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We have an update after the previously announced delay - it seems we won't be seeing the Season 21 PTR until sometime next week, after Monday as well since it's a federal holiday in the US.
Unfortunately, with the testing needed, we can’t give an exact date but as soon as I have one, I will come in here and update.
I can safely say that I would not expect it on Monday as that is a federal holiday here in the US. Once I hear more, I will update the group. Apologies again about the delay.
Just a quick update on PTR, we discovered some issues that came up and are needing some additional QA time with the build as we want to make sure we get something out that is thoroughly vetted on our end. PTR will not be going live today due to these additional tests needed.
We will keep you all informed on updates regarding PTR, but it is looking like it will now land sometime next week as we get this ready. Sorry for the confusion on delay on this one. We appreciate all the help and feedback we get during these PTR opportunities.
With the Season 21 PTR arriving in two days, we thought we'd poke our resident guide writer to see what his initial pre-PTR thoughts were on the large amount of new things being added in the season. He covers the new Demon Hunter and Necromancer sets, the seasonal mechanic, new legendary items, as well as other classes' skill and item changes and all of the above's impact on existing and new builds! Let's get right into it, as Deadset takes over:
The Trials of Tempest seasonal mechanic is somewhat reminiscent of the Season 19 Pandemonium buff, with various flashy (and doubtlessly very powerful) effects playing out on the battlefield. Unlike S19 and its kills-dependent mechanic however, the Season 21 mechanic seems to be guaranteed, and operates on a 2-minute timer.
Not needing to kill monsters to trigger the mechanic might pose a significant balancing problem, and the only way the "elemental powers" of the upcoming Season wouldn't break the flow of gameplay completely would be to make them quite weak - certainly not a desirable outcome. A carbon copy of the S19 mechanic would not be ideal, but it would still be preferable to a completely insignificant one. Hopefully that concern gets addressed in a reasonable way.
Demon Hunter Items and Gears of Dreadlands Set
The Dreadlands set revolves around Primary skill attacks, but the set bonuses in the preliminary PTR patch notes - the 2-piece bonus in particular - are confusingly worded.
A more tame prediction would be that attacking with Primary skills builds up a stacking buff, with a duration of 2 seconds per stack and a 5 stack maximum for a 10 second duration cap, likely refreshed with each Primary skill attack. A bolder prediction would be that said stacks are built up if you attack successively within 2 seconds, fall off with a hard capped duration of 10 seconds, but are not capped in number (or the cap is higher, but unlisted so far). Regardless, this so-called 'Momentum' buff increases the base damage of the selected Primary skill accordingly, but the question of the nature of that stacking buff remains - if it is additive with itself, or if it multiplies; obviously, the latter would produce a much more impressive effect.
The 4-piece bonus provides the expected damage reduction mechanic from this tier, with a solid 60% DR while Strafing and for 5 seconds after stopping the channeling. It also adds a (yet unspecified) movement speed buff per stack, adding to the maneuverability of the build. Depending on the development team's vision for the ease of use of the set, it can either require you to manually weave in Primary shots to keep up the bonus, or the 4-piece bonus in question can refresh the Momentum stacks by itself, making it a sort of 'spin-to-win' Demon Hunter build. Note that while the latter would be amazing for convenience, it would break the general Diablo 3 rule of 'procs not proccing other procs' - not unheard of, but these exceptions are few and far between, with a good reason.
The bigger question is whether the shots of "your last used Primary skill" from the 4-piece bonus are dependent on the actual Strafe projectile formulae (Attack Speed x Speed Coefficient of the Skill (4 in this case), or is frames per animation-dependent. It is also reasonable to expect that items which affect Primary skill Attack Speed (the buffed Hunter's Wrath for example) would factor in the calculation of the extra shots mechanic. Another good question is whether Area Damage would even trigger from Strafe-autocasted Primary attacks, since the comparable Barbarian counterpart with Ambo's Pride-applied Rends certainly does not.
