Diablo IV Global Release Times Announced for Early Access and Regulars; Endgame progression explained by Blizzard
Diablo IV is gearing up for its June release, and prior to that we received global release times for both early access and regular launch. In a tweet, Blizzard Entertainment President Mike Ybarra confirmed that players who pre-ordered the Deluxe and Ultimate editions of the upcoming dark fantasy dungeon crawler will be able to play it early June 1 at 4pm PT. For India, this means June 2nd at 4:30 AM IST. Meanwhile, the Standard Edition launch is scheduled for June 6th at 4:30am IST/5. June scheduled at 4:00 p.m. PT in the US. The time and date remain consistent across platforms, and you need constant internet access to play Diablo IV.
To avoid confusion, Ybarra confirmed in subsequent tweets that European time is in BST, while for Asia it is Korean time. While this data points to a promising start, it’s worth noting that the developers haven’t declared it gold. Back in December, a Washington Post report highlighted that Diablo IV was originally aimed for a 2022 launch, but was delayed to April 2023 and eventually June 2023. Blizzard didn’t seem ready to push the launch any further, forcing a crisis on developers. “We’ve gotten to the point where they’re not willing to delay the game anymore,” a Blizzard employee told TWP. “So we all have to step in and figure out how much we’re willing to hurt ourselves to make sure the game releases in good enough condition.”
Oops, I was wrong! Early access for US Deluxe and Ultimate pre-orders is Thursday, June 1st. at 4:00 p.m., on 2.6. at 00:00 in Europe, on 2.6. Regular departure 6/5 at 4pm, 6/6 at 12am Europe and 6/6 at 8am Asia. https://t.co/ArlnmZE3AJ
— Mike Ybarra (@Qwik) April 5, 2023
Blizzard also covered some endgame advancements in a developer video detailing how they plan to keep you hooked for hundreds of hours after completing the main story. The endgame begins with a Capstone Dungeon which, upon completion, grants access to world stages ranging in difficulty from Adventurer to Agony, which must be unlocked over time. The higher the difficulty, the more powerful loot and items you get. The idea is to keep getting stronger long after you’ve reached max level thanks to the Paragon system. Think of it as an expanded skill tree where you can choose paths and choose boons and glyphs to become stronger and “make it unique to you”. The board can also be rotated to unlock nodes aligned to a specific attribute such as strength, intelligence, willpower, and dexterity.
Nightmare Dungeons make a comeback in Diablo 4’s endgame, allowing you to choose a dungeon from over 120 available in the Sanctuary and upgrade it to a harder playing field. This can be achieved by finding a Nightmare Sigil and using it to activate a “Nightmare” version of a dungeon, adding difficult objectives, more enemies, and even portals that pour out monsters not native to that region. Think of it as the same as empire tears in God of War (2018), which occasionally bombards you with high-level enemies to kill them; In Diablo IV, you have no control over when it activates.
PvP fans can head to the Fields of Hate where they can complete quests to collect shards, which must then be cleaned before trading them in nearby towns to buy unique cosmetics and rewards. However, attempting to clean the shards will alert other players online, prompting them to turn their attacks on you and attempt to steal them. So be prepared to lose some items if you plan to engage in PvP. Diablo 4 also includes a Battle Pass system focused solely on cosmetic items. A new Necromancer class has also been added that can summon and command the undead to prompt your evil deeds.
Diablo IV is coming June 6th to PC (via Battle.net), PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X. As previously mentioned, Early Access for pre-orders of the Deluxe and Ultimate editions will start on June 2nd in India/June 1st in US.