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d3 Patch 2.4.3 PTR Now Available

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Diablo PTR servers were updated with a new patch. It brings a pre-cursor event to the 20th Anniversary Event that was announced at BlizzCon and we'll be eventually able to test out the entire event soon. 

The patch also brings improvements to the Greater Rift experience, class changes, items and overall improvements of Diablo III's quality of life.

How can I participate?

If you're interested in testing out the new patch, you only need to have a license attached to your account in good standing (no bans/suspensions). Here are some links to help you out

Blizzard LogoBlizzard Entertainment

GENERAL

  • New Feature: 20th Anniversary Event
    • A mysterious group of Cultists is stirring up trouble! Hunt them down in Adventure Mode to uncover clues that reveal a portal into Tristram’s past, and rediscover the terrifying darkness that took hold of the town so many years ago…
    • This event is only available in January
      • Please note that the anniversary event features a pre-cursor event

      • This will start a few hours before the rest of the event is available on the PTR

  • Hardware Support
    • Support has been added for the Corsair Utility Engine (CUE) SDK and Razer peripherals
      • Supported backlit keyboards will respond to certain in-game situations like Legendary and Set item drops, characters leveling up, and more
    • Players will need to update their firmware for supported devices to use this feature

CLASSES

  • Barbarian
    • Overpower
      • Now has 3 charges
      • Cooldown per charge remains 12 seconds with a chance to be reduced slightly by critical strikes
  • Bug Fixes
    • Fixed an issue which caused Wave of Light to sometimes fail to deal damage when players were under the effect of Epiphany
    • Fixed a bug which prevented a Hydra from being spawned when two Mirror Images attempted to cast Summon Hydra at the same time
    • Fixed an issue which caused the active effect of Earth Ally and Fire Ally to not benefit from Attacks Per Second or +Mystic Ally damage

ITEMS

  • Class Specific Items
    • New items have been added to the game
      • Crusader
        • Armor of Akkhan
          • Talisman of Akkhan (Amulet)
            • Has been added as a 7th piece to Armor of Akkhan
            • The set’s current bonuses and powers remain the same
          • This amulet will always roll with Critical Hit Chance in addition to 3 other random affixes
    • Some 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
        • Saffron Wrap
          • The damage of your next Overpower is increased by 40-50% for each enemy hit, up to a maximum of 20 enemies
      • Crusader
        • Faithful Memory
          • Each enemy hit by Falling Sword increases the damage of Blessed Hammer by 50-60% for 5 seconds
      • Demon Hunter
        • Hellcat Waistguard
          • Grenades have a chance to bounce 3-5 times, dealing an additional 50% damage on each bounce
          • This bonus is increased to 800% on the final bounce
          • The following skills are affected by this power:
            • Cluster Arrow – Dazzling Arrow, Cluster Bombs, Loaded for Bear, and No Rune
            • Rain of Vengeance – Anathema
            • Strafe – Demolition
            • Rapid Fire – Bombardment
      • Monk
        • Rabid Strike
          • Spirit spenders that teleport you while Epiphany is active are also mimicked on a distant target for free
      • Witch Doctor
        • The Barber
          • Spirit Barrage no longer deals direct damage but instead absorbs the damage as charges
          • After the target has not absorbed Spirit Barrage damage for 1.5 seconds or dies, the charges detonate doing damage to all enemies within 15 yards
          • Damage is increased by 15-20% per charge
      • Wizard
        • Manald Heal
          • Lightning damage done by your Arcane spenders does an additional 20-25% of the damage over 5 seconds
          • This damage-over-time effect can be refreshed by additional Lightning damage and stacks
    • The functionality of some items has changed
      • Crusader
        • Defender of Westmarch
          • Can no longer summon a wolf more than once per second
          • Damage done by the wolf is increased for each block made during the interim
      • Witch Doctor
        • Jeram's Bracers
          • The minimum level for this item to drop has changed from 12 to 31 in order to match the level at which Wall of Death unlocks
  • Bug Fixes
    • Hellfire Amulet
      • Fixed an issue where Fetishes spawned by this item with the Fetish Sycophants passive would not reduce the cooldown of Big Bad Voodoo correctly when Starmetal Kukri was equipped
    • Illusory Boots
      • Will now properly allow Crusaders using Steed Charge to pass through walls
    • Flail of the Ascended
      • Now takes into account +Shield Bash affix bonuses in its damage
      • Damage stacks will now persist when changing gear and picking up items
    • Fixed an issue which sometimes caused cosmetic pets to be dismissed unintentionally, requiring the player to resummon them through the collections UI
    • Fixed a bug causing transmogrify options to not properly unlock sometimes when first acquiring an item which grants a new transmogrify option
    • Fixed a bug which caused the buff from the Legendary item Ahvarion, Spear of Lycander to end when changing floors in a Greater Rift
    • Fixed an issue which caused the Bones cosmetic pet to incorrectly produce sound when players interacted with some user interface elements
    • Fixed an issue which caused +Elemental damage bonuses on weapons to override the damage bonus granted to Ancient Spear by Skular’s Salvation and its elemental type
    • Fixed an issue which allowed Necrosis damage from the Helltooth Harness set to be reflected back by some enemies onto Witch Doctors using projectiles like Poison Dart

