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d3 Patch 2.4.2 Is Now Live!

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The newest patch of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is now available in the Americas and will go live in other regions later today.

The main focus of Patch 2.4.2 is not adding new content, but improving the already existing one. The team targeted mostly class balance, with various changes that aim to improve the end-game and promote build diversity. For example, Wizard's Firebird's Finery set has been altered and the Spike Trap build for Demon Hunters was buffed. The biggest change was the end of the three-support end-game meta; Wyatt Cheng made an extensive post about this issue.

Some new additions are the new torment difficulties (XI - XIII), new powers to already existing legendaries, new pylon icons, crowd control changes and gold adjustments. Don't forget that all cosmetic items should now drop normally on live servers (there was an issue with three of them). Here are the full patch notes:

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GENERAL

  • Developer Comments

    • Players were finding that pulling monsters from extended ranges to a single point on the map and crowd controlling them onto that spot was the most effective strategy, especially in group play . Not only does this cause server performance issues, but it is a stagnant, non-interactive way to play. These changes are targeted at making crowd control more situational, ensuring individual contributors in a group can add to the damage of the party more frequently.
    • Gold rewards have been adjusted. The primary gold sink at the end-game is Empowered Rifts. We want to maintain a general ratio that when you are running Greater Rifts at a particular tier, you can empower approximately 1/3rd of them. Due to the rate at which gold rewards from Greater Rifts and empower costs were scaling it made the gold reward from Nephalem Rifts, Gilded Barons and The Vault feel insignificant by comparison. Lowering the growth rate of gold costs restores the relative value of these other activities while maintaining the ability to empower approximately 1/3rd of your Greater Rifts.
  • New difficulty levels, Torment XI-XIII have been added to the game

  • Gold rewards have been adjusted:

    • Greater Rift 26 and up has been rescaled to a flat 3% increase per tier
    • Torment VII-XIII has been changed to match Greater Rift reward scaling
    • The cost to empower a Greater Rift has been reduced to match the new gold reward rate
    • The amount of gold dropped by the Gilded Baron Treasure Goblin has been reduced
  • Knockbacks now apply a flat 40% increase to crowd control resistances

  • Monsters cannot be knocked back if they are over 65% crowd control resistant

  • Powers that apply knockbacks continuously, such as Black Hole, can bypass this resistance if they already knocked a monster back successfully. These powers increase the crowd control resistance by 20% per knockback instead of 40%

  • The following changes have been applied to the Season 7 Journey

    • Slayer

      • The Greater Rift requirement has been reduced from 35 to 30
    • Champion

      • The Greater Rift requirement has been reduced from 50 to 40
      • The Nephalem Rift timer has been increased from 6 minutes to 7 minutes
    • Destroyer

      • The Greater Rift requirement has been reduced from 60 to 50
    • Conqueror

      • The Greater Rift requirement has been reduced from 70 to 60
    • Guardian

      • The Greater Rift requirement has been reduced from 80 to 70
      • The time limit to defeat Azmodan has been increased from 15 seconds to 20 seconds

CLASSES

  • Developer Comments

    • With a plethora of Hatred spending attacks available to the Demon Hunter we want to find a unique role for Spike Trap.  The redesign gives players more control on where and when Spike Trap damage was done using a mechanic unique to it. Using a Hatred spender to detonate opens up the capabilities of Spike Trap by allowing players to time their damage just right.
    • We’ve adjusted several skills which provide buffs to groups. Taken together, these changes should encourage players in groups to contribute damage to their party, while also encouraging a more healthy variety of group compositions. For more information on this change please see this forum thread.
  • Barbarian

    • Active Skills

      • Threatening Shout

        • Skill Rune - Falter

          • Can no longer stack with casts from other sources
  • Crusader

    • Active Skills

      • Consecration

        • The healing provided from multiple active Consecrations will no longer stack
      • Judgment

        • Skill Rune - Resolved

          • The increased Critical Hit Chance has been reduced from 20% to 8%
      • Laws of Valor

        • Skill Rune - Critical

          • The Critical Hit Damage bonus has been reduced from 100% to 50%
  • Demon Hunter

    • Active Skills

      • Companion

        • Skill Rune - Wolf Companion

          • The Active Skill damage bonus has been reduced from 30% to 15%
      • Marked for Death

        • The damage bonus has been reduced from 20% to 15%
        • Skill Rune - Grim Reaper

          • The damage bonus has been reduced from 20% to 15%
      • Multishot

        • Skill Rune - Wind Chill

          • The increased Critical Hit Chance against the target has been reduced from 15% to 8%
      • Spike Trap

        • Has been redesigned

          • Traps no longer have an arming time
          • Traps now only detonate once
          • Now has 2 charges each with a 10 second recharge time
          • All active traps are now detonated by the next Hatred spender you cast
        • Damage increased from 340% to 1160% weapon damage

