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d3 Patch 2.4.2 Hotfixes, End-Game Group Meta & Forthcoming Changes

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A new patch has hit the Public Test Realm. It brings not only hotfixes but also mechanic tweaks. Wyatt Cheng made a post about incoming meta changes.

Patch 2.4.2 Hotfixes

A new patch was deployed on PTRs recently and it brings the following changes.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard Entertainment

Below you will find a list of hotfixes recently applied or coming soon to the PTR that address various bugs or mechanic tweaks.

These hotfixes should not require you to download a new patch. Some of the hotfixes below will go live the moment they are implemented while others may require restarting the game to go into effect. Please keep in mind that some issues cannot be addressed without a client-side patch. Also note that changes to certain abilities will not be reflected in its tooltip until a patch is issued.

Last updated June 24. Hotfixes are denoted by the date they were applied to the PTR servers.

[LIVE HOTFIXES]
Monk
  • Epiphany
    • Soothing Mist healing reduced by 60%
  • Blinding Flash
    • Crippling Light damage reduction reduced from 40% to 25%
  • Starfire
    • The benefit to lightning damage is now capped at 40 yards
Note: Many of these changes play into a larger development effort onto which we've gone into detail here.

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

(Source)

Upcoming Meta Changes

Wyatt Cheng has shared some developer insight in some recent gameplay mechanics that are bugging the team. Just to mention a few; devs aren't satisfied with the efficiency of grouping up large packs of mobs, not even having to move while fighting, because grouping up mobs, standing and absorbing damage is more efficient than being on the move while dealing damage. That's why they are planning to drastically reduce the amount of healing available. He describes some changes as "drastic" and claims a lot of players may be very well surprised.

Blizzard LogoWyatt Cheng

Hey folks,

Many concerns have been brought up regarding "the meta" - the current group composition perceived to be the best at high levels of play. From a design standpoint, our job as a development team is to give players tools and leave room for players to combine these tools and perform optimizations to reach the highest greater rift that they can. The top-performing 4-player group composition is not something we rigidly design. Indeed, we feel that if we designed in such a rigid manner so as to know what the best composition is beforehand, we likely haven't created a rich enough space for players to explore. 

Over time, the community settles on a small set of ways to combine these tools. Every so often, a discovery is made that shakes up "the meta," but these discoveries become more rare as the game matures. In reaction to this some players would like us to change the balance of the game just for the sake of change. I want to be clear—"the meta" being stale is not a good enough reason for us to take action. As Diablo matures the "meta" is not going to change every season. With that in mind, there are three criteria we use to decide whether change is warranted:

1. Does the current best composition represent a variety of classes? For example, we have taken action in the past when 3 Demon Hunters was the best answer, or 2 Monks and 2 Barbarians. 

2. How far ahead is the top tier vs. the next best composition? If the top composition was 2 greater rift tiers ahead there might be a sense that there's still room for alternate specs, or people could make a playstyle choice at the sacrifice of some efficiency. When the top composition is 10 greater rift tiers ahead, then even farming groups or casual community pickup groups start to organize into this composition.

3. Most importantly, how interesting is the gameplay? As much as we'd all love to see a variety of classes and gameplay styles, it's actually the most critical that when you are playing these high-end group compositions that the gameplay is interesting and engaging.
 

How do we define interesting and engaging? 

  • It's more interesting and engaging if you are moving occasionally than highly stationary
  • It's more interesting and engaging if you have to adapt to the type of monster you're fighting
  • It's more interesting and engaging when you are playing the monster mechanics
  • It's more interesting and engaging when a group has to coordinate for maximum benefit

Currently there are many suggestions on how to shake up "the meta". There have been a LOT of really great suggestions. We've reviewed many of them through the lens of the three criteria I've outlined. Most specifically many people have called for a straight up nerf of the Twisted Sword. While we are going to nerf Twisted Sword, I also want to explain why we are going to do more than that.

