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Realbookwurm

d3 Fresh PTR Patch Notes for Diablo's Patch 2.4

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Blizzard has pushed out new patch notes for the PTR of Diablo's Patch 2.4 The notes show broad changes still taking place across all classes, and many of the new items.



While many are anxious for the release of 2.4, seeing such broad changes historically implies there is much to come still. There is a lot which seems open for change, and a large majority of the changes seemed aimed at bringing class and item balance, a very large task in a smaller patch, and exponentially more taxing in a patch of 2.4's size. The upshot here is that Blizzard is determined to get the balance right prior to the release, which will have a strong effect on the coming Season 5. With a more level balance coming to all classes, and a greater number of builds opening up, the prospects for Season 5 are phenomenal.

Head to the Blue post below to look at the changes, and click the source link to head over to Battle.net if you want to size up the tentative full list of Patch 2.4 changes.

Blizzard Icon Battle.net

+ Show

 

General

  • The damage range of the Thorns affix on items has been reduced
  • Thorns damage granted by socketing a Flawless Royal rank or higher Topaz gem in a weapon has been reduced

 

Set Dungeons

  • A return portal will now spawn near your location, when you have either completed, or failed a Set Dungeon due to fatal damage, to allow you to retry more quickly
  • Several Unique monsters received adjustments to their health to be more consistent with the others
  • All Set Dungeons have received changes to their difficulty

 

  • Armor of Akkhan
    • The total number of monsters has been reduced from 205 to 175
    • Number of enemies required to be killed while imbued increased from 100 to 150
    • Density has been adjusted to create more groups of 10
    • The Electrified affix has been removed from the Unique monster

 

  • Firebird's Finery
    • Number of enemies required to burn has been reduced from 45 to 20
    • Number of times required to burn has been increased from 3 to 6
    • The second objective has been slightly redesigned
      • Hit 50 enemies with the Meteor that revives you

 

  • Jade Harvester
    • Number of total monsters to kill has been reduced from 750 to 435
    • Reduced the size of the dungeon by 25%
    • The first objective has been slightly redesigned
      • Harvest 15 different enemies simultaneously 10 times

 

  • Natalya's Vengeance
    • Rain of Vengeance time required changed from 60 to 90 seconds
    • The second objective has been redesigned
      • Do not exhaust your Hatred

 

  • Roland's Legacy
    • The requirement for the Sweep Attack objective has been increased from 5 to 7

 

  • The Shadow's Mantle
    • The first objective has been redesigned
      • Chain bonus damage Impale hits on 15 20 consecutive enemies 5 times
    • The second objective has been redesigned
      • Slow 45 different enemies with your Shadow Power

 

  • Thorns of the Invoker
    • Number of Spears required reduced from 100 to 75

 

  • Unhallowed Essence
    • The second objective has been redesigned
      • Never drop below 50% Discipline

 

  • Stonesinger
    • Knockback attack now has a unique animation and doesn't knock players as far

    • Now charges a random player

    • No longer charges players in melee range

    • Increased melee range to more closely match the visual effect

 

  • Bug Fixes
    • Fixed an issue that caused Shield of Fury to stack its debuff faster than intended
    • Fixed an issue that caused some monsters to deal more damage than intended in Set Dungeons
    • Fixed an issue that caused the Monkey King's Garb set dungeon to display the incorrect number of total enemies
    • Fixed an issue that could sometimes cause items to roll with a lower Thorns damage range than intended
    • Fixed an issue that prevented the Legacy of Raekor (6) Set Bonus from increasing the damage of Bash with Blade of the Warlord equipped
    • Fixed an issue that caused The Shadow's Mantle (2) Set Bonus to apply to classes other than Demon Hunters
    • Fixed an issue that prevented the Fortress Ballista from dropping
    • Fixed an issue that allowed enemies in the Armor of Akkhan Set Dungeon to be Condemned multiple times

 

Classes

  • Barbarian
    • Active Skills​
      • x1_barbarian_ancientspear.pngAncient Spear
        • Skill Rune - Boulder Toss
          • Should now reach its target more quickly[br]1[/br]
      • x1_barbarian_avalanche_v2.pngAvalanche
        • Damage increased from 1600% to 2400%
        • Skill Rune - Glacier
          • Damage increased from 1600% to 2400%
        • Skill Rune - Snow-Capped Mountain
          • Damage increased from 1800% to 2800%
        • Skill Rune - Volcano
          • Damage increased from 4400% to 6600%
        • barbarian_earthquake.pngEarthquake
          • Damage increased from 4200% to 4800%
          • Skill Rune - Cave-In
            • Damage increased from 4200% to 4800%
          • Skill Rune - Chilling Earth
            • Damage increased from 4200% to 4800%
          • Skill Rune - Giant's Stride
            • Damage increased from 200% to 300% per tremor
          • Skill Rune - Molten Fury
            • Damage increased from 5100% to 6000%
          • Skill Rune - Mountain's Call
            • Cooldown reduced from 50 to 30 seconds

