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We have another great Games Beat interview, this time on Diablo: Immortal. Among the big things that have come out of it are how the game design is different from Diablo 4, why there was so little focus on it at BlizzCon, the way combat works, skills, ultimates, items and a whole lot more new info. It's a very detailed and exhaustive interview, so definitely check it out if you're interested in the game.
Here are the topics they talk about:
Immortal wasn't a big focus at BlizzCon to leave room for Diablo 4 and to not have a "confusing message of having a bunch of Diablo up there from a couple different games." The two Diablo teams do talk, but each does what is right for their game. Spell combos are in the game (for example you can create a firestorm by casting a fire spell at a tornado spell), but for now only spells from your own character can interact. They might make other players' spells interactable too but aren't quite sure which way to go yet. Legendary items work like runes from D3 - rather than getting these options on level up, you'll get them in item form. For now, the game drops a smaller amount of loot, but of higher quality. There is a lot of story interaction in the game. 6 classes at launch, but more will be added later. They don't know what the monetization system will be like yet. No mana/resources, various skill systems like charges, longer cooldowns the longer you channel etc. 8 outdoor zones. Basic attacks are powerful and they charge up ultimates - each class has 2 basic attacks to choose from as well as 2 corresponding ultimates.
We have an update from game Director Wyatt Cheng, talking about why we didn't hear anything about Immortal on any of the BlizzCon panels, from the game's reddit. The main reason was to give more focus to Diablo 4 and it's unveiling, but also because the rumors of it being "pretty much ready" were false. The game is still in full production and we'll be getting more information on how far along it is in the coming months - still no news on the release date.
He also talked about the playable demo at the show floor, which featured the newly added Demon Hunter class and the new ultimate system - each class will have 2 separate ults, based on the basic skill they select, and it'll work as you'd expect, filling up as you use other skills. He even addressed last years "rough" BlizzCon announcement, and joked that he got a lot of questions regarding his ownership of a phone.
Diablo: Immortal (source)
We’ve wrapped up BlizzCon 2019 and I want to check in here and share more information.
First, if you haven’t already seen we have both an official blog update and development video update:
If you haven’t seen those yet - check them out.
A lot of people have been asking me why we didn’t talk about Immortal on the main stage. Quite simply, we want to make sure we give Diablo 4 the space for a clear announcement. I am personally super happy for all my friends on the D4 team who worked so long towards this day. As a company, we didn’t want to risk any confusion regarding features, storylines, etc between D4 and Immortal.
We had an updated demo for Diablo Immortal playable on the show floor that was played by thousands of people. The demo had a playable Demon Hunter to join the Monk, Barb and Wizard from last year. Hopefully a few people who had a chance to play the game at BlizzCon will be able to share their game experience.
Our dev update mentions ultimates, so how do ultimates work? As you use your basic attack you charge up a meter that sits around the rim of your basic attack button. When the meter is full a new ultimate button becomes available. You can activate that button at any time of your choosing to activate an ultimate mode that transforms your basic attack into a new upgraded version. The exact details of your ultimate state change based on which basic attack you have assigned. Every class has two basic attacks each with a corresponding ultimate. We observed that some players did not notice their ultimate when it became available - something we’ll have to iterate on more.
One of the top questions from the weekend was “When is it coming out? I heard the game was done and I was hoping to install it this weekend!” Regarding rumors, the rumor that the game is basically done was false. We are currently in full production and working hard on the game and we’re looking forward to sharing more information in the coming months. I know the rumors are fueled by excitement for the game and I assure you that when we are ready to talk about the next phase of development there will be clear messaging from Blizzard. Thank you for your patience as we take the time to get the game right.
Another question I heard was, predictably, if I had a phone. Joking aside, last year’s announcement was rough, but it was nice to see people on this subreddit showing genuine support and interest in the game. The whole Diablo Immortal team loves to game on PC, console and mobile. We all want to make an authentic Diablo game for both the core Diablo audience as well as new players, and we are glad to have you on that journey with us.
We have the official preview for Diablo: Immortal at this year's Blizzcon, despite it not getting mentioned at all on the panels so far. It goes into both the basics of what the game is and the new features they're showing off this year - the ultimate skill system, a first look at the items and more. There's still no release date or even a release window and no mention of the monetization system either.
Check out our BlizzCon 2019 Content Hub for all the latest details!
Diablo: Immortal (source)
Across Blizzard, there is so much Diablo in the works that there will be a way for everyone to explore Sanctuary. For those of you eagerly awaiting an update on Diablo Immortal, the team has been hard at work on the game: honing our plan and vision, solidifying our goals, tightening mechanics and game systems, and laying the groundwork for what a Blizzard mobile MMO ARPG needs to flourish. Let’s review the basics before we look at what the future holds for this new adventure.
What is Diablo Immortal?
Diablo Immortal is a mobile MMO ARPG currently planned for iPhone and Android devices. We want it to include all the things you know and love about Diablo: multitudes of monsters to slay, troves of loot to collect and customize, and powerful classes to play with friends or on your own.
What makes Diablo Immortal different?
