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Diablo 3 Season 30 makes its best features permanent, and even better

Blizzard reveals the Diablo 3 Season 30 start date, along with full patch notes for the Lords of Hell season that returns an old favorite.

Diablo 3 Season 30 makes two of its best features permanent - A Wizard wearing a pointed hat and pondering a blue orb.

Diablo 3 Season 30 is about to arrive, as Blizzard moves into its planned period of rotating through old seasonal themes following the launch of Diablo 4. While it’s no longer a focus for the World of Warcraft and Overwatch 2 developer, Blizzard has sent the demonic, loot-grinding ARPG into retirement with some very welcome changes, including making two of the best seasonal features permanent additions.

Following the conclusion of Diablo 3 Season 29, future seasons will now rotate through old themes. This first iteration sees the return of the Lords of Hell seasonal theme that originally appeared in Season 25. However, the RPG gets two past seasonal features as permanent additions, which will stick around for all future seasons: the Altar of Rites and Visions of Enmity.

The Altar of Rites was introduced in Diablo 3 Season 28 and allows you to upgrade your characters using a season-long tree of perks that, once unlocked, apply across all your characters. It was responsible for perhaps my favorite season of Diablo 3 ever, offering all manner of bonuses from quality-of-life upgrades to dramatic gameplay benefits such as allowing you to bypass those pesky summoned walls that so often lead to your demise.

Diablo 3 Season 30 - The Altar of Rites, first introduced in Season 28.

Blizzard has carefully rebalanced these upgrades in some really smart ways as it transitions the feature to a permanent one; the troublesome Empowered shrine can no longer show up as a random effect when using a potion, for example. In addition to this, the most difficult aspect of unlocking the full Altar of Rites – collecting a Gibbering Gemstone to craft a Staff of Herding – is now dramatically easier thanks to a vastly boosted drop rate.

The Visions of Enmity, meanwhile, were introduced in Diablo 3 Season 29, and make the standard maps from the game’s campaign a far more productive place to level and grind than they typically were in the past. While Adventure Mode had all but been abandoned in favor of simply grinding out Nephalem Rifts and Greater Rifts, it’s now a worthwhile part of playing again, and that makes me very happy to see.

There are also some class balance changes, which Blizzard says “were made to ensure each class remains both fun and balanced as powerful season themes return to Diablo 3.” As such, the team has suggested that, barring any dramatic issues, we might not see any additional balance changes in the future – although we’ll have to wait and see what future seasons hold to be sure. The most notable adjustment is a nerf to the Wizard’s Meteor build, which has long been one of the most dominant forces across Sanctuary, along with a few other overly potent Set Armor pieces.

Diablo 3 Season 30 - A player fights through Visions of Enmity, first introduced in Season 29.

Diablo 3 Season 30 start date and time

Diablo 3 Season 30 begins Friday, January 12 at 5pm PST/CET/KST (for US, European, and Asian servers respectively). It’s certainly a nice option to keep us amused while we wait for more Diablo 4 Season 3 details. It had a rocky road over its many years since launch, but if this ends up being the state Diablo 3 is largely left in for the foreseeable future, I’ll say I’m feeling pretty satisfied with where it’s at.

Thinking of playing? You’ll want to check out the best Diablo 3 builds to get you started. Or, if you prefer, blast your way through some of the best games like Diablo to play on PC in 2024.

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