 

  • Crusader
    • ​Bug Fixes
      • Fixed an issue that could sometimes prevent the increased Thorns value from Iron Maiden from updating
      • Fixed an issue that caused enemies hit by the extra hammers created by Blessed Hammer - Limitless to be counted toward the Drakon's Lesson damage bonus
      • Fixed an issue that prevented the extra hammers created by Blessed Hammer - Limitless from benefitting from the Guard of Johanna damage bonus
      • Fixed an issue that prevented monsters from targeting players while mounted using Steed Charge

 

  • Demon Hunter
    • Demon Hunters may now use Quivers while wielding a melee weapon
    • Active Skills
      • demonhunter_bolas.pngBolas
        • Hatred generated increased from 3 to 4
        • Skill Rune - Thunder Ball
          • Hatred generated increased from 6 to 7
      • demonhunter_clusterarrow.pngCluster Arrow
        • Explosion damage increased from 550% to 650% weapon damage
        • Skill Rune - Cluster Bombs
          • Grenade damage increased from 525% to 650% weapon damage
          • Number of rockets decreased from 3 to 2
        • Skill Rune - Dazzling Arrow
          • Explosion damage increased from 550% to 650% weapon damage
          • Grenades damage increased from 220% to 250% weapon damage
        • Skill Rune - Loaded for Bear
          • Explosion damage increased from 770% to 850% weapon damage
          • Grenades damage increased from 220% to 250% weapon damage
        • Skill Rune - Maelstrom
          • Explosion damage increased from 550% to 650% weapon damage
          • Number of rockets decreased from 5 to 3
          • Healing per rocket increased from 1% to 2%
        • Skill Rune - Shooting Stars
          • Explosion damage increased from 550% to 650% weapon damage
          • Number of rockets decreased from 3 to 2
        • Hatred generated increased from 3 to 4
        • Skill Rune - Justice is Served
          • Hatred generated increased from 6 to 7
        • Hatred generated increased from 3 to 4
        • Skill Rune - Tinkerer
          • Hatred generated increased from 6 to 7
            Hungering Arrow
        • Hatred generated increased from 3 to 4
        • Skill Rune - Serrated Arrow
          • Hatred generated increased from 6 to 7
        • Skill Rune - Full Broadside
          • Damage increased from 460% to 500% weapon damage
        • Skill Rune - Wind Chill
          • Critical Hit Chance bonus increased from 10 to 15%
        • Skill Rune - Invigoration
          • Maximum Discipline bonus increased from 15 to 20
        • Duration increased from 15 to 20 seconds
        • Number of rockets reduced from 4 to 2
        • Rocket damage increased from 40% to 80% weapon damage
  • Bug Fixes
    • Fixed an issue that prevented Shadow Power from applying the lockout period before the cooldown begins when cast by Lianna's Wings
 
 
  • Monk
    • ​Active Skills
        • Skill Rune - Soothing Mist
          • Health Globe healing bonus contribution reduced from 25% to 10%
        • Skill Rune - Static Charge
          • Damage reduced from 180% to 40% weapon damage
      • Bug Fixes
        • Fixed an issue that caused Exploding Palm to sometimes retain bonuses to its damage for longer than intended
 
  • Witch Doctor
    • Active Skills
        • Damage increased from 100% to 450% weapon damage
        • Skill Rune - Big Stinker
          • Poison cloud damage increased from 45% to 135% weapon damage
        • Skill Rune - Restless Giant
          • Enrage cooldown reduced from 120 to 45 seconds
        • Damage increased from 30% to 120% weapon damage
        • Skill Rune - Burning Dogs
          • Fire damage deal to nearby enemies increased from 20% to 80% weapon damage
        • Skill Rune - Rabid Dogs
          • Bite DoT damage increased from 30% to 120% weapon damage
 
