The time has once again come to play Diablo 3 for roughly three weeks to a month, and then to forget it exists for the next six. Yes, the 2.4.0 patch for is out now, and it’s a big ‘un. Furthermore, the season 5 ladder starts this Friday.
The patch notes are far too big to copy and paste here, but let’s hit on a few of the highlights.
There’s a new zone called Greyhollow Island.
The mysterious forested locale of Greyhollow Island is now open for exploration! Inhabited by new enemies and steeped in intrigue, brave the wilds and unravel the enigma behind the isle’s mysterious inhabitants. Be forewarned, however; the land itself is hungry for blood.
In addition to that, the Ruins of Sescheron and Royal Quarters have both been expanded.
The Sanctuary you know grows larger. Two existing zones are receiving new, fully explorable additions, featuring new bounties and events. Survive the hunting grounds of the fierce yeti in the Eternal Woods, a new branch of The Ruins of Sescheron zone. The cultists have finally gotten around to clearing up the debris on those stairs in Leoric’s Manor, opening up the Royal Quarters for curious treasure hunters.
Dungeons have also been created for specific sets.
Test your mettle against one of twenty-four custom designed set dungeons! Each dungeon features a pre-generated, static course designed entirely around a specific class set. Don all six pieces of your chosen set and visit Leoric’s Library to obtain a clue on where these hidden trials are located. Hunt down your dungeon of choice and master it to unlock exclusive cosmetic rewards!
Now you can use gold to empower rifts.
Spend your gold to empower a Greater Rift, granting a fourth opportunity to upgrade a Legendary Gem. Gold costs vary based on the tier of Greater Rift level attempted, and bonus upgrades are granted only to those who successfully complete the rift, so spend wisely!
You can now turn non-seasonal characters into seasonal characters. Gone is the need to delete a poor hapless hero at the start of each season.
Transition seamlessly from Season to Season with the new Season Rebirth feature! This option allows you to instantly transform a non-Seasonal hero to a fresh level 1 Season hero, maintaining their name and hours played. All gear is removed and automatically mailed to you in the non-Season, providing up to thirty days to reclaim the items at a later time. Paragon level, completed achievements, and other accomplishments also remain behind with your non-Seasonal heroes.
The “buff bar” also got a revisit.
A cleaner, clearer user interface makes its way to all platforms with our revised buff bar. Static buffs have been removed from the buff bar area, replaced by new indicators and timers that have been added to the skill bar. We’ve also included a collapsible buff-holder, which condenses party and group buffs and can be expanded by moving your cursor over the indicator or by assigning a hotkey via the Heads Up Display section of the Key Bindings option menu, revealing all your buffs at a moment’s glance.
There are now more xp bonuses for stylish play.
The popular console version of Action Combat makes its way to PC! Massacre, Destruction, and Trap Mastery bonuses are now granted to players who chain together death, destruction, and clever maneuvers. Earn bonus experience, a temporary boost to movement speed, or a buff to your resource generation through tactical play.
That basically sums up all the big additions, but the patch notes just keep going from there, and going, and going. They cover balance changes, gear revamps, and tweaks to adventure mode. Blizzard seems to have updated most aspects of Diablo 3.
It’s no lie that when the game originally launched 2012, it wasn’t exactly well-received, but here we are, almost four years and one expansion later, and Blizzard is still plugging away at it. I don’t think there’s anyone out there who will argue that Diablo 3 isn’t a much better game than when it came out. That’s just plain objectivity, and I for one like this cycle. At the start of the season, a bunch of friends and I go back to the game, play it till we’re sick of it, and then put it down until the next go around.
And I’ll probably keep doing that as long as Blizzard keeps supporting the game.