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Fresh PTR Patch Notes for Diablo's Patch 2.4

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Blizzard has pushed out new patch notes for the PTR of Diablo's Patch 2.4 The notes show broad changes still taking place across all classes, and many of the new items.



While many are anxious for the release of 2.4, seeing such broad changes historically implies there is much to come still. There is a lot which seems open for change, and a large majority of the changes seemed aimed at bringing class and item balance, a very large task in a smaller patch, and exponentially more taxing in a patch of 2.4's size. The upshot here is that Blizzard is determined to get the balance right prior to the release, which will have a strong effect on the coming Season 5. With a more level balance coming to all classes, and a greater number of builds opening up, the prospects for Season 5 are phenomenal.

Head to the Blue post below to look at the changes, and click the source link to head over to Battle.net if you want to size up the tentative full list of Patch 2.4 changes.

Blizzard Icon Battle.net

+ Show

 

General

  • The damage range of the Thorns affix on items has been reduced
  • Thorns damage granted by socketing a Flawless Royal rank or higher Topaz gem in a weapon has been reduced

 

Set Dungeons

  • A return portal will now spawn near your location, when you have either completed, or failed a Set Dungeon due to fatal damage, to allow you to retry more quickly
  • Several Unique monsters received adjustments to their health to be more consistent with the others
  • All Set Dungeons have received changes to their difficulty

 

  • Armor of Akkhan
    • The total number of monsters has been reduced from 205 to 175
    • Number of enemies required to be killed while imbued increased from 100 to 150
    • Density has been adjusted to create more groups of 10
    • The Electrified affix has been removed from the Unique monster

 

  • Firebird's Finery
    • Number of enemies required to burn has been reduced from 45 to 20
    • Number of times required to burn has been increased from 3 to 6
    • The second objective has been slightly redesigned
      • Hit 50 enemies with the Meteor that revives you

 

  • Jade Harvester
    • Number of total monsters to kill has been reduced from 750 to 435
    • Reduced the size of the dungeon by 25%
    • The first objective has been slightly redesigned
      • Harvest 15 different enemies simultaneously 10 times

 

  • Natalya's Vengeance
    • Rain of Vengeance time required changed from 60 to 90 seconds
    • The second objective has been redesigned
      • Do not exhaust your Hatred

 

  • Roland's Legacy
    • The requirement for the Sweep Attack objective has been increased from 5 to 7

 

  • The Shadow's Mantle
    • The first objective has been redesigned
      • Chain bonus damage Impale hits on 15 20 consecutive enemies 5 times
    • The second objective has been redesigned
      • Slow 45 different enemies with your Shadow Power

 

  • Thorns of the Invoker
    • Number of Spears required reduced from 100 to 75

 

  • Unhallowed Essence
    • The second objective has been redesigned
      • Never drop below 50% Discipline

 

  • Stonesinger
    • Knockback attack now has a unique animation and doesn't knock players as far

    • Now charges a random player

    • No longer charges players in melee range

    • Increased melee range to more closely match the visual effect

 

  • Bug Fixes
    • Fixed an issue that caused Shield of Fury to stack its debuff faster than intended
    • Fixed an issue that caused some monsters to deal more damage than intended in Set Dungeons
    • Fixed an issue that caused the Monkey King's Garb set dungeon to display the incorrect number of total enemies
    • Fixed an issue that could sometimes cause items to roll with a lower Thorns damage range than intended
    • Fixed an issue that prevented the Legacy of Raekor (6) Set Bonus from increasing the damage of Bash with Blade of the Warlord equipped
    • Fixed an issue that caused The Shadow's Mantle (2) Set Bonus to apply to classes other than Demon Hunters
    • Fixed an issue that prevented the Fortress Ballista from dropping
    • Fixed an issue that allowed enemies in the Armor of Akkhan Set Dungeon to be Condemned multiple times

 

Classes

  • Barbarian
    • Active Skills​
      • x1_barbarian_ancientspear.pngAncient Spear
        • Skill Rune - Boulder Toss
          • Should now reach its target more quickly[br]1[/br]
      • x1_barbarian_avalanche_v2.pngAvalanche
        • Damage increased from 1600% to 2400%
        • Skill Rune - Glacier
          • Damage increased from 1600% to 2400%
        • Skill Rune - Snow-Capped Mountain
          • Damage increased from 1800% to 2800%
        • Skill Rune - Volcano
          • Damage increased from 4400% to 6600%
        • barbarian_earthquake.pngEarthquake
          • Damage increased from 4200% to 4800%
          • Skill Rune - Cave-In
            • Damage increased from 4200% to 4800%
          • Skill Rune - Chilling Earth
            • Damage increased from 4200% to 4800%
          • Skill Rune - Giant's Stride
            • Damage increased from 200% to 300% per tremor
          • Skill Rune - Molten Fury
            • Damage increased from 5100% to 6000%
          • Skill Rune - Mountain's Call
            • Cooldown reduced from 50 to 30 seconds