        • Hatred cost reduced from 30 to 15

        • Skill Rune - Echoing Blast

          • Damage increased from 575% to 2020% weapon damage
          • Has been redesigned
          • Enemies are now slowed by 70% when the trap is detonated
        • Skill Rune - Lightning Rod

          • Damage increased from 880% weapon damage over 10 hits to 2010% weapon damage over 3 hits
          • Decreased the radius that lightning can arc to other traps from 75 to 25 yards
        • Skill Rune - Long Fuse

          • Has been removed
          • Replaced with
          • Impaling Spines
          • While the trap is active, enemies within range are instantly immobilized for 3 seconds
          • Increases damage to 1930% weapon damage
        • Skill Rune - Scatter

          • Now places 2 traps side by side and consumes 1 charge of Spike Trap
        • Skill Rune - Sticky Trap

          • Has been removed
          • Replaced with
          • Custom Trigger
          • Your Hatred generators now detonate Spike Traps
          • Increases damage to 1900% weapon damage
  • Monk

    • Active Skills

      • Blinding Flash

        • Skill Rune - Crippling Light

          • The damage reduction applied to blinded enemies has been reduced from 40% to 25%
      • Epiphany

        • Skill Rune - Soothing Mist

          • Healing has been reduced by 60% from 40232 Life per ability to 16093 Life. The heal amount of your health globe healing bonus has been reduced from 10% to 4%
      • Exploding Palm

        • Skill Rune - Flesh is Weak

          • The damage bonus has been reduced from 20% to 15%
      • Inner Sanctuary

        • Skill Rune - Forbidden Palace

          • No longer increased the damage taken by enemies inside Inner Sanctuary
      • Mantra of Conviction

        • The damage of the passive component of the skill has been reduced from 10% to 8%
        • The damage of the active component of the skill has been reduced from 20% to 16%
        • Skill Rune - Overawe

          • The damage bonus has been reduced from 16% to 12%
      • Mantra of Conviction

        • Skill Rune - Fists of Fury

          • The maximum stack value is no longer determined by your attack speed and is capped at 15 stacks
      • Way of the Hundred Fists

        • Skill Rune – Fists of Fury

          • The maximum stack value is no longer determined by your attack speed and is capped at 15 stacks
    • Passive Skills

      • Mythic Rhythm

        • The damage bonus from Mythic Rhythm is now consumed on manually applied Spirit spenders and not automatically from items or set bonuses.
  • Witch Doctor

    • Active Skills

      • Big Bad Voodoo

        • The attack speed bonus has been reduced from 20% to 15%
        • Skill Rune - Slam Dance

          • The damage bonus provided to allies has been decreased from 30% to 15%
      • Haunt

        • Skill Rune - Poisoned Spirit

          • The damage increase provided to your allies has been removed. The skill will now benefit your own damage and your pets' damage
      • Hex

        • No longer increases the damage taken by the target
        • Skill Rune - Jinx

          • The damage bonus to the target has been reduced from 30% to 15%
        • Skill Rune - Toad of Hugeness

          • The damage bonus to the target has been reduced from 25% to 15%
      • Mass Confusion

        • Skill Rune - Paranoia

          • Can no longer stack with casts from other sources
      • Piranhas

        • Can no longer stack with casts from other sources
      • Spirit Barrage

        • Skill Rune - Phantasm

          • Damage increased from 675% over 5 seconds to 750% over 5 seconds
      • Summon Zombie Dogs

        • Skill Rune - Chilled to the Bone

          • No longer increases damage done to targets by 15%
  • Wizard

    • Active Skills

      • Arcane Orb

        • Skill Rune - Spark

          • The damage increase of your next Lightning spell now has a maximum of 30%
      • Energy Twister

        • Twisters (excluding those created with the Wicked Wind rune) will now despawn if they stop moving
        • This applies only to the PC/Mac version
    • Passive Skills

      • Elemental Exposure

        • The damage bonus no longer applies to your allies
      • Power Hungry

        • Has been redesigned

          • Deal 30% additional damage to enemies more than 30 yards away
  • Bug Fixes

    • Fixed an issue that prevented Ray of Frost - Black Ice from creating an ice patch when the player didn't land the killing blow
    • Fixed an issue that prevented the maximum of 8 Energy Twisters from applying
    • Fixed an issue that was causing stacks of Archon from a previous cast due to The Swami to stack multiplicatively instead of additively with a subsequent, overlapping cast of Archon
    • Fixed an issue that prevented Wolf Companion’s active ability from applying the 15% damage buff to pets and followers

