D4 Season Pass Info

Finally some high-level details on seasons and battle pass.

Well seems that not long after my post the Diablo 4 quarterly update came out and features quite chunky details on how seasons aims to work, the premium shop and on the (Battle) Season Pass.

Seems like they are aiming to run four seasons per year, there will be season journey objectives plus a battle pass-style feature called Season Pass, a tiered reward system, the free tier getting cosmetics, premium currency, and gameplay boosts, while the paid tier appears to be only cosmetics and premium currency.

Completing Season Journey objectives also grants progress toward the Season Pass, a new feature with a battle pass-style progression that advances alongside the Season Journey.

There is much re-enforcement of “there is no pay to win” in the update and that everything will be cosmetics, the only boost (on the free tier) will not being granted even on purchasing Season Pass levels using premium currency.

Interestingly there is a indication that the first season will be soon after launch, which is kind of odd as it feels like people will still be learning the game, maybe even completing it.
Also I wonder if there will enough time to iron out the post launch bugs before they start?

Highly detailed costume look AMAZING, but when playing in an isometric game with a zoom level means all those details are either going to be tiny or disabled to save on frame rate , which let us be fair most people are likely to want to ensure that their game is running without lag.

Source : https://news.blizzard.com/en-us/diablo4/23816415/diablo-iv-quarterly-update-august-2022




ESO : Antiquities

Unearthing our past, is both educational and profitable.

Following on from my post about exploration in Elite Dangerous, I though the natural step was to talk about unearthing ancient artefacts in The Elder Scrolls Online.

Introduced in the Greymoor expansion the Antiquities system is comprised of 3 parts, Leads, Scrying and Excavation.
Each zone has it’s own series of leads linked to the region and each lead usually has three lore snippets that explains it’s possible origin and history

So not only can you unlock a wealth of knowledge from the items that you unearth, but there are also other in-game content you can discover:

    • furnishings for your house
    • a long lost forgotten dance that your character can learn (emote) 
    • items your character can equip
    • even a discoverable and unlockable mount.


First thing you need to get started is a lead on an antiquity, each zone has a green tier lead that you get access to by default, following a lead and excavating it can also yield other leads, but you can also find leads in chest, barrels, buried with resource nodes and as enemy loot drops.


Scrying the lead will guide you to a list of digs sites, the better you perform on the scrying minigame the fewer dig sites will be revealed on your map, get all 6 and only 1 site will be revealed, otherwise you will have to travel to each to eliminate the false ones.

As you level up the skill line you get more attempts and tools to make the job easier, which is handy as the better the quality of the lead will result in a bigger scrying pane.


The final piece of the puzzle and another minigame, the difficulty of the excavation is linked to the Lead quality, this dictates how much dirt and rock you need to shift, and if there any hazard you have to avoid.

Again you can level this skill line to give you things like tools and more time to perform the excavation.

As well as the main object you are seeking you can often find additional rewards in the ground such as spare coins, more leads or treasure items you can sell.

Peaking at D4

Interesting Reddit conversations around a Blizzard Survey that was sent out in German for Diablo 4, PCGamesN have a good post that summarizes the translated details from Reddit.

Given how I only just touched on Battle Passes in my The FOMO carrot post there is a clear steer in that direction for D4. Admittedly these surveys are sent to judge player opinion on pricing and bundled content in the case of different versions of the game they are proposing.

While I have no big problem with versions giving early access, I can imagine that if you are a player that seeks out Server Firsts or leader board  rankings, 7 days head start over the bulk of other players will be a must.

However when it comes to the other things on that list they are likely baked into the game model already so we can expect them in the final release.


An in-game currency for cosmetics  I wonder if it will have a daily outfit rotation to truly mimic the Fortnite model or be more of a static shop?
Time limited store items may encourage folks to spend Platinum more freely, harness that FOMO power once again. Real world Seasonal event items also play into this with outfits, pets, mounts, transmogs and dyes.

Battle Pass

Battle pass being bound to seasons looks like it could be the model that D4 delivers if this survey text is to be believed. Originally seen in free to play titles , it has now crept into games that have an Upfront game cost too, this falls in line with their Call of Duty approach.

If there wasn’t already enough reasons to be disappointed with Activision Blizzard, not even mentioning Immortal. Unless something changes I may have to think long and hard if I want to even entertain playing the game.

