Diablo 4's loot rework PTR begins on April 2, season 3 extended until mid-May 'to ensure that we get all the feedback'

Diablo 4 Sorceress surrounded by undead monsters
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Blizzard announced during today's Campfire Chat livestream that the big Diablo 4 loot rework announced in February will go live on a public test realm on April 2, giving players one week—until April 9—to put the update through its paces and see what's changing.

Diablo 4 players may note that the PTR dates put it awfully close to the planned end of season 3, which could make for a bit of a crunch if the update needs significant work. To ensure that's not a problem, Blizzard has extended the current season from its planned conclusion on April 16 to May 14.

"We're pushing it back a few weeks to ensure that we get all the feedback from this PTR, and we apply it to season 4 to make sure that all these new system changes that we're doing are right and work for the community based off of everyone's feedback," Diablo community lead Adam Fletcher said during today's Campfire Chat livestream. "So season 3 is now going to end on May 14, and of course with that, season 4 also starts on May 14."

This PTR will only be available to players on PC via the Battle.net client, which Fletcher said "allows us to be a little more agile," presumably because of the more stringent compatibility requirements on console. 

He added, however, that Blizzard is looking at ways of enabling access in the future for console players as well: "We are going to try to explore other ways of being able to bring PTR, when we do have a PTR, to players in the future."

Players in the PTR will start fresh, but "boosting options" will be provided so players can quickly get to the good stuff, and other aspects of the game will be cleared or unlocked to facilitate testing.

Full instructions on how to get into the PTR client will be posted next week in a fully-detailed blog post. A PTR-specific forum will also be activated to enable testers to more easily share feedback.

Today's Diablo 4 livestream goes deep into major itemization changes coming to the game in season 4—we'll have a detailed breakdown of what players can look forward to when the stream is over.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.