Wyatt Cheng, the game director of Diablo Immortal, made an official Blizzard blog post yesterday to share with players the dev team’s learnings, philosophies, and planned improvements to the game, which still should be released in 2022.
Blizzard started the closed beta of Diablo Immortal last October. From then until early January, players had the chance to participate directly in the playtest and send feedback to the dev team. Cheng said that players’ “input has been greatly appreciated” and led to “critical changes around the social aspect of the game, raids, in-game purchases, a Cycle of Strife overhaul, and more.”
Some highlights are the changes to dungeon bounties that now will be playable solo rather than making players feel forced to group to complete them, new difficulty levels, better matchmaking options in raids and boss fights, and the rework of the World Paragon system to ensure that casual and hardcore players can play together.
Here are all of the changes players can expect to see in the final build of the game.
Social and group-play improvements
Bounties, the repeatable, randomly-selected quests that earn players bonus rewards, were originally made to promote group play. But the feedback from the closed beta suggested that “a lot of players who got assigned dungeon bounties felt like they were forced to group in order to complete them.” And that’s why Blizzard is making bounties exclusively solo. “We want to provide concrete incentives for grouping, but we also want to empower you to choose whether you want to play all-solo or all-group content,” Cheng said.
Blizzard received feedback that there was a large gap in difficulty between the bosses in Helliquary, the massive eight-player raid boss encounters, and the necessity of better grouping, matchmaking, and raid management tools. So Blizzard will provide multiple difficulty levels for each boss to make the Helliquary “rewarding to all types of players,” as well as visual and functionality improvements to raid UI.
Battle pass and in-game purchases feedback
Cheng said Diablo’s core gameplay is about killing demons and getting gear, and that this equipment must be accessible to all regardless of in-game purchases. “Purchases in our game are completely optional and should not detract from your gameplay experience,” he said.
Based on the feedback from players, the battle pass seems fine and worthy of its price, but Boon of Plenty will receive improvements to feel more valuable. Legendary Gems were frustrating players who felt forced to commit to a single character and Blizzard will work on a solution for that, with details to come in a future blog post.
Controller support update
Blizzard’s goal is that the game will directly recognize controllers attached to a phone at the beginning and will offer the opportunity to play smoothly, adding support for many different controllers.
The Warbands system exists to encourage players to find other like-minded players who share the same goals to play together regularly. The system will be expanded to groups of eight players and the rewards won in the Helliquary mode or dungeon raids will also be better when playing with your Warband.
Set item developments
Kris Zierhut, the game’s senior system designer, shared details on some improvements made to the game’s system and gameplay. Set items are a new end-game gear system that gives an additional bonus when players wear a number of items from the same set. It was well-received in the closed beta and the system will be expanded with new sets and support for particular builds and playstyles. There will also be changes concerning completed sets that were not worth using due to items found at a low Paragon level.
Cycle of Strife overhaul
The Cycle of Strife game mode, a popular piece of content in the game, is a clash between dark houses and the undead. The system will receive a big change and now there will be more clashes between clans fighting against each other. The game mode aims to increase both the gameplay process and socialization among clan members. If a player’s dark clan defeats other clans and manages to defeat the undead, that clan will become the “Immortal Clan” and they will be able to take two different dark clans with them as “Immortal Allied Clans.”
World Paragon Improvements
The World Paragon system is a catch-up system to help players who have reached max level and have started earning Paragon levels but don’t have as much time to play as more dedicated players. Each server will have a Paragon level that rises by two levels each day. If a player’s level is below this Paragon level, they will gain more experience points. But if the player is more than four levels above the Paragon level, they will gain fewer experience points. Higher-level players will also need to collect more materials to upgrade their equipment. Low-level players, on the other hand, will be able to progress faster with less material. This aims to make it possible for both casual and hardcore gamers to enjoy the game together and equally.
Diablo Immortal is set to release later this year. You can check more information on the game on its official website.