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First Look: Patch 2.6.1

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Patch 2.6.1 is just around the corner and we're taking a closer look at some of its highlights in terms of skills and itemization.

  • The main goal of Patch 2.6.1 is balance.
  • Many class sets have been revisited and updated.
    • Raekor & Uliana's Stratagem received numerical tweaks in power.
    • Wrath of the Wastes got a damage boost and the damage reduction from the 4P set bonus lasts an additional 3 seconds.
  • Blessed HammerBlessed HammerLimitlessLimitless has been redesigned, because it caused performance issues in high density areas.
  • Arcane OrbArcane OrbFrozen OrbFrozen Orb can now benefit from AudacityAudacity & Power HungryPower Hungry passives, because its range has been increased to 40 yards.
  • The vast majority of updates to Legendary items are number tweaks.

Blizzard plans to deploy the last Patch 2.6.1 build to PTR this Thursday.
- Update: Here are the probably final 2.6.1 patch notes.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

The latest patch for Diablo III is on its way! Read on to learn more about incoming class set updates, skill changes, and balance passes coming in Patch 2.6.1.

Class Set Revisions

Following the release of the Necromancer, the theme of this patch is (appropriately) balance. We’ve taken a top-down look across all class performance in Greater Rifts, and made several changes to bring as many gameplay styles as close in line to each other as possible. Targeting the most popular or requested builds, we started with Class sets, and you can expect buffs coming your way no matter which hero is your favorite.

While some sets, like Legacy of Raekor or Uliana’s Strategem, have simply received numerical tweaks in power, others have had minor functionality tweaks that make a big difference. For example, if you’re a big fan of spinning to win, you should revisit the Wrath of the Wastes set. In addition to getting a boost in damage, the damage reduction provided by the 4-piece set bonus now lasts an additional 3 seconds, making plenty of room to toss out a Rend without feeling too vulnerable.

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The Necromancer isn’t left out either; if you enjoy the bloody gameplay of Trag’Oul’s Avatar, the double-life cost from the 6-piece set bonus has been removed. Hardcore players may now feel a bit more comfortable experimenting with this set, enabling oodles of gore-tastic gameplay.  

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Skill Changes

While most of the incoming changes are focused on items, there were some skills that needed tweaks to improve their overall performance. Skills are the stage upon which balance is built, so we identified a number of them that would benefit from more careful tuning and improved in-game performance .

For example, Crusaders with a hankering for hammers will find that the Blessed Hammer (Limitless) rune has been redesigned. The additional projectiles were causing performance issues in high density areas, so we’ve compensated by increasing both the rune’s base damage as well as its area of effect.

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Other changes were more straightforward. We noticed, for example, that Arcane Orb (Frozen Orb) could not benefit from either the Power Hungry or Audacity passives due to its ideal explosion range. We’ve increased its range to 40 yards to make the intent of this skill’s synergies clearer.

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Item Revisions

Like the changes made to class set items, we’ve targeted many Legendary items to help with tuning. The large majority of these are number tweaks, but keep an eye out for a few exceptions with broader updates!

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Patch 2.6.1 is well on its way and will make game play options more diverse than ever! What classic build are you looking forward to revisiting? Is there a play style you’ve always wanted to try that you plan on giving a whirl? Let us know in the comments below, or ask your questions about the upcoming patch. We’ll see you in Sanctuary!

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On 10/12/2017 at 3:29 PM, TwinkyBird said:

Any word on if u have to reroll new items? And what about 2.6.1 on ps4 release?

I haven't heard anything, but it seems likely we'll have to reroll for the new gear.  Isn't that the way it's always worked?

I'm wondering if on some of the gear, rerolling an Ancient to a regular 2.6.1 piece, if the 2.6.1 piece might still be better than the previous Ancient?  Maybe even better than a Primal Ancient.

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3 hours ago, albabe said:

I haven't heard anything, but it seems likely we'll have to reroll for the new gear.  Isn't that the way it's always worked?

I'm wondering if on some of the gear, rerolling an Ancient to a regular 2.6.1 piece, if the 2.6.1 piece might still be better than the previous Ancient?  Maybe even better than a Primal Ancient.

It looks like we will. And yeah, most likely. With how insanely high some things have been buffed, even Primal Ancients will be useless compared to new high-rolled non-ancients.

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4 hours ago, Blainie said:

It looks like we will. And yeah, most likely. With how insanely high some things have been buffed, even Primal Ancients will be useless compared to new high-rolled non-ancients.

So, basically, in the meantime, we all need to do bazillions of Bounty Runs and stock-Up on a big pile of Cube Mats to reroll our Legendaries!!!

