BlizzConline 2021: Everything you need to know about Diablo II Resurrected, Diablo Immortal, and Diablo IV

Diablo II just got resurrected

    
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This year at BlizzConline, Blizzard is looking to win disillusioned or bored Diablo players back through a multi-pronged approach. The studio isn’t just putting all of its hell-eggs in one basket; Blizzard has multiple Diablo projects in the works.

We’ve known all that, of course, but a lot of the details and timeline for these games has been murky at best. So at this year’s event, we were paying close attention to see what news Blizz has about Diablo IV, Diablo Immortal, and even Diablo II. We compiled all of the Diablo franchise information from the keynote, the “what’s next” panel, and the deep dive.

Diablo II

  • Diablo II: Resurrected was officially announced as a full remaster of the classic game.
  • It will be a full high-definition remaster of both the core game and the Lord of Destruction expansion, bringing it into the 3-D realm.
  • The new graphics utilize physically-based rendering, dynamic lighting, revamped animations and spell effects. And yes, it can be played in 4K resolution.
  • Diablo II: Resurrected welcomes back veteran heroes and invites a new generation of players to experience the game’s sinfully dark storyline, thrilling loot chase, and visceral hack-and-slash gameplay with modernized visuals that take advantage of the latest gaming hardware.”
  • All 27 minutes of the game’s cinematics have been re-created and updated to look good for today’s players.
  • It’ll utilize Dolby 7.1 surround sound.
  • Resurrected will be released in 2021 for both PC and consoles with cross-progression.
  • These consoles are Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.
  • It looks surprisingly good, especially as the original 2-D graphics melted away to reveal the new 3-D ones.
  • The team are adding some quality-of-life features to this game, such as a shared stash.
  • Diablo II creator David Brevik commented on Twitter, “They seem to be doing a good job so far, from what I can see. They are definitely keeping the atmosphere and graphic-style, which is great. It is a promising first-look.”
  • Players can sign up for the upcoming technical alpha test on the Diablo II website.

Diablo III

  • Blizzard wasn’t really talking about Diablo III at BlizzConline this year, but we knew the studio had practically put it in maintenance mode.

Diablo IV

  • The big news is, of course, the addition of the Rogue class to the upcoming roster.
  • Rogues are flexible and adaptable with options to play as either an archer (bows and crossbows) or a cloak-and-dagger (swords and daggers) assassin. It’s based on the Rogue from the very first Diablo game.
  • “No RPG line-up is complete without that dexterity class.”
  • Rogues start by looking like they’re from the Sisterhood of the Sightless Eye with blood-red armor, but players can customize them right off the bat to look however they like.
  • Rogues will work with their choice of rogue groups in Sanctuary to accomplish class-specific quests and access a specialization. The three Rogue specializations are combo points, shadow realm, and exploit weaknesses.
  • Rogues are great at adapting and using skills like Shadow Step and Dash to get out of tough spots.
  • The devs feel that Rogues have a “surgical precision” approach on the battlefield. Blizzard’s best internal PvP players seem to prefer this class.
  • Weapons and armor in Diablo IV will be tied to regions, so they’ll look like they’re from that place and have a visual connection. This is for the sake of immersion.
  • Weapon skills can be customized and imbued, such as with frost or shadow, to mix-and-match abilities with certain effects.
  • Charging into combat will get even easier and more visceral with mounts. There’s a collection aspect for mounts.
  • Players can set a mount’s speed. They won’t fight from mounts, but they will have a dismount skill that’ll look and feel amazing.
  • The open world nature of Diablo IV’s huge landscape will be a joy for explorers and completionists. Blizzard can now show how the realm of Sanctuary is pieced together.
  • One feature that the devs talked about are camps, which are strongholds of evils like bandits, goat-men, and undead. Players can reclaim these areas for good and unlock those camps to become a new waypoint and vendor spot.
  • There’s a lot more effort to give player characters extra movement options, such as leaping across chasms.
  • There are fields of hatred in the world that will allow players to turn against each other and earn “shards of hatred” that can be turned into a currency. Unpurified shards can be looted from enemy players, but purified ones can’t. These shards can be spent on gear and other goodies.
  • If you engage in PvP too much, you’ll turn into a vessel of hatred that puts a large bounty on your head. If you can survive that bounty period without getting killed, you’ll get a huge reward.
  • And yes, you’ll be able to collect player ears in PvP as trophies.
  • There’s a dungeon in the game that throws players back in time.

