Necromancers And Diablo 1 Remake Coming To Diablo 3

Update: Yikes! Blizzard has confirmed The Darkening of Tristram will be an event taking place in Diablo III in January, and will return annually (side note: holiday events seem to be all the rage right now) as an anniversary-themed homage. The event will be home to some exclusive loot, including the soulstone from the original Diablo along with the Butcher’s clever and Wirt’s leg. Keen beans will be able to access the event from the test realm starting next week.

Original story:

Fresh information has dropped out from the sleeve of Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime’s wonderful bowling shirts: the Necromancer class will be coming to Diablo 3 [official site] next year. But what’s that hiding in the other arm? Blizzard is also remaking the very first Diablo in the Diablo III engine, and that’s coming out in the next couple of months.

But why now? November is the time of year where Blizzard takes to Anaheim for BlizzCon, and 2016 is the year of multiple Blizzversaries: including for Diablo, which is now 20 years old.

It’s important to note these announcements don’t form a new expansion. The Necromancer will be sold separately as part of a Rise of the Necromancer pack. Fun fact: when Diablo II launched many many many years ago, the Necromancer’s exploding corpse ability (sometimes writing about games makes you realise how bizarre they can be) was so hilariously overpowered it was absolutely brilliant, though quickly fixed. They really don’t make them like they used to, although it looks like they’re trying.

Along with the Necromancer class, the pack will also come with various other doodads and customisable thingies: an in-game pet, two additional character slots, two more stash tabs, and more portrait frames, pennants, banners and sigils. Here’s a trailer for it:

Meanwhile, the Diablo I remake will be turning up on the game’s public test realm next week as part of an update called Darkening of Tristram. Here you’ll return to the original Cathedral and its 16 levels, as well as face off with the original four bosses – even though the Butcher sort-of returned in Diablo III. It’s definitely retro, mind: movement will be locked to eight planes and Blizzard is working on brand new whizzy graphical effects to make everything look really, really old. But I bet it won’t run on a 60MHz Pentium with 8MB of RAM anymore.

Blizzard also announced two new zones will also be coming to Diablo III’s Adventure Mode, known as Shrouded Moors and Temple of the First Born. Nowhere in Diablo ever sounds particularly nice, does it? No wonder it’s all so miserable over near Tristram.

Though Blizzard didn’t explicitly say, I would say it’s safe bet to assume these new zones will come with a bevy of new items to obsess over, so you’ll running its various new gauntlets time and time again until the Merciless Random Number Generators produce something which fits your build.

While it’s not the Diablo IV reveal some were probably hoping for, I think it’s cool to see Blizzard continue to support Diablo III for so long after launch, especially when its lukewarm online reception ensured it was once the de facto problem child of the Blizzard family. The game is virtually unrecognisable now than it was four years ago, and it looks like it’s continuing to change. Who’s ready to blow up some corpses?

There are some more details over on the Blizzcon site, including some lovely Necromancer gifs.


  1. Abacus says:

    Seems kind of disposable really. As it’s a ‘pack’ and not an expansion I don’t see how this will shake up the gameplay in any meaningful way. You’ll just be levelling and gearing up yet another character.

    Not impressed. And Diablo 3 is a game that could’ve done with another expansion.

  2. hennedo says:

    Sounds fun! I wonder how different the feel will be from the WD. And a Diablo remake to boot. Cool stuff. Wonder what the pricing will be.

  3. zind says:

    I do hope it’s sooner in the year rather than later. The game has been stagnant for quite some time, so having some brand new ways to play will be quite welcome.

    While I’d like another gameplay addition as big as adventure mode was, I don’t really have any idea what it would be like. At this point I think D3 is about as content-rich as it can be – even adding new tilesets and monsters, while welcome, wouldn’t really change the game that much. New classes, new items/sets, new skills, new builds, that’s what I’d like to see more of for the rest of the game’s lifespan.

  4. Mr. Anderson says:

    I really need those two additional stash tabs.

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      They knew people would care more for the stash than another samey character class. I definitely need this.

