The Diablo 4 Season 3 Livestream just took place. The panel consisting of 4 members, Madeleine James (Game Design, Quest) Daniel Tanguay (Game Design Manager), Adam Jackson (Lead Class Designer) and Adam Fletcher (Associate Director of Community). The topics included Season 3 (Season of the Construct), major class balancing, Q&A, along with last minute details before Season 3 goes live on Tuesday, January 23rd @ 10 AM (PDT). See all the major points below.
Season 2 Recap
They talked about Season 2 and how good it was, for content and getting community feedback. The new Endgame Bosses were a great addition along with AoZ. On the latter, the Dev Team received a lot of feedback including player pain points and highlights as they look into the future. Midwinter Blight was the first holiday event in Diablo 4, but it won't be the last as others are coming down the line. There was also an infographic with a few data points from the game.
Season 3 - Season of the Construct
There's countless treasures and ancient wisdom buried beneath the deserts of Kehjistan, but be warned, nothing good ever comes from disturbing them.
Starting in Gea-Kul, we assist the Mage Ayuzhan in clearing out the old Constructs of Zoltun Kulle taken over by the demon Malphas. Malphas, a named demon of terror, doesn't quite like his stature and is planning on changing that by force. You head to the new hub, The Gathall beneath Kehjistan, and explore The Loom. The Loom was a project both Ayuzhan and Zoltun Kulle worked on together in the past. During the questline, you'll find pieces of the Seneschal Construct and rescue Ayuzhan. After saving him, he fixes the Construct. At this point, it becomes a pet that you customize for your build throughout the season.
There is an Uber version Malphas after you complete the Season Questline.
The Seneschal Construct is a seasonal companion and endgame progression system for players. Through its abilities, you can dramatically alter both your build and the construct itself. The Seneschal Construct is customized with the Stones:
- Governing Stones - There are 12 different types (Melee, Ranged, Utility). You can have up to 2 selected at one time.
- Tuning Stones - There are 27 different types. You can use 3 different Tuning Stones to augment one Governing Stone, for a total of 6 selected at a time. Only certain Tuning Stones work with a particular Governing Stone. Look at the bottom of any Tuning Stone tooltip to see if it is compatible with your Construct's currently equipped Governing Stones.
These Stones along with Shattered Stones (used for crafting) are found while participating in the various new activities. Combining Shattered Stones with other materials gives you an Uncertain Seneschal Stone Cache that rewards a single Governing Stone or Tuning Stone. If it is a new Stone, great, if it's a duplicate, it contributes XP towards leveling up that Stone. Each Governing Stone or Tuning Stone can level up to Rank 10. Below is an example of what you can do with these Stones.
The Seneschal Construct scales with you as you get to higher levels, meaning it won't lose effectiveness.
Vaults are really an extension of Malphas himself. The Vaults are just as much a danger as the monster held within. Spinning Flaming Pillars, Poison Tiles, Spike Traps and more lie within to challenge the player for several types of rewards for moving through and completing them. Speaking of completion, you'll notice that a Vault typically ends with a "Death Room" as the Devs called it. A highly trapped room you need to navigate through to stay alive and get the rewards!
The basic chests which would normal line a Vault have been supped up to provide greater rewards, with another working off a new buff. Zoltun Warding is a buff that is granted if you hand a Pearl of Warding (available in Vaults and Overworld activities) to special statues at the beginning of a Vault. Each Pearl grants 3 stacks of the buff at a time and you can use as many Pearls as you would like. If you maintain enough Zoltun Warding, you can open a Wardwoven Chest for special items.
There are also Nightmare Dungeon versions of Vaults that play by the same rules (more or less) and offer Glyph XP at the end too. Other rewards like the Wardwoven Chest appear more often as you progress, pumping up the risk vs. reward factor. The game drops Vault Sigils that allow you to do these.
Arcane Tremors are overworld events where the influence of Malphas is felt. You'll move through Zones in each Region where the Vaults are located to fight back the Construct forces.
There are traps to be avoided, but also items to gather. As you push back the Constructs, you can gather Cores. Once you have enough Cores, you then go to a Brazier to use those Cores to summon a Herald of Malphas. Powerful rewards including the Pearls of Warding can be gotten this way.
The Gauntlet (coming later in Season 3) is a place for players to prove their might once they have accomplished most, if not all, that the world has to offer. It unlocks once you hit World Tier 4. Gauntlets are an 8 minute long challenge that are driven by the following design principles:
- Fixed seed
- The layout of the Gauntlet is the same from player to player and attempt to attempt. This keeps it fair as everyone knows what to expect once you start.
- You can pick your path through the Gauntlet to suit your class and style. This allows you to hone your strategy and make the best choice to get as big a score as possible.