  • Wizard
    • Active Skills
        • Skill Rune - Flame Blades
          • Duration reduced from 10 to 5 seconds
          • Now has a maximum stack count of 30
    • Passive Skills
        • Damage absorbed changed from 81536 to 60% (down from 70%) of your Life
    • Bug Fixes
      • Fixed and issue that prevented the internal cooldown on Magic Weapon - Deflection from updating with changes to Attack Speed
      • Fixed an issue that caused the effect of Wave of Force - Debilitating Force to stack from multiple sources

Items
  • ​Boyarsky's Chip
    • New Legendary Gem
      • Adds 16000 (down from 30000) Thorns damage
      • Thorns damage increased by 800 per rank (down from 1500)
  • Legacy of Nightmares
    • These rings now roll with a guaranteed socket rather than guaranteed Critical Hit Chance or Attack Speed
 
  • Several existing Legendary items have been updated to include a unique Legendary power
    • Note: Existing items will not be affected by the following changes. Only new versions of the items will roll with the added Legendary power.
      • Legendary Power added
        • While above 90-95% (up from 75-85%) primary resource, all damage taken is reduced by 50%
      • Legendary Power added
        • Gain damage reduction equal to 45-55% (down from 50-65%) of your Block chance
          • Note: This power can now benefit from the Block chance provided by Punish

Class-Specific Items
  • Barbarian
    • Blade of the Warlord
      • New Legendary Mighty Weapon
        • Bash consumes up to 40 Fury to deal up to 400-500% (down from 500-600%) increased damage
      • Now rolls with 100-125% (down from 150-200%) Seismic Slam damage
      • Now rolls with +75-100% (down from 150-200%) Hammer of the Ancients damage
    • The Legacy of Raekor
      • Has been redesigned
        • (4) Set Bonus
          • Furious Charge gains the effect of every rune and deals 300% (down from 400%) increased damage
    • Might of the Earth
      • Has been redesigned
        • (2) Set Bonus
          • Reduce the cooldown of Earthquake, Avalanche, Leap, and Ground Stomp by 1 second for every 30 (down from 40) Fury you spend
        • (4) Set Bonus
          • Leap gains the effect of the Iron Impact rune and the duration and Armor bonus is increased by 150% (reworked from "doubled").
        • (6) Set Bonus
          • Increases the damage of Earthquake, Avalanche, Leap, Ground Stomp, Ancient Spear, and Seismic Slam by 800% 
    • Skular's Salvation
      • New Legendary Bracers
        • When your Boulder Toss hits 5 or fewer enemies the damage is increased by 120-150% (down from 150-200%)
 
  • Crusader
    • Bracers of Fury
      • New Legendary Bracers
        • Heaven's Fury deals 150-200% (down from 300-400%) increased damage to enemies that are Blinded, Immobilized, or Stunned
    • Norvald's Fervor
      • New Set
        • (2) Set bonus
          • Increases the duration of Steed Charge by 2 seconds
          • Every enemy killed while Steed Charge is active reduces the cooldown by 1 second (reworked from extending the duration).
    • Seeker of the Light
      • (6) Set Bonus
        • Blessed Hammer damage bonus increased from 750% to 1250%
    • Thorns of the Invoker
      • Has been redesigned
        • (2) Set Bonus
          • Each time you hit an enemy with Punish, or Slash, or block an attack your Thorns damage is increased by 25% (down from 50%) for 2 seconds
 
  • Demon Hunter
    • Embodiment of the Marauder
      • (4) Set Bonus
        • Now also increases the damage of Sentries by 300% (up from 200%
      • (6) Set Bonus
        • Damage bonus per active Sentry increased from 100% to 600% (up from 400%)
    • Fortress Ballista
      • New Legendary Hand Crossbow
        • Attacks grant you an absorb shield for 2-3% (down from 4-5%) of your maximum Life, stacking up to 10 times
    • Lord Greenstone's Fan
      • New Legendary Dagger
        • Every second gain 80-100% (down from 250-300%) increased damage for your next Fan of Knives
    • Natalya's Vengeance
      • (6) Set Bonus
        • Damage reduction increased from 30% to 60% (up from 50%)
        • Duration increased from 6 to 10 seconds
    • The Shadow's Mantle
      • (2) Set Bonus
        • Your damage is increased by 600% (up from 1000%) while you have a melee weapon equipped
    • Unhallowed Essence
      • (2) Set Bonus
        • Generators now also generate 2 additional Hatred
      • (4) Set Bonus
        • Damage bonus and damage reduction increased from 20% to 60% (up from 40%)
        • Duration increased from 4 to 8 seconds
      • (6) Set Bonus
        • Damage bonus increased from 15% to 20% per point of Discipline
 