SEASONS

  • Season Journey
    • The Destroyer and Guardian tiers of the Season Journey will no longer require players to augment an Ancient Legendary item using level 30 or higher and level 40 or higher Legendary gems, respectively
    • Along with this, the Conqueror tier now requires players to augment one Ancient Legendary item using a Legendary Gem at level 50 or higher

ADVENTURE MODE

  • Bounties
    • The number of enemy kills required to complete the following Bounties has been reduced
      • Kill Aloysius
      • Kill Axegrave
      • Kill Bholen
      • Kill Captain Donn Adams
      • Kill The Crusher
  • Rifts
    • The Cesspools map has been adjusted
      • Enemy density and overall map size have been reduced
      • This area can now appear as the starting dungeon in Rifts and Greater Rifts
  • Greater Rifts
    • We have made a number of changes to improve the play experience of Greater Rifts
      • Monsters should now be more evenly distributed on each floor in Greater Rifts
      • The size of each floor in a Greater Rift is now more consistent
        • On average, a rift should take between two and four floors to clear
      • There is no longer an increased chance to see the same tile set when you venture down a floor in a Greater Rift
      • There is now a guaranteed area at the entrance of each floor with no monsters
        • This area is just large enough for ranged characters to maneuver
      • Several additional monster types can now appear as Champions and Elites
    • The stacking effect of the following is now cleared upon entering a Greater Rift
      • The items Lord Greenstone’s Fan, Fortress Ballista and Flail of the Ascended
      • The skills Arcane Dynamo and Mythic Rhythm
  • Greed’s Realm
    • The portal to Greed’s Realm will now close 60 seconds after opening Greed’s chest
    • With this, players may now open multiple portals to the realm in a single game
  • Zones
    • The waypoint for Pandemonium Fortress Level 2 in Adventure Mode has been moved from the entrance to the midpoint of the level in order to provide quicker access to some bounties
      • With this change, bounties requiring you to kill unique enemies will only spawn these enemies in the first half of the dungeon, and all monsters on the map will contribute to bounty progress
  • Bug Fixes
    • Fixed an issue preventing the scene for Bounty: Research Problems from spawning
    • Fixed bugs that led to large open areas with no monsters in some rooms in Greater Rifts, which was especially common near the entrance to certain floors

MONSTERS

  • Enemies
    • Quality of life improvements have been made to enemies
      • Several enemies that leap at the player can now be killed in mid-air, including Winged Assassins, Punishers, Lacuni Huntresses, and Burrowing Leapers
      • Several enemies that can become un-attackable, such as Sandsharks, Snakemen, and Rockworms now spend more time vulnerable. When these enemies do burrow or stealth, they no longer remain in this state for more than 3 seconds
      • In addition, emerging Rockworms now always show ground cracks to help attentive players avoid their initial attack
  • Enemy Affixes
    • Shielding
      • Will now be cancelled immediately if the shielded monster is the last remaining monster in a pack
    • Reflects Damage
      • Now fires a projectile instead of instantly dealing damage to the player
      • The warning duration for this affix has been reduced from 2 seconds to 1, and its active duration has been reduced from 6 seconds to 4
    • Electrified
      • Crawling lightning generated by this affix now pierces, allowing it to damage multiple targets in succession
    • Juggernaut
      • New enemy affix
        • Juggernaut monsters are permanently immune to crowd control effects, but move more slowly than normal monsters
        • Only a rare Elite enemy can be a Juggernaut
    • Bug Fixes
      • Fixed an issue which caused Winged Assassins to sometimes travel across the ground instead of through the air when leaping
      • Fixed an issue which prevented Greater Rift Guardians from reliably teleporting to players when they spawned more than a few screens away
      • Fixed an issue which sometimes cause Rift Guardians to spawn in a location where they couldn’t be targeted

BOSSES

  • Belial
    • Now transitions more swiftly between his normal and larger version boss phases

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Bug Fixes
    • Fixed the wording on the “Socket To Me” achievement to clarify that socketing only one gem is required

QUALITY OF LIFE

  • Dyes
    • Can now be accessed through a new tab at the Mystic
      • This includes Collector’s Edition dyes
    • With this change, dyes will no longer be sold by vendors
  • Bug Fixes
    • Fixed display and text issues with some skills and items
    • Fixed an issue causing keybind issues when the UI was hidden
    • Fixed a bug which caused Followers to sometimes become idle in combat
    • Fixed an issue which prevented Followers from being dismissed while they were incapacitated in battle
    • Fixed an issue which allowed pets and Followers to be attacked immediately after exiting a portal

(Source)

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Holy damn. Imagine Rabid Strikes on a Ulliana build.

