Diablo III director hints at ladder support post-Reaper of Souls

Ladders do not feature on the official Reaper of Souls feature list.

The first Diablo III expansion has been unleashed; read our Reaper of Souls review to find out the verdict.

Blizzard have been teasing a competitive ladder for Diablo III for absolutely yonks. On the first anniversary of the game’s release in May, designer Wyatt Cheng said the dev team were “definitely looking into” the possibility of ranked seasons – but warned it “wouldn’t be viable until an expansion”.

Well, guess what comes out at the end of this month? The imminent release of Reaper of Souls, and the fact that game director Josh Mosqueira’s tweets have turned cryptic of late, give us reason to believe in seasons.

Last week, Mosqueria told one follower dead set on ladder support to “hang in there” for Reaper of Souls’ launch at the end of March.

A minute later, he made reference to meetings for Diablo features not mentioned in Reaper of Souls’ launch bullet point list.

By yesterday, he’d begun spouting odes to the seasons quite unlike those written by Keats or Blake.

You might think you know ladders like Stan Laurel, but let’s cover the basics: ladders constitute some sort of competitive environment that lets players track their rankings against their fellows.

Ladders eventually come to an end, typically after a month or two, at which point top players are issued with rewards and the cycle begins anew – resetting progress and forcing everyone to start fresh.

Whereas StarCraft 2’s ladders are determined according to wins and losses, Diablo’s single player and cooperative nature means we can expect more abstract measurements of success.

In January, Cheng said that any ladder implemented would split ranked characters from their already-existing counterparts, just as Diablo 2 did.

“We wouldn’t take away anything from what people have accomplished,” he said. “People have a lot of investment in their current characters, so you’d still keep those.”

Diablo designer Travis Day also suggested that ladders could provide Diablo III with a longer tail once its dev team eventually moved on.

“Five years from now, you’re probably not going to see us making huge content patches, or class updates,” he said. “At some point we’ll set the game aside, sort of leave it as a work that we’ve completed, and move on to like Diablo 4, or whatever, right? Ladders is absolutely one of the things that helps the game stay fresh for people 5 years from now, or 3 years, or 2 years, or whatever.”

Are they something you’ve been holding out for?