Diablo 4 is changing up the classic formula in a number of ways. Implementing elements that made previous titles successful and building from fan criticism of Diablo 3 seem to be at the front Blizzard's plan for the next entry in its iconic franchise. One major change that's likely to impact Diablo 4 in a big way is its new villain Lilith. The relationship between Lilith and the world of Sanctuary at large will likely affect the story in a number of ways.
Diablo is one of the most influential series, essentially pioneering its own genre. So it's no surprise that fans have been eagerly awaiting new details about the next game. Changing up the main antagonist has some big implications despite the lack of much detail so far. Lilith, Queen of the Succubi, has returned to the world after a lengthy imprisonment. The reveal trailer for Diablo 4 showed a macabre ritual that allowed her to return to Sanctuary. Having been one of the beings who created Sanctuary itself, her return will be a big deal.
Lilith holds an important place in the mythos of Diablo. She and the angel Inarius had attempted to escape the endless war between Heaven and Hell and in doing so ended up creating Sanctuary, the mortal world in which Diablo takes place. While most details released about Diablo 4 have been gameplay-related, certain inferences can be drawn about Lilith's return. She and Inarius also spawned the first nephalem, hybrids of angel and demon that eventually became mankind itself. While still motivated to eventually conquer Heaven and end the Eternal Conflict, Lilith was protective of her nephalem children.
The nephalem possess great powers, and are special individuals that players take control of throughout the games. The different classes like Rogues and Paladins throughout Diablo are capable of such great heights of power partly through their training and partly from their angelic and demonic heritage. Lilith sees the nephalem as a tool ultimately to help achieve her goals, so seeing how she interacts with her "children" that are opposing her will be interesting.
With so few details about its story revealed so far other than cryptic clues throughout different trailers for Diablo 4's classes, speculation has been running wild online. With so many of her demonic counterparts already dead by the end of Diablo 3 Lilith may have to reach far to find allies and minions. Many of the Evils have been resurrected throughout the series so some powerful demons like Azmodan or Baal may return in Diablo 4. But more interesting will likely be Lilith's interactions with the angels like her former lover Inarius who still lives but has been trapped in Hell by Lilith's father Mephisto.
Most of the lore about Lilith exists before the events of the first Diablo so much information about her comes from novels and comic books. The methods she will take to reach her goals, and even what that goal may be has yet to be seen. Her relationships to other powerful demons and angels means that some forces that haven't been in play in the world of Diablo for quite some time may return. It seems Diablo 4 is keeping its best reveals for last, so Lilith's plans for Sanctuary are left to speculate about for fans excited about the eventual release of Diablo 4.
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