First “Major” Diablo Immortal Update Will Turn Warband Camps Into Castles

Diablo Immortal’s next update will be its largest yet, bringing a complete overhaul of the game’s much-maligned Warband system along with an additional dungeon, new set items, another seasonal battle pass, and more.

Defined as the game’s first “major” update by Blizzard (the developer has classified all previous updates to the free-to-play mobile ARPG as “mini” updates), the Forgotten Nightmares update is certainly big. At the forefront are changes to Warbands, which serve as mini-clans for up to eight players that, in theory, are there to reward small groups of players for playing together. In actuality, the feature has been criticized by players, as gaining rewards from being in a Warband often required all of its members to be online at exactly the same time in order to complete certain activities.

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The Forgotten Nightmares update looks to address some of those issues, though only time will tell if players are satisfied with the changes. Come the update’s arrival on September 27, Warband camps will be no more, replaced by the new Castle Cyrangar. There will no longer be any requirement for Warband members to slay a certain number of monsters together in order to establish their base of operations. The requirements for Warband Helliquarry raids are also being adjusted, which come the update will only require four members of a Warband instead of a full team of eight. Completing a Warband Helliquary raid will grant members an additional 400% drop rate increase for Sealed Warband Chests, with the bonus resetting every seven days.

Castle Cyrangar will fulfill some of the same functions as camps such as offering passive bonuses to Warband members and a cool social space to hang out, but will also introduce some new gameplay features as well. Players, either solo or with other Warband members, will be able to explore the demon-infested depths of their Warband castle to unlock various rooms that provide passive bonuses to Warband members that are assigned to them. These rooms can be upgraded with items acquired from remedying the castle of its demon problem.

In addition to ridding the castle’s bowels of demons, players will need to defend the outside of their castle from the demonic hordes. Once a week, Warband members can team up to stave off waves of invading demons, which will grant experience and various rewards for a successful defense. For players looking for a challenge, a replayable “endless” castle defense mode will also be available, complete with leaderboards and an exclusive portrait frame for top-performers.

The main appeal of participating in Castle Cyrangar activities is the chance to earn Ancestral Weapons. These aren’t weapons in the traditional sense in that they aren’t equipped directly onto your character, but are instead placed on what is called the Ancestral Tableau, which grants the stats of each weapon to all members of the Warband as a passive bonus. However, players can also find and equip Invocation gear from Castle Cyrangar activities, which will grant players a chance to activate various special effects unique to specific Ancestral Weapons.

The changes to Warbands headline the update, but there are new items, gems, and an additional dungeon as well. In the new Silent Monastery dungeon, players will need to light statues within a sacred temple in order to fend off the darkness. There is also a new Helliquary boss for players with a combat rating of at least 6175 to tackle, Izilech the Misshapen.

A new group of set items, Gloomguide’s Prize, is tailored around dash skills, and there are three new Legendary Gems for players to earn and equip. A new Scouring the Darkness event will run from September 28 through October 19, and a revamped version of the game’s Hungering Moon event will also make its debut on October 6. The update will mark the start of the game’s fifth season, complete with a new battle pass.

Despite fan criticism of the game’s monetization model, which allows players to pay for power, Diablo Immortal has reportedly earned more than $100 million since its launch earlier this summer. Blizzard president Mike Ybarra has defended how the free-to-play game is monetized, even as Blizzard reassures fans that Diablo IV’s in-game shop will only offer cosmetics.

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