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Why everyone already hates Blizzard's brand new perfectly fine mobile Diablo game

By mongeese · 75 replies
Nov 4, 2018
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  1. Hardcore PC gamers hating on mobile games is nothing new. But the backlash Blizzard has received since announcing Diablo Immortal, which is basically Diablo III on mobile, has been astounding.

    A few weeks ago, Blizzard published a short blog post designed to respond to the rumors flying around that Diablo IV would be announced at BlizzCon. They revealed that they actually have multiple teams working on multiple Diablo projects, and said they’d announce some Diablo related news at BlizzCon but were keeping the bigger news in reserve until it was ready.

    Very optimistic fans were still hoping for Diablo IV, most were expecting a remaster of an old game, but no one was expecting them to announce a mobile game developed by Chinese company NetEase. Many Blizzard fans threw a bit of a tantrum, including one particularly vicious one who asked the Diablo panel a question live at BlizzCon.

    “Just wondering, is this an out of season April fool’s joke?”

    The panel meekly responded “no.” They tried to turn the resentment into a joke asking, “do you guys not have phones?”

    Diablo Immortal is set in the 20 years between Diablo II and III, and on the surface, it’s very similar to Diablo III. While the primary difference is the obvious touch controls, it features a similar look and feel. It even mostly sticks to the same familiar characters as previous games.

    Those who attended BlizzCon were treated to a 15-minute hands-on demo of the game, and most felt that it was pretty good, including Kotaku correspondent Nathan Grayson. He played through swamp and cathedral environments where he defeated swarms then challenged bosses, and he found that “bashing enemies until their gold-engorged guts exploded felt surprisingly great.”

    During a battle, the player can deploy their character’s main attack or one of four skills, which can choosen from a set of twelve that are unique to each class. Grayson found that despite some input lag, the overall experience was pretty enjoyable. The game does lack in certain departments, however, such as the absence of mana and resource systems which have been replaced by a frustrating cooldown mechanic. Loot is also very generic and equipping new things to a character didn’t change their appearance, but apparently, that’s something the developers are still working on.

    “Our hope is that our existing hardcore fans will play this game and love it, learn new things about the lore, but engage with a similar kind of gameplay that they know and love,” a Blizzard spokesperson told Kotaku. “The main difference now being that they can walk around with this in their pocket and play it anytime, anywhere.”

    The game isn’t original or exciting to most fans, sure, but why do so many people hate it? Bethesda also recently announced a mobile game, Elder Scrolls: Blades, when most fans were hoping for Elder Scrolls VI instead. That was pretty popular.

    One difference is that Blades can be played on PC, and even though it doesn’t have the depth of a proper PC title it stills gives players that option. The biggest difference though is that Bethesda told fans that Elder Scrolls VI would be coming. Diehard Diablo fans feel cheated out of Diablo IV, which could be years away for all we know.

    Particularly angering fans is that the gameplay and controls are pretty much identical to a game NetEase already made, Crusaders of Light. While Blizzard has reassured fans several times that “Diablo Immortal is purpose-built from the ground up” it does play exactly like the NetEase game with skins that are basically identical to those used in Diablo III. It’s like Blizzard found a Diablo III rip-off that had been thrown on the app store and wanted to make a buck from it, too. The thing is, Crusaders of Light also happens to be a pretty bad game, and it would be a real dark time in Diablo history if Diablo Immortal doesn’t fix its problems.

    Additionally, no real progression system has been properly outlined, nor any story or character development path. All the depth from the previous games that players loved so much – well, it looks like that’s just gone. Blizzard failed to make any sort of convincing argument about how they’re going to keep some of the magic on mobile.

    They also haven’t said how they’re going to monetize the game, leading most players to believe it will be microtransaction based. Microtransactions are simply the way nearly all mobile games work, but it just isn’t the way Diablo games work. A lot of the enjoyment from Diablo games comes from collecting items and developing new upgrades and abilities, and if these things are behind a paywall, that would suck.

    Basically, six years after Diablo III, Blizzard is releasing a Diablo game that’s worse than all the previous ones.

