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Daily Authority: ⛔ Diablo's no-no

Diablo Immortal's immoral gameplay, plus much much more.
By
June 2, 2022
Diablo Immortal Demon Hunter splash

🌞 Good morning! Lots of news, but first: a rant!

Diablo Immortal

There’s a lot happening today in tech, so please keep reading and clicking if you want Google’s decision to merge Meet and Duo to again try making another messaging/calling app, or the YouTube Android app upgrade, or the OnePlus 10T, or a great post-mortem on Sheryl Sandberg leaving Facebook/Meta.

But first — Diablo Immortal and the immoral dilemma:

Diablo Immortal splash screen
  • Diablo Immortal is Blizzard’s version of Diablo for mobile. It’s out on Android and iOS in app stores and such.
  • We all have smartphones, and it’s free; so anyone with a decent phone can play this chapter of the Diablo story (really, I mean you can even use an iPhone 6s or an Android phone as far back as Android 5.0)
  • But man oh man, if this isn’t a shining beacon of what’s wrong with mobile gaming…

Fun, but ouch:

  • I played an hour or two of this before feeling like I had to find out if people agreed with me that it’s a well made, good game, that’s given a tortured pay-to-play element. (Also, it needs a significant amount of storage space! It’s a 2.4GB download with a 10GB patch! But okay, fine.)
  • There are some nice ideas: It has MMO-type gaming where you run around adventuring and see other players alongside you as well. You can easily group up to campaign against tough dungeons and do raids and what have you.
  • But what’s a worry is the mechanics of microtransactions.
  • Now, this isn’t exactly the hottest news, given that’s what has killed many games in the past (and, it must be said, reaped billions of dollars for other games).
  • The Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery game always stands out as being pretty okay, but cursed by an “energy” system that almost made you pay to make the game tolerable.
  • Again, it’s the case here.

Reviews:

  • Don’t just take it from me.
  • The Verge puts it like this: “…every so often I detect the sour whiff of ‘this is a mobile game designed to keep me on a treadmill for as long as possible.’” and “…this feels like your best friend with whom you lost touch suddenly hitting you up on Facebook to ask if you wanna buy some leggings.
  • Engadget explains the “legendary” gem system very quickly becomes an obvious moneygrabber: “The gem system has enough similarities to loot boxes that Activision Blizzard won’t release Immortal in countries with laws against that kind of monetization. It’s also a setup that rewards ‘whaling.’ In other words, the players willing to spend nearly endless amounts of money on the game will be the most powerful.”
  • Yikes.
  • Also, the ban is indeed true: It’s effectively banned in Belgium and The Netherlands for having loot box-style gambling elements.
  • All-in-all, mobile gaming has its ups and downs and again, it’s a free game. But this is bad news.

Roundup

👉 Google is combining Meet and Duo. As much as Google has just completely messed up its messaging/video call strategy, Duo, at least, is installed on Android by default. That means the new Meet could actually be useful and not a new change that dies immediately. I get this one since no one used Duo, even if it’s yet-another-Googley-decision (Android Authority).

📺 YouTube Android app just upgraded casting to a TV in big ways. Nice! (Android Authority).

🍵 Leaker suggests OnePlus 10 Ultra might land with a confusing name instead: OnePlus 10T? (Android Authority).

👉 The Asus ROG Phone 6 will launch on July 5, 2022. (Android Authority).

✏️ WhatsApp could soon let you edit messages, though don’t hold your breath… (Android Authority).

👋 Sheryl Sandberg is leaving her operations role at Facebook/Meta, and posted a 1,529-word farewell. What it means for “The Deal” Sandberg and Zuckerberg made regarding stuff that Zuck didn’t pay attention to, and that caused some incredibly disastrous problems which she was also fixing, is really well explained here(Wired).

😬 Elon Musk tells SpaceX and Tesla workers they must return to the office full-time: “if you don’t show up, we will assume you have resigned” (Engadget).

👨‍🚀 NASA chooses two companies to build spacesuits for its 21st-century Moonwalkers (Ars Technica).

👃 “ELI5: When sick with a cold, why is it you can blow your nose infinitely and your nose will still get near immediately clogged?” (r/explainlikeimfive). (It’s swelling, mostly!)

Throwback Thursday

game boy camera printer
Reddit

Back on June 1 in 1998, the Nintendo Game Boy Camera was released worldwide, along with the Game Boy Printer as well, two of the most memorable accessories for the handheld.

  • I don’t want to get into all the details of it and it wasn’t a big hit at the time, with digital camera prices plummeting just a year or two later.
  • But, even today, people absolutely love taking photos with the Game Boy Camera.
  • Look: there’s a semi-active subreddittake this guy, who’s shooting with a million-buck lens and five-cent sensor (approximately). (Apparently, the photographer had an adaptor 3D printed for the Canon EF lenses and a bunch of the photos of Calgary are here. Calgary — why not, eh?
  • Anyway, I love it and its 128×128 CMOS sensor.

Cheers,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.