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d3 Developer Insights: Behind the Goblin Giggle

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Ever wondered how the trademark laughter of our favourite Sanctuary loot hoarders was created?

We love these insights on how Diablo III was created: they show what makes Blizzard a great company. Who hasn't excitedly yelled "GOBLIN!" after hearing its characteristic giggle? In a dedicated blog post, it is explained how the sounds of the Sanctuary were generally created, what is unique about the goblin sound and how it fit with the overall dark theme of the Diablo universe.

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"Whee-hee!” It’s a natural reaction. The moment you hear that high-pitched, maniacal giggle, you have to track down its source. In an instant, you know by the sound of that mischievous squeal that untold treasures await. No matter the peril in your way, you will track it down and claim its hoard. That adrenaline rush all starts with a sound.

Sound design can too often go unrecognized. Every clang of a sword, rustle of foliage, and mystical hum of arcane power in Diablo III was carefully and lovingly crafted. In order to lend some insight as to how these auditory punctuations are put together, we want to share the story behind one of our most iconic sound-driven features: the Treasure Goblin.

The General Process

Behind every monster noise and combat clang, there’s a process. Ordinarily, teams like game design and art will place requests for sound design based on what the game needs. This might be anything from a Legendary power to a new monster and their combat noises. Then begins an experimentation process that’s become more gut instinct than step-by-step procedure for our experienced and well-oiled sound design team.

“We’ve built such trust over the years that we typically just start working on stuff,” Sound Design Supervisor Seph Lawrence says, fondly looking back on the twelve years of work he’s poured into Sanctuary. Different tasks get assigned out to the team of sound designers and each artist takes their own individual initiative to bring the game to life.

Approaches vary widely, but it always begins with taking a look at the clues the rest of the development team has provided. For example, when designing sounds for a monster, it’s best to start with other developed content like story and lore, concept art or 3D models, or combat abilities. In order to narrow in on what details might be needed, the sound team begins to ask questions like, “How big is it? What’s the creature made of? Is it fleshy or made of bone? Does it spew liquid? Is it a watery liquid or more like a goo? What’s its home environment like?” The inquiries can be endless, but sometimes, even they may not be enough, and the artist pulls from their imagination to fill in the blanks.

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An enemy looks really different when you think about how it sounds.

From there, a designer can delve into either an exhaustive library of original sound effects to put something together or acquire recordings of relevant sounds. This can be accomplished either by reproducing sound effects in a recording setting, or voice-over for more vocalized needs. Most often, it is a combination of all three; manipulating, layering, and mixing them together to create something new, unique, and memorable.

On Goblins and Gold Piles

While this general process for sound design applies to most of the sounds you hear in Sanctuary, the Treasure Goblin proved to be an entirely different beast. How quickly and serendipitously his sounds came together is what truly makes him special.

The Treasure Goblin was a later addition to Diablo III. When the sound team was presented with his art, there was some trepidation in the need to tackle “yet another bi-pedal monster.” So they asked, “What makes him unique? What is the best detail to hone in on?” Ultimately, the trademark grin on every Goblin’s face revealed a conniving vibe.

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The development team was eager to get a placeholder into the game, so Seph took to the recording booth to experiment. “I wasn’t trying to make the final stuff,” he swears, shrugging helplessly. “It just kind of ended up that way.” Through a series of laughs, guttural giggles, and playful exclamations, the core feel for the goblin came together quickly.

The sounds that Seph produced in the recording studio went over to Michael Johnson, who is now also a Sound Design Supervisor. He processed the raw audio, playing with tonality and pitching up Seph’s performance. Ordinarily, for a darker, more horror-oriented game like Diablo, this technique would be avoided as it has a tendency to produce a cartoony result. For some reason, this direction just worked for the Treasure Goblin and the rest of the development team loved it.

The Treasure Goblin was the result of a perfect storm made up of instinct, experimentation, and a lack of fear in the final product. The team didn’t get tied up in perfectionism; they entered the realm of improvisation and riffed until it just felt right. With the emotional response this little guy evokes before he’s even seen on screen, it’s hard to argue with the results.

Leaving Lasting Impressions

Diablo has a very unique sound to it. Senior Sound Designer David Rovin explains that the goal is to be darker and more organic overall. “We avoid things like delay echoes or things that sound particularly ‘sci-fi.’” That said, despite his comical nature, the Treasure Goblin surprisingly fit in well to this auditory aesthetic, introducing a brief moment of humor and whimsy to the otherwise bleak and dark tone of Sanctuary.

