Blizzard has decided that the Season 2 will start after the release of the 2.1.2 patch after ascertaining there would be “technical risks” if they launched at the same time. The full update reads as follows which explains their decision.
Patch 2.1.2 And Season 1:
With respect to Seasons, our goal is to avoid implementing major balance changes towards the end of a Season. Ideally, patches and significant hotfixes will occur between Seasons or early enough in the Season that players have ample time to adjust to the new environment.
However, we discovered some technical risks in executing a simultaneous launch of patch 2.1.2 and the upcoming Season rollover, and it’s clear that trying to do both in tandem or close proximity would jeopardize both processes. This left us with two options:
A) We launch patch 2.1.2 after the Season rollover. In this scenario, Seasonal players wouldn’t have access to any new 2.1.2 items including updated Set items, updated Legendary items, and the new Seasonal items for at least a couple of weeks after the Season went live.
B) We could launch patch 2.1.2 before the Season rollover. In this scenario, this would impact Seasonal Leaderboard progression.
Not giving Seasonal players access to new items right away in Season 2 would take a lot of the excitement out of the start of that new Season. With this, we believe that by giving players a few weeks to adjust to patch 2.1.2 changes, and by allowing them to test existing changes on the PTR, the impact on the existing Leaderboards can be minimized.
After weighing both options carefully, we have decided to launch patch 2.1.2 three weeks prior to the Season rollover. This should provide players enough time to adjust to the patch changes before the Season ends as well as ensure that Season 1 is not prolonged further for those looking forward to Season 2.
Future Season Rollovers:
Season 1 has been a great learning experience for us and we aim to provide a smoother transition at the end of Season 2. In fact, our intent for future Seasons is to have the current Season end, the corresponding patch deployed, and then the following Season start—in that order. While we will not be able to do that for this inaugural Season rollover, this will be our plan for all rollovers moving forward.
Thank you for your patience and support. We hope to see you in Sanctuary and Season 2!
Tyvalir added a couple of replies to questions in the thread:
Tyvalir: As mentioned previously, February 3rd is the earliest date that we would be able to begin the Seasonal rollover, which means the patch could fall as early as next Tuesday. It’s important to remember, however, that this is just the earliest date it may fall, and that it may change if the need arises.
Does this schedule align with the console releases? IE, can we expect to get the console patch on the same day as PC? Or will there be a lag?
Tyvalir: Our current goal is to release patch 2.1.2 on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on the same day. This may change depending on a variety of reasons, but we are indeed hoping to provide a simultaneous launch (or as close to one as possible).
Patch 2.1.2 has been on the PTR for so long that it’s hard to remember what all is new and changing in it. We’re working on a big article with info on all the patch changes, informed by our extensive PTR testing.