  • Monk
    • Zoey's Secret
      • New Legendary Belt
        • You take 8-9% (up from 6-7%) less damage for each Companion you have active
    • Inna's Reach
      • Bonus Mystic Ally damage increased from 20-25% to 90-120% (up from 75-100%)
    • Monkey King's Garb
      • Has been redesigned
        • (6) Set Bonus
          • Lashing Tail Kick, Tempest Rush, and Wave of Light consume a stack of Sweeping Wind to deal 1500% (up from 1000%) increased damage
    • Raiment of a Thousand Storms
      • (2) Set Bonus
        • Spirit generator damage bonus reduced from 300% to 100%
 
  • Witch Doctor
     
    • Lakumbra's Ornament
      • New Legendary Bracers
        • Reduces all damage taken by 6% (up from 5%) for each stack of Soul Harvest you have
    • Raiment of the Jade Harvester
      • (2) Set Bonus
        • Instant Haunt damage dealt increased from 10 to 60 (down from 120) seconds worth
      • (6) Set Bonus
        • Increased the amount of DoT damage detonated by Soul Harvest to 150 (down from 300) seconds worth
      • The damage bonus granted to each Gargantuan has been tripled
        • This change will apply retroactively to existing items
    • Staff of Chiroptera
      • New Legendary Staff
        • Now rolls with +45-60% Firebats damage
    • Spirit of Arachyr
      • (4) Set Bonus
        • Bonuses are now applied immediately after summoning the Toad
        • Damage reduction increased from 40-50%
        • Duration increased from 10 to 15 seconds
      • (6) Set Bonus
        • Damage bonus increased from 800% to 1200%
      • The damage bonus granted to the single Zombie Dog has been doubled (down from tripled)
        • This change will apply retroactively to existing items
    • Zunimassa's Haunt
      • (6) Set Bonus
        • Damage bonus increased from 275% to 800%
          Duration increased from 4 to 8 seconds
​​​
  • Wizard
    • Ashnagarr's Blood Bracers
      • New Legendary Bracers
        • Increase the potency of your shields by 75-100%
    • Deathwish
      • New Legendary Sword
        • While channeling Arcane Torrent, Disintegrate, or Ray of Frost, all damage is increased by 30-35% (down from 75-100%)
    • Delsere's Magnum Opus
      • Explosive Blast, Spectral Blade, and Wave of Force are now affected by this set
    • Fazula's Improbable Chain
      • Number of Archon stacks you automatically start with increased from 15-20 to 40-50
    • Firebird's Finery
      • (6) Set Bonus
        • Your damage is increased by 25% (down from 100%) for each enemy that is burning. Elites that are burning increase your damage by 600% (down from 1000%). You can only have one Elite damage bonus active at a time.
    • Orb of Infinite Depth
      • New Legendary Source
        • Each time you hit an enemy with Explosive Blast your damage is increased by 4-5% and your damage reduction is increased by 15% for 6 seconds. This effect can stack up to 4 times.
    • Tal Rasha's Elements
      • (4) Set Bonus
        • Has been redesigned
          Arcane, Cold, Fire, and Lightning attacks each increase all of your resistances by 25% for 8 seconds
    • The Twisted Sword
      • New Legendary Sword
        • Energy Twister damage is increased by 125-150% for each Energy Twister you have out (up from 75-100%)
      • Now rolls with +75-100% Explosive Blast damage
  • Note: Existing items will not be affected by the following changes. Only new versions of the items will roll with the added Legendary power.
    • Barbarian
        • Legendary Power added
          • Increase the damage of Weapon Throw and Ancient Spear by 45-60% (up from 75-100%)
             
    • Crusader
        • Legendary Power added
          • Gain Thorns equal to 250-300% of your Vitality (down from 400-500%)
    • Demon Hunter
        • Legendary Power added
          • Reduces the cooldown of Vengeance by 50-65% (up from 45-60%)
        • Now rolls with 60-80% Cluster Arrow damage (up from 30-40%)
    • Wizard
        • Legendary Power added
          • Spectral Blade attacks 50% faster and deals 150-200% increased damage
 
  • Bug Fixes
    • Fixed an issue that prevented some sources of Attack Speed, which only benefit specific skills, from reducing the internal cooldown of Bane of the Stricken
    • Fixed an issue that caused Rivera Dancers to roll with an extra secondary stat
 

Adventure Mode
  • Nephalem Rifts
    • Medium and Large version of many cave maps can no longer appear in Greater Rifts
    • Mallet Lords can no longer spawn in many cave maps
    • Density has been increased in many cave maps