  5. Horg says:

    Diablo 2 had Necromancers perfected; a summon build you could sit behind with a cup of coffee and a good book while everything died around you. The only micro required was looting and the occasional curse if your bonedudes were killing too slowly. This Diablo 3 incarnation implies that you will be expected to actively participate in combat : | The spirit of this once noble class has been corrupted beyond reason.

    • MaXimillion says:

      There’s always Path of Exile if you want a more passive summoner build (or any kind of build, really).

      • Procrastination Giant says:

        Summoners in PoE? Eh, Way too active. Cast on Death is where it’s at, man. There’s nothing more necro than being your own corpse explosion. (Limited hardcore viability, though.)

        • Darth Gangrel says:

          Corpse Explosion was my favorite skill in Diablo 2, it was so much fun to kill one enemy and then lure all the rest around it and begin the fireworks. One corpse explosion often gave you new corpses, so you could spam the hell out of those demons.

          The Witcher Doctor seemed like a worse Necromancer in Diablo 3, but now it might actually be time to start playing Diablo 3. Still don’t like the always-online crap and there are other games out there like Grim Dawn or Path of Exile, so I’m not making any promises, heh.

  6. Stepout says:

    HELL YES for the Diablo 1 remake. Go Blizzard!!

  7. Viroso says:

    Is it still always online? I’d buy expansions and keep playing if it weren’t. I shouldn’t even have bought the game in the first place knowing that it was.

    • Baines says:

      I wonder that myself.

      The console version had real offline play, and the PC version did eventually retool loot and ditch the real money auction house. But I don’t recall hearing that it ever ditched the always online requirement.

      • Unclepauly says:

        The console version still has offline. It is also hacked beyond comprehension while the PC version is pretty much hack-free. So yeah, you could just go console with this pack, but then you will have the unfortunate time of it running around with invincible maxed out ultra turbo firing characters with 100% cooldown reduction and 700% movespeed. Oh, and probably lifesteal haha

    • malkav11 says:

      On PC, yes, still always-online. Consoles have offline play, despite Blizzard swearing up and down that online play was fundamental to the design. (Spoiler: it isn’t even close.)

      • DeadCanDance says:

        So I won’t support it. I hate killing a zombie to only see it hitting the ground 500ms later.

      • Asurmen says:

        It was absolutely fundamental, when it included an auction house you could use and gain real money on.

        I assume it’s now simply too much effort for little gain to remove the always online aspect now that the auction house has been removed.

  8. Hellraiserzlo says:

    They aren’t supporting Diablo 3, it’s for Reaper of Souls.
    I bought a broken Diablo 3 back when it came out, and I am still supposed to pay for the fix patch and extra contant…

    • Asurmen says:


    • Poolback says:

      What are you talking about ? The Auction house gone, the Loot 2.0, the new difficulty system, all of this have been added for free in the base game. Reapers of Souls is a good old expansion pack, with an additionnal Act, an additionnal class, a lot more loot, and a whole new game mode that is actually even better than the base game.

      • Mr. Perfect says:

        Yeah, they fixed the base game for free with the 2.0 patch. It was such an improvement that I actually started playing again and then grabbed the expansion.

  9. Dudeness says:

    I presume that it will be with Diablo3 classes. I really loved that your choice of class didn’t limit you in D1. I hope to see that in the remake, but I don’t have any illusions.

    Is D3 moddable?

    • Mr. Perfect says:

      Yeah, it’s with the existing classes.

      Kind of a shame, really. I played D1 with a friend who horded a set of +INT gear for his warrior. He had a firewall that literally lasted for minutes and was to strong to walk through. Every once in a while we’d have to just stand around chatting until a doorway wasn’t filled with hellfire anymore.

      Maybe someday they’ll do a real HD remaster.

  10. poohbear says:

    where is the next Diablo 3 expansion? only one expansion so far??? What gives blizzard?

    • malkav11 says:

      No Blizzard game has ever had two expansions unless you count Starcraft II, and you really shouldn’t because that was three standalone $60 purchases each with their own full campaign and seemingly eternal development.

