Date: February 20, 2021
In today’s Blizzcon 2021 Diablo Q&A, Lead Designer Wyatt Cheng discussed the present and future of Blizzard’s mobile Diablo game, including the current state of development and their plans for content updates post-release. While yesterday’s discussion around Diablo Immortal covered the big picture of the game, today’s Q&A gave us some specific details on progression, lore, and more.
The most recent phase of development for Immortal was the tech alpha, in which basic gameplay systems were tested. Cheng mentioned how their goal was to achieve the classic “Diablo feel” with mobile controls, and based on player feedback, they feel confident that they are hitting the mark so far. The technical alpha tested only early and mid-game systems, with the level cap sitting at 45 (as opposed to the 60 players will be able to reach on release). End game systems are the “next step” for the Diablo Immortal team.
In response to a question about Immortal having seasons like Diablo III, Cheng said they were going to pivot from resetting progression to focus on content updates. The idea is to create new content players can engage with using their already-progressed character, rather than using the resetting of progress to give the player something new to do.
This is in line with other statements Cheng made in the Q&A where he said “The game’s release is just the beginning” — the Immortal team plans to add new zones, dungeons, items, paragon trees, and even new classes post-launch. After finishing the storyline, there should still be plenty for players to do: There will apparently be PvE and PvP goals to reach even after completing the main quest, and there will even be large, guild vs guild PvP in the same vein as Black Desert Online. “It will be lit”, said Cheng about the large scale PvP.
In terms of lore, Diablo Immortal takes place in the time between Diablo II and Diablo III’s story, a span of 20 years. There will also be “time-walking”, that allows players to experience other time periods in the Diablo lore, by visiting the library of Zoltun Kulle. It sounds like there will be plenty of important lore to glean for any serious Diablo historians — Deckard Cain will still be alive, after all.
Those of you wondering when the game was coming out will be disappointed, as Cheng refused to give an answer to a question about the release date, saying the game had more testing ahead of it than behind it. He did reveal that the release would include the Crusader and the Necromancer class, both of which were missing from the tech alpha. He also noted that the game would not support 120Hz devices on launch, but that “maybe later” it would.
Will you play Diablo Immortal, assuming you have a phone? Let us know in the comments!