Diablo Immortal

  • Blizzard can’t wait for more players to get their hands on the technical alpha.
  • To remind you, Immortal takes place between Diablo II and III in terms of story and setting.
  • “Within the legendary capital city of Westmarch, players will run into other adventurers, join guilds, carouse in the local tavern, or scour the Bounty Board for lucrative missions in search of glory, experience, and treasure.”
  • Diablo Immortal will launch with six large open-world zones (such as Bilefen and Library of Zoltun Kulle), each with a unique zone trial.
  • Dungeons, elder rifts, and challenge rifts can be entered solo or with groups.
  • Diablo Immortal will be the first Diablo game to use an item ranking system that can salvage good gear to make their own items even better.
  • The title also added paragon trees for more specialization and growth past the level cap.
  • Alpha players killed 70 million monsters in two weeks over the holidays.
  • The team wants to bring something new to the franchise while still retaining that classic feel. “You want some things that are new, some things that are improved, and some things that feel familiar.”
  • There’s a concerted effort to make the cadence of amazing gear drops not too frequent — but also for every play session to feel worthwhile. The slower pace of drops helps with the “discovery process.”
  • The team is focusing on giving players a variety of things to do and to “double-down on progression.” The latter includes gems, gear rank-ups, paragons, and so on.
  • Every zone in the game has its own event, such as one where a ghostly carriage rumbles through and players can try to attack it for its loot. Another zone has a cemetery where players will fight shadow versions of themselves. And in the Library, players can unlock secret random levels by picking up certain tomes.
  • The free-for-all PvP event in Bilefen is absolutely nuts (and testers have loved it).
  • Paragon trees offer a whole lot of different choices for player builds, and players can switch between different trees for various activities.
  • There’s a dungeon that throws players back in time to experience historical events. It was influenced by World of Warcraft’s Caverns of Time and Timewalking features.
  • Deckard Cain is in this, so now you know it’s a Diablo. But there are brand-new characters that you’ll be meeting too.
  • To become a mobile MMO, the team worked to make Westmarch as the main player hub where everyone will congregate between adventures. “It feels almost like a living city.”
  • A town hub was what Blizzard originally thought of doing for Diablo III.
  • Blizzard is trying to find reasons for players to be social and enjoy being with each other. To wit, the studio provides rewards to incentivize grouping.
  • Controller support is highly requested, and Blizzard is investigating that possibility.
  • Lairs will feature visual continuity with their respective zones.
  • The team felt bad about the Diablo Immortal announcement at BlizzCon 2019, but they’re happy that now it’s all looking better.
  • “We have an epic endgame planned for Diablo Immortal.”


BlizzConline 2021
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NeoWolf

ARPG’s are fast becoming the new BAttle Royales for me, I’m afraid. It’s less of a “Squee!!! that looks cool” reaction and more of a “Urgghh.. not another one”. *shrug*

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Arktouros

I never really got the D2 hype/love, thought it was an okay game but repeating the same acts over and over again was just super boring. Didn’t even bother with the expansion. I might buy it to see what was added after the base game, but honestly I’m not super on board with the whole “Classic” or “Remastered” trains for gaming. I beat these games already, why would I want to reply then when there’s an innumerable amount of other games out there coming out with new things to do that are fun and interesting?

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IronSalamander8 .

While I did enjoy D2 the first time through, I largely agree with you here. Some games play better on repeat plays than others (I have a lot of fun replaying games like F.E.A.R. every couple of years but won’t return to D3 ever again), and this part of why I don’t have much interest in D4, this whole style of game is so repetitious that it becomes dull in a hurry.

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Arktouros

D3 had potential if they kept adding it to it POE style and introduced new Rifts/Grifts/etc but the fact it’s just stagnated has been disappointing. Back when it was “run the exact same content now on Inferno…” it was like “nah.” Over all if I had to pick between D3 bounty/rift leveling and POE act/map leveling I’d choose D3 though cause it feels less static.

D4 they’re at least trying new things, so I will check it out. Maybe those new things won’t work, maybe I will prefer it over POE and play it instead. Hard to say until we see what we actually get as game development changes constantly up until release.

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Oleg Chebeneev

You’re just not into those kind of games. For people who love the genre D2 was a masterpiece.

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Arktouros

Ignoring my 2500+ hours in Path of Exile I have numerous hours in D3 and probably spent way too much time on D1 as a teen. It’s not a problem with “the genre” but rather “the genre’s” over reliance on repeating the same game over and over for content. Beyond D2, D3 and even POE suffered heavily from that practice but they eventually improved their games and broke out of it. D2 on the other hand never did and it’s always stuck in this monotonous game loop of playing the same acts over and over.