 

  • Crusader
    • ​Bug Fixes
      • Fixed an issue that could sometimes prevent the increased Thorns value from Iron Maiden from updating
      • Fixed an issue that caused enemies hit by the extra hammers created by Blessed Hammer - Limitless to be counted toward the Drakon's Lesson damage bonus
      • Fixed an issue that prevented the extra hammers created by Blessed Hammer - Limitless from benefitting from the Guard of Johanna damage bonus
      • Fixed an issue that prevented monsters from targeting players while mounted using Steed Charge

 

  • Demon Hunter
    • Demon Hunters may now use Quivers while wielding a melee weapon
    • Active Skills
      • demonhunter_bolas.pngBolas
        • Hatred generated increased from 3 to 4
        • Skill Rune - Thunder Ball
          • Hatred generated increased from 6 to 7
      • demonhunter_clusterarrow.pngCluster Arrow
        • Explosion damage increased from 550% to 650% weapon damage
        • Skill Rune - Cluster Bombs
          • Grenade damage increased from 525% to 650% weapon damage
          • Number of rockets decreased from 3 to 2
        • Skill Rune - Dazzling Arrow
          • Explosion damage increased from 550% to 650% weapon damage
          • Grenades damage increased from 220% to 250% weapon damage
        • Skill Rune - Loaded for Bear
          • Explosion damage increased from 770% to 850% weapon damage
          • Grenades damage increased from 220% to 250% weapon damage
        • Skill Rune - Maelstrom
          • Explosion damage increased from 550% to 650% weapon damage
          • Number of rockets decreased from 5 to 3
          • Healing per rocket increased from 1% to 2%
        • Skill Rune - Shooting Stars
          • Explosion damage increased from 550% to 650% weapon damage
          • Number of rockets decreased from 3 to 2
        • Hatred generated increased from 3 to 4
        • Skill Rune - Justice is Served
          • Hatred generated increased from 6 to 7
        • Hatred generated increased from 3 to 4
        • Skill Rune - Tinkerer
          • Hatred generated increased from 6 to 7
            Hungering Arrow
        • Hatred generated increased from 3 to 4
        • Skill Rune - Serrated Arrow
          • Hatred generated increased from 6 to 7
        • Skill Rune - Full Broadside
          • Damage increased from 460% to 500% weapon damage
        • Skill Rune - Wind Chill
          • Critical Hit Chance bonus increased from 10 to 15%
        • Skill Rune - Invigoration
          • Maximum Discipline bonus increased from 15 to 20
        • Duration increased from 15 to 20 seconds
        • Number of rockets reduced from 4 to 2
        • Rocket damage increased from 40% to 80% weapon damage
  • Bug Fixes
    • Fixed an issue that prevented Shadow Power from applying the lockout period before the cooldown begins when cast by Lianna's Wings
 
 
  • Monk
    • ​Active Skills
        • Skill Rune - Soothing Mist
          • Health Globe healing bonus contribution reduced from 25% to 10%
        • Skill Rune - Static Charge
          • Damage reduced from 180% to 40% weapon damage
      • Bug Fixes
        • Fixed an issue that caused Exploding Palm to sometimes retain bonuses to its damage for longer than intended
 
  • Witch Doctor
    • Active Skills
        • Damage increased from 100% to 450% weapon damage
        • Skill Rune - Big Stinker
          • Poison cloud damage increased from 45% to 135% weapon damage
        • Skill Rune - Restless Giant
          • Enrage cooldown reduced from 120 to 45 seconds
        • Damage increased from 30% to 120% weapon damage
        • Skill Rune - Burning Dogs
          • Fire damage deal to nearby enemies increased from 20% to 80% weapon damage
        • Skill Rune - Rabid Dogs
          • Bite DoT damage increased from 30% to 120% weapon damage
 
