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Deadset

Deadset's Impressions and Interview on Diablo: Immortal

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With a world of mixed feelings surrounding the new Diablo announcement, our Diablo 3 guide writer, Deadset, got the chance to sit down with Wyatt Cheng and Joe Hsu for an interview, as well as spend time testing Diablo: Immortal. Check out what the developers had to say, as well as Deadset's thoughts on the announcement.

Preface

This past Blizzcon marks several ‘firsts’ for me. The first time I cross half the globe, from windy Eastern Europe to the unrelenting Californian sun. The first time I attend Blizzcon, a convention I have dreamed of since I was a child. And somehow, regrettably, the first time ever that I am scared to address the community, that I struggle to find answers and solace for the road ahead. Rest assured, I am no less disheartened and apprehensive than any of you by the news that the solitary confirmed Diablo project in sight is, indeed, a mobile game.

I will not mince words: the timing, framing and setup for the Diablo: Immortal announcement was poor. There’s little more to add to this conversation that hasn’t already been said, memed about or depressed over, and from this point on I will simply try to address the new game itself.

I was able to test the demo with extended, uninterrupted access. I had the chance to talk with developers both on and off the show floor, in interviews and community conversations. I pride myself in always delivering honest, factual and impartial information, colored only by my perception of good game design and love for Sanctuary. The things we all share in the hardcore Diablo community.

So let’s talk.

Impressions of the Game

Gameplay 

I hung out and spoke a lot with Rhykker during the convention and I will echo his overall sentiment in many regards - including the fact that Diablo: Immortal is quite possibly the best handling mobile game I have ever played (high bar, I know), with the most tactile and satisfying combat in its genre and medium. This is not surprising for a Blizzard title, and Diablo 3 has been widely regarded as having the best feeling combat among its competitors, but it’s still important to stress that the level of polish and excellence of control over the character that is signature for the company is not lost in the translation to mobile.

There is also a surprising amount of manual skill - both for an aRPG and a mobile game - that you can apply to your play, with multi-skill interactions and positioning interplay that is rare for the medium and indeed, the preceding titles in the series. There were demonstrations of the Wizard using the Ice Crystal to refract Ray of Frost onto multiple enemies, the Crusader’s Falling Sword turned into a two-step active ability that can be used to either engage or reposition, or the Monk’s Kick, the heir to Dashing Strike, that can be bounced off walls for multiple successive hits. While that is an undeniable positive and an evolution of Diablo 3’s handling, it was also pretty evident that developers are still getting the hang of mobile aiming, as some skills felt better than others (i.e. the Wizard’s Meteor has a rather tight targeting reticle that swept too quickly over the battlefield to reliably get a good hit in).

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The game is touted as a full-fledged Diablo MMO, with all the open world, constant live updates and content patches that will entail. Its pure multiplayer structure will require an internet connection and will not allow for immediate drop in-and-outs, though that wasn’t immediately obvious in the demo where you spend the ‘learning’ half of it solo. You will encounter up to 6 players in the questing environment, and up to 4 players in the instanced dungeons - and even though the latter can be soloed, they will remain tuned for a full party (and thus more challenging). There was a reassuring sense of difficulty to the demo, and even trash monsters inflicted a significant amount of damage that required attention and quick work with the health potion. The potion is handled in a Diablo 3-esque fashion - based on a 15-second cooldown, but with a heal over time as opposed to D3’s instant effect. Death was handled in a Softcore manner, with a very generous 5 second timer until respawn - though that might be adjusted in the final version of the game, as there was mention of up to 30 second penalty timer to encourage better play. As far as I could tell, Hardcore was off the table due to the relative instability of internet connections on mobile (see more on that in the interview below).

Graphics

The outrage over the UI structure being very similar to other Netease titles like ‘Crusader of Light’ and ‘Endless of God’ is understandable, but kinda overstated - most mobile MMOs and action RPGs use very similar controllers and interface (see Lineage, Darkness Rises, Alliance x Empire).

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A large portion of the (demonstrated) game however is built with adapted Diablo 3 assets - an issue that is disappointingly danced around, and is very obvious if you have spent any significant time in Diablo 3 (however tastefully rearranged and retouched, you will recognize numerous structures, tilesets and monsters). References to future bosses like a “giant spider” (no doubt Queen Aranae’s cousin) or a “clone of Zoltun Kulle” (come on…) don’t help much to inspire the ‘new title’ feel. It’s all topped off with the inclusion of the exact cast of characters from Diablo 3 (albeit strangely missing the Witch Doctor), even though Immortal is supposedly situated closer to Diablo 2 lore-wise. Despite the above, I don’t really doubt technical and artistic skill is necessary for the assets’ translation to a mobile device, and it makes for an unbelievably polished, if disturbingly familiar graphical experience. In terms of artistic feel, you will like the game if you were satisfied with Diablo 3 visuals, and there is a pleasant darker tinge to everything - if not a complete reversion to a more grounded and gothic journey.

Oh, and blood is jarringly absent.

The game was demonstrated on a Galaxy S9 and to give credit where it’s due, it blows my mind that such visuals are available on a mobile device. There were no lags, frame drops or technical issues that I can point out, though again - the 6-player open world was not active for the demonstration. Sadly there was no way for me to minimize the app or test it unplugged, so I could not tell the effect it had on the battery after extended 45 mins. - 1 hour of uninterrupted playtime.

