In the latest Quarterly Update for Diablo 4, associated game director Joe Piepiora talked more about Seasons. The Eternal Realm is Standard League where your previous characters reside and can continue to be played. Seasons are modeled after Diablo 3, taking place every three months and challenging players to create new characters, leveling up and putting together their builds from a clean slate.
Blizzard also notes, “This season design requires that all sources of character power come from playing the game, so you will not be able to pay for power in Diablo 4.”
Each Season will have “fresh new gameplay” features and a new questline which “new challenges, mysteries, and possibilities into the level-up experience.” Players will begin experiencing this after the first hour of play, and the questline will reveal more about Sanctuary. “Here, we get an opportunity to introduce new characters or revisit old ones while exploring the lore and content of the season.”
It’s also intent on “keeping existing content and features in a place where they remain fun and challenging to participate in. To that end, we will always be evaluating the state of the game to regularly revitalize older stomping grounds.” It will thus try to keep older content relevant as the Seasons come and go.
Meta refreshes can be expected, as the development team looks at the “relative balance between classes, builds and powers.” “Diablo is a game that is about creating exciting, overpowered builds, and while we don’t want to balance the fun out of the experience, we don’t want to create situations in which imprecise tuning squash creativity.”
New Legendary and Unique items will be added along with new Paragon Boards and Glyphs to afford new build choices. There will also be quality-of-life features and additional polish with the community asked to vote on what should be prioritized.
“While we cannot always flip a switch to tackle something immediately, you can rest assured that we will be active in improving the quality of the game experience for years to come.”
Finally, live events will take place each Season, ranging from a weekend-long invasion by the Drowned to a “strange peddler” arriving in the Dry Steppes. The latter sounds like Destiny’s Xur, though the developer wants these events to provide “gateways to new adventures and unique rewards.”
Diablo 4 releases in 2023 for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, and PC. Stay tuned for more details in the coming months.