A new theme and new rewards arrive in Diablo 3 Season 25: The Lords of Hell, starting next week
It’s the 25th Anniversary of Diablo, and it’s also Diablo 3 Season 25, and as part of that celebration Blizzard is giving us a Season themed around the big bads of the franchise, the Lords of Hell themselves. The game’s official anniversary is on December 31, but Season 25 will kick off on December 10, so it’s nearly time to celebrate by killing a bunch of demons in a brand new Season.
In addition to the new Season theme that lets you collect Soul Shards from the various Evils, what else is happening this Season? What cosmetic rewards are available, what gameplay changes have been made, and what sets are available via Haedrig’s Gift for the inveterate collectors out there among us?
Well, to answer those questions, let’s take a look at Season 25 and what it has in store for us all.
Soul Shards in Season 25 let you combine the powers of the Evils
First up we’ll cover the Soul Shards, which are gem-like items that you can slot in helmets and weapons. We have a detailed write on what the Soul Shards do, so instead of retreading that, we’ll look at one example withMephisto’s Shard of Hatred, which impacts your damage output based on the number of enemies in your proximity, while rank 3 pulls enemies into proximity (thus buffing you) on elite kills:
- Rank 0 — You deal 15% reduced damage while you have 3 or fewer enemies within 25 yards. If more than 3 enemies are within the same distance, you deal 10% increased damage per enemy.
- Rank 3 — Killing an elite enemy pulls all enemies within 40 yards to where the elite died.
All of the shards offer their own unique effects, and they’re all going to change your playstyle.
You can equip one of the three Prime Evil Soul Shards in your helmet, and one of the four Lesser Evil Soul Shards in your weapon. (It does not appear that you can equip two Lesser Evil Soul Shards if you’re dual-wielding, so sorry if I ruined a power creep fantasy for you.) This means you’ll have twelve potential combinations of Greater and Lesser Evil to work towards, and you can ramp up the power of each stone you’re using with Hellforge Embers, a new Seasonal resource that will let you upgrade your Soul Shards to be even more powerful. So if you’re looking to max out your Greater Rift clears with the Shard of Hatred, you’ll want to look for Hellforge Embers to get it to Rank 3 so you can maximize the buff it grants for every enemy within 25 yards.
Each shard has a power based on the Evil it embodies, from the three Greater Evils Baal, Mephisto, and Diablo to the four Lesser Evils Andariel, Duriel, Azmodan and Belial. You can always collect all the Shards, socket them into different helms and weapons, and mix and match to find the combination that works best for you, or even customize combos of Soul Shards for specific activities like Greater Rifts or Adventure Mode. Do you want a poison build? Choose the Essence of Anger. Would you rather be based around freezing your enemies in place? The Remnant of Pain might be to your liking.
Haedrig’s Gift for Season 25
One of the real draws of every Season is being able to guarantee you’ll get a single class set of gear for a character of your choice. Maybe you’ve just had terrible luck trying to finish a set, or maybe you’ve gone and sharded it and now you want it back. Regardless, as in every previous Season to date, finishing the acts of a Season Journey rewards you with one of Haedrig the Blacksmith’s special gifts. When opened, this will reward whichever character opens the chest with a piece or two of this Season’s class set. That’s right — you could play through the Season on a Barbarian, get the three chests from Haedrig, and then leave them in the shared stash for your Monk to open them and get their set for the Season.
So what are the sets that Haedrig is giving out in Season 25?
- Barbarian – Might of the Earth
- Crusader – Thorns of the Invoker
- Demon Hunter – The Shadow’s Mantle
- Monk – Monkey King’s Garb
- Necromancer – Grace of Inarius
- Witch Doctor – Raiment of the Jade Harvester
- Wizard – Firebird’s Finery
And yes, once the Season is over, you get to keep the set for your non-Season characters.
Collectibles, Achievements, and Stash Tabs, oh my!
Season 25 is bringing back the cosmetic rewards from Season 13, to allow players who didn’t get a chance at them to grab them now, continuing the trend started back in Season 17. You can earn the helm and shoulder pieces of the Conqueror’s set transmog, a special Imperius-themed portrait frame, and Blaine’s Bear, a truly magical little bloodsoaked, knife-wielding friend who will accompany you on your adventures, and potentially your nightmares. But that’s not all — because it would be kind of sad if you’d already done Season 13 and gotten all of that, there are also two new rewards for completing your Season journey in Season 25.
In celebration of the game’s 25th anniversary, there’s also a new portrait frame themed around Tristram and original Diablo, as well as a Diablo-esque pet that absolutely won’t try and murder you, or even talk you into putting a piece of his soul in your head or anything weird like that. Plus, for those of us who haven’t unlocked all five bonus stash tabs, you can get one of them unlocked this Season as well, via the following achievements:
- Complete a Torment XIII Rift in under 5 minutes
- Complete Greater Rift 60 solo
- Kill Greed on Torment XIII
- Kill Cydaea on Torment XIII in under 15 seconds
- Reforge a Legendary or Set item
- Augment an Ancient item with a Level 50 or greater Legendary Gem
- Level three Legendary Gems to 55
- Complete two Conquests
Again, not that big a deal if you’ve already done it, but nice if you haven’t.
That’s the Season in a nutshell — jam pieces of a Demon Lord’s soul into your head and weapon because that never goes wrong, get yourself a new class set — perhaps for that alt you’ve always wanted to play, because they don’t select which class set until they’re opened — and collect new cosmetic rewards, or older ones you missed last time.
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