Diablo 3 Season 25 To Introduce Soul Shards & New Witch Doctor Set Buffs

Funny story: I came back to Diablo 3 for the 24th Season a few months ago and had a ton of fun just getting all the achievements and some of the new Ethereal power weapons for my Demon Hunter, Monk, and Barbarian. Maybe because it’s been a while since I had a proper PC action RPG fix.

Point is, Diablo 3 will be gearing up for a 25th Season in a few week’s time, which I definitely will be checking out later this month. According to an official Diablo 3 announcement from Blizzard, Season 25 will kick off before the end of 2021 and will be available in the Public Test Realm update.

Here’s what you can expect from patch 2.7.2.

Soul Shards & Hellforge Embers

Season 25 will bring in a new type of socketable items: Soul Shards. Yes, the shards that power up the Prime Evils and Lesser Evils are now available for players to get and use on their weapons and gear in the new Season. There will be seven unique Soul Shards, with each of them bestowing a different demonic power. These Soul Shards can be upgraded three times using a new consumable: the Hellforge Ember. Here’s the quote from the official notice:

With the upcoming 25th Anniversary of the Diablo Franchise, we wanted players to delve into the darker side of the Nephalem’s past. In Season 25, players can embrace evil by infusing themselves with the essences of the Lords of Hell. Players will embark on their Season Journey to discover and upgrade demonic Soul Shards based on the seven Lords of Hell. By embodying a Prime and Lesser Evil, players will inflict new forms of pain and suffering on the demons of Sanctuary. We can’t wait for players to get their hands on Soul Shards to start unlocking their true power.”

Soul Shards and Hellforge Embers can drop from anywhere in Sanctuary, but Soul Shards have a higher chance to drop from Bosses. Soul Shards cannot be traded, but can be salvaged or utilized in Caldesann’s Despair. You may only equip one Prime Evil Soul Shard and one Lesser Evil Soul Shard at a time. Lastly, Soul Shards and Hellforge Embers only drop in Seasonal play, and will not transfer to your non-seasonal character when the season ends.

For a full list of Soul Shards, check out our PTR guide.

Class Updates

The following classes will be getting changes & buffs: Witch Doctor, Barbarian, Necromancer, Wizard, and Demon Hunter. They’ll be getting changes in their respective sets. There’s been a number of complaints about Season 24 giving the Witch Doctor the shaft power-wise. Conversely, the Wizard has been seeing way too much play thanks to the Firebird Finery set being pretty OP. Speaking of which…

Some Major Item Changes

The Firebird Wizard set is getting nerfed, while the Witch Doctor’s sets & legendary items are getting buffs. Here’s the full list:

  • Remorseless: While both Wrath of the Berserker and Call of the Ancients are active, Hammer of the Ancients deals 600-800% increased damage.
  • Shukrani’s Triumph: Spirit Walk lasts until you attack 3 times or until an elite enemy is within 20 yards of you. Attacks while in the spirit realm deal 75-100% increased damage.
  • Lakumba’s Ornament: Reduce all damage taken by 60% if your Soul Harvest stack is at least (1-3), and an additional 2% for each stack of Soul Harvest.
  • Spider Queen’s Grasp​: Corpse Spiders deals an additional 600-800% damage and releases a web on impact that Slows enemies by 80%.
  • Brood of Araneae​: Corpse Spiders deals an additional 75-100% damage, and each spider bite causes the target to take an additional 1% damage from Corpse Spiders for 5 seconds.
  • Spirit of Arachyr (2-piece bonus): Corpse Spiders now spawns with health and attacks twice as fast.
  • Spirit of Arachyr (4-piece bonus): Summon a permanent Spider Queen who leaves behind webs that lasts for 15 seconds and Slows enemies. You take 75% reduced damage while in the web. The Spider Queen is commanded to move to where you cast your Corpse Spiders.
  • Marauder’s Encasement (4-piece bonus): Sentries deal 400% increased damage and cast Elemental Arrow, Chakram, Impale, Multishot, and Cluster Arrow when you do, as well as automatically cast your equipped Hatred spenders.
  • Marauder’s Encasement (6-piece bonus): Your primary skills, Elemental Arrow, Chakram, Impale, Multishot, Cluster Arrow, Companions, Vengeance, and Sentries deal 12000% increased damage for every active Sentry.
  • The Shadow’s Mantle (6-piece bonus): Impale deals an additional 75000% weapon damage to the first enemy hit, and 25000% to subsequent enemies.
  • Bones of Rathma (6-piece bonus): Each permanent active minion increases the damage of Army of the Dead by 1750%, up to 31,500%.
  • Firebird’s Finery (2-piece bonus): Disintegrate Ignites enemies, causing them to take 1500% weapon damage per second until they die. When you die, a meteor falls from the sky and revives you. This effect has a 60-second cooldown.
  • Firebird’s Finery (6-piece bonus): You gain 2500% increased damage while Ignite is applied to a target. Hitting an Ignited enemy with a non-channeling fire spell deals Ignite damage multiplied by Combustion stacks.

Do note that in the PTR, there will be increased Legendary drop rates, increased experience gain, and double Blood Shard drops so that players can check out the changes super-quick within the two weeks. Speaking of which, Season 25 will start on 19th November, meaning that you have until then to wrap up your Season 24 to-do list.

How To Access Diablo 3 PTR

  1. Select Diablo 3 on the Blizzard launcher.
  2. Go to dropdown menu above “play” button.
  3. Download the PTR client.
  4. Once installed, log in with your email, password, and authenticator.
  5. If it’s your first time logging into the PTR, you can create a new character, or copy one over from an existing Diablo 3 account.

Author: Mr Toffee

Mr Toffee is a writer, editor, & all-around video game words guy for 9 years, give or take. He also did some story for games like Chain Chronicle and some podcasting on the side. Likes: bacon, Metallica, jogging. Hates: raccoons, oblivion. Twitter: @MrToffee

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