Diablo 3 is getting some of its most drastic changes ever for Season 28

Alter of Rites in PTR 2.7.5
(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

What you need to know

  • Blizzard has announced Season 28 of Diablo 3 will be available to test from January 31st in PTR patch 2.7.5.
  • The new season theme 'Rites of Sanctuary' introduces a brand new paragon tree, the ability to craft Primal Ancient weapons, and class changes.
  • Season rewards will include the 'Wings of Terror' cosmetic.

Diablo 3 is gearing up for its final season before the long-anticipated release of Diablo 4 this year in June. Yesterday Blizzard released Patch notes for Public Test Realm (PTR) 2.7.5 detailing some surprising changes for Season 28 which will be named Rites of Sanctuary. Far from resting on their laurels with the upcoming release of the next game in the series, the Diablo 3 team seems to be hellbent on going out with a bang⁠—adding a never-before-seen paragon tree 'Alter of Rites', significant class changes to monks, and item changes to other classes.

The PTR is an opportunity for the player base to test Season 28 before launch and will be available from January 31 for only seven days. Here's what we know so far.

Season 28 Rites of Sanctuary

The opening image above shows the main attraction of the PTR, the 'Altar of Rites' which is a new addition to the town for Season 28. Lore describes the altar as "carved from an archaic material bearing cryptic markings", and interacting with the Altar will give you access to a new paragon tree. The Altar of Rites will show 26 circular icons called seals which branch to three final new legendary potion powers. 

Diablo 3 Rites of Sanctuary Paragon Tree

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

The seals are unlocked with various sacrifices made to the Altar, which will we detail shortly. However, the image shown by Blizzard details 10 reusable parts to unlock the first node. The path you take down the altar is up to you after unlocking the first perk, but sacrifices will become increasingly more costly.

Powers and perks unlocked via the Altar of Rites apply to all player characters for the entirety of Season 28, so leveling up an alt will be easier than ever. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
AKill streak timer durations and reward bonuses are doubled
BPools of Reflection last the entire Season and are not removed
CItems have no level requirement
D+200 Damage
E+25% Missile Damage Reduction
F+25% Movement Speed (Uncapped)
GIncrease damage against elites by 15%.
HPicking up Health Globes grants a shield for 5% of your maximum health for 7 seconds. Max stacks 5.
I+25% Melee Damage Reduction.
JIncreases your highest elemental skill damage bonus by 10%.
Kncrease damage against elites by 20%.
L+10% Damage
MDouble the amount of Death's Breaths that drop.
NCritical hits grant resource: Mana: 15, Hatred: 5, Wrath: 5, Arcane Power: 3, Fury: 3, Spirit: 5, Essence: 5.
ODouble the amount of Bounty Caches that drop from completing bounties.
PProgress orbs from Nephalem and Greater Rifts are picked up automatically.
QReduces the damage taken from elites by 25%.
R+15% Damage
SGain immunity to crowd-controlling effects.
TGain passability.
UPets pick up Death's Breath.
VElite packs drop one additional progress orb.
WIncrease damage done to Bosses by 25%.
XPets pick up and salvage common, magic, and rare items.
Yncrease your chance to Dodge by 15%.
ZDouble the chance to find a legendary item purchased from Kadala.
Potion AAWhen you drink your health potion, you manifest one of three runic circles on the ground that grant increased damage, increased cooldown reduction, or increased resource cost reduction.
Potion ABWhen you drink your health potion, all enemies within 25 yards deal 25% less damage.
Potion ACWhen you drink your health potion, gain a random shrine or pylon effect.
ADWhen a primal item drops, a second random primal item drops as well.

Currently, pets in Diablo 3 only pick up gold for the player, and the player base has been long split on whether it would be beneficial to have them pick up other materials or if it would take something integral away from the gameplay loop. This alone will be an exciting addition to the season. 

How to unlock each seal and potion on Altar of Rites

While the path you choose to initially unlock each seal is up to you, the patch notes state that is possible to unlock all seals and potions and truly become a force to be reckoned with across Sanctuary. The sacrifices that will need to be made at the Altar will become increasingly more costly as you unlock each seal. Ranging from the first cost of 10 reusable parts to specific armor like the Reapers Wraps, to sacrificing 1600 Bloodshards for all 26 seals. 