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9 hours ago, albabe said:

So, basically, in the meantime, we all need to do bazillions of Bounty Runs and stock-Up on a big pile of Cube Mats to reroll our Legendaries!!!

Yeah, basically! Thankfully, I cleared what I needed this season and I'll just pick things up again next season, so no re-rolling for me :p

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On 10/21/2017 at 1:34 AM, Blainie said:

Yeah, basically! Thankfully, I cleared what I needed this season and I'll just pick things up again next season, so no re-rolling for me :p

I don't play on the PC much - mostly my wife and I play on the PS4 at home and we don't do Seasons.  We got crap Internet where we live in SF.  We're in an area that is too far from the DSL Hubs so everyone uses Comcast.  I think Comcast is an awful company and has too many restrictions for D/L and U/L.  As an example, friends of mine that, like me, work for Marvel, DC, Darkhorse and Image Upload a lot of high-res artwork and they kept throttling them down to diddley - they explained that to them and they still throttled them.  So, no sense paying Comcast a bundle to basically give me dial-up... Yea, they suck big time.

 The problem is that w/out decent Internet it's virtually impossible to play with others, so doing Seasons alone would take forever, so we just play together .   So I've been just trying accumulate a bunch of Bounty Mats so we can reroll whatever items we need whenever the Patch is plugged-in.

I did mess around in the PTR 2.6.1 with my Yangs DH and it sure seems hella powerful but I didn't actually compare the 2.6.0 and the 2.6.1 Build.  Has anyone specifically done that?

I really hope they add a few Torment levels but I doubt they will since I've heard nothing at all about that.  And that might kill the game for us because with 2.6.1 it'll be too easy to do T13...  Neither of us are into unrelenting GR runs.   That is seriously boring for us.

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1 hour ago, albabe said:

I did mess around in the PTR 2.6.1 with my Yangs DH and it sure seems hella powerful but I didn't actually compare the 2.6.0 and the 2.6.1 Build.  Has anyone specifically done that?

You're looking at clearing 85s easily solo with Yang's UE in 5-6 mins without amazing gear (not even full ancient, some Caldesann's around 60-80) in 2.6.1. Huge change from the previous T13 clear build.

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On 10/22/2017 at 9:09 AM, Blainie said:

You're looking at clearing 85s easily solo with Yang's UE in 5-6 mins without amazing gear (not even full ancient, some Caldesann's around 60-80) in 2.6.1. Huge change from the previous T13 clear build.

I just got the official Patch and I messed with my Yang's (sounds dirty to me) Build in 2.6.1.  I didn't realize it at first because on a Mac you can no longer Toggle in an out of the game to check your Gear against builds.  It's been this way for 2 patches now and Bliz doesn't seem to give a crap.  Pain in my arse.

Anyway - Used-up a bunch of Bounty Mats Upgrading to 2.6.1 Unhallowed gear until I realized that Our Old  Sets have the new Stats already applied to Our Old Existing Gear.

Do ya think all the Sets will have the 2.6.1 Stats already applied?

I wonder if it'll be this way on the Console?

And honestly... my Character is just too powerful for T13.  Kinda boring.

Edited by albabe

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...and... it seems you can't roll a Legendary 2.6.0 into a 2.6.1.  To get the 2.6.1 Legendaries, you either need to Find them, or roll Yellows/Rares into Legendaries.

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7 hours ago, albabe said:

...and... it seems you can't roll a Legendary 2.6.0 into a 2.6.1.  To get the 2.6.1 Legendaries, you either need to Find them, or roll Yellows/Rares into Legendaries.

That well and truly sucks. I was going to do some testing, but I might just wait for the new season to farm tbh. Really disappointed about this. Had every set prepared for each class in previous seasons for testing.

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4 hours ago, Blainie said:

That well and truly sucks. I was going to do some testing, but I might just wait for the new season to farm tbh. Really disappointed about this. Had every set prepared for each class in previous seasons for testing.

Yea... sigh.  The "Good Thing" was that it was pretty easy to Farm and/or Upgrade a Yellow/Rare Yangs and Dead Man's.  And oddly, even though neither were Ancient, my stats on both were decent.  Maybe they "upped" the Drop/Stat Rate(?)

The other "Good Thing" was that the Set Stats were Automatically Changed/upgraded from my 2.6.0 to 2.6.1, so I didn't have to Farm or Upgrade those again... I hope.  (And I didn't lose my Caldesann’s on my Set Pieces!)

I wonder why Blizz didn't add a few Torment Levels?  Would it be that hard for a Programmer?  Since these 2.6.1 Builds/Characters are so Powerful, I can only assume that Blizz wants the End Game to be just redundant GR Runs.... boring.

