Wyatt Cheng (game director) hopped into the Reddit Diablo Immortal discord channel for an impromptu and fluid Diablo Immortal Q&A with fans of the game. I collected below all the relevant questions and answers. Thanks, RedOctober.
The game has been adjusted to be friendlier to solo players; the team needs your feedback on the PC client Beta to further improve its gameplay experience; M1 Macs and Apple TV are not planned, but he didn’t say it is out of the table; APIs might come much later post-launch but not official; server names and locations might be announced in a blogpost before launch; no plans to sell new character slots – only 5 slots per server planned and encourages alts to be created in other servers so you do get 5 character slots per server.
Reddit Discord Diablo Immortal Q&A with Wyatt
Angruke: For the more introverted players, can they have a somewhat decent experience or will not engaging in the multiplayer aspect severely limit what they can do.
Wyatt: There will be limits to what you can do, but I don’t think it will be severe. I understand enjoying solo play – but we fundamentally want the game to have a social component as well.
We’ve adjusted bounties so you’ll never need a group to do them. You can join the shadows as solo, and you can do contracts purely solo as well. Both of those are things a solo player would have had trouble doing at the end game in the Closed Beta.
Angruke: How’s the mouse and keyboard support going to feel, natural? I guess something we haven’t exactly dealt with is targeting reticles, but it’s a thing in other games, such as mobas.
Wyatt: We’re still working on mouse and keyboard. The PC client will be in a beta state, there will probably be some bugs that need to be worked out. Parts of the game we missed. We’ll need people’s help making sure all the controls feel good.
Future skills. Maybe. We’re going to be evaluating the value of new classes vs. new legendary items vs. new skills. They all kinda compete for the same development resources.
TripleGgaming-YT: I think the decision to go PC version is well thought, since 90% of mobile games are played on emulator that’s are 3-4 versions behind in android. Lots of issues there.
Wyatt: Definitely happy to try and improve on the emulator experience. Even though people do emulate, it requires a few more hoops to jump through, and sometimes the game doesn’t run as well, look as good, or control as well.
Angruke: How long will item tooltips get, kind of an interesting pair up with a phone screen, might be getting too long comparatively, or pose a challenge for development?
Wyatt: Tooltips in Immortal scroll. Since the PC UI screens use the same screen ratios as mobile, the text is large on PC and you scroll by pretty much the same amount.
Angruke: Can we scale the UI?
Wyatt: No plans to scale the UI at this time. We want to stay focused on mobile as the primary platform and PC as a step-up from emulation, but not as something that diverts too many development resources away from making mobile the best it can be, such as live content patches, etc.
gaymerbear: Are you guys opening to bringing the game to M1 Macs or AppleTV in the future?
Wyatt: I saw this request a bunch when we announced PC. To be honest, I don’t know much about what it takes to bring a game to M1 Macs or AppleTV. I’ve been largely silent on the topic simply because I don’t know anything about the development process for what is involved in such an endeavor.
ein: I don’t have a PC. xD
Wyatt: I feel like a phone joke is appropriate here.
Angruke: what are you excited for Wyatt? what’s the feature that you think will impress or surprise players the most?
Wyatt: People in beta know this already, but I think a lot of people will be surprised how well the game plays on phone. Despite a PC client, despite controller support, despite disliking every other game on the market with “on-the-glass” touchscreen controls – I think Immortal feels really good in your hands. I get some people will never like it, but I think a significant number of people will be surprised to find they like the touch screen controls after all.
I imagine a whole class of players will play Immortal on PC, get super into it, and then one day have to go to a Thanksgiving dinner at their in-laws. They may never play Immortal on mobile until then. They’ll fire it up, bring it with them and be like “Holy cow this is pretty good”. They’ll always prefer PC, but they’ll appreciate the portability of mobile in the long run.
JujiLee: The sentence keeps popping up that new characters will be added to DI. Can you tell us with what frequency it will be? One new hero a year or…? And sorry to ask that again, but it always remains unanswered – is there any chance for a return of the d2 Paladin?
Wyatt: Can’t say anything about that yet sorry. WE GOT PLANS.
sanktanglia: Any plans for an API or other type of data access for the community to build tools?
