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Silicon Sports | 18/07/2019

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A look back at the first two weeks of Diablo III seasons and patch 2.1

A look back at the first two weeks of Diablo III seasons and patch 2.1

The first Diablo III season started two weeks ago with patch 2.1 coming out just days beforehand, a lot has happened during the season already with a lot more to come.

Personally I have been playing two seasonal heroes, both Demon Hunters but one softcore and one hardcore, while my softcore hero has gained more attention due to playing with others so I am now level seventy with paragon eighty-four, my hardcore seasonal is still only forty-three.

I find myself mainly running rifts and greater rifts with friends, I’m still working on gearing myself up but can handle torment five solo now, although I stick to torment four due to enjoying the rampage with little threat of death.

Let’s have a look at these first two weeks and see how the first season and patch 2.1 is shaping up with the good, the bad and what the future could hold.

The Good:

  • Seasons have breathed new life into Diablo III for many players, people have returned and created a new seasonal hero just for the fun of starting anew. Others who were already still playing have switched to a seasonal hero for the challenge of starting fresh.
  • The leaderboards have filled up quick and with friend leaderboards, clan leaderboards and overall leaderboards people have a drive to compete with others, this leads to a more competitive side to Diablo than was ever ingame beforehand.
  • The new legendaries have provided more variety for those playing seasonal heroes and another goal to strive for. If you’re not interested in playing seasons don’t stress you will gain access to these legendaries once the season completes.
  • The Vault, the home of the elusive treasure goblins has proven to be one of the most fun features in this patch, if you’re lucky enough to gain access to the vault then you’re guaranteed to leave with a substantial amount of gold, gems and other items. This is both exciting and rewarding and brings even more drive to kill those little loot thieves before they can escape.

Greeds Chest

  • Legendary gems have added an entirely new way to play the game with many players building new builds around the unique abilities the gems have, I’ve spent hours discussing with community members the different builds that are possible with the new gems.
  • Greater rifts have proven to be the main draw of the patch both for seasonal heroes and normal players. Greater rifts allow you to compete not only against yourself but your friends and community members with substantial rewards. It’s been great seeing people reach higher tier greater rifts with the current top being a Barbarian with a rank forty-three rift (this is at time of writing this article). It has been theorycrafted that around rank twenty-five is equivalent to torment six difficulty so it’s amazing to see people climbing so high so quick.

Check out the leaderboards here:

  • Blizzard decided to buff the drop rate for Bounty-specific Legendaries and it now scales with difficulty after torment two up to 100% chance for a legendary drop on torment six.
  • Blizzard also decided that getting the organs needed for the Hellfire amulet and Hellfire ring was an extremely difficult task. As such they have increased the drop rate of these in torment two and higher up to a 100% chance at torment six.

The bad:

Unfortunately every patch has a downside, be it bugs or server issues. Luckily overall this patch has gone very smoothly and while there is still a couple of lingering minor bugs, Blizzard has been quick to hotfix any major issues.

  • The first issue people discovered was with rifts, there was several that were impossible to complete due to lack of monsters, Blizzard have now hotfixed this and continue to monitor rift population.
  • People quickly discovered that if you spawned a greater rift and then simply sat in town the rift guardian would spawn after the fifteen minute timer and you could avoid killing anything and just kill the guardian for loot. This was of course unintended and Blizzard have hotfixed it so that even after the fifteen minute timer you still need to fight monsters to fill the progress bar to make the guardian spawn.
  • Seasons had a major issue that people were exploiting four specific bounties to level up quickly without having to kill any monsters. This meant that a level one hero could make a torment six game and run these four bounties repeatedly to level at an insane speed. Blizzard have disabled the four bounties and will rework them to be re-implemented at a later time. Sadly this exploit lead to people reaching level seventy within two hours and defeating Malthael on torment six within six hours. As such a lot of people feel this season is ‘corrupted’ and that season two will be the real start of the leaderboards.

You can read more about the bounty changes here:

  • Another exploit that was found was that torment difficulty experience scaling would work outside of greater rifts. The way this is intended to work was that the difficulty setting had no effect when inside a greater rift and instead the rifts level would be what increased the amount of experience gained. However people found that if one person stays in town while the other three killed everything in the greater rift the person in town would get the experience from the rift multiplied by the torment difficulty, this lead to people gaining over two-hundred paragon levels in less than four hours. This has now been hotfixed to work in the intended way.

The Future:

There is still a lot to come of the first season for Diablo III, the leaderboards change daily and no one has come close to the max level of greater rift (one hundred). It will be interesting to see how high players can climb during the season.

Blizzard have confirmed a couple of upcoming changes which include:

  • The legendary beam from Key of Trials will be removed.
  • Pets survivability is being looked into so that it scales more with your own toughness.
  • A new system is being worked on to help with Gem issues. Details have not been released yet but it is designed to help with the issue of trying to get a specific gem type.

Note: these changes will require a patch not a hotfix, so they will take time to implement.

Blizzard have yet to say how long this season will last. However with some of the issues above effecting the leaderboards I am inclined to believe it will not be a full season and Blizzard may end the season after two or three months so that season two can begin without the issues of season one.

Whether this turns out to be true or not we have to wait and see, but in the meantime how are you finding the first Diablo III season and patch 2.1? Have you been playing a seasonal hero? Focusing on greater rifts? Or have you just been playing as per normal? I’d love to hear what you have been focusing on with the new patch.