Believe me, I was a big a skeptic as anyone when it came to both A) the Diablo seasonal model as a whole, starting a fully new character every time and B) how it actually went in practice, given Diablo 4 season 1 which I did not particularly enjoy, and only played for about a week or two.
Now, I’m back, and I can’t stop playing Diablo 4 once again. Season 2, Season of Blood, is extremely good, and to answer the question I keep getting, yes, you should return to try it out, even if you became disillusioned with the game previously, post-campaign.
To illustrate what I’m talking about, I can just compare my two seasonal characters. Last season’s Necromancer I got to level 75 in about two weeks before tapping out, as progression slowed and I didn’t feel much like running a million Nightmare dungeons to keep going.
Now? My Druid, after four consistent days of play (I started the season a bit late, as I was on vacation) is already level 71. I am actually counting down the hours until I get to play more after I’m done writing here. I have had an absolute blast running a Werebear Pulverize build, but I just got one of the best Druid uniques to drop, Tempest Roar, so I can make a Storm Werewolf build at some point (this is my first Druid).
Outside of the seasonal content for now, the main draw here is progression, both in terms of XP/level gain and loot. Between general increases in leveling speed and seasonal bonuses like a 20% boost, I feel like I’m flying when I run content, and activities like Helltides, Nightmare Dungeons and especially the Tree of Whispers, formerly useless, are now letting me blaze through my paragon board and initially getting to 50 to start it was no problem (even if Druid was far less fun until that point).
As for loot? Well, one of my favorite parts about this season is a new vampire-specific zone with just boatloads of enemies, and in the center rests three altars which you can deposit currency in to spawn a host of bosses. Each boss is guaranteed to drop a legendary or two, so every time you run this you can get maybe…10, 12? I’ve lost count. But it’s a fountain like I’ve never seen before, and it’s kind of amazing.
Outside of that, they have modified itemization a bit to be more attractive. Previously, I could start getting Ancestral drops as soon as I hit World Tier 4 I could take until level 100, making so much of looting pointless at higher levels. Now? Diablo 4 has increased stat ranges all the up until level 100, meaning you can get much better gear at those top levels rather than using stuff you got 40 levels ago, as previously there was no increase in quality.
One thing I have not experimented with yet is fighting the new farmable bosses that require materials to be assembled from various activities so you can face them. If you’re looking for an ultimate endgame challenge that is not just high Nightmare Dungeons, getting the materials to farm Duriel, who has a solid chance of dropping Uber Uniques, is the hardcore players’ most important new pursuit, something the game was entirely lacking at high levels before.
This feels like the first time I will actually take a character to 100. My Barbarian stopped at 91, my Rogue at 86, my Necro at 75. Those higher levels were just so slow and dull and exhausting I couldn’t do it. Now? These changes have transformed the game to the point where it feels like it might finally be worth it.
I would give it a shot. I mean, it’s free, after all.