Primordial Ashes

The 3 legendary potions will be unlocked by sacrificing Primordial Ashes. Acquiring these will require sacrificing precious Primal Ancient Items at the Blacksmith. Each sacrificed Primal Ancient item will net you 55 Primordial Ashes, which is enough for one of the potions at the Altar. The cost for these, like the seals, will increase with each acquired potion, culminating in a cost of 165 Primordial Ashes for the third and final potion.

Primal Ancient equipment is the rarest drop in Diablo 3, dropping only once you have conquered a level 70 Greater Rift solo. In another unexpected twist, the patch notes state a new recipe for Primal Ancients has been added to Kanai's Cube. It's costly at 100 Primordial ashes and a non-crafted legendary item but offers the first guaranteed method of crafting a Primal Ancient in Diablo 3. 

Season 28 Reward

As well as powering up your Nephalem to full demon-slaying potential, unlocking every seal and potion on the Altar of Rites will reward you with a cosmetic fitting of an Ancient Legend ⁠— the Wings of Terror. Yes, they are Diablo's actual wings. 

Class and item changes coming in PTR 2.7.5

The monk is getting some love this season with some pretty beefy skill changes.

  • Combination Strike passive - each spirit generator used increases the damage of other spirit generators.
  • Crippling Wave buff - every third hit will also daze enemies within 11 yards, slowing their movement speed by 30% and attack speed by 20% for 10 seconds. The Concussion rune will make enemies deal 20% less damage for 10 seconds. The Breaking wave rune will make enemies take 10% more damage for 10 seconds.
  • Deadly Reach buff - the Foresight rune will make every enemy, on the third hit, increase your damage by 15%.
  • Way of the Hundred Fists - the Assimilation Rune will make every enemy, on the third hit, increase your damage by 5% for 10 seconds. 

The Demon Hunter, Barbarian, Monk, Necromancer and Wizard will all be getting some changes to key items (guess the Crusader wasn't invited to the party).  All proposed changes are detailed in the patch notes here. 

How to take part in PTR 2.7.5

The PTR is accessed through the Battle.net launcher on PC, and will be available for 7 days from January 31. Navigate to the Diablo 3 tab, and in the drop-down menu above "Play" select the PTR option.

During the PTR all testers receive increased experience and double blood shard drops to speed up progression and enable testing of all features. There will also be a PTR-specific vendor named Djank Mi'em who will exchange your blood shards for class-specific bundles of legendary items. 

Windows Central's take

As an avid player of every season, I'm really excited by the proposed direction of Season 28, yet completely baffled by the level of changes being implemented considering this is the final season before the Diablo 4 launch in June 2023. Some previous seasons have been lackluster, to say the least, but there's so much to absorb with the Altar of Rites. Potion AA alone implements the entire season theme of Season 18, which was the Season of the Triune. We have season themes within season themes with this patch! 

Diablo 2, and Diablo 2: Resurrected are still vibrant and populated games, but whether the same will happen with Diablo 3, which was such a polarizing game for the fanbase, remains to be seen when Diablo 4 arrives on the scene. The likelihood is that the majority of the fanbase will move over to the new iteration of Diablo—so the valiant effort by the Diablo 3 team with this Season 28 theme and patch is much appreciated and I can't wait to dive in for what may be my last hurrah with what's been my most played game of the last decade.  

Diablo 3: Eternal Collection

Diablo 3: Eternal Collection
It's not too late to familiarize yourself with Blizzard's flagship ARPG ahead of the next big launch. Fight in the Eternal Conflict with the Eternal Collection which includes the base Diablo 3 game, Reaper of Souls expansion and the Necromancer DLC.

Buy on:  Xbox|PC(Battle.net)

Jennifer Young

Jen is a News Writer for Windows Central, focused on all things gaming and Microsoft. Anything slaying monsters with magical weapons will get a thumbs up such as Dark Souls, Dragon Age, Diablo, and Monster Hunter. When not playing games, she'll be watching a horror or trash reality TV show, she hasn't decided which of those categories the Kardashians fit into. You can follow Jen on Twitter @Jenbox360 for more Diablo fangirling and general moaning about British weather.