Hot on the heels of major announcements for Overwatch and Hearthstone, Blizzard offered BlizzCon attendees a sneak peek at its plans for the Diablo franchise. While we weren’t treated to anything as momentous as Diablo IV, Blizzard did unveil its plans to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the franchise with an anniversary patch, and an upcoming character class.
The new patch, aptly titled The Darkening of Tristram will take players back 20 years — to a time before fancy 3D graphics and massive, sprawling game worlds. That’s right, Blizzard designers rebuilt the original Diablo game inside the Diablo III engine, and that’s not all: The pack will feature a pixelated filter and down-scaled player animations to recapture the unique experience of delving the depths of the Tristram Cathedral on a 60MHz PC with 8MB of RAM.
The anniversary patch will go live sometime in the coming months, but you can get a taste as early as next week, when the Darkening of Tristram hits the Public Test Realm on Diablo III.
In addition to the anniversary patch, Blizzard teased the upcoming release of a character class that has become a fan favorite over the years: the Necromancer. Players will be able to command legions of the dead and make corpses explode with the new edition of the classic Diablo II character as early as next year, when Blizzard releases a Diablo III character pack. It will be the first piece of paid content since the release of Reaper of Souls but is not expected to be a full-on expansion.
Additionally, we can expect to see two new zones hitting the Diablo III Adventure Mode sometime next year. The new zones, Shrouded Moors, and Temple of the Firstborn will be added to the game for free.