Blizzard’s ever popular Diablo 3 is still getting a steady stream of updates, and the latest patch, 2.2.0, will be entering the Public Test Realm soon with a number of new features, most prominently microtransactions.
In an official blog post, the developer detailed all the incoming features for patch 2.2.0. One of these updates includes three new Legendary armor sets: Unhallowed Essence, Wrath of the Wastes, and Delsere’s Magnum Opus, whose qualifications as “armor” truly beggars belief. New Legendary gems, rings and armor pieces are also set to be added.
Most curiously, however, is that the patch will also add:
A new currency called “Platinum”
Timed experience boosts
New cosmetic items including wings, non-combat pets, and character portraits
References to stash space and character slot expansions
A new UI interface that references the above information
Platinum will presumably be purchasable using real-world money, which, combined with the addition of new cosmetic items, pretty much means Diablo 3 will be getting microtransactions.
However, Blizzard also stated that this particular feature will not be available in North America “anytime soon,” implying that the developer is seeking to tap Asian markets, where free-to-play games like League of Legends make most of their money.
Speaking to PC Gamer, the publisher added:
“There are a lot of different factors that go into decisions like this, including various regional or local market considerations. We know that some of these features would be ones that players in several regions might enjoy, but we don’t currently have plans to support these in North America, and we don’t have any other region-specific details to share at this time.”
Blizzard’s caveat that microtransactions won’t be coming to North American Diablo players “anytime soon” pretty much means that the feature will be implemented eventually. This is a curious development, considering, that Diablo 3‘s initial foray into microtransactions, the Auction House, was shut down last year after the developer deemed that it was undermining gameplay.