Season Seven Ending, and Eras Growing Longer - Diabloii.Net

Season Seven Ending, and Eras Growing Longer


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?

Comments

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  1. I think seasons are shit and ruined the game by splitting up the playerbase.

    • Yeah, pretty much.

      Leaderboards are also a joke, the focus should have been on items, not some quasi-competitive version of a RPG.

      When your experience level (paragon) and rift number outweigh the importance of the gear you are using, then a game feels so linear and one sided.

      We also ended up with the side effects of fracturing the player base even more by character class just due to the fact of which class was currently enjoying the top of the leaderboards at that given time.

      So yeah, the community was fractured on so many levels, and for no reason.

  2. You guys are idiots. If it wasn’t for seasons no one would play this shit. The whole point of ARPGs is replayability. Unlike in D2 or PoE, there’s no point to make other characters in this game as you can swap gear and skills any time. Thats why if they didn’t make seasons with rewards and challenges to do, then no one would play.

    • “If it wasn’t for seasons no one would play this shit”

      “if they didn’t make seasons with rewards and challenges to do, then no one would play.”

      Thanks for summarizing many peoples thoughts perfectly.

      “The whole point of ARPGs is replayability”

      Replay-ability comes through Items and how we obtain them, and ultimately, what builds and exploration they offer for our characters. You have to have depth for replay-ability, and D3 never had it.

      Seasons are only on the surface offering it by making you start over, its still the same linear itemization and boring repetition (rifts). That’s not Depth, that’s a gimmick.

    • “You guys are idiots” Great way to start an argument lol.

    • not true i myself hate seasons as its a joke, only those with paragon 2000+ go high on the lists, i myself only have 921 so i dont even bother with seasons and they split up player base too much…

  3. I think seasons (D3) or “ladders” (D2) are awesome as I love the new start. What i don’t like personally is that there is nothing special about Seasons in D3. In D2 you had Ladder-Only runewords and also the economy was starting fresh, with even average gear being traded for a fortune (loved it). Because of infinite Paragon and infinite difficulty, there is a strong incentive to play NON-Season for some players. This is very bad. Non-Ladder or Non-Season should be more of a casual playing field for casuals. If paragon would be capped, there would be much less incentive to play non-seasons lol.

    The problem with D3 is that there is no cap on difficulty (because grifts) and there is no cap on leveling (because paragon doesn’t have a cap). Paragon is garbage, I liked the leveling 1-99 much more as the difference between 90 and 99 wasn’t THAT big but still decent enough for dedicated players to achieve and show off (or run bots lol, but bots never harmed me, they in fact allowed people to have runewords they would have never gotten themselves). Rune drop rates for HRs were a little too low I think, but otherwise i love how rare items were in D2. The cool thing was that even without those super rare items you could still gear well enough to play the game to a very satisfying degree.

    What D3/D4 needs IMO:

    -difficulty cap
    -leveling cap
    -character development (skill trees and stat allocation or whatever)
    -One world (no splitting of “story” and “adventure”)
    -Long leveling journey (1-99 or similar)
    -some type of charm system (including talisman to hold a limited amount of charms)
    -50% of damage comes from character development, 50% from gear
    -50% of defense comes from character development, 50% from gear
    -Some type of Rune system (as in-game item drops just like D2, but better balanced)
    -Random world generation
    -D2/D1 type music and atmosphere
    -Seasons is where the main game is happening
    -Non-Season is where the experimentation is happening for new builds as gear is cheap and available in abundance
    -Open world PVP (but no one can be attacked without consent, also players can deactivate PVP entirely and thus can never be attacked/challenged)
    -6 to 8 players maximum can play together
    -Gameworld does not consist of hallways and “race-tracks” like in D3. Instead, much more open space (even in dungeons and caves) with props, destructible environment, forests, swamps, Dungeons, Medieval architecture and ruins, etc.

    • I forgot to list Trading, as trading needs to come back no question about it. However, it could be implemented in a way like “Item for Item only”. a trading platform where players must place a item of the same rarity as the item they want to buy. No in-game gold etc for trading. Ingame gold is used for gambling and repairs and buy gear off of vendors.

      There should be NO BOA items, all items should be tradeable.

        • I find it very concerning if people get upset when D1 or D2 are mentioned in discussions about how a future Diablo could be improved. If it wouldn’t be for D1 and D2, D3 would not exist, Diablo would not exist, and also many other games would not exist.

