Getting your hands on the best Diablo Immortal gems is a particularly taxing experience, as one of the game’s most watched players has been finding out. Since reaching the RPG game’s endgame, Diablo Immortal streamer Quin69 has been running repeated elder rifts in search of an elusive max rank five-star gem. Getting the best gems out of this requires a currency primarily obtained with real money – in fact, it’s almost a requirement to spend money if you want to trade those gems.
Quin69 has been buying plenty of the legendary crests used to ensure gem drops, backed by the funding of his viewers on Twitch. Yet the chance of a gem dropping at the highest possible rank, a five-star legendary gem, is still very small. So small in fact that, as of the time his first five-star gem dropped on June 18, Quin69 had spent a total of $25,165 NZD / £12,955 GBP / $15,888 USD attempting to get one.
So, having finally obtained his white whale, how does Quin69 celebrate? “It’s over,” he whispers quietly into his microphone, before immediately exiting the game and uninstalling it from his computer. After a moment’s pause, encouraged by his Twitch chat, he decides that this isn’t a clear enough statement – so he reinstalls the game, destroys the gem by consuming it to power up a largely useless one-star gem, types his thanks to his Warband in the game’s chat, and deletes his level 60 character altogether. Then, he starts playing The Quarry instead.
“F*** you, Blizzard,” he says, holding a middle finger up to the camera while uninstalling for a second time, then encouraging his viewers to also quit playing the game in a calmly spoken but swear-laden tirade. Earlier in the stream, while running Diablo Immortal’s elder rifts – which are so straightforward that they can be run without wearing any gear – Quin69 gently mocks the game’s microtransaction systems.
Imitating the cadence of a YouTube guide, he jokingly narrates: “Once you get to the loot boxes, you’re going to need to get your credit card out, it’s gonna cost about 27 dollars equalling about 400 dollars a day, but that’s fine because you get an extra two percent damage…” As a hefty contributor to the $24 million Diablo Immortal has made so far, some players feel Quin69 is a big part of the problem – what good is a dramatic exit when you’ve already handed so much money over to Activision Blizzard?
Other people, however, have expressed their thanks, feeling that his community-funded experiment has highlighted the game’s predatory microtransaction systems and discouraged them from spending their own money chasing after gems.
Quin69, meanwhile, says he is still looking forward to the Diablo 4 release date. Blizzard promises that Diablo 4 microtransactions are restricted to cosmetics, which should come as welcome news to fans put off by Immortal’s monetisation systems.