Blizzard Entertainment is preparing to release the next big installment to the Diablo franchise. At BlizzCon 2016 last November, Diablo fans were hoping to hear of the imminent release of Diablo 4. In fact, there was a wild conspiracy theory that the sequel game would be announced that sprang forth from some misprinted roleplaying dice that Blizzard gave away in their BlizzCon goody bags. Unfortunately for the hopefuls, the theory did not pan out. There was no Diablo 4 announcement at BlizzCon 2016.
However, Blizzard Entertainment did not leave Diablo fans completely disappointed. Rather than devoting resources to an entirely new game in the franchise, company heads announced that Diablo 3 would be receiving a new DLC called Rise of the Necromancer. The DLC will add a new playable hero class, the Necromancer.
Game developers often look for ways to give a sequel a fresh look and feel while still maintaining a familiarity to the original content. When Diablo 3 was first released, it appeared that the Witch Doctor hero class was Blizzard Entertainment’s attempt to replace Diablo 2‘s Necromancer with something just a bit different, but familiar enough to be a good substitute for players who liked that class.
Now it appears that Blizzard wants to bring the dark hero back to the franchise and current generation hardware. However, the Necromancer will not be the same as it was in Diablo 2. According to Blizzard, the biggest difference will be the lack of poisoning abilities.
“The Diablo III Necromancer is a reimagining of the classic Diablo II class. While not all of the Diablo II class skills will be returning, we drew a lot of inspiration from the previous version of the Necromancer and have taken the Diablo III version in a direction we hope you’ll love!”
The company went on to say that the Necromancer’s powers will focus more on the blood and bone magic aspects of the class. Corpse Explosion is making a return. It is a spell that, well, makes corpses explode. It is powerful and looks spectacular. Additionally, the Necromancer will have skills like Bone Spear, Siphon Blood, Blood Rush, and of course, Summon Skeletons, to round out his repertoire.
“Necromancers can expect darker, more controlled gameplay centered around the raw materials of life: blood and bone,” says Blizzard Entertainment.
Players can also expect to have more control over their pets than they have with the Witch Doctor or the Diablo 2 version of the Necromancer. Players will be able to command their pets to attack specific targets and go where instructed.
While the Rise of the Necromancer expansion was enough to appease some fans, others were not so impressed. Scrolling through the comments on Blizzard’s “Necromancer Overview” it is easy to find many complaints.
Even though a price for the Necromancer DLC has not been announced, players are complaining that they have to pay for it at all.
“My biggest problem? You have to buy this class,” says Sigxy. “Why? He really looks cool and all (my favorite class in Diablo 2) but having to pay money to play another class? Not gonna happen in a game I already had to buy the original and the expansion for.”
Others were disappointed that Blizzard Entertainment is not doing something bigger considering that 2016 was Diablo‘s 20th anniversary.
Luu writes, “I’m sorry, but it was really, really underwhelming for a 20 years anniversary…”
But most of the dissenters are frustrated not only that there is no Diablo 4 on the horizon, but that there is also no new playable content coming for D3. Players are anxious for something different. They want something new to do, not just a new class to play through old content.
A release date for the Rise of the Necromancer DLC has not yet been announced. The overview just says, “Sometime in 2017.”
However, Gio Hunt, Executive Vice President of Corporate Operations at Blizzard Entertainment, told Trusted Reviews to expect to see the DLC in the “middle of 2017.”
So we have at least a few more months before we can expect to see it. If the content is going to land in mid-2017, then we should hear about a release date soon.
[Featured Image Blizzard Entertainment]