With Blizzcon 2016 ready to kick off with the opening ceremony just about 24-hours from now, and with recent Internet breathlessness over the “leaked” image showing both a male and female Necromancer as well as a year’s worth of job postings for an “unannounced Diablo project”, the hype for a possible major Diablo franchise announcement has reached heights it hasn’t in many years.
There really doesn’t appear to be anything major to be said about any of Blizzard’s other properties: Legion has just launched for WoW; Sombra is Overwatch’s worst-kept secret; Heroes of the Storm continues to plug away but with little overall fanfare; Hearthstone devs will admittedly probably announced the Gadgetzan themed expansion but, again, that isn’t something super-secret; and Starcraft...well, that story, at least Starcraft 2-wise, has been told and ended.
There will be updates for all of these, of course, but there is one property that seems to be little spoken of but one that has the potential to be something big and shiny just in time for its 20th anniversary: Diablo.
In today’s list of things we’ll explore what we’d like to hear about Diablo coming out of Blizzcon 2016.
Nope, that’s NOT what we want to hear, but like any excited fan base, there is always the possibility that, all other signs aside, nothing will actually be said at Blizzcon this year with regard to Diablo. To call this an utter let down is to understand the sound of millions of balloons deflating around the globe.
Necromancers & Possibly Other Diablo 2 Characters Added to Diablo 3
A couple of days ago, an image “leaked” out of the Blizzard Shop that showed both a male and female Necromancer dressed in what arguably looks very much like Diablo 3-themed armor. Add in the spooky greenish tint surrounding them that is reminiscent of the Reaper of Souls expansion, and it is very possible that Diablo 3 will see Necromancers added as a playable class. How much a Necromancer class would, however, cut into the Witch Doctor’s territory remains to be seen.
That also brings in the hope that other Diablo 2 characters might make it into the game as well. Both the shape-shifting Druid and to a lesser degree the Assassin, latecomers to D2 as well, are not represented in Diablo 3 and might make nice additions as well.
A Diablo 3 Add-On Like Greyhollow Island
The Greyhollow Island add on to Diablo 3 launched earlier this year. While not an expansion in the usual meaning of the word, it did grow the D3 game world with the inclusion of a new island, a smattering of story and several new creatures. Blending a new Necromancer class with a new, but hopefully much larger, area would be a nice addition to Diablo 3, but only if truly new, unique and not-just-recolored creatures are included as well.
A Diablo 3 Expansion
The Reaper of Souls expansion is now two and a half years old and the content is for many getting old. While all ARPGs feature grind to attain better, stronger, more awesome weapons, there is only so far that the current content can stretch and keep the player base happy. What would change this view would be a true expansion the size of 2014’s Reaper of Souls.
The Book of Cain, the lore behind D3 in particular but also touching on the entire series, has a lot of lore that is as yet unexplored. Many would say that ARPGs have no story but there actually is quite a bit of lore behind Diablo. In addition, there were a lot of cryptic clues left by NPCs throughout Diablo 3, particularly Shen, that hinted around that Leah, the unfortunate (and ostensibly dead) host to Diablo, can be saved from her fate. The perfect time to do so would be in a true, wide-reaching expansion.
Diablo 1 / Diablo 2 / D2: Lord of Destruction Remasters
While probably less likely than any of the preceding possibilities, there is still a chance that Blizzard is ready to remaster some of its “classic” titles. Diablo 2: LoD has been patched recently to allow for play on more modern systems and there have been advertisements on the Blizzard Jobs page looking for people interested in breathing new life into past projects. Could this mean that remastered versions of the originals could be forthcoming and perhaps even released for consoles as well?
Diablo 4 or World of Diablo
The least likely, though probably most-hoped for, scenario is that Blizzard will announce that Diablo, rather than expanding again, is moving on to new frontiers and ready to utilize a new engine to move the series forward into fresh horizons with Diablo 4.
A completely new Diablo game could look one of two ways, either welcome by fans of the series:
- Diablo 4 as a cooperative action RPG similar to its predecessors though with new features including PvP;
- World of Diablo as a fully-featured MMO or large-scale multiplayer experience similar to Path of Exile or Devilian. Some would argue that anyone wishing for such game play can simply log into World of Warcraft: Legion as several Diablo features have been brought into the latest expansion (see this article).
There is a lot of hope and positive energy flowing Blizzard’s way with recent leaks, job postings and rumors about the Diablo IP. Let’s hope that nothing but great news for fans comes out of tomorrow’s Blizzcon 2016 Opening Ceremony. Be sure to come by as we’ll be live blogging the entire event right here at MMORPG.com.
What about you? What would you most like to hear about Diablo from Blizzcon? Let us know in the comments!