Blizzard shares more info on Diablo IV expansion packs
In a recent interview with Australian site AusGamers, Diablo IV Game Director Luis Barriga and Art Director John Mueller talked about expansion plans and what these mean for the story progression.
Apparently, each new expansion will revolve around a new antagonist. Blizzard is changing the recipe for the fourth title. Diablo has been the main antagonist since the first version; fans are familiarized all too well with the demon, so this time around he will not be prominently featured from the get-go. Instead, Lilith will become the main antagonist (social justice for women at its finest?), but Diablo is planned to return in a later expansion.
“Once we saw the art we were inspired, [Lilith] was a character that we could build a story around,” Barriga explains. “What we love about Sanctuary is that we've already planted these seeds. There’s a rich backstory found in novels and lore books, so we decided to look closer at the creation myth. We felt that we’ve fought Diablo before, and Diablo always comes back – so, it was a case of what other bullets do we have on the table just lying around."
Regarding the idea that each expansion is centered around a new familiar or completely new character, John Muller says that “Diablo IV is like the first chapter of a book. We want to tell a big story and we want to tell it, hopefully, for a very long time. Treating this like the first chapter of a book and Lilith as a key character in this story, it feels great knowing that there are still all these other characters that could come back in the future. Or, new characters that we haven’t seen before.”
This approach should help alleviate the problem where Diablo was successively feeling less and less of a threat when max level characters had to battle him. On the other hand it still unclear what this means for the monetization aspect. Will players be forced to pay for each new episode? Hopefully Blizzard finds a way to keep all expansions free, or at least price each new episode at just a fraction of the launch title cost.