Diablo Immortal has burned any goodwill Blizzard had left

We like to imagine that during development of Diablo Immortal, Bobby Kotick waltzed into the Blizzard Studio and complained that he didn’t have enough money.

We imagine this scenario because, after spending more time than we should’ve with Diablo Immortal, the only reason for the extreme microtransactions present in this game is greed.

The main currency in play in Diablo Immortal is Eternal Orbs. These can be earned in game but drop rates aren’t great. Pricing for Eternal Orbs starts at €0.99 (~R16.26) for 60 of these orbs but you can spend as much as €99.99 (~R1 642.43) for 1500 + 450 Eternal Orbs.

The other currency present is Platinum. This is used to buy items from the player market and purchase Echo Crystals. There are also currencies you can earn in-game for in-game things such as weapon upgrades but we’re looking at the microtransactions here.

Eternal Orbs are the real pain point though. This is because, in order to upgrade your gear in the end-game, you need to use Eternal Orbs to purchase Legendary Crests. These crests open Rifts which can reward a player with a legendary gem they can use to upgrade their gear. Free to play players are limited to three Legendary Crests each month but this could change. Even if things change, Blizzard is clear here, if you want more progression, open your wallet.

The problem is so bad that players could spend tens of thousands of dollars just to max out their characters in Diablo Immortal. We highly recommend the podcast from Bellular News which takes a deep dive into the game’s monetisation.

The trouble is that nothing is guaranteed and these Rifts are sort of like loot boxes in that you could get trash or something you really need.

As you might imagine, players are not pleased with the situation and it doesn’t help that Blizzard has stuck its foot in the mud.

Since the announcement of Diablo Immortal, players have been curious to know whether they will be able to make purchases that will make them more powerful. In response, Blizzard said that players wouldn’t be able to purchase gear.

In hindsight, we all should have pressed a bit harder in that regard. We say this because while you can’t purchase gear, you can purchase the upgrade materials needed to improve the gear you pick up. Technically, Blizzard is in the clear but principal game designer at Blizzard, Wyatt Cheng, made a silly post that has come back to haunt him.

In response to the tweet above, Cheng said that he thought he’d made it clear that money can advance gems and legendary gems but clearly he hadn’t.

“Not being able to buy gear (the 12 slots) or XP remains important to the team,” wrote Cheng.

Okay Blizzard, but here’s the problem. Not being able to buy gear doesn’t mean anything if the upgrade materials for that gear can be purchased. How this company doesn’t understand why being able to pay for power, any power, is bad is beyond us at this point.

What makes this all the more worse is that behind all of this greed, there is a fun Diablo game here. The graphics are great on PC, load times are nearly instant and there is a compelling story here.

The game does do a decent job of hiding its greed in the opening moments but it becomes apparent very quickly that Diablo Immortal is designed for one thing and one thing only – To make Bobby Kotick richer than he already is.


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