  • Wizard
    • Active Skills
        • Skill Rune - Flame Blades
          • Duration reduced from 10 to 5 seconds
          • Now has a maximum stack count of 30
    • Passive Skills
        • Damage absorbed changed from 81536 to 60% (down from 70%) of your Life
    • Bug Fixes
      • Fixed and issue that prevented the internal cooldown on Magic Weapon - Deflection from updating with changes to Attack Speed
      • Fixed an issue that caused the effect of Wave of Force - Debilitating Force to stack from multiple sources

Items
  • ​Boyarsky's Chip
    • New Legendary Gem
      • Adds 16000 (down from 30000) Thorns damage
      • Thorns damage increased by 800 per rank (down from 1500)
  • Legacy of Nightmares
    • These rings now roll with a guaranteed socket rather than guaranteed Critical Hit Chance or Attack Speed
 
  • Several existing Legendary items have been updated to include a unique Legendary power
    • Note: Existing items will not be affected by the following changes. Only new versions of the items will roll with the added Legendary power.
      • Legendary Power added
        • While above 90-95% (up from 75-85%) primary resource, all damage taken is reduced by 50%
      • Legendary Power added
        • Gain damage reduction equal to 45-55% (down from 50-65%) of your Block chance
          • Note: This power can now benefit from the Block chance provided by Punish

Class-Specific Items
  • Barbarian
    • Blade of the Warlord
      • New Legendary Mighty Weapon
        • Bash consumes up to 40 Fury to deal up to 400-500% (down from 500-600%) increased damage
      • Now rolls with 100-125% (down from 150-200%) Seismic Slam damage
      • Now rolls with +75-100% (down from 150-200%) Hammer of the Ancients damage
    • The Legacy of Raekor
      • Has been redesigned
        • (4) Set Bonus
          • Furious Charge gains the effect of every rune and deals 300% (down from 400%) increased damage
    • Might of the Earth
      • Has been redesigned
        • (2) Set Bonus
          • Reduce the cooldown of Earthquake, Avalanche, Leap, and Ground Stomp by 1 second for every 30 (down from 40) Fury you spend
        • (4) Set Bonus
          • Leap gains the effect of the Iron Impact rune and the duration and Armor bonus is increased by 150% (reworked from "doubled").
        • (6) Set Bonus
          • Increases the damage of Earthquake, Avalanche, Leap, Ground Stomp, Ancient Spear, and Seismic Slam by 800% 
    • Skular's Salvation
      • New Legendary Bracers
        • When your Boulder Toss hits 5 or fewer enemies the damage is increased by 120-150% (down from 150-200%)
 
  • Crusader
    • Bracers of Fury
      • New Legendary Bracers
        • Heaven's Fury deals 150-200% (down from 300-400%) increased damage to enemies that are Blinded, Immobilized, or Stunned
    • Norvald's Fervor
      • New Set
        • (2) Set bonus
          • Increases the duration of Steed Charge by 2 seconds
          • Every enemy killed while Steed Charge is active reduces the cooldown by 1 second (reworked from extending the duration).
    • Seeker of the Light
      • (6) Set Bonus
        • Blessed Hammer damage bonus increased from 750% to 1250%
    • Thorns of the Invoker
      • Has been redesigned
        • (2) Set Bonus
          • Each time you hit an enemy with Punish, or Slash, or block an attack your Thorns damage is increased by 25% (down from 50%) for 2 seconds
 
  • Demon Hunter
    • Embodiment of the Marauder
      • (4) Set Bonus
        • Now also increases the damage of Sentries by 300% (up from 200%
      • (6) Set Bonus
        • Damage bonus per active Sentry increased from 100% to 600% (up from 400%)
    • Fortress Ballista
      • New Legendary Hand Crossbow
        • Attacks grant you an absorb shield for 2-3% (down from 4-5%) of your maximum Life, stacking up to 10 times
    • Lord Greenstone's Fan
      • New Legendary Dagger
        • Every second gain 80-100% (down from 250-300%) increased damage for your next Fan of Knives
    • Natalya's Vengeance
      • (6) Set Bonus
        • Damage reduction increased from 30% to 60% (up from 50%)
        • Duration increased from 6 to 10 seconds
    • The Shadow's Mantle
      • (2) Set Bonus
        • Your damage is increased by 600% (up from 1000%) while you have a melee weapon equipped
    • Unhallowed Essence
      • (2) Set Bonus
        • Generators now also generate 2 additional Hatred
      • (4) Set Bonus
        • Damage bonus and damage reduction increased from 20% to 60% (up from 40%)
        • Duration increased from 4 to 8 seconds
      • (6) Set Bonus
        • Damage bonus increased from 15% to 20% per point of Discipline
 