If all we do is nerf Twisted Sword, we believe what will happen is most groups will simply swap out the current top Wizard build and go to the next highest DPS build. You'll still see a grouper/tank (usually a Monk), a puller (usually a Barbarian), a DPS buffer (a Witch Doctor) and then whoever outputs the highest DPS in the game (currently a Wizard). Only going after the Wizard is going to do very little for addressing criteria #2 and criteria #3.

There are three major problems and three corresponding major changes we are looking to make. 

PROBLEM #1: Bringing damage support buffers is more effective than bringing a second damage dealer. Why bring damage dealer #2 when you can bring a damage support who increases the damage of damage dealer #1 by 300%?
CHANGE #1: We are going to be reviewing the party-based damage buffs provided by all the classes. The degree to which some classes can buff party damage is a huge contributor to the 1 DPS - 3 Support meta.

PROBLEM #2: It is too easy to group monsters together. This is bad because:

  • It disproportionately increases the damage of the group compared to adding a 2nd damage dealer. If you have twice as many monsters grouped, not only are you dealing twice as much total damage - you're also scaling Area Damage upwards.
  • On top of this, many of the grouping mechanics encourages stationary combat. If you're chain-pulling monsters to a point, you're fighting in one location for extended periods of time.
  • In addition to being stationary, you’re also casting spells at a single location – it’s more engaging when you have to adjust dynamically to a changing battlefield.
  • The grouping mechanics also act as a soft crowd-control, disabling monsters from attacking players, causing combat to feel stagnant and non-interactive.
  • Grouping increases visual noise, which makes discerning (and hence responding to) monster mechanics difficult.
  • Finally, it can cause server issues. While we are always working on server performance optimizations, we also need to recognize that the current game design rewards players for bringing as many monsters as possible onto the screen at once.

CHANGE #2: We are going to make adjustments to crowd control and pull effects to make it harder to perpetually pull monsters onto a single point.

PROBLEM #3: Extremely high rates of healing favor standing still to do more damage instead of respecting and avoiding monster mechanics . 
 

CHANGE #3: One of the reasons you can ignore most monster mechanics is the amount of healing available. Expect to see a drastic reduction in available healing.

Will this affect solo play? Yes - some solo builds will be affected. For the most part we are trying to target the changes so they affect groups more than solo play. Weighing the needs of solo players vs. group players is a never ending and difficult task and in this case we feel that the quality of improvement to group play warrants the changes. It is an ongoing goal to make more builds viable, and the classes closer together in competitiveness. The requests for buffs to particular class sets or legendary items have been heard, we just feel making meaningful changes to group play is more important at this time.

Will this cause the highest rift tier to go down? To be frank - probably. We've never really done this before - nerfing the top performing builds. There are open questions ahead of us. How will this make the season feel? How will this affect non-seasonal play? In the past we've always had a philosophy to adjust the balance of the game by buffing what's low, but in this case that's not really an option. Take a look at the problems and solutions being proposed - these are problems that can't be solved with larger damage numbers. These are problems with group-based damage multipliers, healing, and combat utility. 

Finally - I want to circle back to a statement from the start of this post - as developers we do not know what the new optimal group composition will be. We're making some significant changes here and the game is intentionally too complex for us to figure out optimal strategies on our own. The collective wisdom of the player base is far more resourceful and capable than us. As a result - we really need people to jump on the PTR and try this stuff out! Particularly 4-player groups. If some highly competitive group discovers a composition of 4 Crusaders that is the most effective but deliberately "hides" it from the rest of the community, then there's not much we, the development team, can do. While we are ultimately responsible for the quality of Diablo III, we can't improve this game without your help.

There will be specific changes available to peruse in the next PTR patch. 
Fair warning: The reduction to group buffs is severe. People will be shell shocked.

If the goal is that 2 DPS can do more damage than 1 DPS + 1 support then it means no single class can bring > 100% worth of damage multipliers to the party. A support Witchdoctor in particular increases the effectiveness of party DPS by 300%+.

