The Lord of Live Service
The microtransaction system for Diablo Immortal items is somehow getting even more out of hand. We already knew of a theoretical number folks had to hit, and now that theory has been tested: the results are bad for everyone.
As Eurogamer points out, a content creator named jtisallbusiness (embedded below) alleges that they’ve “spent around $100,000” on the game, and are seeking a refund because they can’t actually engage in the content. Breaking it down, they’ve boosted themselves to such a high state that they can’t matchmake anymore in PVP (which is the most popular endgame activity): and as the leader of their clan and the strongest member, that’s a problem. To compound the issue, they’re even on an endgame questline (which was designed and is current in the game) to become immortal and defend their title; but they can’t complete it because they can’t queue for a battleground. They also can’t leave their own clan due to a role issue, and they can’t abdicate it to someone else to queue up. These all transcend the economic situation and fall under the realm of design flaws.
They state that they’ve looked into a refund from Blizzard, but haven’t heard anything back beyond that they were “aware of the issue” in over a month. Part of the reasoning is that the creator is essentially investing in their channel, being able to stream exclusive content. But as it turns out, Diablo Immortal wasn’t built for this…at least at this time. Crazy to think that apparently, no one at the studio thought what would happen if someone paid up this much cash.
After reading this, you’ve essentially come to a crossroads. Do you fork down the “they can spend their money how they want, Diablo Immortal items included” path, or the “why are they supporting this business model” direction? Or you can veer off the road entirely and ask “why is this even possible?” Or maybe you’ve taken an afternoon stroll down both (sounds good to me)!
Years back, creators like Matt Stone and Trey Parker poked fun at the cynical and calculated nature of in-app purchases; yet they’ve managed to top themselves and push the system further. It’s about time a lot of these practices were referred to as “macrotransactions.” For me, I’m utterly confused how this situation was even allowed to happen to a whale. It’s just an incompetent business plan!