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Starym

Diablo 4 Will Feature Cosmetic Microtransactions

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While Blizzard have been somewhat cagey about this topic in various interviews, it did slip out that they are in fact planning on having microtransactions in the game. We have separate information from a few sources, beginning with Quin69's original interview with lead designer Joe Shely:

Quote

Diablo 4 will be available as a base game, we’re going to have expansions. You will also be able to acquire cosmetics in the game. It’s very early… but yes.

Now, we didn't really need this confirmation to know there will be MTXes in the game, as the horse customization system shown off at the Diablo 4: Unveiled panel was a pretty definitive sign, and a game like Diablo is a pretty solid fit for cosmetics.

Shely also reiterated what we heard in several different interviews and panels as well, where it was very definitively stated that you will not be able to buy power in the game. With the auction house also being confirmed as not returning, and the most powerful items in the game being non-tradeable, it seems we really will have to get the very top gear ourselves. He continued to clarify that they don't know what form these cosmetic MTXes will take, although again, considering the horse armor and customization, we'd say they have at least some idea.

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A lot of people are very opposed to any form of MTX in a Diablo game, but as always it all comes down to execution. Will the purchasable cosmetics be the best looking gear in the game? Will they overshadow the endgame and most powerful gear you have to work hard to get? Or will it just be different options and perhaps weird concepts that don't fit with actual gear in the game. We can safely eliminate the Asian MMO route where a fantasy RPG suddenly gets modern day cop outfits and other completely immersion-breaking cosmetics, at least.

Another way that's really worked well in the past is the Destiny model... or, well, the OLD Destiny model - where you could get a lot/a majority of the cosmetics just by playing the game enough, with 2 separate currencies for buying cosmetics - one for real money and one you can earn in-game. The point being that while everyone (rightly) recoils at the mere mention of microtransactions, they can actually be beneficial to a game if done correctly - Diablo 3 would have been updated and improved much more if it had a steady revenue stream coming in, perhaps even getting a second expansion, and would it really have been that horrible if players were able to just buy the seasonal wings, portraits etc from the conquests?

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As for Diablo 4, aside from the clearly already planned horse cosmetics, there are plenty of avenues they could go with the MTXes, avoiding the inevitable trouble that would come from selling really cool looking armor set visuals. There are plenty of things they could add that wouldn't really impact the game at all, like additional head customization like scars, tattoos etc, banner additions (if they return), portrait frames, UI customization, and a lot more. Now sure, the more cynical among us might think that one of the big reasons Blizzard went the shared world route this time around is to make cosmetics more valuable, as you'll be showing off to random people all the time as you pass them by in the world, but even if that were the case as long as they don't go overboard with what they sell, it should be fine.

In any case, there is a way to do MTXes well, and considering how much attention Blizzard are paying to the community's wishes, Diablo 4 may get out of the MTX quagmire relatively intact, or perhaps even be better for it.

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Other Diablo 4 articles:

Check out our BlizzCon 2019 Content Hub for more interviews and info!

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I mean, microtransactions are fine in a free to play game; Dota 2 is probably the best example.     It's free to play, and none of the transactions can actually give you more power (They're entirely cosmetic).     Moreover all of them can also be gotten through playing the game long enough.

Diablo 4 though is almost certainly going to come with a $59.99 retail price, and some $29-39 expansions.    Adding microtransactions for cosmetics is already fairly scummy with those figures in place.    If they go "full Bethesda" and start selling Horse Armor that gives more bag space or something, I may actually be done with them.     Haven't bought an EA game in over a decade now.

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1 hour ago, Migol said:

Diablo 4 though is almost certainly going to come with a $59.99 retail price, and some $29-39 expansions.    Adding microtransactions for cosmetics is already fairly scummy with those figures in place.    If they go "full Bethesda" and start selling Horse Armor that gives more bag space or something, I may actually be done with them.

I'm not well versed on Bethesda games because IMO they aren't even as fun as watching snails race, but if horse armor were to give more bag space, then it would no longer be purely cosmetic. I don't see how something totally non-essential and purely aesthetic is "scummy" - but to each his own?

