BlizzCon 2018 Diablo Immortal World and Q&A Panel Transcript

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.

Wyatt: Thank you. Thank you.
 

Fan #1: I wanted to ask about the most important Prime Evil: Mephisto. Can we expect to see him? In any form?

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.
 

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?

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.

 

Fan #2: Okay. Thank you very much.

Matt: You’re welcome.
 

Fan #3: How you doing?

Matt: Hi! Hi!
 

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?

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.

 

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?

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.
 

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.

Matt: Of course.
 

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?

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.

 

Fan #6: No pressure.

Matt: The crusader keeps falling.
 

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?

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.

Wyatt: Yeah!

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.

 

DIABLO IMMORTAL WORLD AND Q&A PANEL TRANSCRIPT
1. Story2. Zones3. Classes4. Q&A

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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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