 

Monsters

  • Damage dealt by the Plagued affix can no longer trigger the Knockback effect from the Knockback affix
  • Damage dealt by Frozen affix crystals before they explode has been slightly reduced
  • Elites can now occasionally drop pieces of Set Dungeon lore
  • Armaddons
    • Their stunning stomp attack now more closely matches the visual
    • They no longer perform melee attacks that looks very similar to the attack that stuns
    • Increased the amount of experience granted
  • Beasts
    • Will now charge the location the player was in when they began casting their charge attack
  • Bog Brutes
    • Will now charge the location the player was in when they began casting their charge attack
  • Exorcists
    • Their lightning attack should now be easier to avoid
      The damage area of their lightning attack has been narrowed to more closely match the visual effect
  • Succubi
    • Slightly increased the amount of experience granted
  • Winged Assassins
    • Their Leap attack should now be easier to avoid
    • Will no longer always cast their leap attack as their first attack
 

User Interface

  • Legendary Gems now display their level on their icons in the Inventory, Stash, and on Urshi's upgrade window
  • Added a keybind to expand the buff holder

(Source)

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      Mixed
       

      Buff UI: While this issue is actually part of larger change that has positively impacted the game, it also has some quirks that presented and still require a clean up. The changes to the Buff UI that came baked into Patch 2.4 are overall successful. Making the bar more concise, it grew in Season Five to be the tool of information it was also supposed to be, and no longer is quite the source of player focus it once was. While the goal of making players engage the game (not their buff bar) seems to have been achieved, the improvements have left some aspects seemingly unpolished. The two most common issues that now seem to arise in discussion are the lack of drop shadow on stack numbers, and the paragon point allocation button covering part of the bar itself. With some minor tweaks, these could be changed and really let the newly designed buff bar come into its own glory. Rightfully so, as it now is leagues ahead of its old counterpart! 
      Stash Tab: While this might be a confusing place to find the stash tab, please read on as to why it finds a home here. Many players, myself included, were ecstatic about the inclusion of this reward. To me, the gaining of the extra space was massive, and let me fully devote a tab of stash to each class, as I am an alt-a-holic. I did not have any issue with the implementation, but the implementation was inline with how I play the game already. For many players, the implementation did not line up with their playstyle, or desired mode of play, and this is what lands the stash tab here. Like a billion dollars in the bank, it's great for those who have it, and not so much so for those who don't. I play seasons exclusively now in Diablo, and even quit during the interseason period to recharge and play other games. While Seasons are on, I religiously play each weekend with some friends, and manage to go far in, or complete the season journey. Getting the stash tab for me was merely a consequence. Now, my playstyle is not the only one. Many players don't play seasons. Others, are not as able or willing to devote the many hours needed to get to where I do. As a result, many groups found themselves left out, or struggling with a game (something we play for fun) to get what they felt was necessary to enjoy the game. This lack of fun for those players, well it's rough. I applaud the developers for setting a standard which players must achieve to be rewarded optional content in the game. Likewise, I see the strong argument from those who do not like being forced to play a game mode they do not enjoy in order to get access to something they want, and sometimes feel compulsion to gain. I am not sure what the right answer here is, and as such it remains in the murky waters of mixed. My only input is that I do think there is strong value in rewarding players for certain achievements. The term reward is defined as "a thing given in recognition of one's service, effort, or achievement." Perhaps the discussion should focus not on what is wrong, but what else can be opened as an avenue for others to also achieve.   
      The Good
       

      Single Player XP: Wait, wasn't there something about paragon disparity earlier? Yes, but there is strong hope for solo players, and Season Five gave the most compelling evidence. While by season's close the gap was huge, the early reports of the season saw solo players hitting 70 in roughly the same time as partied groups. This was the first time this had occurred in season play without some form of XP exploit being used. The main driver behind this was the addition of bonus kill-streaks which had previously been seen in console versions. Additionally, changes were made to group dynamics and xp sharing. More changes are coming with Season Six, meaning the outlook for this aspect is high. Perhaps this issue will eventually see a form of parity between groups and solo players. Certainly, we are seeing that goal closer than further as of writing.  

