Diablo Immortals first major patch dodges microtransaction controversy, opens with new battle pass

Diablo Immortal’s first post-launch update will roll out tomorrow with the launch of season 2, and so far it’s entirely avoiding the microtransaction controversy which has dominated discussion of the game. 

Blizzard outlined the start of the new season in a recent blog post (opens in new tab). Season 2 will officially begin tomorrow, July 7, at 3am server time, and the first item on the list of new content is an updated battle pass with one free tier and two paid tiers. As ever, the Empowered battle pass will get you some extra loot and cosmetics, with the pricier Collector’s version granting an immediate rank-up bonus and yet more cosmetics. These battle pass rewards will be available until August 4. 

The rest of the seasonal update has been called a bit thin by some players. There’s a new Helliquary raid boss, Vitaath the Shivering Death, and a three-day event with random rewards running from July 15 – 18. And… that’s it, but only for now. 

One dev recently assured players that a roadmap was forthcoming and that it would focus on the next battle pass, but the immediate response to today’s news suggests some players were still hoping for more. If nothing else, Blizzard says it’s preparing another update for later this month which will add Class Change “alongside other additional new content,” but season 2 hasn’t exactly exploded onto the scene. 

Diablo franchise general manager Rod Fergusson echoed these sentiments on Twitter (opens in new tab), describing tomorrow’s patch as “mainly a battle pass update” and positioning the next July patch as “our first major content update.” In other words, the lion’s share of New Stuff is coming later in the month and deeper into the season. 

The rest of the current season 2 patch notes are filled out by balance changes – with Monk and Wizard getting some buffs – and a laundry list of bug fixes. Notably absent from Blizzard’s post is any acknowledgement of the roiling discourse over the game’s monetization, pricing, and drop rates, which was only stoked by new estimates which value a fully maxed-out character at exorbitant prices reaching into the hundreds of thousands. 

Dropping mortgage-worthy money on a game is an alien reality to almost everyone, but the mere possibility of such a corner case has understandably raised some questions about Diablo Immortal, and the enormous power gap between free-to-play or low-spending players and those with even moderately deep pockets remains undeniable. 

Blizzard doesn’t address Diablo Immortal’s monetization or the response to it in its season 2 post. The closest it gets is committing to “collecting suggestions and feedback for the game” and “sharing more updates in future patches.” But for now, it looks like business as usual – and despite the microtransaction backlash, business is booming, with Immortal delivering Diablo’s biggest launch ever.  

One Diablo Immortal player used $50,000 worth of WoW gold to beat “cash whales” at their own game.

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