3 things World of Warcraft should shamelessly steal from Diablo Immortal
Whatever your feelings are about Diablo Immortal, it has to be admitted that the mobile MMO has some pretty significant innovations in terms of its design to make the gameplay accessible and easy to drop in and out of. This is something that really appeals to me as someone who simply can’t always dedicate huge chunks of time to a game, but still loves playing them.
Just the auto-navigate options in the game take the same basic idea as the WoW flight master and spruce it up — and in the process adds a bit of risk that makes it a decision whether or not to use it at all. So let’s talk about some things I’d like to see World of Warcraft yoink from its younger cousin.
Just call me a navigator
Smashing demons in the face is demanding work and it’s nice that Diablo Immortal lets you get right to it. The Navigate button on quests and bounties is a simple, no-nonsense feature that makes traveling to a location much simpler and easier, while also making it something you have to pay attention to. This isn’t as simple as Wizard portal to location A, jump on flying thing B and go to the bathroom while your character soars invulnerably to their destination.
First off, when you click on that Navigate button, your character will take action — my Barbarian literally rips apart reality with her bare hands, for example. That’s kind of fun, in my opinion — a little bit of flavor that sets the classes apart. Your character’s destination is a Waygate.
Once you arrive at the closest Waygate — usually one you discovered during the introductory questline that basically sends you to all the regions in the world where those Waygates are located — you then get the option to let the game take you to your destination. Your character will just run themselves there — you won’t have to consult a map along the way or try and figure out which path will get you to the place you’re trying to go.
That sounds pretty great, right? Well, it is, but it also has one significant risk. I originally considered it a drawback, but now I think it may actually be a selling point for the system. What is that? Well, it’s this.
The game will run you right through hostile packs of demons and they will attack you, and they can be quite large.
I know, but honestly, I kind of love this. It adds in an element of danger — they absolutely can and will kill you — but it’s almost never been something I couldn’t either deal with or get away from, and it means it’s much less a fire and forget system like WoW‘s various shortcuts. If you’re going somewhere in Diablo Immortal, you’re going to have to deal with monsters.
I honestly think it’s great, because it keeps you immersed in the world while you’re moving through it. It’s convenient without being safe, which is always less engaging in this type of game.
Fast smaller group content makes playing in bursts simpler
Rifts are of course not new to Immortal — they were in Diablo 3. But the way both Challenge and Elder Rifts are implemented in Immortal is definitely something that Blizzard should absolutely steal from themselves and make use of in World of Warcraft.
Now, let’s not pretend WoW hasn’t dallied with this kind of content before. Scenarios in Mists of Pandaria were a similar kind of system, and Torghast in Shadowlands has elements of this as well. What Rifts have is modularity — you can extend the difficulty of Challenge Rifts in an easily scaled way, and use Crests to make Elder Rifts both harder and easier at once, with random powers added to your character and disadvantages imposed. I mean, the thing where the ground is randomly lava? A pretty big disadvantage to work around.
But it’s the way Rifts play — they’re easy to start and finish, a little flash of a run that takes you and up to three other players a few minutes to complete. It’s fun group content and fun solo content and they can be completed quickly. The fact is, while a longer, more sweeping dungeon or raid that you can really explore and get lost in is great, I don’t always have the time to burn playing in one. WoW could definitely benefit from the speed of a DI Rift.
This also applies to the dungeons in Diablo Immortal. First off, they all have a solo mode, something I’d love to see in WoW, and their group modes have variable difficulty based on the world state — Hells 1 through 5. They are also fairly quick affairs, although they do require you to get to the instance portal out in the world — but with the Navigation system, that’s hardly particularly onerous. I really feel like these elements could be brought into WoW via a revamp of the Scenario system, giving players who want to hop on between various real life responsibilities something to do and enjoy.
Difficulty levels and a Paragon system are the opposite of borrowed power, and possibly even a cure for it
Diablo Immortal preserves the concept of being able to tailor how hard the game is that is a hallmark of the Diablo series — accessible through the in game map. In the MMO, the difficulty system is tied to the game’s Paragon levels, which again isn’t new to Immortal but proves that a game designed and built around multiplayer can include that concept.
To my mind, variable world state difficulty is pretty great in and of itself, but the Paragon system strikes me as a perfect antidote to and antithesis of the idea of ‘borrowed power’ and it’s one I think WoW should absolutely steal. Now, I can absolutely think of some serious issues with it — if you think it’s bad now trying to get a normal group to kill the Jailer when every pick up group wants proof you already have him on farm on Heroic first, imagine when every group is demanding Paragon +400 for a simple five player dungeon.
But the basic idea of modular world state difficulty makes me wonder if you could have a Paragon system that works like Torghast in reverse — powers and abilities that you gain via leveling that only apply when you are out in the world, not when you’re in a raid or dungeon or PVPing in an arena or battleground. Power and difficulty that is just for you — you won’t hit a boss in a raid any harder, you won’t tank damage any better, it’s all just while out exploring and playing.
What about World Bosses? Yeah, that’s a thorny one. Maybe you can’t engage them when solo at all, and when you group up Paragon turns off. I realize I’m reaching here, but I’ve really enjoyed leveling in Diablo Immortal and getting my Paragon abilities has genuinely felt cool and it’s something I’d like to experience in World of Warcraft as well.
So that’s three things I’d like WoW to burgle from Diablo Immortal. There are more — I didn’t even talk about the Helliquary or the Legacy of the Horadrim or being able to turn any Legendary into a specific Legendary not just in appearance but in function as well so you can keep using a really great legendary power — but for now, three’s my limit. What about you guys? Anything you’d like to see WoW pilfer from DI, or vice versa?
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