Most of our team are now back at work after the New Zealand holiday period. We have a busy year ahead! The purpose of today's news post is to highlight the rough plans of what happens when the Breach leagues end in seven weeks.
In late 2015, we started our schedule of having releases at predictable times on a 13-week timeline. Talisman, Ascendancy/Perandus, Prophecy, Atlas of Worlds/Essence and Breach were released on this schedule. It works really well because the leagues feel like the right length, they come out at key points in the year (like a few weeks before Christmas) and the schedule is the same from one year to the next.
At the moment, most of our team is working on the major 3.0.0 expansion which contains Act Five and some other surprises. We have three goals in mind as we plan the timing of 3.0.0's release:
To create our best expansion ever, with a higher quality level than any previous release.
To ideally not disrupt our existing 13-week schedule.
To have flexibility with the date that we start the Beta.
When the Breach league ends, we'll be launching another challenge league (2.6.0) in line with the above schedule. The Beta for 3.0.0 will start at some point during this league (likely near the middle). We expect that the Beta would run until the end of the 2.6.0 league.
So for the 2.6.0 update, we're planning:
Some balance changes to keep the metagame fresh. An example is that we have lined up significant buffs to one-handed melee weapons.
A new challenge league. We don't want to spoil what it is yet, but it's certainly appropriate for the last league before the new era of 3.0.0.
We're planning to formally announce full details of these various releases in mid-February. All of the dates in this post are provisional - we want to be transparent with what we have in mind, but please expect stuff to change as various things are finished earlier or later than expected.