Does a player have to spend more than €100,000 on microtransactions on Diablo Immortal to have a fully optimized character? This is one of the criticisms that has emerged in recent days. In question: the system of micropayments in play, accused of being unbalanced.
One controversy after another. In 2018, Blizzard took a blower from gamers and gamers. The object of their wrath? That the studio dares to launch into mobile games, when it historically comes from the PC universe. Above all, Blizzard had had the audacity to to present Diablo Immortal at BlizzConan event that brings together its most demanding fans.
Four years later, another controversy is emerging. One more. This one concerns the strategy of the American studio to monetize its title. In effect, Diablo Immortal is in the free-to-play (F2P) category. Access to the game is free, but it contains various microtransactions, usually a few euros, to save time or make life easier.
Discord micropayments on Diablo Immortal
While this business model is common in the world of mobile video games, Blizzard seems to have pushed the incentive lever very far to let go of a little money to quickly improve its character – in particular by adjusting the design of the game so that it makes character development without micropayments less easy.
Reproaches for the matter have emerged on both Reddit and YouTube. From May 9, a little over three weeks before the official release of Diablo Immortaldaymeeuhn published a critical analysis in which he reported ” that there is a single stat in this game that currently costs around $50,000 (about 50,000 euros).
” It takes between $40 and $45,000 to upgrade six 5-star gems to rank 10. There is a 5% drop rate [par gemme 5 étoiles]you need 100 of each, plus the power of the corresponding gem “. And if there are 8 or 10 gems, then he has to collect 800 or 1,000, assuming one collects an average of 100 of each.
Gems are gemstones that have special stats and improve character attributes. They fit into sockets on clothing (helmet, tunic, shoulder pads, leggings, left hand weapon, right hand weapon) and can benefit from evolutions, if the prerequisites (i.e. crafting items , roughly) are satisfied.
Improving gems is one of the means available to players to increase the power of a character, with the equipment itself (which can be common, rare, legendary, with various statistics and whose you can also increase rank) and experience (which allows you to level up, up to 60, before moving on to the Paragon system).
The level is obtained by playing, just like the equipment – by having luck in the draw too, when you kill a monster or open a chest. Here, the mechanics are classic. They are found in Diablo 3with loot tables (i.e. items linked to a boss, for example) whose rules depend, among other things, on the difficulty of the game.
However, daymeeuhn’s estimates indicated that it would take, in a scenario with 10 gems, a total of 1,000 similar gems to evolve them, requiring the consumption of 20,000 emblems. His calculations led him at the time to an assessment of $45,000. This assessment is no longer really relevant, because according to daymeeuhn, the success rate fell to 4.5%. So that would be even worse.
His analysis, however, inspired additional work, shared on June 2 on the YouTube channel of Bellular News. He estimated that it would take no less than $110,000 (around €100,000) to bring a character from Diablo Immortal at its maximum optimization level. Which would therefore represent several years of salary to be injected into the game.
The amount appears out of the ordinary and completely above ground. One wonders who will pour so much money into this mobile game, even though some agree that it is rather faithful to the spirit of Diablo and its gameplay. Even a “whale”, nickname given to a player who spends crazy sums on a mobile game, would think twice about it.
Note that both are estimates based on data that may become outdated over time. The game will indeed receive updates over time and, as part of this, Blizzard may adjust the drop rate or other parameters that affect the chances of having gems at the maximum level and quality.
The fact remains that even by questioning the method of calculation and by attenuating it a lot, the fact is that we are talking more about a price range which amounts to tens of thousands of dollars than in hundreds or thousands. And this impression is shared by a growing number of players, especially on Reddit.
Thus, players have fun by posting humorous visuals, like the one that shows different payment methods to try to get a 4 or 5 star gem: pay with Visa, pay with Mastercard, or sell a lung. Another netizen, who managed to get a 5 star gem, obviously posted a capture of his lucky break.
others denounce the absence of a 5-star gem despite using over 60 Legendary Emblems, while the game suggests that at least one must appear every 50 Legendary Emblems. In this other threada netizen says that a player spent almost $3,000 and did not get a gem of this type (only one of rank 4).
Another criticism that is also circulating: it would be impossible to obtain the same level of optimization as a person who spent money on microtransactions, by refusing to spend real money yourself. This assertion is discussed. That said, Blizzard is accused of not putting forward information which allow you to obtain legendary gems without paying.
Microtransactions at Blizzard aren’t new, nor are loot boxes. It is found on Overwatch for example. But these are usually cosmetic purchases, which do not affect the gameplay itself: we buy a new outfit, a dance, a pose or a celebration. Nothing that serves to take over.
In the case of Diablo Immortal, it influences the game and the competition, between those who are willing to spend money and those who are not. It remains to be seen how Blizzard intends to adjust the points on which the strongest criticism emerges regarding in-game purchases. But players shouldn’t expect a more drastic change: microtransactions will continue.
The case, in any case, will undoubtedly leave traces. And memes, as we can see with this photo from 2018: it was Wyatt Cheng, the main designer in charge of Diablo Immortal. He had had a difficult time during the presentation of the game, retorting, in the face of boos: “ guys, you don’t have a smartphone? », to justify the arrival of the mobile game.
With the case of microtransactions, the meme about Wyatt Cheng has evolved.
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Diablo Immortal is accused of going into a spin on microtransactions
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