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The Future of Diablo: What’s Next?

by - 3 years ago

Despite Blizzard being fairly quiet in regards to one of their most popular franchises, Diablo has been generating a considerable amount of buzz within the past couple of weeks. With Blizzcon right around the corner, many are wondering if there is anything in store for the franchise and if Blizzard has any surprises planned or tricks up their sleeves. I mean, Diablo 3 has pretty much been in maintenance mode for a couple of seasons now and many are starting to wonder if this is the end for it, with development time shifting to a possible new entry in the franchise. So let’s take a look at the road ahead with what we know so far and top it off with some speculation (because who doesn’t love speculation?).

 

So one of the things that started to get the community talking was a tweet from the official Diablo Twitter account in response to someone asking about their presence at Blizzcon.

Now obviously, this doesn’t really confirm a big announcement nor does it shoot down the idea. But one could argue that they could have just not responded to that tweet, which is a fair arguement but, they wouldn’t pass up a chance to hype up Blizzcon to generate some hype and press. That’s the point of having a social media presence especially for when it’s this close to a big convention. For all we know it could have been a slight tease for the 20th anniversary event, which brings us to a more recent series of events.

David Brevik and Bill Roper shared that they were at Blizzard HQ for a currently unknown reason which sparked a lot of discussion and speculation.

Wait a second, Bill Roper AND David Brevik? Appearing at their Headquarters in light of the job postings for the unannounced Diablo Project? Could the dream team become a reality? I mean as cool as it would be, lets not get ahead of ourselves here. David Brevik has been pretty open about his feelings towards the AAA game industry and has recently had a successful kickstarter campaign for his indie project. Bill Roper on the other hand has been the Vice President/GM at Disney Interactive Studios ever since 2011 so he pretty much has his hands full with a good career. Although, David did drop this tweet on us late last night.

This is a pretty cryptic post where he doesn’t specifically mention any game or studio by name. Maybe that’s because he isn’t allowed to and is dancing around an NDA with his wording. It is very interesting that he would say this so soon after visiting Blizzard HQ though and it could be a pretty good sign that he is taking an adviser role for the next Diablo game. Which would appear that Blizzard doesn’t want a repeat of what happened to D3 as it was a PR nightmare and probably not cost effective to fix a lot of the problems it had. As to what the picture itself means, well that’s up for interpretation but, notice how the stars make an arrow that point up to the sky (heavens). I don’t know if I have enough tin foil for this! Even in light of that, I still can’t rule out that both of them were at Blizzard HQ for something involving the 20th anniversary event at Blizzcon. With that aside there have been some other interesting developments from within Blizzard and their staff.

Tom Chilton has moved away from the WoW team as the Game Director to work on another Blizzard project that is “just down the hall”. Which garnered a lot of attention and has a lot of people speculating that he could be the Game Director for the next Diablo installment. This theory has some weight and does make some sense since the job posting was pulled a couple of weeks before this news broke out. Another thing that we found out is that they seemed to have filled their Art Director opening according to the blog post from yesterday.

Get the inside scoop on what’s in store for Diablo III! Join us as Lead Designer Kevin Martens, Senior Game Designer Wyatt Cheng, Lead VFX Artist Julian Love, and Art Director John Mueller share the gritty details on the celebration plans that lie ahead for all our eager nephalem.

Before this it was unknown who got the job or if anyone had gotten it ever since Chris Lichtner left the position in June of 2014. So there has definitely been some shifting around for the Diablo team ever since Josh Mosqueira departed and members like John Yang were moved to help work on Legion.

Okay, so what does this all mean? Well it sure as hell looks like there is a new Diablo game being developed and I am leaning towards it not being an expansion for D3. I personally think we could see a departure from the traditional isometric style Diablo game with the next project, or maybe they could be developing some other things.

  • Diablo 2 HD is a very popular theory for one of the projects ever since Blizzard put together teams to further support their classic games.

 

  • Possibly a Diablo MMO? I think this is the least likely scenario partly due to Titan’s troubles but, they may have an easier time developing one around an established and popular franchise. David Brevik’s vision for his D3 was a pseudo MMO so maybe that’s where they are taking it.

 

  • Diablo 1 – 2 Mobile ports similar to what has been done with games like Knights of the Old Republic.

 

  • My personal favorite idea is a third person Dark Souls styled Diablo game. Imagine seeing and fighting the Lord of Terror himself to his actual scale, that would be something else.

 

  • Then there is Diablo IV being the traditional styled Diablo game with improvements and refinements to it’s core systems and gameplay. Which wouldn’t be bad either.

