This weekend represents quite possibly the quickest I have “finished” the Diablo 3 seasonal journey. I say finished with quotes because there is still a lot more that I could be doing, but I think I am ultimately as far as I intend to go. Of note… when I logged in this morning I got an anniversary achievement and the above Diablo pet so if you are interested you might check it out and make sure you log in within the next few days. For lack of a better word… Season 8 completely caught me off guard. Unfortunately the rotating three month schedule means that this is going to happen more often than not these days. Season 7 released during the Legion pre-launch event… so it too was a fairly truncated effort. I know my friend Grace managed to make it in on the day before Season 7 ended and push hard enough to get her extra bank tab. It would have been a great season to do that for, given just how good the hunter set was for pushing content. I however just let my attempt at getting that bank slot slip away because I couldn’t bring myself to push any further. This time around… we have a new set and a new optimal build. We started the season once again on a Friday night, logging in and beginning the push within moments of the season going live. Generally speaking we make it pretty close to 70 on that first night… but this time both Grace and I lost our “oomph” at around 54.
I managed to pick up the next day with another group and we ground together from the 50s through to 70 making it to roughly paragon 20 before needing to bail and get some dinner. Yesterday afternoon I focused on getting the various achievement bits needed to get the first four chapters of the seasons journey and unlock the cosmetic options, and finished gear set. This time around with the Demon Hunter it was Natalya’s set, which is a bit of an odd one given that it focuses on dealing damage with rain of vengeance. This is the basic build that I followed, substituting a few abilities for ones I prefer, namely I found Stampede way harder to control than Shade for Rain of Vengeance. I played a little of both but given how much I was in constant motion having the stampede actually pointed in the right direction was always a thing. Towards evening yesterday though I finally started to feel like I was getting a handle on the play style and soloing my GR20 was actually far easier than I had expected. The biggest problem is that this build just clears so much more slowly than the equivalent Multishot build did last season. If I were to actually push for the full compliment of seasonal achievements… I would more than likely try and farm up a full set of Unhallowed Essence again and just go back to the tried and true multishot.
However it is highly unlikely that I will spend much more time on this season. There was just something lackluster about it, given that nothing had changed since the previous season. All of the same builds worked as we left them in the previous patch. I was one of the people cheering on the three month seasonal cycle, but having been through it a few times now… I am thinking that maybe it is just too short a time period between them. Previously enough time had passed for me to start to miss the seasonal grind… enough to be truly excited for another opportunity to hang out and push to 70 together. This time… it just felt like we were doing it to get shiny cosmetic baubles instead of to really enjoy the experience. This makes me a little sad given just how pumped I have been in the past for the season to roll around and start anew. This time around I literally had no clue it was happening until Grace told me. In the past I almost marked the date on my calendar and started to get excited for the whole process. Who knows maybe in a weeks time I will feel differently and want to pick up where I left off… grinding out more seasonal achievements. That said I am perfectly happy leaving Season 8 as is, because I feel like I did what I set forth to do… collect another batch of exclusive cosmetic appearances.