Misconceptions

To finalize my impressions from the game and the numerous talks I’ve had with developers, I would quickly like to clear up some misconceptions that I see floating around as best I could:

  • Lack of a resource system (mana or otherwise):

This is still in the experimentation stage. Think of resource as a variable that enables the use of a skill, similarly to cooldowns and charges. Unlike say MOBA games, mana in aRPGs is usually a mechanic that the player works to overcome rather than play around. Currently charges replace mana as means of non-timer use of a skill that doesn’t clutter up the limited UI space.

  • Team size and Blizzard to Netease ratio:

This is a twofold misconception. First, there’s the concern that Blizzard have simply dumped the IP onto a Chinese company with very little involvement on their part. From talks with developers I get the sense this is not true at all, and the team size on the Blizzard side is at least comparable to the one from Netease. There’s also concern that Diablo developers working on the mobile title are taking up resources from the unannounced PC game, which I was told is not true. In fact, during various conversations devs have expressed genuine surprise at the growth rate of Blizzard as a company - which raises entirely new concerns, but team size for PC should not be affected by the mobile title.

  • Claims of racism due to the elimination of the Witch Doctor:

The Monk in Immortal is clearly dark skinned (both in cinematics and ingame), so that one is out, I believe. I will not make any claims to Chinese audiences' cultural preferences one way or the other. To be honest I simply think Witch Doctors never quite grabbed people as much as Necromancers, and it became even more obvious when the latter were added to the game. Two poison-heavy, curses-spreading, summon-reliant characters are a bit much for a single game, no matter how much they tried to spin the difference in D3.

If you have any additional concerns or questions about the gameplay of Immortal specifically, I can try to answer - please don’t hesitate to list them below.

Onto the interview!


Interview on Diablo: Immortal

I conducted this interview with Wyatt Cheng (lead designer) and Joe Hsu (senior producer) from the Diablo: Immortal team on the second day of BlizzCon, a few hours before the World Q&A panel. It reflects both the Future of Diablo panel information, as well as my own thoughts from playing the demo.

Blizzard LogoInterview with Wyatt Cheng and Joe Hsu

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I think what surprised me the most is the announcement of a second ‘portable’ Diablo title, so close to the announcement and release of the Diablo 3 adaptation for Nintendo Switch. What inspired that?

Wyatt Cheng: The projects are being worked on by multiple teams, and so the Diablo 3 on Switch was started, and then we partnered with Iron Galaxy, and they worked on the Switch. One of the great things about having multiple projects in the pipe is that we can provide the Diablo community with more content. The timing wasn’t something that we strategically planned, honestly we’re just trying to bring everything to the community as quickly as we could - it’s just how long the development of these individual projects took.

Joe Hsu: We think about it as the same type of platform - we just want to bring more Diablo to the fans.

Wyatt Cheng: And of course, Diablo 3 on Switch is very substantially similar to the console and PC experience, whereas Diablo: Immortal is a brand new game. 

Speaking from experience, the Switch version does indeed translate the Diablo 3 experience faithfully. What about the mobile experience though, how much Diablo is in there - skill trees, item choices, etc.?

Wyatt Cheng: Unfortunately, not all of our systems are worked out yet. I think a big one players have been wondering about is the itemization system, since the items are a key part of the Diablo experience. We’re still working on that. Couple of things that are very important to us, 1) we want to ensure there is some depth for our core gamers to have something to sink their teeth into that isn’t over-simplified; and 2) we are going to have legendary powers. We really liked the way that the legendary powers changed the way that you play Diablo 3, and we’ll be looking to bring that to Diablo: Immortal as well.

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.

 

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Glad to finally hear more about the game itself and not about all the rage storm around the announcment, thanks a lot for your impression and the interview ! Did they give you an online alpha/beta/demo time ?

Edited by Devorta
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I know you're trying your best, but it still won't work for most people, myself included. Also, get ready to be called a shill for Blizzard. 

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1 hour ago, Dejo93 said:

I know you're trying your best, but it still won't work for most people, myself included. Also, get ready to be called a shill for Blizzard. 

Everyone is a shill for doing a job, by that logic. It's pretty damn stupid. The population is so damn hateful. Instead of embracing something new they automatically hate it. I'm not saying it should be loved, but jesus, at least have an open mind about it (not you, the hateful playerbase).

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15 minutes ago, Bnetmyke said:

Everyone is a shill for doing a job, by that logic. It's pretty damn stupid. The population is so damn hateful. Instead of embracing something new they automatically hate it. I'm not saying it should be loved, but jesus, at least have an open mind about it (not you, the hateful playerbase).

f3e.pngHey! *Fails to kill the PSP and DS line for more than a decade* Did vou knew that. "Overheats after playing Angry Birds for 10 minutes* Mobile... *Get's flooded by shovelware knockoffs with no quality control* Gaming... Audience bitches about having to pay more than 2 dollars for a well-made aame* Is already "Opens 20 ads and give your credit card information to the Russian mafia for clicking slightly out of place* The... System longevity gets cut in half after running 8 bit emulators* Future? Exploits the mental weakness of people with gambling problems*

Edited by Dejo93
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All of my friends that went to Blizzcon said it was sick. The thing that will make or break it is the In-App-Purchases and/or initial purchase price. If you all want to miss out on something that is being reviewed as good just because it's not the type of ice cream you wanted, go for it. I plan to actually play it (price depending) and form my own opinion.