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

That’s more to do with ‘letting go’/firing/making them leave the people who were the creative minds behind the content and replacing them with people who just do ‘We know better than you do what you want.’ levels of ‘follow this plan and never break free from it’. It crushes ingenuity and new ideas…but apparently it steadily makes a trickle of money, so the company doesn’t care…they got theirs…right? Even if it’s slowly tarnishing their rep and making people leave their games even…

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Reuben

I have already pre-ordered this game. I played d2 religiously for like 10 years straight. Till I got into Wow. Years later can’t wait for d2 resurrected. One of d3s greatest mistakes was never having player trading. I look forward to stone of jordans being currency again lol. I look forward to pvp. I look forward to collecting players ears. Poe doesn’t have anything like that. Just because a game has a massive passive tree and a second passive tree and a third doesn’t mean a game is doing it right. Too many passive trees lead to bloat. Hopefully some players who never tried it out because eye-candy wise the original bled their eyes.. they will actually enjoy this… and 8 man multi-player! IS BACK BABY!

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BalsBigBrother

Will maybe take a look at D2 remaster on console for old times sake but all the rest of the Diablo news is just meh.

Shows how far it’s fallen as a franchise when you are more interested in a remaster of an old version (and I don’t like the remaster concept in general) than you are in any of the new things.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Not sure how people can dislike D4 if they loved D2. Its like the same, but prettier and with more gore

EmberStar
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EmberStar

“Not sure how anyone can dislike Matrix 3 if they liked The Matrix.” Possibly because in the case of the games, they’re vastly different both visually and mechanically?

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Oleg Chebeneev

D3 style went away from D2 style being brighter and more “cartoonish”. Which didnt please many. D4 went back to D2 roots being more gloomy and dark. So, if anything, D2 fans should be happy about visual style.

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zoward

I don’t really see how anyone can pass judgement on Diablo IV when it’s likely years from completion.

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Oleg Chebeneev

There are tons of videos of gameplay that give full justice to visual style

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Reht

And what if it gets the Warcraft 3: Reforged treatment in regards to graphical fidelity of the game? Blizzard has earned a bit of healthy of skepticism after WC3R even though D2R is being done by a different team.

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Oleg Chebeneev

No sure what you mean. Anyone can see D4’s visual fidelity now watching gameplay vids. And game looks great.

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SmiteDoctor

Not sure either, I loved all the Matrix movies.

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BalsBigBrother

It’s meh to me because I find it hard to be excited for something years away from a company that has a history of dumping things, restarting and changing direction.

Once a release date or at the very least release year is finalised I might change my mind and might be more enthusiastic

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Oleg Chebeneev

So it has less to do with the game itself, and more about how far it is? Okey, makes more sense now

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

I agree with you BBB. I am more interested by D2 than anything else. Followed by DI and OW2 tbh. To me it seems obvious – if I want to play D2 again, I want to play D2 again just without the tiny windows and low-res textures, so a remaster is perfection. I don’t really want to pay for a retrograde D4 that is trying to recapture D2 and isn’t going to achieve it in a way that I like, let alone in a way that the rawr-grey-skies-and-gore-all-day-long people like. I would rather Blizz focus on taking the newer games forward, doing something genuinely new in the space. I liked what they did with D3 and am a little bored at the retreat for D4. Maybe I’ll change my mind because it’s much more of an MMO, but thematically, I already feel like I have what I need from the IP in D2 and D3.

Edit: I should say too that DI may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but at least it’s bringing something new to the franchise. I’m personally excited to play that.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Mass Effect trilogy remaster, and also D2 remaster. 2021 going to be a busy year gaming wise. I remember spending hundreds of hours in D2.
Cant wait to play both D2 remaster and D4 in permadeath mode.

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velimirius

Getting that D2 resurrected for sure, looks great.

HalLundy
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HalLundy

Lel. Bandit camps that you liberate to turn into friendly outposts? Did that get in when Ubisoft managed to sneak in the building and change the design docs?

Can’t wait for a map full of icons i don’t care about.

Honestly i’m just disappointed that they are making it open world; like every game under the sun these days. As well as ALWAYS ONLINE!!

Also, what’s wrong with 2D? Granted d2 remastered still looks great in 3D, but you can make modern games with 2D blizzard.

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IronSalamander8 .

