The Diablo 4 devs just made an announcement that tells me they are cooking up something good for Season 5

What you need to know

  • In a blog post, Diablo 4 devs have announced an upcoming balance Patch 1.4.3 for which the notes drop Friday 14 June.
  • On June 21, there will be a Campfire Chat to discuss the PTR (Public Test Realm) for Season 5.
  • Previously, they have said the PTR would be on a case by case basis, and only being used when there is a lot of new stuff to test, so what could we expect for Season 5?

I’m only just peeling myself down from the ceiling after all the incredible Diablo 4 news we have already had in the past few days. From a brand new, and deliciously dark Vessel of Hatred trailer, to the reveal of the Spiritborn class and shadow-drop of pets into the game, it’s been a great time to be a Diablo fan.

But Blizzard is not stopping there. Season 4 is still in full swing and still breaking records for Diablo 4 player numbers a month into the season, and just a few hours ago Adam Fletcher aka PezRadar (Community Director) made a blog post detailing more to come from the Diablo 4 team. We’ve another mid-season balance patch coming shortly with Patch 1.4.3, and in an exciting reveal, we’re getting a PTR (Public Test Realm) for Season 5 which is set to start on August 6. But why am I so excited?

PTRs for Diablo 4 are not a given, so what are they cooking that needs testing?

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

To refer back to my interview with Rod Fergusson in April, I posed the question about PTRs. This tool has been used for seasons in Diablo 2 and Diablo 3, but we only saw it from Season 4 onward in Diablo 4, and wow, is the Season of Loot Reborn all the better for it. I asked Rod if we were likely to see the PTR for every season going forward now. He had this to say:

That’s a good question.  I think that’s sort of a TBD for us.  There are pros and cons to PTR. Like Season 4 is such a big change that we definitely needed to get more feedback than usual.

If you look at Season 3, we released Season 3, we got some immediate feedback, and then we patched up pretty quickly. And so we could patch Season 3 in the first 3 days. So we can respond pretty quickly to that stuff. There’s a lot of value you get out of the surprise and delight aspect that a PTR can, in some ways, take away some of the excitement. It can work for you or against you, depending on what you’re trying. And that’s kind of why we were like, hey, the stuff we really need to test like the crafting and all the new systems. Let’s get that out there. But oh, if there is anything to do with a seasonal theme, we’ll hold that back to be a little surprise and delight. So there’s still something left to discover. I think we’re learning, this is our first one.

So that’s a very long way to say we’re learning from this one, or we learned from this one. And we can pretty much guarantee that every season we’re gonna have that conversation. Is it going to be in our best interest to get people playing earlier? And getting that feedback? Or is it better to surprise and delight with, Hey, here’s a new theme you didn’t know is coming. We’ve been really happy with this Season for PTR. So we will probably ended up doing more of them for sure. “

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