Man oh man would it be fun to cover something actually good going on in Diablo 4, rather than what it seem like constant disappointments and misses. The game’s third season, Season of the Construct, was poorly received, causing Blizzard to (almost immediately) backpedal and make several major changes to the new season’s mechanics.
But just as everyone was starting to accept that Season 3 just won’t be as fun to grind as past seasons, Blizzard hit us with the Lunar Awakening limited-time event, the game’s second. Unfortunately, thanks to some puzzling design decisions, and poor communication on the part of Blizzard, things have turned sour yet again.
On the surface, Lunar Awakening appears to be learning from the mistakes of Diablo 4’s first limited time event, last holiday’s Midwinter Blight. Lunar Awakening is available to players on both the Seasonal Realm, as well as the Eternal Realm. It was also designed to be easier to progress through, which is a stark contrast to Midwinter Blight’s very grindy progression.
Unfortunately, shortly after Lunar Awakening went live on Tuesday, players began to discover that it’s not everything it was made out to be. Though the grind has indeed been lessened, Blizzard made it so much easier that you could finish the event in a day, or a couple of hours if you know what you’re doing.
“So what is this?,” Reddit user eehbiertje asks in a post on Diablo 4’s subreddit. “I thought [the] event [was going to be] nice to grind… 30 minutes (or 4 Nightmare Vaults) and you are done…”
They add, “[I] thought this would keep me ‘busy’ for a few days or a week maybe.” This is a sentiment that's been echoed by plenty of players on Reddit, many of whom gathered in this popular thread to share their confusion about the state of Lunar Awakening.
Another problem, which was sadly also present in the Christmas event, is that the cosmetic rewards can only be claimed by the class they correspond to. If you’re playing as a Sorcerer, for instance, you won’t be able to claim Barbarian transmogs. You’d have to create a whole new character just to claim the reward. After which, of course, you’re free to delete them.
The biggest disaster, however, has to do with the event’s cosmetics - because it’s always the business/financial end of Diablo 4 that seems to generate most of the anger and disappointment.
When Lunar Awakening was announced, Blizzard shared two images of the free and paid cosmetics you can expect, so players went into the game expecting to earn the free ones as part of the event’s progression. The developer made an error, however, by including two paid ones in the image showing the free cosmetics.
Technically, Blizzard never said which would be free and which you’d need to pay for, but the messaging could have certainly been clearer there. It is also worth noting that that the initial announcement does mention six free rewards, so the image needed to just show those six.
Ultimately, the main goal of Lunar Awakening is to sell expensive store cosmetics featuring the Lunar New Year theme. One of the most popular threads on the Diablo 4 subreddit this week is one where players lament the degree to which Diablo 4 feels monetised like a free-to-play game.
“Is it too much to ask for free event cosmetics in a god damn $70 game?!” aks Reddit user 5al3 - a very fair question. “Jesus Christ their greed knows no bounds…” This is a sentiment shared by most of the replies in the same thread, with the top reply summing it up pretty well.
“Bugged seasonal quests, bugged Lunar event, bugged invulnerability shrine not working, bugged classes, no gauntlet… I can only imagine how screwed up their itemization is going to be,” wrote a (now deleted) user.
“I'm done with this. I'm done with Blizzard.”