Elite Dangerous : Exobiology

When the Odyssey Expansion released for ED in May last year, it brought with it ability to leave your vehicles and move around on foot. SPACE LEGS FOR ALL!

Walking around delivered a mixture of missions that can be undertaken, like those you see on your ship they are randomly generated and the factions within a system issue them, you can accept them from a mission board like on ships, or you can go speak to a contact face to face, which is a nice touch after years of being stuck in a ship.

When a war occurs in a system you can act as a merc, siding with one faction for the on-foot conflict zone, these are populated with AI troopers, players in the area will of course show as fighting along side them.

One of the new activities to occupy your time while on foot didn’t require missions as it was a new form of exploration, Exobiology, and I adore it. Not an activity that everyone will enjoy, seeking out the various organism on remote planets can be  rather frustrating and always time-consuming.

That said there is something truly wonderful being stood next to some fledgling alien organism, on a plant at the edge of a solar system, which it’s self is at the edge of the bubble.

Big Blue Thingys

Despite being my favourite feature the game annoyingly sucks at two core things to help make Exobiology easier, namely these are:

  • Firstly listing out your discoveries so you can so check what you have documented and from where (same problem as system/planet discovery)
  • Secondly once you have collect enough samples of an organism for analysis, I wish it would mark it on the Detailed Surface Scanner somehow.

Once I was aware of them I have been trying to get around these two problems so I can scan a planet fully at a pace that suites me, as I said I like to be organised, so Trello is currently housing the data so I don’t forget between play sessions.
Much easy to see what I have and haven’t completed.

The FOMO carrot

For many online games encouraging a continual influx of first time players is good, but retaining players is the most advantageous since those player are already invested.
Of course this isn’t anything new and many games now contain systems that encourage players to log in and stick around for daily activities, events or rewards.

If you have played these games you only just need look at your inbox during Christmas time, almost every title has some kind of event on, maybe some unique skins in the game store, a special unlock if you sign in each day.
It gets to the point that you have to prioritise your time and energy on those you actually want to participate in, which you need to reinstall.

Personally I used to get easily pulled into these traps, Daily login rewards are the most frequently implemented tactic to draw you back into a game, while time limited events keep you engaged for longer, spending more time inside game, and ultimately that is the real cost of these systems, your valuable time (and Hard Drive Space).

Some games of course do it better than others, some wrap the whole thing up in pomp and ceremony that obfuscate the fact from players.

The harnessing of player time

In games where players are your content (PVP), not only do you need to encourage that returning player mentality, there also has to be more impetus to play for longer periods. That where the motherload of all mechanics the “Battlepass” is the system of choice, often a dual tiered reward system, a free tier and a paid tier, where you can pay a cost for more possible rewards.

With the promise of better rewards or XP, unlocks/skins that you can only get via that system, the Fear Of Missing Out now weaponised against the players and comes with a price tag, but not only could you miss out by not purchasing the battle pass, but if you don’t put enough effort in then you also miss out. A 2 pronged attack.

To ensure early adoption of the paid Battlepass, there is normally a boost of some kind that means that players could reach the upper tiers easier and faster, plus those players that purchase don’t want to waste their money so will be sure to login to grind, secured content.
However If you don’t buy the paid version then no XP boost, means if you want to unlock free tier content you have to grind more, which ultimately means you are giving more content for free.

The event calendar

I have played World of Tanks on and off since beta, I occasionally dip a toe back into the Wargaming title once a year, but every year I return, the shine wears off faster and the business model shows a little clearer.

WOT - Event Calendar

The last time I was playing it was very apparent that there is a continual drive to ALWAYS have an event for players to participate in, often they have win conditions like “Rank in the top 3 for damage in 10 battles” or  “each tier of this event you complete reduces the cost of this Premium Tank by 10%”.

For a good player these are achievable without breaking a sweat, for more standard players it becomes much harder, everyone on the server is trying to achieve the same thing, players use tanks that are better at achieving their goal, better ammo & equipment.
Even player’s approaches to matches then alter, not going for a win but purely aiming for their daily goal, you find people throw matches to ensure they check that box for their reward.

This ultimately ruins the game for those trying to play the game normally and undermines the goal the company are trying to achieve, which is retaining players as it just pisses them all off.