  • Monk
    • Zoey's Secret
      • New Legendary Belt
        • You take 8-9% (up from 6-7%) less damage for each Companion you have active
    • Inna's Reach
      • Bonus Mystic Ally damage increased from 20-25% to 90-120% (up from 75-100%)
    • Monkey King's Garb
      • Has been redesigned
        • (6) Set Bonus
          • Lashing Tail Kick, Tempest Rush, and Wave of Light consume a stack of Sweeping Wind to deal 1500% (up from 1000%) increased damage
    • Raiment of a Thousand Storms
      • (2) Set Bonus
        • Spirit generator damage bonus reduced from 300% to 100%
 
  • Witch Doctor
     
    • Lakumbra's Ornament
      • New Legendary Bracers
        • Reduces all damage taken by 6% (up from 5%) for each stack of Soul Harvest you have
    • Raiment of the Jade Harvester
      • (2) Set Bonus
        • Instant Haunt damage dealt increased from 10 to 60 (down from 120) seconds worth
      • (6) Set Bonus
        • Increased the amount of DoT damage detonated by Soul Harvest to 150 (down from 300) seconds worth
      • The damage bonus granted to each Gargantuan has been tripled
        • This change will apply retroactively to existing items
    • Staff of Chiroptera
      • New Legendary Staff
        • Now rolls with +45-60% Firebats damage
    • Spirit of Arachyr
      • (4) Set Bonus
        • Bonuses are now applied immediately after summoning the Toad
        • Damage reduction increased from 40-50%
        • Duration increased from 10 to 15 seconds
      • (6) Set Bonus
        • Damage bonus increased from 800% to 1200%
      • The damage bonus granted to the single Zombie Dog has been doubled (down from tripled)
        • This change will apply retroactively to existing items
    • Zunimassa's Haunt
      • (6) Set Bonus
        • Damage bonus increased from 275% to 800%
          Duration increased from 4 to 8 seconds
​​​
  • Wizard
    • Ashnagarr's Blood Bracers
      • New Legendary Bracers
        • Increase the potency of your shields by 75-100%
    • Deathwish
      • New Legendary Sword
        • While channeling Arcane Torrent, Disintegrate, or Ray of Frost, all damage is increased by 30-35% (down from 75-100%)
    • Delsere's Magnum Opus
      • Explosive Blast, Spectral Blade, and Wave of Force are now affected by this set
    • Fazula's Improbable Chain
      • Number of Archon stacks you automatically start with increased from 15-20 to 40-50
    • Firebird's Finery
      • (6) Set Bonus
        • Your damage is increased by 25% (down from 100%) for each enemy that is burning. Elites that are burning increase your damage by 600% (down from 1000%). You can only have one Elite damage bonus active at a time.
    • Orb of Infinite Depth
      • New Legendary Source
        • Each time you hit an enemy with Explosive Blast your damage is increased by 4-5% and your damage reduction is increased by 15% for 6 seconds. This effect can stack up to 4 times.
    • Tal Rasha's Elements
      • (4) Set Bonus
        • Has been redesigned
          Arcane, Cold, Fire, and Lightning attacks each increase all of your resistances by 25% for 8 seconds
    • The Twisted Sword
      • New Legendary Sword
        • Energy Twister damage is increased by 125-150% for each Energy Twister you have out (up from 75-100%)
      • Now rolls with +75-100% Explosive Blast damage
  • Note: Existing items will not be affected by the following changes. Only new versions of the items will roll with the added Legendary power.
    • Barbarian
        • Legendary Power added
          • Increase the damage of Weapon Throw and Ancient Spear by 45-60% (up from 75-100%)
             
    • Crusader
        • Legendary Power added
          • Gain Thorns equal to 250-300% of your Vitality (down from 400-500%)
    • Demon Hunter
        • Legendary Power added
          • Reduces the cooldown of Vengeance by 50-65% (up from 45-60%)
        • Now rolls with 60-80% Cluster Arrow damage (up from 30-40%)
    • Wizard
        • Legendary Power added
          • Spectral Blade attacks 50% faster and deals 150-200% increased damage
 
  • Bug Fixes
    • Fixed an issue that prevented some sources of Attack Speed, which only benefit specific skills, from reducing the internal cooldown of Bane of the Stricken
    • Fixed an issue that caused Rivera Dancers to roll with an extra secondary stat
 

Adventure Mode
  • Nephalem Rifts
    • Medium and Large version of many cave maps can no longer appear in Greater Rifts
    • Mallet Lords can no longer spawn in many cave maps
    • Density has been increased in many cave maps

