The latest Diablo Immortal update added a long-requested method to craft five-star Legendary gems, but if you don't want to spend any money in the process, you'll have to grind for just over nine months to make a single one.
As Blizzard outlined in a recent blog post, Diablo Immortal now offers a currency called Telluric Pearls. These are used to craft Legendary gems with a five-star cap, and you'll need 40 Pearls to craft the gem of your choice. Note that this does not necessarily translate to a five-star rank for that gem or a high overall power level, which can require a tremendous upgrade grind all its own depending on the gem (it's complicated).
There are currently three ways to get these Pearls. Firstly, you can buy them via limited bundles (which reset twice a week) for roughly $2 apiece, with some other items like Legendary crests included in these bundles as well. Blizzard says it will also give out Pearls in limited-time events, though we don't know how often these events will occur or how many Pearls they'll award.
The other free-to-play option is trading Hilts with the vendor Lieutenant Fizriah, who will sell you one Pearl a week for 800 Hilts. Hilts are only earnable in-game, and 800 a week seems to be more than doable by most players' estimates.
With Pearl event rewards unknown, trading Hilts is the baseline for free-to-play gem crafting, and making a gem this way would of course take 40 weeks – a staggering 280 days. If you start right now, your gem will be ready by the middle of July 2023. Remember, your character ideally wants six Legendary gems. You can, of course, obtain gems in other ways while working toward a crafted one, but that may be small comfort to players who were hoping that crafting would grease the wheels a bit more than this.
This makes Diablo Immortal's five-star Legendary gem grind even longer than Overwatch 2's Legendary skin grind, which has also come under fire for how time-gated it is. And that's just one skin; completing the entire cosmetic collection for a new Overwatch 2 character like Kiriko could take up to five years the free-to-play way.
For comparison, it takes approximately 220 days (just over seven months) to earn enough coins to buy a Legendary skin in Overwatch 2. That's 60 coins a week over roughly 32 weeks for a skin that costs 1,900 coins. This math also notably ignores possible event payouts, which could shorten the grind by a few weeks or months. But as it stands, just going by the minimums, crafting one 5-star gem in Diablo Immortal takes about two months longer than even that.
Diablo Immortal clans can apparently top leaderboards without even playing the game.