In addition to the new platform, the shift to mobile MMO ARPG embraces online multiplayer. While we still want players to be able to enjoy the game solo, Diablo Immortal will thrive with multiplayer features including persistent shared zones, 4-player instanced dungeons, full Guild support and social systems, and so much more.
Where does Diablo Immortal fit into the overall story?
Diablo Immortal takes place between the events of Diablo II and Diablo III. As Sanctuary recovers from the aftermath of Baal’s invasion and the destruction of Mount Arreat, powerful malevolent forces seek the remains of the Worldstone for their diabolical desires.
Your character will be a unique, original hero who allies themselves with the remnants of the Horadrim, aiming to prevent the enemies of Sanctuary from reclaiming and controlling the Worldstone. Stand together with other mortal champions and defend your home from the corrupting evil of the Burning Hells!
What classes will be playable in Diablo Immortal?
Currently, we have six classes planned for players to select in Diablo Immortal: Barbarian, Crusader, Demon Hunter, Monk, Necromancer, and Wizard.
What’s New for Diablo Immortal at BlizzCon 2019?
Last year’s demo revealed the Barbarian, Monk, and Wizard, playable in a streamlined dungeon experience. This year, attendees will also be able to take the Demon Hunter for a spin (or Strafe) through a slice of open-world gameplay through the town of Wortham and the outdoor zone of Ashwold Cemetary.
We’ve added a new base game mechanic: Ultimate Abilities. All classes gain charge for their chosen Ultimate by using basic attacks. Once this charge has been built up, players can choose to augment their basic attack for a short time in a face-meltingly powerful display of strength, guile, or raw magical potential.
We’re also sharing a first look at our equipment system, including the first batch of skill-altering Legendary items. Turn your Scorch’s burning fireball into an icy Frozen Orb, change up how Exploding Palm targets foes and dishes out damage, or transform deadly arrows into grenades when using Strafe.
There’s no better way to check it out than watching the action, so be sure to watch our latest gameplay trailer:
You might spot a few other things we’re showing off that aren’t available in the demo, and even more we’ll be ready to share next year!
We might not have an answer to all your questions, but we tackled a few of the more common ones below. If we don’t have an answer for you now, it’s very likely your topic is still in active development. We’ll have additional information to share as it becomes available.
Q: When will I be able to play Diablo Immortal?
A: We don’t have a release date to announce at this time. It takes significant time to meet the Blizzard quality level we’re aiming for, and we have a lot of ambitious goals for Diablo Immortal. Keep a close eye on Diablo channels for upcoming news and Pre-Register for testing opportunities here.
Q: Will there be microtransactions in Diablo Immortal? How will Diablo Immortal be priced?
A: We’re focused on building a great Diablo game first. That said, we know the business model is top of mind for lots of people out there and we’re taking the time to get it right. It’s too early to share details, but we want to make a Diablo game players love and to support it for years to come. We plan to achieve that by creating an ecosystem that accounts for and welcomes every type of player—from our most die-hard Diablo veterans to those who’ll be exploring Sanctuary for the first time.
Q: What will support for Diablo Immortal look like after launch?
A: Diablo Immortal is planned from the ground up for ongoing content and events. After launch, expect continued support and regular content updates including balance changes, new zones, dungeons, bosses, loot, additional stories, and even new classes!
NetEase's rival Tencent has released a Diablo Immortal clone in China titled Raziel, but the game has already received poor ratings due to its pay-to-win elements and horrible loot drop rate.
Tencent managed to release a mobile action RPG ahead of Blizzard and NetEase. The game is called Raziel and the company reportedly spent four years developing the dungeon crawler.
It didn't take long for the game to become one of China's most downloaded mobile games in the first week, but players are now starting to realize how low the drop rate for items is and how aggressively it incentivizes pay-to-win.
Rhykker also discusses Raziel in his latest video and one reviewer says:
Another review comes from a player who has spent 80 hours playing the game:
Hence on TapTap, a popular site for ranking mobile games in China, the game received a very low rating of 4/10.
Blizzard and NetEase are obviously taking their time to release Diablo Immortal and while NetEase said they were done with the development on their end, maybe Blizzard's just careful and waiting to see how things pan out for Tencent's Raziel before releasing Diablo Immortal.
IGN conducted an interview with Blizzard President J. Allen Brack about lessons learned from the Diablo Immortal reveal.
The reveal of Diablo Immortal at last year's BlizzCon sparked discontent within the PC community. Allen Adham later confirmed that Blizzard was developing mobile titles for all their IPs. While Diablo 4 has been reportedly in development since 2016, Blizzard isn't planning to release any major titles this year aside from Classic and Warcraft III Reforged.
J. Allen Brack talked to IGN about the Diablo Immortal reveal, mainly how Blizzard failed to articulate that they were a PC gaming company and weren't shifting away from PC. They brought many titles to console and Diablo III to Switch. Mobile is a really popular platform and they just want to expand and deliver Blizzard-quality games to it.
Diablo Immortal's release date still remains unknown, even though the game is ready from a co-developer perspective, according to NetEase.
Check out the full IGN interview here.