Blizzard will change a button in Diablo 4 after being accused of 'dark design'

Diablo 4 shop fortune teller close-up
(Image credit: Tyler C. / Activision Blizzard)

A temporary fix is "in the works" for a Diablo 4 UI quirk which has been accused of being clumsy at best, and intentionally deceptive at worst.

Anyone who buys Diablo 4's Digital Deluxe or Ultimate Edition receives one premium battle pass unlock, which can be used for any season. The button to activate the unlock appears as soon as you open the Season Journey menu—something you'll do a lot while playing—and the cursor is automatically centered on it. It's easy to accidentally select it, which is causing some players to use their unlock by accident.

"It was deliberately and maliciously designed that way," streamer Rurikhan said after accidentally clicking the button in a popular clip on Twitter.

Several people responded to and quote-retweeted Rurikhan's tweet saying they misclicked the button too. "Wanted to save it for a future season pass but, whoops, guess not," said one user.

Diablo 4 influencer Rhykker called the button an example of "dark design" in a reply to Rurikhan's tweet. Dark design, or dark patterns, is a term for UI elements designed to trick users into doing things they didn't intend to, like unlocking a battle pass you might've wanted to save. "In my opinion, Blizzard needs to add a confirm button or something if they don't want to be accused of using dark patterns. [A] simple 'confirm' pop-up would fix this," Rhykker said.

Diablo 4 global community development director Adam Fletcher responded to say that Blizzard has a slight fix coming "that will at least ensure the cursor isn’t defaulted there and will instead be defaulted on Season Journey." He called the upcoming fix "temporary," but didn't explain what a long-term change might look like. 

After the upcoming change, the button will seemingly still activate the premium battle pass without a confirmation, so you'll still have to be careful navigating the Season Journey page if you're trying to save your battle pass unlock for a future season. In comparison, when you go to buy the action RPG's premium currency, you're taken to a payment page before anything happens. (The button being criticized doesn't charge the user money, but does irreversibly use up something they spent money on.) 

It's not a good look for a game that just dropped a patch so controversal that Blizzard promised to never do it again. It's a shame that the nerfs have taken the wind out of the launch of Season 1, because the new seasonal mechanic is a blast to play with.

Associate Editor

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.