Diablo 3 arrived on the Nintendo Switch last year, and it's been making quite a splash among Switch fans who have been waiting for an addictive action role-playing game experience. One of the best ways to play is by making a Seasonal character though, where everyone starts fresh at level 1 and work their way up.
Diablo 3 has been doing seasons since 2014 (the game originally released in 2012) and they typically last between two to three months or more, depending on Blizzard. Each season has a unique theme, and players get unique cosmetic and season journey rewards, loot, and even a free class armor set for participating in a season.
Season 16 is dubbed "The Season of Grandeur" and it begins on January 18, 2019 at 5:00 PM Pacific, 5:00 PM CET in Europe, and 5:00 PM KST in Asia. The Season goes live for all consoles at these times. Season 16 ends on March 17, at 5:00 PM in the same time zones mentioned.
If you've never played a season before in Diablo 3, don't worry, we're going to walk through it together!
- What is a seasonal character?
- How to get ready for a new season
- Season 16: The Season of Grandeur
- Cosmetic rewards for Season 16
- Season Journey Rewards for Season 16
- Haedrig's Gift Class Armor Set Rewards
- Quality of life changes
What is a seasonal character?
At the start of each season, players can participate by creating a Seasonal character, either for Softcore (Normal) or Hardcore (permadeath). Seasonal characters will stand out from regular non-seasonal characters because of the green Season leaf aura that you'll see on the character select screen.
Seasonal characters all start at level 1 with no Paragon levels, so when a season starts, everyone is on the same playing field and no one has an advantage over the other (except time). If you create a normal Seasonal character, then you don't have to worry about dying, because you can always just pick up where you left off. If you chose Seasonal Hardcore, then once you die, you're dead forever.
All of your seasonal characters will have a separate equipment stash, gold and other currencies, artisans, and Paragon experience. Once the season ends, your Seasonal characters are rolled over to Normal characters, but they still take up one of your allotted character slots even during the season.
It's recommended to play a Seasonal character in Diablo 3 whenever you can since the gameplay is just like non-seasonal (you can do Story or Adventure mode), but you get exclusive season-only Legendary items and other rewards.
How to get ready for a new season
While Diablo 3 can always be enjoyed solo, when it comes to seasons and leveling up to 70 for endgame content, it's always best with some friends.
That's because up to four players can be in a Diablo 3 room at the same time, and killing a lot of demons goes by faster when there are multiple people available to help you out. And since everyone starts at level 1, you and your friends are starting from the same point, so why not work together? It's also a good idea to increase the difficulty to something that's manageable for yourself or your group because higher difficulty levels mean more experience earned and better loot to find.
Once you reach level 70 and endgame, you'll be doing a lot of Greater Rifts for loot drops and legendary gem leveling. Grinding Greater Rifts is a lot faster and more enjoyable when you're in a group rather than alone (but some challenges require you to do them alone to complete).
If you fall behind in your group when it comes to levels, or if you know someone who is already a high level, you can have them power-level you to get caught up quickly.
You should also take a look at what class sets are given to players for playing this season (check Haedrig's Gift in this guide) to see what class you'll want to play as in order to redeem a free armor set.
Every Season has a meta in terms of what builds for each class work best when it comes to clearing out high-level Greater Rifts. After the season starts, you'll want to check out what the metaclasses and builds are this season if you want to maximize your efficiency.
The new season is coming alongside a new patch, which brings huge damage bonuses to all characters across the board with their armor sets.
You can get complete patch notes from Blizzard.
Season 16: The Season of Grandeur
For Season 16, everyone participating will receive the buff of Ring of Royal Grandeur. This Legendary ring has the mighty effect of reducing the number of items needed for a set bonus by one (to a minimum of two). What this means is that you don't need to have a full set on to gain the benefits of the set bonus, leaving more freedom to the player to customize their build by mixing and matching sets.
But keep in mind that this season buff does not stack with other Rings of Royal Grandeur that you have equipped on your character, either as an item or jewelry power from Kanai's Cube.
Cosmetic rewards for Season 16
Every season brings some new cosmetic rewards that players earn by going through the Season Journey. For the Season of Grandeur, there are new portrait frames that are themed after the "clarion call of adventure." There is also the opportunity to earn a pair of monarch butterfly wings.
Season Journey rewards for Season 16
Veterans who have played the past few Seasons and reached the Conqueror chapter in the Season Journey should have acquired some extra stash tabs (up to four) at this point. But if you haven't, you can earn one extra tab by completing the Conqueror chapter this season. To earn this, you'll need to complete the following tasks in the Conqueror level:
- Guardian of Sanctuary: Finish a level 70 Nephalem Rift on Torment XIII within five minutes
- Gem of My Life: Level three Legendary Gems to level 55
- All I Do IS Win: Complete two Conquests this Season
- In for The Kill: Kill Azmodan at level 70 in under 30 seconds on Torment XIII difficulty
- Money Ain't a Thang: Slay Greed on Torment XIII difficulty
- Take U There: Reach Greater Rift level 60 Solo
- Power Amplification: Use Kanai's Cube to augment an Ancient Legendary item with a level 50+ gem
- Cubic Reconfiguration: Use Kanai's Cube to reforge a Legendary item
While these may seem daunting, if you're max level with some Paragon levels under your belt and have a full set of good gear, then it should not be too difficult to accomplish.
There are also Seasonal Conquests, which are tougher challenges to complete for rewards. There are five total to do, but these are definitely geared for more experienced players with the proper gear.
Haedrig's Gift class armor set rewards
Every season, players have the chance to earn a free full armor set by going through the Season Journey. You earn two pieces of an armor set for your character's class (that you redeem with) by completing the tasks in Chapters 2, 3, and 4 of the Season Journey. You'll also only be able to unlock one full set this way each season, so choose wisely when it comes to the character you're redeeming the gifts on.
Here are the class sets that you'll get for Season 16:
- Barbarian – Immortal King's Call
- Crusader – Seeker of the Light
- Demon Hunter – Natalya's Vengeance
- Monk – Uliana's Stratagem
- Necromancer – Trag'Oul's Avatar
- Witch Doctor – Spirit of Arachyr
- Wizard – Vyr's Amazing Arcana
Every set is designed for a certain playstyle for that class. It's highly recommended to look up what these set bonuses do so you can make sure you get a free armor set for a style that suits you.
Quality of life changes
Season 16 also brings some nice quality of life (QOL) changes to improve the overall Diablo 3 experience. These improvements are:
- Legendary potions no longer take up space in your inventory
- Primal legendaries now have a unique red light beam to indicate their drop on the screen, a pentagram icon on the map to show where they dropped, and newly colored borders to make them more noticeable.
- Everyone is guaranteed a Primal Legendary drop when they defeat the Greater Rift boss on a Level 70 or higher Solo Greater Rift. This Primal drop should be geared for your chosen character class, but sometimes randomness does factor in so it's not guaranteed.
Ready to save Sanctuary?
Now that you have a primer on how to get ready for the new season and what's in store for you, it's time to set out once again to save Sanctuary from Diablo and the other Prime Evils. Are you up to the challenge?
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Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.
When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.