Overview of seasonal changes
It is always hard to talk about the Season and not mention the changes that a corresponding patch brings. This is especially true when you have an enormous patch like the 2.4.0 patch. I want to talk a lot about many changes it did and the Legendaries it brought. There are tons of marvelous changes in the patch. The developers reworked some Class Sets, a lot of new Legendaries were added, and a lot of new Legendary effects were introduced. The game was improved and smoothed in many aspects.
However, I can't talk much about the 2.4.0 patch as I've decided to write a separate article about the patch. This article will be devoted strictly to seasonal changes. I want to overview seasonal changes only. There are a few things I consider to be well done, so let's start.
There are not a lot of seasonal changes as major part of the content update is installed in the 2.4.0 patch. Of course, there are the changes you would expect from the new Season - new and updated Conquests, as well as new cosmetic rewards. Also, Season 5 brings two new features that I'm very excited about. They are Season Rebirth and Class Set, as the Season Journey reward. I think that the features are well done and fit the game well. Without further do, let's dive into new seasonal stuff.
The developers have made two major changes. Now, upon completing marked achievements in chapter 3 and 4 of the Season Journey, players will receive a Class Set. Also, the Season only Legendaries were removed. You don't have to take part in the Season if you want to retrieve new Legendaries. They are available to both Seasonal and non-Seasonal characters. I think these are great changes. Let's start with the removal of Seasonal Legendaries.
I think that before, many players felt a bit forced into the Season because of the Seasonal only items. I was one of the players. I really thought that it was a weird idea to make seasonal items the way it was made. If you didn't like leveling a new character and/or Season idea in general, you were forced into playing Season. Otherwise, you were losing a part of the content. Personally, I thought that it would be cool that items would be either for any character or they would be made Seasonal, but in a different way. In a way that they only exist while the Season lasts! That approach would create a truly unique experience. On the other hand, such approach is double-edged. The idea is too hardcore and I think a majority of the player base would be against it. So, it is logical that the development team has decided to choose a variant that is more appealing to everyone and lifted off seasonal boundaries.
I think that removal of Seasonal only items is a great step. For me, it is a great change. I don't have a lot of time to invest in Diablo, however, I do like the game a lot. I think it is better to have the ability to experience new content in your common casual environment if you are a casual player than to be forced to level up another character!
Now let's talk about the Class Sets, as a Seasonal Journey reward. I adore this change a lot. I think that it makes progression and gearing process much smoother and faster. And I don't think that it eases your game. You still have a plenty of items to hunt for. Also, if you aim at the end-game content, you don't really lose anything as you need to hunt for the Ancient version of the Set items. So, even if the given Set is the one that you are hunting for, it doesn't spoil your challenge. On the other hand, it is a nice change for more casual players if they play/decide to play the Season game mode.
The developers have mentioned that each Season they will rotate Class Sets. Also, keep in mind that the Seasonal Journey reward is a unique one. You only get one Set no matter how many Classes you will level up!
New and Updated Conquests
I have never been that guy. I have never played Season for Conquests. Mostly, I played because of new Legendaries and Seasonal Legendaries. Plus, it was a decent experience to start fresh; without all your junk in the inventory and the stash. So, I can't really tell anything about my experience. However, I think this a great change for the players that do play for a challenge. I guess they are more challenged now!
New Cosmetic Rewards
This is one of the game's content parts that you don't pay attention to unless it is not updated. Oh look, new cosmetic rewards. Wow, how exciting! Well, it is not. I mean, you do feel a sort of accomplishment when you receive them, but they aren't a major part of the game; and especially, they aren't a major part of the reason people are playing Seasons. It's definitely cool that you can showcase your achievements with cosmetics rewards. But they don't have much impact on the game.
I like new cosmetics. It looks fresh. However, I remember that I thought the same about previous cosmetic rewards. So yeah, it is nice to have them. Now imagine if the development team didn't update them. There would be a ton of rage about it. But you and I, we both know that they don't impact the game much. They are just an obligatory stuff that needs to be updated each Season, just like the Seasonal number.
We all know that 12 character slots are not enough for the game like Diablo 3. Especially, when you have Seasons and the Hardcore mode. If your Hardcore character dies, you can't retrieve it, you can't retrieve your items, and it takes a character slot. I think that we all can agree that the character slot restriction has a financial purpose, apart from all other purposes that lead to such decision.
The player base has been demanding new character slots for a long time now. The developers have found a good decision. It benefits both sides. From a player's perspective, it is a good, new feature. The experience you get when you use it is great. You get rid of all junk you have harvested. You can deal with it sometime later. And when the Season will be finished, most likely you are going to salvage most of the stuff you've left; because by that time you will have farmed much better gear.
So, you not only get rid of your junk but also have a solution for the character slots problem. However, I think that feature could use a little adjustment(s). First of all, after you used the Rebirth option, you don't see how much time you have played in the new Season. Instead, the game shows how much time you played in total. I think this could be changed. In a way that the game will show how much time you've played in different game modes. The second thing that I think needs to be improved is a number of times you can use the Rebirth option. Right now, you can use it 3 times. I guess it is a decent number for a part of the player base. However, I think it is not enough for hardcore players. I mean players that spend a lot of time in the game, not the ones that play the Hardcore mode. Definitely, those poor guys have to buy a new copy of the game. So, for hardcore players, it seems like not enough. The game has 6 Classes. Why? Why can you use Rebirth only 3 times? I think the option could use an increase in a number of uses up to six. This is logical. You have six Classes in the game. You need to be able to use the option for 6 times. If you play the game a lot and don't have a zoo consisting of each Class, you have a zoo consisting of similar Classes! So, I think that the Rebirth option is a great feature overall, but I would like it to be improved a bit.
Diablo 3 is a great game. Nowadays, it is hard to find a game that can swallow you up so much. You can spend a lot of time in the game, but still, there will be a plenty of stuff to do. I have spent more than 800 hours in the game, and I can't say that I'm saturated with the game. With each patch, Diablo 3 becomes better and better. If we remember what a monster game was at the release date... well, we better not to. What I'm trying to say is that this patch is another stepping stone in the right direction. The game has changed a lot for the last 4 years.
While it may seem that there were not a lot of changes, I assure you that there is a big difference between the Season 4 and Season 5 experience. Having played both, I can say that I like Season 5 more. Sure, there were many incredible changes and new stuff introduced in the patch 2.3.0 and Season 4. There are also many incredible changes that are presented in the current patch. We didn't get a chance to touch upon them in this article, but they are what makes this Season experience great. They are not as exciting as the Kanai's Cube was, however, they aren't disappointing either!
The current patch and Season, they don't feel like a major downside after a major excitement. On the contrary! They are able to keep up with the level and value that was set by the previous patch. I think this is a great achievement on behalf of the developer team. Personally, I think that this Season is a decent one. I'm happy with most of the changes made by the developers, and I'm looking forward to playing even better version of Diablo 3!
P.S. It isn't really a Seasonal stuff, but developers have also added a new tab in the stash. Now, you have the whole new tab at your disposal!