We got a general review with some insights from the Technical Alpha. One of our great community members, Bluddshed hosted the panel with Caleb Arseneaux (Lead Game Producer) and Wyatt Cheng (Lead game Designer) to talk more about Immortal with a few small key news things to look forward to Soon(TM).
Talk about how they were impressed by the dedication of some players during the Technical Alpha. Either grinding Paragon or climbing the CR leaderboard, they were happy to see so many take to the game.
They talked about their favorite classes during the Technical Alpha how they used their skills. Also mentioned which items helped them feel like they were making improvements.
Inline with that, they went over the unique skills combinations seen in Immortal such as the Wizards Ice Crystal + Ray of Frost combo.
They wanted to bring something new on top of the familiar from past Diablo games when it comes to skills.
Went over how the speed of the game is slower than Diablo III. The pace was switched up to make leveling feel not such a race. Also, drop rates were altered so the reward loop wasn’t made obsolete by dropping legendaries left and right. Wanted to make sure you felt a sense of excitement when you found something. All this while making sure your time, be it 15 minutes or an hour is worth playing.
They continued to talk about armor, specifically how legendaries alter your skills. Bluddshed bring up the one piece that turns your Scorch into Frozen Orb essentially. This gives more players more a reason to hunt for these items to see how they can adjust their skills and play styles.
A quick discussion on how Diablo Immortal feels like a whole Diablo experience and game. That it is not just a port. There is great variety of things to do.
They talked about the breaks that we encountered during our leveling where sometimes we reach a zone but need to grind a level or two to not get beat down by enemies in those zones. The break was intentional so we could go do and explore the world and all the other activities – focusing on progression. It allows us to play bounties, dungeons, world events, crafting, etc. All these we can pick, what we choose to do. Giving the player the agency.
They go over each zones world event. Touched on how each event and which was their favorite.
The topic of Paragon in Immortal was brought up. The teams learning from Diablo 3 and how to re-inventing the system for Immortal was talked about. Talked about the linear pathing of Paragon in Diablo 3 but how to make sure Paragon in Immortal would last years into the future. Mentioning that Paragon in Immortal is separated into trees localizing your maximizing Active Abilities, but not restricting your Passive ones. The system ultimately is a good foundation for when and if they expand it by adding more trees.
Went over how since you can switch trees, you can use Paragon to bust and specialize for which activity you want to do.
Bluddshed brought up a specific dungeon that takes place with Baal, Tal Rasha, and Zoltun Kulle as a past event. With the Library of Zoltun Kulle the devs have thought about it acting in a similar way, “The Caverns of Time,” in WoW have acted to go back to past events and relive them possibly.
Went over bringing Deckard Cain back and working with such a beloved character again. With that though, talked about new characters too such as Xul and Skarn the main villain along with other historical characters we haven’t interacted with yet!
They moved to the topic of a town hub being Westmarch itself. The game feels more alive because of passing by other players casually as well as being able to interact and group up. Gives a new sense of interaction with a Diablo game besides the run of the mill parting up.
Wyatt talked about how they wanted to implement a hub in Diablo III. It never quite made it off the design table and is happy it made it into Diablo Immortal. Westmarch gives that feeling the game is real and alive and doesn’t go away when you close the app.
One of the new things we learned was, kinda of, is that they are officially looking into controller support! This is not a 100% grantee it will happen, but they are looking into it, which means they feel they can pull it off…hopefully!
The topic of tilesets, or all two of them in Immortal came up. This was put to ease by many, many more are coming. They also elaborated that the tilesets will match. So, for instance a swampy tileset for a Lair will appear to match the Bilefen. This is to keep thematic consistency between the zones and things attached to them. At the end they want to make sure you don’t forget where you are in the world.
Another quick talk about the dedication of the players to grinding during the Technical Alpha. Paragon or Challenge Rifts, or gearing, they took it as a compliment at how good and playable the game was. They found it interesting how the high end players played v.s. the average player.
A brief look back at 2018 and Immortals rough unveiling. It wasn’t the best, but especially Wyatt mentioned how he just wanted to say that they were working on Diablo IV but couldn’t. Ultimately though, we have arrived here at a much better place with Diablo in general. With DIablo Immortal they found the love for the game in the great feedback that was obtained.
Another thing to look forward to is a new testing phase, with a new class (either Necromancer or Crusader) to more people that will be longer to also test more end game content. Calling it “Epic End Game.”
That’s about it. Stay tuned this weekend for more Diablo information and the weeks to come.