Diablo III community manager “Lylirra” jumped on the Battle.net forums Monday night to announce that the first Season will begin Friday, August 29. Blizzard won’t open the doors all at once but will stagger the release so that the servers can handle the load. Here in North America, Season 1 will begin to roll out at 6:00pm PDT on Friday.
Blizzard is introducing Seasons with the release of patch 2.1.0, which takes place today in North America. Seasons is a new “social” competitive system that includes acquiring as many Achievements as possible, reaching the highest tiers in Greater Rifts, and completing Season-exclusive Achievements called Conquests.
“You can track your progress against other players for the activities above on the Leaderboards and compete with others for the highest rankings,” the Diablo III blog explained earlier this month. “Want to be the first Hardcore player in the new Season to reach Level 70? Complete that Achievement and you'll be immortalized on the Conquest leaderboard.”
According to the blog, Seasonal heroes are the only characters that can complete Conquests. These tasks are offered in Hardcore and Normal modes, and are difficult to complete, making them different than the typical Achievement. The first 1000 players will be rewarded by having their name on the Conquest Leaderboard throughout the Season.
For gamers who don’t care about Leaderboards, the Season will provide ten new Legendary items to play with. They will be made available throughout the Season and will be rolled over into the standard game once the Season ends.
The good news is that all this work wasn’t accomplished for nothing: Seasonal characters become regular avatars when the Season ends. They will also retain the loot they picked up during the Season, including blood shards, gold, crafting materials, Stash tabs, Artisian level learned and more.
For more information about what Seasons will bring, check out Blizzard’s preview here. Happy hunting!