In the recent Diablo 4 quarterly update, the developers promised Season Passes and shop items to be completely void of pay-to-win mechanics, with each pass only providing cosmetics instead being game impacting.
Blizzard received criticism for their newest release in the Diablo series, Diablo Immortal. The mobile game was fraught with pay-to-win mechanics, sparking the community’s concern for the upcoming Diablo IV.
It seems Blizzard learned their lesson — with the team behind Diablo IV promising to avoid pay-to-win mechanics for season progression. Specifically, Diablo 4 devs confirmed that the Season Pass and shop items do not impact gameplay.
According to Kegan Clark, director of product for Diablo IV, “Diablo IV will be a full-price game with a Cosmetics Shop and Season Pass — none of which provide any pay-for-power options.”
“Our goal in designing our in-game purchases is that we want to create beautiful things which add value to players’ experience of the game.”
There are two tiers within the Season Pass: free and premium. The free rewards do have gameplay-affecting elements, streamlining the journey of leveling up a fresh season character. But these are available to all players — regardless of whether they paid for the pass or not.
Reassuring the community, Clark states “we want to be clear that players can’t unlock Season Boosts more quickly through purchases–there is no way to unlock more boosts, or boosts at a faster pace, by spending money.”
This effectively rejects the possibility of pay to win mechanics for progression during the seasons in Diablo IV. Developers are planning for four seasons per year, adding “all-new gameplay, quests, challenges, [and] meta changes.”
Previously, in Diablo III, the new seasons provided fresh content for players to grind and look forward to. This effectively reset progress, moving the preexisting characters move to the Eternal Realm and requiring players to make a new character to participate.
According to Blizzard “the scale of Diablo IV Seasons is much more ambitious than what we’ve done in the past on Diablo III, with a large development team dedicated to Seasons after launch. Diablo IV will be supported by an army of developers for years to come.”