Diablo’s anniversary is only a few days away, and that means the Darkening of Tristram event is returning to Diablo 3. Blizzard reveals on the action-RPG’s blog that the event will partially start on December 31 with the appearance of cultists before kicking off in full on January 3 when the portal opens.
The event is intended to be a homage to the earliest days of the Diablo series, with familiar foes, locales, and loot all included. The Darkening of Tristram begins with cultists causing trouble in Sanctuary. You’ll hunt them down in the game’s adventure mode for a few days while finding clues that’ll eventually lead you to a portal into Tristram’s past.
Once you hop through the portal, you’ll swiftly notice an all-too-familiar cathedral from the original game. You’ll be able to explore its depths to discover old enemies and recognisable items that have been reimagined in Diablo 3’s engine. If you fancy a hit of nostalgia, you can head beneath the catacombs to face the dark lord himself.
As for the loot, Blizzard says you’ll be able to get unique transmogrification effects, achievements, portraits, pets, and more by completing activities during the event.
The event kicks off on December 31 at 4pm PST / 7pm EST / and 12am GMT and ends on January 31 at the same time, so you’ve got a month to get your loot.
Activision Blizzard is facing a lawsuit filed in July by the state of California (since expanded for QA and customer service contractors) alleging years of discrimination and harassment. Since then, CEO Bobby Kotick has called the company’s initial response “tone deaf”, employees have staged a walkout, Blizzard president J Allen Brack has left, and the ABK Workers Alliance has demanded change at the company. The lawsuit is ongoing; follow the latest developments here.
In September, an agency of the US federal government opened an investigation into Activision Blizzard’s response to sexual misconduct and discrimination complaints from its employees, as part of which Kotick has reportedly been subpoenaed. The company is also facing a separate unfair labour practice suit alleging “worker intimidation and union busting” filed by a workers’ union, also in September. In another, separate development, Activision Blizzard reached an agreement with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission “to settle claims and to further strengthen policies and programs to prevent harassment and discrimination”. In a subsequent letter to employees, the company has announced an end to forced arbitration, a $250 million initiative to improve diversity, and a major pay cut for Kotick.
A new report published this November now alleges Bobby Kotick knew about and suppressed reports of sexual misconduct. Kotick has responded with an official statement saying the Wall Street Journal’s article “paints an inaccurate and misleading view of our company, of me personally, and my leadership.” In reply, Activision Blizzard’s board of directors declared it “remains confident” in Kotick’s leadership.