Diablo Immortal was announced at BlizzCon in 2018. The screaming, the crying, and the foaming at the mouth at the idea that the next installment of the hardcore RPG series would be a mobile game. That was how I felt when I heard the announcement. How did Blizzard do this to a game series I remembered so much?
I have finally mastered Diablo Immortal, and it''s completely changed my mind. Every time, Diablo was made to be a mobile game, and Diablo Immortal shows it.
It''s been a bittersweet realization. Even the most well-known mobile games are often small experiences, designed to be played in brief bursts while waiting at a bus stop or a dentist''s office. Mobile games also have a reputation for adopting the worst kinds of money-grubbing and addictive design, using microtransactions and mechanics that are imposed on gambling.
At BlizzCon 2018, this history of not-unfair assumptions about mobile games resulted in a vitriolic response enough that Blizzard defended the games'' existence. This past April, Blizzard made another concession to the burned Diablo fan base by launching Diablo Immortal on PCs as well, despite that it was clearly created with mobile phones in mind. Thats when I realized how horribly wrong I was about Diablo all the time.
My realization was not surprising when I first played Diablo 2: Resurrected this year. Players are so familiar with the numbers under the belt that there will be agreed-upon recommendations for every character class. However, if you want to play tactically and efficiently, there will be no significant difference in the way the game will unfold.
If you were being honest about Diablo 2, or any other Diablo game, it''s fun to get more gear, obtain a piece of armor that''s higher than youre wearing, and keep watching your characters stats rise higher and higher. Combat simply involves clicking around to attack or reposition your character, then clicking to collect more loot.
I learned about Diablo 2 and its very firsthand abilities. Unlike other games, you may see unidentified pieces of gear, but you won''t know exactly how good it is until you reveal their stats on the games website. Especially if you use this tool to perform a game, you''ll notice that it makes some of the loot more special, and a little more rewarding, too. There''s something interesting about that tiny annoyance that you have to clear prior to making progress.
The same problem that the worst offenders of microtransaction-packed mobile games have developed for decades now. Its possible that you choose an unidentified item, perhaps even a piece of unidentified items, hidden in a mysterious treasure chest. This time, its the other chest. Its okay, however. Remember how exciting it was when you didnt know what was inside the chest? It might have been!
In Diablo 2, you arent spending real money to identify items. However, you can easily imagine why someone would do that. However, the design is right there; you already have to wait to see if your item has a greater number attached to it, and this is why the real-money auction house in Diablo 3 was successful, and the result was successful, and the idea made sense. However, the next logical step for the series was always Diablo Immortal.
Diablo Immortal is where you tap on the screen to attack, wait for your various attacks to cool down, and tap again again, in the general direction of each enemy. The game does not seem to be overly brutal, but cutscenes are still excessively corny and completely skippable. However, all of the familiar, relaxing, and hopelessly addictive elements that have been used in Diablo for years have now been successfully combined with microtransactions. The dream of the real-money auction house has finally been realized.
The whole game can be played without spending a dime, and the animations and sounds will still provide your brains pleasure centers with a similar bevy of effects. It is still Diablo, and yet, now that its on my phone, I can see it for the slot machine that it always was. Diablo Immortals microtransactions do not just feel predatory and manipulative; they are also the final ingredient that allows an already-addictive series to attain its true form.
Diablo Immortal would take me away from me from noticing what Im now aware of. It''s the same poison it was always the randomized loot, the temptation to play just a little longer to see if you get something better, and the numbers are becoming bigger and, ahhh, just a little bigger. This time, though, you''ll have to pay a fortune!
I mean, what exactly does it matter. It''s worse when real money is realized, because that''s when you realize the extent to which Diablo has fucked with you. For me, the painful part is the realization that there was never really enough to Diablo in the beginning. Blizzard has made it simple here, to introduce the most addictive, predatory aspects of Diablos design, while also allowing them to spend quite a bit of money.
Although we all know Diablo is not the draw, and never has been. (My friends and I used to play a meta game where we sat together to see who might skip dialogue and cutscenes the most challenging.) However, Blizzard has not even decided to include that as its main selling point. Instead, the genre is Loot, Customize, and Explore, and the most important part is the loot.