    “They love what they love and want what they want,” Blizzard said regarding the angry fans. “That passion, it’s actually what drives us, and we feel it too. It’s why we make games and why we’ve made games for almost three decades now—and why our community is so passionate about our franchises. I understand their feeling and wish we could share more about all the amazing things we’re doing, not just with the Diablo franchise but across the company as a whole.”

    Amusingly, Blizzard has been working very hard to try and censor all the rage spreading across the internet. They have repeatedly been deleting negative comments on their YouTube trailers of the game. In defiance, one fan said, “You can delete our comments, but we can comment again, anytime, anywhere, because we have phones.”

    What’s even more interesting than the deletion of comments is the removal of dislikes, possibly through making the videos private then un-private and other weird tricks. You wouldn’t think it possible, but according to Kotaku the gameplay trailer had 132,000 dislikes, but when I checked it myself a few hours later it had only 95,000. It’s since risen to 110,000 at the time of writing. The cinematic trailer has increased by 85,000 dislikes to reach 300,000 in the same time. For comparative purposes, the ratio of likes to dislikes is roughly 1:45.

    The thing is, Diablo Immortal would be a perfectly good game if it wasn't carrying the Diablo name. It'll probably be one of the better mobile games, but there's almost no chance it can live up to the Diablo name and the fans' expectation of quality that comes with it.

    Hopefully, Blizzard will do the smart thing and concede that Diablo Immortal was largely a bad idea. They could easily rework the game to run on PC as well (even if it isn’t as detailed as previous Diablo installments) and then release a trailer or even just a screenshot and rough release schedule for Diablo IV. That would certainly aid in appeasing fans.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 4, 2018
  2. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,458   +1,034

    Wow, how f*cking stupid.
    Really? "Gamers" are throwing a tantrum because a game series has a side game being made for mobile? They need to grow up. It's not meant to be the next Diablo, and it certainly doesn't postpone the next full installment. So if you don't like it, don't like it because it plays poorly (or IAPs are done wrong), not because you can't accept that it's a side entry they wanted to make for mobile.

    It's "gamers" like these that give the rest of us a bad name...
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
    Sausagemeat likes this.
  3. newcombcmb

    newcombcmb TS Rookie Posts: 16   +13

    Bethesda did it first with Fallout Shelter and now people want to complain that someone else is using the same idea?

    Those hypocrites will be playing it once its out... ON THEIR PHONES
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
    Sausagemeat and m4a4 like this.
  4. Jyrkz

    Jyrkz TS Booster Posts: 87   +77

    To make this the main announcement is just so stupid. this shows only 1 thing.
    good old blizzard is dead. rip big B. had great many many years.
  5. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,653   +319

    Hey, thanks for mentioning Elder Scrolls: Blades. I missed that announcement, and I'll be looking forward to it. I like it when companies try to create decently hardcore experiences on mobile, and this sounds like it might be one.

    I quite enjoyed The Elder Scrolls Travels: Shadowkey on the N-Gage -- frankly more than the Elder Scroll games after Daggerfall, except for Elder Scrolls Online. (It's the crappy combat controls, mainly. And I haven't tried Skyrim after Morrowind and Oblivion failed to engage me.)

    As for Diablo Immortal, I'm glad that Blizzard is making it, but I agree that they could have made that announcement with more finesse. I hope that it does end up good.
  6. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,712   +2,509

    Blizzard sold out long ago..I don't know why anyone is surprised by this. The whole industry has become a wretched joke with very few bright spots remaining. If it seems like mobile games are getting better its only because regular games are getting worse.
  7. Wiz80

    Wiz80 TS Rookie

    Just wanted to reply to some of your accusations. They aren't upset the game is on mobile. They are upset it's only for mobile. There are a few reasons why. First they have been waiting 6 years for the next Diablo game. Second mobile games are notorious for cash grabs. As a gamer you should know we are tired of loot boxes. Third mobile games are very limited as far gaming flexibility is concerned. Your statement of Diablo Immortal being a side game is just wrong. It "is" the game. When asked about going to pc or console the reply was no we have no plans right now for Diablo being on PC or console meaning no PC or console Diablo game in the forseable future. Fourth it's a reskin of Endless of God. Fifth and most important reason it's the fans who carried this series not the mobile gaming community. We like to play games on a PC or console not a phone. Command and Conquer fans had the same reaction to C&C Rivals for mobile at EA's convention. I wonder why? As a supposed gamer you should have understood why gamers such as yourself are upset.
  8. Nero7

    Nero7 TS Evangelist Posts: 376   +153

    Well they did pay 300$ AFAIK for the ticket and then the big announcement ended up being a mobile game.