What’s your first reaction when you hear a Goblin giggle? Are there any other sounds in Diablo that give you a gut reaction? Tell us your favorites in the comments below and the next time you’re out running bounties or Rifts, open your ears and listen a little more closely to the sounds of Sanctuary.

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Awesome.  I love to hear that trademark giggle as I know I'm going to get me some loot!

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    • By Stan

      This week's Necromancer Beta build brings many tweaks to Necromancer abilities, passives, runes and Legendary item affixes.
      Check out the latest changes to Necromancer abilities, passives, Set bonuses and Legendary affixes!
      Please note that participation in the Necromancer beta test is by invitation to ensure focused feedback and a smooth testing experience. See here for more details. Full patch notes of this week's build can be found below.
      NOTE: Red text indicates a change between the last and live patch notes.
      Blizzard (Source)
      PTR Patch 2.6.0 - v2.6.0.45704
      Below you'll find the preliminary notes for Patch 2.6.0, including the Necromancer beta. Please note that this isn't the final version and that some changes may not be documented or described in full detail.
      Please note that content availability during the beta will vary depending on testing needs.
      TABLE OF CONTENTS:
      General Classes Items Adventure Mode Achievements Monsters PTR Only GENERAL
      New Feature: Challenge Rifts Explore new builds created by fellow players in a weekly static dungeon. You can access these through the main screen, similar to Adventure Mode and Campaign Mode. Note: New Challenge Rifts may be available more frequently during the beta. CLASSES
      New Class: Necromancer As a master of the dark arts, you wield the powers of life and death necessary to restore the Balance! Necromancers are powerful spell casters who lay waste to their enemies using curses and reanimation—along with an obedient cadre of pets. This new class employs a controlled gameplay style using the raw materials of life: blood and bone. Necromancer Skills Army of the Dead Base Rune Raise a massive skeletal army to pummel the targeted location dealing 3,000% 12,000% weapon damage in a 15 yard radius Frozen Army Weapon damage increased to 3,600% 12,000% and they attack all enemies in a line Dead Storm Raise a storm of the dead that surround you damaging enemies for 2,000% 15,500% weapon damage over 5 seconds Unconventional Warfare Damage increased to 50,000% total weapon damage Catatonic Grasp Has been renamed to Blighted Grasp Has been redesigned Skeletal hands raise from the ground damaging enemies within 15 yards for 14,000% total weapon damage as Poison over 5 seconds Bone Armor Harvest of Anguish Now deals Cold damage instead of Physical Dislocation Now deals Poison damage instead of Physical Limited Immunity Now begins its cooldown once the immunity effect ends Bone Prison Bone Spear, Bone Spikes and Bone Spirit have a 10% 30% chance to trap enemies in a Bone Prison for 3 seconds Bone Spear This skill should now more reliably hit targets, especially moving targets Command Skeletons Kill Command Now commands your skeletons to explode, dealing 80% 215% weapon damage to enemies within 15 yards The active ability for this skill now lasts until the target dies or you change the target of your command Skeletons summoned after issuing the command will also attack the target Corpse Explosion Base Rune Target an area exploding all corpses within 11 yards dealing 150% 250% 350% weapon damage to enemies within 20 yards Close Quarters Explodes corpses close to you, dealing 200% 325% weapon damage to enemies within 20 yards Corpse Lance Base Rune Target an enemy to summon projectiles from nearby corpses that cause 750% 900% 1750% weapon damage to the target The attack rate for all runes has been increased Land of the Dead Base Rune All corpse skills can be used at will for 5 10 seconds Skeletal Mage Contamination Raise a contaminated mage that channels an aura of decay for 175% 100% weapon damage for its duration. Necromancer Passives Blood for Blood Picking up a health globe removes the health cost of the next Blood spell. This effect can stack up to 3 10 times. Blood Is Power Has been redesigned After cumulatively losing 100% of your maximum Life, all ability cooldowns are reduced by 20%. This effect cannot reduce an ability’s cooldown more than once for each time that ability is used. Dark Reaping While using a scythe gain 1% 2% Essence and Life per kill Final Service When this passive successfully prevents death, the Necromancer is immune to incoming damage for 4 seconds This passive does not require active pets to prevent death and grant immunity Instead of immediately consuming all pets, this passive will grant 10% health per pet until the Necromancer is at 100% health Serration Bone Spikes, Bone Spear and Bone Spirit deal 1% increased damage for every 2 yards between you, up to a maximum of 15% 20% Wizard Skills Mirror Image Simulacrum This rune has been renamed to "Hard Light" Bug Fixes Decay Golem Fixed an issue where Decay golem was not benefiting from the unlimited corpses granted by Land of the Dead Fixed a bug where the visuals for Army of the Dead: Unconventional Warfare were not being played Fixed an issue where damage bonuses from the player’s attack speed were not being applied to the Skeletal Archer and Contamination runes on Skeletal Mage Fixed an issue that caused Siphon Blood to continue to deal damage to enemies when they were invisible or untargetable Fixed a bug where Devour – Ruthless did not correctly restore 10 Essence per pet consumed ITEMS