The 6-piece bonus is a straightforward 10,000% damage buff that applies to Primary skills, propelling the set into endgame-viable damage output.
As far as synergistic items are concerned, a slew of DH legendaries have been boosted to augment the new set (and likely other builds as a side effect). Emimei's Duffel and Leonine Bow of Hashir see a sizable boost to their Bolas bonuses, alongside a curious guaranteed (100% chance) pulling effect from the bow, which opens up Support Demon Hunter opportunities. We are also seeing buffs to Odyssey's End (for Entangling Shot) and The Ninth Cirri Satchel (guaranteed instead of chance-based piercing effect and a damage buff for Hungering Arrow). There is an odd, but not unwelcome buff to the Holy Point Shot, which boosts the staple Impale build.
The apparent dependence of the set on Attack Speed values naturally makes Pain Enhancer a supremely valuable gem in the setup.
Necromancer Items and Masquerade of Burning Carnival Set
The 2-piece set bonus renders your Simulacrums invulnerable, nets you all their runes, and refreshes the skill's massive 2-minute cooldown when you die. While it is doubtful that this set would introduce a non-traditional piece (belt, amulet, etc.) as Necromancers are very rigid in their set piece distribution, it would be amazing if it is considered for the sheer value and variety it would introduce to other sets and the class in general.
The 4-piece bonus brings the near-mandatory damage reduction mechanic with a 50% DR bonus whileSimulacrum is active, and adds a split of inflicted damage between yourself and the Simulacrums, similarly to a Unity ring mechanic. In essence, this results in an impressive 75% DR base for the build (and potentially even higher, 83.5%, with the Blood and Bone rune, which produces 2 Simulacrums - remains to be tested how the mechanic works).
The 6-piece bonus is quite disappointingly locked into Bone Spear damage bonuses, hopefully this is a placeholder and open to changes, as such a rigid bonus and a repeat of the Pestilence set does not spark a lot of interest.
Quite logically for the introduction of a Simulacrum-based set, the dedicated Haunted Visions amulet gets a buff of cosmic proportions, as it makes the Simulacrum summons last indefinitely and drain a fraction of the health they used to per second.
To somewhat counterbalance the Skeletal MageSingularity nerfs (check the Reaper's Wraps nerf below), Razeth's Volition now gives the Singularity rune for free, and adds a massive damage reduction bonus while Essence is not full (near permanent uptime with the mechanics of the build). This opens up the possibility of very strong, Skeletal MageContamination-based builds with Nayr's Black Death and Poison skill stacking, which will be explored throughout the duration of the PTR.
The nearly forgotten Jesseth Arms set (Jesseth Skullscythe + Jesseth Skullshield) now provides a global damage multiplier instead of locking itself to Skeletal Mages, which increases its viability.
The Grace of Inarius and Pestilence Master's Shroud sets gain marginal buffs, which will hopefully be expanded upon throughout the duration of the PTR.
As an interesting minor side effect, the damage buffs to the Grasps of Essence legendary gloves make it by far the strongest leveling item gamble in the game, with an easily scaled damage bonuses to carry you to max level at even greater speeds. Note the tripled base damage of the skill as well, as Corpse Explosion itself attains a significant baseline buff this coming season.
Other Classes and General Item Changes
The cap to Shield of Fury is a nerf, albeit not a crippling one, to the capabilities of the mighty Aegis of Valor Heaven's Fury Crusader.
On the other hand, Skeletal Mage 'Rat' builds and popular speed farming methods will be hit hard by the introduction of the Reaper's Wraps 2-second internal cooldown, and would necessitate a re-imagining of said builds to still be somewhat effective. Stay tuned on this front.
The Mantle of Channeling finally working on the solitary Necromancer channeling skill - Siphon Blood - is a welcome change, but its impact is doubtful when it comes to the viability of the skill.
The Stone of Jordan attains a rather unexpected legendary bonus, which takes your highest elemental damage bonus on gear and makes it a global elemental damage increase. While this still produces a lower total bonus compared to the respective Convention of Elements rotation, it counterbalances with the permanent uptime of the damage bonus.
