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Developer Chronicles: Q/A Follow-up

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In December, Nevalistis did a live Q/A on Facebook with Senior Game Designer Joe Shely. Some follow-up questions were received for questions answered and after reading all feedback, the team decided to dig deeper into some of the topics.

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In December 2016, we had a short Facebook Live Q&A where we answered questions from players all around the globe. Some of these questions came from our social media or community forums, and they spanned many different interests.

We received some follow-up questions for a few answers we provided. After reading through your feedback, we’ve looked at the top three most discussed topics from that Q&A and dug into them a little deeper.

Question 1: Are we satisfied with the Paragon system and do we intend to make any changes to it?

We’re generally satisfied with the Paragon system. It accomplishes two main goals:

First, Paragon levels allow players to continue gaining experience after reaching level 70 and to devote that experience to offensive and defensive specialties for that character (for the first 800 levels). It is core to Diablo design philosophy that time played translates to character advancement, even if you don't get a new drop in a given play session. As your gear improves and item upgrades become less frequent, this becomes especially important. This is why Paragon is (essentially) uncapped. Even when you miss the 15-minute threshold on a Greater Rift, you're still rewarded with experience toward your next Paragon level. And each Paragon level earned makes that next rift just a little bit easier.

Second, Paragon experience is shared across all your characters in the same play mode, encouraging you to try all the different builds and play styles Diablo has to offer while progressing your current main character. This also allows for some progress to be maintained when a powerful Hardcore character dies, taking a little of the sting out of that loss.

We believe that the purpose of the Paragon system aligns well with the goals it’s accomplishing, so we have no plans to make further changes to the Paragon system at this time.

Question 2: Do we have any plans to create new systems to compete with Greater Rifts as end-game activities?

While we don’t have plans to add a new system that occupies the same design space as Greater Rifts, we do have some new features coming in the future that should offer alternative challenges or improve your existing gameplay experiences.

For players looking to compete on a completely level playing field, Challenge Rifts will offer new builds and layouts to master on a frequent basis. They support leaderboards, so you can compare your time with your friends and players across the region. Challenge Rifts will be coming to PC, Xbox One, and PS4, and we’ll have more information for you once this feature is closer to release.

We're also dedicated to improving the experience of Greater Rifts, as illustrated by the recent changes to density, tile sets, monsters, and populations (See the 2.4.3 Patch Notes for full details). Among the many changes, you will no longer encounter large areas devoid of monsters, get jumped by Elite packs at the entrance of a floor, or die to that Lacuni you killed in midair.

Question 3: Why is it that changes we make do not heavily impact the meta game? Do we have the meta game in mind when designing new items or powers?

Community Manager’s note: This question wasn’t explicitly asked in the FAQ, but it embodies a lot of the feedback questions we received after the Q&A.

When introducing new Legendary items such as The Barber or increasing the damage output of the Barbarian's Wrath of the Wastes set in a patch, our goal is to increase the variety of builds and play styles seeing use in the live game. If we simply buffed Wrath of the Wastes to outperform the other Barbarian sets, or left The Barber in the dominant place it occupied for much of the 2.4.3 PTR cycle , we would simply be creating a new dominant set or item that players would feel pressured to use.

By instead improving some of the lowest performing sets and introducing new legendary items, we aim to encourage new builds or rediscover the nuances of a classic set. This may or may not change the state of the meta; that decision is largely up to what the community decides is best—whether in practice, by theorycrafting, or some combination of the two. Our design choices aren’t made with the intention to determine the meta, and we strive to avoid making new additions feel too good to pass up.

As always, we’ll be observing these changes in the wild environment of the live game and making adjustments as needed in future patches.

(Source)

 