      General Scythes and Phylacteries are now sold by some of the vendors throughout the world Legendary Items Funeral Pick Siphon Blood drains blood from 2 additional targets Trag’oul’s Corroded Fang The Cursed Scythe rune for Grim Scythe now has a 100% chance to apply a curse and increases your damage against cursed enemies by 175-200% Scythe of the Cycle Your Secondary skills deal 250-300% additional damage while Bone Armor is active but reduce the remaining duration of Bone Armor by 3 seconds Dreadgolem Spike Maltorius’ Petrified Spike Bone Spear now costs 40 Essence and deals 125-150% 375-450% additional damage Bloodtide Blade Death Nova deals 15-20% 20-30% increased damage for every enemy within 10 15 yards Note: The previous damage range listed (125-150%) was incorrect Reilena’s Shadowhook Bone Spikes generates an additional 2-4 2-5 Essence for each enemy hit and grants 0.5% increased damage for every point of maximum Essence you have Death’s Scythe Nayr’s Black Death Each different Poison skill you use increases the damage of your Poison skills by 75-100% 50-65% for 15 seconds Spear of Jesseth Jairo Your Thorns is increased by 10-15% for every enemy afflicted by one of your curses Lost Time Your Cold skills reduce the movement speed of enemies by 30%. In addition, your movement speed is increased by 4-5% for 5 seconds. Maximum 5 stacks. Bone Ringer The damage bonus of Command Skeletons is increased by 25-30% each second while active Leger’s Disdain Grim Scythe deals an additional 7-10% damage for each point of essence it restores Iron Rose Attacking with Siphon Blood while at full life has a 15-25% 40-50% chance to cast a free Blood Nova The Johnstone Each corpse consumed in Land of the Dead increases your damage by 10% for 8-10 seconds after it ends Each corpse consumed in Land of the Dead grants a stack of Macabre Knowledge. Macabre Knowledge increases the damage of Corpse Lance and Corpse Explosion by 150-200% while outside Land of the Dead. Haunted Visions Simulacrum now drains 10-15% of your maximum life every second and lasts twice as long Wisdom of Kalan Increases the maximum number of Bone Armor stacks by 5 Bloodsong Mail While in Land of the Dead, Command Skeletons gains the effect of all runes and deals 100-125% increased damage Requiem Cereplate Devour restores an additional 75-100% Essence and Life. In addition, when Devour restores Essence or Life above your maximum, the excess is granted over 3 seconds Mask of Scarlet Death Revive consumes all corpses to raise a single minion that does an additional 125 – 150% damage per corpse Fate’s Vow After consuming 15-20 corpses you unleash a free Death Nova Army of the Dead gains the effect of the Unconventional Warfare rune Moribund Gauntlets Your Golem has a 10-15% chance to shed a corpse when it is hit by an enemy Your Golem sheds a corpse every second Grasps of Essence When an exploded corpse damages at least one enemy, your Corpse Explosion deals 75-100% increased damage for 6 seconds, stacking up to 5 times Golemskin Breaches Your Golem’s damage is increased by 100-125% and you take 25% 30% less damage while you are within 18 yards of it it is alive Defiler Cuisses Your Bone Spirit’s damage is increased by 75-100% for every second it is active Steuart’s Greaves You gain 40-50% increased movement speed for 2 seconds after using Blood Rush Bryner’s Journey Bone Spikes has a 10-15% 20-30% chance to cast a Bone Nova at the target location Dayntee’s Binding Decrepify gains an additional 20-30% damage reduction for attacks against you You gain an additional 40-50% damage reduction when there is an enemy afflicted by your Decrepify Razeth’s Volition Skeletal Mage gains the effect of the Gift of Death rune Circle of Nailuj's Evol You now raise an additional Skeletal Mage with each cast and they last an additional 2-4 seconds Prayer of Briggs Uncursed enemies are pulled to the target location when a curse is applied to them Krysbin’s Sentence Bone Spikes, Bone Spear and Bone Spirit deal 125-150% increased damage against enemies that are stunned, frozen, charmed, feared or blinded You deal 75-100% increased damage against slowed enemies or triple this bonus against enemies afflicted by any other type of control-impairing effect Lornelle’s Sunstone Your damage reduction is increased by 0.75-0.95% for every 1% Life you are missing Corpsewhisper Pauldrons Corpse Lance damage is increased by 15-20% 25-30% for 3 seconds each time you consume a corpse. Max 15 80 20 stacks Hellfire Amulet Necromancer passives have been added for this item Halcyon’s Ascent Added skills to this item for the Necromancer Class Sets Bones of Rathma (2) Set Bonus Your pets have a chance to reduce the cooldown of Army of the Dead by 1 second each time they deal