Diablo III – A new patch released for Season 23

A new patch was released for Season 23 of Diablo III, but most gamers look to the past and the series's future. Diablo II's re-release announcement this year brought fresh excitement to the fans, but I know what Diablo fans are thinking: "Where is Diablo IV?"

New patch notes for Season 23 indicate significant updates to the Follower system in Diablo 3. From now players will be able to equip their Followers with a total of 14 different item slots, including the Follower Relic Item, Helm, Shoulders, Chest, Gloves, Bracers, Belt, 2 Rings, Neck, Pants, Boots, main-hand weapon, and off-hand. According to Blizzard notes, they are also introducing another feature called “Emanate” which allows the player to gain the effect of certain Legendary Powers and Set Bonus when equipped on their Follower. Several skills have been revamped, affecting the Scoundrel, Templar, and Enchantress.

Old-school Diablo fans (myself included) are being heavily rewarded by Blizzard with the re-release of a remastered Diablo II later this year. Announced at BlizzCon 2021, the revamped classic will be released on PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Just to be clear, this is not a remake.

But what about Diablo IV? Well, it’s been exactly five months since Blizzard released a quarterly update for Diablo IV, and it’s expected that another will be published soon. But aside from everything else, without a doubt, the question all fans around the world are asking, “When is Diablo IV going to be released!?” Well, definitely not in 2021, unfortunately, and apparently, even 2022 is looking highly optimistic.

Diablo IV was officially announced at BlizzCon back in November of 2019. However, development has likely been significantly delayed because of the Coronavirus pandemic. That coupled with the fact that Blizzard is widely known to take years to develop its games, it’s anyone’s guess when we can finally get our hands on it.

Diablo III began development in 2001, was announced in 2008, and was released in 2012. So if the Diablo III development/release timeline indicates what we can expect for Diablo IV, with development starting in 2014 and announced in 2019, our best estimate for a release is 2024 or possibly even as late as 2025. Bummer.

Blizzard shared significant information about their progress with the games’ design and took valuable feedback from the community in the last quarterly update. At the same time, they do reveal some interesting details about the item system, particularly related to those of the Legendary tier. Moreover, they show some basic outlines of how the skill tree system will work in general and for each class. For example, a fascinating insight into what unique ability each class will get. For example, the Barbarian’s “Arsenal” ability to carry four weapons, switch between them seamlessly and select different weapons to use for particular skills. The Sorceress’ ‘Enchantment’ ability allows her to change an active skill into a passive, creating significant utility and customizability. The example they give is changing the ‘Meteor’ skill from being a manually casted and targeted ability to one that periodically casts at random targets automatically. Very interesting!

As being said, it’s important to keep in mind that Diablo IV is still in the pre-Alpha stage of development, so it’s possible that some of these gameplay elements won’t even make it into the final product. So don’t get too excited.

Then again, they have teased some very tantalizing information about what the endgame will look like and hope that it will give gamers more of an in-depth experience with greater replayability than what Paragon levels could provide in Diablo III.

We can’t wait!

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