The 'cheat death' passive of Necromancers, Final Service, no longer consumes pets when procced - a very, very welcome change and one that has been asked about since the introduction of the class. Great quality of life for summon-heavy builds, and one coming at the right time considering the other hits the class has taken.
SinceSpirit BarragePhantasm no longer benefits from pet bonuses, the Enforcer and Pain Enhancer legendary gems will be dropped from the setup, right alongside Mask of Jeram. Spirit Barrage WDs is still expected to be a very strong build, which is a testament to the pure mechanical power of its interactions.
A new Diablo 3 patch will be available for playtesting starting May 21. Check out the official patch notes for details.
A new Seasonal buff will make your character channel an elemental power which unleashes into the environment for a limited time every 2 minutes, making meteors rain from skies around you. Your character can also breathe lightning, release twisters of pure energy, and more. The patch also comes with brand new sets for Demon Hunters and Necromancers, skill changes for Necromancers, and various bug fixes. The Necromancer set revolves around Simulacrums and Bone Spear. The Demon Hunter (Gears of Dreadlands) set utilizes Momentum stacks and Strafe. You can earn a new Portrait Frame and Pet in Season 21. More details are available in the patch notes below.
Wait, Nephalem. Do you sense that? Though the air remains tainted with a demonic brimstone stench, the world around you crackles with chaotic elemental energy. You have been deemed worthy. The primal forces of Sanctuary manifest to aid you in the fight against the swelling darkness. Channel untethered bouts of flame, forked lightning, slicing wind, and biting snow against the minions of the Burning Hells during the Trials of Tempests!
Our two-week PTR testing period for the 2.6.9 update begins May 21 and we're asking for your help to quell the tides of surging demons. Take a look at the preliminary patch notes below and start theorycrafting how you'll make the most of the brand-new season buff, two new class sets, and tons of Legendary item changes; Patch 2.6.9 will be arriving soon!
Table of Contents
PTR Focus & Details PTR Tips Patch Notes Seasons Items Skills Bug Fixes How to Participate in PTR PTR Character Copy Please note that this is a preview for PTR content, which is subject to change.
PTR Focus & Details
We’ll be conducting the Patch 2.6.9 PTR over the course of two weeks, starting Thursday, May 21. During this time there may be periodic maintenances, outages, hotfixes, or minor patches.
There will be two PTR-unique buffs active to help you on your journey: increased Legendary drop rate and double Blood Shard drops. You can also buy new gear for testing from the special PTR vendor, Djank Mi'em, who will exchange Blood Shards for class-specific bags full of Legendary items that we'd love for you to test!
To ensure that the most significant changes receive an ample amount of attention, we'd love for you to focus testing and feedback on the new Demon Hunter and Necromancer sets, Necromancer Skill changes, and the Legendary item changes.
So that we can efficiently review your posts, feedback should be provided in the PTR Feedback forum while bug reports should be provided in the PTR Bug Report forum.
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PTR Testing Tips
As with our previous PTRs, this testing period is short, so it's best to hit the ground running. Whether you’re a PTR veteran or newcomer, we thought we’d pass along a few tips to get you started.
Because of the limited duration of this PTR, we ask that participants pick a particular portion of this update to focus on testing. For example, if you’re primarily a Wizard player, consider what changes impact the Wizard specifically. What you like best, what you think may still need adjustment, and what you’d want to see in the future (even if that may be beyond the scope of this patch) are all good questions to ask yourself. Prior to the start of PTR, consider stocking up on items like Puzzle Rings and Bovine Bardiches. Having these available after you import your character can make any necessary PTR farming much faster! Try to break things! Just tell us when you do so we can make sure that the patch launch is as smooth as possible. When providing feedback, focus less on a solution and more on your experience. How did the changes make you feel? Was there something “off” that you noticed? Did something seem wrong or insufficient? Suggestions are always welcome but identifying the issues themselves is most important. Return to Top
Below you will find the patch notes for the upcoming update for Diablo III, Patch 2.6.9.
