Iron Wolves Diablo 4 Season 4
Image: Blizzard

All big changes and updates coming in Diablo 4 Season 4: Loot Reborn

Oh, it's big. It's real big.

Blizzard promises that Diablo 4 Season 4: Loot Reborn is going to be the game’s “biggest gameplay update yet,” but what new content can players expect when the update goes live on May 14? This guide details all changes and new features in Season 4 of Diablo 4 — get comfy because it’s a long one.

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All item changes in Diablo 4 Season 4

Season 4 is introducing a complete rework of items and crafting across the entirety of Diablo 4. This includes the Eternal Realm, Seasonal Realm, and all content going forward. From streamlined stats to new crafting systems, everything detailed below will permanently rework Diablo 4 as we know, and I can’t wait

Aspects are now permanent(ish)

Codex Of Power Diablo 4 Season 4
Image: Blizzard

One of my favorite core gameplay changes is the alteration to the Codex of Power. Extracting Aspects from Legendary gear stores them indefinitely, and players can use Aspects as many times as they like without losing them. On the Seasonal Realms, the Codex of Power is reset at the end of the Season, and Aspects will be lost — though you can continue to use them in the Eternal Realm.

Item changes and upgrade simplification

Item Change Diablo 4
Image: Blizzard

Knowing if an item upgrade for your character can be a hassle in Diablo 4, especially at the beginning of a season when many of us try out a new class for the first time. I frequently find myself alt + tabbing to check guides when I receive rewards, which breaks the flow of gameplay. Season 4 aims to make gear far easier to understand by reducing the number of affixes items have and making affixes rely less on “conditional situations,” shifting their focus to valuable effects that can be quickly evaluated as an upgrade.

Essentially, loot dropped in Season 4 and beyond is far more likely to be useful and is significantly easier to understand without pulling up a guide in every few dungeon rooms. To balance this, the number of items that drop from monsters has been decreased. However, the materials gained from salvaging items have been increased and the number of materials needed to upgrade and craft has been decreased. This is especially good news with the introduction of the new crafting system, which we’ll dive into later.

The World Tier you play will now affect the rarity of items you can earn:

  • Sacred items and higher only drop in World Tier 3 and above
  • Ancestral items only drop in World Tier 4
  • Legendary items from monsters over Level 95 always have 925 Item Power
  • Some uniques can appear in World Tier 1 and 2
  • All uniques drop in World Tier 3 and above
  • Uber Uniques can drop once “you’re killing monsters that are Level 55 at max Item Power level

For those who enjoy the complexity of crafting intricate gear builds, don’t worry. The new Tempering and Masterwork systems should satisfy the min-maxing rabble out there.

Tempering

Diablo 4 Tempering
Image: Blizzard

Starting in Season 4, players will be able to find Tempering Manuals as regular loot. Learn these and visit a Blacksmith to add potent affixes to your item, allowing you to fine-tune your gear. Combined with the item changes detailed above, this should make the grind for the perfect build much less, well, grindy.

Once Tempering Manuals are “learned,” you’ll be able to apply the affixes contained inside when Tempering at a Blacksmith. All Temperable items have a Tempering Durability that indicates how many times they can be Tempered. Temper no longer sounds like a real word.

Masterworking

Diablo 4 Masterworking
Image: Blizzard

Using materials from the Pit of Artificers (more on that later), players can Masterwork weapons at a Blacksmith. Masterworking provides a flat increase to the power of all affixes, and every fourth tier upgrades an affix completely. Destiny 2, anyone?

If you’re unhappy with the way your weapon was Masterworked by the time it reaches max level, you can freely reset it and begin the process from scratch.

Greater Affixes

Ancestral Legendary and Unique items can now feature Greater Affixes, which are “1.5x more powerful versions of normal affixes. “When dropped, the game plays a satisfying audio cue and displays a unique icon to ensure you don’t miss it.

Streamlined gems

Gems in Season 4 have received a similar rework to gear. Normal Gems are available at Level 51, Flawless at 71, Royal at 91, and Crude Gems have been removed entirely. Gems have been changed to improve main stats, rather than solely providing miscellaneous bonuses based on where they are slotted.

  • Topaz increases Intelligence
  • Sapphires increase Willpower
  • Amethysts increase Strength
  • Emeralds provide bonus Dexterity
  • All gems received an increase to their “All Resistance” values

All Helltide changes in Season 4

Helltide Diablo Season 4
Image: Blizzard

Another feature receiving a total rework is Helltides. The majority of changes listed below affect both the Eternal and Seasonal Realms and will continue to be the norm in future seasons.

Threat and Hell-Marked

The more you kill difficult monsters and the more often you open Tortured Gifts, the higher your Threat level becomes. At Threat Level 3, you become Hell-Marked and attacked by a swarm of demons. Should you make it out in one piece, you’ll battle The Hellborn, a boss that copies the abilities of a playable class.

Baneful Hearts and new Helltide encounters

Blood Maiden Diablo 4
Image: Blizzard

By opening Tortured Gifts and defeating Hellborn, you will earn Baneful Hearts. Three of these Hearts can be used to begin the Accursed Ritual, causing a horde of enemies to attack you. Defeat the Blood Maiden at the end of the wave to earn powerful loot. The more Baneful hearts are sacrificed, the better the rewards. There are also new regular encounters and events in Helltide for Season 4. Additionally, Helltide chests also contain Obols.