    People were hoping for Diablo 4 or Diablo 2 remaster or something more along those lines. I might give it a look but I doubt the battery will hold up for an hour of playing that.
  9. MaikuTech

    MaikuTech TS Evangelist Posts: 1,068   +187

    Seems like something nintendo would pull with their switch and 3ds systems.
  10. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,832   +678

    I enjoy a good game no matter what the platform? What is this hate crap?
    m4a4 likes this.
  11. Wiz80

    Wiz80 TS Rookie

    Actually D3 is going to be available for switch. Another reason why I don't understand the need for Diable Immortal to be on mobile.
  12. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,458   +1,034

    Yeah, they're complaining it's a mobile game (one they haven't even played yet).
    So first, it's not the next installment, it is a side game (as they main studio isn't the one working on it). Or a spin off. Or whatever you want to call it.
    Second, they haven't even announced what type of IAP's there will be. Typical doom and gloom. If they announce it's "p2w", then I'll join the hate.
    Third, go play Diablo 3 on your bus-ride to work. Because that's what they're targetting; a diablo experience when you can't get onto your gaming computer.
    Fourth, so what?
    Fifth, I'm pretty sure the fans of the series have phones. And again, they are not replacing the next full installment with this.

    Yeah, "gamers" overreacting over an announcement without many details is why I understand that they're throwing a tantrum (and other "gamers" bandwagoning on the hate). It just sounds like they feel entitled to a game they hoped for.
    Seriously, the game looks fine for mobile, but I don't see me playing it.
    GreenNova343 and Sausagemeat like this.
  13. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,458   +1,034

    Yeah, in that case I can understand why those people are upset. But the bandwagon of hate? It just sounds like entitled "gamers" to me...
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  14. Wiz80

    Wiz80 TS Rookie

    So first, it's not the next installment yes it is.
    Are they going to stop with this series? No, I don't think so but make no mistake this is the next installment.
    Second, they haven't even announced what type of IAP's there will be. Typical doom and gloom. If they announce it's "p2w", then I'll join the hate.
    See you soon.
    Third, go play Diablo 3 on your bus-ride to work. Because that's what they're targetting; a diablo experience when you can't get onto your gaming computer.
    Exactly they have D3 for Switch you can play it on the go.
    I'm pretty sure the fans of the series have phones. And again, they are not replacing the next full installment with this.
    My phone a $60 phone. Next full installment? Sure we waited 6 years what 3 or 4 or 6 more years right?
    Look I have nothing against mobile games or mobile gamers but if you take a series you cannot release a mobile game only after the community has been chomping at the bit for years for the next installment. Diablo fans have been skipped by Blizzard for years. Yes people have played it. You want to really see from someone who was there at Blizzcon and who played the game?
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
    takemaru likes this.
  15. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,458   +1,034

    Oh sorry, I watched the announcement for Diablo Immortal, not Diablo IV.
    ...And that is where the lack of critical thinking by most of these people shines.

    Bethesda did a mobile game before Fallout 4 was released, I don't remember hysteria. Actually, I remember people enjoying it. But it certainly didn't replace the next installment.
    That's how I see it, just a fun game for the in-between. And until they release unsavory details, I don't see the point of hating on it.
  16. Nocturne

    Nocturne TS Addict Posts: 190   +98

    It's not fine, and really it isn't they took Diablo 3 assets and reskinned a game that already exists in the Chinese mobile market, the hate isn't astounding and it is perfectly well founded we waited over a decade for a successor to D2 and D3 sucked it's goldenaxe with a Diablo skin it's not even a RPG by any standard of the term. "Does everybody own a phone..." Yes we do do we dont want to play some half a$$ed version of Diablo on it when 6 years after the travesty of being let down we face a big reveal and it's complete garbage. Brevik the creator was in a sad drunken stupor apologizing and all out angry at what became of Blizzard North legacy to the gaming scene. Everybody should be angry at least Todd Howard was smart enough to know the backlash from their presentation would be brutal if they didn't at least show ES6 in some form or fashion, nobody is asking for a mobile game same as blades at least blades may be worth a try, this crap isn't.
    takemaru and Morris Minor like this.
  17. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 607   +1,222