Unfortunately though, we probably won’t hear about what this new project is until at least next year at the earliest, which I would guess would also be at Blizzcon. But until then there appears to still be some content plans for D3.

blizzcon

 

 

If you take a look at the floor plan for Blizzcon, you will notice that you don’t have to play Where’s Waldo this time around. Diablo has a playable area and what’s also kind of interesting is it’s labeled “Diablo” instead of “Diablo III”. Which I would assume means that possibly Diablo 1 and 2 will be playable on the floor as well, with possible HD releases(or a new game or xpack plz)? Only time will tell and we don’t have to wait too much longer to find out. But overall it’s going to have more of a presence this year which is exciting.

All signs are also pointing towards D3 getting another content patch with some new features that are ready to be talked about in three weeks. With the first one being the fact that Season 7 has ended earlier than normal with Season 8 starting on the 21st. Neinball and Leviathan have talked about how this sets up for a patch 2.5 PTR to start during or right after Blizzcon with the patch releasing in time for the start of Season 9.

Their theories are also backed up by the information in the descriptions of each Diablo panel.

Get the inside scoop on what’s in store for Diablo III! Join us as Lead Designer Kevin Martens, Senior Game Designer Wyatt Cheng, Lead VFX Artist Julian Love, and Art Director John Mueller share the gritty details on the celebration plans that lie ahead for all our eager nephalem.

  • What: A retrospective on Diablo’s 20-year legacy and first look into upcoming content.
  • When: Friday, November 4 from 5:00 to 5:45 p.m. PDT
  • Where: Main Stage, Hall D

 

Get the inside scoop and ask your burning questions about Diablo III! Join us as Lead Designer Kevin Martens, Senior Game Designer Wyatt Cheng, Senior Game Designer Adam Puhl, Senior Game Designer Joe Shely, and Senior Game Designer Travis Day review upcoming content and features for Diablo III and take live questions from the audience.

  • What: A deep-dive and Q&A on the content and features headed to Diablo III.
  • When: Saturday, November 5 from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. PDT
  • Where: Panel Stage, Hall A

What those features could be is anyone’s guess really, but I have a few things that have popped into my head and I’ve heard some cool ideas from other people on the Blizzpro team and community that could be possible features.

  • Weekly Greater Rift layouts for players to compete with in the Leaderboards. This has been a community request for a while.

 

  • Rifts with affixes similar to WoW’s Mythic + Dungeons that offer more risk/reward style gameplay

 

 

  • Some new Legendaries and Sets

 

  • Dredscythe had an idea for a charm/talisman system that gives positive and negative effects. Like one that gives you an increased legendary drop chance at the cost of less experience gains.

 

  • There’s a good possibility that we could get some new zones or areas similar to the Royal Quarters and Ruins of Sescheron

 

  • Leviathan also had a cool idea with maybe adding portals around the game that take you to Diablo 2 styled uber bosses as a fun way to celebrate the franchise’s anniversary.

 

  • Could they possibly start doing $10 adventure packs like they’ve been doing with Stacraft 2?

image-logo-header-blizzcon-v002

 

There’s a lot of good possibilities as to what kind of features could still make it into the game. With some obvious ones like new legendaries and some that may take up more of the spotlight. Overall I’m really excited for this year’s Blizzcon because were going to get some cool new content for Diablo 3 along with some other cool stuff involving the 20th Anniversary. While I don’t think that we will see a new game announcement or new expansion this year, that doesn’t mean that it won’t happen. But the future is definitely looking bright for the Diablo franchise and I couldn’t be more excited.

What are your thoughts? Do you think we will see an announcement for a new game or expansion? Do you think we will see a mix of D3 content and HD versions of D1/D2? Tell us what you think in the comments below!

 

 


hotstreak

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3 responses to “The Future of Diablo: What’s Next?”

  1. Enkeria says:

    Thanks for the read. I think we will get this: First off, some games will celebrate Diablo in their own way – Heroes of the Storm with some Diablo content. World of Warcraft event and Hearthstone with Diablo easter eggs. Overwatch will go it’s own path, same goes with StarCraft II.

    Second, I think we will see a major free patch, which will be an official part of an expansion brought in by the minds of Diablo 1 and Diablo 2. A try-hard to bring back the feel of those games in a way that Diablo III can comprehend. Things like randomized dungeons, new monsters, the option to use Diablo 1 and Diablo 2 music. End boss of the first part being Andariel, with a new area / map to go with it. If things goes well, we will see the next part having a new area / map with Duriel and a evil Nephalem, and the third part, being one hell of a ride with the three prime evils on each section of the next map, which will conclude it’s story arc. Side quests like Lilith and Inarius is also a must and the focus on Nephalem, which will be sacrificed. A new hero will also be introduced, during these three huge patches.

    Third, this will end the Diablo saga, and a Diablo spinn-off be introduced.

    Thank you.

  2. “David Brevik has been pretty open about his feelings towards the AAA game industry and has recently had a successful kickstarter campaign for his indie project.”

    Wait, what? I don’t think he starts campaign for his own game: https://twitter.com/davidbrevik/status/630842352098095104

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