Diablo 3 Season 25 introduces new demonic powers

A Diablo 3 character looks up to a towering demon

Blizzard Entertainment has revealed what’s coming in Diablo 3’s next season of content. The developer posted an early set of patch notes detailing the theme, item changes, and bug fixes ahead of the patch’s launch on the PTR on November 4.

The Diablo 3 devs have themed Season 25 around a new socketable item called Soul Shards, which are based on the Lords of Hell. There are seven of them in total, and they’ll give you new demonic powers. Three of them are Prime Evil Soul Shards, though you can only slot one into your helm at a time. The other four are Lesser Evil Soul Shards, and they work similarly – you can only slot one into a weapon at one time. You can upgrade each Soul Shard three times using a new seasonal-exclusive item called the Hellforge Ember.

So, where do you get them? Soul Shards and Hellforge Embers can drop anywhere in Sanctuary, but you’ll have a better chance of fetching the former from bosses. Blizzard also notes that the new items can’t be traded and will only drop in seasonal play.

“With the upcoming 25th anniversary of the Diablo franchise, we wanted players to delve into the darker side of the Nephalem’s past,” Blizzard says. “In Season 25, players can embrace evil by infusing themselves with the essences of the Lords of Hell. Players will embark on their season journey to discover and upgrade demonic Soul Shards based on the seven Lords of Hell.

“By embodying a prime and lesser evil, players will inflict new forms of pain and suffering on the demons of Sanctuary. We can’t wait for players to get their hands on Soul Shards to start unlocking their true power.”

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You’ve also got a heap of item tweaks and bug fixes, though it’s worth noting that buffs and nerfs are likely to change throughout the update’s two-week PTR cycle. If you’d like to check out the notes in full, you can find them here.

Activision Blizzard is facing a lawsuit filed in July by the state of California (since expanded for QA and customer service contractors) alleging years of discrimination and harassment. Since then, CEO Bobby Kotick has called the company’s initial response “tone deaf”, employees have staged a walkout, Blizzard president J Allen Brack has left, and the ABK Workers Alliance has demanded change at the company. The lawsuit is ongoing; follow the latest developments here. In September, an agency of the US federal government opened an investigation into Activision Blizzard’s response to sexual misconduct and discrimination complaints from its employees, as part of which Kotick has reportedly been subpoenaed. The company is also facing a separate unfair labour practice suit alleging “worker intimidation and union busting” filed by a workers’ union, also in September. In another, separate development, Activision Blizzard reached an agreement with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission “to settle claims and to further strengthen policies and programs to prevent harassment and discrimination”. In a subsequent letter to employees, the company has announced an end to forced arbitration, a $250 million initiative to improve diversity, and a major pay cut for Kotick.

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