There will be cosmetics, but no bargains for pure power
Blizzard Entertainment has published its latest Diablo IV quarterly update, this time discussing the game’s monetization and shop. While there will be cosmetics for purchase, Blizzard is saying up-front that there won’t be any paying for power.
In today’s update, the studio says it will have a cosmetics shop and seasonal passes, alongside the Seasons system modeled after Diablo III. For each new season, you create a new character and engage with the new seasonal content, allowing players to jump in even if they missed the last season. The first season will be available soon after launch, and the team is aiming for four seasons a year.
This on-ramp mandates that all power needs to come from playing the game itself. So, in Blizzard’s own words, “you will not be able to pay for power in Diablo IV.”
The Season Pass rewards will have free and premium tiers. The latter won’t contain any in-game power or advantage over other players who don’t have that tier, though. The Free Tier will provide gameplay boosts, but those will be available for all players. These Season Boosts can help players out for the duration of the season, adding things like accelerated XP gain.
While players can purchase tiers to advance through the pass, Blizzard also says that you can’t just unlock all the seasonal boosts through purchases alone. These will also have level milestones associated with them, so while players can jump ahead to grab cosmetic rewards from higher tiers, they can’t shortcut the play-time necessary for the boosts.
The post-launch plans also sound extensive, as Blizzard’s Kegan Clark writes that Diablo IV will have an “army of developers” for years to come after launch. Seasons will include new gameplay, quests, challenges, changes to the meta, and quality-of-life improvements.
Headed back to shop
The Cosmetics Shop, meanwhile, will offer some custom visual appearance options for premium currency. The shop is optional, and according to Blizzard, the “best-looking cosmetics” aren’t exclusive to the shop.
Diablo IV will ship with “hundreds” of transmogs that drop in-game, including Unique and Legendary gear, that won’t show up in the shop. It seems like the intent behind the Shop is to offer another cosmetic option, rather than the only one. Cosmetics bought in the shop will be usable on all characters of that class too, so no need to buy multiples of a single Necromancer set, for example.
This seems like it could be a comforting note for folks worried about Diablo IV after the monetization seen in Diablo Immortal. Blizzard seems like it really wants to assuage those fears, and that’s valid. Immortal had issues, and the launch of Diablo III was marred by the real money auction house. We’ll see how the plans work out for this team when Diablo IV goes live sometime in the future.