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Season of Grandeur Patch Notes and Preview

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The 16th season arrives next month on January 18th and continues the themed season trend, with the big buff this time bringing some grandeur, Ring of Royal GrandeurRing of Royal Grandeur, in fact. Everyone gets the effect of the legendary without wearing it or having it in your cube, which will make set matching a lot simpler. We're also getting new cosmetics, including some weird butterfly wings (not the Magda kind, thankfully), new conquests, new Haedrig's Gift sets and a brand new UI feature highlighting when Primal Legendaries drop, giving them a red beam and a huge and unique map icon! We're also getting potions removed from the inventory, 5 new armory tabs and GR Keystones stored in the materials tab.

But, most importantly of all, there's set changes/huge buffs for Legacy of Nightmares (Litany of the UndauntedLitany of the UndauntedThe Wailing HostThe Wailing Host), all Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk and Witch Doctor sets, most Crusader and Wizard sets, and one Necromancer set.

Blizzard LogoSeason 16 (source)

Season 16 begins January 18 and accompanies our latest Diablo III patch. Read on to learn more about upcoming class set tweaks, quality of life changes, and a brand-new Seasonal buff that’s sure to make Season 16 grand!

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Table of Contents


New Season Theme

Season 16 introduces a brand-new buff to the mix that will change up the way you play. For the duration of Season 16, all Seasonal players will benefit from the legendary power of the Ring of Royal Grandeur. This means you do not need to hunt down or equip the item to benefit from its Set bonus-enabling ability! Bear in mind that this buff does not stack with additional Rings of Royal Grandeur, whether they be equipped directly on your character or via the Jewelry slot in Kanai’s Cube.

For the uninitiated, this means many classes may be able to combine different Class Set bonuses in new ways—or squeeze yet another Legendary power into their favorite builds. Theorycrafters unite!—this is the season to strut your stuff, experiment to your heart’s content, and push the limits of your most perfectly crafted build. While we’ve done our own experimenting, we can’t wait to see what the community comes up with in Season 16!


New Cosmetic Rewards

Season 16 will also introduce new cosmetic rewards, obtainable by progressing through the Season Journey.

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In addition to the Helm and Shoulder slots of the exclusive Conqueror Set, players can earn a brand-new series of portrait frames themed around the clarion call of adventure.. For the most devoted cosmetic collectors, we have a pair of wings fit for a monarch. The Wings of Lempo draw inspiration from some of the noblest creatures in Sanctuary, and aside from a cosmically rare drop, few other wings are quite as lovely.


Season Journey Rewards

If you’ve been diligently slaying demons for the past few Seasons and reached Conqueror in the Season Journey each time, you’ve surely accrued a few extra stash tabs by now. But players who have not yet earned a total of four stash tabs via the Season Journey can still unlock an additional one by completing the following tasks at the Conqueror tier:

  • 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
  • In for The Kill: Kill Azmodan at level 70 in under 30 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

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The Seasonal Conquest rotation continues! 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. 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 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

Talk about a mouthful! 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. Finally, Years of War/Dynasty demonstrates your mastery of multiple classes by clearing a Greater Rift level 55 solo with the full bonuses of any six full Class sets.


Haedrig’s Gift

Finally, the Class Sets available 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 16:

  • Barbarian – Immortal King’s Call
  • Crusader – Seeker of the Light
  • Demon Hunter – Natalya’s Vengeance
  • Monk – Uliana’s Stratagem
  • Necromancer – Trag’Oul’s Avatar
  • Witch Doctor – Spirit of Arachyr
  • Wizard – Vyr’s Amazing Arcana

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Quality of Life Changes

Thanks to player feedback, we’ve focused on a couple of frequently requested changes to improve the overall Diablo experience. This includes minor changes, such as removing Legendary potions from player inventories so that they no longer take up space, but also more significant changes to celebrating end-game loot in Primal Legendaries.

Primal Legendaries were, from the start, a goal largely intended for the segment of our audience pushing themselves to take on the game’s most challenging experiences. As power has increased over time, Primals have become more accessible across the board and we realized they were not celebrated or even as obvious as they should be, considering how ultimate they feel in a build. To this end, we’ve added specially colored beams and a unique mini-map icon to highlight when they drop, as well as shined up their tooltip and border colorations to be more discernible.

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Finally, we want to make sure everyone is clear when they can start collecting Primal Legendaries; upon completing your first Greater Rift 70 or higher Solo, you’ll receive an achievement indicating your accomplishment and the Greater Rift boss will be guaranteed to drop a Primal Legendary. This drop is subject to all other loot rules—meaning while there’s a large chance it will be suited for your class, randomness does play a factor.


Class Set Updates

The balance changes from Patch 2.6.1 have had a few seasons to percolate, allowing most classes and builds to settle in and reach for their best performance. With Patch 2.6.4, we’ve identified some of the best performing builds, like Condemn Crusader and Rathma’s Necromancer, and we’re looking to bring many of the other class set builds up to par.