If you played it at Blizzcon and still hate it, then sure you have way more value to your criticism. But it you're just sitting at home, hearing words about it, calling people opinions "paid lip-service", and flaming it endlessly you really need to hold back.

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22 minutes ago, Dejo93 said:

f3e.png

The huge majority who are """criticizing""" the game didn't even play or buy it. lol What's going on here isn't a matter of taking critiques or not, it's just about a bunch of people who didn't get what they were expecting for their favorite game franchise and now are bitching about it non-stop because they feel like a company and it's developers owe them something.

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37 minutes ago, Dejo93 said:

f3e.pngHey! *Fails to kill the PSP and DS line for more than a decade* Did vou knew that. "Overheats after playing Angry Birds for 10 minutes* Mobile... *Get's flooded by shovelware knockoffs with no quality control* Gaming... Audience bitches about having to pay more than 2 dollars for a well-made aame* Is already "Opens 20 ads and give your credit card information to the Russian mafia for clicking slightly out of place* The... System longevity gets cut in half after running 8 bit emulators* Future? Exploits the mental weakness of people with gambling problems*

Except the hate is towards the announcing and instead of people getting over it, they're continuing to let it festure. Totally mature.

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Well of course he had extended time to test it. You can see from the pictures that there were only like, 10 people around the booth at all. No need to switch around often with such a low defree of interest in the game.

And for the record, to those saying that the critique isn't valid from people who have not played it, you're wrong. I don't need to play D:I to know that nothing good would come from it. Be it dumbing down the game, the lack of blood, MTX, etc. I have several reasons to never touch it, especially since a superior game on the move is already here. D3 for the Switch, which is a proper gaming platform, unlike mobile.

Also if you don't think this will be riddled with MTX, you have to be delusional. They would have thought about that long before even getting a trailer done, and just doesn't want to fan the flames more by admitting how bad it will be. Case in point, they have mentioned a want to get an auction house in game. You know, the thing that they had to remove from D3 because everyone hated it? Guess they figure mobile gamers are more used to being taken advantage off, so they can try that again with them.

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26 minutes ago, Lampanelli said:

Well of course he had extended time to test it. You can see from the pictures that there were only like, 10 people around the booth at all. No need to switch around often with such a low defree of interest in the game.

And for the record, to those saying that the critique isn't valid from people who have not played it, you're wrong. I don't need to play D:I to know that nothing good would come from it. Be it dumbing down the game, the lack of blood, MTX, etc. I have several reasons to never touch it, especially since a superior game on the move is already here. D3 for the Switch, which is a proper gaming platform, unlike mobile.

Also if you don't think this will be riddled with MTX, you have to be delusional. They would have thought about that long before even getting a trailer done, and just doesn't want to fan the flames more by admitting how bad it will be. Case in point, they have mentioned a want to get an auction house in game. You know, the thing that they had to remove from D3 because everyone hated it? Guess they figure mobile gamers are more used to being taken advantage off, so they can try that again with them.

but, but...

dOn'T yOu hAvE a pHoNe :^)

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8 hours ago, Laragon said:

All of my friends that went to Blizzcon said it was sick. The thing that will make or break it is the In-App-Purchases and/or initial purchase price. If you all want to miss out on something that is being reviewed as good just because it's not the type of ice cream you wanted, go for it. I plan to actually play it (price depending) and form my own opinion.

If you played it at Blizzcon and still hate it, then sure you have way more value to your criticism. But it you're just sitting at home, hearing words about it, calling people opinions "paid lip-service", and flaming it endlessly you really need to hold back.

Let's say you hate vanilla ice-cream.

It is a hot day, the ice-vendor comes along advertising his ice, saying he has such great variety, such good quality.

You are excited, you want some icecream. You run to him - and realize all he has is vanilla.

And now you claim we shouldn't be disappointed? Let's try the vanilla ice-cream? We have no right to be angry because despite all his great claims how great his ice-cream is he sells only fucking vanilla ice-cream? We have to buy vanilla ice-cream (which we know we hate, because we just don't like vanilla) before we have a right to complain?

Are you serious?

 

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9 hours ago, Lambdadelta said:

The huge majority who are """criticizing""" the game didn't even play or buy it.

Lol u mad? Why should I play or buy something I clearly DO NOT WANT even if it's good? Just because they have nothing to offer other than that? Or because anyone is in charge to decide what am I to play? Lul

9 hours ago, Lambdadelta said:

What's going on here isn't a matter of taking critiques or not, it's just about a bunch of people who didn't get what they were expecting for their favorite game franchise

Now now, "a bunch" is a bit of an understatement.

9 hours ago, Lambdadelta said:

 and now are bitching about it non-stop because they feel like a company and it's developers owe them something.