(Source)

What do you think about these changes? Will they improve the overall QoL of the game?

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    • By Starym

       
      We get to see almost all the active and passive skills of the new class, runes included!
      It seems even those of is without a beta key get some goodies today, as Blizzard have posted a preview of the Necro's skills and passives! There were no sill gifs in Blizzard's original preview, but we've enhanced ours with gifs from previous ones where available!

      And if you're wondering what else is coming with the Necromancer patch, check out the patch notes right here.
      Blizzard (source)
      The power of blood, bone, curses, and hordes of obedient minions are the Necromancer’s to command. After many months of development, we’re now ready to give you the low-down on the skills and passive abilities that are now available for select testers to try in the Necromancer Closed Beta.
      Note: The following content is still under development. Both numbers and functionality may still be subject to substantial change. In addition, Necromancer-specific Legendary items and class sets are not yet available for testing.
      Table of Contents
      Primary Secondary Blood & Bone Reanimation Curses Corpses Passives Primary
      Bone Spikes
      Base Skill (Physical) Generate: 24 Essence. Summon bone spikes from the ground dealing 150% weapon damage per second. Sudden Impact (Physical) Bone spikes stun enemies for 1 second. Path of Bones (Physical) Now unleashes a line of spikes that deals 100% weapon damage. Damage is increased by up to 100% for those further away. Bone Pillars (Poison) Instead strikes the target and up to two nearby enemies with large bone pillars for 150% weapon damage. Frost Spikes (Cold) Leaves a frost patch that reduces the movement speed by 60% for 2 seconds. Blood Spikes (Physical) Enemies bleed for 50% weapon damage over 2 seconds and heal you for 0.5% of your total life over the duration. Siphon Blood
      Base Skill (Physical) Generate: 15 Essence each time damage is dealt. Siphon the blood from the targeted enemy dealing 300% weapon damage. Siphon Blood heals you for 2% of your total health every second while channeled.
      Suppress (Cold) Enemies are also slowed by 75%. Purity of Essence (Physical) Essence gained is increased to 20 while you are at full health. Drain Life (Physical) Increases the amount of health restored to 6% but no longer restores Essence. Power Shift (Poison) Damage is increased by 10% each time damage is dealt. Max 10 stacks. Blood Sucker (Physical) You pull in all health globes within 40 yards while siphoning. Grim Scythe
      Base Skill (Physical) Generate: 12 Essence per enemy hit Slash with a summoned Scythe in front of you dealing 150% weapon damage as Physical.
      Blood Scythe (Physical) Heal for 1% of your health per enemy hit. Execution (Physical) Enemies below 20% health have a 5% chance to be decapitated and instantly killed. Frost Scythe (Cold) Each enemy hit increases your attack speed by 1% for 5 seconds. Max 15 stacks. Dual Scythes (Physical) Slash with two summoned Scythes in front of you dealing 150% weapon damage as Physical and push enemies together. Cursed Scythe (Poison) Enemies hit by the scythe have a 15% chance to be inflicted with a random curse. Return to Top
      Secondary
      Death Nova
      Base Skill (Poison)
      Cost: 20 Essence Unleash a Nova that deals 350% weapon damage to all enemies within 25 yards. Tendril Nova (Physical) Now heals you for 1% of your health per target hit and reduces damage dealt to 225%. Bone Nova (Physical) Spines radiate outward and deal 475% weapon damage within 12 yards. Blood Nova (Physical) Spend 10% health to unleash a Blood Nova that deals 450% weapon damage to all nearby enemies within 25 yards.
      Blight (Poison) Leave a lingering patch of blight on the ground slowing enemies by 60% and causing them to deal 15% less damage for 1 second. Unstable Compound (Poison) Each cast increases the radius of your next Nova by 5 yards up to 2 times. Bone Spear
      Base Skill (Physical) Cost: 20 Essence Summon a piercing bone projectile that causes 450% weapon damage to all enemies it passes through.
      Crystallization (Cold) Each enemy hit has their attack speed reduced by 20% and your attack speed is increased by 3% for 3 seconds stacking up to 10 times. Shatter (Physical) Instead of piercing now detonates on the first enemy hit dealing 450% to all enemies within 15 yards. Blighted Marrow (Poison) Damage is increased by 15% for each enemy Bone Spear passes through. Blood Spear (Physical) Bone Spear turns into Blood Spear. Damage is increased to 518% weapon damage at the cost of 10% health. Teeth (Physical) Launches 5 razor sharp teeth that deal 300% weapon damage. Skeleton Mage
