Diablo IV Won’t Let You “Pay for Power” Promise Devs, Season Pass and Premium Shop Detailed

Diablo IV will be a premium game, and thus, won’t be as aggressively monetized as the recently-released Diablo Immortal, but that doesn’t mean Blizzard won’t be trying to coax some extra dollars out of players. Diablo IV is still a live-service game, and thus will have Season Passes, a real-money Cosmetics Shop, as well as regular free seasonal content.

On the subject of seasons, Blizzard is promising Diablo IV will get the standard four per year, with each one tweaking the meta and adding new features, questlines, enemies, legendary items, and more. Modeled after past Diablo games, you’ll have to create an additional character to participate in each season, although your old one will be preserved and can be played in the Eternal Realm at any time.

But let’s get to the real meat-and-potatoes – additional content and monetization. Blizzard promises there’s no “paying for power” in Diablo IV. Anything you purchase or unlock via a battle pass’ premium tiers will be strictly cosmetic. In a welcome move, Blizzard is also making assurances they won’t do the typical live-service game thing and make all the best-looking skins exclusive to Cosmetics Shop. To prove their point, they provided a series of side-by-side comparison images – the Legendary armors on the left can be freely earned in-game, while the ones on the right are exclusive to the shop.

As for Season Passes, they’ll offer free and premium tiers. You can earn XP boosts by working your way through a pass, but they’ll only be attached to free tiers, so the “no paying for power” promise remains intact. Here’s a bit more information about Diablo IV’s Season Passes…

  • The Season Pass has Free Tiers and Premium Tiers –Throughout the pass players can earn rewards for free, just by playing. At any point during the Season, players can purchase the Premium Pass to unlock the ability to earn Premium rewards tiers containing seasonally themed Cosmetics and Premium Currency.
  • The Season Pass awards cosmetics – Like the Shop, these don’t affect gameplay. Additionally, certain cosmetic types are exclusive to the Season Pass.
  • The Season Pass awards Premium Currency – Players can spend this currency on a variety of cosmetics in the shop.
  • The Season Pass awards free Season Boosts – Boosts accelerate players’ progress for the duration of the Season. For example, a Season Boost might accelerate XP earned to make leveling multiple characters within a season faster. Because they affect gameplay, Season Boosts are free rewards for all players. 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.
  • Players can purchase Tiers, but they won’t speed up getting Season Boosts – Players can’t upgrade Season Boosts just by purchasing Tiers, because they’ll also have to earn level milestones to apply them. All other Tier rewards can be unlocked instantly by purchasing Tiers. In other words, there’s no way to shortcut getting Season Boosts by buying Tiers; they must be earned.
  • The Season Journey accelerates Season Pass progression – Any play style can progress through the Season Pass, but min-maxers can focus on Season Journey objectives to advance more quickly.

Overall, it could be worse. It could be Diablo Immortal! Sure, it would be nice if a premium game like Diablo IV didn’t have any additional monetization at all, but that just isn’t going to happen.

Activision Blizzard has faced a series of lawsuits and other legal action on the heels of a suit filed by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) alleging widespread gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment at the Call of Duty publisher. You can get more details on that unfolding story here.

Diablo IV launces on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, and PS5 sometime in 2023.

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