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Diablo 4's Season 4 and its loot changes are so massive, Blizzard pushed it back by a month

Diablo 4 players will unfortunately have to be stuck with Season 3 longer than they anticipated, but there's a very good reason why.

Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment

Last night was pretty big for Diablo 4, if you consider reveals and teasers about things coming in the future a big deal. During the most recent Campfire Chat developer livestream, Blizzard announced a host of new details about the future of the game.

The main point of the show was to preview some of the major systemic changes coming to the game with the next season, the studio’s ethos behind them, and how it’s going to go about testing them in the real world.

Starting off with the bad news, Blizzard announced that Season of the Construct - the game’s currently-active third season, will now end on May 14. This is a nearly one month delay from its previous end date of April 16. While that means you’ll have more time to level up your battle pass (especially if you’re waiting for the Game Pass release to jump in), it also means everyone will be stuck with a disappointing season for longer than they expected.

Now onto the very good news. The main reason for the delay was to allow Blizzard to bring back the Public Test Realm (PTR), give players enough time to test out the new changes, and allow the developer some room to implement the feedback into the game ahead of Season 4’s launch. The PTR - accessible only on PC through Battle.net - will run from April 2 to April 9.

Much of the livestream was dedicated to explaining exactly what players will be testing. For one, all the changes are intended for the base game (Eternal Realm), as well as the Seasonal Realm. Itemisation is the headline here, of course, with the goal being to make drops count, rather than simply shower players with loot. This should also cut down on the time spent sifting through loot, most of which will end up not being relevant to your character.

The Gauntlet will become more fun after those changes, like most of the game. | Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment.

Blizzard is doing this in several ways. For starters, items will drop with fewer, but more relevant affixes. The affixes themselves are getting a boost, too, so they feel more impactful. In an attempt to cut down on junk, World Tier 3 drops will only be Sacred, and WT4 only Ancestral. More broadly, you should see fewer of those very conditional and situational affixes.

Unsurprisingly, this comes with a great reduction to the number of drops in general, and a re-tuning of salvage and crafting rewards. Gold costs for enchanting items have been capped so they don’t reach the outrageous prices they can today. To further cut down on cruft, crafting materials and herbs will be consolidated so you have fewer of them to worry about, though some will continue to be rarer than others.

Blizzard is also making Uniques more accessible earlier, as many can now drop in WT1 and 2. Some will be continue limited to WT3 and 4, but the former now has a chance to drop any of them. Even the ultra-rare Uber Uniques can now drop from level 55 monsters, and they do so at the current cap of 925 power.

A player character and companion in Diablo 4, in a hellish environ.
Gonna be stuck with this thing for a while longer. | Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment.

Outside of the loot-specific changes, the Codex of Power will now have all Legendary Aspects. When salvaging an item with a better Aspect, that upgraded version will now be the default in your Codex. If you’re a longtime Diablo 4 player, you can already imagine how much busywork that one change is going to cut down on.

This version of Diablo 4 will also introduce new systems of its own. Tempering is a crafting system that lets you add affixes to your Legendary items directly. Tempering Manual is a new type of item that will drop from everything, and it’s what allows you to attach one affix to an item. Affixes can be rerolled up to the item's max Tempering Durability. These are essentially recipes, and they can be used at the Blacksmith.

Masterworking, on the other hand is intended as a way for players to upgrade their items in the late game. In essence, if you find (or do enough Tempering) an item that you really like, you can further upgrade the affixes on it. There are 12 Masterworking ranks to go through, with every four ranks greatly boosting a single affix.

All of that and more will be available for players to test in the upcoming PTR. Details on how to access that will be shared next week.

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