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22 minutes ago, darkinchworm said:

I'm not well versed on Bethesda games because IMO they aren't even as fun as watching snails race, but if horse armor were to give more bag space, then it would no longer be purely cosmetic. I don't see how something totally non-essential and purely aesthetic is "scummy" - but to each his own?

This is correct, bag space = power and they specifically said they wouldnt be selling that (because if they did they would instantly lose basically their entire player base).

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30 minutes ago, darkinchworm said:

I'm not well versed on Bethesda games because IMO they aren't even as fun as watching snails race, but if horse armor were to give more bag space, then it would no longer be purely cosmetic. I don't see how something totally non-essential and purely aesthetic is "scummy" - but to each his own?

Because you are going to be paying a full price premium for the game already, they should be unlockables....not just another means to squeeze more money out of the player base, aesthetic or not.

Edited by Granis

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So long as it ensures frequent gameplay updates and won't affect gameplay, I'm down for it.

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D4 is not a F2P game, it's B2P game, meaning the MTX can knick right off. Cosmetic or not, I don't give a flying fruitbat about that, if you're paying sticker price then the only extra should involve expansions, nothing else.

But of course gaming companies aren't about making money anymore, they are about making ALL the money. Gotta milk that last drop.

 

4 hours ago, Stan said:

So long as it ensures frequent gameplay updates and won't affect gameplay, I'm down for it.

That system already existed, it was called expansion packs. It worked well for a long time, but oh no, why bother putting out 12-18 hours of extra gameplay when you can charge the same price for a bit of bling that no-one is even paying attention to.

Edited by tkioz
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1 hour ago, tkioz said:

But of course gaming companies aren't about making money anymore, they are about making ALL the money. Gotta milk that last drop.

Having microtransactions in a full price game is bad enough, but I also wonder what form these cosmetics are going to take. D4 is supposed to be way darker than D3 (still looks familiar enough to me, a little closer to D3 than D2, imo), but if they are going overboard with cosmetics, it's going to take some of that serious, dark tone away. Seeing people running around with mini Diablos, Azmodans etc., while wearing colorful wings... Unless they will only introduce something more mundane, but I doubt about that.

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Hmm, I dunno. I really don't believe micro-transactions really improve updates and the like. I believe it will end up like the D3 auction house. Nobody really wants to pay for something in game that they would much rather earn. Even if blizzard were to make it obtainable in game there is a high chance they would make it really grindy. Just to encourage players to buy it. It always starts with cosmetics then it goes to gear boxes. We as their fans should never give them an inch.

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11 hours ago, Migol said:

Diablo 4 though is almost certainly going to come with a $59.99 retail price, and some $29-39 expansions.    Adding microtransactions for cosmetics is already fairly scummy with those figures in place. 

Yea, I don't understand the whole underlining goal of selling cosmetics... sure it's to make money. But they will probably make plenty of money from the base game + the expansions they release. They should have gone the Borderlands 3 route, that game practically HANDS you cosmetics for free, and you can buy them with the ingame currency it has.

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9 hours ago, Gozzreal said:

Hmm, I dunno. I really don't believe micro-transactions really improve updates and the like. I believe it will end up like the D3 auction house. Nobody really wants to pay for something in game that they would much rather earn. Even if blizzard were to make it obtainable in game there is a high chance they would make it really grindy. Just to encourage players to buy it. It always starts with cosmetics then it goes to gear boxes. We as their fans should never give them an inch.

Um what game started with cosmetic MTX and then moved on to paying for actual gear?

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12 hours ago, tkioz said:

D4 is not a F2P game, it's B2P game, meaning the MTX can knick right off. Cosmetic or not, I don't give a flying fruitbat about that, if you're paying sticker price then the only extra should involve expansions, nothing else.

But of course gaming companies aren't about making money anymore, they are about making ALL the money. Gotta milk that last drop.

