As expected, Diablo 4 will be released as a live-service game when it arrives next year. Rumours of the game’s always-online design which includes in-game purchases and a seasonal battle pass have been circling the internet for a few months now and Blizzard just confirmed it all in a new quarterly update for the game.
In the latest Diablo 4 quarterly update, Blizzard shared details on the end-game content coming to the gams as well as a Cosmetic Shop and a so-called “optional Season Pass”.
Diablo 4 will get new seasonal content every quarter according to Blizzard. When this content arrives, players will have the opportunity to enjoy free dungeons, fresh new gameplay features, and questlines that introduce new challenges, mysteries and new ways to level up. Blizzard says from the moment you complete the main campaign in Diablo 4, the live-service elements kick in.
Each seasonal drop will also be themed around something specific in the world of Sanctuary and the people who live in it. Blizzard says that some seasons will allow them to revisit old stories in the universe and explore the lore behind the Diablo series.
Along with a new season will also come new weapons, paragon boards to unlock, legendary and unique items and new opportunities to create new character builds. However, Blizzard says that Diablo 4 will be held to an extremely high standard and throughout the game’s post-launch development, issues will be tackled in a timely manner.
Each new season in Diablo 4 will bring a new “Season Journey” with it. This includes a robust set of objectives that players can complete throughout their post-game career. Some will include killing specific powerful foes a number of times or exploring new areas. Think of it as an expanded quest log that is only around for four months. Once you complete all the objectives, you’ll be rewarded with unique cosmetic items and XP which goes towards your Battle Pass.
Blizzard says the Battle Pass system in Diablo 4 comes with free and paid tiers. So you can expect to pay for a battle pass in Diablo 4 every 4 months. The developer claims that neither the Cosmetic Shop (more on that in a bit) nor the Battle Pass provides any pay-to-win mechanics.
The free track in the Battle Pass is unlocked by simply playing the game and levelling up. The Premium Tier in the battle pass is unlocked the same way but offers premium currency to players as well as exclusive cosmetic items. The free tier will also come with XP enhancements so the further you are into the season pass, the faster your other characters will level up.
You can purchase the premium tier of the Diablo 4 Battle Pass at any time in the season and retroactively unlock what you have already missed in the tiers. You can also purchase tiers separately to boost your way through the Battle Pass. Blizzard says that players cannot purchase XP boosts in the Battle Pass. However, players will need to reach certain milestones to use the XP boosts which are available in the Battle Pass.
As for the shop, Diablo 4 will feature a full cosmetic store that specialises in transmog items to customize your characters with. Blizzard says all cosmetic items are holistic fantasies that tie into the world of Diablo and are grounded in the series. You can purchase full sets of armour or separate items and build them all together to create a unique-looking character.
The shop sells items in Premium Currency. Nothing in the shop offers any game enhancements or advantages. The Cosmetic Shop is also deemed as “optional” for players and you can play the entire game and the post-launch content without it. You’ll also know what you’re buying when you look at something. Each armour set has a preview tab where you can explore the different visual effects of your character.
Blizzard says the best-looking armour sets aren’t exclusive to the Cosmetic Shop. The developer claims Diablo 4 will ship with hundreds of transmogs unlockable from in-game drops. Players can use everything they obtain in the game to build unique-looking armour styles.
Keep in mind that transmog items purchase in the Cosmetic Store and founding the game are only usable on that specific class. Each season will come with themed armour sets that look similar across all the classes.
So that’s it for this update. This basically covers what we have expected from Diablo 4 up to this point. You can read the full blog update here. Diablo 4 is set to launch sometime in 2023 for PS4, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC. The game will reportedly go up for pre-order in December.