Back in 2018 at Blizzcon, Blizzard announced Diablo Immortal, a mobile ARPG. Back then, the developer and publisher got a lot of backlash, especially with the infamous "don't you guys have phones" comment, development has continued. The game is currently in its Closed Alpha state and is shaping up to be something truly special for Diablo fans who also happen to enjoy playing mobile games. Now, Blizzard has provided a Diablo Immortal development update, and revealed they are planning to release the game in the first half of 2022. With the update, we've learned a lot about new features, from PvE Raids to the PvP experience, and character progression updates.
Diablo Immortal PvE Raids & improvements
Following feedback from the community and those participating in the Closed Alpha, Blizzard has noticed players are yearning for long-term Player vs Environment (PvE) goals and activities for an "enriched social experience".
To this end, the developer has added PvE-centric Raids to Diablo Immortal via the Helliquary system. The Helliquary bosses have been designed as a great challenge for Diablo Immortal players forming raids and requires around eight players to overcome.
More Diablo Immortal PvE improvements are also being made, in terms of bounties. Those who accept four bounties, for example, will all be in the same zone in an attempt to make the Bounties feature more "engaging and fruitful" for players.
Lastly, Challenge Rifts will reward players with new upgrade materials that "can't be obtained any other way". Essentially, those who take on the most challenging content will be rewarded for their bravery the most.
Diablo Immortal PvP: Cycle of Strife & Battleground
There are two main forms of PvP in the Diablo Immortal Closed Alpha, as Blizzard continues to tinker with the modes.
First up, we've got Battleground, which throws players into combat against others. The developers plan to continuously improve the Battlegrounds system, stating: "There's a lot of promise with the Battleground system, but we believe more can be done to make this experience more enjoyable. We'll evaluate matchmaking, earning rankings, class balance, time to kill, and other defining elements to improve the Battleground in Diablo Immortal."
Continuing with improvements to Diablo Immortal PvP, Blizzard mentions Cycle of Strife. This is an endgame, faction-based PvP system. Blizzard explains: "From forming a Dark House to rallying a PvPvE raid, the Cycle of Strife has been rampant with rivalries and faction pride. We’ll continue optimizing this feature so more players feel worthy for the quest of the Eternal Crown."
Character progression in Diablo Immortal
One of the most important aspects of any Diablo game is character progression, and Immortal is no different. At the centre of character progression is, of course, the gear! Blizzard is evaluating more ways to make legendary gear more sought after.
After hitting the level cap in Diablo Immortal, players can still increase their power with Paragon levels. This is not enough, however, as the developers are implementing a new system: "Having a higher Paragon should also reap better rewards. We are implementing a system that enable players with higher Paragon levels or players taking on higher difficulties to receive more powerful items."
In case you didn't know, Blizzard implemented a "weekly XP Cap" system to discourage people from playing for a "potentially unhealthy number of hours per week".
This system has been getting a lot of feedback from the community, causing the developers to make changes: "Firstly, we are introducing bonus XP gain for players who play less often. Secondly, we are replacing the weekly XP cap with a global cap that increases over time. This allows players more flexibility with their playtime while also allowing latecomers to a server a viable path to catch up."
Diablo Immortal still has no official release date, and in order to make improvements, the game has been delayed from its initial 2021 release date window to "the first half of 2022".
With that being said, the game is shaping up to be more than just your standard mobile title. Instead, everything we've heard so far via the development update makes us want to return to the world of Sanctuary as soon as possible.
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