 

That system already existed, it was called expansion packs. It worked well for a long time, but oh no, why bother putting out 12-18 hours of extra gameplay when you can charge the same price for a bit of bling that no-one is even paying attention to.

It's almost like games have only marginally become more expensive (10$ for now) and game development costs have skyrocketed with constant support and updates (before when you bough a game MAYBE you get some bug fixes in the expansion). Why would the EVIL corporations want a steady income stream to actually be able to pay those devs that support the game.

Now of course they also want to make more money and profit, but to simplify and villanize microtransactions completely is just small-minded. Reality changes and games have also changed. Now loot boxes we can all get behind removing them forever.

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18 hours ago, Starym said:

This is correct, bag space = power and they specifically said they wouldnt be selling that (because if they did they would instantly lose basically their entire player base).

"Full Bethesda" refers to Bethesda and their promise in Fallout 76 to not sell power, IE only sell cosmetics.     They've wholly reneged on that one.

Also the "need Microtransactions to support the game and content" is regularly a big crock.    The only places it might be true are the little Indie companies barely staying afloat.     If they want to make that claim, have them disclose profits and how much is funneled up to their parent company.      WoW alone has millions of people paying $15 a month (Still!) for a subscription, Blizzard is hardly hurting for money to feed the stockholders.

Edited by Migol

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23 hours ago, Migol said:

"Full Bethesda" refers to Bethesda and their promise in Fallout 76 to not sell power, IE only sell cosmetics.     They've wholly reneged on that one.

Also the "need Microtransactions to support the game and content" is regularly a big crock.    The only places it might be true are the little Indie companies barely staying afloat.     If they want to make that claim, have them disclose profits and how much is funneled up to their parent company.      WoW alone has millions of people paying $15 a month (Still!) for a subscription, Blizzard is hardly hurting for money to feed the stockholders.

Yea but your math is off. No one is saying they aren't making big profits, but that has nothing to do with the devs. See the business guys decide what chunk of the profits from game sales go to further development (whether it's for the next game in the series, an entirely different game, or an expansion etc) and then that's it. If the game only has income for sales of the base copy that's not a very sustainable model. If it has microtransactions there's a steady income which can support constant updates, bug fixes and maintenance, and if there's enough of it even new content.

This is the mistake most people make when talking about microtransactions IMO - corporations WILL be greedy always, that's literally what they're made for, so you have to take that as a given and as a player who wants more and better content, you add that into the equation. In this case it means if there's a steady stream of money coming from diablo and not just the occasional game sale after launch the corps greed is filled, they take a piece of the MTXes as well but then the rest goes to further development. I'm 100% sure that if D3 sold those shitty wings and portrait frames (and whatever other cosmetic crap crazy people buy) in addition to being able to earn them we'd have gotten either anohter class or even a full new expansion as well.

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2 hours ago, Starym said:

This is the mistake most people make when talking about microtransactions IMO - corporations WILL be greedy always, that's literally what they're made for, so you have to take that as a given and as a player who wants more and better content, you add that into the equation. In this case it means if there's a steady stream of money coming from diablo and not just the occasional game sale after launch the corps greed is filled, they take a piece of the MTXes as well but then the rest goes to further development. I'm 100% sure that if D3 sold those shitty wings and portrait frames (and whatever other cosmetic crap crazy people buy) in addition to being able to earn them we'd have gotten either anohter class or even a full new expansion as well.

This is how League is able to have such a strong development team, the fact that League makes money purely on cosmetics from the game itself, allowed them to funnel those funds into multiple games that they announced this year. People have proven time and time again that if something appeals to them, they will buy it. I am a culprit of this and can attest, if I see a great skin for one of my favorite champions, I'll straight up buy it!

I can understand the theory behind paying cosmetics, but does Diablo 4 really need it? Considering if they are going to make multiple expansions? I can understand why Diablo 3 suffered after ROS because of how many years that have passed without any other expansion (outside of the Necro pack). But if they plan to release expansions within a substantial time frame (between 1 to 2 years) consistently I don't see how the game can't go unsupported. Like I said in my previous post, Borderlands 3 is a big title that has very little MTX's. They practically hand you cosmetics left and right for free! 

