Diablo 20th Anniversary panel re-cap – Necromancer, Darkening of Tristram Armory and more

Diablo 20th Anniversary panel re-cap – Necromancer, Darkening of Tristram Armory and more

panelThe Diablo 20th anniversary panel was an opportunity for the current team to look back at the game’s history and they gave a quick history lesson on how the series has evolved since 1996.

The event started with various members of Blizzard talking about the game and some old faces put in an appearance including David Brevik and Bill Roper. This explains why they recently dropped by Blizzard HQ.

Read on for a full synopsis of the panel including info on The Darkening of Tristram, the Necromancer, The Armory feature, and upcoming changes to Diablo 3.

  • Diablo 1 released way back on 31 December 1996 It was released in one language and came out the same year as the Nintendo 64. It also spawned Battle.Net which was designed to help you play with other people.
  • In Diablo 1 there were only seven equip slots, skills were learned from Skill Books. In June 2000 Diablo 2 came out and was released in 9 languages in 640 x 480 resolution. It was the same year the PS2 came out.
  • In 2001 LoD came out with 800 x 600 and with an improved Battle.Net, ladders, and online services. The character belt was added but still no trousers. The skills system evolved with the skill tree so you could pick the skills you wanted.
  • 2012 Diablo 3 was released in 12 languages. In 2013 the console version was released and 2014 reaper of Souls appeared.
  • Diablo 3 brought trousers and more inventory slots. Gold was now unlimited and the skill system “evolved”. Alhtough, not everyone would agree with that statement.

The Darkening of Tristram

  • Classic Music Tracks
  • 16 dungeon levels
  • All 4 bosses
  • Glorious Retro-vision
  • Anniversary presents.

25% of animations were removed to make it feel more retro, the audio also sounds tinny for retro-sound.

Combat is the same as  Diablo 3 but the movement is the 90s style movement. The levels have been taken to look as close to Diablo 1 as possible. AI matches the D1 monsters. The UI has also been made retro looking too.

Portal near the old ruins, enter it and you go retro, There’s Easter Eggs too so watch out for them when you enter the area. Things to watch out for include…

  • Portraits
  • Banner and Sigil
  • Pets – Butchcr pet is included
  • At the end the cinematic plays
  • Helmet slot legendary gem Red SoulShard for every character class male and female.
  • Butchers cleaver and Wirt’s Wooden leg weapon transmogs.
  • Butcher and Skeleton King art is more like the 90s characters.


Patch 2.4.3 will see the arrival of these new levels. Every January The Darkness of Tristram event goes live.

The Armory

Full equipment manager coming in 2017.

  • Five loadouts per characters
  • All skills
  • All items
  • Kanai’s Cube powers
  • Store items anywhere.
  • Paragon Points are not saved because you constantly earn Paragon levels and they don’t want to save the point distribution and you come back and reallocated the points you earned and save it again.
  • Gems will be auto placed with no cost.
  • There will be no unsocketing costs. Same will apply to Legendary gems.
  • The Armory handles everything for you.


armory 2

The Necromancer

John Mueller spoke about the reimagining of the Necro for Diablo 3. He showed early concept art as they tried to figure out who the Necromancer was after sixteen years of the Diablo 2 Necromancer. Blizzard also had to introduce the first female Necromancer into the world of Diablo.

brainstorm necromancer


John showed some of the armor set concepts.



Julian Love took over to explain what the Necromancer is.

  • Darkly themed pet and ranged class
  • Commander of the dead
  • Blood, bone, and reanimation
  • Curses

How will the Necro differ from the Witch Doctor?

The Witch Doctor

  • Zombies
  • Creepy crawlies
  • Jungle culture
  • Light hearted

The Necromancer

  • Skeletons, corpse reanimation
  • Curses
  • Blood and Bone
  • Deadly serious

In other words, the Necromancer is a darker character.

The pets between the two also differ. The Witch Doctor’s pets are considered passive while the Necromancer’s are active/passives.

The Necromancer will have a resource called Essence and it doesn’t regen over time like mana.  Corpses are also his other resource when in battle.

