Blizzard to host multiple live streams for Diablo 4 Season 2

Blizzard Entertainment is going with the quantity over quality approach for Season of Blood, much to the disappointing of the hopeful fans.

Maybe it's true what the fans are saying that Blizzard should reconsider bringing in a new director for Diablo 4.

It hasn't taken long for public opinion for Diablo 4 to sour. Since releasing the game in June, Blizzard Entertainment has had to deal with one massive blow after another. Although many were eager to dive into the new challenges presented by the latest entry in the popular action RPG franchise, the first season, Season of the Malignant, just couldn't live up to the initial promises. It pulled the game deeper into the bowels of hell with little to no meaningful content added to it to keep players engaged. It's come to a point that fewer than a thousand players are watching Diablo 4 streams at the moment - a far-cry from the early days when Diablo 4 set a new launch record for Blizzard.

However, if we believe the recent announcements, Season 2, following its reveal at Gamescom 2023, promises a much-needed revival of Diablo 4.

The development team, led by General Manager Rod Fergusson, recently revealed the sheer magnitude of new content coming in the upcoming season. To accommodate all the information, they plan to broadcast not one but two deep-dive livestreams, each estimated to span around two hours. Given the last showcase for the previous season was close to two hours, this could indicate a potential four-hour deep dive into what's new.

So, what can players expect? For one, a vampire-focused narrative with Gemma Chan giving voice to what appears to be a Demon Hunter, a character many are keen to learn more about. It will introduce new gameplay elements to the game, including five endgame bosses, a revamped system to farm unique items, and a more accessible route to obtaining the elusive uber-unique items, among many others. Finally, a significant addition is that characters will be able to harness vampiric powers, offering a fresh dynamic to gameplay.

With upcoming quality-of-life-updates such as changes to gem storage, Diablo 4's next season might bring forth a full-on revival, except, fans aren't quite sold.

Season 1's lukewarm reception and even worse delivery, coupled with a shift in Blizzard's communication strategy - which moved from regular updates to a noticeable silence - fails to inspire confidence. This sentiment isn't unfounded. Many believe that Blizzard should've already solved this problem after facing similar issues following Diablo 3's launch a decade ago. To make matters worse, in Diablo 4 came out in this day and age.

The recent announcement about Diablo 4 appears to have alienated the fanbase even more.

Unlike back then when Diablo 3 reigned supreme despite the glaring lack of quality, Diablo 4 faces stiff competition in a fully mature Path of Exile and its upcoming sequel, Path of Exile 2, and the GOTY frontrunner, Baldur's Gate 3

Diablo 4 simply just can't stand out based on the strength of the brand alone - it needs a commanding presence, which it severely lacks. 

Furthermore, Diablo 4's monetization strategy has gone from bad to worse. Season 1 saw a horde of cosmetic items that were locked behind a paywall, with over 25 different paid sets available in the in-game shop. This widened the rift as its community felt that new cosmetic items should be earnable in-game rather than simply bought.

Diablo 4 is no longer caught between a rock and a hard place - it's in danger of being stepped on by its competition.

At the very least, it's reassuring for Fergusson to allay the fears, confirming that upcoming seasons wouldn't require an additional expense. 

Yet, through all the assurance, Blizzard finds itself against a steep climb. The upcoming livestreams face "pre" backlash due to its likely focus on monetization and unrelated content rather than meaningful game updates. Also, don't forget, in a previous video, the game's development team all but proved that they knew next to nothing about how to play the game. To make matters worse, this overhyping of Season 2 mirrors the same problem from Season 1. 

Obviously, the stakes are high. While Diablo 4 attracted a loyal fanbase, its glaring issues have since become more apparent, similar to Lilith's plans to basically overthrow the hierarchy and end the Eternal War (seriously, how does she think that humans have a chance against even the Lesser Evils?)

If Season 2 fails again, it'll be even more difficult for Blizzard to climb out of the hole.

Season of Blood carries with not the hope for enriched gameplay experience and, perhaps more importantly, the weight of redemption.

Whether or not it manages to quench the community's thirst remains to be seen.

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Ray Ampoloquio

Ray Ampoloquio // Articles: 5872

Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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