    "Hate" is such an overused word it could mean anything from "crazy stalker" to "some guy on the net criticized the product I'm trying to sell and I want to smear his opinion as worthless by shooting the messenger instead of addressing the message". Far from there being no facts, I thought this paragraph from the article was educational:-

    Many are cynical because it's already known that the game is basically a clone of a bad ripoff with awful gameplay. Hardly "inspiring" right from the start. As for "PC gamers should believe all mobile game marketing of former PC franchises is the land of milk & honey", honestly, you'd have to be spectacularly naive if you think people learned nothing from previous examples like Deus Ex: The Fall...
    Morris Minor likes this.
  18. Nocturne

    Nocturne TS Addict Posts: 190   +98

    Also....there is no such thing as a mobile gamer, mobile games are time passers gated progression based on whether you would pay money or not, that isn't a game you don't stick a quarter in an arcade machine and then it asks put a $1 in and you can have a boost. Games are about skill and fairness it's not a game if it cannot be competitively fair to everyone, artifical experiences in the vein of gaming that beg for money are nothing more than garbage preying on the psychological weaknesses of the public that can't control themselves gambling and casinos prey on the same weaknesses.
    Morris Minor, Goamist and BSim500 like this.
  19. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,458   +1,034

    I have a funny feeling that Blizzard wouldn't have felt as confident as they did if it was a cheap clone. But that's still speculation over facts.

    Which, I do find it funny that these people are willing to buy the HD textures pack (aka. Remaster) of a game they can already play. But a mobile game? God forbid...
  20. Wiz80

    Wiz80 TS Rookie

    Look I hear what you're saying. At the same time can you hear where the fans are coming from? I think everyone who plays Diablo knows they will eventually make a pc and console version. I also understand they want to break into mobile market and their partner company is based in China a huge mobile gaming market. However Blizz teased to the fans Diablo is here. The fans said finally we've been waiting years. Now they can either wait who knows how long or play on a platform they don't enjoy playing on. The let down is why I think people are so upset. They are passionate about this series. Some people love cars or movies like Harry Potter, Star Wars or Star Trek. You didn't address me about god forbid a mobile game but I just wanted to point out. A remastered game is on platform they enjoy playing. They can play it in the manor they enjoy playing. They don't like the mobile platform.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
    takemaru and Morris Minor like this.
  21. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,458   +1,034

    And I get that people are disappointed that they didn't get what they hoped for, but I just see the hate as laughable at best.
    It took, what? 12 years to get Diablo 3? And then there was the Necro DLC recently. I just don't see how it was that disappointing to not get a D4 announcement at the 6 year mark...
  22. Nocturne

    Nocturne TS Addict Posts: 190   +98

    takemaru and Morris Minor like this.
  23. maddogmcgee

    maddogmcgee TS Enthusiast Posts: 31   +43

    No I won't. It's sad to see a company whose games I used to love and whose games I grew up on go down the toilet over the last few years. Also, it's "their" not "they"re". The later is short for "they are".
    takemaru and Morris Minor like this.
  24. maddogmcgee

    maddogmcgee TS Enthusiast Posts: 31   +43

    It was more the fact that a phone game was used as a key reveal for a bunch of old school of playing fanboys. The anger and disappointment comes from the fact that blizzard is not that company anymore.
    takemaru likes this.
  25. Misagt

    Misagt TS Maniac Posts: 287   +205

    Settle down. I don't really care but people being fans is why these companies became huge successes. Also there are many hardcore fans what love Diablo and Blizzard has never been a mobile game company. So yeah I get people being pissed. The fact is for the vocal 5% there is probably another 50% that aren't happy about this either. Blizzard should just be grateful their fans care enough to say so.
    Morris Minor likes this.

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