“The minions of hell are growing stronger” – Blizzard’s mysterious new Diablo project

Spin that unsubstantiated rumour wheel! What’s it gonna be? Red 18 for Warcraft 4, black 29 for Starcraft 3, red 6 for WOW2, or how about black 7 for Unannounced Diablo Project? Blizzard, generally speaking, are damned good at controlling information until they want information to be known, which means we very rarely have any real clue what their next move will be.

Until yesterday, when they went right out there and told the world that they’re working on a new Diablo project.

Before we knee-jerk to Diablo 4 – as tempting as it might be – there are other possibilities. Remakes or remasters of Diablos 1 (which they’ve semi-done already) or 2, for instance, or a late-in-the-day expansion pack for Diablo III itself (which still looks entirely contemporary, despite its growing age).

All we have to go on is that Blizzard just put up job listings for an environment artist and a dungeon artist, both of which contain the line “We’re working on a new, unannounced Diablo project.” This rather strong statement at least suggests it’s not simply a seasonal update for Diablo III.

Both positions are full-time rather than temporary too, and stipulate knowledge of 3D tools, suggesting this is a project of significant size and complexity as opposed to, say, just a spit’n’polish of the 2D Diablos 1 or 2. But speculation is only speculation.

There’s also the line “The minions of Hell are growing stronger…”, which wouldn’t be the first thing I’d say to someone thinking of working at my company, but maybe the wannabe minions dig it.

Whaddaya reckon? Too soon for Diablo 4, too late for a Diablo 3 expansion, too pointless to remake, say, Diablo 2 in 2D? Or: anything, please, so long as it’s Diablo, and soon.

61 Comments

  1. Rao Dao Zao says:

    We must be due a DiablMMO by now.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      No, no more MMO’s. Disregarding my antipathy for anything online based, that genre is crowded enough. It was bad enough that Diablo 3 required an internet connection at all times and of course suffered connection failures, though it’s now playable offline as they’ve done several changes and removed the auction house. My subjective wish is a new offline singleplayer Diablo, preferably with manual saves, but the Diablo 2 “Save and Exit” model would also work.

      • SaintAn says:

        There’s very very few actual MMO’s. The MMO genre is dead, not crowded. Even Blizzard un-MMOed WoW turning it into just a multiplayer game, so even it’s not an MMO anymore.

      • Fire of Love says:

        Totally agree, with the correction that Diablo 3 is not playable offline.

      • Slazer says:

        Actually the always online is what keeps D2 multiplayer playable. The consoles are a complete mess multiplayer because there are hacks all over the place.
        There were surely instances where I would have liked to play offline, but being able to join random games without fear is worth the sacrifice for me. And if you are farming cubes solok, you are playing the game wrong -_-

    • causticnl says:

      highly unlikely since a new MMO will eat in their own Wow subscription numbers.

  2. ColinSFX says:

    Diablo Royale

  3. UncleLou says:

    Could be something as trivial as the teased Switch version. Which has now been officially teased after they denied that the inofficial tease a day before the official tease was actually a tease.

    (On a somewhat related note, Wolcen is coming along *really* nicely. If you’re somewhat tired of Diablo 3 and/or PoE, take a look at the early access).

    • LexW1 says:

      Nah.

      If you actually read the job spec it rules out any straightforward kind of new console version or remake.

      The only possibilities are either something big for Diablo III, like a massive expansion (unlikely), or an actually new Diablo project. Whether that is Diqblo 4, Diablo Royale, World of Diablo or Diablorim is the real question (probably it’s a semi persistent isometric Diablo with an open world).

  4. Premium User Badge

    Iamblichos says:

    Diablo, only with crafting and permanent online multi-player. DiabloRust! Because that’s what everyone has been crying out for. Maybe add in some DLC with real-money lootboxes.

    • Jeremy says:

      I wish I could add a reaction to this. An emoji that starts laughing, then laughing harder, then from a place of deep pain and woundedness, that laughing turns into tears.

  5. MiniMatt says:

    I’m going to chant “Hellgate London!” at tube stations until I get politely moved on or Blizzard try another stab at a 21st century set Diablo-like.

