I can see what you see not – Diablo Immortal comes to shore

A little intro

Diablo Immortal was an unexpected announcement and surprise at BlizzCON2018. And the fallout and rage that came after was equally unexpected (at least from Blizzard's perspective).

...the difference between art and marketing. Marketing starts with an unfulfilled need in the marketplace, and figures out how to plug it. Art, on the other hand, starts with the idea - figuring out how to sell it comes later on, if at all. [art] makes better stuff. But a lot of the time there's no market for it. This one [marketing] makes more money

Syrup (2013)

TL;DR From my perspective the rage is hard to at this stage justify. Please do read why I think that is the case.

I have played Diablo 1 (memorized some poems and voice lines, ran the labyrinth with the same warrior enough times to beat Diablo wearing nothing on a fist fight) Diablo 2 (nothing like running around with maxed out hurricane and watch everything die), Diablo 3 (did some hardcore runs to max level - gorgeous story - yet somehow felt more repetitive than Diablo 1 and 2) I also got the D3 expansions too... well, all except for the one that added the Necromancer that (if I remember correctly) Blizzard said at one point they wouldn't add because it felt too similar to the witch doctor (bullsh*t) figures it would be added as a DLC later.

Still... I played Diablo 3. And I had a lot of fun with it. I made friends in the game. It was a good experience. *spoiler alert* Even if it was hard to see Cain, Leah and Adria die (well Adria did become evil and then the queen of blades before death). I can honestly say Diablo is among my favorite gaming franchises.

So how do I feel about Diablo Immortal?  

I think it came from a financial and spiritual (as in spiritual successor) desire to bring the Diablo franchise to a bigger populace. A lot of gamers still today assume that everyone has a computer or a console. And therefore find the re-release of their played franchises on mobile to be detrimental to the overall experience.

But think of recent RPGs and MMO games released for mobile. MaplestoryM (M for maintenance) brought new blood to the Maplestory franchise. The same situation happened to the Lineage/L2 franchise with L2 revolution. Mobile gaming is not evil if it brings new life. And I don't want Diablo to be forgotten.

Say that we got a remastered version of one of our Diablo games. Who are we gonna play with today? A lot of the people that played it back when the games came out have moved on to higher priorities in their lives! We need the current/next generation of gamers to be evangelized (pun intended) in the greatness that is the horadrim, the angiris council and the prime evils.

Diablo Immotal... if it doesn't become a great game of its own, it at least becomes a means to an end.

A hellish conclusion

I don't hate it... not yet. In fact I am looking forward to it

  1. It will give me the ability to play more Diablo content. On my existing device. Not being tied to cables (maybe charger)
  2. It represents the effort to extend the life of the franchise without it become a complete reboot.
  3. It is not a betrayal of what the franchise is (like Metal Gear Survive) it is skill a skill driven hack-slash & Kill everything on the screen.
  4. WE SAW a few PIECES of a DEMO. Not pieces of a completed version.

Saying Diablo Immortal sucks at this stage is like judging a book based on the way light reflects from the flyleaf. But I do get the hate others have for it. Maybe it was not what you were expecting and your hopes for D4 or another remaster got crushed. Maybe it is because a lot of the other mobile games out there are garbage. All I ask is... wait for the game to come out. Give it a shot and make your own judgement then instead of letting some random person stand up in the crowd and talk about something as a fact when it hasn't come out.

(Edit 11/05/2018)

I spoke with some other people offline and they brought up something that I didn't think of. Blizzard did make at least 2 key mistakes.

  1. Talk about a mobile-only game in a PC dominated forum. Even with hearthstone in their list of products Blizzard remains largely a PC oriented company. Moreover hearthstone had PC versions on it's announced release vs D Immortal that had none.
  2. The selected speaker that they had promoting the game had terrible empathy and charisma. We can't assume that everyone has a gaming-capable PC. But it is outrageous that a professional presenter would challenge the audience with a mocking question as "Don't you have a phone?"

- Ludarx

About the author

I don't remember much of my time before the Christmas of 1996 when I got the N64 -other than grabbing the chainsaw in the back of the spawn point in the first DOOM- .

I do remember that fated day I yelled out and loud "OH MY GOD IT REALLY IS 3D!!!" while playing Mario 64 for the first time. At this point my life changed completely and I became absorbed in the beautiful worlds and stories unfolding in front of my eyes.