The BlizzCon 2018 Diablo Immortal Q&A panel was actually sort of a Deep Dive that revealed details about the six classes, and some of the game story set 5 years after the Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. Afterwards, the developers opened the mic to welcome questions from the fans.
Among the panelists were:
Wyatt Cheng (lead designer)
Matthew Berger (senior designer)
BlizzCon 2018 Diablo Immortal Q&A Panel Transcript
Narrator: Welcome to Diablo World and Q&A.
Wyatt: Hello, BlizzCon. Welcome to the Diablo Immortal World and Q&A panel. My name is Wyatt Cheng, I'm the Lead Designer on Diablo Immortal, and I'm joined by my good friend, Matthew Berger (senior designer on Diablo Immortal). Now before we get started, I have a personal message I'd like to share with all of you.
We love our community, and our Diablo community is a very passionate one... very passionate one; and we want to say that we hear you; and we have multiple projects, Diablo projects being worked on by multiple teams. Diablo Immortal is one of those projects we're very excited about; but there are others.
(Fan yells: Like what?)
(Wyatt laughs and smiles)
Wyatt: With that said, let's go ahead and get started with the Diablo Immortal panel. Here's what it’s going to look like today. We're going to start by exploring the history and events leading up to Diablo Immortal. Matthew is going to walk us through the history of events, and some of the characters, the heroes, the villains.
We’ll take a deeper look at some of the zones, the public shared zones and the Instance Dungeons that we looked at yesterday. And we'll end, we'll wrap it up with a look at the six character classes with a sneak peek at some skills on all six classes. So, to take us on our mystical magical history lesson... Matthew Berger.
Matt: Why are you so far from me? You just, don't you want to participate?
Wyatt: I don't want to crowd the space.
DIABLO IMMORTAL: STORY
Matt: Alright, so before I start. For some of you, I know this is going to be well-known lore; but we are welcoming new adventures into Sanctuary and it's important for them to know the history. And it's also important to keep in mind that you never know who's going to turn up in Diablo Immortal. So with that said, I'm going to start with a timeline... simple history of Sanctuary.
On the one end, the creation of Sanctuary. We don't know when exactly, but we do know exactly how it happened, and we'll get back to that. At the opposite end, we have the End of Times which in Sanctuary seems to be always just around the corner. Thankfully, you guys have managed to push this back a few times. Alright, so we're going to anchor the history of Diablo.
Year Zero, broadly speaking is the creation of the Zakarum faith, one of the major religions in Sanctuary and the cause of a lot of problems. 964... a very important year. This is the Dark Exile. This is when Baal, Diablo and Mephisto were toppled from their thrones in Hell; and were exiled to Sanctuary. This led the Archangel Tyrael to create the Horadrim in 1004.
The Horadrim are a secret society dedicated to hunting down the Prime Evils and destroying them. Alright, the next date is something you guys know very wel. It is Diablo I (year 1263), followed very quickly by Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. If you add Diablo III in 1285, you have 22 really tough years in the history of Sanctuary.
Okay, so I'm going to blow up the timeline a little bit, here we go. So, Diablo Immortal happens in 1270. It happens 5 years after the end of Lord of Destruction. 15 years before the beginning of Diablo III. But the genesis for Diablo Immortal goes way back. It goes back to the very beginning. It goes back to before the creation of Sanctuary.
It goes back to the Eternal Conflict. The war between the High Heavens and the Burning Hells.
On the one side, you have the Greater Evils who lead the Legion of the Burning Hells. Facing them, you have the Angiris Council leading the Heavenly Hosts. They oppose Hell. They don't defend humanity. That's not the same thing. So we're going to have a look first at the Greater Evils. We have Andariel and Duriel, perverse siblings who like nothing more than the suffering of their victims, be it physical or mental.
Azmodan. Belial. Never content with their place in Hell. Always reaching for more, always wanting more power.
Baal. Mephisto. The heavy hitters. These guys have been a plague on humanity for hundreds of years.
