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Diablo 3's first season isn't going quite as planned. Blizzard has decided to respond to the biggest issue with a few hotfixes.
In Diablo 3's Seasons, players create fresh characters and then race each other to max level. Once they hit level 70, they try to rack up as much progress as possible through Greater Rifts or Achievements. Leaderboards track the top performers of the season.
The initial grind to 70 is a key part of this competition. The faster you get to the level cap, the more time you have to pursue your endgame goals. To get an edge on the competition, some players decided to power level using certain bounties in Adventure Mode. This allowed them to earn multiple levels at a time in some cases.
Blizzard noticed this power leveling and has decided to take action. They're going to temporarily disable The Matriarch's Bones, The Jar of Souls, The Miser's Will, and A Miner's Gold as eligible bounties. The development team said this move is designed to "promote diversity in play styles. and encourage a variety of experience."
"This change will apply to both Seasonal and non-Seasonal games," Blizzard said in a new post on the Diablo 3 forums. "Additionally, please note that these hotfixes will only remove the above events from the active bounty pool, not the game itself. The events can still spawn in-game and will provide rewards as normal."
These bounties will return in time with changes. It's not clear when they'll be added back to the game. Blizzard hopes they'll be available by Season 2 at the latest.
"One of our goals for Seasonal Conquests is to encourage players to try out different tactics and explore different play styles, so we will be evaluating all Season 1 Conquests with that goal in mind and making changes for Season 2 as needed."
Some players wondered whether these power levelers would be punished or whether Blizzard would roll back their progress. However, the developers have no plan to do so. That seems fair. After all, these players were just using the established mechanics of the game. Blizzard had months to fix or remove these bounties before Patch 2.1 was released.
Patch 2.1 debuted in the last week of August. In addition to Seasons, the update introduced progressively difficult challenges called Greater Rifts. The bosses in these Rifts have a chance to drop Legendary gems that can be upgraded by a new NPC.
Seasons have special rewards of their own. All the players who reach level 70 by the end will get an exclusive Transmogrification item for their character. Blizzard plans to release a matching set of Transmog gear over the course of several months. Seasonal characters also have a chance to get Legendary item drops not available in regular play.