Blizzard’s reveal of Diablo 4 was met with waves of excitement from those in attendance at BlizzCon 2019 and those at home with each sub-announcement met with similar responses. One of those announcements was a confirmation that the Druid class would be making a return, a character who Diablo players would hoping would make an appearance in Diablo 4. The game didn’t always have a Druid in it though, according to game director Luis Barriga who said the class wasn’t part of the game’s original lineup.
Immediately following the announcement of Diablo 4 and other anticipated games like Overwatch 2, Blizzard held panels for their individual titles to go in-depth into those announcements. Diablo 4 was up first where Barriga and others from Blizzard took the stage to talk about the next mainline Diablo game. While talking about the first three classes that have been revealed so far, Barriga jokingly said he was going to tell the crowd something that’d either cause them to have more or less faith in Blizzard.
“The Druid was not part of our original lineup for Diablo 4,” Barriga said. “That lasted about a day until basically one of our artists did this amazing piece of art. We went from ‘I don’t know, Druid? Maybe we …’ to ‘No, we’re making a Druid 100% starting tomorrow. Right now.’”
Barriga continued to say that this type of development wasn’t uncommon in Diablo 4 and that artwork had inspired different parts of the game on its own.
“It is a theme. The art inspires the design in this game,” he said. “You see it with the arsenal system, you see it with the Druid.”
The Druid also plays slightly differently than players who wished for its return might’ve expected. Gone is the fire magic the class used, that skill replaced by other magic more in tune with the fantasy of playing as a Druid.
“One of the things we said was ‘Hey, we love the idea of the Druid, how do we move it forward?’” he said. “One of the things that we did is we took some of that fire magic that didn’t feel like it met the fantasy of being someone who was in tune with nature and we replaced it with storm magic and earth magic. We feel pretty great about that.”
Diablo 4 does not yet have a release date, but it’s in development for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC platforms.