They have been trying to conquer Sanctuary using every trick in the book: guile force, corruption; and they are never more terrifying than when they bring with them the lord of terror himself: Diablo.
Wyatt: Hey! Matthew, there's no caption on Diablo.
Matt: There's a reason there's no caption on this slide, Wyatt. There's a reason his name is on the game. Everybody knows Diablo... hundreds of players, thousands of players, millions of players have fallen before him; and yet stood up again to face him. Now, opposing the Burning Hells: The Angiris Council. I’m not going to go through all of them; but there were a few notable members.
Imperious, Archangel of valor. The current leader of the council. Proud, unbending Imperious has maintained a strict order in Heaven. Malthael, Archangel of Wisdom. The original leader of the Council; and we know having played Reaper of Souls that he takes down a very specific path, he goes down another route, he becomes the Angel of Death... which, you know, leads me to believe he might not have been the right pick for Wisdom.
And then there is Tyrael, Archangel of Justice, our greatest champion-- after you, guys. Sanctuary's greatest defender.
Now, Heaven and Hell fought countless battles, and nothing was more contested during their war, during this Eternal Conflict than the Worldstone. Housed within the Fortress of Pandemonium. This object of immense power allowed whoever controlled it to reshape reality.
It passed hands constantly between the two sides as the battles had then flowed. Until one day, a pair of renegade lovers who wanted out of the Eternal Conflict stole the Worldstone. Lilith (the demon daughter of Mephisto) and the Angel Inarius, they stole the Worldstone and they used it to create their Eden. They used it to create Sanctuary. And on Sanctuary, they came together along with other like-minded demons and angels and from their union came humanity.
The humans of Sanctuary are the descendants of angels and demons. Lilith and Inarius used the Worldstone to hide Sanctuary from both Heaven and Hell. And for a time, on this Eden, there was peace. There was peace on Sanctuary. You cannot fight over something you don't know exists. Obviously, this changed. So what changed? Well, we can go back for a timeline.
Zakarum faith: Year Zero. 1263, 1258, life expectancy in Sanctuary, not very high.
Wyatt: The bleaked years.
Matt: Yeah! It's tough years, man. It's tough. So what changed? Well, about 2000 years before the creation of the Zakarum faith, an enterprising wizard decided to try and summon a demon into Sanctuary for the first time; and good on him, he did it!
Wyatt: What could go wrong?
Wyatt: Yeah! Just to summon a demon.
Matt: And for the first time, Heaven and Hell, all of a sudden discover Sanctuary. They realize it exists. There is a place, and there are people on this place; and they start fighting. It is one demonic invasion after the other, culminating in 1265 with Baal trying to corrupt the Worldstone using the Shard of Destruction.
Trying! But many of you know that that is the wrong word. Baal was actually successful. He was able to do it; and in that moment there was no choice. Tyrael Archangel of Justice grabbed his sword, and shattered the Worldstone, sacrificing himself in the process. So why don't we have a look at this iconic moment from Diablo’s history, from Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. The destruction of the Worldstone.
Matt: So there you have it. An iconic moment in the history of Diablo. Tyrael, the Archangel of Justice, sacrificing himself for humanity. Once more, defending us. And up until this point, we knew that the Worldstone had been destroyed, he had saved us. But with Diablo Immortal, what we discover is that the Worldstone was not completely destroyed. Some pieces survived.
They're powerful, they're corrupt, and if they fell into the wrong hands, who knows what could happen? So, we're going to look at a few of those hands, and give a sneak peek at some of the foes and allies you'll be seeing in Diablo Immortal.
So, first we have Purus the Decimator. He was waiting for you at the end of the demo. He's still there, if you haven't yet tried it. But for those of you watching this on the Virtual Ticket, or at home, he will be waiting for you in Diablo immortal.
We want to bring back old favorites, and we want to introduce new creatures for you to face. Each of them is going to try and stop you from saving Sanctuary. Each of them is going to try and forward the cause of evil, of the demons of Hell; and none more so than this guy: Skarn, the Herald of Terror. Diablo’s Lieutenant, whose sole purpose is to bring back his master to life.
