Diablo 3 in China: Cash for Stash Details Revealed

Buy extra stash tabs for Platinum.

Buy extra stash tabs for Platinum.

Blizzard announced the real money features of the Diablo 3 Chinese version some months ago, doing it preemptively before (as they said) fans could datamine it and speculate that it was coming to all realms.

The devs have talked about the features since then, stressing that they didn’t want to make D3 a “pay to win” system, but that the features players could buy with platinum would be things like additional stash space, temporary +exp buffs, and various cosmetic options, and but not something like +100% DPS or anything directly game-affecting.

The Chinese Beta Test is now underway, and the official Chinese site D.163.com has a bunch of articles posted about the features and differences found in the Chinese version. These include full info on what sort of buffs and bonuses you can purchase with Platinum, and the ways you can obtain it (other than via credit card).

The pages are all in Chinese (which Google does not so great transating) and I haven’t heard back (yet) from our Chinese correspondent, so we’re not positive on all the specifics. The following links go to Chinese language pages, and are easiest to view in Chrome, which should prompt you to Google translate them automatically.

Diablo 3 in China: Cash for Stash Details Revealed!

Chinese Region Differences

The basic issue with Chinese Diablo 3 is that most games in that region have a basic version that’s free to play, while most of the cool features are purchased via micro-transactions. This was heresy in gaming 10 or 15 years ago, but has since become the industry standard and I’ve seen players argue that it’s a superior system. The logic is that a game sold on a one-time purchase can be buggy or rushed or unfinished, since it only needs to look good once to get your money — while subscription or F2P games have to maintain content and support, and keep adding new features to keep players paying/playing.

Diablo 3 in China is going that route, and the basic game, equivalent to D3 vanilla, is free. To upgrade to Reaper of Souls and gain access to Adventure Mode and Rifts and the Crusader, etc, costs money. Other features are available for Platinum as micro-transactions, and these include include added stash space, cosmetic buffs like special pennants, and various temporary gameplay buffs such as +EXP, +Gold Find, +Blood Shard drop rate, etc.

Below you see screens of various Achievements menus, from this article. The white coin icons represent Platinum, showing which Achievements will earn these for players, and in what quantity.

Click through for more details and screenshots of the new interfaces and DLC stuff, plus quotes from devs Wyatt Cheng and Rob Foote in a new Chinese interview.

Stash Space: Up to 10 tabs can be purchased for Platinum. The interface looks kind of meh, with extra chests added on top of the stash, each of which opens another page with up to five more stash tabs. The limit for now seems to be 10 tabs, but obviously that interface could show a dozen or more chests on top, each of them adding up to another 5 stash tabs.


Microtransactions Overview

The basic info about DLC in the Chinese Diablo 3 is in this article. It covers all the basics about spending real money vs. platinum, what you get for plat, and how much players can earn in-game. Here’s the summary, based on what they observed of the Platinum rate watching a demo of the game, before the beta-began.

Up to now, according to the player’s demo Summary:

  • The date for the first time to kill the leader of the resulting white gold 25
  • Kill leader received a white gold 16
  • Unlock achievements to get a white gold 100 (The achievement is to kill the Skeleton King)
  • The date for the first time to kill the Goblin obtained white gold 25
  • Kill the butcher to get complete achievements to unlock white gold 100
  • Kill gained a purple were strange white gold 9 (purple were strange also counted as a leader
  • Based on the above player’s experience, we concluded that the number of daily type white gold award for the 25-game kill the chief reward amount is less than 20. Game achievements to unlock white gold can get 100 white gold award, one or two achievements even have 150 or 200, after our rough count and found this white gold achievement award up to 79. As for the other way to get the number of white gold, we will continue to observe and report.

    Wyatt Cheng Interview

    Wyatt tweeted that he was off to press tour duty in China a few weeks ago, and there’s an interview with him and Rob Foote, with questions mostly about the Chinese version. (Plus one about higher levels of Torment, which Wyatt nimbly avoids answering.)

    Here’s a quote from the interview, covering ways fans can obtain Platinum in-game. This is the Google translation of Chinese, and unfortunately there’s no video/audio available to let us watch/listen to the original interview in English.

    (Note that “platinum” translates to “white gold,” and “beta test” translates as “national dress” for some reason.)

    Q: Just now when it comes to the game can also get white gold, then ask which way the game can get the white gold. Because we see the achievements are also available in white gold mining, then if a player of the game without any investment, the amount is how much he can get?

    Wyatt Cheng: Ways white gold in the game get five, you kill the first day, errand Goblin, the first leader killed every day, every day to complete the adventure mode after several reward task The reward, certain achievements (not all achievement) have white gold awards, finally, in the game every time you kill the leader, such as butchers, Se Diya, or Fam Fam Keeper you can also get a little bit white gold. If a player is not in the game when it comes to how many white gold to get any input, our current thinking is that if you are a casual player, a reasonable allocation of time every day to play some, the amount you can get two to three kinds of support you buy Game strengthen the props, if it is a deep player, you have enough to buy. As for the specific gain value we have not settled, we will continue to observe and verify and make adjustments in the process of testing.