damage (4) Set Bonus You gain 1% damage reduction for 5 seconds each time your pets deal damage. Max 50 stacks. (6) Set Bonus Each active Skeleton Mage increases the damage of your minions and Army of the Dead by 200% 250% Trag’Oul’s Avatar (2) Set Bonus Blood Rush gains the effect of every rune (4) Set Bonus While at full life, your healing from skills is added to your maximum life for 45 seconds. Up to 100% more. (6) Set Bonus Spending 10% life grants you a stack of Blood Cascade up to 50 times. Each stack of Blood Cascade increases the damage of life-spending attacks by 200% and also increases the life you lose by 10%. Using a skill to heal will consume a stack and heal for an additional 300%. Healing from skills consumes one stack regardless of how many targets are hit Command Skeletons: Dark Mending and Land of the Dead: Land of Plenty no longer consume stacks or receive increased healing Your Life-spending attacks deal 3300% increased damage but cost twice as much Life. Your healing from skills is increased by 100%. Grace of Inarius (2) Set Bonus Bone Armor’s damage is increased by 1000% (4) Set Bonus Bone Armor stacks are now refreshed. In addition, Bone Armor grants an additional 2% damage reduction per enemy hit (6) Set Bonus Bone Armor also activates a Bone Tornado damaging nearby enemies by 375% 750% weapon damage per second as Physical. Enemies hit by the tornado take 850% 2750% additional damage from the Necromancer’s abilities and minions Pestilence Master’s Shroud (2) Set Bonus Each corpse you consume fires a Corpse Lance corpse fragment at a nearby enemy, dealing 800% weapon damage (4) Set Bonus Each enemy hit by Bone Spear reduces your damage taken by 2% up to a maximum of 50%. Lasts 15 seconds. (6) Set Bonus Each corpse you consume grants you an Empowered Bone Spear charge that increases the damage of your next Bone Spear by 1000% 3000% This effect stacks up to 30 100 times Jairoan Jesseth Arms (2) Set Bonus Army of the Dead gains the effect of the Unconventional Warfare rune When the target of your Command Skeletons dies, your skeletons are automatically commanded to attack a nearby target While your skeletons are commanded to attack a target, all of your minions deal 400% increased damage Legendary Gems Zei’s Stone of Vengeance When a pet deals damage with this gem equipped, bonuses are now always granted from the player to the enemy hit instead of from the pet to the enemy Note: This change went into effect in a previous beta patch Bug Fixes Fixed an issue causing phylacteries to roll only the lowest possible damage value Fixed an issue which allowed non-Necromancer characters to equip Necromancer gear Fixed an issue which prevented damage stacks on Bone Ringer from being preserved if Command Skeletons was used again on the same target ADVENTURE MODE
      New Zones: The Moors & The Temple of the Firstborn The fog-enshrouded Moors and the darkened Temple of the Firstborn can be explored in Adventure Mode through a new waypoint on the Act 2 map. General (Beta Only) Made changes to reduce the occurrence of dead ends when floors in Rifts and Greater Rifts use the Temple of the Firstborn map. Set Dungeons The user interface has been updated to better explain tier completion requirements. With this, the basic completion tier must be finished within the given time limit. The time limit to complete a Set Dungeon has been increased to 5 minutes Necromancer Set Dungeons have been added to Adventure Mode Set dungeon monsters are now tracked on the mini-map when the dungeon begins All Basic Tier monster kill requirements have been lowered Bounties Four new Waypoints have appeared in Act IV. Each one has bounties to complete. These Realms of Fate are the unintended consequences of the battle between the nephalem and Diablo in the High Heavens (PTR Only) Several bounties in the Realms of Fate have had changes to their objectives, along with changes to the order of objective completion and bounty text Greater Rifts Players who die in solo Greater Rifts can now choose to immediately resurrect. When choosing this option, the time remaining on your death timer will be removed from the remaining Greater Rift time and your cooldowns will be advanced by the same amount. Bug Fixes Fixed an issue which sometimes prevented players from completing the “Clear the Forgotten Well” bounty ACHIEVEMENTS
      Terror In The Blood Now requires the player’s health to be at 10% or below instead of 9% or below Bug Fixes Fixed a bug causing the Stay Classy, Upper Class and Classic Collection achievements to not be awarded correctly for the four Necromancer sets Fixed a bug preventing the Terror in the Blood achievement from triggering once the criteria were met and Diablo was defeated Fixed an issue that was preventing the use of Command Skeletons from properly giving credit to the Skeleton Crew achievement when elites and champion packs were killed MONSTERS
      Skeleton Mage Has had its fire damage reduced slightly PTR ONLY
      D'jank Miem Players can exchange Blood Shards with this vendor for bags containing gear The cost per bag has been set to 500 200. Players will now be able to purchase bags containing new Legendary items in addition to the previous bags containing Set items
    • By Stan