ITEMS

  • Developer Comments

    • With Haedrig’s Gift, Blood Shards and Kanai’s Cube, the need for the Magic Find stat has diminished since the game’s original release. Replacing the Magic Find property with Resource Cost Reduction made sense. We expect the Topaz will hone some existing builds and open up possibilities for some new ones.
    • In addition to being one of the least popular gems, Invigorating Gemstone had a mechanic that was simply unappealing to many players. Our goal with Legendary Gems is to supply unique tools that complement a build. A gem that increases your healing is truly invigorating!
    • When reviewing items for this patch, Twisted Sword stood out as needing a revision. While we want items to feel powerful, we also want the gameplay style associated with the items to be fun. We heard loud and clear that using Twisted Sword to stack Energy Twister in places where the tornado did not move was effective but boring. We’ve made adjustments to Twisted Sword to prevent this from occurring.
  • Socketing a Topaz into your helm will now provide Resource Cost Reduction rather than Magic Find. This grants the same percentage bonus as Cooldown Reduction and caps at 12.5%

  • Bottomless Potion of Chaos

    • New Legendary Potion

      • Teleport to another location when used below 40% health
    • Graphical and sound effects have been added to the teleport

    • Added a camera smoothing effect to the teleport

  • Invigorating Gemstone

    • Has been redesigned

      • Each hit done increases healing received by 1% for 5 seconds
      • Stacks up to 10 times
      • You are now immune to Crowd Control effects at Rank 25
  • Class-Specific Items

    • Crusader

      • Armor of Akkhan

        • (6) Set Bonus

          • Damage bonus increased from 450% to 600%
          • Now also reduces damage taken by 15% while Akarat's Champion is active
        • Khassett’s Cord of Righteousness

          • New Legendary Belt
          • Fist of the Heavens costs 40% less Wrath and deals 150% more damage
        • Darklight

          • Has been redesigned
          • Now gives Fist of the Heavens a chance to be cast a second time at the targeted location
    • Thorns of the Invoker

      • (6) Set Bonus

        • The 800% Thorns damage dealt to the first enemy hit can now benefit from +% Physical Damage
    • Demon Hunter

      • Calamity

        • Now always uses your Marked for Death Rune type and cannot stack with overlapping casts of your Marked for Death

          • Note: This change is retroactive to existing items
      • The Demon's Demise

        • Has been redesigned

          • The blast from Spike Trap will damage all enemies again after 1 second.
    • Monk

      • Gyana Na Kashu

        • The damage bonus granted to the fireball from Lashing Tail Kick has been increased from 525-700% to 1050-1400%
      • Raiment of a Thousand Storms

        • (6) Set Bonus

          • The damage bonus granted to Spirit Generators after casting Dashing Strike increased from 300% to 1250%
    • Witch Doctor

      • Helltooth Harness

        • (2) Set Bonus

          • The Necrosis bonus damage no longer amplifies the damage of your allies. The skill will now benefit your own damage and your pets' damage
      • Homunculus

        • Sacrifice damage bonus increased from 25-30% to 50-60%
      • Ring of Emptiness

        • Haunt and Locust Swarm damage bonus increased from 75-100% to 250-300%
    • Wizard

      • Firebird's Finery

        • (4) Set Bonus

          • Has been redesigned
          • Dealing Fire damage with one of your skills causes the enemy to take 1000% weapon damage as Fire for 3 seconds. This effect can be repeated a second and third time by different skills. If an enemy is burning due to three different skills simultaneously the enemy will Ignite, dealing 3000% weapon damage per second until they die
        • (6) Set Bonus

          • Has been redesigned
          • Your damage is increased by 120% and damage taken reduced by 3% for each enemy that is Ignited. This effect can stack up to 20 times. You always receive the maximum bonus whenever a nearby Elite monster is Ignited.
      • The Twisted Sword

        • Can now only benefit from a maximum of 5 Energy Twisters
    • Several existing class-specific 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.
      • Barbarian

        • Girdle of Giants

          • Legendary power added
          • Seismic Slam Increases Earthquake damage by 80-100% for 15 3 seconds.
          • Existing Earthquakes will have their damage increased when Seismic Slam is used with Girdle of Giants
      • Demon Hunter

        • Trag'Oul Coils

          • Legendary power added
          • Spike Traps gain the effect of the Impaling Spines rune and are deployed twice as fast
      • Monk

        • Scarbringer

          • Legendary power added
          • Lashing Tail Kick deals an additional 300% damage to the first 5-7 enemies hit
      • Witch Doctor

        • Gazing Demise

          • Legendary power added
          • Spirit Barrage gains the Phantasm rune. For each active Phantasm (max 3), the damage of Spirit Barrage is increased by 40-50%
      • Wizard