    (I know, I know, Hellgate London was ex-Blizz people rather than Blizz direct, but it was a flawed gem of a game)

    • Shushununu says:

      I picked that game (boxed copy) up from a friend who hated it for $5, and I absolutely loved it. Different gun types, varied enemies, some fun bosses. Of course I started playing after its final patches/updates, so there were some variety of environments instead of tunnels ad nauseum.

      It’s too bad that game was never properly finished, so much to love.

      • LexW1 says:

        It belongs in that great idea terrible execution group of games which are always slightly sad to think of. The biggest issue was weak actual combat gameplay design in a game focused around that. Had the shooting and powers been as cool in practice as theory Hellgate 2 would probably be a game today.

      • khamul says:

        Every time I pick up an FPS these days (which isn’t often), I think ‘Yes… but the guns in Hellgate London were so much more inventive and fun’.

        I’m with the others on misunderstood gem, though there’s plenty not-so-great about it.

    • UncleLou says:

      I adored Hellgate. It was basically Diablo meets Doom. To this day, I can’t really understand how it wasn’t universally praised, and how it hasn’t replaced all other games.

      • Shushununu says:

        From what I can remember, they (Old Blizzard North team) hyped and marketed the crap out of the game, but were on the verge of bankruptcy so they released the game early. The combination of major bugs and lack of balance, art assets and very repetitive environments on release made for terrible reviews and word of mouth, and by the time some of those things were fixed it was too late.

        I wonder if the Early Access business model would’ve really helped it and the studio succeed.

        • hfm says:

          For me it had the unfortunate situation where it launched days after The Witcher which I instantly fell in love with and pretty much forgot all other games existed for a little while.

        • Stropp says:

          The single player game, from what I remember, worked quite well but the multiplayer/MMO-ish game was really bad. I don’t remember the exact problems I had when playing but there were bugs out the wazoo. Some of which impacted progression.

          I ended up playing lots of Mythos instead.

    • Foosnark says:

      YES.

      Hellgate was almost good despite being terrible. It had so much potential. It kind of plays like a prototype, the writers obviously ran out of time, and nearly every level where there was an alternate type of gameplay it went way off the rails… but still managed to be a lot of fun.

  6. lglethal says:

    “There’s also the line “The minions of Hell are growing stronger…”, which wouldn’t be the first thing I’d say to someone thinking of working at my company, but maybe the wannabe minions dig it.”

    I dont know i can think of a few jobs where that would be a relevant first line – Exorcist, Televangelist, Satanist, CEO of a Fortune 500 firm, member of political party of your choice, etc…

  7. SaintAn says:

    They ruined Diablo, and Blizzard is too incompetent, arrogant, out of touch, and burnt out to be capable of making another Diablo as good as 2. They even failed at making a proper Necromancer for 3.

    • Foosnark says:

      They mostly fixed Diablo 3. And what’s wrong with Necromancer? :P

    • hfm says:

      Diablo 3 is a lot of fun at this point. If you hated it instantly and gave up on it you should revisit it now.

      But given your opinion on the Necromancer, you purchased that and played it in order to have a valid opinion. So you sunk $20 into something you already thought was shit. Right?

    • mitrovarr says:

      I can’t really agree that any studio that made Overwatch is bad. Overwatch isn’t a perfect game, but it’s incredibly compelling, and shows they are still capable of great things.

    • Sandepande says:

      Nonsense. D3 is fine. If you want more Diablo II, well… Play Diablo II.

    • Slazer says:

      D2 has better artstyle and atmosphere, but gameplay in D3 is miles ahead. Go play D2, I did recently and it really feels slow, lacking and uncomfortable these days.
      Also, I wouldn’t want to spend 30 hours on my 4th Paladin because the meta changed and I want to switch builds.

      • dr.denton says:

        From a purely mechanical perspective, DIII is the superior game. But story, atmosphere, a sense of place, all these things that made the Diablo series great, are gone.
        And it’s not the art design either. They did a great job there and in a different kind of game it would work brillantly.

        For all its faults, Path of Exile feels so much more like a worthy successor to Diablo – even Torchlight I and II feel more like Diablo than Diablo 3 does.