      Base Skill (Physical) Cost: 40 Essence Raise a skeleton from the ground to attack your foes dealing 400% weapon damage per attack. Lasts 6 seconds. Gift of Death (Physical) Risen Skeletons leave a corpse behind when they die or expire. Singularity (Physical) Consumes all Essence to summon a powerful minion. The minion’s damage is increased by 3% for every point of Essence consumed. Life Support (Physical) Risen Mages cost 10% health to cast but lasts an additional 2 seconds. Contamination (Poison) Raise a contaminated mage that channels an aura of decay for 175% weapon damage for its duration. Skeleton Archer (Cold) Raise a Skeleton Archer that deals 400% weapon damage. Skeleton Archers increase your attack speed by 3% for 5 seconds each time they deal damage. Max 10 stacks. Return to Top
      Blood & Bone
      Bone Armor
      Base Skill (Physical) Cost: 10 Essence Cooldown: 10 seconds Rip bones from nearby enemies, dealing 150% weapon damage, and create armor that reduces damage taken by 3% per enemy hit up to a maximum of 10 enemies. Bone Armor lasts 60 seconds. [Placeholder] Increased Damage (Physical) Damage dealt to enemies is increased by 200%. [Placeholder] Immunity (Physical) Your armor absorbs all incoming damage for 5 seconds and grants immunity to all control impairing effects. Dislocation (Physical) Enemies hit are also stunned for 2 seconds. Thy Flesh Sustained (Physical) Cost: 20% Health Increases your Life per Second by 10% per target hit. Reap of Anguish (Physical) Bone Armor also increases your movement speed by 1% for each enemy hit. Bone Spirit
      Base Skill (Physical) Launch a Bone Spirit that will seek enemies. Deals 4000% damage on impact. You gain a charge every 15 seconds and can store up to 3 charges.  Recharge time is reduced by 1 second for each corpse you consume. Possession (Physical) Bone Spirit will now charm the target for 10 seconds at the cost of 10% health. Panic Attack (Poison) Enemies within 10 yards are feared for 2 seconds when Bone Spirit detonates. Poltergeist (Cold) Increases the maximum number of charges to 4. Unfinished Business (Cold) Bone Spirit explodes dealing 1250% weapon damage to all enemies within 10 yards on detonation. Astral Projection (Cold) Damage is increased by 15% for each enemy that Bone Spirit passes through while seeking its target. Blood Rush
      Base Skill (Physical) Cooldown: 5 seconds Cost: 5% Health Shed your mortal flesh and reappear up to 50 yards away.
      Transfusion (Physical) Heals for 2% of your maximum health for every enemy passed through. Hemostasis (Physical) Removes the health cost. Metabolism (Physical) Blood Rush now has 2 charges, but its health cost is doubled. Potency (Physical) Increases your armor by 100% for 2 seconds after casting. Molting (Physical) Leaves a corpse at your original location when used. Simulacrum
      Base Skill (Physical) Cost: 50% Health Cooldown: 120 seconds Create a Simulacrum made of blood that will duplicate your Essence Spenders for 15 seconds. Reservoir (Physical) Your maximum Essence is increased by 100% while your Simulacrum is active. Cursed Form (Physical) While active, your curse skills now apply all three curses. [Placeholder] Blood Debt (Physical) Life costs for skills are reduced by 75% while Simulacrum is active. Blood and Bone (Physical) Now also creates a Simulacrum of Bone, but the duration is reduced to 10 seconds. Self Sacrifice (Physical) If you would die with a Simulacrum active, instead the Simulacrum is destroyed and you are fully healed. Return to Top
      Reanimation
      Land of the Dead
      Base Skill (Physical) Cooldown: 120 seconds All corpse skills can be used at will for 5 seconds. Invigoration (Physical) Your skills do not cost Essence while Land of the Dead is active. Frozen Lands (Cold) Enemies in the Land of the Dead are periodically frozen. Plaguelands (Poison) Land of the Dead deals up to 5,000% weapon damage to enemies over its duration. Land of Plenty (Physical) You are healed for 2% of your maximum life whenever you kill an enemy while Land of the Dead is active. Shallow Graves (Physical) Every 10 enemies killed extends the duration by 1 second up to a maximum of 2 seconds. Command Skeletons
