Game director Josh Mosqueira has started tweeted some very interesting things in sly references to the ladder system. It's thought these rankings would help Diablo III's longevity.
"Hang in there... Launch is only a few weeks away," Mosqueira, asked about any information on ladders and seasons coming to Diablo III.
"Systems, UI and online designers having a very cool meeting in my office. Lots of pretty images on screens that will make people happy," he added shortly after. Ladders usually reset after a month or two with top ranking players rewarded before the cycle begins anew. Blizzard is unlikely to make demands of new characters in order to qualify.
Losses aren't really a thing in Diablo III as the game is co-operative in nature so what constitutes 'winning' isn't going to be as straight forward. Our existing heroes would suffice to get into the season running. “We wouldn't take away anything from what people have accomplished,” said designer Wyatt Cheng back in January. “People have a lot of investment in their current characters, so you’d still keep those.”
Fellow designer Travis Day believes it would ensure a long life span for Diablo III.
“Five years from now, you’re probably not going to see us making huge content patches, or class updates,” he said. “At some point we’ll set the game aside, sort of leave it as a work that we've completed, and move on to like Diablo 4, or whatever, right? Ladders is absolutely one of the things that helps the game stay fresh for people 5 years from now, or 3 years, or 2 years, or whatever.”
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls releases on PC and PS4 March 25th. Right now a 50% XP community buff is running.