Diablo 2 was one of my favorite games for a long back when it was new (and the expansion released). I haven’t tried playing it in years, but to be honest, if I was planning on playing it again today I’d have no issue with its looks, although I also don’t mind playing classic Atari 2600 games so I can see why younger gamers especially would want a new look at the least. That being said, I’ve not touched any Acti-Blizz stuff in over a year now and after they mangled WC3’s remaster, it would behoove folks to wait and see how this remaster turns out.

The description of Diablo 4 makes me wonder a bit. I never played D1, but we always played D2 on a LAN, and when I did play D3 it was in private lobbies with friends only, so the idea of PvP in Diablo is alien (I know it existed in the earlier games but no one I knew ever bothered). I’m not digging the idea of the hatred shard system, although if they allow private play like D3, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal.

I don’t play a lot of mobile games. The controls for non-turn based mobile games can be awful, they tend to have ludicrous amounts of microtransactions, and I use them mostly for stuff like breaks at work or waiting at an appointment so Diablo Immortal is not something I’d look at anyway.

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zoward

I played some Diablo II this morning. On a 27″ monitor. This gives you a choice been a really teeny window or some seriously pixelated graphics. I’m assuming the #1 reason I’d want the revamped version would be the better graphics, but I’ll probably give it a week or two after release and read up on it before plunking any cash down.

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Reht

If you use Sven’s Glide Wrapper you can get beyond 800/600 reso and it works without having to play on a modded server.

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Danny Smith

“Visceral hack and slash gameplay”

Thats easily ported to a touchscreen phone. I feel as thought they are relying a LOT on brand name and nostalgia here. Not to say Diablo 2 has entirely aged like milk because it hasn’t but by a lot of todays standards, especially a younger crowd used to “shooter” following “looter” its going to feel like a one button clicker, especially if it has to function on consoles.

This feels like just a way to pad a rough period with no retail releases and i can’t see it having the same level of impact and appeal as it did back in the day.

Like remember when they updated Brood War for battle net and some people thought it was part two of lightning in a bottle? and it got forgotten in like 2 days?

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SmiteDoctor

D2R was made for the Middle Aged crowd, hell I’d argue D4 is being made for us as well.

They have Activision to cater towards the Shooter crowd, that and Over Watch.

I’m not that bent out of shape about Immortal any more, it’s made for a different audience; at least I’ll have Diablo 2 and Burning Crusade/Wrath of the Lich King (you know that’s coming) to keep me busy until Diablo 4 releases (when I’m not playing Elder Scrolls Online).

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Vanquesse V

With how mainstream PoE is, I can see this being a decently popular release. D2 is currently barely playable due to how poorly the game scales to modern resolutions and dpi (picking up loot is really bad – not ideal for this kind of game).
It’s still pretty old fashioned and has a few really bad design decisions hurting it compared to what we have access to these days, but I don’t think it has aged to a point where the gameplay isn’t worth a playthrough or two of the campaign.
Longevity will depend on how accesible the modding is, and if it’s restricted in any way.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

The last time I tried to play a game that old, I didn’t try to rescale it to newer resolutions, I just set it to run 4:3 at its highest resolution (800/600 I think?) and put up with the black bars down the sides of the screen. (I found some option somewhere so it would sideways-letterbox instead of stretching. I hate the stretching more than the blank screen space.)

D2 is a sprite based game, and I can’t imagine trying to pick out the character or loot when a sprite that was designed to take up 5% of the screen on 800/600 gets dropped onto a widescreen window that’s almost twice that size. And that’s just my system, with the max vertical resolution of 1080. The character would be the size of the mouse pointer in 4k. OnO

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Ironwu

D2: Remastered. “You bought the game when it was out way back when? Sorry, that will be $60 more for the same game!”

D3: “You bought the game hoping we would continue to support it until D4 released? Ha-Ha Ho-Ho. We’ll have D2:Remastered for you soon!”

D4: “Sure. Soon. Look, we have plans. Big Plans. Here are some of our Big Plans. From Men. Top Men!”

D:I “You have phones, right? Buy our new mobile game. Now, please. It’s all we have that’s really new. Please?”

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SmiteDoctor

$40 actually, if you’re going to shit on something at least get your facts straight.

Regarding Diablo 4 they released a bunch of info, so yeah big plans, not sure where you feel the need for sarcasm.

Look I don’t mean to be a dick but Blizzard fans get one day, don’t be an ass hole for that one day.

What are you a 12 year old?

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Ironwu

Releasing later this year for $39.95 or a $59.95 package which includes Diablo III and its expansions.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

I’m… actually not sure I see the problem? You only have to pay $60 if you want to get it bundled with Diablo 3. So yes, it’s not a free upgrade for existing owners. It also won’t be a *forced* upgrade for existing owners, which seems like it’s probably a good thing? (See Warcraft 3: Reforged, where the broken UI and downgraded features and “We own your soul if you even look at the map editing tools” TOS were patched back in even for people who were perfectly content with the original game.)

