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Diablo Immortal Takes The Series In A New Direction

Even though Blizzard Entertainment is dedicated to producing Diablo 4, the company is also hard at work on Diablo Immortal. No matter how some much die-hard Diablo fans wish the upcoming mobile game was an out-of-season April fool's joke, Blizzard is still producing the mobile dungeon crawler seemingly nobody asked for. And, to attract audiences, Blizzard is experimenting a bit to differentiate Diablo Immortal from the rest of the franchise.

Recently, Lead Designer Wyatt Cheng announced a limited technical alpha test for Australian gamers. A handful of Diablo fanatics from down under will get a first-hand glimpse of the upcoming title's story, abilities, and loot. But more importantly, they will get a sneak peek at all the changes to the Diablo formula.

Since the Diablo franchise has always been about pursuing greater heights of power with levels and equipment, you might expect Diablo Immortal to keep that system intact. It is, but with a few wrinkles. For example, when you reach max level in Diablo 3, you can continue "leveling" with Paragon levels. Diablo Immortal, meanwhile, will evolve that system with multiple Paragon Talent Trees that offer different bonuses for different playstyles.

As for items, you still don't have to worry about buying them in cash shops. You want that Staff of +5 Frog Summoning? You have to earn it, or at the very least grind for it. Also, once you find a Rare or Legendary doodad you like, you can continually improve its stats via item ranks. As an added benefit, reinforced items will receive new abilities at certain milestone ranks. Sure, you have to farm upgrade materials, but it will be worth the work.

While you can't buy your way into power in Diablo Immortal, that doesn't mean the game won't include a cash shop. It is a free-to-play title, after all. Diablo Immortal will feature a Battle Pass, and players can either traverse the free or paid pass routes. While the free track rewards gamers with Reforge Stones, as well as Crests that alter Elder Rifts, the paid track will provide all that and cosmetics. Crests, Reforge Stones, and cosmetics will also be sold through the in-game shop, but on the bright side, players won't need to worry about restrictive timers and stamina meters that limit the levels they can play per day.

Since Diablo Immortal's alpha just started, everything mentioned is subject to change, so don't treat this article as an exhaustive, immutable list. Fans will just have to see what holds up between now and the final release, as well as through subsequent updates. Hopefully Blizzard Entertainment learned from its mistakes with the Diablo 3 auction house.