Edited by Rhondis

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On 11/9/2019 at 1:48 AM, Granis said:

Because you are going to be paying a full price premium for the game already, they should be unlockables....not just another means to squeeze more money out of the player base, aesthetic or not.

Agree to disagree, I guess. I don't typically associate playing dress-up with having fun in a game, and I don't feel like I'm missing out when that type of content is paywalled. Though I will go through every seasonal objective in Diablo III for a dumb pair of wings... haha

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15 minutes ago, darkinchworm said:

Agree to disagree, I guess. I don't typically associate playing dress-up with having fun in a game, and I don't feel like I'm missing out when that type of content is paywalled. Though I will go through every seasonal objective in Diablo III for a dumb pair of wings... haha

Eh I guess, I just like to feel I'm getting my money's worth. It also probably has something to do with my age since I remember gaming before it went full on corporate and started charging for things you normally got in a game.

It also rubs me the wrong way that the horse is basically added to the game solely for cosmetic monetization because really....what purpose does it serve in an ARPG?

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10 hours ago, darkinchworm said:

Agree to disagree, I guess. I don't typically associate playing dress-up with having fun in a game, and I don't feel like I'm missing out when that type of content is paywalled. Though I will go through every seasonal objective in Diablo III for a dumb pair of wings... haha

See I'm the same - the wings for the season conquests (and achievements and similar reward incentives) give me an additional reason to play a game i enjoy. Unfortunately the nature of Diablo-likes is that you need that motivation, whether it's gear or cosmetics or achievements, to push you to play more, since the gameplay, as awesome as it may be, gets repetitive. So if I have a goal in mind I will enjoy playing the game - some people just have different goals.

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Y'all please.. Overwatch is B2P and has tons of cosmetics, and no one bats an eye then. But when they want to do the exact same in Diablo 4 you guys freak the **** out? 

Cosmetics = Steady income = $ to continue support

The initial sale figures will probably only cover for the development costs and some profit to satisfy the investors, they need extra dough to continue supporting the game. 

If you say you don't want paid cosmetics, you're basically saying you don't want continued support and wish to see another dead diablo like D3. 

This aint rocket science.

Edited by sebastiantho

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      Unique items are making a comeback in a big way in Diablo IV. We're embracing the fantasy of these build-around items with completely fixed affixes, heavily thematic and usually class-specific powers, and distinctive looks.
      Three Unique items available at level 20. A Unique will always appear with the same affixes.
      We still like the idea of Mythic items, but we don't want to create an item quality that invalidates all others, so they're out for now. One of the things we loved most about them was the promise of getting random legendary powers on an item, so we folded that into our baseline legendary design.
      With the addition of the skills and passives tree, primary stat points, and changes to items in Diablo IV, we can’t wait to see all the builds you’ll create. Maybe you'll focus on skills augmented by Uniques we designed, create something from scratch out of different legendary affixes, discover a creative pairing of primary stats with specific skills, or even incorporate the odd Rare or Magic item to maximize a specific affix to great effect.
      We’re excited to read through the community feedback on the updates in this blog. As always, please remember that none of this is final as the game is still actively in development. Your constructive discussions around these features will continue to help Diablo IV, and we greatly appreciate your support and thoughts about the game. We will continue working on itemization throughout the development of Diablo IV and we are looking forward to seeing you at BlizzConline next year! We have lots to share in 2021 regarding some of our other features and we can’t wait to tell you all about them.
      -Joe Shely,
      Lead Game Designer, Diablo IV
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    • By Staff
      There's only 16 more days in Q4 of 2020 and as you'd expect Diablo fans are getting excited and have started asking when the new quarterly update is coming. Today community manager PezRadar went to reddit to clarify:
      Diablo 4 Quarterly Update (source)
      Wait, when does Q4 end?!?! JK ?
      Soon.
      Very Very Soon.
      This definitely means this week and perhaps even tomorrow, so let's see what happens! 
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