Torchlight Infinite dev: Diablo Immortal failed to manage expectations

Diablo Immortal was hurt by a failure to manage player expectations, says the producer of upcoming ARPG Torchlight Infinite, a free game in the fantasy universe

Diablo Immortal expectations: A glowing mechanical figure with the head of a dog and its hands in prayer from Torchlight Infinite

Diablo Immortal was hurt by a failure to manage player expectations, says Torchlight Infinite producer Liu Heng. Discussing how development studio XD Inc’s approach to its PC and mobile take on the Torchlight franchise has been influenced by the reception to Diablo Immortal, Heng speaks about how the RPG game was pitched to players.

In an email interview with GameSpot, Heng says that, “From our perspective, the public was most unhappy about their expectation of how Diablo Immortal was presented as an ARPG game, but was instead released as an ARPG MMO.” This distinction led to narrower progression systems and build options than those found in Diablo III, Heng says, which might have misled players who were expecting a more ‘traditional’ Diablo experience.

The multiplayer-focused structure of Diablo Immortal has been a cause of much consternation among the community lately, with players frustrated by the game’s insistence on partying up in warbands. There have been increasing reports of long Diablo Immortal dungeon queue times, too, causing increased calls for the option to undertake content as a solo player.

Heng also says that Torchlight Infinite will not sell gear or crafting materials for real money, keeping them “strictly grind-to-get.” While he doesn’t draw direct comparison, there are clear parallels to the Diablo Immortal legendary crests system and the upgrade materials that can be earned through microtransactions including its battle pass.

Instead, Torchlight Infinite players will be able to purchase new heroes and cosmetics, as well as “convenience” items such as additional bag space, talent resets, and auto-looting functionality, says Heng. Diablo Immortal cosmetics recently came under scrutiny as players utilising the new class change feature discovered that some of their store and battle pass cosmetics were locked to their old classes.

We’ll have more news on Torchlight Infinite as it comes, with the game’s open beta scheduled to come to PC in October. Meanwhile, fans of Blizzard’s crossover mobile game are hopeful that the Diablo Immortal Chinese launch will fix the game’s content drought.