Diablo Immortal, Blizzard’s mobile Diablo game, is rolling out in an alpha test phase, with Australians getting the first crack at slaying demons on the go. On Thursday, Blizzard released a horde of details about itemization, progression, and more on its blog. The company also revealed that an unexpected feature is making its return in Diablo Immortal: a player-run marketplace called The Market.
If you were around in the early days of Diablo 3’s existence, you may remember the real-money auction house that plagued the game, where buying your gear was far more efficient than earning it in-game. The Diablo Immortal market won’t follow that model, Blizzard said in a blog post and in a preview event attended by Polygon earlier this week.
Players have to earn all their gear in Diablo Immortal through gameplay; it can’t be bought on The Market or even traded. Instead, players can buy and sell gems and other “supplemental materials” at The Market.
Unlike the auction house in Diablo 3, where players could earn real money by selling their items, there is no cash-out system for The Market. There is a cash-in system, however. Platinum is The Market currency, and players can earn it by playing the game or by spending cash.
Players can buy and sell their materials for a set market rate, earning Platinum from the exchange. Players can then use that Platinum to buy more things from the market or craft charms, a powerful new item type that adds levels to your skills.
In a Q&A during the preview event, Blizzard told us that the market is effectively a way to mitigate bad luck. Players who get a bunch of one type of gem can offload them onto The Market to even out their items. Blizzard told us that participating in The Market is optional, but made it seem like truly dedicated players may have a tough time if they never engage with it.
The Diablo 3 auction house was a highly contentious addition to the action role-playing game in 2012, and Blizzard eventually shut it down in 2014. The company is understandably very vocal about The Market not being another auction house situation, and assuring players that it’s learned its lesson. Instead, Blizzard aims for The Market to be a social experience for players, giving them a chance to unload unwanted materials to players in need while making some in-game cash on the side.