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I really like a lot Diablo Immortal† I enjoy the leveling, seeing the story, the character customization options (with many, many sliders), and I even like the gameplay, except for a few weird moments in the PC beta where I don’t get any button clicks to register. I’ve been playing the game since launch, and I already mentioned that I’m not paying for anything – I’m level 60 (with 8 Paragon levels) and have done this entirely on stuff I’ve gotten through the game, plus I’ve got about four alts in the 50s.

Yes, they are all barbarians. Look, you knew who I was when you started reading this. I make Barbarians like candy, and Diablo Immortal is no different.

But even though I play as a free to play player, the cash shop still manages to enjoy the game.

Even if it’s optional, the real money store feels like the best way to progress

i don’t like how Diablo Immortal’s shop works. I think a lot of the comments on the store are hyperbolic and intentionally make it worse than it is, but that doesn’t make the store good† It’s not the existence of the store itself that’s the problem: it’s that the store offers items and rewards that you can’t get any other way, and it gives you shortcuts to achieving goals, such as preparing on the endgame. That makes a difference anyway some money almost needed for players who want to be sincere in that endgame.

Not the store to feel like it’s optional, or just a way to progress faster – it almost feels like the nothing but way to make progress.

Eternal Orbs, a form of currency that can be spent in the store to buy Eternal Legendary Crests (which give you a better chance of getting good loot in Rifts) and other items, are only available when purchasing through the store with cash – you can’t get them out of gameplay. And things like the Boon of Plenty or the Empowered Battle Pass, two separate monthly subscriptions that offer in-game benefits to make playing easier, are only available for cash. The Boon of Plenty is particularly egregious here, as it gives you extra bag slots and remote market access alongside a bundle of Crests and other goodies – but if you want to keep which increase pocket lock and market access, you have to pay every month. In diablo 3, you can unlock additional stash tabs through Seasonal play, but in Immortal there is currently only the Boon of Plenty.

Most of this isn’t too bad, but it’s less than ideal that there’s no way in-game to get Eternal Orbs meaning the various things that can be bought for Orbs are either impossible to get or extremely hard to get. obtain are without money purchase. In the end it doesn’t matter if you can only get certain cosmetic sets with cash – these are cool, but you can also use cash. But when you can rack up massive amounts of platinum and use your Elder Rift runs to get untethered Legendary Gems from the market, you’ve developed a system that ensures that cash purchases have a direct impact on how fast players can progress, especially when they have reached the endgame. That’s the problem for me.

How bad is it? Diablo Immortal store?

Let’s take a moment to compare the stores in Diablo Immortal and World of Warcraft† In the Wow shop you can buy:

  • game time
  • WoW tokens, which are converted into in-game gold
  • Different pets and mounts
  • Unique transmog appearances
  • Expansions and Collector’s Editions of expansions, including additional cosmetic rewards and level boosts
  • Character level boosts, character transfer, faction change and race change

It’s fair to say there isn’t much in the Diablo Immortal shop much worse than that. The Empowered Battle Pass and Boon of Plenty are somewhat similar to picking up the Collector’s Edition of an expansion, and the cosmetic skins available for Eternal Orbs aren’t much different from a transmog set like the Celestial Observer’s Ensemble.

In my opinion, the real difficulty is that Eternal Orbs can only be bought with real money – there is no in-game way to earn Orbs, even at a slower pace. Eternal Orbs can buy things from simple cosmetic appearances to Crests, which allow players to objectively play the Elder Rift system for more loot. Spending money on Eternal Orbs to buy Eternal Legendary Crests gives players more opportunities to earn Legendary Gems and other powerful loot in a shorter amount of time. You can only buy Eternal Orbs with real money and you can only buy Eternal Legendary Crests with Eternal Orbs. That locks free to play players from a significant power boost.

Of course, there are still ways to cheer yourself up in the game without spending any money. There are fully in-game systems like Hilts that allow you to buy random Legendary items, Legendary gems and so on so you can equip however you want, although it may take more time to do so. You can run Rifts with less powerful Crests that you can acquire in-game and get good loot from Rifts (if not as good or as much). There are also things like Reforge Stones, which give you pre-roll stats on gear, which you can buy in-game for Hilts… but you can still get better ones in the in-game store.

Monetization is an unfortunate fact in modern gaming

Many players I’ve seen discuss this are hostile to the idea of ​​monetization in Diablo Immortal and wants the whole system ripped out. But let’s be honest, that’s not going to happen.

Diablo Immortal is a free-to-play game designed and built from the group to to be a free to play game. There is no chance it will go to a standard purchase model like Wow where you pay $50 for the base game, $70 for a better version with some perks (like the Boon of Plenty or the Empowered Battle Pass), and then an insanely expensive $130 version with all the cosmetics, all the bells and whistles, the Powerful Battle Pass, Boon of Plenty and more. The game was never designed to work that way.

And this is an increasingly common feature in all games – mobile and otherwise. Games have been adding more and more revenue from microtransactions for year† Think of the horse harness in Elder Scrolls: Oblivion? Released in 2006 at a cost of $2.5o, this cosmetic harness caused outrage in the community. But since then, we’ve only seen more microtransactions appear in games of all kinds. More recently, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is one of my favorite games, but both it and its successor Assassin’s Creed Valhalla have some terrible earnings where you can spend real money to buy crafting materials, higher XP gain, and even weapons and armor.

It’s now unusual for a big match not to have some kind of microtransaction, subscription, or DLC content – and Diablo Immortal probably won’t completely abandon its current model. But the Immortal system could be changed. And I think it should be, because there shouldn’t be a gameplay advantage available purely for cash-only currency, not in-game.

Games should have things you have can buy, but nothing you should to buy

The easiest solution would be to make it possible to earn Eternal Orbs through some or all of the in-game activities. That way you could just earn them by playing and use them in the existing store for existing items without ever spending a dime. Many free-to-play games use a similar model, with in-game currency that can be earned or purchased. The purchase is simply a convenience, and players looking to move forward as quickly as possible will likely still use it.

Diablo Immortal could also borrow an idea from World of Warcraft, with a system similar to Tokens. You could buy tokens (or Eternal Orbs directly) from the market for gold, while other players would buy them for cash and sell them for gold. This system may not be as attractive as it is now Wowwhere Tokens can be used to get gold or playtime but maybe it can be changed somehow to make the system usable in Immortal

Or maybe the game can just remove the items that can only be purchased with Eternal Orbs that provide significant gameplay benefits. Only remove Eternal Legendary Crests and other purchases that you can only buy with Orbs (and thus only buy with cash), or just something that you can earn purely through gameplay. It seems unlikely that Socialwould let the store empty out like that, but this move would remove indispensable trades from the store entirely and give the game a more level playing field. A number of games use a similar model, with shops focusing purely on cosmetic items that are really optional – hearthstone Battlegrounds already uses such a system.

One thing I have personally not been able to confirm, but have seen discussed is that the game may have hidden soft caps, which limit the number of drops you can get without spending money on things like Crests. If it’s true – and I have to repeat, I can’t confirm this – it’s completely unacceptable. diablo is a game series that rewards grinding, and limits would contradict that gameplay loop. If it’s true, the store’s problems get much bigger. To make the game fair, any system like this should be removed.

It is possible to make Diablo Immortal a successful game with in-game purchases without feeling pompous to players who can’t (or can’t) spend real money. Free-to-play games can offer convenience features or cash cosmetic features, allowing players to spend money if they want to, but not stop other players from achieving the same goals – even if it takes a little longer.

And I believe it would be for the health and longevity of the game if Socialexplored some ways to achieve that.


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