Blizzard has announced plans to bring a "ladder-like" Seasons system to Diablo 3.
The Seasons system, set to arrive "in a couple of months" as part of the "first big content patch", comes after fan demand for a ladder system in the game, according to a Blizzard post.
The developer also promised 'Seasons-exclusive Legendaries', tiered Rifts and leaderboards.
Here's the full announcement from Blizzard's Josh Mosqueira, who detailed the modes and vague ETAs in a forum post:
One of the features you guys have asked about a lot, that we have done a lot of research for, is something called ladders. I'm happy to say that as part of our first big content patch in a couple of months, we will be releasing Seasons, which will include a ladder-like aspect to them. We're still working on them, but the general gist is that you'll level up a new character, we'll have specific ladders for Seasons, and also some goodies that will drop along the way. There's more information of that to come, and we're not making an announcement of when, but that's coming in the first major content patch - not the first patch, but the first major content patch.
There will be more legendary items in the future, both for rewards of Ladders, and also rewards from the Tiered Rifts. For the current ones, we probably are not going to revisit them. They all take time to do and I'd rather we were adding new legendary items, and the time is better spent on new legendary items than going back to refit old ones.
Tiered Rifts And Leaderboards
There is another major feature in the patch 2.1, which is going to be what we're internally calling tiered Rifts. The idea is a challenge scenario, where players do increasingly hard Rifts, to see who can get the farthest. You do your bounties, you do a Nephalem Rift. If you clear it, there's a chance to get a Greater Rift Token. If you successfully do that, you'll get a Greater Rift Key (rank 2), then Rank 3, etc.. Much like seasons, we're going to have a leaderboard as well, so you can see who got to the highest tier Rift, and what time were they able to obtain on that.
Blizzard Entertainment lead producer Alex Mayberry, who in 2012 was engulfed by outrage when gamers couldn't play Diablo III at launch due to the infamous Error 37, says such problems border on the inevitable since live launch problems are by nature difficult to anticipate.