What is the Diablo 3 Season 20 buff?
The hard thing about discussing Diablo 3‘s Season 20 is the simple fact that it hasn’t been announced yet. So we’re more or less speculating based on past seasons, especially Season 18’s Season of the Triune (which I believe was a bit of a hint towards Diablo 4 and the hints of the Temple of the Triune seen in the cinematic) and Season 19’s upcoming Season of Eternal Conflict.
I especially want to call attention to the Developer’s Note for the 2.6.7 PTR and what they had to say about the Eternal Conflict Season buff.
Developer Note: One of the biggest pieces of feedback from Season 18’s buff was that the Triune bonus didn’t stick with your character while you adventured. With Season 19, we’ve altered course as well as upped the ante by experimenting with new mechanics to add an element of both chaos and power to the battlefield. It should feel a bit like Pandemonium, and it may be a consideration whether or not you want to reset your total kill streak for a particular killstreak bonus versus continuously maintain the overall effect (especially as the highest level killstreak rewards will be harder to leverage in situations like Greater Rifts). Killstreaks with higher kill count requirements are more powerful, and we’re looking forward to seeing what players think of and do with them!
Now, we have no way of knowing how well the Pandemonium mechanic will shake out yet — people haven’t even experienced it — but we do know that Blizzard is clearly looking towards mechanics that have an impact on your play throughout the Season and not just when you’re at max level. Since the Season 20 buff will likely continue that design while trying to compensate for any failings of the Pandemonium mechanic, I speculate that it will continue the theme of ‘sticking with your character’ while trying for something more exotic than simply buffing your kill streak. The random powers from the Pandemonium buff are a good place to start looking.
- For the duration of the Season, all players will have a stacking buff that persists as long as you have hit or killed a monster within the last 5 seconds
- Each stack gives 0.05% movement speed and 0.1% bonus damage. This bonus caps at 50% movement and 100% damage (1000 stacks)
- In addition, after reaching a certain number of kills in a row, a power is unleashed, dealing an amount of scaling damage based on player level and difficulty or Greater Rift level:
- 15 Kills: Five massive energy twisters are unleashed
- 30 Kills: Dark Geysers form beneath enemies
- 50 Kills: Exploding Chickens seek and destroy
- 100 Kills: Corpses rain from the sky
- 150 Kills: A wide Frost Nova freezes enemies
- 200 Kills: Treasure chests fall from the sky
- 300 Kills: A ring of fire engulfs everything
- 400 Kills: Meteors hail from above
- 500 Kills: Angels descend upon the battlefield to fight for your cause
- 1000 Kills: ???
- Powers are tracked at a group level; this means only one power can be active in play at a time, regardless of the number of players in a group
One thing I’ve wondered for a long time is if they could work with Shrines and Pylons in a Season power, and perhaps use a similar series of tiered or random buffs similar to Season 17 or 18. Imagine if the Season caused Shrine buffs to last longer and also randomly applied an additional Shrine or Pylon power to every Shrine or Pylon you activated? Or perhaps the Season of the Nemesis, where every Pylon and Shrine acted as if you were wearing Nemesis Bracers and spawned an Elite? Or even combined the two, so that you got an additional random Shrine/Pylon power and Nemesis Elites every Shrine or Pylon you clicked?
That is just speculation, of course, because we have no idea. But it’s a way to have the effects stay with the player, be worthwhile from 1 to 70, and not duplicate anything that we’ve seen before for Season buffs. We’ll find out once we get there, which is still a ways away now.
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