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d3 Diablo Patch 2.3 PTR

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A massive overhaul is coming to Diablo 3 in Patch 2.3, and a Public Test Realm previewing all of the upcoming changes is launching shortly. A preview of the impending updates was released today, and it's pretty incredible:


Blizzard Icon Patch 2.3.0 PTR Preview


New Zone: Ruins of Sescheron


In Patch 2.3.0, the frozen wasteland that is the Ruins of Sescheron will open for exploration. Here you’ll face off against strange new enemies and perilous environmental hazards, all while unearthing new mysteries from the lore of the mighty Barbarians. Those brave enough to make it through in one piece will discover curious new points of interest, including the lost Tomb of King Kanai and his ultimate treasure—Kanai’s Cube.




New Artifact: Kanai's Cube


Those who played Diablo II might remember the Horadric Cube, a unique device which allowed you to combine items. Useful as it was, it was easily surpassed in power by the item from which it originated, Kanai’s Cube. In Patch 2.3.0, players will be able to discover this powerful ancient relic and utilize its incredible potential, including the ability to break down Legendary items and equip their special effects as passive skills (which are separate from your other passive skills), convert crafting materials from one type to another, and so much more.




Crafting System Updated


For those who eagerly gather crafting materials on their journey to level 70, we’ve got good news you’ll especially enjoy. Starting in Patch 2.3.0, the same crafting mats you use at max level will be available as you level up! We’ve also crunched down the number of crafting recipes, making the process easier and more fluid than ever as your results now dynamically adjust to your character’s level. Whether you’re bashing skulls on the highest difficulty or have just started your career and killed your first Champion or Elite pack, your crafting mats will never go to waste.






Adventure Mode Updates


This patch also includes changes designed to improve the pacing of Adventure Mode while encouraging players to explore Bounties across a variety of Acts. In addition to removing the Realm of Trials, we’re improving Bounty rewards by adding new Act-specific crafting mats to Horadric Caches. Completing Bonus Acts in Adventure Mode games will also now grant a bonus Horadric Cache stuffed with crafting materials, gold, and additional Act-specific crafting mats.




New Feature: Season Journey


Every player’s Seasonal journey is different—and so are their accomplishments. Starting in Season 4, you'll be able to track your individual progress through the Season Journey interface. This helpful feature is divided into Chapters, which include major milestones that are achievable by most players, and Tiers, which are designed for advanced players. Completing Tiers unlocks new portrait frame rewards, and the highest Tier includes challenges which will take effort to achieve for even the most powerful nephalem.






New Difficulty Levels


As players continue to discover powerful new gear, the current hardest difficulty level—Torment VI—can begin to feel less challenging. To help keep hardened battle veterans on their toes, we’re adding four new Torment levels with appropriate reward rates, including Torment X. We’ll be iterating on these new difficulties and rewards as the PTR progresses, so we look forward to hearing your feedback!




New Legendary and Set Items


For all you dedicated loot hunters, we’re also adding lots of shiny new Legendary and Set effects to the game. Aside from doing this through introducing new items, we’re also revamping special effects on some existing items, and granting new effects to some items which don’t currently have one. As in other patches, changes to Legendary items are not retroactive, so you’ll need to find them once more to use their updated form. Overall, this should result in more build options for you to explore. 


Combat Changes


Several changes to monsters are coming to the game as well. Along with reducing the amount of crowd control the game’s tougher monsters will tolerate, we’ve adjusted the experience and Rift progress granted by killing monsters so they better reflect the effort required to kill them. For example, monsters that take more time or effort to kill now provide more experience, and those that are especially easy to kill will provide less. We’ve also made changes that create a better balance between the time you spend exploring and clearing Nephalem or Greater Rifts, and the time you spend facing the Rift Guardian. With these changes, more of the emphasis will be on your journey as you explore and clear the Rift.  


Prepare Yourself!


New zone, new Cube, new items, new difficulty levels, new Adventure Mode changes—the list goes on and on! We hope you’re looking forward to trying out all these new features and leaving your valuable feedback once the PTR hits.

Out of all that you’ve seen above, which of these changes are you most excited to experience for yourself? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll see you on the Public Test Realm!


A ton of popular changes are all coming to Diablo at once - what's your favourite? Anything further you'd like to see from Blizzard in this PTR cycle?

