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Diablo Is Primed For His Diablo Immortal Debut, As Blizzard Reveals Its 2024 Plans

Also on the agenda: a never-before-seen class, a dive into Deckard Cain's past, system overhauls, and a two-year anniversary celebration.


Diablo Immortal is going to have a hellish year, as Blizzard's mobile game is set to reintroduce the Lord of Terror himself, Diablo, into the world of Sanctuary.

That's kind of a big deal, especially considering the big bad of the franchise has yet to even appear in Diablo 4. But the return of Big Red is hardly all that's in store for players. Diablo Immortal will additionally be receiving a never-before-seen class new to the Diablo franchise, overhauls to the game's Paragon system, new quests that dive into the backstory of series-favorite Deckard Cain, and more. It's all part of Diablo Immortal's 2024 content roadmap, and GameSpot had the chance to chat with Diablo Immortal executive producer and vice president Peiwen Yao and lead game designer Scott Burgess about what fans can expect in the months ahead, and what Diablo has in store for players upon his return.

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Now Playing: Diablo Immortal - Everything to Know

The game's 2.3 update, arriving March 27, will kick off a year of updates Blizzard is calling "The Age of Unmaking." The Lord of Terror has gotten his claws on a Worldstone shard, giving him the power of creation. He wastes no time creating "nightmare realms" throughout the world of Sanctuary as part of a "shock-and-awe campaign" heralding his return, Burgess said. Though players won't confront him immediately, his presence looms, and it will all build towards a major showdown with Diablo towards the end of the year.

Bringing back Diablo is no small task, and Burgess said the team had to be careful not to break aspects of the lore when doing so. After all, Diablo Immortal takes place between the events of Diablo 2 and Diablo 3, and so there are some things that need to be set up in order for the storyline to play out as it should. But far from having its hands completely tied, Burgess said the team is "pumping as much juice" into the character's return and his subsequent encounter with players as it can.

"We try not to break things…That said, we decided to make Diablo arguably more powerful than he's ever been before," Burgess said. "He has the Worldstone shard, which again, is the power of creation. You can basically bend reality with it, and someone as powerful as Diablo can do crazy things with it. We are trying to build up the excitement of this showdown with Diablo and when it happens we're going to have a new zone that goes along with it, which is one of our most distributing and ominous zones yet…It's going to be very epic, it's going to be a battlefield."

Diablo Immortal's March 27 update will kick of what Blizzard is calling The Age of Unmaking.
Diablo Immortal's March 27 update will kick of what Blizzard is calling The Age of Unmaking.

Update 2.3 will additionally put a spotlight on another fan-favorite character: Deckard Cain. Though the iconic scholar of the Horadrim is no longer present in Diablo Immortal (he had some things to take care of before Diablo 3), a new elite quest centered on the character will let players relive his memories and see Cain in an all-new light as a younger man who had yet to fully understand the evil at play within the world of Sanctuary.

"He's arguably the most popular character in the game," Burgess said. "He's been in nearly all the Diablos…he didn't make it to Diablo 4, but he was mentioned. He's a cornerstone of the franchise. This is why we wanted to tell this story. He's everywhere. He's popular. What's he all about? What's at the core of his motivation? The Deckard Cain we get to see in this mode is obviously younger, a little more strapping and willing to help out with fights. He's also a bit more of a skeptic. He's not really sure about the darker side of Sanctuary at this point of his life, and this is him coming to understand that and become the man in the pre-D4 games."

The March 27 update will bring the first of a slew of new activities coming throughout the year. First up are Terror Rifts and Oblivion Pillars, described as some of the hardest challenges in Diablo Immortal, as well as new Eternal equipment that can be earned from them. What makes this new type of equipment so valuable? They have four magic affixes, two from the game's existing affix pool, as well as two from a new pool of class-specific affixes, opening the door for even more class builds and ways to further power up existing ones.

Similar to Diablo 4's endgame Helltides, Terror Rifts will see zones periodically afflicted by a nightmare realm, which will spawn a portal to a Terror Rift. Once inside a Terror Rift, players will seek to slay monsters and collect a new resource, Stygian Fragments, which are used to summon difficult enemies that, when slain, drop a reward chest that can contain the powerful new Eternal equipment. Yet another resource obtained from these chests, Terror Essence, can then be used to summon an even more difficult challenge at an Oblivion Pillar, one that will grant an additional chance at earning Eternal equipment.

New Terror Rifts are where some of Diablo Immortal's greatest challenges, and greatest rewards, can be found.
New Terror Rifts are where some of Diablo Immortal's greatest challenges, and greatest rewards, can be found.

Terror Rifts, Eternal equipment, and a look at Cain's past are all coming as part of the March 27 update, but some of Diablo Immortal's most exciting changes are still months away. While they are being kept under wraps for now, Yao did offer some teases. The game's upcoming new class, like last year's popular Blood Knight, will be an all-new addition to the franchise. Major changes are coming to the game's current Paragon system too, Yao said.

"Right now we have about 15 Paragon trees," Yao said. "We're looking into how to make it more intuitive and easier for players to manage, so that when they play the game they have a clear path and vision of how to get stronger through the Paragon system."

Details on other additions, like a new co-op mode that will see players team up to face down hordes of enemies and a two-year-anniversary event, will come later in the year. Yao said the anniversary event specifically--teased with an image of Diablo 4 world boss Avarice, The Gold Cursed--is to show appreciation and gratitude to players for sticking around since the game's launch, but wouldn't go into more detail. The beauty of a live-service game, she said, is to be able to listen to player feedback and continue learning, resulting in a long list of quality-of-life changes and improvements over the past two years.

In many ways, Diablo Immortal has been building towards the Lord of Terror's return ever since the game's launch back in June 2022.

"Last year was our opportunity to really figure out our pace and understand what works and what we can improve on," Burgess said. "I think we are hitting a full sprint this year. We've been planning this story since before launch, we had this idea of what we wanted to do. We set up the stage of 'Diablo is back' in the launch build and we are excited to run full steam at this big reemergence of Diablo and have a climactic moment at the end of the year and set up for future stories in 2025 and beyond."

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