The Diablo Immortal Cycle of Strife PvP is not a fight at your heart’s desire (with no commitment from the developer) happenstance, nor is it a simple PvP system. I think everyone got it wrong. There is so much depth and developer-commitment involved to keep players engaged in PvP for years.
I would even go as far as to say that Diablo Immortal was meant to be a PvP eSport-like game from the beginning, and everything else is just the journey to get there.
I was awe-struck by what I witnessed in Closed Alpha, and I haven’t really started any PvP. I will share with you the Cycle of Strife (PvP) intro questline so that you learn the lore behind the PvP system, and some of the systems surrounding it.
Diablo Immortal Cycle of Strife PvP Questline
At level 41 (more or less), you complete the Bilefen questline that ends with Jin and Namari sending you inside the Temple of Namari. In that dungeon, you kill the boss Sargoth. After turning in the quest, Jin sends you to the Port Justinian to talk with Sandro the Mouth.
Sandro the Mouth gives you a letter that goes into your third inventory tab and stays with you thereafter.
You will see in the Quest tracker (to the left of your screen): “A Timeworn Letter.”
The letter says the following text:
When the letter is closed, players will get a quest titled “To the Arena” — which sends you to the Bilefen’s Proving Grounds. The quest objective: “Investigate the Ancient Arena in Bilefen.”
Once there, you will be asked to click the glyph on the ground.
Returned Mage: The cycle… continues…
Objectives: Kill the Returned Mages and Warriors.
Mysterious Voice: This one may be worthy, but it is too soon to tell.
Objectives: Meet with The Unspoken.
You: Worthy? Of what? What are you talking about? Who are you?
The Unspoken: You are heading in the right direction, my friend. Ahead lies an ancient cycle, sacred rites, and immense responsibility.
A LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS, BRIGHT LIKE THE SUN. STEADY AS STONE, SO THE DAY CAN BE WON. RAGING, YET QUIET, A HEART FULL OF PAIN. THIS CYCLE OF STRIFE.
Don’t forget to click the Timeworn Scroll to loot it from the ground.
An animation plays onscreen as the Timeworn Scroll unfolds to show you its interior. The other parts will unlock as you continue the questline. I will show you how the scroll looks at the end of the questline.
When you click the “search” icon at the bottom of each tab within this scroll, you will see this:
The scroll is permanently placed in your third Inventory tab where materials are stored.
In the quest tracker, you will notice “A Note in Your Pocket.” Click it.
After closing that note, a new quest begins: “The Cycle Begins.”
Objectives: Go to the Westmarch Cathedral.
Teleport to Westmarch, and go to the Selynne’s Basilica (the Westmarch Cathedral).
The Unspoken: As it has been, so shall it be. You are powerful. Filled with strength only suffering can provide. You are ready to learn ancient tales. Place the Timesworn Scroll on the platform inside the cathedral.
Place the Timeworn Scroll on the altar table.
You: What’s happening to me…? I’m… Am I… Dreaming?
A cutscene akin to those seen in Diablo III appears onscreen. Except it is interactive. You have to press the scroll-right-arrow to continue reading.
CYCLE OF STRIFE: ORIGINS OF THE CYCLE
The Unspoken: This cycle is eternal. Since the time of the Firstborn, Daedessa has done her part to ensure that Sanctuary would be forever protected. For her plan to work, two sides are required. You may continue to engage the messengers from both sides to help you make your decision in the future. First, go to the Immortal Receptionist. He’s in the Immortal Area of Westmarch. You must speak with the Historical Archivist. She is near the Wall of Honor in the northeast of Westmarch. I will meet you there.
The Immortal Area of Westmarch is located east of the Challenge Rifts / Elder Rifts area (Palace Courtyard).
The Unspoken: The Immortals are tasked with defending Sanctuary against the Burning Hells, empowered by the Eternal Crown they possess. Now, prepare your mind for what is to come… The Wall of Honor behind me records the glory of past Immortals. It is a record of the worthy. Some believe it to be myth, but I can promise you it is fact. Go. See for yourself.
Walk east of the Unspoken and the Historical Archivist. Then click the table next to the Wall of Honor mural.
The spirit of Kion, the first immortal appears before you as an NPC.
Kion: You have it! That scroll is only found by those truly capable of defending Sanctuary. I sense true power within you. But power can lead to corruption or sloth. You must be stronger than that to be one of us. Hand me the scroll and you shall see. Visions of us all, future and past! Bear witness!
HISTORY OF THE IMMORTALS
WALL OF HONOR
From now on, whenever you click the Wall of Honor, you will see the most recent top PvP players.
You can actually rotate the 3D models of each player’s character in the screen shown in the image above. Clicking that “i” button (info), opens this Overview message:
The 74300 score shown in the image above is known as “Dominance” points.
DOMINANCE: Dominance shows how successful the Immortals were during their reign. If competing reigns are the same length, their place on the Immortal Leaderboard is determined by Dominance.
