While the highly anticipated Diablo 4 or Diablo 3 expansion were not announced at Blizzcon 2016, the big news for Diablo 3 was a character pack for the Necromancer class. Earlier, it was “accidentally” unveiled of a poster showing a male and female Necromancer artwork on the Blizzard store, hinting at the possibility of an expansion. Instead, the wording was toned down (at least for expectations) for something called a character pack due for 2017.
Little details on the character pack have been made outside of a few glances at the game play for the Necromancer and a few key features. According to the Diablo 3 site, the Necromancer will include the following: an in-game pet, two additional character slots, two additional stash tabs (on PC), a portrait frame, pennant, banner, and banner sigil. Also, there will be at least 4 class armor sets similar to other playable characters in Diablo 3. Outside of three skills shown on the site, the finalized version of the Necromancer is still being worked out, although a demo is available at Blizzcon 2016.
That all said, the forums over at Diablo 3 have mostly been filled by disappointment. Perhaps, the implication of a monetary fee attached to the game is what is causing the largest controversy on the forums. But the other main concern is the repetitive nature that is the current game play in Diablo 3 most of all. I think many people were expecting a Reaper of Souls-like expansion at the very least with more zones and story to accompany the addition of this character class. Some discussion on Twitter though suggests that the idea of a character pack as opposed to a dedicated expansion might end up becoming a middle ground between new content and moderate cost monetization for the game.
On the other hand, what is being given out for free relatively soon are two new zones and a retrovision style Diablo 1 patch. There’s quite a bit of questions arising from both of these aspects, including how long the Diablo 1 anniversary content will last. Right now, it seems that the idea is taking the original graphical settings of Diablo 1 and mixing in your current characters with the retro action. While this may seem novel, I for one would have preferred the other way around (or perhaps an option to swap between modes).
Beyond this, we’ll have to wait to see what other features are added. I do believe that Blizzard will continue to put more effort into this game, despite the (usual/constant) outcry of the community. Overall, we just have to be patient to see what their roadmap entails.