 

Monsters

  • Damage dealt by the Plagued affix can no longer trigger the Knockback effect from the Knockback affix
  • Damage dealt by Frozen affix crystals before they explode has been slightly reduced
  • Elites can now occasionally drop pieces of Set Dungeon lore
  • Armaddons
    • Their stunning stomp attack now more closely matches the visual
    • They no longer perform melee attacks that looks very similar to the attack that stuns
    • Increased the amount of experience granted
  • Beasts
    • Will now charge the location the player was in when they began casting their charge attack
  • Bog Brutes
    • Will now charge the location the player was in when they began casting their charge attack
  • Exorcists
    • Their lightning attack should now be easier to avoid
      The damage area of their lightning attack has been narrowed to more closely match the visual effect
  • Succubi
    • Slightly increased the amount of experience granted
  • Winged Assassins
    • Their Leap attack should now be easier to avoid
    • Will no longer always cast their leap attack as their first attack
 

User Interface

  • Legendary Gems now display their level on their icons in the Inventory, Stash, and on Urshi's upgrade window
  • Added a keybind to expand the buff holder

(Source)

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      Deadset gets his hands on Diablo: Immortal and an interview with the devs!
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      As for other systems, I think back to both Diablo 2 and Diablo 3 with regards to skills and endgame progression, what happens after you hit max level. We’re still working out the details on that, and we’ll be taking inspiration from all three entries in the series, but we may evolve some of those systems as well. 
      Just to make sure - considering the trimmed down skill system (12-ish) and (for the moment) the very bare-bones itemization that just bumps up defenses, health or damage, is it still reasonable to expect theorycrafting and a level of complexity to the game?
      Wyatt Cheng: Yes. Definitely. That’s what I was kind of alluding to earlier, saying that we still want there to be meaty systems in place. The itemization that we have now is mostly a placeholder, there to get the game to a playable state. Sort of ‘getting to the 20% mark’ - or as they call it in the Silicon Valley, MVP (minimum viable product). We wanted to work on killing monsters and making the combat feel fun first, but part of that is knowing that an item dropped to the ground and in our heads we imagine that this item feeds into a bigger game. Right now the itemization that you see in the demo is honestly exactly like it was really early in development, and currently we have a lot of designs on paper to what we want the itemization to be. And it’s pretty different from what is available in the demo today. 
      And skill customization is still part of the idea? Considering we had 5 fixed skills in the demo, and just 12 promised by the presentation.
      Wyatt Cheng: There is definitely going to be about 12 or more skills per class, and then you choose 5 of them for your current build. When we look at the way Diablo 3 (post-RoS) legendary items change the way certain skills worked, we feel like that was very similar in functionality to the way skill runes (introduced with vanilla D3) altered the way your skills function. It’s almost the same thing sometimes, like “Rend stacks twice” could easily be a legendary item or a rune power, because there was no clear definition of what was supposed to be one or the other. And while it’s still okay for us to have many systems and functions in the game, we want to ensure legendary items take the stage for changing how your skills work. Then, we’ll look at the supporting systems and what else they can do. 
      Joe Hsu: And besides supporting systems, we make sure that the feel of the game is very much Diablo - how it looks, how the action plays out. And then our lead artist Richie Marella spends a lot of time to make sure that the tone and the overall style fit within the Diablo universe. 
      We did mention that legendaries are meant to change the way you play, but how about the way you look? It was mentioned during the presentation, but when you equipped anything in the demo, it didn’t change the visuals of the character.
      Wyatt Cheng: Items will change the way your character looks, they just don’t in the demo. During the panel we showed some concept art for the gear progression, and we only have concept art to show right now because we don’t have all the art assets in place.
      Bringing it back to gameplay, how will Diablo: Immortal handle difficulties? We had the old school Normal to Nightmare to Hell progression in Diablo 2, and then in Diablo 3 we could adjust difficulty on the fly. Are we due for another change?
      Wyatt Cheng: I have to preface this by saying this is all work in progress, so this could change between now and release. But the way we’re currently thinking about the game, is because it is a shared online world, the difficulties - if we have too many - will fragment players away from each other, while we want players to run into each other within their server community. So we’re looking at a single difficulty for the level-up experience, and then possibly when you reach max level - and we haven’t decided on a max level yet either, but when you do reach the end - you then have an Adventure Mode-like system, where the whole game becomes max level for you as well. Difficulties past that, well - again, this is all in flux - we may be looking to leverage our instanced dungeons for that, as well as a few other endgame systems which are yet to be designed as well. 
      Are we looking at a mode split of Hardcore / Softcore and Seasonal / Non-Seasonal like in Diablo 3?
      Wyatt Cheng: I love hardcore, but for Diablo: Immortal - again, this is current thinking - we are not prepared to have it. We think mobile phones are totally ready for a top tier action RPG experience, but we’re not sure the mobile platform will be right for a hardcore experience. Blizzard has a strict policy that if your hardcore character dies, even if it’s due to the loss of internet connection, he stays dead. This is of course done to prevent cheating. That said, it is nice to be able to play with something at stake - and something that we did in RoS was to introduce the extra augmentation roll to the gem when you don’t die in a Greater Rift run, so this way you have an incentive to try avoiding death. We could look at systems that ratchet up what the stakes are, so that you care about not dying, without having to go all the way to hardcore. 
      On the topic of Seasons, we’re still figuring this out, but we’re thinking that over the long term, there are multiple ways to keep the game fresh. One is Seasons, for sure, but another is to grow the universe with live content updates. The latter is how we’re currently thinking about it; from the beginning, we’re planning to be able to expand the game with content updates over time. You can see World of Warcraft follows that model, and it’s just a different way of approaching that problem. And we have other ideas as well! These are just two. 
      We’ve talked about dungeons a little bit, and I want to expand on that. The demo had a very ‘fixed’ approach to its layout, monsters and composition. Is that temporary, or a conscious move from the randomized dungeons toward a more balanced, almost raid-like endgame activities?
      Wyatt Cheng: The demo is definitely very fixed. For the live game, the outdoor world will be fixed because we’re crafting a shared world that we want to feel like a familiar place. The monster spawns, chests, shrines and events will be random though, so there will be variance in the world even when the geometry is static. For the instanced dungeons, we’re still exploring our options. It’s kind of a trade-off, like you said we could create that ‘raid environment’ but even there we’re looking to have random events, randomly placed monsters. We are trying both fixed and random layouts right now internally, and we’ll see what we end up with.
      Those dungeons won’t run themselves though. Who will you be grouping up with in Diablo: Immortal? How much of the cooperative multiplayer vs. shared world MMO are we talking here?
      Joe Hsu: It is a mobile MMO. In public zones you might run into players that you know, or ones you don’t, but you can definitely make friends with them. Multiplayer is very much in the heart of Diablo: Immortal and we plan to bring all of Battle.net’s features into the game, so you can play with your friends, or talk to them when they’re not ingame. We plan to fully support the social aspect of the game.
      Speaking of “friendly” activity, will I be able to battle players in some way? Is PvP part of Diablo: Immortal?
      Wyatt Cheng: You’re not alone, a lot of players in the Diablo community are passionate about PvP and we’ve heard that for sure. We want the outdoor areas to be places where your interactions with players will be friendly and social, so when you see somebody out there you’re happy to see him. However we’re thinking about ways to introduce conflict between players. It’s really too early to say, a lot of experimentation to be done still. What I can say is that there’s many ways that people can have a confrontation without it needing to be a totally fair, MMR-based esport. That’s the extreme. I don’t think we wanna be that. 
      Speaking of portability and the Switch version, a great feature of that is the suspend function that allows you to pause and resume anywhere. Is anything like that in store for Diablo: Immortal?
      Joe Hsu: We’re planning on different features that will accommodate the lengths of different play sessions. So if you have just 2 minutes, maybe you organize your stash or do a short quest; if you have 15, you call up your friends to do a dungeon and so on. It is a MMO though, so players will have to be aware of the time they can commit.
      Wyatt Cheng: I hate to draw too many comparisons to World of Warcraft, but we do look to all Blizzard games for inspiration. And in that game you can quit anytime, but you tend to hearth back to town and exit there. Similarly, in Diablo: Immortal you could quit at any point, but you might die to some monster attacking you. But if you town portal - we’re also thinking of picking the Westmarch waypoint from a map rather than using a portal, but that’s a technicality - that is a safe place to log off. But if you’re in the middle of an instanced dungeon with your friends, you should try to finish it - there will be no resuming from where you left off.
      Taking other very popular mobile games into account, I can’t not ask about your feelings on emulation? Will it be accounted for, actively pursued, or anything in between? And let’s not forget emulation will ease streaming the game quite a bit.
      Wyatt Cheng: I don’t think we’re gonna go out of our way to hunt down and ban people using an emulator, but I’m also a little apprehensive - and the reason I hesitate is because I don’t know if the game experience will be the best. Even if I map movement to keyboard keys, and then use my mouse to click and drag the abilities, I don’t know if that’s a more fun way to play. Comparing our control scheme for thumb movements to dragging the mouse, it seems like an uncomfortable way to play. While we wouldn’t stop it, I don’t know if people would like it that way - but that’s up to the individual player.
      On the streaming side, I would like to explore ways for people to stream natively on their phone, because we definitely want to be able to embrace the streamer community. That’s an aspirational statement though, not a promise - just my feelings as a designer, ignoring engineering limitations.
      We talked a fair bit about mechanics, but story-wise the game is set to fill an important gap in Diablo history - the space between Diablo 2 and Diablo 3. Does a mobile device lend itself to storytelling of such scale and importance?
      Wyatt Cheng: It’s challenging for sure, but it’s not a new challenge. If you think about it, truthfully, even with Diablo on PC is a difficult game to tell a story, because people are skipping through most of it in clicking frenzy. We’re trying to employ a lot of these different techniques where you can maybe watch a short, nice cutscene the first time you enter a zone, and then you move on.
      Sometimes I think telling a story is both the questline but also the setting, and letting aspects of the world tell the story. So when you enter the Shassar Sea, and as you’re wandering through, all of sudden there’s demonic corruption spreading in the desert, which ties into your main questline to cleanse it. This way you start absorbing the story almost through osmosis. We’ll have story there for the people who want it, but we’re also cognizant that for many people the main goal is to get loot, so they can just focus on that, too.
      Is it possible for you to talk about the payment system of Diablo: Immortal?
      Joe Hsu: Right now we’re really focused on gameplay. At Blizzard our core value is gameplay first, so we want to figure that out and make sure the game is awesome, and then we’ll worry about everything else later. We’re not ready to talk about it this time.
      And of course, the most important question - will there be a cow level?
      Wyatt Cheng: We’ll see, still too early to say. (laughs) And of course, it goes without saying, we’d be keeping that a secret.
       
    • By Zadina
      Wyatt Cheng and Matthew Berger talked about the lore of Diablo Immortal and showcased some of its zones, instanced dungeons and of course its classes.
      Given the backlash the announcement of Diablo Immortal caused, the panel started with Wyatt Cheng repeating that they love their passionate community and that there are multiple Diablo projects in the works.
      Matthew Berger then proceeded to a rundown of the lore and timeline of the Diablo universe, highlighting some major characters. At the aftermath of the destruction of the Worldstone by Tyrael at the end of Diablo 2, in Diablo Immortal we learn that some corrupted fragments of the Worldstone have survived.
      Puris the Decimator, who was available at the BlizzCon demo, is one of the game's bad guys. The main antagonist is Skarn, the Herald of Terror and Diablo's lieutenant, who is trying to resurrect his master.


      Your allies include Valla the Demon Hunter, her master Josen, Jacob Staalek (he holds Eldruin while Tyrael is “dead”) and Deckard Cain.
      The devs then showcased some of Diablo Immortal's outdoor zones.
      Bilefen

      It's a swampy island, whose main town is Port Justinian. The Wizard Jin is at the Bilefen and the Kikuras Rapids dungeon is also located there. A Worldstone fragment is corrupting the whole area.
      Zoltun Kulle's Library

      The wizard has a number of caches throughout Sanctuary and this is one of them.  Another corrupted Worldstone fragment is here. The area is guarded by a curator, which is actually a copy of Zoltun Kulle who doesn't realise it's a copy.
      Shassar Sea

      Young Valla and her master Josen are trying to find a demon nest that has formed in the area.
      In Diablo Immortal, instanced dungeons are areas where monsters stay dead when you kill them and have unique mechanics that cannot be found in outdoor zones. Three dungeons were shown.
      Tomb of Fahir
      You must unlock seals to proceed through the dungeons. There's a Broodmother boss and a lot of arachnoids!
      Kikuras Rapids