Wyatt: None at the moment, often brought up though. Internally everybody is “let’s launch first, then revisit APIs later”
gaymerbear: Wyatt, will you be playing DI more on your iPhone or iPad?
Wyatt: I do all my playing on an iPhone XR right now. I’ve been a little slow to upgrade, but it runs great.
SE|CheAn: Can you confirm the amount of characters allowed for guild names? Also are yall planning to let us know more info regarding servers before launch?
Wyatt: We are still working on server plans. 30 million pre-registrations were a lot. We’re doing datacenter and capacity planning. I would love to see us publish server names beforehand – I think it’s really good when games do that. Besides, I need to know what server echohack is going to be on so I can run the other way.
dredscythe: Be good for your stress levels.
Wyatt: How will I get to be the Immortal if I have to compete with that guy.
gaymerbear: Wyatt just wanted to also add that I’m a huge fan of the season themes on D3! I think the community as a whole has been very receptive to it as it keeps the gameplay fresh and dynamic.
Wyatt: Yah – the team on D3 is killing it. Mad props to them.
ein: This feeling when u have to donate in your own game to be competitive, lol.
Wyatt: I really enjoy playing Immortal. I’m planning dive in hard, same as I have done for many D3 seasons.
dredscythe: Are servers going to be region locked? (similar to most Blizzard games – NA/Asia/EU/etc.)
Wyatt: We have a bunch of regions identified. I believe NA East and NA West are two of those regions but don’t consider that an official answer. Keep an eye out for the official post in the future.
gaymerbear: You guys have mentioned class change in one of your previous blog posts (awesome feature btw) but I’m curious if we will be able to unlock or purchase additional character slots after release?
Wyatt: You get 5 character slots, and that’s on a per-server basis. Between that and the class change that should be plenty? If you really love leveling alts, you’ll probably go to new servers to create more characters.
One note though – in a lot of games leveling alts has some advantage to your “main”. One of the reasons we are introducing the class-change feature is because we DON’T want leveling an alt to provide ANY advantage to your “main”. We don’t want somebody who loves 1 character to feel compelled to roll an alt.
Even cosmetic rewards are still rewards that could drive somebody who doesn’t enjoy alt play to feel like they have to from a “completionist” standpoint. So no flairs or anything. The best somebody could do is maybe screenshot their character list and post it to reddit.
Kyoky: Will we get more character slots to buy?
Wyatt: No plans.
Kyoky: How does class change work again? Is it like Final Fantasy XIV? Or is it change once and lose all gears and such?
Wyatt: There will be a cooldown on how often you can change classes. We don’t want you changing classes for different activities. Changing every day, for example, would be too much. Somewhere between a week and a month, TBD (to be determined).
shp: When you change the class, it’s on the same character or you transfer everything to one of your alts?
Wyatt: You keep your paragon, your level, item ranks, etc. We try to keep a lot of your progress. One thing, notably, you’ll feel like you’re missing is the specific legendary properties. This is because the legendary properties are class specific. So if you go from a Wizard to a Barb, your barb doesn’t have any cool Barbarian legendaries. So you’ll need to farm these up on the Barbarian when you switch to it.
ein: What about a unidentified Legendary Item in the Stash?
Wyatt: Items are fully determined when they drop. Identifying just reveals those properties to you.
nukky: Are there plans on making Diablo Immortal merchandise like phone cases or mouse pads? Idk about anyone else but I’d buy one.
Wyatt: I would love to see this, too. Right now there’s just whatever was on Blizzcon store and online store and then custom swag we made internally. I think we had immortal phone cases for sale at Blizzcon 2018! My publishing team got this for me as a gift. Super limited! I think like 20 of these exist in the world as a prototype. A Diablo Immortal wireless charger, in case it’s not obvious.
JujiLee: Will it be possible to fully download Diablo Immortal files on PC and mobile before the official launch moment of the game?
Wyatt: This is still being worked on. I am pretty sure the answer for PC, because of distribution via Battle.net app, is yes. For mobile it’s more complicated. We upload the binaries to Apple/Google, they do their verification and submission process, there’s a bunch of stuff that happens behind the scenes. We don’t have control over the exact timing. That was a question about whether it will be possible to fully preload the game before June 2nd.
DaPWNisha: Can you tell us approximately how many servers there will be in Europe?
Wyatt: There should be an official answer to this between now and launch.