Obviously, you don't understand how things work, so let me lay it out for you. I'm a paying customer and a PC/console gamer and I'm NOT interested in any mobile bullshit, and judging from the like-to-dislike ratio to the trailer, neither is the majority of the blizzard community. When I'm offered some shit I'm not interested in, I don't buy it, and the company DOES NOT get the fucking money. The product does not get them revenues no matter how well it's made. Which means LOSSES. So yeah, they owe something to their community. At least being in touch with it and understanding its needs.

 

Please, when you feel the urge to write something unbelievably idiotic again, just don't. Ty

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8 minutes ago, WedgeAntilles said:

Let's say you hate vanilla ice-cream.

It is a hot day, the ice-vendor comes along advertising his ice, saying he has such great variety, such good quality.

You are excited, you want some icecream. You run to him - and realize all he has is vanilla.

And now you claim we shouldn't be disappointed? Let's try the vanilla ice-cream? We have no right to be angry because despite all his great claims how great his ice-cream is he sells only fucking vanilla ice-cream? We have to buy vanilla ice-cream (which we know we hate, because we just don't like vanilla) before we have a right to complain?

Are you serious?

 

To be fair, no one said diablo 4 will be announced. They even tried to shut down the hype (i admit, with a shit blog-post). They said they have multiple teams working on multiple projects, and that the diablo 4 team is separate from the immortal one. With the rumor of the video announcement that was supposed to be at the end of the panel and the fact that they said diablo 4 went through at least 2 iterations so far, i personally think they expected both games (4 and immortal) to be somewhat ready at the same time. They plan Blizzcons with months if not years in advance. But diablo 4 had a slow development, so they had to announce immortal alone.

At the end of the day, i think people have the right to be disappointed, but not the right to bitch around for weeks. If anything, think of immortal as a distraction until diablo 4 is ready.

But one think should be clear: the quality of diablo immortal shouldn't be mixed with the pr disaster. We don't know if the game is gonna be the best mobile game or just another drop in the ocean, but if you decide to review/play it, judge it against other simmilar mobile games, not against pc games/your expectations.

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5 minutes ago, Jonar said:

Lol u mad? Why should I play or buy something I clearly DO NOT WANT even if it's good? Just because they have nothing to offer other than that? Or because anyone is in charge to decide what am I to play? Lul

Now now, "a bunch" is a bit of an understatement.

Obviously, you don't understand how things work, so let me lay it out for you. I'm a paying customer and a PC/console gamer and I'm NOT interested in any mobile bullshit, and judging from the like-to-dislike ratio to the trailer, neither is the majority of the blizzard community. When I'm offered some shit I'm not interested in, I don't buy it, and the company DOES NOT get the fucking money. The product does not get them revenues no matter how well it's made. Which means LOSSES. So yeah, they owe something to their community. At least being in touch with it and understanding its needs.

 

Please, when you feel the urge to write something unbelievably idiotic again, just don't. Ty

The game sadly isn't meant for you. It's meant for the mobile players. The guys and gals that play casualy in their free time. And towards the asian market. This is supposed to be a hook for people who never tried diablo before to see what's it about. And a large part of that new player base will buy diablo 3 and thus blizzard expands their influence to even more people. Blizzard is a company, not your friend. They made diablo immortal for money and to expand in the newest marketplace: the mobile games. A mobile game from them would've been inevitable. It happened to be diablo and not starcraft or wow because there are already diablo copies on the phone with a really high playerbase. Immortal could have been easily predicted a year in advance if people would be paying attention to where the focus shifts in the game industry.

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5 minutes ago, NoahMcGrath said:

The game sadly isn't meant for you. It's meant for the mobile players. The guys and gals that play casualy in their free time. And towards the asian market. This is supposed to be a hook for people who never tried diablo before to see what's it about. And a large part of that new player base will buy diablo 3 and thus blizzard expands their influence to even more people. Blizzard is a company, not your friend. They made diablo immortal for money and to expand in the newest marketplace: the mobile games. A mobile game from them would've been inevitable. It happened to be diablo and not starcraft or wow because there are already diablo copies on the phone with a really high playerbase. Immortal could have been easily predicted a year in advance if people would be paying attention to where the focus shifts in the game industry.

Actually the game is meant for both Diablo players and the mobile community, otherwise Diablo Immortal wouldn't have any story for the Diablo lore nerds to gloss over (if it's any good anyways). Also, the major reason why Diablo is coming to mobile is due to the fact that this is their only title that is not generating consistent revenue. Every other title has some in-game stuff or services that give Blizzard money. D3 (besides the ports, DLC's and the game itself) doesn't generate consistent revenue, which is why I am speculating that it will be a free to play game but with tons of micro transactions, such is the way of mobile games. 
 

 

23 minutes ago, NoahMcGrath said:

At the end of the day, i think people have the right to be disappointed, but not the right to bitch around for weeks. If anything, think of immortal as a distraction until diablo 4 is ready.

It hasn't been weeks though? Blizzcon literally happened last week. Anyways, this mobile game is not going to suffice and distract the community while it takes several years for them to finish Diablo 4. Many people, including myself, will not be playing this game. I am not into mobile games, nor will I ever be. And that's ok. What is truly going to keep us busy more than likely are the "plans" they have for D3 while it's still around. Apparently there is an announcement they have for when this season comes close to an end. But I guess we will wait and see, but I am not keeping my hopes high.