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      Guardian of Sanctuary: Finish a level 70 Nephalem Rift on Torment XIII within five minutes Gem of My Life: Level three Legendary Gems to level 55 All I Do IS Win: Complete two Conquests this Season Disarm You: Kill Rakanoth at level 70 in under 15 seconds on Torment XIII difficulty Money Ain’t A Thang: Slay Greed on Torment XIII difficulty Take U There: Reach Greater Rift level 60 Solo Power Amplification: Use Kanai’s Cube to augment an Ancient Legendary item with a level 50+ gem Cubic Reconfiguration: Use Kanai’s Cube to reforge a Legendary item Seasonal Conquests
      Want to prepare your Conquest plan for Season 18? Here are the challenges you’ll face!
      Push your way to Greater Rift level 75 to complete Divinity/Lionhearted. On a Good Day/I Can’t Stop guides you to get your Legendary Gem grind on; level three Legendary Gems to 65 to complete this challenge! For the speedy, Speed Demon/Need for Speed requires the fastest nephalem to complete a Nephalem Rift at level 70 on Torment X or higher in under two minutes. For Curses!/Stars Align, pick any Cursed Chest event that requires killing monsters and defeat over 350 or more at level 70 on Torment X or higher. For the fiercest demon slayers, Boss Mode/World’s Apart is a speed challenge where you’ll need to eliminate the following bosses at level 70 and Torment X in under twenty minutes:
      The Skeleton King The Butcher Zoltun Kulle Ghom Cydaea Rakanoth Diablo Adria Queen Araneae Maghda Belial Siegebreaker Assault Beast Azmodan Izual Urzael Malthael Haedrig’s Gift
      Finally, the Class Sets rewarded for completing certain chapters in the Season Journey courtesy of Haedrig’s Gift have rotated once more. We’ve listed the available Sets below. For those new to Seasons, here’s how it works:
      Completing Chapters 2, 3, and 4 of the Season Journey will reward you with three of Haedrig’s Gifts. Each Gift contains a few pieces from one of your Class Sets. Players can only unlock one Class Set in this manner per Season across Hardcore and Non-Hardcore, so choose wisely!
      The set you will receive depends on the class of the character you’re playing when you open each Haedrig’s Gift. To collect a full Class Set, you’ll need to open all three on the same character.
      Here are the sets granted by Haedrig’s Gift in Season 18:
      Barbarian – The Legacy of Raekor Crusader – Armor of Akkhan Demon Hunter – Embodiment of the Marauder Monk – Inna’s Reach Necromancer – Pestilence Master’s Shroud Witch Doctor – Zunimassa’s Haunt Wizard – Delsere’s Magnum Opus
      Patch Notes
      Below you will find the patch notes for the most recent update for Diablo III, Patch 2.6.6. Changes from the PTR have been highlighted in RED.
      PATCH 2.6.6
      Note: All changes apply to all versions of Diablo III, including PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC unless otherwise indicated.
      General
      A pet has been added that will be available for players who pre-purchase Warcraft III: Reforged Spoils of War Edition (PC Only) Seasons
      The buff for Season 18, the Season of the Triune, has been added Triune's Will: All abilities have a chance when hitting an enemy to spawn a circle that gives a power. Only one circle can be active at a time. Triune of Love (Power): Players in the circle receive a 100% damage bonus while active Triune of Determination (Resource Reduction): Players in the circle receive a 50% discount on resources spent while active Triune of Creation (Cooldown Reduction): While standing in an active circle, any skills currently on cooldown come off of cooldown more quickly Developer Comment: The last couple of Seasonal buffs have been focused primarily on end-game content. We wanted to try something different this Season with a buff that was more beneficial to players regardless of where they might be in their Season Journey. Triune's Will can come into play as early as level 1 and continue to make an impact on your game experience from the beginning to the end of the Season, and we're looking forward to seeing how players leverage this ever-changing boost throughout their adventures! Developer Comment: In addition, we received feedback from players during the PTR about colorblind accessibility. We've changed one of the blue-tinted circles to a darker, green earth tone that should stand out a lot more for affected players. We greatly appreciate your feedback! Items
      Developer Note: There are additional specific notes below, but broadly for 2.6.6, we wanted to introduce a handful of new item powers targeted at two audiences: (1) certain classes with long-standing requests for balance/quality of life adjustments and (2) the broader player base for experimenting with Kanai's Cube. This means fewer class-specific new additions, but more additions that everyone has an opportunity to play with. We also experimented with making some of the craftable sets from Haedrig more appealing for fresh level 70's or players looking to maximize their farming runs. We hope to see some interesting new theorycrafting and tactics out of 2.6.6 and can't wait to see what the community does with this new loot! Updated Item Notes: There are a number of notes below clarifying the intention of certain item functionalities. In a couple cases, such as with Flavor of Time, the item wasn't behaving properly during PTR per our intentions (which has been fixed). For others, we just wanted to provide more clarity about exactly how these items behave. The Flavor of Time New Legendary Power: Pylon effects last twice as long. Note: Only wearers of this item gain this effect. This is intended. The Executioner New Legendary Power: Attacks will slay enemies with less than (5-10%) health. Note: This item's power does not work on followers. This is intended. Stone Gauntlets New Legendary Power: Getting attacked will slowly turn you to stone... (You gain 50% more armor, but your movement speed is reduced by 15% and attack speed is reduced by 20%. This effect stacks up to 5 times) PTR Update: This item now displays a buff icon and has a clearer in-game description. Thank you for the feedback! Note: Immunity to control-impairing effects can work against the reduced