Earlier this month, Blizzard once again opened the gates to the world of Diablo Immortal, allowing fans to jump into another round of closed beta. This time, Blizzard has given players tons of new things to experience, including a new class, new updates to the Cycle of Strife, and more updates to the game's blossoming PvP mode.
After a couple of weeks playing through the new content, I'm more confident than ever that Diablo Immortal has what it takes to not only deliver an authentic Diablo experience, but to quickly become one of the best Android games available when it launches.
Much needed changes to PvP
When Diablo Immortal last had its closed alpha test, one of the many drawbacks that players noted was how barebones the PvP mode felt. This time around, Blizzard has delivered some big updates to the section, and instead of feeling like something that's tacked on, they feel like a proper extension of the game. A taste of PvP, called The Cycle of Strife, was added during an update to the last alpha test. Unfortunately, it wasn't a fully-fleshed out offering, and only offered a simple battle between two player factions.
This time around, the Cycle of Strife has been updated. While Immortals and Shadows — the two ranks that players can achieve — are still in the game, what they can do has been expanded. New is the Rite of Exile, a battle against the Immortal faction that Shadows can take part in. Should they win, they'll face off against the top Immortal in a chaotic, 30-vs-1 battle. It's a surprisingly fun thing to participate in, as it's essentially a giant raid boss for your party to take down.
More importantly to the long-term health of the game, the Challenge of the Immortal and Rite of Exile act as more reasons to care about the PvP aspects of the game. This time around, instead of barely caring about battling it out against other players, I was much more interested in grinding through and climbing the ranks of Shadows to try and help take down the Immortals that had grown to power.
New class, new ways to play
Perhaps one of the biggest aspects of a great Diablo game are classes that make you want to play. Diablo Immortal already had a solid selection of some fan-favorite classes, but the recently added Necromancer might be one of the best yet.
One of the more popular classes amongst fans of Diablo, the Necromancer acts as a class designed to bring more magic to the enemy. You'll be able to raise an army of the dead to take down folks, which makes it a great DPS class for players who are looking to inflict a lot of damage. More than that, though, the Necromancer is a sign for the potential of Diablo Immortal. With it, Blizzard has proven that it's willing to continue to add characters from past Diablo titles, and will continue to have a solid blend of both old and new content when it comes to Diablo Immortal.
For fans who may be worried that Immortal might not have enough classic Diablo content, the inclusion of the Necromancer — as well as other new areas added in the last alpha test — does show that the folks behind the mobile game are more than aware of what their fanbase wants. Thankfully, at least so far, they've succeeded in striking the perfect balance between nostalgia and new content.
A more Diablo-like experience
Perhaps the biggest and best thing about the latest closed beta test period is that the game is slowly beginning to round into feeling almost like a carbon copy of a Diablo game. Alongside the new changes to PvP, as well as the inclusion of the Necromancer, new set items and set bonuses have also been included in the latest Diablo Immortal testing phase.
These new end-game gear systems allow for even more customization of gear once you've hit the level cap, with lootable Set Items included that offer unique bonuses. They've been around in the world of Diablo before, and were missing from Immortal. With their inclusion now, Immortal feels much more like like a Diablo style game than it did in the past.
Outside of the core gameplay changes, Immortal's recent update also saw the addition of controller support, although it's still not incredibly supportive of the game's full UI range. However, the fact that Blizzard was quick to add this into the game after feedback asked for it continues to show it's dedicated to providing a game that rivals the true Diablo experience. While the first few alpha tests for Diablo Immortal showed a promising product, this latest closed beta has cemented the upcoming game as a must-play for fans of the series.
Diablo Immortal is a fully realized entry to the Diablo series. With the added benefit of an MMO experience, Immortal has a chance to be truly special.
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I've never found the PVP in any RPG to offer any particular fun and Diablo is one of the worst. Standing around spamming the attack button and potion button at the same time until one person dies is hardly an efficient use of your time.
Well it's been 5 years, it damn well better be perfect.
Is this game ever going to be released?!
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