The Season 18 PTR has come and gone, but there is still plenty of discussion to be had! Because of the shorter PTR, not everything was tested to its fullest; however, we have a lead on some of the bigger changes coming in the Season of the Triune.
Flavor of Time
Without a doubt, the single biggest game changer is the newly updated Flavor of Time amulet. The new and improved amulet doubles the duration of all pylons, which greatly improves the capabilities of high end group play that are very dependent on pylon placements and timing. More casual players could also see great mileage out of this item as its power for even a solo player makes it an excellent choice for any build that doesn't have a mandatory amulet slot.
Captain Crimson's Trimmings
The newly buffed Captain Crimson's crafted set offers more optimized stats to a multitude of support builds. With the doubled cooldown reduction and new damage reduction mechanic that scales with Resource Cost Reduction (that the set already provides, or from something like a double duration Channeling Pylon), support builds will have even more of the stats that they want. There are also some combinations that can be made with other class sets; although nothing looked meta breaking, it will be interesting to see where the full potential of this set lands once more testing is available when Patch 2.6.6 launches.
While there were no class balance changes on the PTR, Necromancers still came out with new build potentials and farming options. The Sage's Journey set was given a new belt piece which will allow Necromancers to use both the Sage's set and a 6-piece class set for the first time. Neromancers traditionally were not able to make great use out of Legacy of Nightmare builds due to how dependent they were on their ring slots, but with the new legendary gem they'll finally make full use of 'LoN' builds after Season 17 ends.
Legacy of Dreams
This is the first new legendary gem in years. The Legacy of Dreams allows players to unlock the same potential as the current Legacy of Nightmares set without taking up ring slots. Season 17 has proven to be one of the most popular Seasons in a long time, and people have been calling for Blizzard to implement the LoN buff permanently and apparently Blizzard listened. This new gem scales with any legendary item equipped instead of just ancient items, and will give players the wide swath of choices and playstyles they've been used to for the last couple of months. The bonus of the gem perfectly matches the 'LoN' set once it's fully leveled up to Rank 99.
Honorable Mention - Triune's Will
The new buff for Season 18 is a great step forward for the potential of future Themed Seasons. This new buff grants the following ability:
The buff for Season 18, the Season of the Triune, has been added
- Triune's Will: All abilities have a chance when hitting an enemy to spawn a circle that gives a power. Only one circle can be active at a time.
- Power: Players in the circle receive a 100% damage bonus while active
- Resource Reduction: Players in the circle receive a 50% discount on resources spent while active
- Cooldown Reduction: While standing in an active circle, any skills currently on cooldown come off of cooldown more quickly
This buff is the first time we've had a wholly unique buff given for the season instead of using a preexisting set/item bonus or community buff. While the Triune's Will itself is an amazing buff (the buff along with some of the new items allowed a fresh seasonal group on the PTR to clear a GR150 within the short testing time), the fact that Blizzard is still taking the time to create whole new effects for the game means that Diablo 3 isn't quite done yet and there may be more surprises coming our way in future seasons.