- Prove your might
- Players are able to test their skill and decision making while pushing their character to its limit to get the largest score they can. This allows them to test themselves against other players through the Leaderboards and see if they are truly the best!
Gauntlets can be very dynamic. For instance, you might start off fighting a Dungeon Boss. When that Boss dies, a Shrine appears. One of those Shrines could be the new, Shrine of Proving, which resummons all enemies (including Bosses) in a certain radius. This allows you to kill more enemies to raise your score. Another is the Shrine of Gory, which gives you a multiplier on your score. There are also chests that can help raise your score, too, if you find keys to open them.
The Gauntlet is tracked via measuring the Top 1,000 players in several different ways. Leaderboards can be filtered by Platform and separated by each Class, 2 person party, 3-person party and 4-person party. All of this duplicated for Hardcore as well.
There are certain thresholds for each weekly Gauntlet. Once you get up to that threshold, you receive a Seal reward. As you progress higher and higher, your Seal reward gets better and better. Once you hit Seal of the Worthy (according to the game) you are ready for the Leaderboards. There are also some cosmetic rewards tied to your accomplishments. Lastly, the Top 10 from each Leaderboard are placed in The Hall of the Ancients, a permanent archive of the best players from each week.
A quick note was made on a few items. PvP objectives were heavily modified as the community completion rate was low. The rewards were also reworked to be more fitting for the effort being asked of them. Governing Stones and Tuning Stones are rewarded throughout the Season Journey. Ancestral 925 items have been added to late chapters. Lastly, the Chapter completion requirements that were gating progress in Season 2 have been removed. This means the Season 3 Questline can be completed in one playthrough.
Targeted class updates came in for each class. Some changes were made to buff underused Skills, or give some Skills more utility for the class and just provide buffs in general.
New Uniques (Not All)
They showcased two of the 6 new Uniques for Season 3.
Class Balance Updates
The team talked about the dual nature of balancing Diablo 4. Mainly the urge for Players to want to feel powerful with strong gear and good decisions with Skills and Paragon. Players also frequently desire a meta shift to refresh the gameplay and add new builds which can be theorycrafted and built to keep things interesting. With this in mind, these are some of the areas of improvement (not all of them) for Season 3.
With stating their vision for class balance, they have laid out a roadmap for what, when and how they intended to do this over the course of Season 3 and blueprint how future season will work as well.
How has the Team's mind changed with class balance since Diablo 4 launch?
During Season 1, the Team had a certain view of classes and keeping them within a small range of each other. There were some buffs, but a lot of gear was overstated. So certain properties (like Cooldown Reduction) could be "solved" so players could easily get what they needed on gear. This made it harder to give better items. So Season 2 saw a threading of the needle to fix those issues but give true optional ways for the player to do what they wanted, while at the same time allowing the team to make items and other changes the player would actually use.
Group play in Vaults, how does that work?
Trying to as supportive as possible. One key thing to note is that if a player leaves the Vault, the Zoltun's Warding buff goes away to prevent cheating the mechanic.
Minions/Companion builds getting more love?
Pet builds in general are a hard archetype to buff/nerf/balance in general. Their have been adjustments to them in the past and in Season 3. The team ackowledges the feeling of players wanting to "roll in with the gang of pets" and the Dev Team is continually looking at them for adjustment.
Uber Uniques in Uber Vault?
Duriel is still the best place for Uber Uniques. There are two Uber Unique Tunning Stones that come from defeating the Uber version of Malphas only.
Plans for Snapshotting?
Yes. The team is aware of the problem. Solutions are in the works and coming in the future.
Zoltun Kuel in Season 3?
Not this time around, dead is dead.
Upgrade Glyphs in Vaults?
The Nightmare Dungeon version allow you to upgrade your Glyphs.
Restrictions on going into The Gauntlet?
There are no restrictions. Players need to play to practice. The only requirement is reaching World Tier 4.
Itemization still good for Season 4?
Yes, still on track for Season 4. More info will be released once the team is ready.
More will be done and come over Diablo 4's life season over season. It's something the team is aware of and working on to improve player's experiences in game.
Field of View changes?
No plans right now.
Codex of Power / Legendary Aspect update?
It's a massive update being worked on. More information will come when ready.
Inspect top players on The Gauntlet?
There is a link to the player's profile, but it is NOT a snapshot. The player can change their gear after getting their rank, so player beware - it may not be the right setup.
Maxroll Season 3 Content is Heating Up!
With that said, head over to our Discord and select the D4 role in #roles to stay up to date with our content development to make the most of your Season 2 experience!
Written by: Dredscythe
Reviewed by: Tenkiei