      You ride a raft to access it. Wyatt Cheng described it as "a theme park water ride with monsters trying to kill you". There's a Fetid Patriarch boss.
      Forgotten Tower
      It's the same area as Act I from Diablo 2. The Forgotten Tower is the home of the Countess and you will find out that her cultists have managed to bring her back to life.
      Afterwards, we learned the story and saw some skills of the six Diablo Immortal classes.
      Barbarian
      Furious Charge: Makes use of touch controls by aiming skill Hammer of the Ancients Throw: Throw an enemy to another enemy. Necromancer
      Command Skeletons Corpse Lance Skeletal Spikes: Summons bones from the ground to impale enemies. Crusader
      Blessed Shield: Can be aimed, damages enemies on the way out and back in and whoever doesn't get killed, get gripped to melee range. Sweep Attack: Gain damage and range the longer you hold your thumb on the skill. Falling Sword: Adjusted to be a two stage ability, target a location drops a sword on a location. Then activating the ability a second time causes you to crash down from above. Can use other abilities in between first and second activation. Wizard
      Μeteor Ray of Frost: Two-step activation - start the channel and end it. Ice Crystal: Two-step ability. First, you place the crystal Then with the second activation or when its duration expires, the crystal explodes. Can combine it with Ray of Frost. Demon Hunter
      Daring Swing: Reposition yourself from one position of the battlefield to another, while shooting from an advantageous position Strafe Rain of Vengeance Monk
      Seven-Sided Strike Kick: You can use it off of walls to rebound off them and then hit enemies Imprisoned Fists: Punch the spirit out of an enemy A very brief Q&A followed. A couple of fans prefaced their questions by apologising for the other fans' negative reactions. Here are the answers:
      Too early to say if Mephisto is in Diablo Immortal. Some of the Prime Evils are returning faster than they should. They are currently looking at what itemisation will be like. Legendary powers will be present. They will also add socketing and other ways to upgrade/improve items. Haven't figured out business model. Gameplay first. Team thinks there is some middle ground between everything being soulbound and the auction house in regards to trading in Diablo Immortal. We will probably see the history of other classes (not just the Demon Hunters) in the game, since it covers a big time frame lore-wise.
    • By Starym
      Update:
      Blizzard have denied Kotaku's claims of the planed announcement and Schreier has removed his tweet, but still claims the video was made. Check out the full article on the matter here.
      __________________________________________________________________
      That's right, it seems Blizzard did indeed have a plan for the opening ceremony of this year's BlizzCon, and all the fallout from the Diablo Immortal announcement wasn't supposed to happen at all, they had it all planned out. According to Kotaku's Jason Schreier, based on info from "two people familiar with Blizzard’s plans" Immortal's announcement was intended to immediately be followed by the announcement of Diablo 4, which would have completely satisfied both the crowd at the convention, as well as the fans watching back home.
       
      So why was this cancelled at the last minute? Well, according to the same sources, the team wasn't ready to announce the game as it's undergone at least two iterations over the past years, with as many different game directors. And so the devs didn't want to announce anything because the game might change again before it's ready to see the light of day.
      Now the questions becomes will Blizzard change their already changed minds and announce D4 after all, especially after all the negative feedback and fan backlash to Immortal? Well, Diablo's community manager Brandy "Nevalistis" Camel tweeted this today:
      If you were in Blizzard's shoes right now, would you just go ahead and announce what everyone has been waiting for, despite the game not really being anywhere near completion, and already having changed so much with the likelihood of changing again?
      The (real) Lord of Terror almost showed up at BlizzCon and may show up soon yet!
    • By Starym
      It seems the Kotaku leak wasn't that solid, at least when it comes to the timing. Jason Schreier gave an update on the matter, saying Blizzard have disputed the claims of his sources that the announcement was supposed to happen at BlizzCon. However, he still stands by the fact the video was made, which suggests he's actually seen it, and he's apologized for the misinformation (and deleted his original tweet about the fact - but you can still see it in our article).
      This is actually extremely weird news, as it made so much more sense that Blizzard did actually know what they were doing when they planned to end the opening ceremony with a Diablo 4 video, but something happened which made them cancel it last minute. As it stands (if we're to believe Schreier), it seems a video was made, but was never planned to be shown at BlizzCon, meaning they did in fact think showing off Immortal as the final/big announcement of the opening ceremony was a good idea. That did not turn out to be the case.
    • By Stan
      Diablo: Immortal is the first mobile MMOARPG entry in the history of the Sanctuary, coming to iOS and Android. The story picks up where Diablo II: Lord of Destruction left off. Here's a look at the announcement and gameplay trailers.
      The official website is now up, allowing you to pre-register for the game.
      Cinematic Trailer
      Enter the world of Diablo Immortal, a new entry in the Diablo universe. Taking place between the events of Diablo II: Lord of Destruction and Diablo III, this mobile massively multiplayer online ARPG is a true Diablo hack-and-slash adventure, all in the palm of your hand.
      Gameplay Trailer
      Diablo is coming to mobile! The newly-announced title is coming to Android and iOS soon.