Blizzard tonight announced that Diablo 4’s second season, named Season Of Blood, will begin on the 17th of October. Given that the first season is uninteresting, I’m not super fussed about that. What does sound good is quality-of-life changes coming alongside the new season. For starters, your inventory will no longer become clogged with six billion gems. Season Of Blood will also let you pick specific Unique and Uber Unique items to farm bosses for, which is most welcome given how vital Uniques can be for builds. Here, watch the trailer.
“At the behest of their dark master, a newly turned army of ravenous vampires has set their sights on Sanctuary,” Blizzard’s announcement blog post says. “The master’s sinister plot remains a shrouded mystery but their pursuit for the blood of innocents has caused an uproar. You must learn to hunt the hunter—your fate depends on it.”
What that actually means is a new questline, new Vampiric Powers in some form, and five new “endgame” bosses who are a mix of new and returning baddies. Blizzard also say we’ll have “the ability to target specific Unique and Uber Unique items as a drop”. Given that my various wizards all have rubbish underlevelled rolls on their pivotal Uniques, that’ll be nice. Maybe I’ll even get to see an Uber Unique.
In a very petty way, the quality-of-life updates are what most instantly excited me. Gems will no longer take up inventory space, which is quite welcome considering they seem to take up half of mine at all times. I know I should stop picking them all up, and yet. We’ll also be able to search and filter the Stash, which I welcome for similar reasons.
Blizzard also mention “Changes to the functionality of status effects such as Vulnerable, Overpower, Critical Strike Damage and also Elemental Resistances,” though without specifics I don’t know what to make of that. And earned Renown rewards (“Paragon Points, Skill Points, Potion Charges, and Obol capacity upgrades”) will carry over into new seasons.
I don’t know if I’ll return for Season Of Blood. The current season is simply more Diablo IV, and does nothing to fix the problem that Diablo IV is very shiny and engaging in the moment but has so little long-term draw that I forget about it the instant I close it. It’s a game where if I’m playing and someone phones me, I’ll close it without hesitation or regret and not return after. I hadn’t even thought of Diablo IV in ages until I saw today’s news, and now I am extremely surprised to rediscover that my current seasonal Necromancer is level 72? When did that happen? I would’ve guessed maybe level 62. That’s a lot of playtime to leave no lasting hooks or longings. It occupied me when I was overwhelmed by grief, and I guess that’s good? Maybe I’ll hammer through next season or maybe I’ll never play Diablo IV ever again, and I do not feel strongly about either outcome. I’d feel just as fulfilled if I used that time to stare blankly at my own hands. Maybe moreso.
It doesn’t help that Diablo IV only starts to become an interesting challenge in Nightmare difficulty, which you need to be level 45-ish to access. Then it’s best in Torment difficulty, where the world is so full of terrible monsters with extra abilities that almost every fight needs tactics, caution, and attention. But it takes a lot of grind to get there, and the journey is so uninteresting that enthusiasm is sapped once you arrive. I really feel for newcomers who discover they need to beat the regular campaign once before they can even create seasonal characters. Ah, I think I’m done until an expansion or massive patch arrives.
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