       
      Death's Breath: They're a distinct color now, making them much easier to distinguish. This optimizes time spent while farming, and is a seemingly small, yet huge-in-impact change that I have yet to see a complaint about. An all around victory. 
      New Zones: For those who saw the Diablo panel at Blizzcon this year, the amount of changes coming with 2.4 seemed impossibly large. Since Season Five is a child of Patch 2.4, the addition of new zones with the patch meant that many players saw these sights for the first time in season. From minor additions with the Library at Leoric's Manor, to the entire zone replete with new mobs, tiles and lore (Greyhollow Island) there is not a fair argument against these additions. Free is free, but quality additions for free are just gravy!  
      The Great
       

       
      Empowered Rifts/Caldesann's Despair: While Wyatt Cheng (@Candlesan on Twitter) might hide his despair of this change behind a weak anagram, finally having a viable and impactful gold sink enter the game has many of the Diablo 1% jumping for joy. With so much gold coming from regular farming of high torments, and trips to The Vault, the community saw gold inflation in the highest order. With so many sources of generation, and few sources of loss, the amount players had stashed away became looney (Canadian money jokes). The idea of slightly lessening the time needed to level gems, and thus getting to imbue gear with the new enchanting recipe in Kanai's Cube faster, all while making gold worthwhile again was a massive victory for Team Diablo. It addressed an issue in a creative, fun, and engaging way that had players wanting to play the game more. It also diversified to a greater extent what players did while playing at endgame, and I think it is easy to classify this as an example of creative game design which resulted in a victory.   

       
      Haedrig's Gift: The thorn in my side, (I played Invoker's Burden Crusader this Season) I have to admit that this feature was a success from the community perspective. I will freely admit that I was bent out of shape with the announcement of this feature, and still question its merit. However, I was shown how my opinion here is narrow, and needs broader context. As a gamer who loved the early adventure games such as Sierra's King's Quest line, or the amazing LucasArt's Monkey Island series, I lamented the inclusion of "free sets" as a softening up of gaming culture, and an attempt to cater to those who want things without working for them. I also still question if this sped up the progression of seasonal character too much, leading to faster burn-out or season completion. The second point I hold true to, the first, I was gravely mistaken on. While I can be crusty old gamer who complains about walking uphill to school both ways "back in my day," I also have my scope wrongly adjusted to those old games. Many old computer games are famously confusing and difficult at times, and often lead to out-of-the-box or just plain weird solutions. These games also could often be played, once you knew what to do, in a matter of hours. You might sink lots of time into solving the puzzles initially, but the actual game length is relatively short. Now, we have a whole genre of game with the word massive in its title. These are games where a player can take an hour just to make a character's appearance right if they so choose. In this wave of massive gameplay comes things like Diablo, which actually never end. Sure you can beat the game, but that's not the goal for most. Set dungeons still leave the stopping point role unfulfilled. Instead we continue to push hard, faster and further a group each season, and many players were not having fun anymore trying to keep up. Enter the Gift, and now player who might have never even owned a full set before are getting a chance to explore the game in new and exciting ways. This is obviously a positive, and something that is good for the health of the game. In practice my Softcore Crusader who received Invoker's Burden through the Gift, and my Hardcore Crusader who farmed the pieces had very little difference of experience. It was a small gap in time spent between their progression, several hours to be fair. My enjoyment was no less on my softcore crusader, and progression only felt slightly slower on my hardcore one. The upshot? It let players with limited time, or perhaps those who don't spend hours talking theorycraft on the forums to be able to get moving faster and enjoying themselves sooner. Thus, I have to concede this to the clear win category. 
      Diablo Unannounced Project/Job Postings: While this isn't anything related with the Season, it did come to light during the season, and had a measurable effect on the community. The posting of various jobs to Blizzard's career page, and the mention in those posting about a "Diablo Unannounced Project" have many speculating. With the possibility of another Diablo III expansion, to another game set in the Diablo universe, to Diablo IV, the community is abuzz with theories. Only time will tell exactly what it is that Blizzard has up their sleeve, but many remain exceptionally excited for whatever that could be. More Diablo is always welcome.
      Kanai Event: Like the previous entry, this is more something that merely came to light during Season Five, and is not a direct product of it, but it certainly merits mention. The event consisted of a longstanding mystery of Kanai's Throne Room finally being revealed. Since the arrival of Ruins of Sescheron in Patch 2.3, there were cryptic in game clues and references to the "right time" in Kanai's Throne Room. The right time turned up in Season Five, with the Kanai's Stomping Ground event coming to life in March. This tribute is touching and tasteful on behalf of Blizzard, and is set to outlive this past season, by coming around each March. More can be read about the event and the person it honors here. 
      Legacy of Nightmares/Invoker's Burden: These two sets might not share anything in mechanics, but what makes their birth in the Season 5 meta important is that both represent a paradigm shift in what makes a character powerful in Diablo. Firstly, let's examine Invokers. This set, also known as the Thorns Set, offers a look into a world where Crit Chance/Crit Damage stats and Sheet DPS are utterly irrelevant. This change was lauded by many long term pundits of the game, who often argued that Crit was a stat too crucial to DPS output. This new way of thinking about how you get your damaged threw convention out the window, and did so successfully. 97,786 is how much DPS when my Invoker Crusader cleared his first 70 Greater Rift, something I know because I immortalized it via screen capture. With DPS figures ranging in the 2-3 million range for well-geared and high paragon toons, the idea that 97,786 could do anything of impact seemed astounding. It still is, if you think about Diablo convention to this point. This brings us to Legacy of Nightmares, another fly-in-the-face of conventional Diablo 3 Since the Loot 2.0 revamp, sets have been king of DPS. Some argue the lack of true diversity is gone in builds, something Vanilla had a surprising amount of in contrast. Few arguments could be mounted for anything but set based builds of late, and enter The Legacy of Nightmares . The "No-Set Set" gave rise to a new and exciting branch of gameplay that satisfied many of the prior complaints of too heavy reliance on set bonuses. While the issue is still not dead, after all Wizards couldn't seem to materialize a competitive build with LoN, it went on to dominate the solo leaderboards for classes like Crusader and Demon Hunter. I will state there is much work to be done here, but like Apollo 11, this was a "Giant Leap" for Diablo III.   
      Now, the heart of article is revealed. We have made it this far, and now the rock bottom and the sky-high aspects of Season Five come to light. 
       
