Ever Since Diablo Immortal was released, destroying the hearts of the dedicated Diablo audience, one thing has haunted players’ minds: pay to win. A concept alien to those in the ARPG space, the game is about grinding, getting those items, and completing those goals. And now, players need to know if Diablo 4 is pay-to-win, so they know if acquiring the biggest launch at Blizzard in a decade is worth the risk.
Is Diablo 4 Pay To Win?
From what we can tell, Diablo 4 is not pay-to-win. Blizzard Entertainment did a live stream on May 10, 2023, revealing the process of how the developers are doing the Diablo 4 season content. The main understanding is that with every season launch, you will get your hands on new seasonal content. Typically, season launches consist of balance patches, a new seasonal gameplay feature, new legendary affixes, story content, and a battle pass. All the features above are par for the course in ARPG games. However, the one where Diablo 4’s pay-to-win could crop up is in the Battle Pass.
The Diablo 4 Battlepass got a specific mention on the May 10th stream. Inside each seasonal battle pass are 27 free tiers, and 63 premium tiers. The Free Tiers grant cosmetics, and a currency called Smoldering Ashes, whereas, the Premium Battle Pass only grants cosmetics and platinum, the store currency used to buy premium skins and other cosmetic items from the rotating store. As you can see, this is a fairly normal battle pass, except for the Smoldering Ashes.
Diablo 4’s Smoldering Ashes are simply a currency that resets every season. This currency is used to buy seasonal buffs. From our small preview of things, only grant percentage increases to XP on kills, flask duration increases, and other minor quality-of-life features. Since free players can get this at the same tiers as the premium players, then there is no pay-to-win elements of Diablo 4, at least in this regard. In addition, buying the tier skip version of the battle pass will not let you get access and use the early Smoldering Ashes. While you can pick them up quicker, spending them relies on reaching certain milestones in the player level and journey completion.
Chances are, players who get the tier skip will likely stockpile Smoldering Ashes, rather than get to spend them. But, there may be scenarios where those who get the tier skip may be able to activate their very minor season buffs much earlier, or do larger stockpile cash-ins later. Again, this largely depends on the forward thinking and planning on Blizzard’s end where or if these scenarios arise.
So, should we be concerned about the potential of this backfiring, creating pay-to-win elements? I personally am not worried. The percentage increase on buffing those seasonal buffs is very minor. So, if there is any aspect of pay-to-win, it’s extremely minor, and in no way a repeat of what happened in Diablo Immortal. This is just speculation from us, understanding potential flaws in Blizzard’s system.
Hopefully, that gives you better idea of where the Diablo 4 Pay To Win situation may come from, and also the very minor, yet still concerned areas where there could be some excessively minor pay-to-win elements that may creep through.