Blizzard puts Diablo 3 out to pasture as it starts to recycle old seasons

 The diablo 3 darkening of Tristram logo.
The diablo 3 darkening of Tristram logo.

Diablo 4 may still have some fans on the fence but, next to Diablo 3, its launch can only be seen as a rip-roaring success. Diablo 3 arrived mired in controversy over its real-money auction house, always-on requirement, then launched with one of the most infamous bugs in history (Error 37), and an endgame that just didn't scratch that itch.

What happened next is, of course, the redemption arc of Blizzard slowly peeling-away the bad (including those auction houses), amping up the good, and eventually with the Reaper of Souls expansion crafting the experience into what it always should have been: a joyously gory ARPG where you could melt crowds of enemies in seconds.

Blizzard announced last year that Season 29 would be Diablo 3's last tranche of new content and in the event delivered big with a solo mode players have wanted for years, But now with the arrival of Season 30, the true endgame has begun, and Diablo 3 will from here on out rotate existing themed seasonal content for as long as it remains live.

Season 30 is The Lords of Hell, which was originally Season 25, and comes with what will probably be the last major balancing changes to the game. Particularly notable is that the bonuses conferred by the Altar of Rites have been severely nerfed, which the developers say is to keep the systems "fun and challenging" and "maintain a sense of progression throughout playing while not coming into conflict with other features". In other words, it was OP as hell, but now it's not.

Among other changes that caught my eye are that the unforgettably named "Gelatinous Sire goblins" no longer spawn from the Goblin Shrine inside Echoing Nightmares, while there's a bunch of class-specific tweaks that are all about keeping them "fun and balanced". Sorry wizards, but Meteor's getting the nerfhammer, but it's excellent news for Barbarians and Demon Hunters thanks to buffs aplenty: here's the full list of changes.

Well, you have to say that 12 years is a pretty good run, and in the end Diablo 3 did turn out to be the game some of us wanted: I particularly remember blitzing through dungeons as a Witch Doctor when Reaper of Souls came along, and smiling with contentment as my army of zombie bears tore through everything and I toddled around hoovering up the loot. I went back to it a few years ago to mess around with a Demon Hunter and, y'know, there's something to be said for a game where killing things is just so satisfying. Diablo 3's journey is done: and, in the end, it got where it needed to be.