Recap from Blizzcon 2016: Diablo 3 Updates

The conclusion of BlizzCon brought many things to the superpower that is Blizzard Entertainment this past weekend, including World of Warcraft and Overwatch news and announcements.  All of Blizzard’s game’s aside, what I wanted to know about was the rumored Diablo 3 content, and that is exactly what I got. With the Diablo 20th year anniversary came major game announcements. This upcoming year, they are rolling out an update which will recreate the very first Diablo inside Diablo 3 in the form of a yearly event. For those that own the Reaper of Souls expansion, this new content update will be free and is dubbed The Darkening of TristamPlayers will get to experience 16 levels and 4 bosses to do battle against, all with a special graphics filter which will make the game pixelated and grainy just like it once was, bringing Diablo back to that darker more horror feeling that the first game embraced so well. Alongside that, this 16 level dungeon brings along eight direction character movement which could be an interesting touch… or completely fucking frustrating, depending on people’s viewpoints on that control change. The patch will be going live this upcoming week in public test realms but no full release has been announced. Unfortunately, like I said it will only be an event so players will only have a set time to run their characters through the old game before it vanishes for a year. Now on to my favorite Diablo 3 announcement..CHECK THIS SHIT OUT.

That’s fucking right! My favorite character class from Diablo 2 is back, the Necromancer! It is as though they heard me say at one point “The Witchdoctor is awesome…but I want the Necromancer back!”.

Frank Pearce, the Chief Development Officer, says the Necromancer returns as a re-imagining of the character from the second game. Seeing as the Witchdoctor is the current summoner/curser of the game, a lot of things had to be done to actually make these two similar in theory classes to differ from one another, especially with the Witchdoctor actually using some of the old Necro’s skills. There apparently will be some overlap between the two characters, their control and play will be very different. One major difference is how pets are managed. In the case of the Witchdoctor, there lacks much control. Fetishes and other summons just swarm around you and wreak havoc on enemies as they appear. With the Necromancer you will be able to fully target enemies for the pets to slaughter. The have said they do not wish to turn the Necromancer into playing an RTS, so there will not be an immense amount of micromanaging, just enough for it to feel like you are truly controlling legions of the undead. Some of the Necromancers skills shall be returning such as of course the Blood Golem and Skeletons, as well as Bone Spear, Decrepifiy, and Corpse Explosion, though it has been said not all traits will carry over. But we can definitely expect a whole lot of new skills to be thrown in as well to even out his old arsenal. There was also talk of “blood and bone” being tied into a lot of the Necromancers armor and abilities, making him differ from the snakes and spiders of the Witchdoctor. At the Diablo 3 panel the developer’s showed off armor sets made of blood complete with pumping hearts and bone shields. This new patch which will be another paid content update will include the Necromancer playable class along with an in-game pet, a portrait frame, pennant, two additional stash tabs for PC players, two additional characters slots, a banner, and a banner sigil. The add-on which is called Rise of the Necromancer will be released sometime in 2017 and no price point has been named.

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More in Diablo news brings seasons to console players. Season events have players complete challenges and certain tasks during seasonal timers. On completion of these tasks players are awarded with six piece seasonal class armor sets and other things such as cosmetic items and pets. This just adds even more endgame content for console players who are looking for me to do that they have not had access to as of yet. This also adds leader boards for players to compete in with doing all of the new challenges each season. No specific release date has been given to this update either, only a vague 2017 release.

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And the final patch/content announcement for yet another sometime in 2017 release is the addition of the Armory and Challenge rifts next year. The armory will make it easier to manage armor and loadouts and will allow players to easily switch between character builds, five to be exact. This will include skills, passives, items, Legendary Gems, and Kanai’s Cube powers for each and will also make it so un-socketing gems will no longer cost money Challenge rifts brings something different to the table. It takes actual players builds and allows you to sample them without having to switch all your stuff or even gear out for it. You will than have the chance to race your way through the Greater Rifts trying to beat your personal best while trying out a different loadout that you may have wanted to attempt in the past.

So what do you guys think? Do you like the fact that Blizzard is putting more time into additional content for Diablo 3 like I am? Or would you have preferred a Diablo 4 announcement which people were speculating was going to happen. Let me know in the comments below!