Blizzard’s Wyatt Cheng and Matthew Burger took the stage for the Diablo Immortal Q&A panel at BlizzCon tonight, clearly aware of the drama swirling around the internet in regard to the game’s announcement last night.
“We love our community, and our Diablo community is a passionate one,” Cheng started out, as the crowd laughed nervously. “We want to say that we hear you. And we have multiple Diablo projects being worked on by multiple teams. Diablo Immortal is one of those projects we’re very excited about, but there are others.”
“Like what?” somebody in the crowd shouted. Chang laughed and moved on. It’s not happening y’all.
Up first? Lore. Burger tackled the basics of Diablo lore for folks who aren’t up on it, specifically to plant Diablo Immortal on the timeline. Bad guys, good guys. You get the idea.
Burger then moved on to discussing some of the new villains of Immortal, including Skarn, and some of the heroes who will be helping the players too.
Cheng switched gears to some of the zones and biomes in Immortal. That includes Bilefen and Port Justinian. Here the devs show some gameplay of a character running through a swamp. It looks like Diablo – no huge surprise really. Zoltun Kulle’s Library will also make an appearance – not the Archives from Diablo III, mind you. The Shassar Sea is where the player will meet a demon hunter on a quest for revenge.
The Tomb of Fahir is an indoor instanced dungeon – there’s a reference to grouping here! – and the broodmother boss. Another instanced dungeon is the Kikuras Rapids, which is sort of water ride where you’re going down the river on rafts trying to survive the enemies pelting you from the shore and the water. And the Forgotten Tower will also make a return from Diablo II, complete with a resurrected Countess.
Finally, the duo move on to the classes and skills. Barbarians get Furious Charge, Hammer of the Ancients, and Throw – yes, you can throw baddies at other baddies.
Necromancers will get Command Skeletons, Corpse Lance, and Skeletal Spikes.
Crusaders use both shields and melee, with skills including Blessed Shield, Sweep Attack, and Falling Sword.
Wizards are all about style: They’ll use Meteor, Ray of Frost, and Ice Crystal. Of course the best part is when you combine the spells.
Demon Hunters will feature Daring Swing, Strafe, and Rain of Vengeance, the standard arrow barrage.
Lastly, there are the Monks, with Seven-Sided Strike, Kick, and Imprisoned Fists, which literally lets you punch souls out of the enemy’s body.
Sean Copeland then joined the stage for the Q&A. The first fan to the mic thanked the team for its passion in spite of the negativity – to lots of cheers. He then asked about Mephisto. “Too early to say,” Burger teased, noting that some of the Prime Evils are returning faster than they should, hint hint.
The second fan apologized to Blizzard for April Fools Guy’s inappropriateness. More cheering. His question was about socketing and runic keywords. Cheng couldn’t answer it but did talk about itemization a bit and noted that the demo inventory is disabled and the team is working on that plus legendary powers.
Another fan asked about microtransactions vs. single-pay. Cheng said they simply don’t know, that Blizz is building an “excellent game first” before deciding the business model. This has basically been Blizz’s line on monetization all weekend.
Then a fan asked about how Blizzard hopes to keep Diablo relevant by going the mobile route. Cheng repeated that there are multiple Diablo projects being worked on. Again, hint hint. He also said Blizzard is focused on making great games, with the implication being that relevance will take care of itself if the games are good period.
The next questioner focused on trading, referencing the RMT issue from Diablo III. Cheng said they are cognizant of Diablo III’s problems – that Diablo III made it too easy to get stuff without playing, while the expansion made it way too hard to trade anything. It sounds like Cheng is aiming for a middle-ground.
The last question was about the other factions in the game beyond the demon hunters. Burger and Copeland sort of dodge the question (which is weird, so it’s probably either a really good guess about something important or not important whatsoever), but they say the span of time provides lots of space to explore.
And that’s a wrap!