Diablo Immortal

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Diablo Immortal
Diablo Immortal logo.png
Developer(s)
Publisher(s)Blizzard Entertainment
Platform(s)Android, iOS
Genre(s)Action role-playing, hack and slash
Mode(s)Multiplayer

Diablo Immortal is an upcoming action role-playing hack and slash video game in the Diablo series designed for online multiplayer play on mobile devices. Developed by Blizzard and NetEase, the game was announced in late 2018 and is planned for release on Android and iOS with no set release date.

Gameplay[edit]

Diablo Immortal is a massively multiplayer online action game in the Diablo series designed for play on mobile devices.[1] The fast-paced[2] Immortal is set between the events of Diablo II and Diablo III,[3] and borrows the look and feel of the latter.[2]

The game is designed for a touchscreen, with virtual controls that overlay the display: a directional thumbstick and ability buttons. The player can aim the ability by holding its button.[2] Each of the six character classes—Barbarian, Wizard, Monk, Necromancer, Demon Hunter, and Crusader[3]—have four abilities,[4] which differ across character classes. For example, the Barbarian's class abilities include a slamming hammer and turning into a whirlwind. The Wizard casts a beam of electricity that boomerangs back to its source, dealing damage twice.[2] Skills generally aim towards the nearest enemy.[4] Blizzard plans for each class to have 12 unlockable skills, from which the player choose five to use concurrently.[4]

Defeated enemies drop items ("loot") that can be equipped via a pop-up button.[4] Players can join and leave groups that play through "dynamic events".[1] Unlike other Diablo series games, in the Immortal preview, the mana resource is removed and newly equipped items do not change the visual appearance of the player's character.[4]

Development[edit]

Immortal is co-developed by Blizzard and NetEase.[1] The latter developer had been Blizzard's partner for Chinese market releases.[3] Blizzard intended to bring the core Diablo experience to the smartphone platform. As a result, its interfaces reflect choices that would make that experience best fit the medium.[5] By designing for a smartphone gaming audience, Immortal was designed to reach demographics and geographic regions that use mobile phones as their main gaming platform and may not otherwise interact with Diablo on other gaming platforms.[5]

The game is planned for release on Android and iOS platforms.[3] No release date is set.[6] Players can pre-register on the game's website for admission to playtest the beta.[1] Blizzard also announced plans to keep the Immortal experience fresh after its initial release with the regular addition of stories and characters.[1] The game was announced at the opening ceremony of BlizzCon in November 2018.

Reception[edit]

Pre-release[edit]

The announcement's response was largely negative.[5] While traditional gaming audiences often express skepticism towards diluted mobile versions of a cherished franchise, the Diablo series community's discontent was compounded by their anticipation for a larger announcement.[3][5] They expressed their discontent through online channels, likening Immortal to a reskin of one of NetEase's prior games, Crusaders of Light.[3] Blizzard responded that Immortal is but one Diablo series game in active development, and pointed to the company's multi-platform development experience and the success of the mobile version of Hearthstone as evidence of Blizzard's capacity to overcome uncertainty and do right by their core audience.[5] Blizzard also debunked a rumor that they had withheld announcement of a main Diablo sequel due to the negative response at Immortal's reveal; Blizzard stated "we didn’t pull any announcements from BlizzCon this year or have plans for other announcements. We do continue to have different teams working on multiple unannounced Diablo projects, and we look forward to announcing when the time is right."[7].

After the reveal at BlizzCon, developers participated in a Q&A with attendees. Two particular questions leveled at Wyatt Cheng, Principal Game Designer at Blizzard, drew significant attention from media and audiences alike, with one attendee asking if the announcement was an "out of season April Fools' joke"[8][9], and another if it there was a possibility for a PC release, leading to the crowd booing when the answer was negative.[10][11][12]

Following the announcement, Activision Blizzard's stock fell 7% on the first weekday of trading.[13][14][15][16][17]

Previews of the game's demo approved of the game's controls,[2][4] its interface having been tested by prior NetEase games,[4] though Polygon's reviewer noted difficulties in precision controls.[2] The locked abilities made some character classes less enjoyable to play, as the Wizard's ability cooldown timers made the class less effective in groups.[4]

Demo reviewers felt that where Immortal captured the series' look and feel, it omitted some of its core tenets,[2][4] or as Polygon put it, Diablo's "soul".[2] Whereas the mobile game captured the basic Diablo experience, the reviewers questioned whether the new entry had enough new content to remain fresh.[2][4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Farokhmanesh, Megan (November 2, 2018). "Diablo is getting a full-fledged mobile RPG". The Verge. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Gilliam, Ryan (November 2, 2018). "Diablo: Immortal feels like a Diablo game, just not one that's for me". Polygon. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Good, Owen S. (November 2, 2018). "Diablo fans call Diablo: Immortal a reskin of a free-to-play mobile game". Polygon. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Grayson, Nathan (November 3, 2018). "Diablo Immortal Is A Simplified DiabloMaybe Too Simplified". Kotaku. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e McWhertor, Michael (November 3, 2018). "Blizzard responds to Diablo: Immortal backlash". Polygon. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  6. ^ Welsh, Oli (November 2, 2018). "There's an all-new Diablo game called Diablo Immortal". Eurogamer. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  7. ^ Wade, Jessie (November 5, 2018). "Update: Blizzard Says It 'Didn't Pull Any Announcements From Blizzcon'". IGN. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  8. ^ Joseph Knoop (November 3, 2018). "'Is this an April Fools joke?' Blizzard fans are having a fit over the new Diablo mobile game". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 2018-11-13.
  9. ^ Eli Becht (November 2, 2018). "WATCH: Fan Asks If Diablo: Immortal Is April Fool's Joke". Heavy.com. Retrieved 2018-11-13.
  10. ^ Ben Kuchera (November 5, 2018). "Diablo: Immortal broke the unspoken rules of Blizzard, and BlizzCon". Polygon. Retrieved 2018-11-13.
  11. ^ Asif Khan (November 2, 2018). "Fans react to Diablo Immortal like disrespectful edgelords at BlizzCon 2018's Q&A". ShackNews. Retrieved 2018-11-13.
  12. ^ Robert Workman (November 4, 2018). "'Diablo Immortal' Gets Heavy Ire From Die-Hard Blizzard Fans". ComicBook.com. Retrieved 2018-11-13.
  13. ^ Paul Tassi (November 6, 2018). "'Diablo Immortal' BlizzCon Backlash Leads To Activision Stock Slide". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-11-13.
  14. ^ Keith Noonan (November 11, 2018). "Fans Hate Activision Blizzard's Newest Game. Should Investors Be Worried?". The Motley Fool. Retrieved 2018-11-13.
  15. ^ Haydn Taylor (November 6, 2018). "Activision Blizzard stock tumbles following Diablo Immortal backlash". GameIndustry.biz. Retrieved 2018-11-13.
  16. ^ Eddie Makuch (November 5, 2018). "Activision Blizzard Stock Drops Following Diablo Drama At BlizzCon". GameSpot. Retrieved 2018-11-13.
  17. ^ Richard Scott-Jones (November 6, 2018). "Activision-Blizzard's stock crashes 7% after Diablo: Immortal Reveal". PCGamesN. Retrieved 2018-11-13.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]