Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film.
Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers.
I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com)
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Diablo Immortal was announced as an MMOARPG (or massively multiplayer online action roleplaying game). However, there weren’t many elements we could see of this in the BlizzCon demo.
You never saw other players cross paths with any of the livestreamers while traversing the Bilefen. Only when they queued for the dungeon as a Group, did we see other players.
Of course, this is only a demo; and Wyatt Cheng mentioned you can see other people in the Westmarch capital city.
However, how much of a MMO features are we really going to see in Diablo Immortal when it comes to seeing other ungrouped people in the world? Better yet, why is the world of Sanctuary not a real world?
As I pointed out recently in a tweet addressed to @Diablo and in a forum thread at Diablofans, when I hear the term MMO wrapped around a Diablo video game, I have very steep and high expectations.
I knitted together the full map of the Bilefen by taking screenshots of the BlizzCon Diablo Immortal livestream by Bahjeera and Kraxell. For an “MMO” this doesn’t look like an MMO open world. I coined it a spaghetti string that goes from Point A to Point B.
BlizzCon is nigh three weeks in the past, but the so-called “Fiasco” still resonates in the internet-waves. It doesn’t matter that Blizzard warned [twice] not to expect a Diablo IV announcement. On that faction of irrated fans’ defense, however, Blizzard should also have warned that it wasn’t about Diablo III, either.
To understand the fans reaction, the core aspect of what triggered the “boo” is that — fans were expecting new Diablo III content (i.e. expansion or DLC pack). With lack of info about new Diablo III content, people (some which only play Diablo III) who spent nearly $1000 or more between Flight, hotel, taxi, food, and a BlizzCon ticket traveled for nothing.
YouTube streamers like Rhykker who mostly depend on YouTube Revenue affiliate program, now have no new content to talk about and stream in their channel. I totally get it.
However, a fan myself of Blizzard lore and of playing their games, I refuse to lose hope. Diablo IV is in development and nothing you say will break my hope.
I am the fanboy that loves Blizzard games. I am the fanboy that gets angry. I am the fanboy that enjoys playing, and the fanboy that curses when I dislike something. But a true fanboy also forgives, pleas, petitions, shares feedback, sits back and waits for that feedback to be heard. And, oh boy! Has Blizzard heard feedback at BlizzCon this year.
Now that three weeks have gone by, breath deep, relax, start to cool down the anger, and repeat with me:
“Diablo IV is in development and nothing you say will break my hope.”
Watching a Diablo Immortal gameplay video, I put together in Adobe Photoshop all the mini-map pieces to build the Bilefen map, as seen in the BlizzCon demo. I also added the quests and small areas within the Bilefen: such as the Abandoned Village, the Deathmire, and the Court of Madness.
Rhykker scored an interview with Blizzard co-founder Allen Adham. Originally, Rhykker thought he was interviewing Wyatt Cheng, and he had to scrap most of his pre-written questions to accommodate someone with the caliber in top-tier direction at Blizzard.
Allen Adham has spent the past two years working on the Incubation department working on multiple mobile video games in addition to Diablo Immortal.
One particular moment in the interview reveals that Blizzard has never had a unannounced games line-up portfolio as large as what they have now in development. Even more striking that most of those unannounced games are coming to PC and Consoles.
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.
Rhykker recently posted his thoughts on what happened during the Diablo Immortal announcement. It’s heartbreaking to listen to his experience. However, he shared a clip from his BlizzCon livestream where Nevalistis said the following: “I gotta say, we have some stuff coming for Diablo III. For next Season. We will have more to talk about later. Honestly, it came down to… I am in the process of working on some blogs and things like that; and I just couldn’t get them done before BlizzCon. So it had to wait until after BlizzCon. But we are not done with Diablo III. We are not done with Diablo III.”
For the naysayers, co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment Allen Adham did tease Diablo IV during the BlizzCon Press Conference. He didn’t say the words, but if an image is worth a thousand words, this smirky smile of joy painted across Allen and Wyatt’s faces confirms it.
That smile came about at the exact moment Allen said the underlined text within this sentence: “For die-hard PC fans, we will say though, we still have multiple Diablo teams working on Multiple unannounced Diablo projects. So we haven’t forgotten about them. The future is bright. Stay tuned.”
In addition, Allen Adham basically revealed there is at least a Warcraft mobile game in development. At most, a Warcraft mobile game and a StarCraft or Overwatch mobile game — when he said:
“we have many of our best developers now working on new mobile titles across all of our IPs.”
The Diablo Immortal announcement received an extremely cold reception at BlizzCon and abroad. During the Q&A, a fan asked: “I just was wondering, is this an out of season April Fool’s joke?”
Some people are comparing that guy with The Red Shirt Guy, and even tag him as a hero. Let me tell you. That guy can never be compared with The Red Shirt Guy. Ian is respectful when he differs from the developers’ opinions or in-game stories, and points out constructively his point of view. Asking on live broadcast during a Q&A if this is an out of season April Fool’s joke is blatantly disrespectful. It is not a Q&A question. It was meant as an insult toward the company as a whole.
During BlizzCon 2018, the Diablo developers announced a new MMO-Action RPG game for mobile devices. Diablo Immortal is set 5 years after the destruction of the Worldstone, filling the gap storywise for what happened between Diablo II: Lord of Destruction and Diablo III.