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2 minutes ago, Rhondis said:

Actually the game is meant for both Diablo players and the mobile community, otherwise Diablo Immortal wouldn't have any story for the Diablo lore nerds to gloss over (if it's any good anyways). Also, the major reason why Diablo is coming to mobile is due to the fact that this is their only title that is not generating consistent revenue. Every other title has some in-game stuff or services that give Blizzard money. D3 (besides the ports, DLC's and the game itself) doesn't generate consistent revenue, which is why I am speculating that it will be a free to play game but with tons of micro transactions, such is the way of mobile games. 
 

 

It hasn't been weeks though? Blizzcon literally happened last week. Anyways, this mobile game is not going to suffice and distract the community while it takes several years for them to finish Diablo 4. Many people, including myself, will not be playing this game. I am not into mobile games, nor will I ever be. And that's ok. What is truly going to keep us busy more than likely are the "plans" they have for D3 while it's still around. Apparently there is an announcement they have for when this season comes close to an end. But I guess we will wait and see, but I am not keeping my hopes high.

Well, of course it's also for diablo players. Get them to play mobile games and get the newcomers into diablo. But they aren't the target audience. Blizzard has games on every gaming platform (pc, xbox, playstation, switch soon) so mobile was the logical destination for whatever game they would have announced at blizzcon. [hearthstone was designed for pc and happened to work on mobile screens; they said so themselves, they don't consider it a true mobile game]. I know it hasn't been weeks but these sort of things last weeks. And after the game is released people will start the uproar again. But hey, maybe if people complain enough, they'll port it to pc.

If the monetization is similar to hots or overwatch (lots of cosmetics for real money) and not like other mobile games (pay crystals aka money to speed up town upgrade) i'll give it a try.

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Uncommon Patron

If people want graphics then theres BDO mobile coming out next year in the west. As for lootboxes and the like; BDO mobile, DI and any other online oriented game (mostly ones with leaderboards of some kind to sate the need of whales) will have em or else these games wouldn't exist in the first place.

Racing games and SP ones obviously differ from the bunch. But there's surely no need to metion how the rest work unless of course you're getting sponsored in which that case you say nothing and carry on.

Edit: Should also be noted that DI neither has blood or gore, a staple in the chinese communist state (because that is illegal) and publishing a game in china requires you to have a chinese company not to mention being chinese as well if I'm not mistaken.

Edited by Pixen

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18 minutes ago, NoahMcGrath said:

The game sadly isn't meant for you. It's meant for the mobile players. The guys and gals that play casualy in their free time. And towards the asian market. This is supposed to be a hook for people who never tried diablo before to see what's it about. And a large part of that new player base will buy diablo 3 and thus blizzard expands their influence to even more people. Blizzard is a company, not your friend. They made diablo immortal for money and to expand in the newest marketplace: the mobile games. A mobile game from them would've been inevitable. It happened to be diablo and not starcraft or wow because there are already diablo copies on the phone with a really high playerbase. Immortal could have been easily predicted a year in advance if people would be paying attention to where the focus shifts in the game industry.

Yeeah, you are missing one important thing though. Expanding to a new market is a good thing, but it requires a really proper timing. At least you have to be well established in your primary market where the majority of your consumers are. With no major advancement in this regard for several years now, and substantial competition from Korean devs on the horizon (Lost Ark, Project TL), Blizzard is in the risk of weakening their position there. Are you really sure, given all that, mobile Diablo is a good way to win new audience and eventually attract it to years old PC game? I'm not.

Moreover like you said yourself, there are copies of Diablo on the mobile market. What makes you think people would gladly abandon their games they have already put so much time and money into?

Asian market has its own projects, and if immortal is for the Eastern consumers, why announcing it on the major event in California? The way you put it, it seems like a spit in the face to me, so yeah.

And yeah, have no idea why you keep saying that blizzard are not my friends and don't owe me anything. They are not, and yet they do.

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5 minutes ago, Jonar said:

Yeeah, you are missing one important thing though. Expanding to a new market is a good thing, but it requires a really proper timing. At least you have to be well established in your primary market where the majority of your consumers are. With no major advancement in this regard for several years now, and substantial competition from Korean devs on the horizon (Lost Ark, Project TL), Blizzard is in the risk of weakening their position there. Are you really sure, given all that, mobile Diablo is a good way to win new audience and eventually attract it to years old PC game? I'm not.

Moreover like you said yourself, there are copies of Diablo on the mobile market. What makes you think people would gladly abandon their games they have already put so much time and money into?

Asian market has its own projects, and if immortal is for the Eastern consumers, why announcing it on the major event in California? The way you put it, it seems like a spit in the face to me, so yeah.

And yeah, have no idea why you keep saying that blizzard are not my friends and don't owe me anything. They are not, and yet they do.

Their timing and presentation was shit, i agree with you. As i said before, i think diablo 4 was supposed to be announced. but it was too early in development.

Blizzard usually makes high quality games. I wouldn't be surprised if immortal is better than any of the other copies, but it's not a guarantee. I'm just trying to explain their though process. Ask them why they think people would play their game over existing ones, not me.