 

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AND... it looks like the Legendaries that are in the Cube have their Stats Changed but no longer Assigned to the Cube Slot.  You seem to only have to reassign them.

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16 hours ago, albabe said:

I wonder why Blizz didn't add a few Torment Levels?  Would it be that hard for a Programmer?  Since these 2.6.1 Builds/Characters are so Powerful, I can only assume that Blizz wants the End Game to be just redundant GR Runs.... boring.

I would imagine it's because further Torment levels would make normal rifts basically useless - gold would be even more useless than it is now, gems would be infinite from vault runs, GR keys could be farmed in no time. They probably want to keep Torment levels low to keep players farming it. If you had up to T20, for example, you'd have like 5 keys dropping from every boss. It'd take too little time, I assume.

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8 hours ago, Blainie said:

I would imagine it's because further Torment levels would make normal rifts basically useless - gold would be even more useless than it is now, gems would be infinite from vault runs, GR keys could be farmed in no time. They probably want to keep Torment levels low to keep players farming it. If you had up to T20, for example, you'd have like 5 keys dropping from every boss. It'd take too little time, I assume.

You lost me.  Maybe I'm just too dim-witted here in terms of Game Dynamics.

Aren't "Normal Rifts" already useless?  And why would making something already "Useless" (Gold) more "Useless" be a problem?  It's already Useless, so who cares?

I don't know the numbers/math so I can only talk in Relatives (like my Aunt Sally).  With most of the Builds being so buffed, adding Torment levels wouldn't be a big deal, would it?  T13 with a 2.6.0 build should be a lot easier with a 2.6.1 build.  So a T16 would be around the same relative effort as a 2.6.0 in T13, no?

As for the rest of your statement, well, I'm still lost.

"And now for something completely different..." sorta.  You think this Old Twister build will be viable with the 2.6.1 Changes?  The Comment Section was Closed so I couldn't post this there.

https://www.icy-veins.com/d3/wizard-energy-twister-build-with-the-dmo-set-patch-2-4

Wand of Woh Wiz too?  I weally wike dat build.

https://www.icy-veins.com/d3/wizard-explosive-blast-farming-build-with-tal-rasha-set-patch-2-6-season-11

 

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16 hours ago, albabe said:

As for the rest of your statement, well, I'm still lost.

So, Blizzard main goal is to ensure we play the game for as long as possible, especially with them not really doing anything further in terms of content for Diablo for at least a year, we assume (no announcements at Blizzcon).

Let's say we have a Wiz player, and said Wiz player comfortably clears speed 100s with his group. He pushes into the 110+ rifts for progression and rarely ever touches normal rifts, other than to get GR keys.

Assuming the 3-drop from T13, he would need to do 100 rifts to get 300 keys at T13. Let's say each rift takes him 2 minutes, since he's pretty well geared. That's 200 minutes to gain 300 keys.

Now let's take the example of T16, which would, I assume, drop a guaranteed 4-keys per run. To get 300 keys, he would need to do only 75 runs. Given that his gear is still strong enough, the runs still take, on average, 2 minutes. That's 150 minutes to gain 300 keys.

We can work through this example for everything that drops in T-rifts, mats, Death's Breaths etc., and the key thing in Blizzard's eyes is that it's a reduction in played time for players. You have to spend less time farming, you have to spend less time playing overall and therefore you're likely to complete things faster. You'll be getting more mats and faster, which means you'll gear up faster, which likely means you'll burn out faster.

I think they won't add it purely because of this.

16 hours ago, albabe said:

"And now for something completely different..." sorta.  You think this Old Twister build will be viable with the 2.6.1 Changes?  The Comment Section was Closed so I couldn't post this there.

https://www.icy-veins.com/d3/wizard-energy-twister-build-with-the-dmo-set-patch-2-4

Wand of Woh Wiz too?  I weally wike dat build.

https://www.icy-veins.com/d3/wizard-explosive-blast-farming-build-with-tal-rasha-set-patch-2-6-season-11

I think Frozen Orb DMO will out-do Twister to be "the" DMO build. It'll probably be viable, yeah, but not the best.

Wand of Woh, definitely. It's great in 2.6.1.

