Diablo 4 PTR players discover mysterious new items and an abandoned camp that could be clues for its next season and upcoming expansion

Two Diablo 4 rogues in red armor standing next to each other.
(Image credit: Tyler C. / Blizzard)

While everyone was distracted with Diablo 4's gigantic loot update on the test server over the weekend, players found some clues for the next season's theme ahead of its official announcement.

On the season 4 PTR,  or the "public test realm" for beta testing upcoming changes, you will occasionally see text pop up while killing monsters in Helltide open world events saying you've gained reputation with the Iron Wolves. The reputation isn't shown anywhere in the menus and isn't part of Diablo 4's massive loot overhaul. I remember seeing that message pop up on the first day of the PTR, but I didn't think much of it.

Apparently, you can also find Iron Wolves mercenaries—who made their debut in Diablo 2's campaign—fighting in certain Helltide events. And Wowhead found an emblem, a map icon, and a list of items named after them in the PTR's files, suggesting they will be the stars of season 4. The map icon even has the green leaf Blizzard uses to denote seasonal features in the UI.

All the datamined items look similar to the rewards you could get from Diablo 4's second season, which featured a reputation-like system for completing objectives around the open world. They're named things like "Iron Wolves' Glove Case" and "Iron Wolves' Herb Supply," and seem to come in different rarities like normal loot. A few of them say they contain body parts and "rotten eggs", which sound a lot like the game's boss summoning materials. Several of the items mention Helltide and its new boss the Blood Maiden, too.

We might be looking at hints for a season centered around the Iron Wolves and the newly reworked Helltide events that periodically show up around the map. One player found an elixir that raises the level of Helltide enemies as well as the number of Aberrant Cinders they drop—a currency for opening chests during the event. If it's like season 2's Blood Harvests, Helltide could be our new seasonal destination.

Potentially unrelated but just as mysterious is a slight change to the layout of one of Diablo 4's strangest locations. A new path and an abandoned camp have appeared at the gates of The Lost City of Ureh near the bottom of the map. Players have speculated about this tiny area since the game's launch because, despite some juicy lore from a 2002 novel, Ureh has never actually existed in a Diablo game. It was going to show up in Diablo 3, but was later cut. 

The changes in the Diablo 4 PTR don't look related to the Iron Wolves, but it's possible the tent and torches are a placeholder for something more thematically appropriate. I choose to believe it's the first teaser of what's coming in the Vessel of Hatred expansion later this year. The same leaked text dump that correctly predicted the expansion's jungle location said there will be raids added to the game and Ureh seems fit for something like that.

Blizzard will probably clear everything up when it announces season 4's unique theme before it launches on May 14.

Associate Editor

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.