[gallery link="file" columns="2" size="large" ids="42948,42949,42950,42951"]
Now, this is a Diablo game. You're not alone. You have allies. Some of these people will need your help. Some of them will help you. There is Valla (The Demon Hunter), her master Josen, Jacob Staalek (who's not well known to many, but who currently holds El’druin) while Tyrael is dead. And then, of course, Deckard Cai -- the sage who has accompanied us on so many adventures, and who once again will stand by our side as we face the hordes of Hell.
Now, I'm going to pass it on to Wyatt, who's going to take us through a few more of the zones, into the greater depths, and then the classes.
NEXT: DIABLO IMMORTAL: ZONES
[table id=117 /] [table id=86 /]
DIABLO IMMORTAL: ZONES
Wyatt: Cool! Awesome! Thanks, Matthew. So, yesterday we looked at 3 outdoor shared zones and 3 Instance Dungeons for 4-player parties. And we're going to take a closer look at some of those zones starting with the Bilefen. The Bilefen is located in southern Khanduras. It's actually an island just off the southern tip of Khanduras, and it's got a port town there.
There is a small port town called Port Justinian, and people of Port Justinian have a problem. There is all sorts of creatures, and those fetish monsters that are making life very difficult for travelers coming in and out of the port, as well as for the people of Port Justinian. It'll be your job to go and help them, but while you're there, there's a wizard named Yen (sp?).
Yen comes from the far away region of Xiansai, and Yen is there looking for some relics that were lost here in the Bilefen. The Bilefen is also the entrance, holds the entrance to one of our Instance Dungeons: The Kikuras Rapids, which we previewed yesterday; and we'll have a closer look at today.
Here's a look at some of the gameplay in the Bilefen. As we mentioned, this is where you'll come across Yen. There's also in addition, a number of different beasts, and spiders, and snakes.
Matt: There are bog lurkers.
Wyatt: The bog lurkers. We wanted to have a swampy area that's kind of reflective of basically the small island. There is a Worldstone fragment that has landed here in the Bilefen; and that Worldstone fragment is spreading corruption and making things a whole lot worse.
[gallery columns="2" link="file" size="large" ids="42961,42960"]
So next, let's have a look at Zoltun Kulle’s library. We mentioned yesterday that Zoltun Kulle actually has a number of small caches stored all over Sanctuary.
And this is not the same as the archives of Zoltun Kulle that we see in Diablo III. The archives of Zoltun Kulle is one place where Zoltun Kulle kept his stuff, and the library is another. Except another fragment, another corrupted fragment of the Worldstone Shard has fallen here.
[gallery link="file" size="large" ids="42963,42964,42965,42966,42967,42968"]
Matt: I'm not sure stuff properly describe what's Zoltun Kulle keeps.
Wyatt: More specifically, there’s like artifacts, he does research, there's scientific experiments that Zoltun Kulle would do.
Matt: It's horrible, it's dangerous.
Wyatt: There's traps that he's laid out against potential invaders. And the best part, the library is guarded by a curator; and Zoltun Kulle being the egomaniac that he is, has left the curator there. The curator is actually a simulacrum of Zoltun Kulle. The curator is a copy of Zoltun Kulle.
Matt: He made a copy of himself?
Wyatt: Because he's an egomaniac. And the best part is the copy doesn't know that he's a copy. So hilarity ensues. From Zoltun Kulle’s library we travel East. Far East to Eastern Kehjistan. This is past Caldeum to the Shassar Sea.
Here in this Shassar Sea, you'll find a young Valla training with her master Josen. Valla’s history much like many Demon Hunters is one filled with anguish.
