Roughly three and a half years after its infamous announcement at BlizzCon 2018, Diablo Immortal is finally a few days away from its full launch on mobile and PC (in Open Beta) after a long series of testing phases.
Blizzard announced that the servers will go live on June 2nd at 10 AM Pacific Time (1 PM Eastern Time, 6 PM British Time, 7 PM Central European Time), though mobile players could see it appear on the App Store and Google Play as soon as the early morning of June 1st as part of the gradual rollout on those platforms. Some regions in the Asian Pacific area like Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macao, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand will have to wait until June 22nd, just like Vietnam, which will also only get the PC version of the game for the time being.
Diablo Immortal, set between the events of Diablo II and Diablo III, will be a franchise first in many regards. It's the first installment to feature a free-to-play business model and the first to include full-fledged MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) elements such as clans, raids, and a complete slew of PvP activities. Moreover, Diablo Immortal will be the most accessible title in the series yet when it comes to controls on PC since it includes the traditional click-to-move, the brand new WASD, and controller compatibility.
Ahead of this highly anticipated launch, we were able to interview Game Director Wyatt Cheng to look back at the game's announcement, reflect on the current state at launch, and get a glimpse of what's coming next.
When we announced the game back in 2018, some players were hoping for a Diablo IV announcement and we completely understand that they were disappointed with how we announced our game. Fast forward now Diablo IV is announced, Diablo II: Resurrected has been released, and we’re still making content updates for Diablo III. With Diablo Immortal just around the corner, there’s never been a better time to be a Diablo gamer.
For the team – we were motivated from the start to stay laser focused on creating the best Diablo game possible on mobile for our fans. On the team, we like to say “Playing is Believing,” and I think once we started rolling out our public testing phases, excitement for the game really took off. It was a pivotal moment for us for the first time watching large groups of players fill up the open world, run dungeons together, start vying for the top spot in the Cycle of Strife, and just enjoy the game we created. We can’t wait for the world to get their hands on the game and hope that fans everywhere will love our next chapter in the Diablo universe.
Some players feel that at least some of the dungeon content (H2/3 tier) in Diablo Immortal could be done solo if the game allowed it. Any plans to do that?
No. We want to create some activities that are oriented toward group content and others that are intended for solo. For players who enjoy solo, we did rework bounties to ensure that all bounties can be completed without requiring a group.
Can set pieces also get essence transfer?
When players suggest this, the root of the feedback is usually that the player wants to wear a set but by the time they put together all the pieces of a set, the stats on items found long ago are no longer high enough to warrant the set bonus. We’ve addressed this by making the stats on Set items determined primarily by your difficulty setting rather than being boosted by your Paragon level. This means the stats on set items will remain relevant for your character for a much longer time.
How satisfied are you with the current state of PvP? What kind of additions and tweaks can PvP fans expect in the near future?
PvP is one of those features in a game that requires constant iteration and collaboration with the community. We’ve made a lot of changes to the game through our testing periods and will continue to do so in the future. Immortal is the first Diablo game to have a fully fleshed out PvP system with The Cycle of Strife, and there is so much amazing content there for players. All of our PvP content is grouped-based, and within that, there are different styles: 8v8 Battlegrounds, asymmetrical Raid the Vault, and then the epic 30v1 where one player effectively assumes the role of a giant raid
boss as 30 other players try to take the player down.
How often do you plan to release new Diablo Immortal content such as new zones, classes, and raids?
Launch is just the beginning for Diablo Immortal. We will have constant updates for the game on a regular basis. Every month you can expect something new to be added. Things like Battle Pass updates, new cosmetics, and live in-game events you can expect quite often. New zones, Helliquary bosses, dungeons, and new classes are already in the works which will be coming at a regular cadence after launch for years to come. And of course, you will get all of this content for free!
Were there any monetization changes since the last beta? Are there any plans to make crests and legendary gems more available to non-paying players?
Yes, we have significantly improved the experience for players using Rare Crests. We made major changes to runes, fading embers, and the crafting costs to make Legendary Gems easier for players to acquire through regular gameplay.
The game was removed from the app stores of Belgium and the Netherlands. Can you reveal if there are any plans to make the game available there in the future?
Diablo Immortal will not be available in Belgium and the Netherlands. We absolutely appreciate the desire of local players to access our game, this is related to the current operating environment for games in those countries. We do not have any additional details to share right now on how it may change in the future.
Are there high resolution/high frame rate options on PC?
On resolution and frame rates, Diablo Immortal on PC supports 1920*1080 and above, and the frame rate is uncapped. It also supports widescreen.
Are there any plans to support Macs? What about possible console releases, given that controllers are already supported?
We do not have any plans right now to expand to other platforms. We know there are a lot of players out there who prefer Mac and console as their primary gaming platform, so we will of course continue to explore more options for the future.
On that latter point, can you share the final list of compatible controllers at launch?
We have a blog that just came out a few hours ago that goes into all the nitty gritty details of everything players will want to know before diving into Immortal when it launches. We have been expanding our controller support since we held the Closed Beta earlier this year, and the blog has a full list of compatible controllers across all platforms. You can check the blog here!
Thank you for your time.
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