WEEKS REIGNED: The length of a reign has a major impact on where it places within the Immortal Leaderboard.
Clicking the CHONICLE button opens this list:
The “i” button in this page shows this message:
Historical Archivist: Still here? Good. Curiosity is an important first step into a larger world. If you are ready to learn more, I am ready to teach. Remember, we are but one side of the coin. If you are ready, I’ve been told you should head to the tavern. Someone there wishes to speak with you. Interested in learning about the Immortals? Let me get my books and I’ll tell you everything I can. You… don’t mind a little conjecture, do you?
When you talk to the Historical Archivist, a new window pops onscreen:
BEING AN IMMORTAL
The immortals defend Sanctuary from the Burning Hells. By becoming an Immortal, you inherit the power and legacy of the ancient Nephalem.
The image above is interactive. You can click the Immortal in the center, the immortal on the left, and the immortal on the right. Each open a different page: Rewards, Immortals and Legacy. I will show you what each of these three contain inside.
FEATURE UNLOCKED: THE IMMORTALS
Immortals can acquire unique rewards during their Reign. Immortals are bestowed with great poower befitting their responsibilities: improved combat effectiveness, regular item rewards, and the unique abilities of their leaders’ crowns.
- Crown Abilities: The Immortal Leader and Lieutenants possess Crowns that grant unique, potent abilities, including boosts to Attack Speed, Critical Hit Chance, Defense, and Healing.
- The Eternal Crown: The Eternal Crown, crafted by the Builder Daedessa, secures the Immortals’ power. The Crown’s rank, and the strength of its bonuses, increase as your Reign grows in Dominance.
- Commendations: The Immortals store powerful equipment and Gold in the Vault. Each week, the Supply Officer distributes treasures to all Immortals based on their contributions and participation within the faction.
- Immortal Cloaks: As an Immortal Reign grows in Dominance, all members unlock special cosmetic cloaks that can be worn as long as they remain a members of the faction.
When you click “VIEW” in each of the tabs (shown above), these are the individual pages that open up.
In addition to protecting Sanctuary from demonic threats, Immortals must defend their Reign against the meddling of their rivals, the Shadows, and undertake the mythic rites of their order.
Clicking “GOALS” in the page (above), opens this page with 4 tabs:
Every day, the Immortals guard Sanctuary and resist the Shadows’ machinations.
These are the individual pages that open up when you click “VIEW” in the image shown above:
- Daily Goals: As the anointed protectors of Sanctuary, the Immortals must do battle with threats to the land on a daily basis. These Daily Goals, when completed, award Raw Essentia and other benefits.
- Defend The Vault: The Immortals’ wondrous Vault stores relics, equipment and Essentia vital to the Reign. As such, it’s a frequent target for the Shadows. A successful defense of the Vault will bring the Immortals Honor and more rewarding weekly Commendations.
- Kion’s Ordeal: By recreating the ancient ordeal of the first Immortal, Kion, Immortals demonstrate their devotion to the Reign. Officers can call a group of Elite Mortals to follow in Kion’s footsteps, and divide their forces to engage four demons at once. Success means great rewards for Immortals, and the Blessing of Daedessa for both Adventurers and Immortals.
- Rite of Exile: The Immortals’ Reign is tested by their rivals, the Shadows. When the Shadows reach the Showdown stage, they have grown powerful enough to initiate a sacred duel between the opposing sides. If the Immortals lose, they will be overthrown.
An Immortal’s Reign echoes throughout Sanctuary’s history. It is showcased in Westmarch’s architecture, and carved into the Wall of Honor.
The Immortals are guardians in the mold of ancient Nephalem, and their glory is legendary.
When you click the “VIEW” button, these are the individual pages that open for: Dominance, Immortal Statue, Wall of Honor, and Immortal Banner.
- Dominance: Dominance is a rating that reflects the Immortals’ strength of arms and the charter of their Reign. The greater the Immortals’ Contributions, the higher their Dominance will be, and the more significant a legacy they’ll leave behind.
- Immortal Statue: The statue on the Overlook is carved in the likeness of The Immortal whose Reign is currently active. It’s unlocked by raising Dominance.
- Wall of Honor: The Wall of Honor in Westmarch has chronicled the rise and fall of Immortals throughout history. The names and deeds of each Immortal Reign are emblazoned on its surface.
- Immortal Banner: Each Immortal Reign has its own customizable banner. As the Immortals’ Dominance rises, they will unlock more banner shapes, patterns, and insignias.
Battleground Captain: Try yourself in the Battleground. If you lose, you’ll learn something. If you win, you’ll have taught somebody else.
When you click the BATTLEGROUND button (as seen above), the following interactive UI pops onscreen. You can choose any three options: Defend, Attack, or Random.
Defend is for Immortals. Attack is for Shadows. Random allows you to play one or the other. Random gives bonus gold. Once you press “FIND PARTY,” you enter into a queue to join the Battlegrounds. Doing so means you can’t queue to enter an Elder Rift or Challenge Rift (Solo or Party) unless you cancel the BATTLEGROUND queue.