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      Beginner's Guide to Monks - Levels 1-70 and Guide with the Starting Set, Inna - A guide that will take you through the leveling process efficiently and optimize your Season 14 Monk with the Haedrig's Gift free set. Sunwuko - Wave of Light Endgame Build  - This unique ranged Monk playstyle blows demons up in screen-wide, incinerating beams of searing light. Support Monk  - Group-oriented build that the entire team depends upon for healing, short-range monster pulls and damage reduction from regular attacks. Uliana - Seven-Sided Strike Endgame Build  - Widely regarded as the most satisfying build of the class, Uliana enriches the Seven-Sided Strike visual with Exploding Palm detonations. Raiment Shenlong - Generator Endgame Build  - The Monk's bread and butter, this build pummels enemies into the ground with the sheer might of the primary fist attacks. Sunwuko - Lashing Tail Kick Endgame Build  - Building on the classic Monk image, this spec jump in, whirlwind kicks the demons' teeth in, and jump to the next pack of monsters. Exploding Palm/Mystic Allies Inna  - In this Monk take on a summoner build, you rally spiritual fighters at your side that burst entire groups of enemies with Exploding Palms. Necromancers
      Beginner's Guide to Necromancers - Levels 1-70 and Guide with the Starting Set, Pestilence - A guide that will take you through the leveling process efficiently and optimize your Season 14 Necromancer with the Haedrig's Gift free set. Pestilence or Trag'Oul - Corpse Lance  - This build alternates long scouting sessions while waiting on cooldowns with the utter devastation once Devour meets Land of the Dead. Rathma - Skeletal Mage - If you like to keep a tight rein on your minions with precise commands, leading the menagerie of undead at your side in a resource-fueled frenzy, this build is the one for you. Command Skeletons Inarius  - Turning the skeleton warriors into a vicious, unrelenting superior to Bane of the Stricken, this build is a Necromancer's one-way ticket to the absolute endgame heights. Skeletal Mages Trag'Oul  - This is the alternate take on the Mages build, specializing in extreme speed farming, while still offering capable GR pushes. Bone Storm Inarius  - While it took an undeniable nerf, this build is still one of the most relaxing, farming-appropriate melee builds of Necromancers. Corpse Explosion Inarius  - An underappreciated offshoot to the close range Inarius variants, this build is among the most visually appealing and satisfying Necromancer builds out there. Witch Doctors
      Beginner's Guide to Witch Doctors - Levels 1-70 and Guide with the Starting Set, Zunimassa  - A guide that will take you through the leveling process efficiently and optimize your Season 14 Witch Doctor with the Haedrig's Gift free set. Arachyr - Firebats Endgame Build  - Requiring minimal upkeep, this build spins a circular, no-aiming-required wave of Firebats obliteration around you. Simple, neat, and utterly effective. Helltooth - Gargantuan Endgame Build  - This staple summoner build offers laid-back playstyle with automated minions, excellent sustain and protective options, and even some space for crowd control. Jade Harvester Endgame Build  - One of the oldest examples of interesting set execution, this melee spellcaster trades the safety of range and hexes for aggressive dives and DoT consumption. Zunimassa Gargantuan Endgame Build - This build thrives behind a thick wall of Fetish summons and is accompanied by lumbering, destructive Gargantuan brutes in a pure minion playstyle. Legacy of Nightmares Spirit Barrage Endgame Build  - Emerging from a convergence of obscure mechanics, this build offers a unique, spell-heavy, bursty playstyle that produces some of the most spectacular visuals of the class. Wizards
      Beginner's Guide to Wizards - Levels 1-70 and Guide with the Starting Set, Delsere's Magnum Opus  - A guide that will take you through the leveling process efficiently and optimize your Season 14 Wizard with the Haedrig's Gift free set. Firebird (or Tal Rasha) - Meteor - Reaching for the heartstrings of Meteor lovers, this build channels torrents of arcane energy to conjure destructive, burning meteorites into a pure visual feast. DMO - Frozen Orb - Combining the Frozen Orb nostalgia of sorceresses past with the forgotten power of Slow Time wizardry, this build leaves enemies helpless, watching their frozen death creep ever closer. Vyr Archon - The oldest devotees to the Archon playstyle: Vyr and its complementary Chantodo sets got an awesome boost of power in Patch 2.6.1. Tal Rasha - Explosive Blast - Aside from its distinct cannonade of arcane blasts, this build is very attractive to Wizards due to its ability to include Sage's set for materials farming. Arcane Torrent Tal Rasha - Spawning off the addition of Manald Heal this guide offers not one, but three very fun, tanky, non-Archon lightning variants to build around. Conclusion
      In short, Patch 2.6.1 is one of the best times Diablo 3 has experienced in terms of build diversity and sheer endgame potential. A living proof that pure numbers patches can sometimes work wonders. Have fun and good luck in Season 14 - I leave you with my hour-long overview of some of my favorite builds in the latest patch!