Diablo Immortal is seeing increased calls for server mergers to stop the social elements of the action RPG from evaporating as player counts settle.
Players initially took to Reddit following Diablo Immortal’s launch to flag that the free-to-play game had too many servers for the number of people actively playing. Now, though, those warnings are giving way to more frequent shouts for server merges to stop the community-focused aspects of Diablo Immortal from unravelling further.
“This game requires the social aspect to be strong in order to properly engage their player base and keep a healthy competitive vibe,” one Diablo Immortal player writes. “The entire premise of Diablo Immortal is to have two rival factions of shadows and immortals continuously be trying to compete with each other for server dominance."
“Once that competition is gone, your player base will likely follow. If there are no competitive reasons to play the insanely grindy dungeons or to spend money on the insanely expensive gems, there will continue to be a huge exodus of players until it is too late to do anything about it.”
If you need a quick refresher, Diablo Immortal features various social aspects that cover both PvE and PvP. You can matchmake with friends and randoms alike to pillage dungeons for varying degrees of quality loot – depending on how much you’re willing to spend – and then take your beefed-up character into the Battlegrounds – how well that goes also depends on how much you’re ready to pay, but that’s another story.
The main driving motivation that underpins Diablo Immortal’s PvP and PvE offerings, however, is the fight and show of supremacy. Players who reach the endgame can join a faction called The Shadows before banding together with others to form ‘dark clans’. You can then attempt to best other dark clans and overthrow Immortals to become the Immortal Clan. It’s a flex of your skill and the depths of your pockets, with the top ten performing groups displayed weekly in-game. As players have pointed out, though, most servers don’t even have enough clans to fill the list.
“Instead of having 50 servers die a slow, horrible death by attrition, why not combine them into America-West, America-East, Europe, and Asia?” The fan quoted prior suggests. “Even if the total player base drops to a certain low point, at least it can hold steady and re-invigorate the player base to compete within a healthy, active, and thriving server.
“I would say that most active servers, even healthy ones, are probably operating somewhere around 800-1,000 players only at this point. And probably only half of them are actual non-casual, daily players at that.”
Diablo Immortal has been met with mixed fortunes since launching on mobile and PC earlier this year. The latest game in the Diablo series has won praise for its campaign and has seemingly made Blizzard plenty of money, though the free-to-play game’s monetisation has led to plenty of criticism and those who have stuck around regardless have yet to be won over by the game’s first big update. Whether Blizzard commits to server merges to invigorate its remaining player base, though, remains to be seen.