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Seasonally Casual

Season 1 has plenty in store, especially for casual players.


Are you serious?

Campfire ChatPerhaps the most controversial announcement made during the Diablo 4 Campfire Chat on June 16th, which was confirmed again by Rod Fergusson in a Tweet on June 19th, was that players would have to create a new character at the start of Season 1. Many new players reacted to this revelation with both surprise and disappointment, and there was also a fair amount of criticism about it in the press. In response to that, we recently took a more detailed look at the issue of Seasonal renown carry over. However, there is, as usual, a good deal more to the story.

 

Nothing is lost

Starting a Season with a new character is nowhere near as bad as some would have you believe. First and foremost, it’s important that everyone is aware that playing a Seasonal character is optional. It’s understandable that there would be some confusion about this, especially considering the recent publication of news articles with titles such as All Your Hard Work Won’t Matter When Season 1 Starts. The truth is that none of what has been accomplished in the game since launch will ever be lost. Players who would prefer to continue their current game in the non-seasonal (Eternal Realm) mode may do so for as long as they wish. It’s also true that future expansions, such as unlocking additional regions in Sanctuary, should affect both the Eternal and Seasonal Realms simultaneously. However, players who wish to experience Seasonal content, such as new quests, objectives, balance changes, and rewards, will be required to create at least one new character on a separate Seasonal roster.

A decent head start

RenownSeasonal characters will not have to completely start over from scratch. There will be several time savers built in to the start of the Season, including the following:

  • The option to skip the Campaign entirely, provided it was already completed by at least one non-seasonal character.
  • A portion of the Renown points already earned in the Eternal Realm will carry over into the Season. That means all new Seasonal characters will potentially start with five skill points and five additional health potion charges right off the bat.
  • It will not be necessary to rediscover the map, because all the areas that have already been revealed will remain visible to Seasonal characters, including waypoints. All that will be required is to travel to the waypoints to reactivate them.
  • All rewards from the Altars of Lilith will carry over and the locations will be visible on the map. The only purpose for reactivating them during the Season would be to gain the XP from doing so.
  • The optional Battle Pass, available in both free and paid versions, is specifically designed to expedite game progression and is available to only Seasonal characters.
  • Let’s also not forget about the Mount, which should be available to all your Seasonal characters right from the start.

A matter of perspective

open graphPlayers’ attitudes about the Seasonal game are mostly governed by their personal perspectives, which, of course, are based on their past gaming experiences. For seasoned Diablo fans, periodically starting off with a new character is totally par for the course. In fact, Diablo 4 is much better than before because the only shortcut we got at the start of a new Season in Diablo 3 was being able to skip the Campaign. So, from that perspective, deciding to play in Season 1 of Diablo 4 is pretty much a no-brainer.

It may also help to think of the current game as “the final Beta.” This perspective is quite reasonable when you consider how much was addressed in the most recent patch. There might even be another update like that coming up in the next week or two. So, by the time Season 1 starts, a long list of bugs and QOL issues will have already been addressed, giving your new Seasonal character a really fresh and reinvigorated start in the game.

Then there is the issue of catch up and FOMO. While other seasonless MMO-style games do offer catch up mechanics, they are often limited to just one character on your roster and sometimes also require swiping in the store. On the other hand, folks who play a game like Diablo 4 never have to worry about falling hopelessly behind their friends because Seasons are the ultimate free catch up mechanic. It’s entirely up to you whether to play just part of a Season, all of it, or none of it. Either way, by the time the next Season starts you will still be pretty much in the exact same place as everyone else with regard to overall game progression.

Why play seasons?

cosmeticsSo, what do you do in the Eternal Realm after you have bested Uber Lilith with all ten characters in your roster? Wait for the next expansion, I guess? Well, let me tell you that Seasons will be the preventative medicine for burnout and monotony in Diablo 4. Each new Season will bring many new challenges and rewards, as well as the inevitable class and balance changes.

Because of these changes, different classes and builds may become more or less viable as we progress from Season to Season. For example, the Monk class in Diablo 3 became a much more prominent contender in the last few seasons. This resulted in my decision to give it a go for the first time in my Diablo gaming career. That clearly would not have been the case if it were not for the Seasonal updates, and I expect the same will be true over time for Diablo 4.

There will also be lots of new themed cosmetics for those of us who are into collecting them. The fact that they will be free and not class-specific makes this feature even more enticing. Although it is true that these cosmetics will be shared with your Eternal Realm roster, you will be able to obtain them only from Seasonal play.

Just a few tips

Tree
Tree of Whispers

Here are just a few tips that may help you to get your first Seasonal character off to an even better start:

  • All classes and builds should be equally good choices, generally speaking. You will likely see many content creators posting tier lists that rank the best builds for the Season by class. Keep in mind that, even though the top ranked builds may be the most powerful, they may not be the most fun to play. It is also true that there may actually be relatively little that separates one tier from another. At the end of the day, always choose the class and build you enjoy the most because you can still have a successful Season regardless of your choice.
  • There’s no need to push yourself when it comes to World Tier, etc. If you find that you’re spending too much time kiting your attacks or fleeing from enemies, then just drop back down to a lower difficulty setting until you level up some more. After all, the Season will last 90 days, which means that an average of just one Character Level per day will still ensure great success in the end.
  • Running “bounties” for Grim Favors that you can exchange for rewards at the Tree of Whispers is a good way of gearing your character and getting some more XP early in the Season. Because you can skip the Campaign entirely, this activity should be available immediately after you create your first character. Just be sure to check the difficulty level of the respective region first to ensure that the drops and rewards can be equipped by your character right away.
  • For many classes and builds, Critical Strike Chance, Critical Strike Damage, and Vulnerable Damage are very important. Always try to make these stats a top priority when choosing what gear to equip, especially when using skills that cause enemies to become vulnerable, such as Frost Nova for the Sorcerer.
  • When you reach World Tier 3 and begin running Nightmare Dungeons, don’t concern yourself too much with the quality of Nightmare Sigils. Just use all of the free Sigils that drop initially. Later on you can start referring to the Nightmare Dungeon tier lists when you have the resources to start crafting Sigils.
  • Avatars 002Playing in a party can be a huge benefit when it comes to leveling your characters and with Seasonal progression. Please understand that I have all the respect and admiration in the world for the SSF community. Nevertheless, if you are not a devout SSF gamer, then I recommend finding a friendly, supportive, flexible, no-pressure group to play with, at least at the beginning of the Season. If you’d like more information about such opportunities, then feel free to message me here at PureDiablo, or you can reach me on Battle.net at Gazerrick#1501.

Disclaimer

The official start date for Season 1 will be announced soon, but the Season itself is still a few weeks away. This means, of course, that more changes could be made to the game between now and then, so please keep that in mind. Do also keep an eye on the news feed here at PureDiablo so you have all the most up-to-date information you need to get your Season off to a good start.

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

Cheers,
Gazerrick



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