In an extended livestream today, Blizzard revealed a slew of additional details about Diablo 4’s second season, dubbed “Season of Blood,” as well as major overhauls to progression and the endgame player experience.
Season of the Blood will focus on vampires, who become Sanctuary’s newest major scourge following Lilith’s actions in the vanilla Diable 4 campaign. The player is infected with vampirism and gains evil powers that he can use against this classic enemy. This gives players plenty of excuses for new, deadly powers to add to their seasonal ARPG arsenal. Blizzard will also introduce a new NPC, Erys, a crossbow-wielding vampire hunter who will be the player’s best friend over the next few months.
But beyond the details about the upcoming season, Blizzard has also spent a lot of time detailing the big changes in the game that are specifically aimed at the endgame experience, which has become one for many players after a series of debuffs and widely criticized changes to the game Meta has put a damper on the live service game despite an extremely strong start.
Diablo IV – Season of Blood Slideshow
The biggest of these changes are improved XP gains after level 50, which will supposedly make the endgame grind “40% faster” until level 100.
In an in-depth interview with IGN, game directors Joe Shely and Joseph Piepiora discussed a wide range of topics, from endgame content to the Steam release, their insights from the release of Diablo 4 to microtransactions.
“We noticed that the game felt a little slower,” Shely said. “We felt there needed to be more content in the 50-100 range and especially in the 70-100 range. We also felt like it was just too slow to get to 100. We set a goal of reaching level 100, and that goal must feel like it’s an achievable goal for many of our players. We think in the first season it felt like it wasn’t as attainable.”
Blizzard hopes that the addition of five endgame bosses, including a high-difficulty enemy and a tedious summoning process, will help make that grind feel better too, and Season 2 will put a lot of emphasis on activities you can do at higher levels can assume performance levels.
Other changes are less dramatic to the meta but still much needed, like the long-promised gem rework that moves these items to the crafting materials page, freeing up much-needed space in the player’s inventory.
When asked if Blizzard was too quick to strip the fun out of the game after Diablo 4’s release, the team admitted that it’s still learning how to master this particular balancing act. “I think we learned a lot from releasing the game and I think this way we can deliver more of what players want to see,” said Shely.
“We’re excited for players to see everything we have to offer in Season 2,” Piepoira said. “There are some big adjustments, but they’re things that we really believe in and that we think will make the game feel much better – and we think that will be the case for players too.”
Among the numerous announcements is Blizzard’s surprising decision to bring Diablo 4 to rival PC distribution platform Steam starting October 17th to “provide players with more ways to engage with Diablo 4.” Diablo 4 is the second Blizzard game to debut on Steam after Overwatch 2.