      Base Skill (Physical) Cost: 50 Essence Active: Command your skeletal minions to attack the target and increase their damage by 50% for 5 seconds. Passive: Raise skeletons from the ground every 2 seconds to a max of 7 skeletons. Skeletal minions deal 50% weapon damage per attack.
      Enforcer (Physical) Reduces the active Essence cost to 25. Dark Mending (Physical) Skeletal minions will heal you for 0.5% of your total health per hit while being commanded. Freezing Grasp (Cold) The target of your command is frozen for 3 seconds. Kill Command (Poison) Now commands your skeletons to explode, dealing 80% weapon damage to enemies within 15 yards. Frenzy (Physical) Commanded skeletons go into a frenzy, gaining 25% increased attack speed for the duration. Command Golem
      Base Skill (Poison) Cooldown: 60 seconds Active: Command the Golem to the targeted location where it collapses into a pile of 5 corpses. Passive: Raise a Flesh Golem to fight for you. Flesh Golem deals 450% weapon damage per attack. Bone Golem (Physical) Active: The Golem becomes a tornado of bone carrying all nearby enemies to the targeted location and rooting them in place for 2 seconds. Blood Golem (Physical) Active: The Golem sacrifices itself healing you for 25% of your health and reconstructs at the targeted location. As the Golem reconstructs, veiny tendrils damage nearby enemies for 450% weapon damage.
      Flesh Consuming Golem (Poison) Active: The Golem consumes corpses at the targeted location increasing its damage by 30% per corpse. Decay Golem (Poison) Active: Command the Golem to the targeted location where it collapses into a pile of 8 corpses. Ice Golem (Cold) Active: Command the Golem to the targeted location where it freezes enemies for 3 seconds and increases their chance to be critically struck by 10% for 10 seconds. Army of the Dead
      Base Skill (Physical) Cooldown: 120 seconds Raise a massive skeletal army to pummel the targeted location dealing 3000% weapon damage in a 15 yard radius. Catatonic Grasp (Poison) Hands raise from the ground and immobilize enemies in place for 5 seconds. Frozen Army (Cold) Weapon damage increased to 3600% and they attack all enemies in a line. Unconventional Warfare (Physical) Skeletons will rise from the ground and attack random targets for 4 seconds. [Placeholder] Death Valley (Physical) The skeletal army knocks all effected enemies towards the center. Dead Storm (Physical) Raise a storm of the dead that surround you damaging enemies for 2000% weapon damage over 5 seconds. Return to Top
      Curses
      Decrepify
      Base Skill (Physical) Cost: 10 Essence A crippling curse that reduces the enemy units’ movement speed by 75% and reduces damage done by 20% for 30 seconds. Opportunist (Physical) Gain a 3% movement speed increase for every enemy cursed. Borrowed Time (Physical) Gain 1% cooldown reduction for every enemy cursed. Wither (Physical) Damage reduction increased to 30%, but no longer reduces movement speed. Dizzying Curse (Physical) Cursed enemies have a 10% chance to be stunned for 2 seconds when hit. Enfeeblement (Physical) Increase the potency of the movement speed reduction for the first 5 seconds. Frailty
      Base Skill (Physical) Cost: 10 Essence A crippling curse that kills enemies with less than 15% health.  Lasts 30 seconds. [Placeholder] Essence Return (Physical) Gain 2 essence when a cursed enemy dies. Volatile Death (Physical) Cursed enemies explode for 100% weapon damage on death. Scent of Blood (Physical) Cursed enemies take 15% increased damage from your minions. Aura of Frailty (Physical) Becomes an aura that curses all enemies within 15 yards. The range of this effect is increased by 50% of your gold pickup radius. Early Grave (Physical) Triggers at 18% life but costs 10% of your life. Leech
      Base Skill (Physical) Cost: 10 Essence Curse the target area. Cursed enemies have a chance to heal the attacker when they are struck for 1% of their total health. Lasts 30 seconds.
      Transmittable (Physical) Enemies that die while cursed will spread the curse to a nearby unaffected target. Sanguine End (Physical) Whenever a cursed enemy dies, you are healed for 200% of your Life per Kill. Cursed Ground (Physical) Now curses the ground, healing you for 0.5% of your maximum life every second for each enemy in the cursed area. Blood Flask (Physical) Whenever a cursed enemy dies your potion cooldown is reduced by 1 second. Osmosis (Physical) Each cursed enemy increases your life regeneration by 751 per second. Return to Top
      Corpses
      Corpse Explosion