[gallery link="file" columns="2" size="large" ids="42970,42971,42972,42973"]
Her home village was ravaged by a demon invasion. Everybody in her village was slain, and she is the lone survivor. She came across Josen who is training this young Valla, and teaching her to take her anguish and her pain, and channeling it to fuel a desire for revenge against all demons. It is here in the Shassar Sea that Valla and Josen have caught wind that a demon nest has formed, and they are there to slay demons, as Demon Hunters do.
Matt: Seems right.
Wyatt: So, those are some of the outdoor zones that we have in Diablo Immortal. Next up, let's start looking at some Instance Dungeons. As we mentioned yesterday, the Instance Dungeons are 4-player dungeons for a specific crafted experience. Whereas in the outdoor world monsters respawn over time, in the Instance Dungeons the monsters stay dead. There's also mechanics that we can do in an Instance Dungeon that we wouldn't normally be able to do.
Like this rope sequence down, where you’re rappelling down a cavern. The Tomb of Fahir is actually divided up into 3 different segments. In the outer-most section, you and your party need to unlock two seals to make your way into the inner sanctum. There you descend down the rope and face off against the Brood Mother.
Matt: Not even an Arachnophobia warning?
Wyatt: Oh, yeah! Arachnophobia warning! Yeah!
Matt: Or really creepy birthing pods on her back.
Wyatt: Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! I think I saw this in the shower the other day, that was--
Matt: No! No! If you saw that it would take up the whole bathroom.
Wyatt: But if you defeat the Brood Mother, you can then make your way into the inner part of the Tomb of Fahir.
Matt: And it's worse?
Wyatt: Oh, much worse! Much worse! Another Instance Dungeon that we're going to be looking at is the Kikuras Rapids.
The Kikuras Rapids-- we’ve kind of mentioned that Instance Dungeons lets us do things that we wouldn't be able to do in the outdoor world. In the case of the Kikuras Rapids, you begin by making your way along the river banks of the Bilefen until you get to the riverside, and there, you'll commandeer a boat.
Matt: Not a boat.
Wyatt: You’ll commandeer a raft.
Matt: Not a raft.
Wyatt: You’ll commandeer a bunch of sticks tied together by string, make your way down rapids and venture along. It's kind of like a theme park water ride with monsters trying to kill you the whole way. And should you make it--
Matt: What theme parks do you go to?
Wyatt: It's fun. It's fun. It’s fun. Trust me. And if you make it, if you survive to the end of this crazy theme park twisted ride.
Matt: It's fun if you survive?
Wyatt: You'll face off against the Fetish Patriarch.
Matt: Notice that there's three fetishes, not one.
Wyatt: I guess it takes three fetishes to make one Fetish Patriarch.
Matt: That's your excuse?
Wyatt: Yeah! Okay. Okay, let's move on. The Forgotten Tower. So we hinted at this yesterday, and yes... we are going back to the Forgotten Tower. The Forgotten Tower is an area that we originally saw in ACT I of Diablo II. It is home to the Countess... or was. In Diablo II, many of you killed the Countess already. Some of you many times.
[gallery size="large" link="file" ids="42978,42979,42980"]
And here, her cultists, her followers have found a way through a sick twisted blood ritual to actually resurrect the Countess, and bring her back to life. From the Forgotten Tower, the resurrected Countess rules over the Darkwood and the Black Marsh.
Matt: I love this slide.
Wyatt: This is the best. Alright, so that's a look at some of the Instance Dungeons, some of the gameplay that we're hoping Diablo Immortal will capture.
NEXT: DIABLO IMMORTAL: CLASSES
[table id=117 /] [table id=86 /]
DIABLO IMMORTAL: CLASSES
Wyatt: Let's have a look at the classes as well as a sneak peek like we promised in the beginning at some of their abilities. Starting with: Barbarian.
Matt: Barbarians. Now, Barbarians have lived on the slopes of Mount Arreat for generations. Their ancestral duty to protect the mountain and the Worldstone that was beneath it. The destruction of the Worldstone, the destruction of Mount Arreat has thrown all that into question. This is a fresh scar still on the Barbarian spirit as they try and find a new purpose, a new sense of identity.
