancers can summon the undead to do their bidding. We also allow players to specialize into empowering their army as much as possible, which includes various kinds of Skeletons as well as the classic Golem. One advantage to this method of playing is that it can easily incorporate the benefits of Bone, Darkness, or Blood skills, allowing you to have a great deal of customization to how you want to interact with your army.
As an example, we believe it will be perfectly viable to have a player pursue a Darkness themed army build with Decompose as their Basic skill to generate Corpses, as there is an obvious synergy there. However, if the player wishes to generate Corpses via other means, they can just as easily take a nostalgia trip to the year 2000 and just chuck Bone Spears at their enemies from a distance while opting for all of the Bone skill synergies that the Necromancer has to offer.
We went through a lot of iteration on how we want the experience of summoning the undead to feel for the player, and how much of their skill bar should be dedicated to this part of the class. To that end, we’ve come up with what we feel is the best possible version to ensure that players have as much customization as possible over not only their army itself, but also in which other skills they want to use to support their own unique playstyle.
If a player wants to have the maximum number of summoned units possible then they will only have to dedicate two buttons to their skill bar: one to raising Skeletons and the other for their Golem. The Raise Skeleton button is a one-stop shop to raise all the different Skeletons a player can summon, and the Golem button is used to command the Golem to use a unique effect that is dependent on the type of Golem that is currently active. With this setup, we’ve found a great balance between having the necessary tools for raising and commanding a Necromancer army while also leaving room for player expression in what additional skills they want to put on their bar.
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Book of the Dead
Speaking of armies, what self-respecting Necromancer isn’t wandering around with one? Well, actually, that might be you! While we absolutely have the full support you would expect to fulfill all your undead summoning needs, we are also giving some love to players who want a more independent playstyle.
Cue the Book of the Dead, the Necromancer’s unique class mechanic. Right from the moment you log in, you will start with an extra skill on your bar—Raise Skeleton. With this button, you will immediately be able to raise undead warriors to fight by your side. In addition to this, you will have access to the Book of the Dead. This is a space where you can customize your army (or lack thereof), with increasing options as you level your character.
There are three customizable summons in this space: Skeletal Warriors, Skeletal Mages, and the Golem. Each summon also has one of three specializations that you can choose from. As an example, you can have your Skeletal Warriors be Skirmishers, Defenders, or Reapers. Skirmishers are a more standard warrior but have increased damage and reduced Health, Defenders have bonus Health, and Reapers have slower attacks, deal damage in a AoE in front of them, and have a special wind-up attack that deals a high amount of damage. In addition to this, each specialized unit in the army has unique upgrades available to them, giving you even more customization over how each unit in their army functions in their overall playstyle. These units and upgrades will have synergies with the various playstyles mentioned above, as well as add other potential ways to play.
In addition to all this customization, we have also added the ability for players to sacrifice different components of their army for personal benefits. Next to each unit type in the Book of the Dead is an extra option to sacrifice the ability to summon that unit in exchange for a personal, permanent buff. These buffs are carefully designed and placed so that players can mix and match having none, some, or all the possible summoned units while still having relevant options to enhance their build.
Our goal with this system is that there should be something for everyone to be excited about. There are relevant, powerful options to choose from whether players want to play with the full army, part of the army, or even for those who wish to forgo their army completely and play solo. We’ve had a blast playing with this system so far, and we’re excited to see the various combinations that you all come up with to push your Necromancers to the next level.
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We’re so excited to be able to bring the Necromancer to Diablo IV, and we can’t wait to get it into your hands. Whether you’re a veteran player who’s put in thousands of hours over many years, or a new adventurer in the world of Sanctuary, we hope you will have a lot of fun with what we’ve been able to create.
As always, please leave us your feedback on what we’ve shown you so far. While we’re confident that we’re on the right track, we know that the best ideas and the best games are created with input from the community. Thank you all so much for your patience, and for joining us on this epic journey through the world of Sanctuary—we promise it will be worth the wait.
Lead Class Designer, Diablo IV
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With the Necromancer announced as the final class for the Diablo 4 launch, we also got an intro cinematic to go along with the reveal, as well as the key art for the class.
Here's the trailer:
The class at the character selection campfire:
The key art:
Blizzard have clarified that while Diablo 4 will have an in-game shop, it will only have cosmetic items available, responding to player concerns of potential Diablo Immortal-like pay to win options. They've also emphasized the story driven expansion model as the basis for the game.
Blizzard today revealed during the 2022 Xbox Games Showcase event that Diablo 4 will launch on Windows PC, Xbox One X|S, Xbox Series X|S, and Playstation 4/5 in 2023 and will host cross-play and cross-progression for all platforms.
