Diablo Immortal Delayed Until 2022
The release of Blizzard's upcoming mobile game Diablo Immortal has been delayed until the first half of 2022. In a recent update, the Diablo Immortal development team speaks about the reasons behind the delay.
Over the last months, the team has received extensive feedback from players around the world. According to the update, several Alpha tests have shown that multiple features needed iteration and additional development to improve the overall gameplay experience. That includes massive changes to PvP and PvE systems as well as accessibility features such as controller support.
Diablo Immortal Development Update
PvE Changes: Raids and Bounties
The update starts off with great news for Diablo fans: The boss fights featured in the Helliquary system will be turned into raid encounters with 8 players, making them an endgame "challenge".
According to player feedback, the Bounty system, one of the early- to midgame features, has lacked meaningful interaction. In recent Alpha tests, players received bounties for random zones and dungeons, turning their completion into a travel simulator more than anything. Future changes will prioritize bounties to stay within the same zone - a great change for a system that is supposed to serve players who play "on the go".
Last but not least, the Challenge Rift system will be redesigned. The blog post mentions that players didn't find enough incentive to push higher challenge rifts, so the development team decided to add new exclusive upgrade materials as rewards.
PvP Changes: Battlegrounds and Cycle of Strife
Feedback about Diablo Immortal's PvP has been quite positive over the last Alpha test phases. However, players recognized that some aspects of PvP are still in dire need of development. The team believes they can "make this experience more enjoyable" by reevaluating matchmaking, rankings, class balance, and other elements of the PvP gameplay loop.
In addition to that, the Cycle of Strife, Diablo Immortal's cyclic PvPvE endgame system, will see improvements as well. After a month-long Alpha test earlier this year, many players already appreciated the gameplay depth of one of Immortal's flagship features. However, keeping players engaged over multiple gameplay cycles is a must-have for this system, and Blizzard is "continuing to optimize the feature".
Controller Support and Accessibility
Similar to Diablo II: Resurrected, Diablo Immortal wants to provide as many accessibility features as possible. In particular, controller support has been one of the most requested features, and the Immortal team has finally announced that they're actively working on implementing controller support.
Character Progression: Changes to Weekly XP Cap
The last item on the list of changes is related to character progression. First and foremost, Blizzard intends to improve endgame quality by adding more ways to "make top tier and legendary gear exciting and sought after". During Alpha, some players complained that character progression wasn't meaningful enough after reaching max level.
In addition, a bunch of players has reached a hidden weekly experience cap during testing a few months ago. Thanks to the blog post, we have learned that this cap was intended to keep players from playing Immortal "for a potentially unhealthy number of hours per week".
According to the post, the development team has learned its lesson and will try to be less harsh on hardcore players will offering experience bonuses to more casual Immortal players. In terms of experience cap, the weekly cap will be removed and replaced by a global cap that increases over time, which ultimately allows "latecomers to catch up".
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