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Diablo 4 has launched season 2 and early sentiment has proven to be…quite positive. Diablo had a rough start in the live service space with a somewhat underwhelming season 1. However, Blizzard always said that season 1 would be smaller given that it was developed alongside the base game in order to be out the next month or so. Future seasons would be larger, and bring more content and changes.
However, there were a lot of issues to address, both with the game itself and with the seasonal model. And frankly, yes, Diablo 4 did take a large number of them on in season 2. Not all of them, certainly, but it’s pretty apparent to see where exactly they’ve improved the game in direct response to player feedback across a number of areas.
XP Gain – The long, slow slog to level 100 in the game is now…less of a slog, by quite a wide margin. Especially at higher levels, Diablo 4 has dramatically increased monster XP on kill and from sources like the Tree of Whispers. All things added up it takes about 40% less time to get to level 100 than it used to, unlocking the full skill and paragon point landscape for your seasonal character. That joins other progression changes like not needing to re-grind renown at all anymore.
Drop Rates – They’ve been dramatically increased, and in particular, are enormously upped in the new seasonal zones, and that’s even at lower levels. You will not need to wait all that long to start seeing legendaries drop, and at higher levels they will be far more frequent.
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Itemization – This actually may be one of the most important changes of all, because it was one of the biggest issues plaguing the endgame. After a certain point, there was just no increased in gear quality, with item level topping out at 820, but all ranges remaining the same. Now, there are increased ranges through level 100, meaning the gear you get up there will have much higher baseline quality and high end range than 10, 20, or 30 levels below you, which was not the case previously. It means you can still hunt for better min-maxing at any level, it doesn’t trail off well before that.
Endgame Bosses – This season adds a number of endgame bosses that can be taken on at different levels, target farmed for specific uniques and re-farmed once certain materials from old endgame activities are collected. It is not the final step in a revamped endgame, but it’s more than last season added which was…nothing, and many of the bosses are new and interesting, even if there are some reprisals.
An Ultimate “End Goal” – This ties into the above, after you farm all the other bosses enough, you can take on Uber Duriel. Unlike Uber Lilith, who you fight just for the bragging rights, Uber Duriel has a chance to drop Diablo 4’s infamous Uber Uniques, the Uniques so rare only maybe a hundred people in the world have them. While they will remain that rare in the rest of the game, Blizzard has said the chances of getting them from Duriel specifically are massively increased. Still very rare, but it’s a clear path to farm something that was previously unattainable, and a solid “end goal” for players who simply run out of things to do elsewhere with their max level characters.
Sure, there are still annoying things. The game’s microtransaction/in-game cosmetic system is still absolutely atrocious, which has been one of my main complaints. Early game can still be a bit of a slog as you “wait for the fun to start” at much higher levels, depending on the class. But yes, significant strides have been made, and if it’s come this far just by season 2 here, there does seem to be a good amount of hope for the long term here.
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