Blizzard addresses Diablo 4's gold problem in a patch, but nobody is quite sure if it's solved yet

Diablo 4 season 4 loot reborn key art of a barbarian rogue and sorceress on a bright background
(Image credit: Blizzard)

Before Blizzard rebalanced almost every aspect of Diablo 4 with the launch of season 4, gold wasn't a problem. Now it is and, despite Blizzard already making one change already, players can't agree on what needs to be done next.

Diablo 4 kind of works like an MMORPG. Most things in the game cost gold, like changing the stat on a piece of gear or crafting potions. Part of the reason is to encourage you to earn gold alongside other activities and to keep the game's economy stabilized.

In the last three seasons, as long as you weren't risking it all on rerolling stats, gold wasn't a problem. But now, simply upgrading a low-level piece of gear with a Legendary power, or aspect, can cost hundreds of thousands of gold each, preventing you from swapping your build around as freely as before.

Endgame players delving into The Pit, Diablo 4's new set of increasingly difficult dungeons, have it even worse. The whole point of doing The Pit is to earn crafting materials to upgrade your items with Masterworking so you're strong enough to do higher levels of it. But Masterworking a single item takes millions of gold, and up until last night, it cost almost as much to convert high-tier materials into lower ones.

"While we continue to review the gold economy there is one change we felt we needed to make right away," Diablo 4 associate game director Joe Piepiora wrote on X as the patch to significantly reduce the cost of converting Masterworking materials went out. The most expensive conversion went from six million gold to 60,000 gold.

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Blizzard says it's having "internal talks on gold and a few other items going on," which I expect to hear updates about this week.

Gold isn't hard to make in Diablo 4, but players seem divided on whether or not you should have to deliberately chase after it. Some say it's good to have to work for it, while others think it's a tedious to grind. Both arguments come from what I think are players who have very different relationships with the game: those who can play for days and those who only have a few hours after work or school.

But both touch on what I think is a shared issue here: The problem isn't that gold is scarce, it's that gold isn't particularly exciting to earn because it doesn't directly make your character more powerful and isn't a gamble like random item drops are.

I like having to manage gold in the early game, but would prefer it if it was easier to come by once you're max level. Gold should have a natural progression just like gear does and eventually become something you only have to consider for big decisions, like swapping your entire build or resetting your Masterworked items.

Blizzard has mentioned before that it has a team who does all the number crunching for balancing Diablo 4's economy. I hope they can identify the worst pain points of the experience and alleviate them just enough so it's not punishing for new players experimenting but also not prohibitive for endgame players refining their builds.

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.