Diablo Immortal is Coming
Diablo Immortal is one of the next exciting projects coming out of Blizzard Entertainment studios. The game is going to be a hack and slash massively multiplayer online action game featuring multiplayer and lots of epic loot. With Blizzcon 2019 just around the corner, the hype is real as many of us are hopeful for news of a release date. Initially when it was announced there was significant backlash from the Diablo gaming community because we are mostly dedicated PC gamers. However, just as I have come around to mobile games after years of exclusively playing PC games, so too shall the other die-hard fans of the Diablo franchise. That is, of course, if the game isn’t a pay-to-win dumpster fire… Here are my Diablo Immortal expectations presented as 3 hopes and 3 nightmares.
Hopes for Diablo Immortal
1. Meaningful Loot
So much of what makes Diablo games addicting and enjoyable for hours on end is the neverending hunt for all of that sweet loot. A complex and well thought out armory of available gear to be hunted for is critical to the success of Diablo Immortal. I am hoping for unique items that feel impactful and diverse; sets of gear that have powerful effects when combined; runes and gems that form a reasonably complicated crafting system. Most of all, I hope this installation takes us back to a time when you had to think for yourself about what item is best for your build rather than an automatic tracker next to the stats of an item. Build diversity and complexity in a mobile game – high hopes for Blizzard to reach.
2. Late Game Content
I want to be able to play Diablo Immortal for a long time and really dive deep into the content that Blizzard is creating. For this to be possible, I am hoping there is significant late-game content in the form of not only difficult monsters but some kind of Player versus player arena – preferably with leaderboards. I also hope to see regular content and balancing patches to keep the game alive and interesting for seasoned players. Why bother searching for all of the best gear if the late game consists of the same content with only larger health bars as a difference? I hope for satisfying late-game PVP and PVE content that meets my Diablo Immortal expectations as well as the high bar I set for Blizzard games in general.
3. Quality Multiplayer
Some of my fondest gaming memories are from hopping on Diablo 2 after school and playing with friends or joining public games full of people grinding out levels. I hope that Diablo Immortal delivers on all fronts in terms of multiplayer options. Duels, trading, group dungeons, and content difficult enough to drive players to want to team up against the evil forces are all welcome. However, a large portion of the content should be able to be soloed because it is a mobile game and people often play on the go. Being able to team up with or fight against your friends will drastically improve the longevity of Diablo Immortal and I hope Blizzard can deliver.
Diablo Immortal Nightmares
1. Real-Money Auction House / P2W
This game can so easily be tainted by pay to win mechanics and it is a nightmare of mine that Diablo Immortal will release and be just another money trap. A real-money auction house or cash shop that removes the challenge of finding epic loot will ruin this game in the eyes of a lot of people. The community has been speculating that because of EA and Netease’s influence on this game there will likely be heavy P2W elements and it is difficult to cast aside these speculations. Hopefully, the monetization system put in place is a cosmetic only shop, but for now, there is no evidence either way.
2. Over Simplified
There needs to be complexity to this game; there needs to be depth. It would be a nightmare and a shame if Diablo Immortal were to be dumbed down to appeal to a more general audience. Sure, there would be more people who casually pick up the game, but simplifying the game would take so much away from its potential to deliver a true Diablo experience. Any sort of auto-questing, auto-levelling, or indicators that tell the player exactly how to play will ruin the authenticity of the game. If every level is dumbed down to a linear map with only one way to explore, rather than a tangled catacomb like previous Diablo games, then Diablo Immortal will feel like just another reskin of a generic RPG.
3. Playtime Gating (stamina system)
Introducing a stamina mechanic where the player is only able to do X amount of gaming before they have to replenish their stamina by waiting or paying real money would be my worst nightmare for Diablo Immortal. So much of the identity of the Diablo franchise is about the grind for epic gear and grinding takes a lot of time and effort. If the amount of playtime is gated artificially by a paywall, I fear this game will be wholely dead in the eyes of long-time fans of Diablo.
Ultimately, Blizzard and Netease need to do a lot of things right in order to deliver a product that matches the community’s Diablo Immortal expectations. I laid out some of my hopes and nightmares for the game, but I would love to hear what you hope to see or are worried about with Diablo Immortal. Sound off in the comments! You can expect to see lots of Diablo Immortal content from me after release, so stay tuned! I hope this game turns out to be an awesome addition to the action role-playing game (ARPG) genre!