      Necromancer Beta was updated with Patch v2.6.0.45634. Not so many changes are in this time. Blizzard reduced the likelihood of dead ends in Rifts & Greater Rifts floors using the Temple of the Firstborn map.
      NOTE: Red text indicates a change between the last and live patch notes.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Please note that participation in the Necromancer beta test will be by invitation to ensure focused feedback and a smooth testing experience. For details on how to participate, please see this blog.
      Installation and Play Instructions:
      To install and play the Necromancer beta test, please follow the instructions below:
      Step 1: If you were invited to the beta test, verify that your account has been granted a beta license in Blizzard Account Management.
      Step 2: Download and install the Blizzard launcher.
      Step 3: Once you have installed the Blizzard launcher, log in with your credentials and select Diablo III from the menu on the left-hand side.
      Step 4: On the Diablo III screen, there is a drop-down menu above the "Play" button (note that this may say "Install" if you do not have Diablo III currently installed). Select " Necromancer Beta Test" from this drop-down menu before proceeding.
      Step 5: You should now have the option to install and play the beta.
      Beta Character Copy:
      The option to copy your existing Diablo III characters from your live account to the beta will be available and can be done directly through the beta client.
      Step 1: Log into the beta client and create a level 1 character. After you're done, return to the main character screen.
      Step 2: Note the “PTR Copy” button at the top right of the Home Screen. (This button will not appear in-game until you have created a new level 1 character.)
      Step 3: Select your region.
      Step 4: Click "Copy." This will copy all characters on your account from the selected region.
      Step 5: You may be disconnected from the beta client.
      Step 6: Log back in. Your copied characters will be available for play.
      Please note that you can only copy characters from one gameplay region at a time. If you choose to copy characters from a different region, any previously copied beta characters will be lost.
      In addition, you can only copy characters over to your beta account once every 24 hours. Attempting to copy characters before this cooldown is up will result in an error.
      PTR PATCH 2.6.0 - v2.6.0.45634
      Below you'll find the preliminary notes for Patch 2.6.0, including the Necromancer beta. Please note that this isn't the final version and that some changes may not be documented or described in full detail.
      Please note that content availability during the beta will vary depending on testing needs.
      General
      New Feature: Challenge Rifts Explore new builds created by fellow players in a weekly static dungeon. You can access these through the main screen, similar to Adventure Mode and Campaign Mode. Note: New Challenge Rifts may be available more frequently during the beta. Classes
      New Class: Necromancer As a master of the dark arts, you wield the powers of life and death necessary to restore the Balance! Necromancers are powerful spell casters who lay waste to their enemies using curses and reanimation—along with an obedient cadre of pets. This new class employs a controlled gameplay style using the raw materials of life: blood and bone. Necromancer Skills Army of the Dead Base Rune Raise a massive skeletal army to pummel the targeted location dealing 3,000% 12,000% weapon damage in a 15 yard radius Frozen Army 3,600% 12,000% and they attack all enemies in a line Dead Storm Raise a storm of the dead that surround you damaging enemies for 2,000% 15,500% weapon damage over 5 seconds Unconventional Warfare Damage increased to 50,000% total weapon damage Catatonic Grasp Has been renamed to Blighted Grasp Has been redesigned Skeletal hands raise from the ground damaging enemies within 15 yards for 14,000% total weapon damage as Poison over 5 seconds Bone Armor Harvest of Anguish Now deals Cold damage instead of Physical Dislocation Now deals Poison damage instead of Physical Limited Immunity Now begins its cooldown once the immunity effect ends Command Skeletons The active ability for this skill now lasts until the target dies or you change the target of your