  8. shauneyboy68 says:

    In terms of a narrative (granted Diablo never really had much of one, but what was there was really good for a 90s game), where else can they go with this Franchise? Diablo him/herself is a big failure, having been defeated every time he rears his head, same with all the other prime evils and the goodie angels.

    If they revisit Diablo, here’s hoping for a reboot, some professional fiction writing that doesn’t pander or try to be edgy (and end up being the most mainstream thing ever), and a new take on the looty action RPG. I’d like to see Blizzard’s take on Demon’s/Dark Souls tactical combat. Please not another clickfest.

    • aliksy says:

      The writing in diablo3 was some of the worst I’ve ever seen in any medium. I hope they seal away whoever was responsible for it, somewhere deep and forgotten.

      I’m not sure what I’d want to see in a new diablo game. The latest incarnation of 3 is … fine, but it’s basically a slot machine, and prefer games where I can feel skilled. But if they made it more Souls-like or otherwise emphasized skill over gear, it’d be a whole other type of game and a lot of people would be unhappy.

      • khamul says:

        I know what I want from Diablo 4.
        But then I realise that I own Grim Dawn, so I already have it.

        Now I just need Crate to make Titan Quest 2 for me…

        …not that Grim Dawn isn’t great, in many ways. It’s just that, well, I’d mostly rather spend my time in a beautiful ancient world than a post-apocalyptic hell-hole.

    • Lawlcopt0r says:

      A diablo souls-like would be amazing.

  9. spcd says:

    I’m looking forward to another Diablo game that was created by people who have never played Diablo 1 and 2 before!

    Is there a word for the ‘effect’ Diablo 3 had?

    For example, you can reproduce this effect by taking a band like Metallica, but replace all the band members with kindergarten teachers.

    Or you take a movie like Die Hard, but you replace the cast with teletubbies and now there is no violence.

    That is what Diablo 3 was to me.

    • shauneyboy68 says:

      D3 is so out of touch with its predecessors. It reminds me of the part from the loathsome Robocop remake where all the marketing guys are sitting around looking at potential Robocop designs, the original Robocop pops up, and they all laugh at how stupid it is.

      “You believe me, don’t you Leah?” – some amazing Decarkd Cain dialogue from D3

      • hijuisuis says:

        Thank you this was the best thing I read all day. The satire of RoboCop becomes more relevant every time I watch it.

      • Shadow says:

        D3 is the second rehash of the same storyline. Evidently, the third incarnation of the same deal is going to grate more than ever before.

        This new Diablo project sounds like the next D3 expansion. Keep in mind they keep making WoW expansions, so the original game’s age has little relevance. But beyond this, Diablo as we know it has no future.

        Sanctuary as a setting could still be exploited in a future MMO, a grimdarker successor to WoW (hopefully with enough good twists to the formula). But a new “proper” Diablo would need to do away with Diablo himself entirely, and shake up the template extensively. Enough there would be plenty of purists calling heresy. Those who though the relatively tame D3 departure was heretical would simply lose their mind over it.

  10. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I’d like another Diablo. Maybe something a little less ‘streamlined’ and frenetic than D3.

    I mean the setting is maybe… a little grimdark, but it’s still got some life in it, and it’d be nice to have another romp.

  11. Hoot says:

    Diablo with a better plot and something similar to Grim Dawn in terms of game-play and I would be happy :)

    • hfm says:

      I really liked Grim Dawn. Hell I funded it back when they were doing it on their own site (I liked Titan Quest that much). But honestly, I played thorough it once and I had enough (there might be a further expansion I’m missing out on.. yeah I don’t think I played the Ashes of Malmouth .. bah whatever…). I basically built a char that had the Blackwater Cocktail (Demolitionist?) skill and I buffed the shit out of it and basically walked through the game like a knife through butter with it. I actually thought about stopping using it, but I just wanted to see the rest of the game and get it over with.

      Still loved playing it but I have no interest going back to it, even to see the new expansion. And I dumped more than $100 at them in crowdfunding between their own campaign and then when they moved to Kickstarter.. NO RAGRETS. Was happy to see it get made.

      • Shushununu says:

        Grim Dawn has so many quality of life improvements over Titan Quest… and yet I also find it a little less compelling to play. I think it’s because in TQ there were builds that really didn’t work together and some that were godlike, and there were some enemies who needed different tactics to beat.

