Between complaints of ‘pay-to-win mechanics’ and bugs, Diablo Immortal’s launch has been anything but smooth.
The moment-to-moment gameplay has come in for plenty (opens in new tab) of praise (opens in new tab), though the endgame is dominating the conversation online right now. Most players and press have been complimentary about the journey through the story – Diablo Immortal can feel like Diablo 3, just wonderfully recreated on mobile. You’ll likely hit a wall around level 30 that halts your story progression, though you can break through it by levelling your free battle pass through bounties and dungeons alongside Challenge and Elder Rifts. It’ll sap your time, sure, but not necessarily your wallet.
Diablo Immortal’s endgame, however, is prompting discussions over how the new action-RPG is monetised. As it usually goes with Diablo, you’ll want to start crafting endgame-level gear sets once the main story has run its course. Socketing legendary gems into armour and fully upgrading them is one of the best ways to do that, as they come with special effects and bonuses.
So, how do you get those gems? It’s complicated. Legendary gems come in ascending power from one to five stars and can be obtained through Elder Rifts opened with Rare and Legendary Crests – think of a dungeon with a loot box at the end of it. You do get a free Rare Crest each day, though you won’t get a legendary gem that goes beyond two stars from that – if you get one at all.
The best legendary gems come from Legendary Crests, then. You can buy one each month from the Hilts Trader in Westmarch, though getting any more requires spending actual money. That’s before we talk about the drop rates for five-star legendary gems, and the amount of time it takes to power one up. If you’re wondering what this could eventually look like for your wallet, YouTube channel Bellular News (opens in new tab) estimates that fully upgrading a character costs $110,000 worth of gems.
The state of microtransactions in the game has prompted a widespread backlash among fans. There’s no shortage of critical posts on Diablo’s subreddit (opens in new tab), though Twitter also has its fair share. One tweet has even prompted a response from game director Wyatt Cheng. Streamer Zizaran shared (opens in new tab) an old Reddit post from Cheng that promises gear can’t be acquired or ranked up, though Wyatt has replied to clarify that the team has always maintained that gems aren’t technically gear.
Diablo ImmortalP2W vs F2P pic.twitter.com/YSOMDsh3nvJune 6, 2022
Diablo Immortal has also been met with a few bugs (opens in new tab) past the microtransaction furore. One of the more major issues has made the new ARPG unplayable on certain Samsung phones with Exynos chipsets. Blizzard, though, is thankfully on the case, as a community manager has confirmed on Reddit (opens in new tab).
While Blizzard has touched upon monetisation lightly alongside what’s being done about certian bugs, it remains to be seen if any changes are forthcoming to aid the endgame grind.
Check out our Diablo Immortal classes if you want to cruise through the game.