Diablo 4’s Season of Blood launches in less than a week. It looks to introduce a season much larger than its first one, given that it wasn’t developed alongside the main game. It will give players vampiric powers and introduce a huge number of quality of life issues, from faster XP gains to item favoriting.
However, from everything I’m seeing, one of my biggest issues with the game will remain for this coming season, how the game balances free cosmetics with microtransaction-based cosmetics. As in, it has stopped balancing them at all.
Diablo 4 famously did a whole blog post about how its in-game armor sets would be just as cool as the store ones. This was largely true at launch. This has been the opposite of true for seasons, and that appears to include season 2 now.
Yeah, I’m talking about those guys up above. Can you guess which one of these is on the paid battle pass track and which one of these is earned for free? I think in your heart, you know.
This follows the exact same thing happening last season, where the free armor set was hilariously bad, making players look even worse than most NPCs in the game. Meanwhile, it wasn’t jus the paid battle pass set that was better, it was that the game introduced about 25 different armor sets across the five classes in the microtransaction shop for $20-30 each.
The game has stopped pretending like it will balance earned cosmetic rewards with paid ones. Yes, the seasons are indeed introducing new powers and new builds, but there are no comparable cosmetics to the store.
This season, even introducing new bosses, the cosmetic rewards from each are a total of two horses, three horse trophies and a single cosmetic crown. I believe that crown is the only in-game drop in the entire season that will modify your character’s appearance. One more than last season, I guess.
When I talked to the Diablo 4 devs this past week, they did say they wanted this to be more balanced, and one thing they offered was that in the future, some new uniques would have unique models, unlike how things work now, and then at least those could be transmogged. That may only be one or two armor pieces per class, per season, but hey, it’s something.
My request here would be that at least one of two of the microtransaction armor sets be turned into in-game drops rather than sold in the store. It’s absurd to be weighting so many cosmetics like this in a looter. This isn’t Overwatch, and it’s like if Destiny sold seven times the amount of armor sets in Eververse in a given season compared to what it does now. And with no path to earn them in game by collecting an alternate currency.
The other request is to please stop making the free battle pass sets this terrible. Like genuinely, it’s ridiculous. It’s an actual parody of paid versus free armor, and for the game’s own sake, these have to have more parity.
I understand that Diablo 4 needs to sell things to sustain itself as a live service. But there’s a push and pull with these kind of things, and Diablo 4 currently has pushed its formerly good free offerings straight of a cliff.