Why do you think blizzard owes you anything? That's a psychological tactic. They present themselves as your friends. Look at us, we are gamers too, we play mario kart, we wear funny t-shirts. Come to our con, lets hang together, we'll show you our new games, and you'll buy them won't you, because we are your friends, we like you and you like us.

Blizzard is owned by shareholders, who fund it in return for profit. Blizzard could be selling dirt for all they care as long as they get paid. This is even more true after the merge with Activision. People working at blizzard may be nice, they might care about you and about their games. But blizzard as a whole, as a company, doesn't give a shit about you. You are a source of money. If they lose you but win 2 others, they will take that deal. It may be more profitable to please their older audience, but not always. They took a risk with Immortal. They gambled that they will win more players on the mobile market than they will lose on the pc one. If they win that gamble or not remains to be seen after the game releases.

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20 minutes ago, NoahMcGrath said:

Well, of course it's also for diablo players.

You literally just said "sadly this game is not meant for you" to an actual Diablo fan. Please don't contradict yourself. 
 

20 minutes ago, NoahMcGrath said:

Get them to play mobile games and get the newcomers into diablo. But they aren't the target audience.

Debatable. Yes, it's meant to target a new audience. But at the same time, if you can excite your already established fan base (which is not small by any means, we both can agree) they can easily make more money off of both audiences. It's foolish to assume that this game was not targeting both existing and new audiences.

 

20 minutes ago, NoahMcGrath said:

Blizzard has games on every gaming platform (pc, xbox, playstation, switch soon) so mobile was the logical destination for whatever game they would have announced at blizzcon. [hearthstone was designed for pc and happened to work on mobile screens; they said so themselves, they don't consider it a true mobile game]. I know it hasn't been weeks but these sort of things last weeks. And after the game is released people will start the uproar again. But hey, maybe if people complain enough, they'll port it to pc.

Well no duh. As a company it was a logical move by all means. But the announcement within itself was sad and disappointing towards a fan base that wanted any form of news as to what the future of their beloved franchise will hold.

Honestly. I am just not convinced, I didn't even bother reading this whole article because I am so disinterested in a game that I don't see myself enjoying. I already clocked in hundred and hundreds of hours into Diablo 3, and by looking at the skills, enemies, classes, they may as well call it a Diablo 3 port to mobile rather than labeling it a new game all together. Will it do well? No doubt. But will hard core Diablo fans enjoy it? Probably not. In the meantime I am going to play Grim Dawn which is a far better distraction than this mobile game for when Diablo 4 is released. 

Edited by Rhondis
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6 minutes ago, Rhondis said:

You literally just said "sadly this game is not meant for you" to an actual Diablo fan. Please don't contradict yourself. 

It's not meant for players like Jonar, who clearly stated they hate mobile games. It's a diablo game, so obviously it's for diablo fans, but for those who like, or are willing to try mobile games. I should be more explicit in my replies.

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4 minutes ago, NoahMcGrath said:

Blizzard usually makes high quality games. I wouldn't be surprised if immortal is better than any of the other copies, but it's not a guarantee. I'm just trying to explain their though process. Ask them why they think people would play their game over existing ones, not me.

No, my friend, I'm asking you because you are supporting this argument in our conversation.

7 minutes ago, NoahMcGrath said:

Why do you think blizzard owes you anything? That's a psychological tactic. They present themselves as your friends. Look at us, we are gamers too, we play mario kart, we wear funny t-shirts. Come to our con, lets hang together, we'll show you our new games, and you'll buy them won't you, because we are your friends, we like you and you like us.

I already explained that.

8 minutes ago, NoahMcGrath said:

 Blizzard is owned by shareholders, who fund it in return for profit. Blizzard could be selling dirt for all they care as long as they get paid. This is even more true after the merge with Activision. People working at blizzard may be nice, they might care about you and about their games. But blizzard as a whole, as a company, doesn't give a shit about you. You are a source of money. If they lose you but win 2 others, they will take that deal. It may be more profitable to please their older audience, but not always. They took a risk with Immortal. They gambled that they will win more players on the mobile market than they will lose on the pc one. If they win that gamble or not remains to be seen after the game releases.

Again this whole part of your argument falls apart if you read it carefully. The strategy "lose one to gain two" only works when you are fucking sure as fuck that this is gonna work. And yet you write "they took a risk with immortal", "they gambled..." You know profitable companies don't take risks like that. 

You are contradicting yourself in many ways in your argument, please do something with that.

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12 hours ago, Devorta said:

Glad to finally hear more about the game itself and not about all the rage storm around the announcement, thanks a lot for your impression and the interview ! Did they give you an online alpha/beta/demo time ?

Hey! To be quite honest this is the reason I waited a full week, the entire community is hurting (and is entirely right in feeling so - myself included). As for access to the game, I had plenty of time with the demo in the media area - I could do runs back to back and really get a feel for the game.

 

12 hours ago, Dejo93 said:

I know you're trying your best, but it still won't work for most people, myself included. Also, get ready to be called a shill for Blizzard. 