      Base Skill (Physical) Target an area exploding all corpses within 11 yards dealing 150% weapon damage to enemies within 20 yards.
      Final Embrace (Physical) Corpses pull themselves towards the nearest enemy before exploding, but Corpse Explosion now costs 3% life per corpse. Close Quarters (Poison) Now explodes corpses close to you, dealing 200% weapon damage to enemies within 20 yards. Bloody Mess (Physical) Explosion radius is increased to 25 yards. Dead Cold (Cold) Freeze all enemies caught in the explosion for 2 seconds. Shrapnel (Poison) Corpses now explode away from you, hitting all targets in a cone. Corpse Lance
      Base Skill (Physical) Target an enemy to summon projectiles from nearby corpses that cause 750% weapon damage to the target. Brittle Touch (Cold) Enemies become brittle increasing their chance to be crit by 5% for 5 seconds each time they are hit with Corpse Lance. Blood Lance (Physical) Spend 5% of your total health to launch an additional lance from yourself towards the target that deals 250% weapon damage. Visceral Impact (Physical) Stuns the target for 3 seconds. Shredding Splinters (Poison) Each lance slows the target by 10% and reduces its damage by 6% for 10 seconds. Stacks up to 5 times. Ricochet (Physical) Corpse Lance has a 20% chance to ricochet to one additional target. Devour
      Base Skill (Physical) Consume corpses within 60 yards to restore 10 Essence per corpse. Ruthless (Physical) Additionally consumes your minions for 10 Essence per minion killed. Voracious (Physical) Reduces all Essence costs by 2% for each corpse consumed for 5 seconds. Devouring Aura (Physical) Becomes an aura that consumes all corpses within 15 yards to restore 11 Essence per corpse. The range of this effect is increased by 50% of your gold pickup radius. Satiated (Physical) Increases maximum life by 2% for 2 seconds for each corpse devoured. Cannibalize (Physical) Each corpse consumed also restores 3% health.
      Revive
      Base Skill (Physical) Target an area reviving up to 10 corpses within 20 yards for 15 seconds. Oblation (Physical) Increases the damage of revived creatures by 20% but each Revive now costs 3% health. Personal Army (Physical) Damage taken is reduced by 1% for each revived minion active? Recklessness (Cold) Revived minions deal an additional 150% damage but last 6 seconds. Damage dealt is turned into Cold. [Placeholder] Horrific Return (Poison) When you revive a corpse, enemies within 20 yards run in fear for 3 seconds. Purgatory (Physical) Revived minions degenerate back into a usable corpse at the end of their duration. Return to Top
      Passives
      Fueled by Death
      Consuming a corpse increases your run speed by 3% for 5 seconds. Life from Death
      Consuming a corpse has a 20% chance to spawn a Health Globe. Stand Alone
      Increase Armor by 100%, reduced by 10% for each active minion. Bone Prison
      Bone Spear, Bone Spikes and Bone Spirit have a 10% chance to trap enemies in a Bone Prison for 3 seconds. Commander of the Dead
      The Essence cost of Command Skeletons and the cooldown of Command Golem are reduced by 30%. Swift Harvesting
      Increase the attack speed of Bone Spikes, Siphon Blood and Grim Scythe by 15%. Aberrant Animator
      Your minions gain 200% of your Thorns. Eternal Torment
      Your curses cost 50% less Essence and last forever. Blood for Blood
      Picking up a health globe removes the health cost of the next Blood spell. This effect can stack up to 3 times. Blood is Power
      Every 5% health lost will reduce all remaining cooldowns by 1%. Draw Life
      Increases your Health Regen by 10% for each enemy within 20 yards. Extended Servitude
      Increase the duration of your Skeletal Mage and Revive minions by 25%. Final Service
      If you would take lethal damage instead all minions are consumed and heal you for 10% of your health. This effect cannot occur more than once every 60 seconds. Grisly Tribute
      You are healed for 10% of your Life on Hit when one of your minions hits an enemy. Overwhelming Essence
      Increase your maximum Essence by 40. Rathma’s Shield
      You cannot lose life for 4 seconds after using Land of the Dead, Army of the Dead and Simulacrum. Reaping
      While using a scythe gain 1% Essence and Life per kill. Rigor Mortis
      Blight abilities also slow enemies by 30% and reduce their attack speed by 15% for 5 seconds. Serration
      Bone Spikes, Bone Spear and Bone Spirit deal 1% increased damage for every 2 yards between you, up to a maximum of 15%. Return to Top
       
