Diablo Immortal, the mobile-first iteration of the Diablo series, has been widely criticized by players as being “pay-to-win.” Players can purchase all sorts of items that will, in some way, give them an advantage over others. Developer Blizzard, however, doesn’t sell experience or level boosts, meaning even players who pour cash into the free-to-play game will actually need to play the game for the most part in order to progress.
One of the very first messages I saw when I logged into Diablo Immortal for the first time on Friday was an advert for a particular website.
“ITEMS TRADE PLATFOM [sic]: WVVW.P 2 P A H.COM,” a player called “Tulix” spammed in the in-game chat over and over again, using various tricks like two Vs instead of a W and extra spaces to presumably try and avoid any spam filters Diablo Immortal is using.
Going to that site presents visitors with a cornucopia of different Diablo Immortal things to buy. For $200, people can buy a Barbarian or Crusader character at the game’s maximum level of 60 on their choice of server. There are hundreds listed for sale. For the cheaper price of $116.60, a vendor on the site will boost a character from level one to 60 on your behalf. The process takes around 47.5 hours, according to the listing.
Another website called BoostHive offers a more granular selection of boosting services. In one the site will take a buyer’s character and play through the game’s campaign for them. That takes around 10 hours and costs $89, the website says. Another listing offers the chance to outsource completing Diablo Immortal’s daily quests from the game’s bounty board. Each day costs $10, or a buyer is offered 15% off for ordering 10 days worth of quests at once. A third listing says that the site will play Challenge Rifts for you, which are generally one of the activities that ordinary players churn through in the game to have a chance at obtaining rare equipment for their character.
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In its official microtransactions, Diablo Immortal lets players buy a battle pass, which provides an extra list of items they can unlock by completing quests (players can also pay extra to skip this and just get the rewards); “crests” which let players run a dungeon with a guaranteed pay out of a valuable gem which can be used or resold; and commodities which can then be traded for upgrade materials. The game also offers cosmetic items for sale.
Rhykker, a popular Diablo-focused YouTuber, said in a recent video that “yes, you can buy power in Diablo Immortal, both directly and indirectly. Yes, spending money will give you an advantage over other players who do not spend money.”
Blizzard did not respond to a request for comment on the third-party marketplaces selling access to characters and boosts.
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