Barbarians are proud warriors and dangerous warriors who like to take the fight up close to their enemies. They harness their fury, charge at them and then unleash it in a savage series of blows.
Wyatt: Let's have a look at some of the skills in the Barbarians arsenal. Starting with Furious Charge. This is a returning favorite that makes use of Diablo Immortals' touch controls.
With the ability that aim the skill in different directions, you can direct the Barbarian, tackle multiple enemies in a line. Another returning favorite is Hammer of the Ancients. The Barbarian is a master of melee weaponry; and Hammer of Ancients represents the barbarian's connection with spiritual ancestors; and by channeling some of that energy can summon a mighty hammer to smash all enemies in front of him.
The Barbarian has been able to throw many things in the past: axes, spears--
Wyatt: ...boulders; and in Diablo Immortal, we have a Throw ability that allows you to throw enemies at each other. In Diablo Immortal, you can pick up that annoying Fallen and throw them at his friends.
Matt: At the Shaman.
Wyatt: At the Shaman. That would probably be the best choice. Alright, The Necromancer.
Matt: Necromancers. Disciples of Rathma. Necromancer’s represent the thin line between light and darkness. They believe that it is their sacred mission to maintain balance between these opposing forces. As befits their unique mission, Necromancers are willing to use a power that no one else is: control over the dead.
Whether it is raising a skeleton from the ground, or ripping the bones out of a corpse and using them as a projectile, or even using a Necromancer’s own blood to empower themselves. It wouldn't be a necromancer without the ability to raise skeletons. We loved the way that Diablo III: Reaper of Souls -- with the Rise of the Necromancer pack allowed you to direct your skeletons at who to attack next. And so, we're bringing that functionality into Diablo Immortal.
And the Necromancer is a master of the undead, but also uses corpses as a resource. We love the way Corpse Lance allows you to reap the skeletal structure, the spine out of a fallen foe and hurl those bones at another foes, sometimes killing them and allowing you to use their corpse.
Matt: If you really like doing that circle of death, killing one guy with--
Wyatt: It’s the circle of death. In addition to skeletons and corpses, we also know that the Necromancer is a master of bone. And Skeletal Spikes allows you to rip bones out of the Earth itself and impale enemies from below. Skeletal Spikes, and then user their corpses for Corpse Lance.
Matt: Crusaders are holy warriors of Akarat. They were first created to remove the taint of Mephisto from the Zakarum faith. They represent honor, goodness and a steadfast devotion to duty. Holy war machines encased in steel, Crusaders are a fearsome sight on the battlefield.
And yet their martial prowess is not the end of it. It is augmented by their faith, which allows them to use the power of the light to strike down at their enemies.
Wyatt: The Crusader uses both melee weapons and shields in combat; and to capture that, we're bringing back Blessed Shield with a twist.
The Blessed shield can be aimed using Diablo Immortal’s directional aiming, but it damages enemies on the way out and on the way back in; and any enemies who aren't killed, are pulled towards you. So you can continue to pummel them at point blank range.
Matt: And then kill them.
Wyatt: And then kill them, if they somehow survived the blunt force trauma from the shield. Another skill we're bringing back is Sweep Attack. Much like the wizard’s Chill Wind, the Sweep Attack allows you to begin... as soon as you press your thumbs down to the skill, you start charging up and swinging your flail, winding it up. You gain damage and range the longer that you hold down your thumb while aiming the skill. And when you have those enemies in your sight, you can simply activate the ability to unleash your fury.
And a new twist on another skill: Falling Sword. So, Falling Sword has been adjusted to be a two-stage ability. The first activation of the ability, you can target a location in the world and that drops the sword in that location and damages enemies in that area. However, when you activate the ability a second time, you come crashing down from above.
You can use other abilities in between the first and second activation. So you can drop your sword, jump on a horse, run around the battlefield, use some extra melee attacks and then activate the ability a second time for your grand finale.
Matt: Or use your horse, drag the guy to the sword, and then jump back in on them.
