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Diablo 4 Helltides Are On Fire!

Diablo 4 Helltides are the clear winner of the first PTR.

Helltide Header Image

Diablo 4 Helltides have emerged as the clear winner of the first PTR during this past week. We’ve obviously seen a great deal of feedback from the Diablo community, which is a very good thing. Nevertheless, much of what’s been reported about The Pit, the changes made to Affixes, and the related new systems, such as Tempering and Masterworking, has been somewhat mixed.

The very purpose of the PTR, of course, is to solicit this type of information, good or bad, and now the Devs have at least a month to respond and make the necessary changes. In the meantime, however, the revamped Helltides seem to have yielded the most consistently positive feedback from players.

QOL Improvements

As reported in our Campfire Chat Recap and PTR Patch Notes, some QOL improvements for Helltides were being tested in the PTR, which are scheduled to go live with the start of Season 4, and include the following:

  • Helltides will be added to World Tiers I & II.
  • Ambient fire meteors and wandering Helltide Assasins will not appear in Helltides at World Tiers I & II.
  • Less enemy density in Helltides at World Tiers I & II, compared to World Tiers III & IV, making Helltides more easy to manage in the early game, and to facilitate character leveling and gearing.
  • All Tortured Gifts in Helltides at World Tiers I & II will be Mystery Chests, which will reward a larger variety of better loot (including Rare and Legendary items?), compared to the gear item-specific chests in World Tiers III & IV.
  • It also should be noted that starting to farm Helltides for Living Steel will still just have to wait until World Tiers III & IV, but that’s okay.

Another QOL improvement that was not mentioned in the Patch notes, but has been reported by many players, is that the pickup radius for Aberrant Cinders will be expanded. This, combined with reducing the object (chests, etc.) interaction delay from 2 seconds to 0.75 seconds, should noticeably enhance the efficiency of progressing through the Helltides areas and collecting Cinders. Let’s hope these changes were not peculiar to the PTR, and that they remain in the game permanently.

New Features

Two brand new features will be added to Helltides to make this activity less grindy and more challenging and exciting.

Helltide ThreatHelltide Threat

  • As players battle through Helltides, they will generate Threat.
  • There are three Helltide Threat Tiers.
  • Players will also become Hell-Marked at Tier 3.
  • Each successive Tier increases the difficulty and frequency of enemy ambushes.
  • The rate of progress for the Threat meter is determined by the Threat Tier, enemy difficulty level, and how often players open Tortured Gifts.
  • Reaching the maximum Threat meter level will spawn a frenzied ambush of maximum enemy density.
  • The frenzied ambush will conclude with a Hellborn spawn.
  • There are five Hellborn variants, each representing one of Diablo 4’s player classes.
  • Spawning a Hellborn ambush will reset the Threat meter.
  • Dying in normal mode will also reset the Threat meter.

Accursed Ritual LocationAccursed Ritual

  • The Accursed Ritual is a shocking testament designed to appease the demonic desires of the manic Cultists.
  • Players will need to collect a new consumable item called Baneful Hearts in order to activate this event.
  • Baneful Hearts will be obtained from Tortured Gift chests by depositing at least 75 Aberrant Cinders, as usual.
  • Accursed Ritual locations can be determined by searching for the respective icon on the world map.
  • Players will need to deposit three Baneful Hearts at the Ritual site in order to spawn the event.
  • Once activated, the Ritual will swarm players with a demonic ambush.
  • Other players within the area will also be alerted to Ritual.
  • This is similar to the Season 2 Blood Harvest mechanic, where players deposited Blood Lures at the Blood Lure Pedestals in order to spawn a vampiric swarm.
  • This ambush will climax with the arrival of the Blood Maiden, an immensely powerful demonic creature who will offer great reward upon her death.

Leveling New Characters

One of the most preferred methods of leveling new characters in previous Seasons has been to spam the Domhainne Tunnels, a dungeon that is located in Scosglen just west of the Corbach waypoint. This dungeon is ideal for this purpose due to its columnar layout, relatively high enemy density, and relatively low enemy health.

Repeatedly running this dungeon and killing only the trash on the first floor makes grinding XP in the early game quite efficient. It’s like sticking a hose in a rain gutter to flush out the leaves. Taking advantage of a relatively quick and easy leveling method like this can help to expedite the process of getting a brand new Seasonal character into the endgame.

However, it turns out that the improvements to Helltides described above will also have an unanticipated fringe benefit, which is that Helltides will become an even more efficient strategy for leveling new characters, compared to the Tunnels. The frequency of Helltides was increased at the beginning of Season 3 to being virtually continuous. That increase, combined with Helltides being added to World Tiers I & II, will make running them practically comparable to the Domhainne Tunnels.

Helltide Fiend RoseThis method will also offers some additional benefits compared to the Tunnels, including the following:

  • Leveling a character from 1 to 25 has been reported to take almost 30% less time compared to the Tunnels.
  • It’s less monotonous than the Tunnels.
  • It offers much more variety and, therefore, is more fun to play.
  • The broader spectrum of enemies will reward even more XP compared to just killing trash in the Tunnels.
  • There is an XP boost for solo players when in proximity to other players in the Helltides, which not possible when solo running the Tunnels.
  • Some Helltides events reward Grim Favors, that can be deposited at the Tree of Whispers for even more Gold and XP, which is not possible when running the Tunnels.
  • Much more loot (very helpful for gearing a new character).
  • Much better loot (very helpful for preparing to run the first Capstone Dungeon).
  • Much more Gold.
  • Much more crafting materials.

Helltides Tips

Here are a few more things to keep in mind going forward for an even better leveling experience in Helltides:

  • Helltides are live for 55 minutes in a given zone, and then down for 5 minutes when the event moves to a different area.
  • The XP reward for depositing Aberrant Cinders at Tortured Gift chests varies directly with your character level.
  • Therefore, players may want to consider saving their Aberrant Cinders until closer to the end of the 55-minute time period, and then depositing all their Cinders at multiple chests in quick succession in order to maximize the XP reward when leveling.
  • Complete Grim Favor activities as much as possible and practical when they are available during Helltides.
  • Make sure to have a potion active (any potion will do) when running Helltides for the 5% XP Boost.
  • Run Helltides in a party, when possible, for the XP Boost.
  • Are you a solo player who doesn’t have other players available to run with? Contact me on Twitter, or DM me on the PureDiablo Discord, and I will gladly run Helltides with you and help to level your new Season 4 character.

Disclaimer on Content Speculation

Please keep in mind that the “T” in PTR stands for Test, which means exactly that, so anything could change or be scrapped between now and the start of Season 4.

We would love to hear your opinions on the matter, so please sound off in the comments section below, or contact me on Twitter. Please also keep an eye on the news feed here at PureDiablo so you’ll have all the up-to-date info you need to get the most out of your game.

If you believe that any of the information shared above is inaccurate in any way, please let us know, along with a reference for the correct information, so we can update this document accordingly.

Gazerrick ArmsGazerrick is a staff writer for PureDiablo who focuses primarily on casual gaming interests and lore for the Diablo community. When not hacking and slashing his way through a new Season, he can be found participating in, and presenting at, various pop culture conventions in southern Arizona. You can follow him on Twitter @Gazerrick9000 for even more of his gaming indulgences. A collection of his creative media is also available at Cactus Palm Perspectives.

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