When you fire up the Diablo Immortal PC beta for the first time next week, you may need to take some time to adjust. The free-to-play RPG game is Diablo through and through, but Blizzard tells us that being built as a mobile-first game means Immortal has some key UI differences that PC players will need to adapt to – but there are options to suit just about every player.
“For people who have never had the experience of playing mobile on a PC client before, there’s going to be little nuances,” Diablo franchise general manager Rod Fergusson tells us. “Mouse hover doesn’t exist in a mobile game, because you can’t hover your finger over things [on a touchscreen]. There are no scroll bars in your inventory, which you would be used to in a PC game.”
Fergusson says the Diablo Immortal team is going to be paying close attention to PC players’ response to the control scheme when the beta launches June 2. But in addition to the traditional mouse-driven interface Diablo games have used for decades, Immortal is throwing in some additional options for PC players.
One is a WASD movement scheme, which swaps out the left-click-to-move system of past Diablo games for a direct control movement system.
“WASD came purely as an expression of Diablo Immortal being a mobile-first game,” Joe Grubb, Immortal’s principal game designer, tells us. “In mobile, you’re in direct control of your character, skills and abilities can be fired off while you’re moving. It’s a lot smoother to have that interaction.”
“Direct control has this immersion factor to it,” Fergusson adds. “When you play with mouse-click – which is there! – you’re sort of this benevolent deity floating about your character, saying ‘go there, go there, do this, do that.'”
Diablo Immortal will also feature gamepad support, first introduced to Diablo in the console version of Diablo 3. Fergusson said his first experience playing that version made him excited to add that feature to Diablo 2: Resurrected, and now it’ll be available for both the mobile and PC versions of Diablo Immortal.
You can pre-register for Diablo Immortal at Blizzard’s official site, or just wait until the June 2 release date, which is right around the corner.