You'll surely remember all the ruckus caused by Blizzard's announcement of Diablo Immortal at BlizzCon 2018. Fans were not anticipating a mobile installment to be announced before Diablo IV (which was unveiled at BlizzCon 2019, one year later), which prompted them to react in a hugely negative way.
Since then, Blizzard has kept a relatively low profile while it finished development on the game. A few days ago, at last, the Diablo Immortal Technical Alpha debuted in select territories (so far, Australia), and the first impressions have been quite positive. We've added some gameplay footage taken from YouTube below, as well as some of the developer's official statements on mechanics and the F2P business model. You'll find four classes in the Alpha: Barbarian, Monk, Wizard, and Demon Hunter, with Crusader and Necromancer due to be added in the future. There's also PvP, by the way, while endgame progression is loosely based on Diablo III's Paragon system.
Exploring the World
Your adventure begins in Wortham, where you’ll journey through an unholy forest to the town center. You’ll hunt the shards of the Worldstone through the undead-overrun Ashwold Cemetery, the cursed forests of the Dark Wood, and beneath the sands of the Shassar Sea. We’re including six distinctive zones in the alpha--each with unique horrors, quests, and loot. Travel to and from zones is achieved via waypoints you’ll discover as you explore.
Slay Endlessly in Rifts
Rifts are one of Diablo Immortal’s most replayable endgame modes: step through one, and tackle ferociously difficult monsters in a randomly generated map on a time limit. They're a goldmine of loot and an opportunity to test yourself.
Challenge Rifts let you prove your skills and earn rewards the first time you complete each difficulty level. You’ll also acquire rewards based on your placement on the weekly Challenge Rift leaderboard.
Our Free to Play Approach and Values
Diablo Immortal will be free-to-play with optional in-app purchases. We plan on supporting Diablo Immortal with a constant cadence of free content, including new gear, features, classes, stories, and areas to explore. We also want to make sure every purchase feels fair and is guided by a clear set of values that place an emphasis on the player experience for all players.
First and foremost of these values is gameplay first. Core mechanics are designed to be fun first, and purchases should never circumvent Diablo’s core gameplay – killing demons and getting gear! There should also be a pathway to earn most things you can pay for. And critically important is that the only way to acquire gear is by playing the game.
Second, we want to provide purchase options that feel worthwhile and deepen your engagement and enjoyment of the game, and where possible the enjoyment of other players as well. Purchases should not detract from your gameplay experience.
Third, purchases should feel like a bonus, and entirely optional to enjoy Immortal. The core Diablo Immortal game experience will always be free, and you should be able to enjoy the game for hours on end whether or not you choose to spend money.