It’s been a horrible loot season for Diablo fans of late. While the rest of Blizzard’s stable has been showered with love, the small pieces on offer to the company’s traditional bearer of RNG have barely piped green from the grey it seems to be. There were rumours of an expansion that never eventuated, curiously-phrased job postings resulted in a lot of speculation that ultimately fizzled out, and outside of seasonal play, nothing new for the hack-and-slash mob.
Blizzcon brought some light, in a way, to the future of Diablo. While a wondrous feast was held for their other games, a few small crumbs dropped to the Diablo fans waiting for news of something– anything– about Diablo III and the future of Diablo itself.
We learned that Seasons would finally come to consoles in 2017 , finally putting an end to the persistent requests for seasons to come to consoles. Yeah, look at that – even in the midst of a piece of kit for Diablo III, there’s Overwatch getting the not-too-subtle nod.
One of the bigger pieces was the reveal of the Necromancer, a new hero that would also be added to the game through the course of the year. While it wasn’t quite the Zoltun Kulle lovefest we joked about last April, it did raise the— okay, we had no idea.
Of current relevance, it was also revealed that Diablo III would be getting a special new dungeon, for a special Diablo anniversary celebration.
That availability starts right now. It’s out. Available. Patch your game. GO!
The Darkening of Tristram, as the game refers to the event, throws the game back to the original Diablo – at least in a way. Heading over to the ruins of Tristram, you’ll find a portal that takes you to an alternate version of old, destroyed Tristram.
You’ll know you made it instantly when your screen looks like you wheeled out a CRT. Coupled with movement locked down to a compass rose, the grim desaturated hues you’d expect to find in Reaper’s secret diary (okay, we do it too), and some sprite-ly mob movement , it makes for a very stylised kind of throwback.
Among the return of an old year’s resolution, it’s sixteen levels of a labyrinth, with a few offshoots, packed with secrets, lore, mobs and takes on the older forms of many bosses from the original Diablo, including the Dark Lord himself. There’s also a tiny easter egg for those that take out Diablo on the 16th floor, but you’ll have to get there to see it.
The difficulty is paired with whatever difficulty you’re playing at, so it’s not going to present the same challenge as a rift run, but it’s still worthwhile, even if it’s just to get a glimpse of an impression of where the series began.
There are more minor changes to the game as part of patch 2.4.3, but none are quite as monumental as this.
The Darkening of Tristram looks to be a recurring event for Diablo III, set to take place each January from here on out. That does mean the event will also come to a close, and that’ll happen at the end of January.