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Diablo Immortal Director Has A Confusing Response To Backlash

Now that "Diablo Immortal" is finally out, and players have had a little bit of time to sink their teeth into the title,  it's becoming more apparent that the game is beholden to some predatory tactics. While Blizzard had initially contended that "Diablo Immortal" wouldn't be a pay-to-win title, players have vocally condemned Blizzard for stuffing the title with microtransactions at every turn. It's unfortunate, considering critics and players seem to like the minute-to-minute gameplay, but actually gaining power is somehow even worse than fans thought. Though the game's creators were technically right in saying players wouldn't be using real money to upgrade gear or purchase new equipment directly, real-life cash definitely still has its place within "Diablo Immortal."

One of the main problems players have had with "Diablo Immortal" is that progression can feel like it's reached a standstill after a certain point, and players won't be able to continue leveling and gaining power at the rate they'd started at until they shell out some money. Much of the criticism has centered around the title's offerings of Crests, catalysts that provide more and better loot to players participating in Rift dungeons. While purchasing Crests aren't mandatory, they do open the door for players to obtain Legendary Gems — which serve to add all-important stat bonuses to gear and weapons. Now, "Diablo Immortal" director Wyatt Cheng is weighing in on the controversy and offering some confusing comments in an attempt to quell fan backlash.

Cheng's response sidesteps the real issue

With criticisms of "Diablo Immortal" echoing throughout the internet over the last few days, Twitch streamer Zizaran attached a photo of previous comments made by Cheng asserting there'd be no way to obtain or level up gear through microtransactions. Zizaran said, "What happened in 4 months? Or are the gems not considered gear?" Cheng responded to the Tweet, saying, "I have been pretty up front...gear was the 12 item slots. In many interviews I also clearly state that money can advance gems and legendary gems. I'm sorry this wasn't clear here." 

However, the conversation didn't end there. Zizaran Tweeted back, saying, "I think a lot of people were expecting or became hopeful was that you couldn't buy power after seeing that statement." They went on to say that Cheng's comments relied on the literal meanings of words rather than how the game functions. 

Cheng initially appeared to concede with an apology — but that didn't last. The director then launched into a series of replies, claiming that the comments in question were directed at some very specific misinformation, and that the team had previously made it clear microtransactions would be the primary fuel for legendary gem acquisitions. All in all, the interaction left a bad taste in the mouth of the very same players Blizzard is counting on to buy "Diablo 4" — whenever it sees the light of day.