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.

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