This is largely a numbers pass, and we haven’t just focused on class sets—the “no set Set” Legacy of Nightmares will be receiving a sizeable buff as well. We know many of you are curious as to what changes may have occurred as a result of your testing on the PTR. The updated Patch Notes are below for your viewing pleasure, so you can begin plotting out your ideal build before Season 16 begins!

PATCH 2.6.4 - v2.6.4.54724

Table of Contents:

  • General
  • Greater Rifts
  • Seasons
  • Class Set Changes
    • General
      • Quality of Life
        • Philosophy
          • For this patch, we wanted to include a few frequently requested Quality of Life changes and focused on better celebrating and indicating Primal Legendary drops.
        • Five (5) additional Armory tabs have been added for all characters, bringing the total to 10
        • Legendary Potions are no longer stored in player inventory and can be accessed or changed by right-clicking on the potion icon in the action bar
        • Greater Rift Keystones are now stored in the Materials tab
          • Any existing Greater Rift Keystones in both inventory and stash have been automatically moved
        • Primal Legendaries are now marked by a red beam when they drop
        • Primal Legendaries on the ground are now indicated by a red pentagram icon on the mini-map
        • Primal Legendaries now have a red border and updated background on their icons
      • Return to top
    • Greater Rifts
      • Philosophy
        • The gameplay of micro-managing Paragon points during the course of a Greater Rift doesn't feel like especially engaging gameplay, nor was it consistent with the other existing rules of entering a Greater Rift. In addition, the below change to matchmaking is to make it much easier for all players to find groups for Greater Rifts, as the previous window (only between Greater Rifts) is typically very small.
      • Paragon points can no longer be swapped while a Greater Rift is open
      • Players can now be matched into public games where a Greater Rift is open
        • Players who join in this manner will not be able to enter the active Rift, and players inside the Rift will be able to continue with no additional difficulty scaling until the run has been completed
      • Return to top
    • Seasons
      • Season 16: Season of Grandeur
        • The buff for Season of Grandeur has been implemented
          • This buff gives all Seasonal players the legendary power from Ring of Royal Grandeur
          • This buff does not stack with additional Ring of Royal Grandeur (either equipped or in Kanai's Cube)
          • Unlike previous Seasonal buffs, this buff will not apply to Non-Seasonal players
        • When completing a Greater Rift level 70 solo for the first time in a Season, a Primal Legendary is guaranteed to drop from the Rift Guardian
      • Return to top
    • Class Set Changes

     

    We can’t wait to see what combinations players come up with throughout the course of Season 16 . . . especially when considering the new Seasonal buff!


    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: When does Season 16 start?

    A: Season 16 begins Friday, January 18 at 5:00 p.m. PST 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, January 18 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 16 end?

    A: We currently anticipate that Season 16 will be ending on Sunday, March 17 at 5:00 p.m. PST in North America, 5:00 p.m. CEST in Europe, and 5:00 p.m. KST in Asia.

    Q: Why is the Season end date an estimate?

    A: Traditionally, we have given players two weeks’ notice prior to the ending of a Season. However, we’ve heard the community’s feedback, so going forward, we’ll be providing more comprehensive Season details in the Season preview blogs. Please bear in mind that this date is an estimate and there is always a chance it may shift. While we will do our best to hit these target dates as closely as possible, we will continue to verify the Season end date at the two-week warning mark.

    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 November 9 and is scheduled to end 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 16 arrives, we will remove old personal bests from Season 7, 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 Grandeur? Which build or class set buff are you looking to experiment with first? Share your thoughts below and we’ll see you in Season 16

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So any absurd call outs to what will be broken this season?
I do like the considerable LoN buff, I would like something like a starfire meteor wiz with etched sigil. I like it the first time they introduced the original LoN change, probably not the meta and definitelly not given the seasonal affix, but I still think it could "compete".

But more or less which build will benefit MOST from the RorG affix and why?

Edited by Koxsos

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lol, small indie company Blizzard puts out this minor update...meanwhile...GGG puts out major new leagues and content without even charging. The people in charge at blizzard should be fired.

 

#Save Diablo

Edited by jeremy2020
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I find it interesting that this season will only last 2 months. Why so short? I'm wondering if there's a reason.

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6 minutes ago, jeremy2020 said:

lol, small indie company Blizzard puts out this minor update...meanwhile...GGG puts out major new leagues and content without even charging.

relevance?

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36 minutes ago, jeremy2020 said:

lol, small indie company Blizzard puts out this minor update...meanwhile...GGG puts out major new leagues and content without even charging. The people in charge at blizzard should be fired.

 

#Save Diablo

I dunno man, every league in Path of Exile is worse than the last. Betrayal is a confusing mess and GGG's netcode seems to get worse with every patch. There used to be occasional lag spikes, now you can get freezes for up to 20 seconds every couple minutes.

