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Here comes a big update after the new footage we saw earlier, with Wyatt Cheng, the lead dev, giving us the overview on updates for the game. Similar to the recent Diablo 4 update, this one focuses on the internal playtest, where other Blizzard staff from across the world get to try the game out. We get some nice new images and gifs to check out as well:
Mid-year Update (source)
Greetings Diablo Immortal Community!
It’s been a little while since you’ve heard from us, so we wanted check in and share an update on how development has been progressing for Diablo Immortal. We have seen many burning questions about the status of development on Diablo Immortal and rest assured, the team has been hard at work.
We have transitioned to working from home, the team is still making good progress, and we are delighted to be marching toward key development milestones. One of the most important milestones for every new game at Blizzard is the internal company playtest. Blizzard is full of passionate gamers with a diverse range of playstyles and gaming tastes—the internal company playtest allows the development team to access that deep well of feedback.
The Diablo Immortal team is eager to see how our Blizzard colleagues around the world experience our game. From the very first login to choosing a Legendary item to perfectly complement your build, we’ll be soliciting feedback to guide our decisions as we iterate on the game before it goes beyond Blizzard’s walls. In our quest to reimagine what is possible on mobile, we want to make sure the game delivers authentic Diablo combat with traditional Blizzard polish in a way that is natively intuitive on the platform.
Once our playtest concludes, the team will focus on working through the feedback. This milestone is crucial to our team because we want to ensure that Diablo Immortal is the best experience for our players when we’re ready to share it with the world. Getting the game into the hands of more of us at Blizzard is a major step toward getting it into yours.
Diablo Immortal is coming together, and we can’t wait to share more details about our ongoing testing and release plans as development progresses. On a personal note, I also wanted to take a moment to thank you for your continued support and patience. On behalf of the Diablo Immortal team, we are grateful that you have been on this journey with us so far and we appreciate all of the interest for our game. Know that the minions of hell are hard at work and we can’t wait to show you everything we’ve been doing when the time is right.
Lead Designer, Diablo Immortal Team
ChinaJoy 2020 bring us a new trailer for Diablo: Immortal, with plenty of new stuff to see. The biggest change is the new class models, as well as plenty of UI improvements, but the best surprise comes at the end as we get another glimpse at Baal, as we know he'll play a significant role in the game.
ChinaJoy 2020 is just a few days away, and attending the event are Blizzard and NetEase, so we may get some sort of Diablo Immortal announcement.
During the Activision Blizzard Q4 2019 Earnings Call, Blizzard mentioned that Diablo Immortal would become available for testing for the first time in Mid-2020, but the testing phase has not begun yet, even though NetEase said back in April 2019 that the upcoming mobile title was pretty much ready from their perspective.
ChinaJoy 2020 runs from July 31 through August 3. Attending the event are both Blizzard and NetEase, co-developer of Diablo Immortal, so we might get an announcement, tied explicitly to Diablo Immortal, what do you think?
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.