Review: Devil Immortal, is it ok to like pay to win?

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Carlos Laforet Coll
@carloslaforetcoll
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After a disastrous announcement at Blizzcon 2018, Diablo Immortal traversed a crooked path until he was defended by the same people who criticized him. Launched a week ago in the app stores, the game enjoys good reviews, despite the problem with smartphones with Exynos processors.

But then, is the game any good? Is it Pay to Win? Let's find out.

Things you might be wondering and haven't found anywhere:


  • Controls support? Yea!
  • 12GB of space? Yes and it will increase a lot.
  • Spanish dubbing? It may be updated in the future, as was the case with Hearthstone.
  • Problem with Samsungs? Yes, but only on cell phones with Exynos.
  • Do you have an ending? No, the game has no ending. It only ends when the “service” is finished.

Why is Diablo Immortal a success?

Diablo Immortal was developed by NetEase Games at the behest of Blizzard. With versions for Android, iOS and PC, the game is an isometric camera MMORPG in which players will embark on a hellish journey to fight the forces of Skarn.


“Wait, but the game is a hack'n slash action RPG right?”

Really? He is that too, but after the world “opens up”, you see, meet, and party with dozens of players along the way. You can interact with them, chat and everything else. Combat is hack'n slash, but it's essentially an MMORPG.

How is it not MMO? (Photo: Reproduction).

You can even check the description in the app stores. Blizzard itself classifies it as an MMORPG.

Went there? It returned? Get ready for the shock!



 

Well thought out PvE mode

Diablo Immortal is a very well produced game, which brings all that aura of the third game in the franchise to the mobile screen. With many characters from the original Diablo lore, Immortal looks like a pseudo sequel.

Owner of a management beautiful art and dubbed quests (in English, kick that can win dub BR in the future), Immortal has many elements that remind MMOs that have already arrived on mobile.

So what's the secret to success?

The secret to success is simple and shocking at the same time. Blizzard could have been a lot more greedy… early on in the game.

Believe me, it could have been a lot worse.

Update, and it was, see here: Diablo Immortal: streamer spends more than R$ 30 thousand and doesn't get legendary item.

Even with the controversy of US$ 110 thousand dollars (R$ 535 thousand reais). In case you didn't know, some youtubers did the math on how much it would cost to level up their character to the maximum in a short time.

Blizzard pushed monetization to after nearly 20 hours of gameplay. When you reach level 60, you'll either miss some financial incentive, or start to have your progress "stopped" by the server itself.

So, you have about 15-20 hours of free gameplay without any kind of annoyance. The first eight hours are literally child's play.


Diablo Immortal balances the difficulty as you play in a group or alone. (Photo: Reproduction).

And it's not as boring gameplay as in other MMOs. In partnership with NetEase, Blizzard knew how to balance the challenge to make it accessible. Although in the first eight hours of playing, the game is very easy.


In addition to this, something unthinkable for many MMORPG developers was done: Diablo Immortal does not have automatic battles!

 

Does Diablo Immortal have limiters and energy?

Diablo Immortal doesn't have power limiters in the traditional way we know it, like Genshin Impact resin. The secret here is the drop.

Item drops and experience used to level up your character are adjusted so that your progress is "stopped" gradually.

So if you want to level up your character to the fullest, get ready to farm a lot, somewhere around eight hours a day or more. It's either that or buy legendary gems.

At this point, your brain makes the famous bargain: “well, I've played about 20 hours and I'm enjoying it, there's nothing wrong with spending a little bit”. The problem is that the game has lootboxes, and that little bit can become a “little bit”.

But wait, there's more. If you want to rush soon to become the "fuck" of the server, and finish them all, you can bet that Diablo Immortal will not make the task that easy.

Thought there would be no limiters… thought it was wrong….(Photo: Reproduction / Facebook).

In PvP, Blizzard is doing a good job of matchmaking, putting only close-level players to duel.


With this, there are not many stimuli for those who have already reached the limit of the campaign. It remains only to farm or spend money in the slots to level up your character.

"But it will take 10 years to level up the character to the fullest without spending."

That's why it's important to learn a term that is assigned to games like this:

 

“Game as a service”:


A Free to Play game released like this is never a “ready”, finished game, like a premium (paid) game.

Diablo Immortal will be tweaked, balanced, will gain new quests, DLCs and much more.

It's not a finished game.

