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The Main Problem Players Have With Diablo Immortal

Blizzard Entertainment's new demon-slaying action RPG "Diablo Immortal" recently arrived, taking the "Diablo" series to mobile devices and Open Beta for PC and garnering favorable marks for its dungeon-delving gameplay. Metacritic reviews indicate that critics agreed on the fundamentals, namely that "Immortal" has kept its roots from the original "Diablo" games on console and PC: vanquishing hoards of enemies and grinding for piles of treasure has remained at the core of the experience.

But similar to discourse surrounding "Pokémon Unite" and other mobile free-to-play games, players of "Immortal" have spoken up with criticisms of the game's pay-to-win elements. Some critics have argued the game's spamming of microtransaction deals skirts close to the line of pay-to-win tactics (PC Gamer). The game even delayed launch in Belgium and the Netherlands because of regional laws against loot boxes. As Kotaku explained in its review of the game, "Diablo Immortal" and its emphasis on Legendary Crests and currency over honest grinding can feel overpowering much of the time. Overall, gamers feel that microtransactions represent the biggest problem in "Diablo Immortal."

Impressions of Immortal's microtransactions

"In my limited experience with Diablo Immortal ... it appears designed to monetize the grind that is at the heart of loot-based games," Tyler Colp of PC Gamer wrote. Additionally, Kotaku's Zack Zwiezen noted how the game seems to pester the player with microtransactions to upgrade equipment, where components like Legendary Crests make a substantial difference in loot quality earned from exploring Rifts.

Zwiezen described a pervasive feeling that the game, "was just waiting at all times to offer" a deal, detailing a time when upon completing the tutorial mode, the screen prompted them with a Beginners Pack with a "+800%" value. These sorts of instances occurred repeatedly.

User dragonmase on the "Immortal" Reddit page outright described the game's design interface as a "gacha," arguing that the game uses every opportunity possible to pitch potential sales. They concluded the proper way to enjoy the game and "win a predatory system," is to spend nothing. However, others on the same thread argued spending at least some money on a free-to-play game helps support the developers (Reddit).

So early in the life cycle of a mobile game, "Diablo Immortal" has plenty of time to either alter its microtransaction formula or convince players of its necessity. Blizzard Senior Game Designer Scott Burgess reported playing through the game without spending any money performing quite well (GameSpot), for what it's worth to gamers.