I hope that's not the case, since I offer plenty of criticism in my impressions and raise legitimate concerns during the interview. The things that were well executed in the demo though - tight controls, satisfying combat, impressive graphics for the medium - it wouldn't be right not to report on them.

 

10 hours ago, Migol said:

No Blood?    Like, even red flesh on corpses where you've assumedly cut off arms and such?   Or just no spatter?

The enemies in the demo were a very specific bunch - skeletons (no blood regardless), oozes and spiders (green "blood") and demons / corrupted animals (black "blood"). Traditionally in Diablo games, at least demons and beasts leave red blood and gore. It felt very tame and censored in that regard.

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3 minutes ago, Jonar said:

No, my friend, I'm asking you because you are supporting this argument in our conversation.

If you want my honest opinion here it is: They thought people wanted a diablo-like game on the phone. Other companies delivered and had success, so if they make the original (the 'real' diablo) on the phone, people would flock to them. That's my opinion, it could be and probably is wrong. All i did is give a possible explanation. My 'argument' is that they expected to have a great succes on the mobile market, with a small backlash from pc players.

6 minutes ago, Jonar said:

I already explained that.

You said that you are a paying customer. You pay for stuff you like. You don't like Immortal. I agree with all that. But you think that because people hated the announcement, the game will flop. That's not necessarily true. It may become popular a year from now when it releases, or maybe it will always be hated in west, but loved in the east. If they think you are the one they have to convince to buy the game, it's true they owe you. But think they care more about the new market than the old playerbase.

Just now, Jonar said:

Again this whole part of your argument falls apart if you read it carefully. The strategy "lose one to gain two" only works when you are fucking sure as fuck that this is gonna work. And yet you write "they took a risk with immortal", "they gambled..." You know profitable companies don't take risks like that. 

Nothing is sure in life. They can't know how the public is going to react. They said themselves that they didn't expect the backlash. They were sure people would be ok with the game. Everything is a gamble. All you can control are how big the chances are. In their mind, a few players would quit, but more will take their place. That didn't happen. A lot of players had a very negative response.Haven't you heard of any company who went bankrupt because of one stupid, risky decision? That won't happen to blizzard over Immortal because they have so many other games, but it can happen if they screw again in the future. 

EA did the same thing for Command and Conquer. Mobile game, from a pc franchise. As you can see, these sort of gambles have happened before and probably will happen again. You have to understand that anyone's motivation in an economy is profit. Blizzard wants money. Most of the time, that means making stuff their players like, thus everyone is happy. Now they tried something they knew people would't like in hopes of entering a new market for a possible bigger profit and a new audience. The negative response shows they made a mistake.

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      How to Participate
      To participate in the public test, you must have a Diablo III game license attached to a Battle.net account in good standing (i.e. one that hasn't been suspended or banned). In addition, you will also need to download and install the Blizzard Battle.net desktop app if you have not already done so.
      Step 1: Restart the Battle.net desktop app.
      Step 2: Navigate to the Diablo III tab on the left-hand menu.
      Step 3: On the Diablo III screen, there is a drop-down menu right above the "Play" button (note that this may say "Install" if you do not have Diablo III currently installed). Select "PTR: Diablo III" from this drop-down menu before proceeding.
      Step 4: Click Install to begin the installation process.
      Your PTR account will be created automatically if you do not already have one. The PTR is available in all supported languages, and accounts from all regions are eligible to participate. For additional assistance with installing and launching the PTR, click here.
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      PTR Character Copy
      The option to copy your existing Diablo III characters from your live account to the PTR will be available and can be done directly through the PTR client. However, only one region per account can be copied at a time. So, if you choose to copy characters from your account in a different region, any previously copied PTR characters will be lost.
      Step 1: Log into the live game and then log out.
      Step 2: Log into PTR client and create a level 1 character. After you're done, return to the main character screen.
      Step 3: Click on the "PTR Copy" button located in the upper right-hand corner. (The PTR Copy button will not appear in-game until you have created a new level 1 character.)
      Step 4: Select your region.
      Step 5: Click "Copy." This will copy all characters on your account from the selected region.
      Step 6: You will be disconnected from the PTR client.
      Step 7: Log back in. Your copied characters will be available for play.
      Please note that you can only copy characters from one gameplay region at a time. If you choose to copy characters from a different region, any previously copied PTR characters will be lost. In addition, you can only copy characters over to your PTR account once every 24 hours. Attempting to copy characters before this cooldown is up will result in an error.
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      As this is a test server, please anticipate uneven game performance, and note that restarts and downtime may occur without warning. Thank you, and we look forward to your feedback!
       