 

“At this point in the championship, the general public already knows that, right?” Know nothing!

Turns and moves launches a “game as a service” or even a “gacha”, and the crowd will be thrilled to criticize or praise.

The funniest thing is when the game reveals itself as “full pay to win” and the people who defended it, start using the most bizarre arguments to try to defend the indefensible.

This can happen with Diablo Immortal.

We'll see in the future how Blizzard and NetEase will work on player frustration and motivation. I wouldn't wait for all this "charity" forever.

So far, it's possible to advance a lot in the story without worrying about building or farming rare items. But it is obvious that this will change in the very near future.

Diablo 3's atmosphere is present in Immortal (Photo: Playback).

 

Do you have lootboxes? Yes he has!

To the surprise of zero people, Diablo Immortal is packed with in-app purchases. With lootboxes of up to R$550 reais, the game is simply crammed with in-app purchases.

There are cosmetic items, but most purchases are for “play to fast”, which is a cute term they invented to try to pretend that a game is not pay to win. Well, whoever levels up faster, wins faster too. Bargain remember?

Lootboxes in Diablo Immortal can cost up to R$550 reais. (Photo: Reproduction).

However, despite the limiters and built-in purchases, things here could be much worse.

In other mobile MMO games it's common for developers to rub in-app purchases in our face and make progress impossible. With Diablo Immortal, at least for the moment, that doesn't happen.

 

Without auto-battle, every MMORPG should be like this

For me, the biggest highlight of Diablo Immortal, and Blizzard's big hit, was removing the automatic battles.

In case you're new here, and haven't played many mobile MMORPGs, know that auto battles are the thing I hate most about mobile games.

 

There's nothing more anti-gaming than the company giving a "no play" option and just watching the game "play yourself".

 

The logic is simple: if you don't want to play, don't play! If the task is too repetitive, it's the fault of the mission designer, the game. Got it?

 

Diablo Immortal brought a hard lesson, which was first popularized with Genshin Impact, and with the success of Blizzard's game, I hope it spreads further.

Players can no longer support the absurd amount of autoplay on Google Play and App Store. Mostly MMO players. Nobody can handle the thousandth MMO with auto-battle anymore.

Dear developers: take away, or at least hide, the auto-battle from your MMORPGs. Work on the battle system to make it challenging and fun. Think long term!

And all these games could be improved with just one change.

For example, it's ridiculous that in the middle of 2021 and 2022, Netmarble launches two beautiful games like Seven Knights 2 e Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds, and both are completely destroyed by the auto-battle.

For players who intend to be the “whales” of the server, and who are going to spend a huge amount of money, an auto-battle makes sense. But this type of player, in reality, is not even interested in the plot or gameplay, they just want “the guy” on the server.

The auto-battle mode, as we usually call it, is something that takes the focus away from gameplay. Players start to aim only at the objective of “leveling up” and forget about the game world. So the most important thing of the work, the game, leaves the equation and enters and in its place only the $$.

So an entire universe that was built for an MMO is worth absolutely nothing.

Another important tip, which the success of Immortal and Genshin makes very evident, is that many players are interested in the story and in PvE. And many of them are even willing to pay a small monthly amount for a season pass.

 

Conclusion

Diablo Immortal, to me, is very similar to many other free to play MMORPGs I see on Google Play or the App Store.

However, the simple fact of stretching the time in which the player will feel the need to spend money, and taking away the auto-battle, made the game much better. Every production company that has a “bankrupt MMO” on their hands should try this.

Diablo Immortal's PvE mode has a story that isn't that interesting, but it does its job. Despite being well done, the game doesn't come close to Diablo 3, let alone the second game.

However, as a free game to download and play, Immortal works very well. Combat is fun and well-balanced, with enemies always on a level similar to yours.

Our mantra when it comes to free to play games, in fact with every game, is this: play as far as you find fun.

But is Diablo Immortal or will it be Pay to Win?

Of course yes! And it's no use thinking otherwise, or trying to change the term to "pay to fast", if you pay to level up faster, you're paying to beat "mobs" faster, that is, pay to win.

But it's not the question. The point is that the PvE mode is quite friendly, and allows the player to play a lot, a lot, for free.

Is Diablo Immortal entertaining you? Is having fun? Everything is fine. But from the moment your brain starts making bargains to spend on lootboxes, know that you've fallen for the trap.

 

Note 6/10

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