Wyatt: Right on their head.
Matt: That's what I'm going to do.
Matt: Wizards. Magic. Yes, wizards.
Wyatt: Wizard fans, you guys are going to like this.
Matt: Magic is a tricky element to master in Sanctuary. This is why it is taught under strict conditions in one of the few magical academies. Wizards, however, have no time for such timidity. They believe that as long as the reward is worth it, the risk does not matter. They show no restraint, be it in their personality or in their magic. If it's worth doing, it's worth doing in style.
Wyatt: The first ability we want to look at today for the wizard is Meteor. Meteor allows you to target at a location for that call down, for that celestial body to fall down and rain destruction on your enemies. We're bringing back Ray of Frost. Again, it's an activated ability in two stages. The first stage starts the channel, and the second ends it. We're going to see a little bit of Ray of Frost in just a little bit.
Another cold skill. This one's a new one... is Ice Crystal. Also a two-stage ability. The first activation of Ice Crystal allows you to place the ice crystal somewhere on the battlefield. The second activation or when the duration runs out, the crystal explodes sending shards of glass in all directions.
Matt: Why? I kind of said they had style. So, this is great. This feels a little strange, like can you help me out?
Wyatt: We can do something more.
Wyatt: If you want to check out what happens when you combine Ray of frost with Ice Crystal.
Matt: Oooh, cool! That makes me happy. I like that.
Wyatt: It's pretty fun. So, the first activation you dropped your Ice Crystal on a spot near some enemies, channel-in Ray of Frost which gets fractured by the Ice Crystal in all directions, and follow it up with a final explosion.
Matt: Demon Hunters. Yes! So Wyatt told you a little bit about Valla, and Valla’s story mirrors the story of a great many Demon Hunters: tragedy at an early age.
She had a choice to make. There was a moment after this tragedy, a moment so brief that it existed between two breaths, and yet it stretched before her across all eternity. Was she going to give up? Was she going to go on? Valla made the choice that all Demon Hunters make faced with that moment in their life. They choose revenge.
Armed with a variety of range weapons, traps and harnessing ancient shadow magic, Demon Hunters hunt down demons wherever they may be with the singular goal of destroying them. Now Diablo Immortal is a unique time, because this is the moment where the Demon Hunters are beginning to come together to create their order.
Wyatt: Demon Hunters capture both acrobatics, dexterous movement and ranged weaponry. One of her new skills, Daring Swing allows you to reposition yourself from one location on the battlefield to another while shooting from an advantageous position.
Strafe is another skill that really captures that Demon Hunter essence with the ability to have both mobility and range weaponry at the same time.
And Rain of Vengeance captures that sense that the Demon Hunter can fire a cluster of arrows up into the air which then rain down and puncture all enemies in the affected area.
Matt: And you cannot stop using Daring Swings. Did you do these?
Wyatt: Daring swing is super fun. It’s super fun to use.
Matt: Monks. Holy warriors from the land of Ivgorod. Monks' strength comes from within. Such is their spirit that they're able to express it outwardly to either damage their enemies or shield their allies. While monks wield weapons, they're more than capable of defeating their enemies with their bare hands. In fact, such is their hand-to-hand prowess that they often are able to strike at multiple enemies at the same time, in multiple places.
Nothing captures that sense that the monk is in many places at once quite like Seven-Sided Strike, which many of you have seen in the demo. Seven-Sided Strike allows you to move so fast so as to appear in multiple places at once.
Matt: Saying seven.
Wyatt: One might even say seven.
Matt: One day I will make an Eight-Sided Strike and I’ll be happy.
Wyatt: In Diablo Immortal, the monk also has Kick, but it's a little bit of an amped up kick. You can use kick off of walls to rebound off of them and hit enemies on the return path. If an enemy is near a wall, you can slap them once with your foot on the way in, rebound off the wall, and kick him in the back of the head on the way back for even more damage.
Matt: And then Seven-sided Strike if anybody is still standing.
Wyatt: And finally, we feel the monk needed a skill that represents the spiritual side of the monk.
Matt: I agree, I agree.
Wyatt: A more transcendent. Imprisoned Fists allows you to hit an enemy in just the right way that you knock their spiritual essence out of their body.
Matt: That is not spiritual.
Wyatt: It's very spiritual. It's very Zen.
Matt: That is not Zen.
Wyatt: I find it very relaxing.
Matt: Okay, it might be relaxing.
Wyatt: So there we have it. Those are the six classes in Diablo Immortal with a sneak peek at some of their abilities.
NEXT: DIABLO IMMORTAL: Q&A
[table id=117 /] [table id=86 /]
DIABLO IMMORTAL: Q&A
Wyatt: We have some time for Q&A and to join us up here on stage for Q&A we've also asked Sean Copeland to join us on stage.
Matt: You’re welcome Sean.
Wyatt: Sean, why don't you go ahead and let them know your role at Blizzard.
Sean: Absolutely! My name is Sean Copeland. I am Blizzard's headlong master for story and franchise development and I am these gentlemen resident Deckard Cain.
Matt: Yeah! Pretty much!
Wyatt: Alright, so we have a microphone set up over here with our beloved community manager Brandy Camel. Go ahead and come up to the mic.
Fan #1: Hi. First, I want to say thank you. Your passion has been huge for Diablo, and we really do appreciate it even if there's been some negativity.
[bluepost]Wyatt: Thank you. Thank you.[/bluepost]
Fan #1: I wanted to ask about the most important Prime Evil: Mephisto. Can we expect to see him? In any form?
[bluepost]Wyatt: It’s too early to say, which is, I know is sort of a dodge; but it's too early to say. I think one of the things that's exciting is, we are exploring how some of the Prime Evils might be returning faster than they should. So, I will leave it at that for the moment.[/bluepost]
Fan #2: I'd like to preface this question with saying that I'm sorry about the way people treated you yesterday by asking if the game was an April’s Fool joke? That was really inappropriate of them. My question, however, is: Is the possibility of Socketing returning? With the possibility of Runic Keywords as in like in Diablo II where you could combine certain runes to create certain effects?
[bluepost]Wyatt: Yeah! So, I can't speak to runes and runewords specifically, but we are currently looking at itemization. It’s a great time for us to actually talk about items a little bit. For those of you who played the demo, if you haven’t, you still have a few hours to do so; but you probably noticed that the inventory was disabled. We're currently looking at what itemization should look like.
As we mentioned yesterday, we definitely know that legendary powers should be part of the itemization, and I think there is another stage to itemization which is: once I have an item that I really like, how can I make that item even better? And to complement that: Is there enough depth to the item system for me to make some good decisions about how to improve that item?
So I think I can safely say that socketing will definitely be part of your items, but specifically how we have, you know, do we have gems? Do we have runes? Do we have legendary gems? These are all the things that we are evaluating. We're looking at Diablo II, we're looking at Diablo III, and we're trying to figure out if we want to do something like that or something entirely new.[/bluepost]
Fan #2: Okay. Thank you very much.
[bluepost]Matt: You're welcome.[/bluepost]
Fan #3: How you doing?
[bluepost]Matt: Hi! Hi![/bluepost]
Fan #3: So, this being a mobile game we at least expect to see a lot of micro-transactions or will it be single pay?
[bluepost]Wyatt: Yeah! No, that's a good question. So, it's always been the tradition at Blizzard that we work on gameplay first. It doesn't matter whether it's a box product or whether it's a free to play product, we haven't figured out the business model. That's been the case for Hearthstone, that's been the case for Overwatch, that's the case for Diablo Immortal.
We want to focus on making an excellent game first, we'll have the systems, we’ll have the items and then when the game is complete or, you know, when we're farther along we can take a look at the game and figure out what the right business model is.[/bluepost]
Fan #4: So, I have a question. It's about, how do you guys plan to stay relevant with a mobile game as your next game in a heavily dominated PC genre especially with upcoming new games like Wolcen and Last Epoch?