          Blizzard failed to appeal to D1 and D2 players, and also somewhat failed to appeal to the WOW crowd. The way it is today is that D3 is positioned at Casuals, but casuals are just that, they are casuals and so by nature they don’t play the game very often. So in short Blizzard tried to appeal to a very broad demographic but was unable to shine in any of the eyes of either demographic. I would argue, that if they would focus on Diablo fans (making a Diablo game for Diablo fans, go figure), then the casuals would follow anyways, just as the WOW crown would, because they were tired of WOW at the time. They tried to turn Diablo into something else than “Diablo” and it didn’t work out IMO (apart from experiencing massive ARPG “brain-drain” as most D1 and D2 veterans left Blizzard before D3)

          What I am trying to say is that allowing D1 and D2 to have massive influence on any Diablo game is obvious in my opinion. They SHOULD have influence, because they are the original Diablo games to begin with. Any person hating D1 or D2 either never played it, sucked at it for whatever reason, or they are that type of person that just hates many things in life in general. I find it ridiculous for someone that hated D1 and D2 to even be interested in any Diablo game to begin with, and trying to turn any Diablo game into something else is also highly questionable.

      • You don’t understand, do you? D3 and D2 are very different games in the way the items affect your game. In D2, your damage depended on your level because of the skill points you invest in your build, and your gear defined your survivability. In D3, your damage AND survivability is affected by the gear you have and *only* by it. Because it’s quite easy to acquire items in D3 nowadays, the trading doesn’t make any sense, and if it were to exist, then players wouldn’t need to go into the rifts or complete bounties, they could acquire the items they need by trading. There would be no reason to play the game at all.

        I’m quite against trading in D3 and in D4 as well. I don’t want to depend on other players, especially randoms from trade chats, when playing, and if I choose to play in a group, I want it to enhance my experience, not ruin it. If you so enjoy the infinite SoJ and rune trading that defined d2 multiplayer gameplay, its battle.net is still up and running 🙂

        • So all those +cold skills charms and +frozen orb gear didn’t increase my damage? I agree that the difference was far less drastic, but c’mon…

      • I totally agree that AH / trade in one way or another, must come back. When AH / trade disappeared it was mainly solo players who were hit hard.
        Item for item is ok but then forcing it solo players to join partys.
        The old AH with ingame gold is the most fair system but with a limit on prices.
        When you consider the resistance that was against AH it is ironic that so many now want AH, trade back

    • Paragon basically took the place of the Charm system, I dont really agree with that direction as it created a problem: It made experience more important than items themselves. With enough Paragon you can increase your power greatly.

      The biggest issue I have though is that Paragon broke the basic mechanic of the Diablo World and that is the mechanic of killing the monsters and having loot fall to the ground, AKA the item hunt. It short circuited that foundation and make xp far too important to “end game”.

      Charms are a great thing as they reinforce the basic premise of Diablo, killing monsters and looking for the Charms. It creates a reason to go out into the world of Sanctuary on top of anything else you are looking for.

      That is why the “smaller item system” (Charms, Jewels, Gems, and Runes) is so important to the franchise.

      Paragon was a middle finger to that system.

      • Fully agree with all of this. Also definitely agree that white/grey (ethereal) items should have been used much better, either like in D2 or perhaps even further developed in some way. I really hope the new Diablo game will bring back all those things and end the infinite “paragon grind” and replace it with real cool stuff. 🙂

    • D2/D1 type music and atmosphere yes yes yes

    • Some ideas are nice for sure but some of those ideas also sound nice on paper but are hell to actually implement. D3 is a great way in nearly all aspects.

      Long leveling souhnds fun but nearly no one ever got to 90+ ion diablo 2.
      6-8 players really wouildn’t be that fun, even worse for balance and servers.

      • One of the best parts of D2 is that you don’t have to be at max level to have a powerful character and do end game.

        Level 80 is fine after that you will gain more power after leveling up .. First 80->85 is still rather fast but 85->90 gets slower .. 90 -> 95 even slower and 95-> almost “impossible”.

        But it doesn’t matter if you are level 90 your character is pretty much complete.. gaining new levels will still of course improve the character which is nice when you finally ding 91 92 etc.

        More improvements will come when you play and find better items. While finding better items you gain more levels.

        Paragon leveling is not interesting at all. I hope they would change the system completely.

    • FUCK THAT PVP SHIT !!!!!!!!
      NO REAL PVP SHITTY GAMEPLAY IN D3
      BRAWLING IS GOOD FOR THOSE PVP MORONS
      YOU DON’T NEED STUPID FUCKING PVP IN EVERY GAME , STUPID KIDDIES !!!

      The others are somewhat ok (or go play D2 instead)

  4. I was pretty surprised to see season 7 ending so soon…but to be honest I’ve been losing interest steadily in this game, or rather this game doesn’t hold my interest very long when I’m playing it. I’ve pretty much given up on the season journey gimmick they’ve cobbled together – I absolutely refuse to waste my time going through set dungeons again – and I’m also not interested at all in the “end game” grind of leveling gems to improve items. My love for this type of game stems back to the very first Diablo: kill things, open containers, get items. Endlessly running GRs just isn’t that interesting and gets pretty boring after an hour+ (or less) of game play. Furthermore, the longer you play, the less value each drop has and it’ll take you a LONG time to find an item that’s an upgrade. It’s almost the same “insta-salvage” of legendaries we used to have in D3V.