      A killstreak-based seasonal power, new Crusader and Monk sets, Barbarian reworks and more!
    • By Stan
      This week's Challenge Rift 120 revolves around Demon Hunters.
      Challenge Rift 120 EU
      Gear
      Visage of Gunes Rakoff's Glass of Life + Gogok of Swiftness (Rank 57) Strongarm Bracers Elusive Ring + Legacy of Dreams (Rank 53) Pandemonium Loop + Pain Enhancer (Rank 61) Karlei's Point + Holy Point Shot Kanai's Cube Powers
      Dawn Aquila Cuirass Elusive Ring Skills
      VengeanceSeethe ImpaleRicochet PreparationInvigoration Shadow PowerGloom VaultRattling Roll CompanionBat Companion  
      Passives
      Sharpshooter Tactical Advantage Custom Engineering Awareness Impale is your main damage-dealing ability. You won't have any problems with toughness this week. You can Vault through Elites to proc your Strongarm Bracers and deal increased damage. Vengeance is going to have permanent uptime thanks to Gogok of Swiftness. For more information on layout, check out Mnemonic's video guide linked below.
      Challenge Rift 120 US
      Gear
      Andariel's Visage Dovu Energy Trap Mantle of Channeling Aquila Cuirass Frostburn Sanguinary Vambraces Hellcat Waistguard Depth Diggers Irontoe Mudsputters Convention of Elements + Bane of the Trapped (Rank 76) Unity + Legacy of Dreams (Rank 76) Leonine Bow of Hashir + Sin Seekers Kanai's Cube Powers
      Echoing Fury Cindercoat Squirt's Necklace Skills
      VengeanceSeethe GrenadeCluster Grenades Rapid FireWithering Fire Rain of VengeanceShade CompanionBat Companion Shadow PowerBlood Moon Passives
      Sharpshooter Ambush Grenadier Single Out Spam Vengeance, Companion, and Shadow Power every time they're up. Grenades will do your most damage, so throw them as you walk to kill trash. Use Rapid Fire for high single-target damage output on Elites or the Guardian. Cast Rain of Vengeance on Elites. Here's Raxx with his clear of the rift.
    • By Stan
      The drop chance of Legacy of Dreams from Greater Rift Guardians will be increased in Season 19. A suggestion has been passed on to the dev team to include the gem, which replicates the Legacy of Nightmares buff, in the Haedrig's Gift cache.
      The increased drop chance means the gem will have a higher priority to drop from the Greater Rift Guardians as outlined in the blue post below.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Hello everyone,
      In this post I just want to discuss my views on two different approaches for starting a season, and why adding a reworked Legacy of Dreams gem to the 3rd Haedrig reward makes sense.
      As noted, I feel there are two sorts of progressive players in D3. First, you have players that want to take sets, whatever is the most powerful, and just go for it out of the gate. Next, you have a group of players who prefer the slow grind of gathering different pieces of loot for a more player driven build.
      Right now, the first option is the only relevant option if you want to compete out of the gate.
      By allowing Legacy of Dreams to drop with Haedrigs gift, and re-balancing as a level 50 max gem rather than level 99, you fully open up the option for players to hit the ground running with Legacy of Dreams.
      I see absolutely no negative to these two changes, but wanted to see what the community thought?
      Thank you!
      That’s certainly a thought. I’ll pass the feedback on to the development team.
      I will note, however, in the next patch, we are going to increase the drop rate for Legacy of Dreams from Greater Rift Guardians. It’s a little low currently and hopefully that will help with the feeling that this gem is too scarce. We’ll give that a go first and see if we need to re-evaluate after.
      Is this to be interpreted as making it drop sooner when you first start collecting the gems?
      Correct. While you’ll get it eventually even with bad RNG by process of elimination, this change should make it more likely to drop sooner rather than later.
      Again, not guaranteed; random is still random and bad luck still happens. But it should be better after the update.
    • By Stan
      This week's Challenge Rift revolves around Crusaders. Check out the video guides by Mnemonic and Raxx to get started!
      Challenge Rift 119 EU
      Gear
      Thorns of the Invoker Set (5/6) Halcyon's Ascent + Bane of the Stricken (Rank 55) Vigilante Belt Gladiator Gauntlets Stone of Jordan + Bane of the Trapped (Rank 55) Ring of Royal Grandeur + Boyarsky's Chip (Rank 55) Hack + Vo'Toyias Spiker Kanai's Cube Powers
      Akarat's Awakening Aquila Cuirass The Flavor of Time Skills
      ConsecrationBed of Nails PunishCelerity ProvokeHit Me Iron SkinReflective Skin Steed ChargeSpiked Barding Akarat's ChampionProphet Passives
      Iron Maiden Hold Your Ground Finery Heavenly Strength Ignore Consecration, Punish will be your main generator. Use Iron Skin whenever Akarat's Champion is on cooldown for survivability. Use Steed Charge for efficiency. Use Akarat's Champion on cooldown and don't play defensively when in Akarat's form. For more information about the layout and synergies, check out Mnemonic's clear linked below.
      Challenge Rift 119 US
      Gear
      Armor of Akkhan Set (5/6) Talisman of Akkhan + Bane of the Trapped (Rank 35) Aughild's Power Aughild's Search Captain Crimson's Silk Girdle Captain Crimson's Thrust Unity Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac The Furnace + Frydehr's Wrath Kanai's Cube Powers
      Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker Illusory Boots Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac Skills
      Laws of ValorUnstoppable Force CondemnVacuum ProvokeToo Scared to Run Akarat's ChampionProphet SlashGuard Steed ChargeEndurancez Passives
      Heavenly Strength Holy Cause Indestructible Finery Keep Laws of Valor, Condemn, Provoke, and Akarat's Champion up all the time. Condemn does all of your damage. Use Steed Charge to move in between elites. Here's Raxx with his weekly clear of the rift.
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