  • Command Skeletons – An army of 10 skeletons (melee and ranged) which can be commanded to attack specific targets.
  • Corpse Explosion – When a monster dies, corpse material is dropped that only the Necromancer can see. These materials are used for Corpse Explosion. Up to 10 at a time can be exploded.
  • Bone Spear – Projection skill powered by essence.
  • Decripify – Keeps monster groups together. Curse broad area will be slowed by 80^ damage reduced by 20%.
  • Siphon Blood –  Is a single target channel spell that helps you recover lie and essence by stealing it from enemies.
  • Blood Rush – The character throws off his/her skin and the skill works in a similar way to teleport. It is very precise.
  • Blood Golem – Will work like Diablo 2. They will be big and work as active passive pets.
  • Army of the Dead – Raises around 100 skeletons rushing toward the target.

The Rise of the Necromancer Pack will include the Necromancer, two character slots, two stash tabs on PC, cosmetic goodies (pets portrait frames etc).

The pack is due for release in the second half of 2017.

Related to this article
  • Diablo Animated Netflix Series May Be On The Way
  • Diablo 1 Has Been Released on GOG With New High-Resolution Support
  • Blizzard’s ill-conceived Diablo 3 Nintendo Switch competition

  • You're not logged in. Register or login to post a comment.

    10 thoughts on “Diablo 20th Anniversary panel re-cap – Necromancer, Darkening of Tristram Armory and more

      • you would have typos too if you were busy trying to write a lot of stuff down whilst partying hard

        • Yeh sorry. I was doing this on the hoof and went back to tidy it up, Just wanted to get the initial draft up fast.

    1. ” […] and the skill system “evolved”. Not everyone would agree with that statement.”

      Evolved?!? That made me laugh! Which “skillsystem”? The bare tactical choices left by ripping out all player driven character development choices, making all skills available and switchable and putting a strong limit on the number of skills used in parallel? Even when considering the skillbooksystem of D1, it’s more like devolved. Or better said: Oversimplified! There’s no character development left in D3. Only accumulation! Accumulation alone does not make for a skillsystem.

      • Completely agree with this. Putting raw damage increases on gear instead of a skill tree was a HUGE step backward and a huge mistake. It makes it impossible to create build diversity because rather than picking gear for supportive stats you’re picking it for damage.

    2. All I see is a bunch of “old fucks” that went into developing games, and seem to have no passion for it whatsoever. There is no passion to “push it to the next level” when it comes to “quality” etc. The reskin of the wizard and the “re-use” of already existing maps for the “D1 event” is a slap in the face lol. They want to make everyone believe that D1 “sucked”, and “here is the proof”. The thing is, if they successfully plant that perception in the mind of the “general public” that D1 and D2 are old and “shitty”, then they eliminate generations of potential “gamers” that would otherwise “bitch” around that D3 sucks (as it does), and demand more.

      Blizzard is tired of all the fans, because everyone was telling them from the start that D3 sucks ass. You can tell in their faces, they want to get it over with, and then get amnesia, so they can forget D3 ever happened. D3 has made some “new fans” but those morons are from a generation of “I will stuff anything in my mouth as long as its cheap”. They are unable to see what “garbage” Blizzard delivers with D3.

    3. I have to say one thing.

      Look at the Diablo 2 and Diablo 3 necromancers side by side picture.

      The diablo II necro is so much better. The style, the armour, the face.

      Blizzard are tasteless morons.

      They are going backwards.

    4. The new content sounds interesting.

      Most of the comments I’ve read all day sound like fans that have nothing better to do than get upset that Blizzard didn’t pander to them specifically on this forum for a game that sucks anyway and then get butt hurt that Blizzard doesn’t seem to love it as much as they do even though they say it’s still horrible shit.

    5. People spend time bitching on blizzard but. Still they get the idea to comment on new posts. Guess ppl dont know what to think anymore in these confusing days(aint it just nice that they made some extra timespending content.)

      If you Dont like blizzard and diablo 3, throw away the cd and fuxk off to your mancave and forget it all.

      Or just accept that nowadays ppl dont care about making the customer happy with a nice smooth working product and just make something of the shit you do have instead of complaining about every not really important thing.

      Necro will be cool and ill be happy to spend another few bucks on a game i probably play over 80hours eventually in my life then pay 40€ for some fked up park with way too many screaming flesh thinking sacks of meat waiting in a line to enjoy a ride for less then a minute.

      Think before you complain if its worth the energy to even bother conplaining about it you useless humans,. Maybe u could make a better game but I dont see it,!

    6. So let me get this straight… you’re (Blizzard) willing to remake Diablo in the Diablo III engine with updated combat and interface features, etc, but your NOT willing to do a remake of Warcraft I and II in the Starcraft II engine because THAT would be “stupid and boring”. Wow Blizzard…just, WOW!.

    Comments are closed.