Diablo IV‘s second season, “Season of Blood”, starts on October 17th, and is set up to be their biggest content update yet. We’ll finally see some changes based on feedback from the community. Between their last two ‘campfire chat’ live streams, there’s a lot of information to share about the upcoming season 2 launch. I’ll recap all the bigger changes coming to Diablo IV, what that means for you, and everything we know about “Season of the Blood.”
If you’re like me, you’ve probably moved on to some other games while you wait for Diablo IV’s second season to start. You want to know if the changes will be enough to make the game fun to play for more than a couple weeks.
The biggest changes are coming to RESISTANCES and DAMAGE BUCKETS! Hopefully this means Sorcerers won’t feel like a wet piece of tissue paper in higher nightmare dungeons and critical/vulnerable builds won’t be the only viable builds at end game! We’ll also talk about changes to unique items, skills and the Paragon board.
One of the most talked about changes is to damage buckets. From the start of Diablo IV, and during “Season of the Malignant,” the best way to build your class was to apply a vulnerable debuff and then increase your critical chance, critical damage, and vulnerable damage. Well, either that or exploiting bugs😅 (*cough*Bugbarian*cough*). Critical damage and Vulnerable damage were so important because these damage increases are in separate buckets, the buckets are then multiplicative, so increasing them separately would exponentially increase your total damage. Compared to other general damage increases like “damage vs chilled,” “damage with bone”, etc.
In “Season of the Blood”, damage buckets will change slightly to lower the importance of critical and vulnerable damage, but not entirely. Critical Damage, Vulnerable, and Overpower are different buckets. Combining buckets is multiplicative(same as before), BUT bonuses are capped per bucket. Extra bonus damage to these categories, over the cap, is additive.
- Vulnerable capped at x20%
- Critical damage capped at x50%
- Overpower Damage capped at x50%
You should still try to cap these buckets, but there are diminishing returns for adding anything above the cap. Instead, it’s important to diversify your damage buckets with attributes like “Damage vs Elite” and “Damage with Cold.” During the campfire chat, the devs noted that Overpower damage is fixed for season 2 and it will be much better. I can’t find any specifics on that change, so we’ll check it out when Season 2 drops next week.
This won’t be a huge change for most builds, but it will help boost classes and builds that have a hard time building crit and vulnerable damage modifiers. This is specifically impactful in the paragon board. For example, Sorcerers can bypass any critical damage nodes and can instead focus more on elemental damage which is easy to come by in the Sorcerer paragon board. Damage buckets are still very simplified in Diablo IV, but this is a step in the right direction.
How can you create a ‘best build’ in “Season of the Blood?” You’ll want to look for +SKILL RANKS on your items, as those will still be multiplicative to your skill damage and become more powerful next season.
In addition to lowering the effectiveness of critical damage and vulnerable damage, Blizzard will also balance the monsters accordingly. When combined with the other changes this season, you shouldn’t notice a huge change.
New Paragon Board Glyphs
All classes will see new changes in the paragon board in Season 2 to allow for players to add multiplicative power in a more interesting way. An example is shown below for the Elemental Summoner legendary node in the Sorcerer‘s paragon board.
Blizzard is also adding two new Paragon glyphs next season for EACH class. This will inspire new builds and interesting combos with “Season of Blood” mechanics.
As a Sorcerer main, I’m very aware that elemental resistances mean almost nothing when it comes to surviving a high level nightmare dungeon. During their most recent campfire chat, Diablo IV devs discussed how resistances will change in season 2. Starting with “Season of Blood,” elemental resistances will be additive. For instance, 20% poison resist + 20% poison resist = 40% poison resist. Now that this calculation is additive, there will be a base cap of 70%. However, you can increase this to 85% with new effects that increase the cap. Also, armor will only resist physical damage instead of both elemental and physical. Going forward rings and amulets will have All Resistance and you’ll need to seek out specific resistances in your gear, paragon board, skill tree, etc.
Resistances will be more important in Season of Blood and you should pay attention to caps as you build your character. My only worry with this change is that you’ll want different elemental resistances for each activity. For example, if one dungeon has poison damage, but another has shadow damage, you’ll have to balance your gear accordingly. They mentioned that there will be many paths to max your resistance, including your paragon, elixirs and gear.
Unique Gear Items
Almost ALL unique items in Diablo IV will be updated for Season 2! This is HUGE. Uniques will now have NEW STATS, LARGER STAT RANGES, OVERRIDE SLOT RULES and updated UNIQUE EFFECTS! For example, you could get cooldown reduction on a weapon or 45% bonus fire damage. This change will make unique items stand out from standard gear. You should be excited when a unique item drops in Diablo IV.
In addition to improved uniques, you can now target farm them from bosses in Season 2. Uber uniques can be target farmed from Uber Duriel, so hopefully you’ll be able to find one!
There are many many class changes coming with “Season of Blood” on October 17th. Look forward to class builds here on DPS Check as soon as we get our hands on the new changes. There are SO MANY updates to skills, passives, paragon, legendary aspects, and more.
Check out Moxsy‘s video on all the Druid changes here: