For those of you who are avid Diablo III players, the game’s anticipated seasons and ladders are coming to the game this Friday as Blizzard launches Diablo III Season 1. Seasons introduces a new competitive game mode where players can roll a brand new hero and complete new challenges to acquire new (and exclusive) loot.
The Diablo III patch 2.1.0 is rolling out today during maintenance, followed by the launch of Season 1 this Friday. As far as we know, Seasons won’t be coming to the console versions of the game.
We’re pleased to announce that our first Diablo III Season is scheduled to begin this Friday, August 29th. To ensure the roll-out process goes as smoothly as possible for all players, we’re planning both a delayed and staggered release, with different gameplay regions launching the season at different times after patch 2.1.0 ships.
For reference, below are the current launch times for Season 1:
Asia: 9:00 a.m. PDT (1:00 a.m. KST, UTC +9)
Europe: 12:00 p.m. PDT (9:00 p.m. CEST, UTC +2)
Americas: 6:00 p.m. PDT (UTC -10)
Please note that these times are tentative and subject to change. If they do, we will be sure to update this thread.
How do seasons work? Upon logging in, players simply create a new hero and designate him or her as a Seasonal hero. Should you so desire, you can also create a Hardcore Seasonal hero – just remember, you die once, that’s it, game over!
As with Hardcore heroes, Seasonal heroes are separate from your existing heroes so you will truly be starting from scratch and won’t have access to any of your existing gold, stash, Paragon levels, crafting patterns, or items that are carried by your normal and/or Hardcore heroes.
During each Season, there are three ways to compete with other players:
- Complete Conquests for Season-exclusive Achievements
- Acquire as many Achievement points as possible
- Reach the highest tiers in Greater Rifts
Progress is tracked throughout each Season on the Seasonal leaderboards.
If leaderboards aren’t your cup of tea, Season 1 brings 10 new Legendary items to the game. Initially these items will only be available to Seasonal players – at the end of each Season these legendaries will be rolled over into the regular loot pool for all players. As well, a new Transmogrification Set will be automatically unlocked for players that hit the maximum level during each Season of play.
Once the Season ends, your Seasonal hero will become a regular (or Hardcore) hero and all their gear, crafting materials, and anything else you’ve collected will move along with them. Players should note though – at this time Blizzard has no intention of adding extra character slots, so for those of you with regular and Hardcore heroes, you might have to delete a character in order to participate in Seasons. One suggestion on the forums was to move all your gear to one of your bag slots from a character of the class you plan to play, then re-equip it at the end of the Season once your Seasonal hero of that class is moved over to your regular slots.
What do you think about Seasons and the Ladder leaderboards in Diablo III? If you’ve played in the past but haven’t for awhile, are Seasons enough to get you to log back in to the game and face the grind all over again? Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter!