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Diablo Immortal isn’t quite pay-to-win, but it’s close

If you’re looking to pop demons and get some items Immortal Diablo (opens in new tab) for more than a few hours, you will likely have to pay. NetEase and Blizzard’s Diablo game, first mobile and now ported to PC, was created to obfuscate how real money transactions can influence your character’s strength, but more dedicated players will likely discover its significance soon enough.

It’s still too early to say how much Diablo Immortal’s microtransaction systems will shape the endgame experience, but in my limited experience with it today and through reports of the game’s beta, it’s designed to monetize the routine that is at the heart of a loot-based game. games. It’s not exclusive to free-to-play games, but it’s the first time Blizzard’s popular series can prioritize your wallet over your time.

Immortal Diablo don’t go right away (opens in new tab) launch in Belgium or the Netherlands because of their laws against loot boxes. In fact, they are not literal boxes; are slits. Like Diablo 3, Diablo Immortal has rifts, or portals that take you to random dungeons filled with tough enemies and rare rewards. A critical part of the Diablo series has always occurred after reaching max level, where you fight harder and harder monsters for ever better gear. That’s why people still play the original games to this day – that’s the point. Diablo Immortal is the same, except you can now pay cash to increase your chances of getting powerful items, specifically out of your rifts.

(Image credit: NetEase / Activision Blizzard)

Crests are items that modify rifts to increase (or guarantee, with Legendary Crests) the percentage chance of receiving rare gems to fit into your gear, items that will give you strong passive effects and stats to help you in PvP and PvE activities from End of the game. You can buy crests with Eternal Orbs, a currency you can only get with real money, or you can earn them through the in-game battle pass. Most of the time you will have to pay $25 to $100 to get some of these for a chance to get the gems you want. Essentially, Diablo Immortal rifts are just loot boxes that you need to kill some enemies for before getting the random rewards.

The problem is that the best gems, which are broken down into star ratings like Genshin characters, are widely available in rifts. They are spread across both free and paid battle passes and you can get some through NPCs and the game’s real money auction house (yes, is back). But if you need several to fit your high-end gear, you’ll need to work with extremely low drop rates or spend some money.

Purchasing gear isn’t tied to money, but making the best endgame gear better is. You can upgrade the stats and abilities of your armor and weapons through the blacksmith using scrap materials. For legendary and set gear, however, you also need glowing shards. You get Glowing Shards by breaking legendary gear that is mostly acquired through the auction house or by getting very lucky with drops.

Once you have this legendary gear upgraded, you can use Reforge Stones to reroll your stats and effects. Reforge Stones are, you guessed it, easily obtained by trading Eternal Orbs. You can also get them through rifts, battle pass rewards, and daily and weekly quests, but they all take a lot longer. If past Diablo games are any indication, you’ll probably want a good amount of them as you work on building your character and acquiring new gear.

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All Diablo Immortal microtransactions (explained by experts here) address aspects of the series that used to be about how you spend your time and the risk/reward of trying higher-level dungeons. These concepts are still intact in the new game, but the rate at which you typically receive upgrades and upgrade materials can be skewed to make you pay. Reports from players in subreddit is at Youtube suggest that was definitely the case in the beta.

Talking to GameSpotThe game’s senior game designer Scott Burgess denied any form of pay-to-win mechanics in the game, claiming that they reached the highest PvP levels of the beta without spending anything:

“Going back, I played the beta without spending a dollar. Some of us on the team did it because we wanted to see what the experience was like. Shadows, I followed World Paragon, I was competitive in PvP, I often got the MVP ranking. So we’re doing it. things to make sure the game is fun for everyone. Whenever we have a purchase, we want to make sure it’s a good value. That’s the goal we have on this side.”

While this is true and remains possible in the full game, the stack of real money systems in Diablo Immortal presents an ever-present risk of turning into something predatory like so many previous games. It might take some time to recognize how much your microtransactions matter as people move towards the endgame, but it’s a real possibility that they’ll feel like they’re needed after you’ve put in enough hours into the game. Genshin Impact might be huge and legitimately fun to play, but its gacha systems are built to exploit its most dedicated players, and Diablo Immortal, no matter how fun it is, couldn’t be any different.

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