Written By ChoseN
The third installment of Blizzard’s Diablo 4 quarterly update mainly dove into the monetization model, talked about seasons, and addressed concerns that many gamers have about how pay-to-win Diablo 4 is going to be.
In my opinion, the biggest news from this quarterly update was the confirmation of seasons that will be about 3 months long, which will start decently close to release date and have a full dedicated team working on producing new seasons. There will be a Season Journey for each new season filled with objectives that reward players for completing them. This is amazing news because seasons pumped life into Diablo 3 and made that game countless amounts more enjoyable. Seasons give players an opportunity to start fresh and compete on leaderboards even if they haven’t played for a long time, while being introduced to some new content to check out.
There will also be Season Passes in each of these new seasons, which is a mechanic mostly any gamer will be familiar with by now in 2022. Battle Passes and Season Passes are usually designed with a base free version that all players automatically get access to, with a premium version to unlock further rewards on top of the free version. Diablo 4 is going to be no different and that is exactly how their Season Passes will be designed. Blizzard made it emphatically clear in their post that the premium version of the Season Pass will not have a single aspect of making characters stronger or progressing faster. Meaning that as of right now, there seems to be no pay-to-win aspect of competing in seasons. That will be huge news to anyone who was put off by the heavy handed monetization model of the most recent game in the franchise, Diablo Immortal.
The Shop was also discussed and maintained a very similar emphatic sentiment to the Season Pass, in that there will be only cosmetics available, with no pay-to-win elements anywhere in the Shop. Blizzard did specifically say that they want to make sure that desired cosmetic options will be available to players who don’t spend. All in all, I think the cosmetics mostly look pretty good, and seem to be fitting in with the dark medieval aesthetic that Diablo fans have come to love.
Final Thoughts: This Quarterly Update was mostly great. Everything they are saying so far about monetization is in line with what we’re hoping for, the aesthetic of the game is looking good, and knowing that Seasons will be a part of the game pretty close to launch is amazing news. Diablo 3 had to wait over 2 years to get it’s first seasonal content, and by then many of it’s players had already given up on the game. New games usually hit a wall around 90 days where player count can drastically fall off, so hopefully we will see Season 1 launch around 2-3 months after release for Diablo 4.