The first paid content update for one of 2023’s best games will take players into yet another region of Sanctuary — the Torajan Jungles from Diablo 2 — and follow up on the Mephisto tease at the end of Diablo 4’s base campaign.
In terms of features, Blizzard was relatively quiet about Vessel of Hatred. However, the game’s developers did reveal that the expansion would come with a brand-new class — one that’s completely new to the Diablo universe. Blizzard will likely reveal more about the expansion in the Diablo 4 deep dive on Saturday, although with the expansion still “early,” most big reveals will likely wait until sometime next year.
One of the most notable aspects of this Diablo expansion announcement is its timeline compared to previous Diablo games. Diablo 3 launched in a rough state back in 2012, and it took the Reaper of Souls expansion just shy of two years to be released in 2014. Blizzard is clearly taking a more aggressive approach with Diablo 4 — a game that players have complaints about, to be sure, but which is in a far better state than Diablo 3 was six months into its life.
Diablo boss Rod Fergusson spoke to Dexerto about this fast-paced cadence back in September, revealing that the world needs to ready itself for annual Diablo 4 expansions. This is a pretty massive departure from the Diablo franchise, where games typically get one expansion in their entire lifetime and then a long dark period with minimal (or purely seasonal) updates.
The Diablo developers at Blizzard are clearly focused on turning Diablo 4 into more of a live service game, with more similarities to its own World of Warcraft than Diablo 3. The team has already delivered the game’s largest patch yet, for season 2, which has done some tremendous work turning the game around from its troubled first season.
Blizzard will launch Diablo 4: Vessel of Hatred in late 2024.