Console will also support couch-op. The fifth and final class available at launch is the Necromancer.
During the 2022 Xbox Games Showcase Event we told the story of an unremitting conflict between the Burning Hells and High Heavens, foretold the return of Lilith, Sanctuary’s demonic creator, and shared scorching-hot details around the next installment in the Diablo saga—Diablo IV.
Before you read further, we are excited to announce that Diablo IV will launch in 2023 on Windows PC, Xbox One X|S, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4/5 and will host cross-play and cross-progression for all platforms. On console, players may also slay demons side-by-side with a friend through couch-co-op. We have another bone-chilling announcement: in addition to the Barbarian, Druid, Rogue, and Sorceress, the fifth and final class available at launch is the scythe-wielding purveyor of death, the Necromancer!
If the flames of our hellish segment of the showcase died down before you could gaze upon them, do not fret, we have provided all the invitingly dark details below. Grab a spot around the campfire as we shed some light on Diablo IV!
Introducing: The Necromancer
Explore Your Way
End Game Offerings
Introducing: The Necromancer
As a Priest of Rathma, known by outsiders as a Necromancer—the word death evokes a sensation of power, potentially even excitement when it graces their ear. These legendary summoners bend blood, bone, and darkness to their will, and subjugate the ranks of the undead to carry out their bidding. Unknowing adversaries who pick a fight with this death-defying class will quickly learn they’ve made a grave mistake, for they are darkness in its wake.
We have a casket-full of news to share with you around how the Necromancer class will decimate and reanimate demons in Diablo IV. Take a gander at our June 2022 Diablo IV Quarterly Update blog coming out tomorrow at 10 a.m. PDT to learn more about the class’s new mechanics, such as the Book of the Dead, with Lead Class Designer, Adam Jackson.
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At the heart of Diablo IV is player choice. There is no one singular way to play the game; players will carve their own path forward, shaping their destiny in a nonlinear way of their choosing. This ethos extends to character customization, player skills, exploration of Diablo IV’s shared open world, its social systems, and of course—the end game. Let’s dive into these gameplay systems and some of the choices they provide.
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The denizens of Sanctuary are a diverse people. We wanted this same diversity to be reflected in the hero YOU bring to life. And thus, whether you set off into Diablo IV as a Barbarian, Druid, Necromancer, Rogue, or Sorceress, you’ll be greeted by a fleshed-out character customizer offering a plethora of options. This level of player choice doesn’t just reside in aesthetics, it is also seen in the expansive Skill Trees for every class, each offering endless ways to rip through the Burning Hell’s forces with your hero.
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Explore Your Way
As we said, there is no singular way to traverse Sanctuary in Diablo IV—we leave that up to your motivations. The world is vast in scale; home to frigid mountain ranges, sand-swept canyons, plague lands bubbling with pestilence, and many other biomes. All with no shortage of demonic dangers to encounter and secrets to uncover. You won’t simply traverse through an empty world in Diablo IV—every inch is built for combat.
As you navigate around, taking notice of the wounds Lilith’s return has inflicted upon the land, you’ll encounter a new type of evil: Strongholds. These are locations the Burning Hell’s minions have claimed for themselves, casting a shadow of darkness upon them for you to lift. Clearing out Strongholds will bring about permanent change to these locations, repopulating them with non-demonic life and rewarding you with loot. Clearing a Stronghold may also reveal new dungeons to delve into and other hidden experiences. Speaking of dungeons, Diablo IV contains almost 150 detailed dungeons—close-quarters experiences for you to root out evil throughout the main questline and beyond. Each time you step foot into a dungeon, its layout and distribution of adversaries will vary, keeping the challenge alive while still allowing you to strategize a way to overcome the dangers within.
Sanctuary is alive…with demons to dispose of! Aside from dangerous dungeons and heavily defended Strongholds, there are also local events to be completed solo or with a team in the name of glory and rewards. And for daring heroes craving an especially hardy challenge, towering world bosses roam the world with a desire to end those who oppose them. Band together with fellow defenders of Sanctuary to topple these nightmarish titans.
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Teaming up with other heroes to rid Sanctuary of bloodthirsty demons or going head-to-head against them in combat has long been a staple of the Diablo experience. Diablo IV will continue this tradition by offering both fulfilling PvE and PvP experiences. Providing players with the option to pursue Lilith on their own or with the aid of others is just another way players have additional agency when playing Diablo IV.