Table of Contents:
Seasons Items Monsters Bug Fixes Note: All changes apply to all versions of Diablo III, including PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC unless otherwise indicated. Please note that PTR is only available for PC and Mac users.
The elements have deemed you worthy. With you as their champion, the burning hells will face the Trials of Tempests! Your character will occasionally (every 2 minutes) channel an elemental power which unleashes into the environment for a limited time: Meteors rain from the skies around you. Breathe lightning. A wall of flame engulfs everything. Release twisters of pure energy. Crush your foes under the weight of rolling snowballs. Two unique new rewards, a portrait frame and a pet, will be granted to players who complete the Season 21 Journey. Return to Top
New Demon Hunter Set: Gears of Dreadlands 2-Piece Bonus Gain a Momentum stack when attacking with a Primary skill. Each Momentum stack lasts 2 seconds at a maximum duration of 10 seconds. Your Primary skills deal 10% more damage per stack of Momentum. 4-Piece Bonus Casting Strafe against enemies will automatically shoot your last used primary skill, and also give 60% damage reduction while strafing and for 5 seconds after. While casting Strafe, you move faster per stack of Momentum. 6-Piece Bonus Your primary skills deal 10000% more damage Leonine Bow of Hashir Bolas have a 30% 100% chance on explosion to pull in all enemies within 24 yards, and also deal 100-150% increased damage. Emimei's Duffel Bolas now explode instantly and deal 150-175% increased damage. The Ninth Cirri Satchel Hungering Arrow has 20-25% is guaranteed to pierce and also deals 450-600% increased damage. Odyssey's End Enemies snared by your Entangling Shots take 20-25% 100-150% increased damage from all sources. Hunter's Wrath Your primary skills attack 30% faster and deal 45-60% 150-200% increased damage. Holy Point Shot Impale throws 2 additional knives and deals 75-100% increased damage. Necromancer
New Necromancer Set: Masquerade of Burning Carnival 2-Piece Bonus Your Simulacrums no longer take damage, gains all runes, and its cooldown is refreshed when you die. 4-Piece Bonus While you have a Simulacrum, damage is reduced by 50%. Damage you take is split with your Simulacrums as well. 6-Piece Bonus Your Bone Spear deals 10,000% increased damage. Simulacrums gain triple this bonus. Grasps of Essence When an exploded corpse damages at least one enemy, Your Corpse Explosion deals 75-100% 150-200% increased damage for 6 seconds, stacking up to 5 times. Haunted Visions Simulacrum now drains 5% 1% of your maximum life every second and lasts twice as long forever. They can now duplicate Grim Scythe instead of Skeletal Mage. Razeth's Volition Skeletal Mage gains the effect of the Gift of Death and Singularity runes. You gain 35-60% damage reduction if your Essence is not full. Jesseth Arms 2-Piece Set Bonus: While your skeletons are commanded to attack a target, you deal 400% increased damage. Grace of Inarius 4-Piece Set Bonus: Bone Armor grants an additional 2% 3% damage reduction per enemy hit. Pestilence Master's Shroud 6-Piece Set Bonus: Each corpse you consume grants you an Empowered Bone Spear charge that increases the damage of your next Bone Spear by 3300%. In addition, Corpse Lance and Corpse Explosion damage is increased by 1650% 3300%. Crusader
Shield of Fury This effect may stack up to 20 10 times. General
Stone of Jordan Added power: Each of your elemental's damage bonus is equal to your highest static elemental bonus to skill. Reaper's Wraps Added a 2-second internal cooldown to the Health globe effect. Mantle of Channeling Now works with the Necromancer's Siphon Blood. Convention of Elements Added "non-static" to the wording of the legendary power's description. The functionality is unchanged
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Necromancer Final Service
No longer consumes pets.
