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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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      The key art:
        

    • By Staff
      Blizzard have clarified that while Diablo 4 will have an in-game shop, it will only have cosmetic items available, responding to player concerns of potential Diablo Immortal-like pay to win options. They've also emphasized the story driven expansion model as the basis for the game. 
    • By Staff
      Blizzard today revealed during the 2022 Xbox Games Showcase event that Diablo 4 will launch on Windows PC, Xbox One X|S, Xbox Series X|S, and Playstation 4/5 in 2023 and will host cross-play and cross-progression for all platforms.
      Console will also support couch-op. The fifth and final class available at launch is the Necromancer.
      (Source)
      During the 2022 Xbox Games Showcase Event we told the story of an unremitting conflict between the Burning Hells and High Heavens, foretold the return of Lilith, Sanctuary’s demonic creator, and shared scorching-hot details around the next installment in the Diablo saga—Diablo IV.
      Before you read further, we are excited to announce that Diablo IV will launch in 2023 on Windows PC, Xbox One X|S, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4/5 and will host cross-play and cross-progression for all platforms. On console, players may also slay demons side-by-side with a friend through couch-co-op. We have another bone-chilling announcement: in addition to the Barbarian, Druid, Rogue, and Sorceress, the fifth and final class available at launch is the scythe-wielding purveyor of death, the Necromancer!
      If the flames of our hellish segment of the showcase died down before you could gaze upon them, do not fret, we have provided all the invitingly dark details below. Grab a spot around the campfire as we shed some light on Diablo IV!
      Journal
      Introducing: The Necromancer
      You Decide
      Character Customization
      Explore Your Way
      Social Systems
      End Game Offerings

      Introducing: The Necromancer
      As a Priest of Rathma, known by outsiders as a Necromancer—the word death evokes a sensation of power, potentially even excitement when it graces their ear. These legendary summoners bend blood, bone, and darkness to their will, and subjugate the ranks of the undead to carry out their bidding. Unknowing adversaries who pick a fight with this death-defying class will quickly learn they’ve made a grave mistake, for they are darkness in its wake.
      We have a casket-full of news to share with you around how the Necromancer class will decimate and reanimate demons in Diablo IV. Take a gander at our June 2022 Diablo IV Quarterly Update blog coming out tomorrow at 10 a.m. PDT to learn more about the class’s new mechanics, such as the Book of the Dead, with Lead Class Designer, Adam Jackson.
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      You Decide
      At the heart of Diablo IV is player choice. There is no one singular way to play the game; players will carve their own path forward, shaping their destiny in a nonlinear way of their choosing. This ethos extends to character customization, player skills, exploration of Diablo IV’s shared open world, its social systems, and of course—the end game. Let’s dive into these gameplay systems and some of the choices they provide.
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      Character Customization
      The denizens of Sanctuary are a diverse people. We wanted this same diversity to be reflected in the hero YOU bring to life. And thus, whether you set off into Diablo IV as a Barbarian, Druid, Necromancer, Rogue, or Sorceress, you’ll be greeted by a fleshed-out character customizer offering a plethora of options. This level of player choice doesn’t just reside in aesthetics, it is also seen in the expansive Skill Trees for every class, each offering endless ways to rip through the Burning Hell’s forces with your hero.
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      Explore Your Way
      As we said, there is no singular way to traverse Sanctuary in Diablo IV—we leave that up to your motivations. The world is vast in scale; home to frigid mountain ranges, sand-swept canyons, plague lands bubbling with pestilence, and many other biomes. All with no shortage of demonic dangers to encounter and secrets to uncover. You won’t simply traverse through an empty world in Diablo IV—every inch is built for combat.
      As you navigate around, taking notice of the wounds Lilith’s return has inflicted upon the land, you’ll encounter a new type of evil: Strongholds. These are locations the Burning Hell’s minions have claimed for themselves, casting a shadow of darkness upon them for you to lift. Clearing out Strongholds will bring about permanent change to these locations, repopulating them with non-demonic life and rewarding you with loot. Clearing a Stronghold may also reveal new dungeons to delve into and other hidden experiences. Speaking of dungeons, Diablo IV contains almost 150 detailed dungeons—close-quarters experiences for you to root out evil throughout the main questline and beyond. Each time you step foot into a dungeon, its layout and distribution of adversaries will vary, keeping the challenge alive while still allowing you to strategize a way to overcome the dangers within.
      Sanctuary is alive…with demons to dispose of! Aside from dangerous dungeons and heavily defended Strongholds, there are also local events to be completed solo or with a team in the name of glory and rewards. And for daring heroes craving an especially hardy challenge, towering world bosses roam the world with a desire to end those who oppose them. Band together with fellow defenders of Sanctuary to topple these nightmarish titans.
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      Social Systems
      Teaming up with other heroes to rid Sanctuary of bloodthirsty demons or going head-to-head against them in combat has long been a staple of the Diablo experience. Diablo IV will continue this tradition by offering both fulfilling PvE and PvP experiences. Providing players with the option to pursue Lilith on their own or with the aid of others is just another way players have additional agency when playing Diablo IV.
      To make demon slaying with friends a breeze, we have rebuilt the party-forming experience so that regardless of character levels or where you may be within a particular questline, you can still band together. This is also our intended experience for players on different platforms looking to cleanse Sanctuary of evil together.
      But if vanquishing hordes of demons with other players is not your preference, you may prefer a more mortal opponent. Mephisto, the Lord of Hatred, forever looking to instigate a skirmish, has cursed specific areas of Sanctuary, transforming them into Fields of Hatred. Here, his influence pits mortal versus mortal in designated PvP Zones. If you give into Mephisto’s temptation by marking yourself hostile, you open yourself up to facing the full fury of others who are marked hostile, but should you be successful in striking down your opponent, their spoils shall be yours to claim. These zones are not for the faint of heart, rather for heroes looking to bring renown to their name through blood and zeal!
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      End Game Offerings
      Closing the final chapter of Diablo IV’s main story will be a monumental moment, but it will certainly not signify the end of your hero’s journey. We want players to see the end game of Diablo IV as a new beginning filled with quite a few decisions ahead on what to experience next. First, you might try to take on Nightmare Dungeons: transformed and teeming with enhanced demonic dangers and added difficulty in the form of new objectives and added afflictions to the dungeon. Perhaps you want to branch off into another direction, say, place down roots for your future. Look no further than the Tree of Whispers, an end-game system that will provide you with frequently cycling world objectives and bounties that reward you with Legendary gear, experience, crafting materials, and more!
      In Sanctuary, there is unrelenting ever-present danger waiting for you at every turn. To best whatever the Burning Hells may throw your way, you must grow stronger. Once you reach max level, the Paragon Board will unlock, and with it, hundreds of optional paths to further customize your hero’s build.
      We thank you for joining us around the campfire to learn more about what is coming in Diablo IV! As we march forward to our 2023 launch, additional parcels of information will manifest from the darkness. Keep an eye out for future Quarterly Update blogs and more.
      We bid thee farewell. . . for now,
      -The Diablo IV Team
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