        • Starfire

          • Legendary power added
          • Lightning damage done is increased by 15% for every 10 yards you are from the target up to a maximum of 60%
  • Bug Fixes

    • Fixed an issue that prevented the buff from the Orb of the Infinite from being applied if the damage killed the enemy
    • Fixed an issue that caused the Firebird's Finery (2) Set Bonus to proc early if there was another damage shield on the player
    • Fixed an issue that caused the Treasure Goblin spawned by the legacy Puzzle Ring to pick up Transmog items
    • Fixed an issue that caused Girdle of Giants to increase the damage of all skills by the percentage it applied to Earthquake damage
    • Fixed an issue that caused Scarbringer to grant a damage bonus of 200%. It has been increased to 300% to match the tooltip
    • Fixed an issue that caused Lashing Tail Kick (Vulture Claw Kick) DoT to not benefit from the bonus damage granted by Scarbringer
    • Fixed an issue that caused the Fireball proc from Gyana Na Kashu to not do damage to a target if the target has previously been hit with the amplified damage of Lashing Tail Kick from Scarbringer
    • Fixed an issue that caused Lashing Tail Kick – Vulture Claw Kick to give all targets the amplified damage from Scarbringer instead of the first 5-7 hit
    • Fixed an issue that caused Lashing Tail Kick - Vulture Kick to apply 230% weapon damage per second instead of 230% over 3 seconds
    • Fixed an issue that prevented Bracers of Destruction’s Seismic Slam bonus damage from being applied to the Rumble rune
    • Fixed an issue with Blade of the Warlord that prevented the Fury spent with Bash from triggering the 2-piece Might of the Earth set bonus and reducing the cooldown of Earthquake, Ground Stomp, Leap, and Avalanche
    • Fixed an issue that prevented Kyoshiro’s Soul from activating the 4pc Set bonus from the Monkey King’s Garb set
    • Fixed an issue that prevented the Sweeping Wind bonus provided by Kyoshiro’s Soul from expiring after transitioning between level areas
    • Fixed an issue that caused the old and new versions of Darklight to each proc their special ability when one was equipped and the other was used in Kanai’s Cube
    • Fixed an issue that was causing player attack speed to snapshot and dynamically update along with their stacks of Archon
    • Fixed an issue that caused the Archon buff icon to remain even after players had right clicked and removed the buff granted by the Swami 

CAMPAIGN MODE

  • The Skeleton King will now drop Leoric's Crown beginning at Level 5

ADVENTURE MODE

  • Developer Comments

    • The experience rewards for the actual completion of a Nephalem Rift felt too low, reducing the feeling of accomplishment for defeating the Rift Guardian and closing the Rift. This change is aimed at ensuring that the bulk of your reward is earned upon completion.
  • Infernal Machine drop rates have been adjusted:

    • Torment levels V-XIII have an increasing chance for a second machine to drop
    • There is now a 50% chance for a machine to drop on Torment I increasing to 100% on Torment IV
  • Nephalem Rifts

    • Greater Rift Keys are now guaranteed from any Nephalem Rift and increasing the difficulty now increases your chance of getting a second or third key
    • Greater Rifts

      • Some of the Experience earned in a Greater Rift has been shifted from killing monsters to the reward for closing the rift. The overall amount of Experience earned should be roughly the same

USER INTERFACE

  • Pylons in Nephalem Rifts now have unique minimap icons

  • A hotkey has been added to the game to hide the UI

  • When the Blacksmith is trained to maximum level his recipe list will now start collapsed

  • The Menagerist Goblin now has a unique minimap icon

(source)

Lastly, the new Season will go live this Friday, 5th of August. We will have a summary for Season 7 and we will announce our new and/or updated guides within the same date.

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      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! 
       
       
    • By Realbookwurm
      East, Always... into the East. -Marius in Diablo II
       
      Well an interesting piece of Free-to-Play Diablo culture has just crept into our collective laps! 
       
      I would imagine that many Diablo 3 players, such as myself, are extremely curious about the "other" Diablo. The other Diablo being the totally Free-to-Play version made for the Chinese market. Many of us have heard the tales of being able to buy stash space, or a set of crazy wings. Well, Reddit user Apspd has managed to provide the Diablo community with some detailed pictures of the mythical shop. 
       
      What will probably strike many of you is the radically different look that most of the cosmetics have from those which we have in the paid Diablo. The wings, pennants and portrait frames look foreign (probably not a pun) and interesting. AIt is always the allure of what you cannot have I suppose.
       
      The original Reddit thread can be found here and I have linked the albums containing all the images below. 
       
      Wings
      Stash and XP Boost
      Pets, Pennants and Portraits Oh My!
       
      So what do you, the players, think about these transactions being offered? Would you happily throw money at the screen to have this option? Let us know in the comments below!