command   Corpse Explosion Base Rune Target an area exploding all corpses within 11 yards dealing 150% 250% weapon damage to enemies within 20 yards Close Quarters Explodes corpses close to you, dealing 200% 325% weapon damage to enemies within 20 yards Corpse Lance Base Rune Target an enemy to summon projectiles from nearby corpses that cause 750% 900% weapon damage to the target Land of the Dead Base Rune All corpse skills can be used at will for 5 10 seconds Necromancer Passives Blood Is Power Has been redesigned After cumulatively losing 100% of your maximum Life, all ability cooldowns are reduced by 20%. This effect cannot reduce an ability’s cooldown more than once for each time that ability is used. Final Service When this passive successfully prevents death, the Necromancer is immune to incoming damage for 4 seconds This passive does not require active pets to prevent death and grant immunity Instead of immediately consuming all pets, this passive will grant 10% health per pet until the Necromancer is at 100% health Wizard Skills Mirror Image Simulacrum This rune has been renamed to "Hard Light" Bug Fixes Decay Golem Fixed an issue where Decay golem was not benefiting from the unlimited corpses granted by Land of the Dead Fixed a bug where the visuals for Army of the Dead: Unconventional Warfare were not being played Items
      General Scythes and Phylacteries are now sold by some of the vendors throughout the world Legendary Items Funeral Pick Siphon Blood drains blood from 2 additional targets Trag’oul’s Corroded Fang The Cursed Scythe rune for Grim Scythe now has a 100% chance to apply a curse Scythe of the Cycle Your Secondary skills deal 250-300% additional damage while Bone Armor is active but reduce the remaining duration of Bone Armor by 3 seconds Dreadgolem Spike Bone Spear now costs 40 Essence and deals 125-150% additional damage Bloodtide Blade Death Nova deals 125-150% increased damage for every enemy within 10 yards Reilena’s Shadowhook Bone Spikes generates an additional 2-4 Essence for each enemy hit Death’s Scythe Each different Poison skill you use increases the damage of your Poison skills by 75-100% for 15 seconds Spear of Jesseth Your Thorns is increased by 10-15% for every enemy afflicted by one of your curses Lost Time Your Cold skills reduce the movement speed of enemies by 30%. In addition, your movement speed is increased by 4-5% for 5 seconds. Maximum 5 stacks. Bone Ringer The damage bonus of Command Skeletons is increased by 25-30% each second while active Leger’s Disdain Grim Scythe deals an additional 7-10% damage for each point of essence it restores Iron Rose Attacking with Siphon Blood while at full life has a 15-25% chance to cast a free Blood Nova The Johnstone Each corpse consumed in Land of the Dead increases your damage by 10% for 8-10 seconds after it ends Haunted Visions Simulacrum now drains 10-15% of your maximum life every second and lasts twice as long Wisdom of Kalan Increases the maximum number of Bone Armor stacks by 5 Bloodsong Mail While in Land of the Dead, Command Skeletons gains the effect of all runes and deals 100-125% increased damage Requiem Cereplate When Devour restores Essence or Life above your maximum, the excess is granted over 3 seconds Mask of Scarlet Death Revive consumes all corpses to raise a single minion that does an additional 125 – 150% damage per corpse Fate’s Vow After consuming 15-20 corpses you unleash a free Death Nova Moribund Gauntlets Your Golem has a 10-15% chance to shed a corpse when it is hit by an enemy Grasps of Essence When an exploded corpse damages at least one enemy, your Corpse Explosion deals 75-100% increased damage for 6 seconds, stacking up to 5 times Golemskin Breaches Your Golem’s damage is increased by 100-125% and you take 25% less damage while you are within 18 yards of it Defiler Cuisses Your Bone Spirit’s damage is increased by 75-100% for every second it is active Steuart’s Greaves You gain 40-50% increased movement speed for 2 seconds after using Blood Rush Bryner’s Journey Bone Spikes has a 10-15% chance to cast a Bone Nova at the target location Dayntee’s Binding Decrepify gains an additional 20-30% damage reduction for attacks against you Razeth’s Volition Skeletal Mage gains the effect of the Gift of Death rune Circle of Nailuj You now raise an additional Skeletal Mage with each cast and they last an additional 2-4 seconds Prayer of Briggs