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Bruno Brito

??

It’s 40 bucks for the game, and 60 if you want D3 with it’s xpacs.

Now, while i do think you SHOULD get it for free if you have D2, the 60 price is reasonable, since it’s two games.

Apridise
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Apridise

My thoughts when I saw the pricing… Hell no! This is NOT a new game and if they really want me to buy it then when it hits the $20.00 mark I’ll think about it. While I enjoyed D2 back in the day, it’s really just the same thing over and over again. Now if this was Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic…

EmberStar
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EmberStar

I don’t do business with Activision. But it sounds like Diablo 4 will have exactly the kind of “live service” online and PVP focus that I completely hate. Based in the description above, I’d be skipping it for that anyway. So… who cares what I think again? Oh, right. No one.

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SmiteDoctor

Did you even read the information, there are designated PVP areas; not sure where you got the impression that this is a PVP focused game?

EmberStar
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EmberStar

I said it has a degree of PVP focus that I hate. Not the same thing. But since you seem to feel it’s your duty to convince people to like something they already know they won’t like, here’s the completely pointless explanation.

There will be designated PVP areas on the map. Depending on the exact mechanics, this would mean that they’re somewhere between “incredibly annoying” to “completely game-ending” for me. It would be the former if there’s no additional incentives like vastly better loot or story missions, and it’s possible to go around. It would be the latter if there are story missions in them, or if it’s necessary to cross them to reach the next story hub.

There’s also the part where they felt it necessary to go out of their way to mention PVP repeatedly. And since the PVP areas are apparently part of the main map and not a separate mode, that means that they can (and almost certainly will) nuke PVE balance in favor of PVP.

As far as reading comprehension, did you bother to notice that I started my post by pointing out that I wouldn’t be buying this game anyway because “Activision?” Or that I ended it by stating outright that NO ONE has any reason to care what I think anyway?

“Look I don’t mean to be a dick”

Yes, you do mean to be a dick. You’re doing a very good job at it, too.

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SmiteDoctor

I play ESO, there are designated PVP areas such as Cyrodiil and Imperial City; I’ve never felt impacted by their existence since there’s plenty of other things to do.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Okay, good for you. So what?

Not that it matters at all: I don’t play ESO. What little I know of the PVP areas would put them in the group I described above as “incredibly annoying.” The overall function is that there’s an area you don’t enter unless you want PVP, and PVP is basically the only reason TO enter it. So, exactly the same function as an instanced arena… except it’s a giant chunk of the map that I have to walk clear the hell around every time I want to go somewhere. And that’s the BEST case I can see for the “fields of Hate” in D4.

PVP doesn’t bother you. It also doesn’t bother about 25 million other gamers, since that’s apparently the registered user base for Fortnite or Overwatch. And if they want to buy D4 because the PVP isn’t an issue for them, good for them. It doesn’t change MY view of PVP in the slightest.

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SmiteDoctor

So do you like avoid 99% of MMOs because they have some form of PVP as a feature lol?

EmberStar
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EmberStar

If the PVP isn’t completely optional, then yes.

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

You just trampled all over your argument, because the reason I recently left ESO…was because they moved the mount gallop from the level 1 PvP skills (Never went there, just got a few points from some monthly) unlock, to level 2…which enforces you HAVING to go to PvP area ‘or you can never gallop your horse faster than the stable allows’.

That’s actually a very good example of a hugely poor decision being made by a company. (Especially since if you already had the skill, they TOOK IT AWAY FROM YOU)

But remember, we as PvE players aren’t impacted by PvP, right? /sarcasm

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SmiteDoctor

I never noticed.

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Bruno Brito

To simplify: ESO changed the order of Vigor and Rapid Maneuvers in the Assault Tree. Now, you need to PvP if you want to move on a quick fashion while your mount is still dogpoop because of how long it takes to upgrade it.

RM requires level 5 Assault. It was changed because apparently, Vigor was a mainstain in a lot of builds.

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Reht

I said it has a degree of PVP focus that I hate. Not the same thing.

Except you didn’t include “degree of” in relation to PVP focus in your first statement. While i accept your clarification, your initial post did not say what you “meant” to say.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Whatever. I’m not aware my posts require your acceptance.

*Edit* I said it has “the kind of” online and PVP focus I hate. I never specifically called it a PVP focused game.