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Highlights from the Blizzcon Diablo Q&A

Starting off the second day of Blizzcon, in terms of Diablo at least, the first programmed scheduled was a Q&A session with the Executive Producer for the Diablo Franchise Rod Fergusson, Game Designer for Diablo IV Luis Barriga, the Principal Designer for Diablo II: Resurrected Rob Gallerani, and Wyatt Cheng, the Lead Game Designer for Diablo Immortal.

Diablo
Image Courtesy of Blizzard

To start things off, Fergusson made a point of introducing the panelists and highlighting how long they’ve been with Blizzard. Barriga has been with the company for 15 years, and Cheng has been with them for 18 years. For Gallerani, he was previously at Vicarious Visions—which recently merged with Blizzard—for 20 years, but has only officially been a Blizzard employee for about two weeks. 

Obviously, the question at the forefront of everyone’s mind is: when can we expect the release of Diablo IV? The answer is: not any time soon. At the very least, the game will not be released in 2021. Although, as the Q&A progressed it was made clear that the game’s development is going well and testing phases for the Crusader and Necromancer are going to be forthcoming. This is a follow up to the exciting news from Blizzcon’s first day that the Rogue would be returning to the ranks of playable character classes. 

Among the questions submitted by fans, one asked about the gender customizing options for the upcoming Diablo IV. The classic Rogues as seen in previous game installments have been canonically only women, belonging to the Sisterhood of the Sightless Eye. However, starting in Diablo III, users could choose the gender of their characters in each of the classes. Continuing on with such customization options in Diablo IV, while introducing the Rogue as a character class, it raised the question of whether or not players would be able to choose the gender of their Rogue.  It was explained that other groups of Rogues not belonging to the established Sisterhood existed in the wider world of Diablo IV.

As such, the option to customize the Rogue, and all characters, will not be gender locked. Although there may be fixed factions of gendered Rogues as NPCs, players will be able to customize their characters however they like.  

Other questions concerning the lore of Diablo Immortal were provided some clarification from Cheng, who noted that the forthcoming mobile game takes place during the in-game twenty year chronology between Diablo II and Diablo III. As such, the lore of Diablo Immortal will NOT carry over to Diablo IV. However, Immortal will allow players to revisit key moments from Diablo’s history, and since the game occurs before the third installment in the franchise, not only will Deckard Cain still be alive, but Diablo II: Resurrected will basically serve as a precursor to Diablo Immortal

Ultimately, there was a lot of information provided about all three big Diablo titles on the docket: Diablo II: Resurrected, Diablo Immortal, and Diablo IV, shared in the approximate 35 minute Q&A session, so it is well worth giving the segment a watch on youtube where the whole thing has been made available, if you weren’t able to catch it live. 

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