Diablo IV has just launched across all platforms, but that hasn’t stopped developer Blizzard from expanding its legacy. In an interview with Kinda Funny Games, general manager Rod Fergusson confirmed that the studio already has two expansions in development. “As I sit here we’re about to launch the main game, we’re finishing up season one, we’re working on season two, we’re working on expansion one” he said, adding that development on the second major expansion was about to kick off. Diablo IV was designed keeping a live-service format in mind, substantial content will be added over time in seasons. This is a big upgrade compared to Diablo III’s model, released 11 years ago, which was left abandoned over that time.
In an earlier interview with IGN, Fergusson mentioned that Diablo IV’s expansions will feature narrative questlines, with some “richer context” being added around a season’s release, which will also follow a theme, resulting in new cosmetics and gameplay mechanics tailored toward it. The narrative itself will not extend the main campaign in any way and merely serves as extra stories set within the game’s open world. “Because that’s the nice thing about the world is that there are lots of stories you can still tell without having it be the Lilith/ Inarius story,” he said, at the time. In comparison, both Diablo II and Diablo III received one big expansion each, albeit continued support was provided through patches and content updates. The team plans to update Diablo IV for years, even introducing a battle pass that would simply contain cosmetic items.
Currently, Diablo 4 is in its pre-season stage, bringing in a shop with limited inventory for purchase. As season one rolls in, players can expect the battle pass and an even fuller shop that’s aligned towards a theme. The in-game shop is also touted to have an intelligence system behind it, which would largely recommend items based on whatever class you’re playing. The pre-season period will function as a testing period for that, as the team continues working on the major update.
Last week, Blizzard upped the stakes for Diablo IV’s more competitive player base, promising to immortalise the first 1,000 players to reach level 100 on Hardcore mode by engraving their names/ battle tags onto a statue of Lilith. Currently, there’s no word on where the statue will be kept or what they will be doing with it, but I’m assuming it’s in the main headquarters. For the uninitiated, the Hardcore Mode is basically a permadeath mode where your character gets deleted upon death, forcing you to recreate and start from the very beginning. The difficulty is also quite high on this one.
Back in May, the company also highlighted Diablo 4’s endgame progression, which is meant to keep the game enjoyable, long after the main campaign is done. You’ve got a Capstone Dungeon that lets you do repeated runs — in rising difficulties — as a means to collect a whole variety of loot and continue getting stronger. Nightmare Dungeons also return, letting you choose one out of 120+ dungeons in the Sanctuary and turn it into a harsher playfield. These can be activated by finding a Nightmare Sigil, which adds difficult objectives, increased enemy count, and portals that toss in monsters from other realms.