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      Q: Can you talk about the Necromancer visuals and some of the skills we saw at BlizzCon?
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      Q: What are some of the series’ most difficult and memorable bosses? Any tips?
      Julian Love: I worked on getting patch 1.10 out the door for Diablo II. I showed up, and they were testing Über Diablo, and the guy who was working on it says, “oh, you’re going to LOVE this! It’s almost unbeatable.” He fires up a character outfitted with all rare—yellow—gear, and goes, “look at how HARD this is!” I’m like “You’re kidding, right? Can you get my dual-wielding Barbarian from” A couple days later, I get on my Barbarian, and I say, “okay, watch this,” and I proceed to waste that incarnation of Über Diablo in like 10 seconds. I showed them they were not testing it right, and we started pulling characters from to test it, which ended up meaning a 3-month delay to the patch—sorry, everyone!—but in the end the boss was a lot more satisfying.
      Q: If you could go back in time and tell the developers of the original Diablo anything, what would it be?
      Julian Love: I really like those games for what they are, and it's difficult for me to be critical of anything they've done because that led us to what we have today. A lot of the time, “flaws” are the quirks that make you love a game even more. So, if I had to pick something, it would be a small annoyance; I’d tell them, "don't make gold take inventory space! Put it in its own counter instead" or something. Diablo II is even harder for me, as sometimes I hold it up as the perfect game, but I think if I had to pick something there, I'd say "if you want people to care about resistances, build up to that. Don't let players spend the entire first Act without encountering any poison damage, and then have Andariel wreck them because they had no idea they needed 75% poison resists."
      At the same time, these flaws give us stories to tell. The reason we can look back and laugh is because we all got killed by Andariel’s poison damage at one point or another.
      Q: Is it possible to kill Diablo for good?
      Julian Love: For good? I'm going to give you the smart guy, out-of-the-game-lore answer: you don't want to kill him for good. If we were ever going to make another game and put the Diablo name on it—and I think everyone wants that—we kind of want the Lord of Terror around so you can kill him in it, right? It's OK for an expansion to not have Diablo in it, but every new entry in the series is going to need our titular villain.
      Joe Shely, Senior Game Designer
      Q: How long have you been a Diablo fan?
      Joe Shely, Senior Game Designer: I've been a fan since the original Diablo. I played it back in high school and my mom yelled at me for not turning the computer off at bedtime—that spellbook wasn’t going to find itself. I also played tons of Diablo II in college; all those sleepless nights worked out for me, though, because now I get to work on Diablo! 
      Q: What is it about the Diablo series that appeals to you?
      Joe Shely: The original Diablo was all about getting to the bottom of the dungeon and fighting Diablo. It was a challenge just to make it down there alive and find out what's going on. You have to remember, back then you didn’t have the story that's been developed today, it was just "what is happening under this creepy church?" It was very mysterious and I found it compelling.
      In Diablo II, I had a Frost Sorceress and I would Frozen Orb everything; I wanted to get to level 99 and I wanted to beat Diablo on Hell difficulty. I liked putting my points into skills and overcharging skills with +skills on items, playing the item game to maximize my skills, and getting Uniques. I felt like I could always keep progressing my character, and I think that's a strength of Diablo—your character can always get stronger and take on new, harder challenges.
      Q: Do you remember the first thing you worked on when you joined the Diablo team?
      Joe Shely: I don't know if I can remember the exact thing, but I probably tuned something that frustrated me as a player. At one point, we had an issue with seeking projectiles that tracked the player being biased towards one direction. It was very good at tracking you in one direction, and very bad at tracking you in the other direction; I realized this playing on my Wizard, so I came in to work the next day and fixed it.
      Q: How did you get started on the team and in your current role?
      Joe Shely: I began working on Diablo III directly shortly after the original release. I came on to help with Reaper of Souls and got to do a bunch of work on monsters, bosses, systems, Adventure Mode, Greater Rift tuning, and more.
      Q: What is your favorite Diablo item?
      Joe Shely: I definitely like Cam's Rebuttal. It's not the strongest item—I think the strongest item I have on any character is probably an Ancient Yang's Recurve with really good rolls. In terms of pure power, it's a fantastic item, and I was super excited I got it. But when I look at some of the items that do really interesting things, I really like playing the Crusader and having a window of time where I've got another charge of Falling Sword I don't want to waste. There are conditions under which I won't use it, like if there's only one guy left. Sometimes I try to wait as long as possible before using that second charge to maximize the damage from the Firestarter Rune and Consecration.
      Q: What classes are you playing currently? Do you play Hardcore or Softcore?
      Joe Shely: Let’s see . . . I’ve got a Hardcore Wizard in Season 8 and a Demon Hunter non-Seasonal. I also have a Hardcore Crusader I haven’t played in a while, but he’s pretty fun too. I think I play Hardcore for the same reason as many of our players—the stakes are increased, your decisions matter in the combat sense. It’s certainly something I do when I want to sit and only play Diablo III, and really focus on that. I won’t try to do anything else while I’m playing my Hardcore character.