Uncursed enemies are pulled to the target location when a curse is applied to them Krysbin’s Sentence Bone Spikes, Bone Spear and Bone Spirit deal 125-150% increased damage against enemies that are stunned, frozen, charmed, feared or blinded Lornelle’s Sunstone Your damage reduction is increased by 0.75-0.95% for every 1% Life you are missing Corpsewhisper Pauldrons Corpse Lance damage is increased by 15-20% for 3 seconds each time you consume a corpse. Max 15 80 stacks Hellfire Amulet Necromancer passives have been added for this item Halcyon’s Ascent Added skills to this item for the Necromancer Class Sets Bones of Rathma (2) Set Bonus Your pets have a chance to reduce the cooldown of Army of the Dead by 1 second each time they deal damage (4) Set Bonus You gain 1% damage reduction for 5 seconds each time your pets deal damage. Max 50 stacks. (6) Set Bonus Each active Skeleton Mage increases the damage of your minions and Army of the Dead by 200% Trag’Oul’s Avatar (2) Set Bonus Blood Rush gains the effect of every rune (4) Set Bonus While at full life, your healing from skills is added to your maximum life for 45 seconds. Up to 100% more. (6) Set Bonus Spending 10% life grants you a stack of Blood Cascade up to 50 times. Each stack of Blood Cascade increases the damage of life-spending attacks by 200% and also increases the life you lose by 10%. Using a skill to heal will consume a stack and heal for an additional 300%. Healing from skills consumes one stack regardless of how many targets are hit Command Skeletons: Dark Mending and Land of the Dead: Land of Plenty no longer consume stacks or receive increased healing Grace of Inarius (2) Set Bonus Bone Armor’s damage is increased by 1000% (4) Set Bonus Bone Armor stacks are now refreshed. In addition, Bone Armor grants an additional 2% damage reduction per enemy hit (6) Set Bonus Bone Armor also activates a Bone Tornado damaging nearby enemies by 375% weapon damage per second as Physical. Enemies hit by the tornado take 850% additional damage from the Necromancer’s abilities and minions Pestilence Master’s Shroud (2) Set Bonus Each corpse you consume fires a Corpse Lance corpse fragment at a nearby enemy, dealing 800% weapon damage (4) Set Bonus Each enemy hit by Bone Spear reduces your damage taken by 2% up to a maximum of 50%. Lasts 15 seconds. (6) Set Bonus Each corpse you consume grants you an Empowered Bone Spear charge that increases the damage of your next Bone Spear by 1000% Jairoan Arms (2) Set Bonus Army of the Dead gains the effect of the Unconventional Warfare rune Bug Fixes Fixed an issue causing phylacteries to roll only the lowest possible damage value Fixed an issue which allowed non-Necromancer characters to equip Necromancer gear Adventure Mode
      New Zones: The Moors & The Temple of the Firstborn The fog-enshrouded Moors and the darkened Temple of the Firstborn can be explored in Adventure Mode through a new waypoint on the Act 2 map. General (Beta Only) Made changes to reduce the occurrence of dead ends when floors in Rifts and Greater Rifts use the Temple of the Firstborn map. Set Dungeons The user interface has been updated to better explain tier completion requirements. With this, the basic completion tier must be finished within the given time limit. The time limit to complete a Set Dungeon has been increased to 5 minutes Necromancer Set Dungeons have been added to Adventure Mode Set dungeon monsters are now tracked on the mini-map when the dungeon begins All Basic Tier monster kill requirements have been lowered Bounties Four new Waypoints have appeared in Act IV. Each one has bounties to complete. These Realms of Fate are the unintended consequences of the battle between the nephalem and Diablo in the High Heavens. Greater Rifts Players who die in solo Greater Rifts can now choose to immediately resurrect. When choosing this option, the time remaining on your death timer will be removed from the remaining Greater Rift time and your cooldowns will be advanced by the same amount. Bug Fixes Fixed an issue which sometimes prevented players from completing the “Clear the Forgotten Well” bounty PTR Only
      D'jank Miem Players can exchange Blood Shards with this vendor for bags containing gear The cost per bag has been set to 500 200. Players will now be able to purchase bags containing new Legendary items in addition to the previous bags containing Set items
    • By Starym

