Daily Archives: February 25, 2023

Is Season 28 the Last Diablo III Season?

I haven’t thought about Diablo III for a while.  It has been nearly 11 years since it launched and now Diablo IV is around the corner.  And yesterday Diablo III kicked off its latest season, number 28, which some suspect might be its final season, what with a successor coming.

Diablo III – Season 28

It has been a long run for Diablo III and, I will say, that Blizzard hasn’t let it languish the way it let Diablo II sit over a decade.  And while Diablo III doesn’t seem to evoke much in the way of emotion these days, it did have a turbulent launch back in 2012.

If you were there and paying attention you probably remember outrage because it was too brightly lit or too colorful, it lacked LAN play, it was going to be always online, it was going to have an auction house… and a real money auction house… and what was Blizzard thinking?

And even as all that was coming up, the team that had made Diablo and Diablo II were rolling up Torchlight II, which many claimed would be the REAL successor to the Diablo franchise… an idea the team making it, still bitter about their split with Blizzard, were happy to encourage.

Then there was the dark horse contender, Path of Exile, which promised to be free to play and had all sorts of crazy ideas about talent trees.

It was a pretty crazy time for Diablo-esque action RPG titles.

And then there was the Diablo III launch and the memes about error 37.

One theory…

That doesn’t even begin to account for the problems like how the auction house, both gold and real world currency, distorted player motivation, helped along by the awful itemization curve… every drop seemed to be far too low level for you… that seemed made by design to drive you to the auction house.

Wyatt “don’t you guys have phones” Cheng to this day bristles when people suggest Blizzard designed it that way on purpose, but the alternative is that Blizzard was really dumb on two things that went together, and I am not sure which is less flattering.  I might opt for the evil over dumb.

It was not a smooth path for the game.

But, to Blizzard’s credit, they did get things right eventually.  With the Reaper of Souls expansion update the auction house went away and itemization was fixed so that the simple reinforcement mechanism of the Diablo series… pick up cool loot and find upgrades that make you more powerful… was back on track.

I still think I like Diablo II more, but Diablo III became fun and much more viable.

It made it to multiple platforms, sold a lot of copies… though 1.2 million of those copies were via people like myself who bought the WoW annual pass to get it for free… and, as noted, it has been maintained and updated and moved to new consoles and had new seasons with new gear and new goodies going for quite a few years.

Which brings us to season 28.  Will it be the last season?

Somehow I think not.  Among other lessons, Blizz has learned over the years that some people will stick with a game and will buy new copies for new platforms as the years wear on.

I am tempted to roll out with the new season.  It has been quite a while since I played Diablo III.  My problem is that I generally only like a couple of the classes and do I want to play yet again as a barbarian or a paladin?  I could try something else, but I have done that in the past and always end up with the classes that suit my own play style.

We shall see.  I am getting a bit ahead in Wrath Classic, so I could use something else to fiddle with.

If you want to see what Season 28 offers, Blizzard has a post with the patch notes to tell you all about it.