Blizzard continues to worship battle passes

The new installment in the cult hack’n slash series is also taking the service game route with a paid pass.

Diablo fans’ hairs now stand on end at the slightest mention of the word “microtransactions.” Despite the many controversies surrounding the economic system of Diablo Immortalfans of the franchise are not ready to put an end to in-game purchases. Blizzard had already announced it, microtransactions will indeed be present in the highly anticipated Diablo IV. Although this episode is a paid game and not free-to-play, it will borrow mechanics usually attributed to service games, starting with a battle pass.

To stick with the seasonal format of Diablo that we know well since the third episode of the franchise, Blizzard designates this system as a “season pass”. The title is misleading because unlike its counterparts, it won’t bring a salvo of DLC for players. It is here a question of levels to reach to unlock objects of all kinds : a battle pass in short. However, the studio wants to reassure players about the impact of this new feature on gameplay.

No pay to win, we promise!

Faced with the many criticisms that the studio has received since the release of Diablo Immortal on mobile, the teams are doing their best to reassure players at each stage of the development of Diablo IV. With their latest quarterly report referencing the game’s seasonal content and microtransactions, the goal is to keep players from getting carried away too quickly. Kegan Clark, Product Manager for Diablo IV make things clear:

As we previously explained, Diablo IV will be a full-price game, which will have a cosmetic item shop and a Season Pass. Neither of these two will offer payment options to gain power. By adding the ability to make in-app purchases, we want to create beautiful things that will add value to the gaming experience.

So, no worries, the pass will only bring optional content for players who want to get additional cosmetic rewards:

The free levels of the pass will offer gameplay improvements, which will make it easier to level up a new seasonal character. In contrast, the premium tier rewards are aesthetically-focused, and offer tremendous value in the form of cosmetic items and premium currency.

A responsible store

The in-game store will only offer ornamental items to once again avoid the balancing issues encountered Diablo Immortal. The purchase of object will be done only by pleasure and not by necessity :

We want players to feel good about purchasing items, whether before, during, or after the purchase. Thus, they will choose to buy something if they want to and not because they have to. To avoid unpleasant surprises, it is essential that they know exactly what awaits them once the purchase is made.

Transparency is Blizzard’s watchword for the economic system of Diablo IV. The studio seems to be giving up on lootboxes and other random rewards for its PC and console games, as is the case for Overwatch 2. We will have to wait until next year to discover this new title. In the meantime, you can learn more about the game’s seasons and new content planned in the full version of Blizzard’s quarterly report.

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