Helltide is available in all World Tiers

Players can finally jump into Helltides regardless of the World Tier they play in. From Season 4 onward, Helltide is available in World Tier 1 and World Tier 2. To scale with difficulty, the density of enemies is toned down, and roaming bosses and lethal meteors are not featured.

Profane Mindcage

The Profane Mindcage is a new elixir that increases the drop rate of Cinder at the cost of boosting the level of Helltide enemies by 10. The Mindcage is a guaranteed drop from killing Hellborne. While most Helltide changes are permanent and apply to both Realms, the Profane Mindcage is exclusive to Season 4.

New endgame content: The Pit of Artificers

The Pit of Artificers is a new endgame activity for players in World Tier 4. After completing a Tier 46 Nightmare Dungeon, you’ll begin to earn Runeshards from endgame activities. With enough Runeshards, players can enter the Pit and face the challenges within.

A ten-minute timer begins at the start of the Pit of Artificers activity, decreasing further by 30, 60, or 90 seconds per player death. The aim is to defeat the required number of enemies to be summoned to a boss. Defeat the boss to earn Masterworking materials and move on to the next Tier. The more time you have left when the boss is defeated, the more Tiers you can skip.

The Pit supports up to four players, though the adventurer who spends the currency needed to enter the Pit will receive the most Masterworking materials and is the only one able to earn Stygian Stones (more on that below). If masochism is your thing, you’ll be glad to know the Pit has 200 levels to complete.

Tormented Echoes and Andariel

All summonable bosses are available to summon at Level 200 as Tormented Echoes using their typical materials combined with Stygian Stones earned in the pit. Items dropped from Tormented Echoes are Item Level 925, and your first kill (and first kill only) drops a Resplendent Spark.

The Maiden of Anguish

New to the boss ladder is Andariel, The Maiden of Anguish. She shares the same Uber Unique drop rate with her brother, Duriel. You’ll need materials from Lord Zir and Beast in Ice to test your might against this lesser evil.

Seasonal storyline: The Iron Wolves

The focus of Season 4: Loot Reborn’s story is the Iron Wolves, a group of mercenaries renowned for protecting the citizens of Sanctuary and upholding a code of honor. Completing quests in this Seasonal storyline will earn you various Tempering Manuals and introduce you to the Tempering mechanic.

Battle Pass

Like all Seasons of Diablo 4, Season 4 features a new Battle Pass and Season Journey. Unfortunately, Battle Passes have not received a rework and function in the same way they have since the first Season. There are new Blessings to earn, however, boosting Paragon Glyph XP, Iron Wolves reputation, and the number of Obols found in Helltide chests.

Quick summary

Blizzard certainly wasn’t being hyperbolic when they said this was Diablo 4’s biggest update yet. To recap, these are all the changes you can expect when Season 4: Loot Reborn releases on May 14 at 10 a.m. PT.

  • Aspects gained from Legendary Gear now enter the Codex of Power to be used infinitely. Aspects are permanently collected on the Eternal Realm and collected for the length of the Season on the Seasonal Realm.
  • Affixes on gear are streamlined, provide more benefit to general gameplay, and are easier to understand.
  • Materials gained by Salvaging gear are increased, and the number of materials required to use crafting systems has been decreased.
  • Monsters now drop less loot.
  • Affixes can be placed onto gear using the Tempering system.
  • Weapons can be “Masterworked” to upgrade their base power and upgrade affixes in various ways.
  • Sacred items and higher only drop in World Tier 3 and above.
  • Ancestral items only drop in World Tier 4.
  • Legendary items from monsters over Level 95 always have 925 Item Power.
  • Some uniques can appear in World Tier 1 and 2.
  • All uniques drop in World Tier 3 and above.
  • Uber Uniques can drop once “you’re killing monsters that are Level 55 at max Item Power level.
  • Helltide is available on all World Tiers, though scaled down in World Tier 1 and 2.
  • New ‘Threat’ system in Helltides.
  • Profane Mindcage can be used to increase the difficulty of Helltides to earn more Cinder. (Season 4 only)
  • In Helltides, Accursed Rituals can be performed to summon a boss that drops powerful loot.
  • New encounters in Helltide.
  • Endgame activities in World Tier IV drop Runestones, which can be used to access the Pit of Artificers endgame activity to earn materials used to Masterwork weapons and summon Tormented Echoes.
  • Summonable bosses can be summoned at Level 200 as Tormented Echoes using Stygian Stones from the Pit. These bosses drop Item Level 925 gear.
  • Andariel joins the boss ladder and shares the Uber Unique drop rate with Duriel.
  • Seasonal storyline with a focus on the Iron Wolves faction and earning Tempering Manuals.
  • A Season 4 Battle Pass will be available with new Season Blessings and Legendary Aspects.

Players who tested Season 4 on the PTR claimed its new content was so good that returning to Season 3 felt pointless. We’re so back, Wanderers.


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Thomas Cunliffe
Thomas has been a writer in the games industry since 2021 and considers himself a connoisseur of all things Nintendo, Blizzard, and Marvel. Since amassing 152,000+ followers on a Facebook page about Diddy Kong with a backward hat, Thomas has become a trusted voice in the gaming community across publications such as PC Invasion, AOTF, and Gfinity. His greatest achievements include catching every Pokémon, completing (almost) every quest in World of Warcraft, and naming his dog 'Mass Effect 3.' Thomas is extraordinarily passionate about the video game industry and its community. He enjoys writing about a wide variety topics, including popular games like Destiny 2, Fortnite, and WoW, as well as the latest Indie titles.