I have yet to dive into Diablo IV, even as my coworkers are raving about it, but I’m starting to think I never will now that I know you apparently have to create a new character each season to take part in its battle passes.
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This was confirmed by producer Rod Fergusson on Twitter (thanks, PC Gamer), where he explained that new seasons require new characters, so you won’t be able to use the one you’ve played through the main game with when playing through seasonal content like, as Blizzard describes in a blog post on its website, “additional gameplay features, questlines (with new and old faces alike), Battle Passes, Legendary Items, class balance changes, quality-of-life improvements, and much more.”
As some fans and PC Gamer note, this is similar to the way content updates have worked in the Diablo series before (like Diablo III’s seasons), and taking part in the seasonal content doesn’t erase your original character from existence. But I tend to get pretty attached to the player characters I make, and having to put them on a shelf to make another character grinds against my RPG sensibilities. Hell, having a character creator is one of the biggest selling points of a game for me, and I spend a lot of time painstakingly crafting a guy who looks like me so I can feel like I’m existing in a new world. So if you also get overly attached to your player character and want to play an entire game as them, keep in mind that Diablo IV has strict rules that prevent that.
All of this comes at a time where Diablo IV players are criticizing the game’s long grind for XP, which some argue is one of the biggest issues with creating new characters. At the moment, some consider the XP the game gives you to be insufficient, and it hasn’t been helped by Blizzard nerfing things like elite monster spawns that players were grinding to level up. The company has said it plans to implement some changes on this front, however, starting with increasing XP output in Nightmare Dungeons and streamlining the process to travel to them.
While this setup might not be a surprise to Diablo veterans, it’s good knowledge for newbies and prospective players to have going into the game, especially as you decide if you want to drop the $10 on the battle pass (or $25 on the premium one that lets you skip some tiers and get a seasonal cosmetic). Diablo IV’s first season will begin in July.