      The Worst
       

      A Support Meta/Single DPS Gameplay: This is probably not a twist(er) to those who played Season Five, as we saw a worrying trend that began in Season Four take a whole new level of notoriety in Season Five. In a game that is all about smacking skeletons until they collapse, a striking meta emerges where 75% of a Four-man group are not doing it. David Brevik (you know, the guy who envisioned Diablo and worked so hard to make the game a reality) stated fondly of working on the first Diablo "I clicked on the mouse, and the warrior walked over and smacked the skeleton down. And I was like, ‘Oh my god! ...That was awesome!'" Thus was born the Action Role Playing Game, or ARPG. This quote characterizes what makes the arpg so special, and for many what their first Diablo experience was like. With this in mind, consider a situation where only one out four in a party are doing the skeleton smacking. Change might be good, but such a dramatic shift away from what seems so core to the arpg and the Diablo experience is nearing criminal. The reaction from the developers behind the game seems to be in vein with my own take on the situation, as they have mobilized en masse to try and cull this type of gameplay. Even well-known community figures admit that they only partake in it because it is the most efficient, not because it's what they enjoy. It is how to climb the leaderboards, for better or worse. Worse, really. This will likely be the most remembered aspect of Season Five looking back. Actually, strike that. The most remembered thing about Season Five, the thing that will put it down in the history books as what went right is:   
      The Win
       

      Season Five saw the purge of the Botter, and humans attaining victory. An update to Blizzard's Warden, in conjunction with well timed and decisive waves, saw the leaderboards all but purified of those who chose to break the Terms of Service by utilizing suspect third party softwares. Whether you and Brother Chris played Diablo 24/7, or you used a software which rhymes with MurboMud, or maybe plotted your trips through Sanctuary using some GPS, you probably saw the boot. While not all elicit software users were burned by the righteous fires of the purge, a great chunk saw, and thus now fear the Light. Whatever this means moving forward, the message has been sent, and the result are clear for all to see: Play by the rules, or risk consequences. Exceptionally well played on Blizzard's part with timing and deployment, the banwave has many of the jaded questioning if perhaps there is much to be said about the game after all. Excellent work to Blizzard, and I personally hope that you keep this momentum you've gained.   
       
      Conclusion:
       
      Season Five has come and gone, and with it a new legacy was born. What the full effect is still remains to be seen, but we can assess some core principles in the immediate. What we know is that like any Season, there are going to be bad aspects, and those that make us remember exactly what has us logging in again and again and again. Season Five seemed to polarize the issues, making the extremes of the bad, as well as the good, more apparent than ever. In the end there more good than bad, and this should have all fans of the franchise reaching for that mouse.
       
      Personally, I had a great time in Season Five, and I am looking forward to Season Six, which will begin as follows: 
      North America: Friday, April 29 @ 5:00 p.m. PDT Europe: Friday, April 29 @ 5:00 p.m. CEST Asia: Friday, April 29 @ 5:00 p.m. KST  
      I want to thank readers, and now that I have said my piece, I open the comment box to all of you below. Do you agree or disagree with my take? Let me know! 
       
