How Diablo Immortal’s Pay-To-Win Microtransactions Are Ten Times Worse Than ‘Genshin Impact’

In the wake of players discovering that Diablo Immortal’s endgame is entirely pay to winwhere “winning” in a Diablo game is all about creating a powerful build, I’ve heard a common argument.

“Well, that’s how gacha games work. You just don’t understand the mobile scene.

Of course, I will say that there are many other games, especially in the Asian market, that have players spending hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of dollars in pursuit of power, but I will also say that this looks particularly bad because it’s Diablo, a series that we have been living for two decades without this kind of P2W system, so it’s much worse.

However, even compared to other high profile gacha/mobile titles, Diablo Immortal still goes above and beyond its microtransactions in a much worse way than most other games in these genres.

I want to compare Diablo Immortal to Genshin Impact, a mobile/gacha game that’s one of the most successful in the world, grossing $3 billion in revenue, and apparently the type of game you’d want to emulate.

But while Genshin Impact has been accused of being a bit stingy in the past, that’s nothing compared to Diablo Immortal, not at all.

To set up the basics, Diablo Immortal’s main draw are Legendary Crests, which when placed in a rift, that rift will then spit out a 1-5 star rated Legendary Gem. There are also rare crests, which players quite often get for free, but these are capped at 2 star gems. It costs 160 Eternal Orbs for a Legendary Crest.

Genshin Impact has 4 or 5 star hero characters and 3 to 5 star weapons that you can play in its gacha system. It costs 160 primogems for an attempt. The same equivalent to Diablo Immortal’s currency.

The main difference here is the ability to get free attempts for each of these valuable star-based things just by playing the game.

Diablo Immortal’s main problem is that it just doesn’t let you accumulate Legendary Crests at a rate approaching a reasonable rate. As a free player, you are limited to three Legendary Crests per month, or 36 in total per year. That’s not even enough to trigger the game’s innate 50-draw “pity timer” that will reward you with a potential X/5 Star Legendary Gem. And you can’t earn Eternal Orbs at all in the game, it is a purely premium currency.

And another key point here, you can’t target which gem you get. If you finally get a 5 star, you literally have no ability to chase the one you want.

Genshin Impact is the opposite of that. Just by playing the game, you can rack up thousands of Primogems, which means you can work your way to a big stack of free tries on characters you want when they arrive. And this is the other main difference you can opt for the characters you want, since they will be presented in a specific banner. You don’t have to guess which of the game’s 20 five-star characters you’re going to get, you to know the only new 5 stars in the pool is the one you want (although it is a 50/50 chance on your first 5 star drop, it’s them, or an older one).

And then, beyond all that, Genshin Impact is just… a wildly more open game in terms of what you can do for free. There are no progression blockers meant to slow you down as you progress through the story. There is no ultra-endgame content that requires free-to-play players to be unable to create. You box play it all for free, and Genshin makes money because people want to new characters appearing. They don’t really need it.

Diablo hard, hard limits your power with its crest and gem system. And that limits how much you can even try to get Legendary Gems at such a low rate it doesn’t even make sense, with only 3 crests per month. Let’s say a special event gives you another 1-2. Even then, compared to Genshin Impact throwing Primogems at players every turn, it’s not even close. I can probably save 100 prints for a Genshin character every few patches. With Diablo, it would take several years play for free, and I’m still not guaranteed to get what I want.

If you hate F2P mobile games and gacha titles, I don’t blame you. It’s a pretty crude system. And yet there is a way to do it “well” or at least well, much better than what we see here with Diablo Immortal. If I were them, I would learn from the game with $3 billion in revenue and a die-hard fan base, but what do I know?

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