Diablo Immortal is a free-to-play, massively multiplayer online action role-playing video game (MMORPG) in the Diablo series, mainly played on mobile devices, IOS and Android platforms specifically.
The game features many of the typical gameplay elements from previous Diablo games that players love but has drawn a large amount of criticism from die-hard fans of the genre due to the predatory monetisation strategies employed in the game. From various playthroughs and videos it is clear that Diablo Immortal has taken many traditional gacha game elements in order to craft their current monetisation strategy.
The game is filled with many different currencies and systems unlike previous Diablo games and can be very confusing for players used to a simpler design. There is also another aspect of the game which players are not used to which is boosting or paying for upgrades or increased RNG ( Random Number Generator ) chances within the game’s various bosses and dungeons.
Why is Diablo Immortal unfair for F2P and Low Spending players?
Within the game, players are able to play in end-game dungeons which reward the player with various tiers of equipment to make your player character strong. However, the monetised aspect here is that you can increase your rng for Legendary Items via Legendary Gems. These gems are needed to increase the drop rates within the run and will grant much more in terms of loot compared to running without the gems. This aspect of the game functions similar to a traditional gacha game character roll as even the pricing is the same, 160 orbs for 1 Gem with the opportunity to equip 10 gems into the slot. According to various theorycrafter analysis, the gems which players receive for free would take months to accumulate to a 10 Gem run.
This is further exacerbated when players realise that the gems as well as the equipment dropped is all character bound and not account bound. This type of mechanic forces players to spend multiple times if they want to play a new class or start a new character within the same account. Adding to the confusion with gems, there are also Eternal Legendary Gems which can only be purchased with money and cannot be obtained for free. These gems allow drops to be sold at the auction house which is truly unfair considering the amount of bad loot players will definitely receive.
How bad is the backlash against Diablo Immortal?
According to various other video game news sources, Diablo Immortal currently has the lowest Metacritic Score in history. Metacritic is not known for their “fair” reviews by players as it is too easy to create an account and proof of purchase/download is not required however it goes to show how angry a lot of hardcore fans in the community are. A score of 0.2 on Metacritic just shows the developers that players are extremely unhappy with their new take on a beloved franchise. Scores on IOS and Android while not as bad are also not doing great with scores ranging from 3 – 3.5 on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
What have Diablo’s directors and developers said?
Diablo’s game director, Wyatt Cheng has not made any specific mentions or comments on public platforms like Twitter directly on criticism against the game’s monetisation strategy. Instead, he seems to be posting regularly on the success of the game and thanking Diablo fans for picking up and playing the game. With the current success of the game, grossing over $10 million in revenue so soon from launch and gaining a playerbase of over 10 million installations it is not hard to see why.
The unfortunate truth is gacha games and mechanics are unfortunately here to stay. Some may be fairer about this mechanic like Genshin Impact or Azur Lane. However many new entrants particularly from the Western or Korean space have seen tendencies to over-monetise their game to the detriment of low spending or free players. The only way to play these types of games is to be careful with your spending and to not fall for their psychological tactics to make you spend more. Check out our guide to gacha gaming to find out more.