What the hell is going on in Diablo 4 these days? “Devilish machinations”, would you believe. Blizzard have formally unveiled the brooding action-RPG’s Season 3, aka Season of the Construct, which launches at 6pm GMT and 10am PST on January 23rd, and features a new quest line in which you investigate an ancient technology, the Loom, created by the mage Zoltun Kulle, which has now been purloined by the demon Malphas.
Along the way, you’ll both fight deadly arcane constructs or fantasy robots, and enlist one called Ayuzhan as your Seneschal Companion. These machinations aren’t just devilish, in other words. They are literal machinations, with all manner of automated foe awaiting beneath the deserts of Kehjistan.
The moderately Orientalist robot-bothering begins in the Gatehall, a new town centre underneath Kehjistan. You’ll acquire the Seneschal Companion during the aforesaid seasonal questline and in grand news for Armored Core players with a taste for the occult, it appears you can customise Ayuzhan with Governing and Tuning Stones recovered from Season 3’s “dungeon-type” Vaults. Governing Stones are for different attacks, while Tuning Stones are for buffs and utilities.
The Vaults themselves are “riddled with various elemental Hazards” in addition to hostile Constructs. There’s an additional risk-reward layer in the shape of Pearls of Warding, which you can convert into blessings upon entering the vault to earn additional riches. The more you perish at the hands of those hazards, however, the more the blessings will diminish. Pearls themselves are earned by defeating elite constructs during arcane tremor events in the world above. Yep, it’s another species of Diablo-brand McGuffin to hoover up and plug back into the systems, that you may become a more prosperous McGuffin hoover. There are also Nightmare Vaults to unlock at World Tier 3.
Blizzard will also launch a new weekly rotating fixed dungeon, the Gauntlet, soon after Season of the Construct gets going. Here, players compete to climb the leaderboards, with the week’s top scorers earning a permanent place in the Hall of the Ancients.
The Season 3 announcement accompanies various quality-of-life adjustments. For starters, they’re adding WASD controls, which is probably bigger news than any and all talk of buried contraptions. At last, justice for index fingers worldwide!
They’ve also given players an extra stash tab, and have made various improvements to the process of reallocating your skill tree and the gold-trading UI while increasing rates for earning summon items in Beast in the Ice. Helltides – region-wide events that occur randomly in the open world for players who’ve reached certain world tiers on certain difficulties – will now always be active, with a five minute rest once per hour.
There’s a heck of a lot more on the official site. Diablo 4 season updates should be distributed as tatty leatherbound tomes, I feel.