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15 hours ago, Valhalen said:

Holy damn. Imagine Rabid Strikes on a Ulliana build.

Would love to see how far it copies it, would it be one strike, 7 strikes, 14? 

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"This event is only available in January"
So, after January it'll be removed? That's disappointing.

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5 hours ago, DasBigHippo said:

"This event is only available in January"
So, after January it'll be removed? That's disappointing.

It will happen every January.

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9 hours ago, Blainie said:

It will happen every January.

Still disappointing, but understandable.

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6 hours ago, DasBigHippo said:

Still disappointing, but understandable.

Yeah, they need to do something to at least keep it "special" I guess. If it was there permanently, it would be forgotten in a few months max.

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    • By Realbookwurm
      A look at the legacy of Season Five, and how it has shaped the game.
      What will we think of when looking back at Season Five?
       
      Another Season has come to pass in Sanctuary, and with it some pretty massive revelations. We saw a rise in certain playstyles, reactions from Devs, changes in Team Diablo, No-Boss runs, Banwave after Banwave, and even new ways to play the game.
       
      So what is the lasting impact of Diablo Season Five?
       
      Disclaimer: This post is purely the opinion of the author, Realbookwurm, and is intended to review from the broad community perspective what Season Five was like to many players. Many arguments here have subjective components, and as such should not be taken as fact. Your mileage or experience probably varied. 
       
      Let us start with the bad, and work our way to the good stuff, since there is a lot more that Season Five has done to impact the game positively than negatively.
       
      The Ugly
       

      Set Dungeons: While the concept is novel, the execution and reality did not meet the standards of the community by-and-large. Born as an attempt to give players a specific goal, something which Diablo often lacks, the idea was sound. Why not create a scenario where players can demonstrate mastery of a Set's mechanics, and even be rewarded in game for the their efforts? Well, the schism between great idea and the reality is probably most related to the actual objectives of the dungeons. Some set dungeons were quite easy to grasp and execute, the Immortal King's Dungeon for an example. Others suffered from mechanics that were unclear, counter-intuitive or just plain at the mercy of RNG. Firebird's Finery Dungeon asked players to die on purpose. Shadow's Mantle Dungeon gave an objective that failed players for consecutive hits on an enemy. Jade Harvester Dungeon gave you invisible enemies, and penalised you for not killing them. Wrath of the Wastes Dungeon put you in a Melee build and told you not to take ANY physical damage. The number of dungeons which seemed to nail it were small, and the ones that frustrated players seemed numerous.  
      Power Creep: While this is always present, Season Five saw an unprecedented leap forward in the average player's experience. From people doubling their highest Greater Rift, to Paragons running into the thousands, the whole game now has a higher bar set. There were many reported situations of public groups that would kick people for "only being Paragon 800" or similar. Players in groups cleared Greater Rifts well past the 105 mark, while solo saw numbers in the 90s. Season 4 had not even saw the group move past 90, so seeing people now doing it alone has really driven this point home. 
      Paragon Disparity: This point is substantially tied to the previous issue, but deserves a special nod, as many player find themselves on one side of the divide or the other. The group meta saw legitimate players spanning well into several thousand paragons, and on the flip side any number of posts in r/Diablo's reddit detailing solo player journeys saw people hitting new highs in the hundreds. While many were not directly affected by this divide, the solo leaderboards closed in a stranglehold not from the Solo players themselves, but instead were mainly comprised of group players who then leveraged their superior paragons and gear in order to also dominate in this area. 
      No-Boss Runs: This one was saved for last on this list, because it is a bridge between the two previous issues listed, and The Worst issue which is near the end of this editorial. While it was not a new idea, the prevalence of this phenomenon in Season Five had new levels of impact. The idea behind a No-Boss Runs is that players in a group (or even solo) run an extremely high greater rift level (usually higher than could actually be cleared) and play up until the rift guardian is spawned. Players then exit the game and make a new rift, repeating the procedure. The result is massive amounts of XP gained, lending handily to the paragon disparity. Since the rift guardian is usually the bulk of time spent in a rift, and nets significantly less experience per time spent comparative to the rest of the rift, this practice born of pragmatism characterized greater rift pushing this season.   
       
      The Bad
       

      Lost Devs: This season saw the departure of many strongly talented figures from Team Diablo, and while some could potentially return, others are lost for good. How this will affect the game moving forward remains to be seen, but the figures lost were those who had direct and observable impact on the game as a whole.
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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! 
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      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.  

       
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      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!