Diablo 4 is officially in development at Blizzard and fans are very much excited to find out every detail about the upcoming ARPG. While Blizzard's keeping quiet about most of Diablo 4's planned content, it has opened up about several of the game's playable classes. Diablo 4 will have five different playable classes, but for now only three of them are confirmed. Returning in Diablo 4 will be the Barbarian, the Sorcerer, and the Druid. But surprisingly, one of those classes almost didn't make the cut.
Speaking during the BlizzCon 2019 panel for Diablo 4, game director Luis Barriga revealed that the Druid initially didn't make the cut. When the Diablo 4 development team initially made a line-up of classes that it planned to work on, the Druid wasn't included in the conversation. That quickly changed, however, as Barriga says that a single piece of concept art from an unnamed artist changed the team's mind. "We went to ... 'No, we're making a Druid 100% starting tomorrow. Right now, " after seeing the piece of art.
While the piece of art in question wasn't directly pointed out, Blizzard did share some Druid concept art. One piece of art showed the Druid in three different sets of gear, themed after natural elements. One set featured gear covered in feathers, with a beaked mask. A second featured a fanged predator's skull as a mask, armor lined with horns, claws, and teeth. The third featured gnarled branches spread across forearms, shoulders, and head, like the armor was grown. It's easy to see why Blizzard grew immediately enamored with the class concept.
Ultimately the Diablo 4 Druid is a completely new design compared to its Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction predecessor. While Diablo 4's design is clearly heavily inspired by the original two Diablo games, when it comes to gameplay the team at Blizzard isn't holding itself back with legacy gameplay design. The new Druid will focus on quick shapeshifting between forms, as well as a mix of lightning and wind abilities.
Blizzard is in that exciting and precarious position where every decision with regards to Diablo 4 could end up being highly anticipated by fans while being frustrating to others. That's the burden of adding on to such a popular franchise. Instead of the Druid, Blizzard could easily have opted for a more popular legacy class like the Amazon or Necromancer. The Druid isn't anywhere near as demanded. To have an artist create something unique and special, and to decide to run with it and make it work, is a risk, but it's an important risk to take, too. Diablo 4 can't just be half Diablo 2 and half Diablo 3. It has to be something more.
Diablo 4 is in development for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
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