According to Blizzard’s website, it seems the Necromancer will be part of an ADD-ON DLC PACK that will basically contain a few skins and extras along with the ability to UNLOCK the Necromancer as a playable character. This is the first time that I’m familiar with, that Blizzard is doing anything like this. I guess THIS is how they are going to get money for Diablo 3. This is taken from their site and I quote,”
Q: What will we get as part of the Rise of the Necromancer pack?
A: In addition to unlocking the Necromancer as a playable character, players will also receive an in-game pet, two additional character slots, two additional stash tabs (on PC), a portrait frame, pennant, banner, and banner sigil.”
Q: Who will be able to play the Necromancer?
A: We’re still settling on final details, but the Necromancer will be available as part of the Rise of the Necromancer pack, set to release in 2017. Players will need both Diablo III and Reaper of Souls to access this content (or, in the case of console, the Ultimate Evil Edition on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One.”
So until we see the pricing here, I’m having a bit of a hard time with this. This package seems very thin, but I can’t imagine it’s going to be less than $10. Here’s hoping… Also, a release date would be nice, unless it’s slated for Holiday 2017, then just keep it to yourselves for as long as possible.
The Necromancer comes as somewhat of a surprise, only somewhat due to the recent leak from a Blizzard Store Page. But it was what was not announced that was a much bigger surprise. This being no Diablo 4, no significant expansion of Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls. Just not much at all. Blizzard who has managed to have a steady monetary stream for every single game, except Diablo. Has surprised us all again by not asking to, in the not too distant future buy something else for the game to keep programmers, artists, etc; working on the game. I don’t know much about game development, but I know everyone has to get paid. How are the Diablo 3 folks getting paid? Are they working on multiple projects at once? Is the work just not that difficult at this point with this engine that they only have to work part time on this and can devout the rest of their time to other franchises? I don’t know but the announcements coming out of Blizzcon today did nothing to answer these questions.
Blizzard did announce: “The Darkening of Tristram” Event for Diablo 3 that is going on the PTR(Public Test Servers) next week. Which will take players back to the first Diablo with a free update to Diablo 3. Which considering it’s free, even if incredibly good won’t be a big departure from what we are playing now. Won’t be calling back all the lapsed fans. I feel like the Diablo Franchise needs a shot in the arm. Something big to get fans excited about it again. The seasons are great and I would never look a gift horse in the mouth but I’m starting worry that this franchise is being left to die just because there is no easy way to monetize it. Making a standalone game every 4-6 years is expensive and with all the problems Diablo 3 had in it’s launch year I could definitely see why Blizzard doesn’t want to go through all that again. With their top franchises at full profitability(World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, and Overwatch). I can see where a game with no monetary stream would be considered undesirable. The powers at be probably don’t think they NEED Diablo to be successful in order to have a thriving company/business.
But I will say that it would definitely make a lot of fans unhappy if things went that way. I’m neither game developer nor marketer so I don’t how you put a SUCCESSFUL monetization stream into a game like Diablo. But if it will help keep the lights on and butts in chairs; I think Blizzard should explore it anyway. I love ALL of the Blizzard Franchises and to see this one moving slowly toward the fires of hell and obscurity is a real shame. I just hope Blizzard is holding something back, maybe something they will show at Blizzcon 2017; that will not only prove me wrong but be what the Diablo Franchise needs to be relevant again in this new and exciting era of gaming we are slowing creeping toward.