      Curses and Summons and Blood
      The Necromancer packs a huge variety of skills across long range, short range, and pet-oriented skills. What kind of Necromancer are you looking forward to playing? Do you want to sacrifice your health for additional power using Blood skills? Or do you prefer being the master of minions and want to surround yourself with an undead army?
      Stay tuned for more Necromancer information in the coming weeks as the Closed Beta begins and don’t forget to opt in for the chance to join if you haven’t already!
    • By Starym

       
      The beta is finally here and the patch itself brings a few more things in addition to the titular class, including challenge rifts, new zones and new waypoints in old ones!

      You can also check out the official necromancer skill overview, covering most (or all?) the active and passive abilities the new class has so far (including gifs for some).
      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 - v2.6.0.44923
      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.
      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. 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. 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.
    • By Starym

       
      We may get to play the Necromancer "soon" it seems, as the closed beta is about to arrive. Blizzard have announced the "extremely limited" (in terms of people admitted, anyway) test period for the newest Diablo 3 class is almost here and we should opt in on our battle.net accounts if we want to see it before patch 2.6.0 goes live (which won't be that soon).

      The beta will contain all Necro abilities and runes, as well as their legendary items added over time and other patch 2.6.0 features as well. They don't appear to be planning an open beta as of yet but the closed one will not have an NDA.
      Blizzard (source)
      Prepare yourselves—the Necromancer beta test is right around the corner, nephalem!
      Invitations to our closed beta test will soon be going out worldwide. If you are invited, we'd love to hear all about your adventures on the forums, watch your live streams, and see screenshots and videos of your experiences as you wield the dark powers of the Necromancer.
      Please keep in mind that the Necromancer and other parts of Patch 2.6.0 are still in development. As such, content in the closed beta may change and does not necessarily represent the final version.
      For additional information about the closed beta, including how to participate and answers to frequently asked questions, read on below!

