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Diablo: Immortal Developer's Blog - MMO and Social Implications
26/02/2022 alle 11:36
Earlier this week
, Game Director Wyatt Cheng and Senior System Designer Kris Zierhut released an
in-depth Diablo: Immortal blog post
, highlighting several changes coming to Blizzard’s upcoming mobile title set in the Diablo: universe.
Among many aspects, improvements to Immortal’s numerous social and multiplayer systems seemed to be a focal point during recent development. The message is loud and clear: Diablo Immortal tries to become “more than just a mobile game” - in fact, it claims to feature a full-blown MMO experience at launch.
Wowhead Announcement of Developer Blog Post with Summary
Diablo Immortal Development Blog Post "Closed Beta Learnings"
Helliquary Raid Changes - New 8-Player Encounters Every Month
The Helliquary Raid system showcases one aspect of end-game content in Diablo: Immortal: 8-player raiding. As part of the Helliquary system, which plays an important role in increasing overall player power, the two Closed Beta raid bosses, Lassal and Vitaath, packed quite a punch during testing - and not only that: Both encounters showcased quite a variety of typical raid encounter mechanics. Hiding behind pillars before an explosion or jumping out of void zones to avoid lethal damage in a mobile game? Love it or hate it, but all that sounds very familiar to raiding in typical MMO games.
On top of that, Blizzard plans to release a new Helliquary boss encounter every month after Diablo: Immortal’s release. Sure, we won’t see Race to World First levels of difficulty in strategy and mechanics - but it’s safe to assume that, especially in the beginning, these new encounters will pose quite the challenge.
Warband Improvements - Further Supporting the “Raid Fantasy”
With the announced changes to the Warbands social system, Blizzard further pushes the envelope regarding an MMO raid team fantasy. In earlier iterations, warbands in Diablo: Immortal didn’t serve any purpose other than conveying the fact that eight players can, in fact, team up to form a social group.
Based on what we’ve read in the development blog, players can assume that completing content as a warband could very well be the “way to go” in terms of end-game efficiency. No numbers were attached to the warbands changes, of course - but even more so the notion that Diablo: Immortal will award group-based, social gameplay.
Cycle of Strife Overhaul - Clans Will Reign
Looking at these changes, players could come to the conclusion that warbands will be the social network of choice in Diablo: Immortal - but don’t be fooled! The major overhaul to the Cycle of Strife dials back on the numerous social systems in Blizzard’s upcoming mobile title. As a matter of fact, the upcoming changes will most likely cause Clans, the equivalent to guilds in Diablo: Immortal, to become the most important social structure of all.
In Closed Beta, the so-called Dark Houses of the Shadows faction entered the Cycle of Strife to fight the elite faction members of the Immortals, trying to become Immortals themselves at the end of the recurring PvPvE end-game event. These houses had to be built from the ground up, ignoring all other social structures established within the game at the time. Blizzard recognized this “social system bloat” and announced they would let clans fight for the Immortal crowns in the Cycle of Strife.
This almost classic MMO design decision gives clans, besides their intrinsic social function, a clear end-game goal: to participate in and contribute to Diablo: Immortal’s most important global gameplay loop.
World Paragon Update - Every Nephalem Matters
Last but not least, the update to the World Paragon system seals the deal of Diablo: Immortal’s claim to become the MMO of mobile games. Unlike various other titles in the genre, Blizzard reiterated the idea behind “energy” systems and capped experience to limit player power gains over time. The planned implementation of World Paragon still cripples the most ambitious players - but only in terms of experience gain, and without a hard cap.
Together with the decision to introduce expensive super-late-game upgrade costs instead of a static item salvage malus, these changes truly matter for every Nephalem in Immortal’s Sanctuary: Casuals will almost always level up twice as fast during their time online while the “big pumpers” can fully focus on the countless end-game progression systems that don’t rely on experience gain.
MMO? Mobile Game? Why Not Both?
The development decisions behind the latest blog post make one thing clear: Diablo: Immortal will not be the average mobile game.
Alpha and Beta tests already showcased exactly that in terms of gameplay and overall mobile game quality - but with the announced changes, Immortal’s social features will also seek to further establish a mobile MMO experience like never seen before.
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