Now that the closed beta for Diablo Immortal has been live for a couple of weeks, I wanted to share some of my initial impressions of the newest build. There’s quite a lot of new features and changes to talk about so let’s get to it!
When playing through the game during the previous test one of the things that stood out to me was how quickly you could become too under-leveled to continue the main storyline due to level gating quests. This sort of forced you to go out and grind some side activities like rifts, dungeons, bounties, etc. At the time, these activities didn’t reward much XP so sometimes it took a bit too long to gain the levels needed to continue the story quests. Most of the time the best thing to do was grind as many bounties as possible in order to gain levels and progress the battle pass.
I’m happy to say that this has been addressed in this build of the game. I’ve noticed that more XP is given from pretty much every activity in the game which has really helped the flow of leveling a new character. So far I’ve been able to focus mostly on progressing through the main story without needing to rely on too many side activities for additional XP. Along with these changes to activity rewards there is now much less emphasis on grinding bounties now that every activity gives you a good chunk of progress towards the battle pass. You can much more freely choose to engage with the activities you enjoy the most. I’m very happy with these improvements as they have made leveling a much more smooth and enjoyable experience.
The open world has gotten some attention as well with more public events, rare spawns, and side quests to engage with. These activities have also had their rewards increased/improved for a more rewarding experience. I’ve already experienced much more open world gameplay than before which has helped this game feel much more like an MMO. The world just feels a lot more lively and engaging than it previously did and I’m sure that’s only going to get even better over time.
Perhaps the biggest new addition to this version of the game is the arrival of the fan favorite Necromancer class. I’ve been eagerly waiting for a chance to try out this iteration of the class and so far it’s been really fun and really strong. It’ll come to no surprise to most that this version of the necro is a lot more similar to it’s Diablo III counterpart than in Diablo II but, with some key differences. This version of the class focuses much more on bone magic and summoning than in D3 and opts for a much more ranged style of play.
The emphasis on summoning and ranged damage dealing has made for a very easy leveling experience so far as there hasn’t been an enemy or boss that I can’t rather easily handle. The mixture of your skeletons being frontline tanks with high damage abilities like Skeleton Mage and Corpse Explosion make very quick and easy work out of just about every enemy I encounter. I imagine this class will compete for being the best solo class.
Like the other classes the Necromancer has a couple of ultimate abilities that are tied to the primary skill that you have equipped. Soulfire turns into Hungering Soulfire which for 12 seconds turns your magic bolts into bone spirts that seek out your enemies. This ability is very strong and does a lot of damage which can be really fun. I am little bit underwhelmed by this ability though because it doesn’t quite spice up your gameplay as much as some of the other class ultimates do. It’s a good skill don’t get me wrong but it doesn’t feel quite as exciting to use. I haven’t unlocked bone spear yet though so I can’t really speak to how it’s respective ultimate feels in comparison. There’s also some fan favorite skills that you unlock at higher levels like Bone Spear, Corpse Lance, Bone Spirits, and Golem. Which is sure to make a lot of people happy.
There’s a lot here for those who love the summoning playstyle or those who always loved playing a bone necro. Unfortunately the greater focus on summoning and bone skills has resulted in other schools of magic not yet being a part of this class kit. I am a little disappointed by there being no poison or blood skills as I would have really liked to play a poison nova or blood based build since those are pretty iconic to this class.
Hopefully as the game gets more updates and content, they will add more spells and abilities to the current classes that open more playstyles and build opportunities.
All in all, I am happy with how fun the Necromancer is turning out to be despite some minor quibbles. I’ll definitely be playing both a Barbarian and a Necromancer for the full release as my two main characters since these are the two classes I’ve had the most fun with so far. The leveling changes and increases to rewards and xp are great additions and have allowed for a much smoother gameplay experience. I’m not even to the end game yet and I already feel like this game is coming together very nicely and the full picture for what this game will be is much clearer now. Speaking of end game, I am planning on doing a separate end game impressions write up since there is also a ton of improvements to the end game loop and its respective systems. So I hope you’ll give that one a read!
So how are you feeling about the closed beta so far? Do you think it’s more fun? How are you liking the Necromancer? Let us know in the comments below!