Diablo 4 devs pledge season pass and shop cosmetics that “don’t affect gameplay”

No one wants a repeat of Immortal.

Image via Blizzard

Diablo IV might have been delayed once upon a time, but we’ve been able to learn a lot about it during the extended wait. The latest quarterly update should be a relief for folks who voiced complaints about Diablo Immortal’s alleged pay-to-win structure.

August’s Diablo IV quarterly update post talks about the game’s goal of having a seasonal reset structure like its predecessor. “Each season will be released with a fresh new gameplay feature and questline that introduces new challenges, mysteries, and possibilities into the level-up experience,” says associate game director Joe Piepiora. Each cycle will also have its own season pass, and the rewards are a big focus here.

Each pass will feature two tiers: one for any player to pursue free of charge, and a premium level that requires a buy-in but provides further rewards. The pass will provide all players with cosmetics, premium currency, and XP boosts. That last one may raise some eyebrows, but Blizzard nips that in the bud in the post. “We want to be clear that players can’t unlock season boosts more quickly through purchases,” clarifies director of product Kegan Clark. “There is no way to unlock more boosts, or boosts at a faster pace, by spending money.” The goal here is to eliminate the possibility of the maligned pay-to-win strategy. As such, “the season pass awards cosmetics, [and] like the shop, these don’t affect gameplay.”

Buying tiers of the pass won’t give players with deep pockets a shortcut either. “Players can’t upgrade Season Boosts just by purchasing tiers, because they’ll also have to earn level milestones to apply them,” Clark continues. “In other words, there’s no way to shortcut getting season boosts by buying tiers; they must be earned.” Cosmetics and currency are the only things that will pop automatically.

That’s a very transparent explanation, which is extra welcome after the Diablo Immortal debacle. The only question now is when Diablo IV will actually release. There’s no firm answer right now, though recently discovered beta files have led some to believe it could still arrive in 2022. Whenever it launches, it’ll be available on PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, and Xbox One with crossplay supported across them all.