HONOR MERCHANT: IMMORTALS SHOP
The Honor Merchant now sells special items only to IMMORTALS. These are commodities especially for Immortals as rewards for the contributions they’ve made in protecting Sanctuary. They are available for Immortals exclusively; some higher-level items can only be purchased when the Immortals’ Dominance reaches a specific rank.
- Raw Essentia: (50 Honor) – An ancient power source that can be contributed to an Immortal Reign to enhance the Eternal Crown (Requirement: Reach Immortal Age Bronze IV to unlock).
- Rare Crest: (500 Honor) – Use when opening an Elder Rift to add a modifier to the Rift. Completing the Elder Rift has a guaranteed chance to yield runes (Requirement: Reach Immortal Age Iron IV to unlock).
- Mystery Legendary Item: (3000 Honor) – Obtain a random Legendary Item (Requirement: Reach Immortal Age Iron IV to unlock).
- Ca’arsen’s Invigoration: (3000 Honor) – (see image of the tooltip 3 images below) (Requirement: Reach Immortal Age Silver III to unlock)
- Legendary Crest: (3000 Honor) – Use when opening an Elder Rift to add 2 modifiers to the Rift. Completing the Elder Rift has a guaranteed chance to yield a Legendary Gem and runes. (Requirement: Reach Immortal Age Gold III to unlock)
HALL OF ASCENSION
I haven’t played PvP yet nor become an Immortal, but here is a preview of where to go once you have become an Immortal.
The statue will take the shape of whoever became the leader of the Immortals each week. The Hall of Ascension portal is in front of the statue. The Vault, Banner and other rewards will be inside the Halls of Ascension.
THE SHADOWS FACTION
After completing the Immortals quests, your quest tracker will update the objectives of “The Cycle Begins” to: Find the Mysterious Patron in the Wolf City Tavern.
The Tavern is found in this area of Westmarch (see the cogwheel icon in the map below):
Mysterious Patron: Been chatting with the Unspoken? Doesn’t surprise me. Normally, access to the Court of Whispers is restricted to our members only. But we’ll make an exception for you. This time. The Unspoken is waiting for you inside. Go, before you are seen.
Objective: Enter the Court of Whispers
Mysterious Patron: Shadows? Never heard of them… Quietly now… Come back at 12pm, 6pm, or 9pm. For 60 minutes, there is a lottery one could enter if one were so inclined. Limited seats, yes, but power and glory awaits should you win.
This is the map when you are inside the Court of Whispers (The Shadows Hall). Each of the portal icons you see below take you to different PvP trials.
Objective: Find the Unspoken in the Court of Whispers.
Take the portal to the Assembly Hall, and talk to The Unspoken.
The Unspoken: Akeba, the daughter of Daedessa, was a founding member of the Shadow Guild. Though departed, her spirit is with us always. You may touch this cauldron of fire to connect with the spirits.
Objective: Touch the Everburning Fount.
Objective: Hand the Scroll to Akeba.
Akeba: You think you have what it takes to walk this path? You must work unseen, hidden in darkness, as I once was. Always remember we all want the same thing: the protection and safety of Sanctuary. We test the Immortals. We ensure they are worthy of the power they inherited. Hand me that scroll and see the truth.
When the “DELIVER” UI pops onscreen, select the Timeworn Scroll from your inventory. Press “DELIVER.”
Akeba: Prepare yourself…
The following interactive cutscene images appear onscreen. Press the right-arrow button onscreen to turn the page.
Akeba: Should the Immortals ever become unworthy of their station we will be there to remove them from power and take up the mantle. Now, sleep.
FEATURE UNLOCKED: THE SHADOWS
The player’s screen goes black, then screen mimics heavy blinking as the hero wakes up from a slumber. You are now in Selynne’s Basilica (Westmarch Cathedral).
Objective: Wake up.
Objective: Meet with The Unspoken.
The Unspoken: And now you know the truth. The Immortals are tasked with protecting Sanctuary and have been given great power to do so. The Shadows…
You: … Are the ones making sure the Immortals never become corrupt or complacent. I understand.
The Unspoken: Yes. Though Akeba and Kion are long dead, there are others who can help you decide where to focus your efforts. Those you’ve met on this journey can be useful advisors. Visit them again when you are ready.
RUMORS HAVE BEEN UNLOCKED
At this point, you can no longer enter the Court of Whispers unless you win the lottery at the Tavern. As the Mysterious Patron said: Come back at 12pm, 6pm, or 9pm. For 60 minutes, there is a lottery one could enter if one were so inclined.
If you win the lottery, you join the Shadows. Once you win during the Rite of Exile event, you become an Immortal, and can no longer enter the Court of Whispers. Eventually, you will lose, and must win the lottery to start the cycle.
The gameplay video that shows all what you read here can be found here.
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