To make demon slaying with friends a breeze, we have rebuilt the party-forming experience so that regardless of character levels or where you may be within a particular questline, you can still band together. This is also our intended experience for players on different platforms looking to cleanse Sanctuary of evil together.
But if vanquishing hordes of demons with other players is not your preference, you may prefer a more mortal opponent. Mephisto, the Lord of Hatred, forever looking to instigate a skirmish, has cursed specific areas of Sanctuary, transforming them into Fields of Hatred. Here, his influence pits mortal versus mortal in designated PvP Zones. If you give into Mephisto’s temptation by marking yourself hostile, you open yourself up to facing the full fury of others who are marked hostile, but should you be successful in striking down your opponent, their spoils shall be yours to claim. These zones are not for the faint of heart, rather for heroes looking to bring renown to their name through blood and zeal!
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End Game Offerings
Closing the final chapter of Diablo IV’s main story will be a monumental moment, but it will certainly not signify the end of your hero’s journey. We want players to see the end game of Diablo IV as a new beginning filled with quite a few decisions ahead on what to experience next. First, you might try to take on Nightmare Dungeons: transformed and teeming with enhanced demonic dangers and added difficulty in the form of new objectives and added afflictions to the dungeon. Perhaps you want to branch off into another direction, say, place down roots for your future. Look no further than the Tree of Whispers, an end-game system that will provide you with frequently cycling world objectives and bounties that reward you with Legendary gear, experience, crafting materials, and more!
In Sanctuary, there is unrelenting ever-present danger waiting for you at every turn. To best whatever the Burning Hells may throw your way, you must grow stronger. Once you reach max level, the Paragon Board will unlock, and with it, hundreds of optional paths to further customize your hero’s build.
We thank you for joining us around the campfire to learn more about what is coming in Diablo IV! As we march forward to our 2023 launch, additional parcels of information will manifest from the darkness. Keep an eye out for future Quarterly Update blogs and more.
We bid thee farewell. . . for now,
-The Diablo IV Team
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Blizzard is currently looking for a Diablo 4 Product Manager and the job posting revealed that the game will have an in-game shop.
The Product Manager's role will be to oversee the Diablo 4 in-game shop experience and maintain the shop content roadmap.
Diablo Job Title:
Product Manager, Diablo IV Requisition ID:
R012336 Job Description:
Blizzard Entertainment is looking for a passionate, organized, and driven individual to manage the Diablo IV in-game shop experience. This role will be a key member of the Diablo IV commercial team. The ideal candidate will combine their experience working in a live service gaming environment with meticulous attention to detail, strong interpersonal communication skills, and passion to delight our players.
Covid-19 Hiring Update: We’ve transitioned to a work-from-home model, and we’re continuing to interview and hire during this time. This role is expected to begin as a remote position. We understand each person’s circumstances may be unique and will work with you to explore possible interim options.
Product Manager, Diablo IV
You will play a critical role in managing the Diablo IV in-game store experience for millions of players around the world. As this is a key component of Diablo IV’s seasonal content strategy, you will be the tip of the spear planning the content release schedule, configuring products using our internal tooling, and working with stakeholders across disciplines to ensure regular updates to the store throughout each season go smoothly. Additionally, you will strive to continually improve processes and encourage best practices.
Manage the virtual product offers of the Diablo IV in-game storefront throughout each season to deliver an exceptional player experience. Utilize internal tools to configure product contents, pricing, and availability. Assist with scenario planning and maintaining the shop content roadmap. Organize and maintain an ever-growing catalog of virtual products to facilitate communication and analysis. Work with the analytics team to help identify sales trends and quantify purchase behaviors. Quickly identify and resolve unexpected issues related to the shop experience as they arise. Create contingency plans to mitigate errors and downtime risks. Collaborate with Engineering, Production and QA stakeholders to push updates, resolve blockers, and create visibility. Player Profile
1-3 years of relevant experience working on a live service game, preferably in analytics, monetization, QA or production. Experience with agile development processes. The ability to interpret and analyze eCommerce sales data, and apply those insights toward recommendations focused on improving the shop and content offerings. Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience. Extreme attention to detail and drive for organization. Proactively builds relationships with stakeholders across various internal teams. Strong verbal, written and interpersonal communication skills. Experience with reading and interpreting analytics dashboards. A passion for video games! Blizzard Entertainment is a global company committed to growing our employees. We offer generous benefits and perks with an eye on providing true work / life balance. We’ve worked hard to champion an intensely collaborative and creative environment, a diverse and inclusive employee culture, and training and opportunity for professional growth. Our people are everything. Our core values are real, and our mission has never changed.