Diablo Immortal, the upcoming Diablo mobile game, is currently being alpha tested. It is not yet available to the public but is getting a trial run from a couple of thousand Australian Android users who pre-registered to test the game as a technical alpha. The technical alpha will only last for a couple of weeks, and there is no confirmed release date for a playable, publicly available form of Immortal.
The game is being marketed as a full Diablo experience. Blizzard seems to be emphasizing avoidance of pay-to-win, as the game will be entirely free, along with all subsequent content updates. From Blizzard: “Optional in-game purchases will never stand in the way of progression or enjoying the game—they should only complement the core gameplay.” Moreover, Polygon recently reported that there will be no inclusion of a real-money marketplace, like in Diablo III’s 2012 release.
Yesterday, Blizzard released a series of blog-posts about a plethora of things to do with Diablo Immortal, including gameplay, story, and future updates to the game.
Story & Gameplay
The story will take place 5 years after the events of Diablo II and before the events of Diablo III. Players will be picking up pieces of the destroyed Worldstone, to “finish what [Archangel] Tyrael started.” Taking place in Sanctuary, players will face down “the Skeleton King and his Queen, cultists who worship the bloodthirsty Countess, and corrupted rogues once led by Akara.”
The alpha features 4 playable classes, all familiar to Diablo veterans. They include the wizard, barbarian, monk, and demon hunter. Blizzard also confirmed in an FAQ that the crusader and necromancer classes will come to Immortal in later updates.
Immortal is made for mobile phones, so the gameplay mechanics can’t be identical to what players are used to, but Blizzard suggests that there will be plenty of familiar mechanics along with some new ones. The player will have “one Primary Attack slot and four Skill slots” in a given build. Just like other Diablo games, gathering loot is a priority.
Once players reach the level cap, there is a familiar mechanic in Paragon skills. There’s a new twist, though: Paragon talent trees. For the technical alpha, there are 4: survivor, treasure hunter, vanquisher, and gladiator. Each Paragon talent tree has its own unique skills and stat boosts, but a player can only have one tree active at any given time. The stat boosts are permanent, but a talent tree’s skills can only be used if you have that tree active. Blizzard has confirmed that more Paragon talent trees will be added later.
Rifts will also be returning as an endless endgame mode for players to get the best loot possible. By “endless,” the game mode may actually be endless. Blizzard stated in their FAQ that they “will never limit game time,” so presumably there will be no “orbs” or “hearts” or anything else that might stop you from playing. Rifts will operate similarly to Diablo III, but with a larger emphasis on online party-play. Compared to previous titles of the action RPG series, Diablo Immortal will be more on the side of an MMO, as players will be able to matchmake and run into each other in the Sanctuary overworld.
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