      Q: What’s it like working on the Diablo team? What do you do for fun?
      Joe Shely: The Diablo team is a great group to work for in many ways; it has its own culture, and it’s a culture that evolved around wanting the best for the game and trying to use our resources and the talent of the team to deliver awesome content for our players. At Blizzard, we have this very strong philosophy of supporting our games for years after their release, so that’s very much our focus on the team, looking at the game week-to-week, month-to-month to figure out what the game needs now, and what’s the best thing to deliver to our fans. I’m very proud of our team-wide brainstorms, where we get everyone in a room and we say “here’s the next piece of content we’re going to do,” like a new zone, and we discuss possibilities. “There are new monsters in this zone; what should they be?”
      We get a good sense of what we should do in brainstorms; for example, we’ll start with a rough overview of a new zone, like a cold, shrouded moor; there’s going to be some rocky terrain, and it’s misty . . . so what kind of monsters live there? We look at all those and figure out what can we do, and which ideas resonate most strongly with the team. The advantage of team brainstorming is, when it comes time to make the content, whether it’s modeling a creature, animating it, or adding powers, the people who are doing it know they had input into that feature, which makes everyone more passionate.
      Q: What do you think is the historical legacy of Diablo? What will people be reading about the series 10–20 years from now?
      Joe Shely: I would hope they would read about it and then go play some Diablo, in whatever form that may be, because I think the Diablo legacy is very much still being written. There’s this chase of slaying monsters and getting epic loot and being heroic, and that thread has tied the franchise together. I would expect to see more of that in the future.
      Q: What‘s the one thing that would cause Diablo to no longer be Diablo if we removed it from the game?
      Joe Shely: I think loot is the answer. Slaying monsters, getting epic loot, and using your epic loot to slay more monsters is the core loop of Diablo. You can see this all the way from Diablo I to Diablo III. Look at what spellbooks were in Diablo I; they were a form of epic loot that changed your gameplay. When you consider how legendaries have evolved in Diablo III, you can see how the items in Diablo III very much affect your gameplay in some of those same ways—they can make significant changes to your skills, how they're used, the visual effects of your skills, and gameplay mechanics in quite a similar way to how a spellbook would give you a completely new spell.
      Q: Can you give us an example of something you’re really excited to have worked on?
      Joe Shely: I’m excited about the changes coming to Greater Rifts in 2.4.3. We've reworked the way we spawn monsters in Greater Rifts, and the most obvious effect is that you're going to see a more consistent and, for some tiles, higher density of monsters—but it's really much more. We want the Greater Rift experience to be as varied as possible, and to have plenty of possibilities to be great. When you go down a floor, you should expect great monsters, surprising tiles, cool pylons, etc. The changes we've done in 2.4.3 are aimed at improving that experience. I think it's going to be a good change for our players.
      Q: Can you tell us a little about the Darkening of Tristram (Patch 2.4.3) and how the patch came to be?
      Joe Shely: I think one of the things we tried to capture with the anniversary event is this direct connection to the Soulstone and the evil of the Soulstone that ties the franchise together. I think the story of Malthael is a very interesting one; you get to meet the Angiris Council and learn about what's going on with these angels, but it's also nice to have an anchor or touchstone in the Red Soulstone, and that's why we wanted to bring it back for the anniversary event. That's also why we put the additional effort to get the D1 cinematic in there, and make a legendary gem you can put in your helm and really capture what I think was probably one of the most memorable events of Diablo 1—you end up impaling yourself.
      Q: What are some of the series’ most difficult and memorable bosses? Any tips?
      Joe Shely: The Baal fight in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction is pretty hard if you’re a ranged character. He slows you, and you have to deal with the tight constraints of the room. You’re being thrust directly into the fight. Looking at Diablo III, I think Malthael is a pretty tough boss: he’s got multiple phases, a lot of different mechanics, and there’s some stuff that can kill you if you’re not watching. His clouds can be quite dangerous; the adds he summons are some of the most dangerous monsters you’ll face out in the world, and then his ultimate lightning hands attack does extreme damage, so you really have to be on your toes.
      Q: If you could go back in time and tell the developers of the original Diablo anything, what would it be?
      Joe Shely: I think there would be a lot of back slapping. I’ve always wanted something to happen with the cow when you click on it, the one outside the entrance to the catacombs. Anything, really. I mean you click him, he moos at you, you think something’s gonna happen. I’d like to think we’ve corrected that in the later games, though.
      Editor’s note: We’re not sure what Joe is on about here. 
      Q: Is it possible to kill Diablo for good?
      Joe Shely: All I can say is, he hasn’t died yet, right? He’s not been permanently vanquished at this point. We’ll have to wait and see
    • By Damien
      This thread is for comments about our Demon Hunter Grenade Build.