      How to Participate:
      If you're interested in participating in the Necromancer beta test, you’ll want to make sure you've opted-in for beta testing. To opt in, simply visit your Beta Profile Settings page in Account Management, check the Diablo box under Beta Tests I'm Interested In, and then click Update Preferences. In order to be eligible to participate in the closed beta, you must have an active Diablo III license attached to your Blizzard account in good standing (i.e. not suspended or banned).

      Please note that opting in to the Necromancer beta test does not guarantee you access (especially since invites to our closed beta will be extremely limited), but it does at least give you a chance at joining the beta test.

      Necromancer Beta Test FAQ:
      How are beta test participants selected from the opt-in pool?
      Beta testers are chosen according to their system specifications, in-game activity, and other factors, including an element of luck.
      How will I know if I'm selected to participate in the beta?
      If you are selected to participate in the Necromancer beta test, you will receive an invite via email. This invitation will always be sent to the email address associated with your Blizzard account.
      Will there be any other ways to get into the beta besides opting-in?
      In addition to opt-ins, we are also inviting key members of the community on a case-by-case basis. Invites to the Necromancer beta test will be extremely limited, however, and opting in is your best way to get in.
      How many players do you plan to invite to the beta test?
      The number of players we invite will be based on our testing needs. If we ultimately determine we need more players to participate after the initial testing, we’ll invite more.
      What game content will be available in the beta?
      Players who participate will have access to all of the Necromancer’s skills and abilities, as well as other Patch 2.6.0 content. In addition, new Legendary and Set items unique to the Necromancer will be added in over time. Our upcoming patch notes will have all the details on what’s included.
      How long will the beta test last?
      We have not determined an exact date for the end of the beta test. We will notify participants when the beta test is nearing completion.
      Will there be an open beta?
      In order to ensure focused feedback and a smooth testing experience for beta players, the Necromancer beta test will be invite-only for the duration of the test.
      Is there an NDA?
      There is no non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for the Necromancer beta test. You are welcome to take screenshots, livestream your play sessions, and record feedback videos. Please keep in mind that the game is still a work in progress, though, and we appreciate your understanding when you encounter bugs, graphical errors, or other issues.
      Will Mac users be able to participate in the beta test?
      Yes, Mac users will be able to participate in the beta at the same time as Windows users.
    • By Blainie

      With such a vast array of items, skills and classes in Diablo 3, it can be very troublesome trying to get into the game as either a new player, someone trying out a new class or just someone getting back into the game. We've made sure to update all of our beginner guides for Season 10, so that you know exactly what to do in the early-game!
      The guides are mainly tailored to help players understand the most efficient ways to play their class while leveling to 70, as well as in the early torment levels prior to obtaining the vast multitude of legendaries available. There is a Leveling and Early 70 guide for each class, which can be found linked below:
      Barbarian Crusader Demon Hunter Monk Witch Doctor Wizard The builds outline different possibilities with the Haedrig's Gift sets, of which each class receives one. If you're wondering what your class set is, you can find them below:
      Barbarian - Raekor Crusader - Akkhan Demon Hunter - Marauder Monk - Inna's Witch Doctor - Zunimassa Wizard - Delsere's Good luck in the new season everyone and have fun!
    • By Stan

      Our guide section has been updated just in time for Season 10.
      Season 10 is launching today and it's the first Season for Consoles. We've updated all guides for the latest patch.
      Patch 2.5 went live a while ago, but Season 10 starts today. We've taken a closer look at the newest Season here and console players are finally getting Seasons too.
      It doesn't matter which class you'll be playing, we've got you covered! Below are links to classes, where you'll find various builds.
      Barbarian Crusader Demon Hunter Monk Witch Doctor Wizard