      • Sabbatai says:

        Well there is that one really obscure game they put out that has 6 expansions. I mean I know nobody plays it or even remembers what it is called… Galaxy of Battlecraft or something like that.

        • malkav11 says:

          Ok, no non-MMO. And Diablo III isn’t an MMO.

          • Elevory says:


          • malkav11 says:

            Hasn’t had anything I would call an ‘expansion’. Like Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch, it’s received periodic content updates, but nothing of that scope and certainly nothing you can buy in a retail box. The Necromancer Class Pack seems very much in kind with Hearthstone releases, honestly. But it’s certainly no Reaper of Souls.

          • FuriKuri says:

            If one is ever required to demonstrate ‘no true scotsman’ from first principles, the above exchange will serve admirably. :)

      • The Velour Fog says:

        so nothing that fits your narrow definition of expansion then. Right.

        • Asurmen says:

          Except they’re correct from the post you’re replying from. Blizzard games only ever get one expansion pack, WoW being the exception for obvious reasons.

        • malkav11 says:

          The gaming industry has generally moved away from the expansion pack model except for MMOs. Pretty much everyone except Blizzard now instead releases much smaller content updates in a digital only format for a lot more money relative to what you’re getting – i.e. DLC. Even Blizzard seems to have abandoned the approach for their games that have an ongoing income stream – i.e., Hearthstone and everything since.

          I can maybe see how someone might consider Hearthstone’s new card sets “expansions”, but to me they’re just opportunities to buy more tiny piecemeal bits of content (randomized, no less!). It’s only as radical an addition to the experience as you’re prepared to shell out for. And the Adventures or whatever are tiny and massively overpriced.

    • Ashabel says:

      According to Blizzard, it’s pretty much entirely about money. Other Blizzard games have a steady income in the form of subscriptions, expansion packs and paid cosmetics, which can be funneled right back into game development. Diablo III hasn’t been making any money ever since the Reaper of Souls release, so funding any large developments for it would involve taking money made by other games and funneling it into Diablo.

      It’s a weird reason when you consider how much money Blizzard make, but a logically sound one.

  11. shagen454 says:

    Oh shit, I find that way more interesting than a new Diablo 3 expansion. I love all my Blizzard games and have all of their games still installed on my harddrive – but I did uninstall Diablo 3 a couple of months ago with the intention of never playing it again (boring). Guess I will be reinstalling for a Diablo 1 remake!

    • Aldehyde says:

      It’ll be a temporarily playable dungeon in Diablo 3. It’s not a standalone remake. It doesn’t even use new assets, just re-used ones from Act V with a (pretty damn terrible looking) filter on top to make it look more like the original Diablo.

      Oh, did I mention it’s temporary and not permanent?

    • Unclepauly says:

      Boring? Sometimes I have to take a break from playing the game because it bombards the senses so bad I feel like my nerve endings are getting singed.

  12. malkav11 says:

    The Diablo 1 dungeon is going to be an event, not a permanent addition to the game.

  13. Elusiv3Pastry says:

    I sure hope we’ll be able to dupe a bunch of godly plate of the whale and king’s sword of haste again. That was the best part.

  14. Konservenknilch says:

    Why can’t they just re-release Diablo 1 on their battlenet thingamajig? They’re usually good at supporting legacy titles, but this one is sorely missing.

  15. lglethal says:

    60Hz Pentium with 8MB Ram? Luxury!!! Back when I were a lad…

    link to


  16. Scrofa says:

    After 2 failed demakes they finally got to just remaking the good stuff.

  17. i534614 says:

    I’m so excited about this DLC: I’ll get a NEW pet! That’s exactly what I was hoping for! I mean, in a game so grim and dark like Diablo III, a colourful and shiny little fluffy creature is a most welcomed sight. And it is so immersive too: which true hero would face hordes of evil without his faithful and harmless chubby pet? I hope I will get a rainbow unicorn this time.