attack and movement speed penalties. This is intended. Echoing Fury New Legendary Power: Slaying enemies engulfs the wielder into a Frenzy. (Killing enemies increases your attack speed by 15% and movement speed by 5%. This effect stacks up to 5 times) PTR Update: This item's power now works on kill assists and pet kills. Thank you for the feedback! Squirt's Necklace New Legendary Power: While not taking damage, your damage is increased by up to 100% and damage taken is increased by up to 50%. PTR Update: This item now displays a buff icon. Thank you for the feedback! Messerschmidt's Reaver New Legendary Power: Reduce the remaining cooldown of one of your skills by 1 second when you slay an enemy. PTR Update: This item's power now works on kill assists and pet kills. Thank you for the feedback! Mortick's Brace New Legendary Item: Wrath of the Berserker gains the effect of every rune. Developer's Note: If you played during the Patch 2.2.0 PTR, you'll recognize this as an item that was later removed from the game before it went to live servers. At the time, Mortick's Brace gave too much power for a single item slot. However, the power curve of Diablo III has changed significantly since then and we're comfortable with bringing it back. Developer's Note: We're not done with Barbarians, either. However, this is a change that required less testing and could be easily added to 2.6.6, so rather than waiting for a larger batch of changes, we saw no reason to hold this one back. Spite Note: This item can be crafted from the Blacksmith and is not a normal loot drop New Legendary Power: Non-cleaving Gargantuans gain the cleave and chilling effects of the Humongoid rune. Legacy of Dreams New Legendary Gem: While you have no set bonuses equipped, every Legendary item you have equipped increases your damage dealt by 3.75% and reduces your damage taken by 2%. (Max level 99) Rank 25: This bonus is doubled for Ancient items. Developer's Note: The end game opened up significantly with Season 17's Legacy of Nightmare's buff (and the community was clear about how much these new options were appreciated), but wanted to make this addition a more permanent fixture in a more streamlined way than simply making it baseline. This Legendary Gem should open that path up even further and at more opportunities than just late game Greater Rift pushing. Crafted Sets Note: The following sets have been significantly revised from their existing level 70 counterparts. Items crafted prior to 2.6.6 will continue to exist in their old forms but will not be updated after the patch. In addition, after the patch, the old recipes will no longer be available to craft and all players will need to re-acquire these recipes by finding the plans again through Horadric Caches or by killing Odious Collectors. Sage's Journey A Belt has been added to this set. Haedrig the Blacksmith now automatically learns how to forge this set at Rank 12. Captain Crimson's Trimmings (2) Set Bonus Regenerates 6000 Life per Second Reduces cooldown of all skills by10% 20%. Now also reduces Resource Costs by 20% (3) Set Bonus Set bonuses have been replaced Damage dealt is increased by your total percentage of Cooldown Reduction Damage taken is reduced by your total percentage of Resource Cost Reduction Aughild's Authority (2) Set Bonus Set bonuses have been replaced Reduces damage taken by 15% Increases damage dealt by 30% (3) Set Bonus Reduces damage from elites by 15% 30% Increases damage against elites by 15% 30% Cain's Destiny (2) Set Bonus Attack Speed increased by 8% +50% Experience. (5.0% at level 70) (Moved from (3) Set Bonus) (3) Set Bonus When a Greater Rift Keystone drops, there is a 25% chance for an extra one to drop. Bug Fixes
      Fixed an error that occurred when reporting a player via a friend request Fixed an error that occurred when saving an existing Friend Note without making changes PTR-Specific Bug Fixes
      Squirt's Necklace Fixed an issue where the damage taken increase was not reaching the 50% cap Captain Crimson's Trimmings Fixed an issue where the bonus provided by this class set was subject to snapshotting FAQ
      Q: When does Season 18 start?
      A: Season 18 begins Friday, August 23 at 5:00 p.m. PDT in North America, 5:00 p.m. CEST in Europe, and 5:00 p.m. KST in Asia. For time zone conversion, see this site.
      Q: When do Seasons go live for players on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch?
      A: Seasons go live for all console players globally Friday, August 23 at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, regardless of which regional version of the game you may have. Please note that Seasonal Leaderboards for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch are still separate by hardware platform.
      Q: When will Season 18 end?
      A: We are no longer providing anticipated end dates for Seasons. However, we are committed to keeping Seasons roughly three months in length (give or take a few weeks based on development needs) and will continue to provide a minimum of two weeks advance notice for when the Season will be ending.
      Q: When are the non-Seasonal Leaderboards being wiped?
      A: Non-Seasonal Leaderboards are tied to what we call “Eras,” each of which lasts about 6–12 months. The most recent era began January 8. For more information on Eras, please see this post.
      Q: What will happen to older Seasonal and Era records?
      A: Starting with Season 10, we removed old personal bests from Season 1. When Season 18 arrives, we will remove old personal bests from Season 9, and so on. We will be doing the same for personal bests from the previous Era when the next one goes live.
      Seasonal Leaderboard records are not being cleared and will remain archived both in game and on our website.
      Themed Seasons are continuing to evolve as we venture into the future, and we’re quite excited to see where this one leads. Are you looking forward to the Season of the Triune? How do you think you’ll utilize the powers the Triune will bestow upon you? Share your thoughts below and we’ll see you in Season 18!
      The Season of the Triune begins next week and here are the official Patch 2.6.6 notes.
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