       
      Welcome Vesalius, the first new Rift Boss in a long time! While it seemed he was entirely unique at first, it later turned out, as most Rift Bosses, that he was based off an Adventure Mode boss (Vidian from the Sanctum of Blood, a new area). Both bosses are giant Enslaved Nightmares, new models coming with the Necromancer pack and showing up now on the beta, so we can hope there will be even more new additions once it goes live.

      Streamer Zhanji first ran into the boss and his Necromancer's first encounter with Vesalius didn't go that great, considering the Frozen Pulse, Wormhole and Glowy Balls. So, let's take a look:
      Source: Troupster.com.
    • By Stan

      Necromancers have - as of the latest beta build - four different sets. In this preview, we're looking at their appearance and set bonuses. 
      Bones of Rathma (Bone / Pet)
      2P - Your pets have a chance to reduce the cooldown of Army of the Dead by 1 sec each time they deal damage. 4P - You gain 1% damage reduction each time your pets deal damage. Max 50 stacks. 6P - Each active Skeleton Mage increases the damage of your minions and Army of the Dead by 200%.
      Grace of Inarius (Saint)
      2P - Bone Armor's damage is increased by 1,000%. 4P - Bone Armor grants an additional 2% damage reduction per enemy hit. 6P - Bone Armor also activates a swirling tornado of bone, damaging nearby enemies for 375% weapon damage and increasing the damage they take from the Necromancer by 850%.
      Pestilence Master’s Shroud (Melee)
      2P - Each corpse you consume fires a Corpse Lance at a nearby enemy. 4P - Each enemy you hit with Bone Spear reduces your damage taken by 2%, up to a maximum of 50%. Lasts 15 seconds. 6P - Each corpse you consume grants you an Empowered Bone Spear charge that increases the damage of your next Bone Spear by 1,000%.
      Trag’Oul’s Avatar (Blood)
      2P - Blood Rush gains the effect of every rune. 4P - While at full Life, your healing from skills is added to your maximum Life for 45 seconds, up to 100% more. 6P - Spending 10% Life grants you a stack of Blood Cascade. Each stack of Blood Cascade increases the damage of Life-spending attacks by 200%, but also increases the Life you lose by 10%. Using a skill to heal will consume a stack and heal for 300% more.
    • By Stan

      A closer look at the new game mode, where you'll play someone else's build.
      The Challenge Rifts game mode is added to the game in Patch 2.6.0. Players don't need to purchase Rise of the Necromancer as Challenge Rifts are standard patch content that launches alongside the Necromancer DLC.
      The point is to race against the clock in a fixed Greater Rift with a unique character. You receive rewards if you beat the original timer. No customization is available, because the character comes with preset gear, Paragon level, Greater Rift difficulty and skills.

      If you beat the timer, you get a Challenge Rift Cache that contains Blood Shards, Bounty & Crafting materials.
      Gear, Kanai's Cube affixes, skills, runes and passives can be previewed under Hero details.

      If you enter the Challenge Hub, you can adjust spell positioning on your action bar and practise the build on either a Punisher for single-target damage (he's on the left side of the room) or Revenant Soldiers for AoE damage (located on the right).


      A mirror inside the room serves the same purpose as Hero details in the menu and displays information about the character's gear, skills, passives and runes.

      The timer begins when you click the Challenge Obelisk. Moving to Town (T) restarts the challenge and the cast isn't interrupted.