Diablo IV’s First Season is As Fun As A Sad Old Fisherman

You owe it to yourself to play a better game

Alex Rowe


The seasonal progress checklist in Diablo IV.
PC screenshot taken by the author. The subtitles from the game bleed into the seasonal progression screen, and I thought this one was funny as I imagine it reflects how the most bought-in Diablo fans are feeling right now.

Earlier this week, Blizzard launched another huge patch for Diablo IV to get things ready for the launch of the “Season of the Malignant,” but instead they set their own community on fire.

The patch brought with it tons of nerfs and slowdowns, from arbitrarily lengthening the time it takes to exit a dungeon by two seconds, to knocking down the effectiveness of many popular Barbarian and Sorcerer builds, to dramatically increasing cooldowns for most skills that operate on them.

It was a total mess. It kicked off dozens of think piece articles, rant videos, and angry forum posts. And then into the middle of that nightmare, the new season and paid battle pass content launched. Blizzard tried to control the damage this morning with an awkward livestream, but all they did was further confuse the hardcore community.

Right now, it feels like Diablo IV is in a deep dank hole. It’s like an old guy whose boat doesn’t work anymore but he still needs to catch some fish to eat. Yes, I’m still running with this whole fisherman thing.

I’ve played several hours of the season over the last couple of days, and it’s nothing special in the ever-crowded world of live service video games. It adds two new large checklists of tasks to complete and one sort-of-new main mechanic. The checklists come in the form of Seasonal Tasks, which are kind of like the season lists in Diablo III, and a new Battle Pass which has both paid and free items along its 90-tier-level progression.

The Battle Pass will progress even just from killing monsters and doing quest stuff, and it mostly doles out basic-looking cosmetic items. The paid cosmetics are flashier and come more frequently. I bought the version of the game that included the first paid Battle Pass, and so I feel some sort of weird obligation to complete this whole thing even though it’s just another grind on top of a game that’s already way too grindy.

I scrolled through the Battle Pass items the second the season launched hoping to find some more wolf puppies, or something as equivalently fun, but alas — it’s all swords, horse armor, and the like. During the beta for the game, you…