    One more thing, the national dress limited! There will be a special errand Goblin – Goblin platinum, white gold will drop it, it is very rare you can not be fixed to the brush, but we hope the players can be very happy when it is encountered.

    Best I can tell, he’s saying that the first Elite and Goblin you kill each day will drop some Platinum, plus there are special Platinum goblins, which I’d assume are pretty rare. And as they’ve said before, they don’t want it to be P2W. They’re trying to balance it so people who play a lot will find enough Platinum to afford basic perks and features, while more casual players can spend some money to buy Platinum and get the +EXP and +Blood Shards buffs to let them catch up to players who have many more hours to spend in-game. (In reality, I imagine the really hardcore players will be playing 8 hours a day AND buying Plat to further boost their dominance.)

    A couple of more quotes from the interview:

    Q: soon to May 15 the third anniversary of the Diablo 3, in the third anniversary of the Diablo 3 game whether there will be any special events? Whether the dress, the player has the opportunity to the third anniversary of May 15 was added recently to commemorate the Diablo family 3 game?

    Wyatt Cheng: This must be a very important day, but we still do not have much detail to share with you.

    Q: PTR server, we see a world of Warcraft-themed weapons in the country after serving on the line we can see elements of Chinese arms to join game?

    Wyatt Cheng: This is a great idea. We will add more legendary game items, not long ago we gave the game added some “Korean-style” items, and we are very happy to add some by Chinese culture, history, mythology-inspired props to the game. As already mentioned broadsword, whether culture or history, mythology, and we want players to give us mention some ideas and suggestions, we would consider it.

    Q: The Chinese players, what say you?

    Rob Foote: Wyatt and I will soon come to China, we are looking forward to meet with the Chinese players, the idea of listening to the players, I am pleased to be able to Diablo 3 national dress on the line.

    Wyatt Cheng: I’m very excited Diablo 3 finally about the national dress on the line, we have been working for a long time for the Diablo 3, I am very happy, I hope players will enjoy the game.


    This is of interest to lots of players outside of China since even though the system is currently exclusive to that region… it might not always be. Lots of players would happily pay real money for some of these buffs (especially stash space). And there’s nothing to say we won’t one day get some/all of these features in other regions.

    Tons of games outside of Asia have P2W or are at least largely or partially funded by DLC/microtransations, including Blizzard titles like Heartstone and WoW, and as we talked about on the podcast last night, D3 won’t be free for ever. Blizzard said during development that they weren’t going to pull another D2, running free servers for 10+ years without any sort of ongoing income, and that’s largely what the Real Money portion of the Auction House was supposed to deliver for Diablo 3.

    Obviously that didn’t work out, and while we’re all expecting another D3 expansion at some point, it’s not like Blizzard is going to keep developing those forever. At some point they’ll all move to working on Diablo 4 (or other titles) and maybe D3 will be supported (at least with B.net servers) forever, for free… but maybe it won’t. It’s not hard to envision these Chinese DLC features as a test run for how they might try working some F2P features into the game in other regions, for the short or long term.

    What do you guys think?

    What's your approval of the P2W and DLC in Chinese Diablo 3?

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    The whole DLC in China seems pretty “ethical” to me, in terms of only charging for bonus features, not locking major game content behind them, and providing ways to earn Plat in-game. Would you object to a system like this coming to D3 on the Americas or European server, or do you actually want it here?


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    1. I’m more curious than usual to see how the vote goes on this one. I was prepared to strongly dislike the DLC model in RoS, but having read the details now…. it’s not so bad? I don’t see myself spending Plat for the bonuses and I don’t care much about wings or appearance stuff, but it would be fun to earn it via achievements and the Platinum Goblin, and being able to buy a boost to EXP or Blood Shards with the Plat I earned sounds pretty cool.

      It would also be nice to give people who are big fans but don’t have the time to play a way to catch up, or at least keep up. It’s sad when someone with a fulltime job and family wants to roll, but a month into a season they’re still P240 and feel like a rag doll trying to play with friends who are P600 and super-geared.

      The drawback is that some people would sink a bunch of cash in to get a huge headstart each season, which wouldn’t be fun to witness. And players who play 8+ hours a day would earn so much plat (and would buy more) that they’d permanently have +EXP and +Blood Shard buffs going… then again, people who play full time already have P1000 and infinite equipment, so that wouldn’t even make a difference?

    2. I assume all the plat you buy or find is BoA, so you can’t resell it or cash it out.

      BTW, I didn’t see info on how much plat costs in Yuan. 1 Yuan = $0.16 US right now, but that tells us nothing without knowing how many plat you get per Yuan.

      I can’t figure out that pic. I guess it’s showing 500 Yuan balance and the option is to spend 100 right there, but spend it on what? I don’t see any amount of platinum to be purchased.

      • I’d assume it would function like a standard currency like gold/shards, where you can’t drop them once picked up.

        Judging from the screens a stash tab would cost about $12 USD, which is a bit pricey… I suppose that is another issue that Blizzard would have to consider, regional pricing for platinum.

