Diablo 4 Season 3 First Impressions | Rejected Mechanics

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Diablo 4 Season 3 is here, and with it comes a whole host of new changes. I’ve spent the better part of launch week playing through everything there is to offer! Read on to get the good, and bad, of Diablo 4 Season 3 First Impressions; Season of the Construct.

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Season of the Construct – Diablo 4 Season 3 First Impressions

Season of Construct is first on my list of Diablo 4 Season 3 First Impressions to talk about: To start out, Season 3 kicks off with a major change for casual players: the Seasonal Story no longer has gating associated with the Season Journey. From level 1, a player can run play though it all uninterrupted. In my eyes, it has helped a lot with the coherency and quality of the story; Lore from previous games is capitalised on, there’s an emphasis on demons and the missions feel reminiscent of a mini-campaign.

On top of that, the seasonal ‘return point’ is a functional town hub that expands as time goes on; it’s fantastic, centred around its waypoint, it allows players to go through their inventories quickly with no windy paths to each vendor: it is a perfect stride in the right direction, especially when this serves as a launch location for Vaults and Nightmare Vaults in World Tiers 3 and 4 later on.

The Seneschal, and Mechanical Imperfections

From the story, we receive our seasonal mechanic: The Seneschal.

Diablo 4 Season 3 First Impressions Seneschal Image

It is very fun build crafting tool in theory, albeit very simple. Many of the setups provide fun gameplay tools for the player, with taunts, status effect application, and buffs at its disposal, influenced by Governing, and Tuning Stones. These stones define what abilities the Seneschal has access to, and what additional affects they inherit. There are melee, ranged, and utility skills that can be assigned with the Governing Stones, and the Seneschal can use two different skills at any time, with up to three Tuning Stones per skill.

Diablo 4 Season 3 First Impressions Seneschal Menu

Unfortunately though, this fun concept finds itself functionally disappointing due to Diablo 4’s poor pet AI, low damage or heal values, and slow upgrade progression tarnishes the Seneschal’s ability to land that impact as a theme.

Many times I found myself far away from my scorpion because it was fighting a mob three rooms back, and while I applaud Blizzard for taking risks this season, it really has emphasised just how badly all the companions logic needs to be overhauled. On top of that, the numbers aren’t particularly well scaled for damage, healing, and barrier application, nor is the levelling up of the Governing and Tuning Stones.

The Vaults

The other half of the seasonal additions are the Vaults: a new spin on dungeons, prompting players to kill and loot everything they can in a dungeon for the maximum reward, while dodging traps and surviving ambushes to reap that bountiful reward. Community sentiment, however, is that traps in Diablo 4 are just not fun. ARPGs thrive on speed and strength being the reward for building well: When content slows us down, it just doesn’t feel good, and I hope Blizzard revisit these Vaults as a concept; keeping them in the game after small revisions, and updated in the same way Nightmare Dungeons are: Rotated as something new for players do when strictly farming gear over Glyph XP.

Diablo 4 Season 3 First Impressions of the standard Seasonal Loop

That said: the Nightmare Dungeon rotation in Diablo 4 Season 3 is the very best of both seasons prior, combined. There are very few dungeons on this rotation that are actually worth being salvaged or are bad by any definition, and that’s honestly a good thing, players spend less time scrapping seals and more time farming for their loot or Tier 21 Glyphs.

As far as the Journey itself is concerned, simply playing through the story and doing the things nearly everyone is doing, will get you through the Journey. Completing the story, doing each world boss, Uber Boss, Lilith, pushing Nightmare Dungeons, and doing Helltides will all net you rewards, so if you’re someone who just wants more Diablo 4, you’re in the right place.

Game-wide Changes – Diablo 4 Season 3 First Impressions

Quality of Life has once again been made even better with the release Diablo 4 Season 3, adding WASD Movement for PC players, the adding of Respec Mode which allows players to redistribute their skill points without having to Respec completely everything or be blocked from breaking the tree when trying to move points around within a branch. Active timers have also been added to the map, so players are aware of any limited time content that’s going to start, or has started.

On top of that, as per popular request, Helltides having been updated to stay up with only a 5 minute break is a game changer for farming Forgotten Souls, Fiend Roses, and Uber Griegore materials; a key part of the endgame at its latest points, and a welcome change players have been asking for since the launch of the game. No longer do players need to wait hours to be able to upgrade legendary gear!

Additionally, on the social side of the game: Emblems at last have been given more detail: custom work done, borders and backgrounds for each, with Battle Pass levels awarding emblems now. I can only hope that we may see more of them from other sources in the future, such as achievements, challenges and limited time events.

For a comprehensive list of the changes, see Blizzard’s official post on the path notes for Diablo 4 Season 3 here.

Closing Thoughts for my Diablo 4 Season 3 First Impressions

Our first impressions of Diablo 4 Season 3 have been mixed overall, but for the longevity of the season, it’s safe to say that things need to change.

A Disappointing Start to Diablo 4 Season 3

Diablo 4 Season 3 has been a questionable side step in terms of progression: The story, seasonal hub, and Nightmare Dungeon rotation are the best they’ve ever been, and the Quality of Life additions are all highly sought, beneficial features I am glad to have, but, the season theme has already worn out for many players; traps have been rejected as a mechanic, slowing players down and causing frustration, damaging the core identity of the game as an ARPG. Coupling that with the Seneschal being a weak tool with a slow, monotonous grind, there’s certainly room to improve.

The Blizzard Response

Diablo 4 Designer, Joe Shely, has advised that they’ve taken onboard much of the community feedback for potential improvements to the season, and I can only hope that we see some of these improvements roll out sooner rather than later, otherwise we are in for a very long season. We like to be as honest as we can in all our first impressions, so when it came to Diablo 4 Season 3 First Impressions we kept it fair as possible, but things may change as the season progresses so stay tuned!

Want to read more of our articles? We have plenty of news, reviews and guides here at Battle Shout, and we will have more Diablo 4 Season 3 content to come in the near future.

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