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DiabloJan 31, 2020 6:00 pm CT

What is the Diablo 3 Season 20 theme? It’s Kanai’s Cube-o-rama!

We’ve finally got our details for Diablo 3’s Season 20 themed buff! As expected, the Patch 2.6.8 PTR announcement includes the details of the buff. Welcome to the Season of the Forbidden Archives.

Originally Posted by Nevalistis (Official Post)

A new Season Theme has been added for Season 20, the Season of the Forbidden Archives:

  • For the duration of Season 20, all slots in Kanai’s Cube will be able to select Legendary powers from Weapon, Armor, or Jewelry
    • This means you could select three Armor powers, three Weapon powers, three Jewelry powers, or any other combination thereof across all categories
    • Items are not self-additive or multiplicative (meaning, you cannot stack multiples of the same item’s power)
    • Once the Season has ended and characters roll over to Non-Season, players will have all currently active powers in their Kanai’s Cube reset

Developer’s Note: As we outlined in our Developer Insight blog, we want to continue to get creative (and maybe a little crazy) with the Season Themes and powers we add to the game. We heard from some players that they preferred themes that made your character directly feel more powerful rather than needing to focus on the environment around you. If that describes you, then the Season of Forbidden Archives should be right up your alley, and we’re really interested to see how this changes the game for Season 20.

OK, so we’re not stacking Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac’s cooldown reduction three times, but this theme is pretty interesting (in theory, at least). The current Pandemonium mechanic has been central to some of the fastest endgame Greater Rift clears in Season 19, so I’m hoping the desire to optimize power combinations will draw out additional interest in Seasonal Play. The blog post describes this as “a pretty crazy game-changing season mechanic that’s bound to blow the lid off your traditional build approach,” so I am hoping for some unique combinations. Nemesis Bracers, Flavor of Time, and Squirt’s Necklace? Imagine how quickly you could knock out rifts with that trio.

I also want to call out the Developer’s Note — specifically, the feedback from the player base about directly buffing the character. We previously predicted the Season 20 buff would continue the theme of ‘sticking with your character’ while trying for something more exotic than simply buffing your kill streak. I see Forbidden Archives as a creative way for players to display agency and customize builds without necessarily adding substantial complication to the game.

Nevalistis has already chimed in on the forums with some points of clarification:

Originally Posted by Nevalistis (Official Post)

It’s still three total cube powers – you can just pick those 3 from any category, instead of having to have one from each. If I need to make this clearer for future versions of the patch notes, I absolutely will! Apologies for any unintended confusion.

So, to be very clear, they are unlocking the type restrictions on the three existing slots in Kanai’s Cube. You are not getting the opportunity to pick three in each slot.

Originally Posted by Nevalistis (Official Post)

Not every player enjoys the environmental buffs. We actually received some of that feedback based on this current Season, and decided that we should have more “personal mechanical” buff options so we can swap off between those two preferences.

Not everyone’s going to like every Seasonal buff, (and that’s OK) but if we can have something a lot of people like on a somewhat regular basis and rotate between people’s preferences, everyone gets something once in a while and that feels like a win.

I like the acknowledgment here that not everyone will like every Seasonal buff. After all, different themes speak to different types of players. Season 19 is a perfect example: while the environmental buffs in Pandemonium have been helpful for high Greater Rift clears, others (myself included) have not worked as hard to leverage it for progression.

The PTR goes live Thursday, February 6, so we haven’t yet experienced Cube-O-Rama. However, we anticipate Season 19 will wrap up at the end of February, which would put us right on the mark with our estimated start of Season 20 in mid-March. It’s time to start finishing those Season 19 Journey tasks, friends!

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