Blizzard Entertainment announced today that Diablo: Immortal will soon be entering a technical alpha test, making it playable to the public (albeit select members of said public) for the first time, while also revealing some key facts about how the game will work (and monetize).
Invites will be going out today to those who registered for the game via the Google Play Store in Australia. It’s standard practice in mobile game testing to focus on a single territory like this. Blizzard is also inviting a select few “community members” (that could include employees, family and friends, press, and influencers) to the alpha.
Diablo: Immortal is a mobile version of Blizzard’s action role-playing game franchise. It is also the studio’s first mobile-only game. When Blizzard first showed Immortal off during BlizzCon 2018, it angered many fans because Immortal is a mobile game, especially since many fans were instead hoping to see Diablo IV announced for PC and consoles. That tension cooled off a bit after Blizzard did reveal Diablo IV during BlizzCon 2019.
Blizzard also confirmed today that Diablo: Immortal will be free-to-play with in-app purchases. All of the game’s core content, including character classes and dungeons, will be free. You will be able to buy items like crests, which can increase your rewards and modify your experience inside an Elder Rift (a kind of randomly generated dungeon similar to what we’ve seen in Diablo III). Blizzard is also offering a battle pass. Like with other games, it doles out rewards based on how much you play. There is a free and paid track for the pass.
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Diablo: Immortal will also have a player market, but Blizzard was quick to note that this will not be anything like the controversial real money auction house that launched with Diablo III. You will not be able to purchase gear from it. Instead, players can use the market to sell and buy items like gems with in-game currency. Blizzard emphasized that the only way you can get gear is by killing monsters.
During this technical alpha, players can choose one of four classes: Barbarian, Monk, Demon Hunter, and Wizard. They’ll have access to seven open world zones and six dungeons. While past Diablo games have allowed for instanced multiplayer, Immortal is closer to being like a massively multiplayer online role-playing game. You will see other players as you explore, and you choose to team up with them. You can even create or join clans with your friends.
Diablo: Immortal’s story takes place between the events of Diablo II and Diablo III. This means that Deckard Cain is alive and well, and he will help guide players. Other fan-favorite Diablo characters, like The Countess boss from Diablo II, will also appear.
The start of this technical alpha is a big step toward a final release. This testing will give Blizzard a chance to adjust the game’s system and balance before introducing it to a wider audience. First impressions are going to be crucial to Diablo: Immortal’s success, as the franchise’s mobile-skeptic fanbase won’t need too many reasons to turn against the title.
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