    What I find is really a waste is that Wyatt Cheng spent any amount of time writing about non-seasonal, era leaderboards. There can’t possibly be anything LESS important to worry about with the game than that…which just proves that D3 (in terms of development effort) has less life that a Witch Doctor’s Zombie Dog or Gargantua.

    I still find the game enjoyable for short periods…more so when I’m leveling up a fresh character and then searching for the gear. I enjoy seasons more for that aspect than the poorly conceived/balanced season journey.

    • I am still sad that white items in D3 never found any meaningful use outside of insta-salvage crafting mats.

      • Well, to be fair, that’s still more use than they had back in D2.

        • White items in Diablo 2 had a unique purpose as they were part of a larger system (Rune-Words). Its this association that gave them their value. I would argue this value trumps the value of crafting mats any day of the week.

          Perfectly rolled, max socket white items held a value in their own right. Going even further, Ethereal items could be even more valuable for some Rune-Words.

          And on top of all of this, going out and searching for these white items was a thing, you even had unique builds tailored to it, like running the pits with a strafezon.

          There is no comparison, in D2 they have an intrinsic value, in D3 they are just another item to be compacted through the NPC’s. That is not really value, that’s a chore.

          Finally, a max socket white item could be a endgame weapon when high level jewels/runes were put into it. D3 white items could never claim that.

        • In Classic D2 it was used for Imbue.

          Imbue could give you one of the most powerful Rare items which were made out of white items.

          People sought after some specific white items that they used in Imbue, mainly weapons because good weapon were maybe harder to find.

          These white items could be sold for some gold. So for a starting player for example it was a good way to collect these and sell them. With gold you could gamble perhaps something even more valuable.

  5. D2 had depth in characters. The sorceress alone had more build possibilities herself than all of the D3 characters combined. Through different tactics in the skill tree, and multiple gear builds.

    I had melee sorceress that could kill anything with a sword within two-three hits. I had a bear sorc. An Aura sorc. A [8player-viable] Tri-elemental sorc. I had mono-elemental casters, a bow sorc, a poison sorc, and so forth.

    D3. Wizard? You have two builds that work.
    Demon hunter? Two builds.
    Barbarian? Two builds.

    Its the same thing. The only thing they change from season to season is which build is the best to push paragons with.

    The design team failed from the very beginning.

    • A lot of that is a by product of infinite difficulty levels. If the max in D3 was T8 and no Grifts, there would be many viable builds for the “end game” as is the case in limited-difficulty D2. The fact that difficulty scales infinitely in D3 means that ultimately there are only 1 or 2 viable builds per class, since eventually one build is always going to have the highest performance.

      It’s one of the many unintended/perverse consequences of D3’s improvements, ala infinite leveling/paragon, and easier gear finding.

    • You have way more viable builds in D3 then D2. By dozens. Thats just a fact. That you consider something to be only viable when it can clear grift lvl 100+ is another matter.

  6. D3 has a horrid foundation which serves as the root of virtually every problem.

    Every new feature that has been introduced is an attempt to placate customer demands – NOT make the experience better. The result is short-sighted choices that continuously piss people off. ‘Itemization’ is a complete joke. There is no ‘epic loot’. Players are forced to play the newest buffed set as every alternative is effectively useless. LoN aka ‘no-set’ set was a catastrophe and Blizzard refuses to properly address. Because of paragon’s ridiculous primary stat allocation, leaderboards are useless unless you have an unhealthy amount of levels. Extra stash space has been ‘gated’ behind seasons, something that’s so unpopular people actually would prefer to pay real cash to receive instead. There should be a single game mode, not campaign & adventure. In-conjunction with items becoming meaningless, Magic Find was destroyed with it. PvP…a much promised feature, was totally bastardized with the introduction of ‘Brawling’. With the removal of game lobbies, you can’t even ‘brawl’ if you wanted to. Kanai’s cube was thought to add a level of customization to the game but it’s effectively another useless layer since builds are really just straight jackets removing choice. Even though items inherently lack value, the binding on account means zero economy exists… previously a huge component of the franchise.

    Greater rifts are a humiliating grind given randomness and required ‘fishing’ to achieve high ranks. Because of the meta and other design fails, only super elite communities of players can progress higher. Typically the gameplay is mind-numbingly boring with zero dps ‘support’ builds and broken mechanics like watching a twister spin in a corner.

    Why can’t my character names be the names shown in game (versus the bnet id)? Why is there no ‘appear offline’ option? Bnet 2.0 is in fact a major regression. Why did they remove a USEast server? What the hell is a ‘Server Slam’ and why can’t they just mine live servers for metrics instead?

    How is it possible they green-lighted the trash music in D3 after Matt Uelmen’s D2 masterpiece? Is the pony level clever, or is it instead a bit arrogant that rather than thinking methodically about the game’s overall design they create a level to troll us?

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