      • Platinum costs per Yuan…. judging by the original article for the following graphic:


        it seems to use a point system (not sure if this is the NetEase side) where those purchased points are equivalent to Yuan. Thus 10 points (or 10 Yuan) = 1000 Platinum and so forth. Starting from 100 points, you get slightly more Platinum. The largest point package available for purchase is 500 points (roughly $80 US at the current exchange rate) which gives you that chest of 57,500 Platinum coins.

        My guess though since my kanji is rusty.

        • Ahh, that makes sense. I thought that pic was showing how much each additional stash tab cost, but that didn’t seem to make sense.

          At the lower purchase tiers, you get ~10 plat for $1 Yuan, and 1 Yuan is worth about $.16 at current exchange rates. Thus a US dollar would buy you about 60 Plat, ignoring money conversion fees, etc.

          Which tells us nothing about how much Plat might cost when/if this system comes to US or EU, or even other Asian regions, since it would surely be scaled to the local economy.

    3. I don’t care about the progression buffs either way. As you said, people who already play 18 hours a day will continue doing whatever it takes to have the biggest e-dong so whatever. If they end up funding server time for everyone else, fine by me.

      Getting more stash space just for playing a bit to get the daily platinum drop seems like a good deal, though.

    4. It makes zero sense for this not to be available for everyone everywhere. Its more money to be made for all of blizzard and people need more stash space like an exp boost so….gimmie!

    5. I think this could be tweaked a little bit to avoid a P2W aspect. Unless they make some serious changes to Paragon in the future that make the system much more meaningful, I think an XP bonus is fine. I’m wary on the blood shard bonus because that really skews RNG in your favor. I guess I would be fine if it were for a set amount of rifts/grifts/full act bounty runs (maybe 5 total) and for a price that isn’t so low that it’s a steal. That’s a hard price to pinpoint. I think being able to pump money into the game would help support the necessity for more future content and I think there should also be a LARGE gold sink for some of these bonuses just because gold, for many players, is nothing. I think it would be nice sometime down the road if some kinks of the P2W aspects were smoothed out.

    6. “The logic is that a game sold on a one-time purchase can be buggy or rushed or unfinished, since it only needs to look good once to get your money — while subscription or F2P games have to maintain content and support, and keep adding new features to keep players paying/playing.”

      Totally flawed logic. Yes, a game sold one time can be buggy, rushed & unfinished. And when you get tricked into buying the stinker you suck it up, then never deal with said company ever again.
      F2P games are trickier, because initial investment is nothing. It’s much harder to ‘punish’ a product that literally costs you nothing. As more & more makers go this route, we’re going to ultimately get stuck with the majority of games being ‘throw away’ games. Something you log in once or twice to play, find it’s grossly incomplete, then move onto the next game.
      It’s just another attempt in the modern day way of providers sneaking their way into your wallet. Almost nobody takes the direct route anymore. Everyone & everything promises free, free, free, & before you know it, you’ve ended up spending more than you would have under the traditional models.

      • I think, ADest, that the problem all developers have is time constraints forced upon them by investors. There was a video available here a day or two back, an interview with Dave Brevik, the original designer/developer of Diablo and now, Marvel Heroes stating these facts.

        He faced this very issue. And, we all think he’s done amazing things. As he is the designer of my favorite game and the game we’re talking about, I imagine this problem is what most designers face and probably the very reason why games become ‘stinkers.’ Time constraints are all too real.

        So, although the pay2win model can be problematic it can give us games that improve beyond launch constraints.

        This is the beauty of online gaming. They can, so … I think they should do it.

    7. I’m still assuming/hoping that China is just big beta run on live fan population. Something auction house should be put through before launch. If it pans out they will (hopefully) implement it for the other regions.
      Like many mentioned before, micro transactions are all but an industry standard by now and I really like the alternative way to earn platinum. It’s a win-win model really.

    8. If you’ve tried Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm, that “oh, you can play and earn gold instead of paying money!” thing is a total farce. They set the income rate right in the sour spot; high enough that many people won’t get discouraged, but low enough to tempt as many people as possible into shelling out real cash. Never again. F2P are garbage, the car title loans of gaming.

      • Just to answer your opinion with my opinion – I feel the contrary. I play Hearthstone super casual and don’t feel the need to purchase card packs with real money, while I play quite a lot of Heroes of the Storm these days and honestly don’t know what to do with my ingame gold.

        I think that will change at some point in Heroes when I don’t earn a lot of gold from simply leveling heroes anymore (outside of doing the daily quest), but for now, I feel “good”.

        Disclaimer: I did spend real money in both games – in Hearthstone for the single player adventures and in Heroes for one of these Discount-buy-a-bunch of Heroes deals. Far less than full priced steam games and I spent a lot more time in both games (having fun :D).

    9. It is a very good deal, considering they get all Vanilla content + lvl 70 cap + Mystic for free, so they will be very happy to spend on the rest.

    10. I don’t think they should wait another week to start implementing these ideas stateside.

    11. Btw, “national dress” = “national server”, not beta test.

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