Blizzard recently revealed Diablo IV’s fifth and final class for the game’s launch, the Necromancer, as part of the Xbox and Bethesda Showcase. While the Necromancer is no doubt a fan-favorite class, having appeared in Diablo II, Diablo III, and the recently released Diablo Immortal, some fans have wondered why the game doesn’t feature any classes never-before-seen in the franchise.
According to game director Joe Shely in a recent interview with GameSpot, the decision to not inlcude new classes came down to player expectations and making sure that aspects fans remember from previous Diablo games are present in Diablo IV, albeit in a new, modern form.
“Well, in a lot of ways, Diablo IV is a love letter to our fans,” Shely said. “We’ve really focused on this theme of returning to darkness. And we know that when we make a Diablo game, fans have a lot of expectations from DII:R, Diablo III, and previous Diablo experiences that they’ve enjoyed. So we know that we have a lot of things that really just need to be there. And when we’re looking at the classes themselves, we wanted to make sure that the kind of experiences that players remembered fondly from previous Diablo games were available, but also bring them into the most modern versions of themselves.”
Some of Diablo IV’s classes, while not technically new, haven’t been seen in quite some time. The Rogue returns from the original Diablo and is a combination of Diablo II’s Amazon and Assassin classes. The Druid from Diablo II also returns. Each of the game’s other classes–the Barbarian, Sorceress, and Necromancer–have been in Diablo II, III, and Diablo Immortal.
Diablo community lead Adam Fletcher recently confirmed the plan is to eventually sell paid expansions for Diablo IV (in addition to optional cosmetics via an in-game shop), meaning it’s certainly possible new classes could be added to the game post-launch. Diablo Immortal is slated to receive new classes over time as free updates, and fans have already seemingly datamined one potential franchise-first class, the Blood Knight.
Diablo IV is slated to arrive in 2023 following the departure of the game’s previous director in 2021, which occurred in the wake of various lawsuits and investigations revolving around an alleged culture of sexual harassment and discrimination at Activision Blizzard. When Diablo IV does release, it will support cross-play and cross-progression across consoles and PC.