Unanswered questions about Diablo 4 Seasons may leave new players surprised
Diablo 4 is going to have Seasons — similar to, but more in depth than its predecessor D3 did — and one of the consequences of Seasonal Rotations is that players new to the franchise may be surprised or even shocked by things we veteran players of the Diablo series are used to seeing. Diablo 4 made $666 million USD in its first few days of operation, and sometimes, being very successful brings its own problems. One problem the Diablo 4 team is contending with is, with so many people playing on console and PC, you’ve got people who haven’t really played a Diablo game suddenly exposed to things like the Season model, first seen in Diablo 2 as the Ladder Seasons, and refined in Diablo 3 as Themed Seasons.
I have to do what to see the upcoming story?
For example, the topic of a lot of debate so far is the idea that if you want to access the content of D4 Season 1, you need to roll a new character. This has been the model going all the way back to Diablo 2, so it’s hardly shocking to see it coming back in Diablo 4. But if you’ve never played a Diablo game before — or not in a long time — the idea that you can’t take your current character through the new content but instead need to level all over again to access it is a strange one. Not many games do this. When World of Warcraft expanded its PVP Seasons into patch-based content delivery in Seasons, players didn’t need to roll an entirely new character to see the raids and quests.
Adding to the difficulties is that there are still a lot of questions people have about how, exactly, this is going to work. Some of these questions have been answered, and others have not. There was a Campfire Chat on June 16 that talked about a lot of developments in Diablo 4 including the upcoming Season, and how the in game Renown system will interact with it. Originally, we were told that Renown would have to be built up from scratch, but the community response to that has the team considering that and we’re told we’ll get to keep a few things.
And yes, it’s good to know that the portion of the map that you have discovered on your main and the Altars of Lilith you’ve discovered will be discovered for future Season characters. But there are still questions people have — can we rebirth an existing character into a Season character like we can in Diablo 3? How much of what our Season characters do will carry over once the Season is over? Some players haven’t even finished the campaign yet and we’re going to ask them to start a brand new level 1 character to see the story coming in the Seasons, and that’ll happen every Season. Players would like to know if there will be a faster leveling curve for Season characters or if you’re expected to somehow get to level 100 on a new character when your main currently isn’t even level 50 in some cases.
Players have questions but there aren’t answers to all of them — yet
So, basically, this is a case of two things colliding. The first is Blizzard’s desire to maintain the original Seasonal model that the previous Diablo games have used and polished over the years, while also creating a Diablo game that enticed a whole host of new players who are fans of multiplayer RPGs with characters they invest a lot of time and care into. In Diablo 2, picking a class is as far as character customization got, and Diablo 3 let you pick a gender and a class (and even a name!) but not much else besides. Diablo 4 is still a game in the series — there’s not a lot of player choice in terms of the story of the game, there’s not a second ending if you decide Lilith is right — but it has a broader appeal than ever before to players who aren’t used to the way the franchise and its Seasons work.
The second is that there are a lot of questions about Season 1 that haven’t really been answered yet. Can I keep my current character and just delevel them down to 1 to play them during the Season? How fast will leveling be during the Season compared to the current Eternal Realm? How much story content will be unique to the Season? Will I feel like I missed out if I didn’t have the time — or didn’t want to leave my character behind — to play it?
While there is an upcoming developer Q&A on Seasons July 6 at 11 a.m. PDT which will likely address some of these questions, but the Season will be out sometime before July 15, which is both not technically a real date, and rapidly approaching. In the end, much of the debate about Seasons will be answered. If not by way of information, it will be when the Seasons themselves launch.
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