Bone Prison Simulacrums now benefit from this passive skill. Serration Simulacrums now benefit from this passive skill. Corpse Explosion Damage increased from 350% to 1050%. Witch Doctor Spirit Barrage The Spectres from the Phantasm rune no longer benefit from pet bonuses. Return to Top
General Fixed a rare issue where players could enter a locked party and become unable to enter games or change game settings Necromancer Fixed an issue where Skeletal Mages were not attacking certain creatures Return to Top
How to Participate
To participate in the public test, you must have a Diablo III game license attached to a Battle.net account in good standing (i.e. one that hasn't been suspended or banned). In addition, you will also need to download and install the Blizzard Battle.net desktop app if you have not already done so.
Step 1: Restart the Battle.net desktop app.
Step 2: Navigate to the Diablo III tab on the left-hand menu.
Step 3: On the Diablo III screen, there is a drop-down menu right above the "Play" button (note that this may say "Install" if you do not have Diablo III currently installed). Select "PTR: Diablo III" from this drop-down menu before proceeding.
Step 4: Click Install to begin the installation process.
Your PTR account will be created automatically if you do not already have one. The PTR is available in all supported languages, and accounts from all regions are eligible to participate. For additional assistance with installing and launching the PTR, click here.
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PTR Character Copy
The option to copy your existing Diablo III characters from your live account to the PTR will be available and can be done directly through the PTR client. However, only one region per account can be copied at a time. So, if you choose to copy characters from your account in a different region, any previously copied PTR characters will be lost.
Step 1: Log into the live game and then log out.
Step 2: Log into PTR client and create a level 1 character. After you're done, return to the main character screen.
Step 3: Click on the "PTR Copy" button located in the upper right-hand corner. (The PTR Copy button will not appear in-game until you have created a new level 1 character.)
Step 4: Select your region.
Step 5: Click "Copy." This will copy all characters on your account from the selected region.
Step 6: You will be disconnected from the PTR client.
Step 7: 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 PTR characters will be lost. In addition, you can only copy characters over to your PTR account once every 24 hours. Attempting to copy characters before this cooldown is up will result in an error.
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Patch 2.6.9 comes with a new Seasonal power, new sets for Demon Hunters, Necromancers, and more.
We already know a lot about the original, Blizzard North-lead Diablo 3 project that was being worked on directly after D2 and eventually cancelled, and today we have a whole lot of new screenshots from around the end of that development cycle. As PureDiablo have noticed, Oscar Cuesta, formerly a 3D artist at Blizzard north and Blizzard has shared some of his work on the game, noting that the models were low polygon and they were only using base color maps at the time, but the shots look pretty cool nonetheless. As we know, the original D3 was set in the High Heavens which were being invaded by demons, the game was supposed to be more MMO-like and was cancelled/restarted in 2005. If you want to know more, you can read the wiki article on the entire thing here.
But let's head into the new screenshots themselves, starting with the Skyway Tower in the High Heavens, featuring either a female Barbarian or perhaps an Amazon and showing off how Heaven would get increasingly taken over by hellish growths, with one shot even showing off the UI at the time:
Then its on to more familiar locations, with the Tristram dungeon, which actually doesn't look that far off from what eventually became of Diablo 3:
We then have a couple of WinterStone shots, an Arreat-looking location, with a distinctly rogue/assassin-ish looking character included:
And finally we have the Spire, again showing off a lot of the Heaven architecture:
There's plenty more screenshots over at Oscar Cuesta's Artstation, so make sure to check those out as well.
Now let's take a look at some of the originally leaked images, courtesy of Kotaku from quite a while ago, back before the current Diablo 3 was released, which focus a lot more on the 3D nature of the game. The High Heavens shots look a lot more finished than the new ones we saw above, but there's no indication of the demonic corruption of Heaven, while the others look a bit rougher:
Some very interesting stuff there, and with what we now know the original shares a lot with both current D3 and D4, with it's supposed MMO-like features, a focus on the High Heavens and the darker tone.
We get a new look at the original Diablo 3 with a ton of screenshots.