        Every character (I think I’m up to 7 chars that have beat veteran) in GD has some kind of spammable skill that takes care of 99% of enemies. The only real strategic consideration is how long you can stand the punishment of whatever you’re facing until kiting to finish.

        If they brought all the Grim Dawn QoL improvements (stackable components!) and the constellation system to a TQ remastered edition, that would be a perfect game for me.

    • Shadow says:

      Personally, I found Grim Dawn’s gameplay archaic, whatever semblance of story it had unengaging, and overall dull and derivative. I must’ve played it something like 3-4 hours before terminal boredom set in.

      A bit like Xenonauts: obsessed with aping the past while failing to develop any interesting identity of its own.

  12. H. Vetinari says:

    Man would I love to play Warcraft 4 (the regular game, not the MMO); also wouldn’t have nothing against a new Starcraft 3.
    Diablo…not as much because POE is my perfect go-to game for scratching that clickfest itch (they really nailed it for me, don’t play it much, but when I do it’s a blast…D3 is not even close).
    Don’t play online games, so don’t really care much about MMOs.

    • hfm says:

      I’d love to see a Diablo 4 basically because it’s my favorite atmosphere of all the ARPG’s that exist. I love the lore. I love their high quality cut scenes. ARPGs for me pretty much a one run through in single-player and I’m done affair. But I love them just for that. I have friends that have sunk so many hours into all the chars. Me.. bah just give me one char, I’ll run through to see all the things and I’m out.

      (EDIT.. has nothing to do with the fact that I’m in the Ring of One Thousand for Diablo). :)

  13. PancreaticDefect says:

    My guess is its a sequel. It may seem too soon for one but I dont think that rules it out. And since Diablo 3 ended with Tyrael worrying about how the player character has essentially become the most powerful creature to ever exist and if they decide to go bad all three worlds are in serious trouble. If that aint ready-made sequel setting, I dont know what is.

    • Sandepande says:

      Some kind of a conquest-type thing would be nice.

      Just hoping that the online component won’t be throwing too many wrenches into the design, as happened with D3 before they kicked RMAH out.

      • PancreaticDefect says:

        A large map that sprawls over the three realms that you have to conquer a section at a time from the demons, angels, and the humans allied with either faction that control them, and then defend against reclamation by those powers by fortifying and fighting would be fun. Kind of like Diablo meets Shadow of War but in the top down perspective of the franchise. All that epic loot you find can be sold for cash to upgrade fortifications or added to armories to equip your AI defenders. I suppose the end goal being to finally overthrow both heaven and hell and put an end to their conflict forever.

  14. satsui says:

    This could mean two things based on my knowledge as a long-term Blizzard fan:

    1. The person who previously held this position is no longer with the company (retired, left, etc.) and they just copy/paste the job description.
    2. A new Diablo game is confirmed, but we’ll forget this ever happened when it’s announced in 5 years.

  15. djvecchitto says:

    Blizzard, whatever you do, don’t make another game where “The Game Doesn’t Actually Start Until You Beat The Game Once.” I don’t have the time to beat a 20-hour campaign in order to unlock difficulty levels that actually make the game playable.

  16. Spacewalk says:

    It’s gonna be like Vermintide innit.

  17. Sly-Lupin says:

    I want to be excited, but I just can’t do it. Diablo 3 was just… so… boring. And it’s probably not gonna be a proper sequel, anyhow. Most likely they’re working on some multiplayer spin-off or a cheap “remaster” of Diablo 2.

    • Sandepande says:

      Would one really need a dungeon designer for that? Or a person with familiarity with 3D tools?

      I don’t think a “cheap D2 remaster” works, if they’ve lost all their art assets and have to redo them from scratch.

    • Slazer says:

      Play Reaper of Souls? Took the game to another level and lets you ignore the story mode

  18. Chiron says:

    Beware: Shoulder Pad creep.

    Thats basically an MBT suit of armour there.

  19. aircool says:

    Pauldrons! Will Blizzard ever stop ripping off GW?

    I know, I know… it could be any old fantasy picture, but it just looks so Warhammer

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