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    A couple of pieces of big news about Diablo 3 today. First up, Season Seven is ending, and much sooner than most of us expected. The season will end in two weeks, on October 14th. S7 began on August 5th, not even two months ago, so this one will end 2-3 weeks earlier than any previous D3 season. With no patch in testing on the PTR it’s obvious we won’t see many changes in Season 8, so it’s not clear why this one is getting such a quick reset, when most fans expected the next season to begin somewhen around Blizzcon, in early November.

    Season 7 End & Season 8 Start Dates:

    season-7-narrowYou’ll be able to sort through your rollover rewards and review your progress on the Leaderboards between Seasons. It’s a great time to reflect on the accomplishments you’ve made and enjoy the culmination of your pre- and post-Season loot hunts!

    Season 7 will be ending on the following dates and times:

    • North America: Friday, October 14 @ 5:00 p.m. PDT
    • Europe: Friday, October 14 @ 5:00 p.m. CEST
    • Asia: Friday, October 14 @ 5:00 p.m. KST

    Season 8 will begin about one week afterward on these dates:

    • North America: Friday, October 21 @ 5:00 p.m. PDT
    • Europe: Friday, October 21 @ 5:00 p.m. CEST
    • Asia: Friday, October 21 @ 5:00 p.m. KST

    For time zone assistance, click here. We look forward to seeing you in Season 8!

    erasAlso, Wyatt Cheng posted a developer diary describing why Eras (the anti-seasons) aren’t going to be resetting every time a season does. TLDR, expect Eras from now on to run 6-12 months, and to reset only 1) when there’s some big balance changes or global nerfs that would make previous Leaderboard records unbeatable, and 2) shortly AFTER such a patch goes live. Also 3) expect gradual global nerfing of the highest Grift records over patches going forward. Power Creep is receding!

    A quote from Wyatt’s post.

    When we introduced Seasons to Diablo III, we also debuted “Eras.” The thinking was that while the seasonal leaderboard would naturally reset every season, there would be some players who would want the non-seasonal leaderboard to reset periodically as well. There is a certain excitement associated with a fresh leaderboard — a sense that you could maybe see your own name up there at the beginning of an Era. It can also be disheartening to see somebody who is not currently playing the game hold a top position on a leaderboard long after the record was set.

    As Diablo III has evolved, it has become clear in hindsight that while the fresh excitement is there, it doesn’t last very long. First, the Era leaderboard is not something you “climb.” If you are capable of achieving a particular Greater Rift tier, you’re likely able to replicate that performance, or very close to it, at the very start of a new Era. Second, between patch changes, item buffs, and Paragon levels, there is built-in power growth over time—the concern of somebody holding a high Era ranking long after they’ve quit hasn’t really materialized.

    The Eras change would have to be happening in another game for it to have less impact on me, since I’ve played nothing but Seasons since RoS launched. I am surprised to see S7 ending so soon, though. I figured we had another month or so, and that the season would wrap up sometime around Blizzcon in early November. A happy coincidence that would have allowed the bored or desperate to launch implausible rumors tying the end of Season 7 into the pending non-announcement of anything Diablo-related at this year’s Blizzcon

    What do you guys think of the early end to Season Seven and the extended play time for upcoming Eras? Share your thoughts in comments and click through to read the full text of Wyatt’s Eras essay.

    Developer Chronicles: Eras

    Hi, everybody. Wyatt Cheng here again with a second installment of Developer Chronicles. Today, let’s discuss Eras.

    When we introduced Seasons to Diablo III, we also debuted “Eras.” The thinking was that while the seasonal leaderboard would naturally reset every season, there would be some players who would want the non-seasonal leaderboard to reset periodically as well. There is a certain excitement associated with a fresh leaderboard—a sense that you could maybe see your own name up there at the beginning of an Era. It can also be disheartening to see somebody who is not currently playing the game hold a top position on a leaderboard long after the record was set.

    As Diablo III has evolved, it has become clear in hindsight that while the fresh excitement is there, it doesn’t last very long. First, the Era leaderboard is not something you “climb.” If you are capable of achieving a particular Greater Rift tier, you’re likely able to replicate that performance, or very close to it, at the very start of a new Era. Second, between patch changes, item buffs, and Paragon levels, there is built-in power growth over time—the concern of somebody holding a high Era ranking long after they’ve quit hasn’t really materialized.

    Eras Going Forward

    It has been our plan for some time to stop advancing the Era count every time a new season occurs. Expect that to be the norm moving forward. We are looking to move Eras to be 6–12 months in length.

    Besides simply allowing Eras to be 6–12 months long, there is an additional circumstance in which we feel an Era reset will still be warranted: when we expect that the highest attainable Greater Rift is going to go down. As an example, in patch 2.4.2, we made changes to the Twisted Sword, Energy Twister, and crowd control mechanics that caused the highest cleared Greater Rift to go down. When we have strong reason to believe the highest cleared Greater Rift will significantly drop, we do need to advance the Era to keep the non-seasonal leaderboard from going stale. Though this was the case in 2.4.2, expect Eras to advance less frequently moving forward.

    This brings us to a related question. When an Era advances, is it done before a patch goes live or after? The answer to this depends on the intent of Eras. Previously we advanced an Era as soon as a Season ended. This was back when there were season-specific items. The Era would advance in order to record the state of the non-seasonal leaderboards before all the season-specific items were transitioned to non-seasonal. We no longer have season-specific items and there is greatly reduced value in trying to memorialize the leaderboards at that particular moment in time. However, when we expect patch changes to cause the previous top ranks to be difficult or impossible to beat, it makes more sense to advance the Era AFTER the patch has gone live. Advancing the Era before the patch goes live would cause some players to lock in high ranks that become unbeatable once the patch hits. Advancing after the patch goes live allows players in the new Era to compete in a fresh environment based on the balance of the current live patch.

    To summarize, seasons are for those who want a recurring fresh experience; Eras should represent periods of time closer to a year.

    Soon. Too soon?

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