      In the meantime, happy farming! 
    • By Realbookwurm
      Community member Meathead Mikhail regularly puts out helpful Diablo videos, and his latest covers a  very important mechanic which many players may not be aware of.
       
      I was made aware of this mechanic sometime back in 2012, but only because I am the guy who loves diving into a spreadsheet on the numbers behind a game. I also want to concede that most do not find reading up on the maths behind their favorite game quite as exciting as I do. However, since the nature of the mechanic is not referenced anywhere in the game itself, and has come about solely by the efforts of the theory-crafting community, it is still largely unknown to the player-base. 
       
      While some might see this as information for the Min/Max crowd, it is truly amazing how small tweaks like this can make your character so much more viable. I have invited many people in my life to try Diablo, and small tips such as this one have vastly improved their experience. It seems players tend to have more fun when they don't die often. Rambling aside, I am really happy to see such a quick and easy-to-understand explanation of the mechanic being made available. Thanks Meathead MIkhail!
       
      Please take the time to give it a watch, and I hope that players find this useful. I know that I have over the years! 
       
       
       
    • By Realbookwurm
      Get your cosmetic groove on with oodles of new looks coming in Patch 2.4.1!

      It is no secret that I am strongly looking forward to the new farmable cosmetic content that is due to drop with Patch 2.4.1. I even wrote a brief news about it featuring way too many caps in the title. The truth is while the game may still produce minor gripes here and there, let's not fail to celebrate that we finally are to the point with Diablo III where this type of development can take precedence. The gameplay has been tweaked, modified and perfected for nearly four years now, and the result is a patch that lets us focus on the finer things. 
       
      That isn't to say that Patch 2.4.1, and the Season 6 meta wont see totally new aspects. Many of the sets were once again tweaked, tons of legendary gems are changing, there was a massive effort from the devs to change the 1 DPS, 3 Support meta of Season 5, and even one or two massive tweaks to help out the solo players.
       
      Well if you are looking forward to the "small things" coming in the form a portrait frame made of rainbows, then check out the Cosmetics Preview that has just gone live on Battle.net. It shows a few of the items that will become attainable, including the new pet goblin and even some wings! 
       
      Don't forget to drop a comment or two in the box below and let us know what feature you are most looking forward to in Patch 2.4.1! I'm guessing the ability to wear a crab on your head is going to win any polls though... 
    • By Realbookwurm
      Well, China made my day. For more on how that statement makes sense, read this!
       
      The first step to recovery is supposed to be admitting that you have a problem. The truth is, I have a problem.
       
      It's just that I cannot stand romping through Sanctuary looking like a hot mess. There is some primal part of my being that cringes each time I swap new gear on and it throws off my Feng Shui. Luckily, my wife and closest friends understand this, and never mind affording me the extra time in town. Usually they're also busy picking out new looks. 
       
      That makes this news all the more exciting for us. Not only is the 2.4.1 PTR live, but it previews a surprising new addition to the game, farmable cosmetics! 
       
      The idea was teased with Lachdanan's Stormshield, a cosmetic item which is found in the Patch 2.4 addition, the Royal Quarters. Getting the shield unlocked a Transmog, and while many just assumed it was a one-off in Diablo nostalgia, it turned out to be a prophet of things to come. 
       
      Now to bring the header line into context, it would seem that players in the West are benefiting from the recent Asian Free-To-Play release of Diablo III, which is supported by an in-game store featuring cosmetics.
       
      It is also important to note that Blizzard is sticking to their vow to keep the store exclusive to the Asian market, and we are seeing the items added to the game in the form of free content. Well I was actually for the idea of implementing a cosmetics store-
       
      with purchasable stash space-

       
      I really applaud the way that the content is being delivered to us. For the small price of two box games, I have had thousands of hours of enjoyment, and the content continues to flow almost four years later. 
       
      Thank you Blizzard, and I suppose thank you to the Chinese market as well!
       
      Oh, and there was a cornucopia of balance changes too. Hit this link for more on the changes which are listed in the Patch Notes. I guess I was a bit carried away by the cosmetics. 
       
      Last item of interest for now is this thread over on Battle.net forums, which is documenting these changes via community effort. Thank you to Lumamaster for getting the ball rolling over there. 
       
      In the meantime, go nuts on the PTR! Also, don't forget to comment below and tell us your thoughts!