[bluepost]Wyatt: So, there's a number... I really, I'm trying to avoid saying this, but I'm going to say it anyway... that there's multiple Diablo projects being worked on. Have I said this before? By multiple teams... No, I'm just joking with you. On a serious note, yes! We have multiple projects in the works. We love Diablo. I think for us we're really the most concerned about making sure that we're making excellent games. We look at other games. We're all super passionate gamers at Blizzard. We play games from all over the place on all platforms. We play board games, we play card games; and we're always looking at it for ideas from all places; and that informs how we can bring good design and ideas to our games going forward.[/bluepost]
Fan #5: Hey, guys! I know all of our questions and concerns are coming from a place of love, because Diablo is all very special to us.
[bluepost]Matt: Of course.[/bluepost]
Fan #5: As we know in like Diablo III, the real-money auction house was a pretty big problem when you brought money into trading. Even in Diablo II, there wasn't really a direct trading thing, but then we saw a lot of problems with people selling runewords, 20 bucks for a perfect breath of the dying, or something like that. So, do you have any ideas how you are going to do trading in Diablo Immortal; or how to prevent people from trading for real money?
[bluepost]Wyatt: So, I think right now what we're looking at... Oh! We do have some ideas. I think that when you look at Diablo III at launch with the Auction House, it sort of allowed players to get the best items without playing the game; and then with Reaper of Souls we made changes to the game, to make everything soulbound; and I think that as we think about an online game, it's nice to make sure that you're earning the best items, but it also, you want to be part of a greater economy, a greater society; and when I think about that problem, an example I like to refer to is gems in Diablo III.
Where in Diablo III you could have rubies and emeralds; and maybe if you have a lot of rubies, 10 rubies and I had 10 emeralds, maybe I could trade you 10 rubies for 10 emeralds and that would be okay. You know, we know that's okay, because Kanai’s Cube has a recipe that lets me turn rubies into emeralds; but I do it through a Kanai’s cube.
If I could do that somehow with another player, functionally it would be the same; but I would feel like I was part of this greater economy and this greater society. And that's an important part about making a mobile MMO. So, we don't have any specifics. I think we've seen what a full auction house looks like, and we've seen what a lot of soulbound looks like; and maybe there's a little middle ground somewhere in between. A sweet spot so to speak.
Alright. I think we have time for one more question.[/bluepost]
Fan #6: No pressure.
[bluepost]Matt: The crusader keeps falling.[/bluepost]
Fan #6: Nooo! So, you mentioned that we're going to be able to go through, and look at the history of the Demon Hunters, or I guess the formation of the Demon Hunters. What about the other factions? Are we going to get to look at other people's histories?
[bluepost]Matt: Ummm.... heheheh... No pressure. There's a really big time-frame that we're dealing with for Diablo Immortal, and there are events that happened before, and there are events that are going to be happening in Diablo III. And so there were sort of questions on either side of that equation that we can look into, and we can start to provide answers to. So, you know, one that I like to mention is Malthael, like this is the period where Malthael decided that all humanity had to die.
It was a pretty momentous decision and maybe we could find out exactly why and how that happened? The formation of the Demon Order is another one. I think there are other groups and individuals, Sean... which have interesting histories in this time. So, I can't promise where we're going to go, and what we're going to do; but it is exciting to have so much to address, and so much to give and to explore as a player.
Sean: I got to say I'm looking forward to you guys checking out these stories, to check out the new content that's being available; because as a Lore Master, I am a huge fan of Diablo’s story.
Sean: And I'm working with these gentlemen to help make it come to life. Oh! I cannot wait for you guys to check this out. It's going to be awesome.
Wyatt: Yeah! Well, thank you very much everybody for joining us for the Diablo Immortal World and Q&A panel. It has been an epic BlizzCon. And everybody, I hope it's been an awesome weekend, and continue being excellent to one another.
[table id=117 /] [table id=86 /]