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Quote

 

Sounds dope. Sadly dead game, i wont play solo

Edit: No clue how i remove the quote thing

 

Edited by Rooach

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1 hour ago, jeremy2020 said:

lol, small indie company Blizzard puts out this minor update...meanwhile...GGG puts out major new leagues and content without even charging. The people in charge at blizzard should be fired.

 

#Save Diablo

At least I can actually play D3. For the last week PoE has been literally impossible to play. The thing crashes upon picking a character. PoE may get more content updates, but none of that matters when the game is literally unplayable.

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14 minutes ago, DasBigHippo said:

At least I can actually play D3. For the last week PoE has been literally impossible to play. The thing crashes upon picking a character. PoE may get more content updates, but none of that matters when the game is literally unplayable.

Sorry to hear that. I've literally had no problems this season but it's a shame to hear

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2 hours ago, jeremy2020 said:

lol, small indie company Blizzard puts out this minor update...meanwhile...GGG puts out major new leagues and content without even charging. The people in charge at blizzard should be fired.

 

#Save Diablo

Diablo 3 has no other additional charges outside from the game itself, RoS, and the necro pack. Back when D3 began and since the release of RoS  they have pushed out major patches and updates that were free. I really dont understand the point of your post. If anything most blizzard games push out major patches that cost the consumer no money, unless it's Wow but that's a monthly fee and even then the content patches are still free.

2 hours ago, Ogerscherge said:

Not going to lie, that sound like a lot of fun. I always liked the concept of this set and now it seems kind of awesome. ^.^

It sucks that they have not changed the restless legendaries to include interesting effects and benefits to further support LoN. I am happy that they have finally buffed the set.

Edited by Rhondis
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is not a bad patch, sure D3 need more love, but this is what we have. Is going to be an interesting Season, and i will play it all the way.

Talking about PoE, im not the only one with problems during the game, im sure is a great game, but it has too many disconection problems, that makes the game almost unplayable.

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1 hour ago, Rhondis said:

It sucks that they have not changed the restless legendaries to include interesting effects and benefits to further support LoN. I am happy that they have finally buffed the set.

Yes, it is cool that you'll finally be able to do something more interesting, or rather unique, with your character, instead of just going for a set, which pretty much dictates the way you have to play.

Of course, with this particular season bonus and the huge buffs to so many sets, LoN will probably still be only second rate, but it sure is a step in the right direction nonetheless. ^.^

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2 hours ago, Melcahia said:

Talking about PoE, im not the only one with problems during the game, im sure is a great game, but it has too many disconection problems, that makes the game almost unplayable.

I've had absolutely zero issues with DC's and I've been no-lifing the hell out of this last week to get started in Betrayal League. 
Might be an issue where you live though, but connecting to servers here are freaking flawless. 

Ohh and people saying blizz releases major patches, should take a look at what GGG releases every 3 month. 
I am deeply impressed at the job they do at GGG, and after Blizz has lost the connection with their community, I only end up disappointed every season.

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18 minutes ago, Clindberg said:

Ohh and people saying blizz releases major patches, should take a look at what GGG releases every 3 month
I am deeply impressed at the job they do at GGG, and after Blizz has lost the connection with their community, I only end up disappointed every season.

My argument is not about the size of the patches, but rather that they are free when you have bought the game or play the game for free (and some games do actually receive big patches). Of course GGG is receiving large patches, it's an independent company that actually listens to their fan base. Some would say they have more passion than Blizzard, because let's face it, blizzard is losing their touch with the community and the passion they once had back in the good days.

Edited by Rhondis

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As a non season hardcore player I'm satisfied with just the LoN set bonus alone. For the same reasons as most, sets kind of dictate the way you have to play. Not a huge deal, once you go ham long enough you can have 4 or 5 separate decent builds, you can appreciate them when they help you progress, I've been smashing the A button on the xbox controller for a month with my thorns build, I'd have expected that would be more boring by now. First primal ancient later and I feel like I could smash A for another month.
But LoN being more capable unlocks a litany of options. Literally pick your legendary power poisons and mash em together however you'd like. If there were more legendary powers (Just a few more even, please, you still got a couple weeks), it could be pretty well up to our preference. 
Second primal ancient? A 2 Handed Flail with a legendary power of double bombardment impacts. So a LoN Bombardment build, mashed with whichever else I like that doesn't interrupt bombardment buffs sounds like the new plan. I suspect that it will be my favourite set for all 7 classes in time. Time for some homework. 
I just started playing a year ago ish, so I have a ways to go. Gotta rush some playing in with different sets now, cuz I'm going to be tempted to try em all but yet yearning to get through it and make my own LoN build for each class. At this point I can wait about 3 years for D4... 😛

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Something about this feels like it’ll be the last-ever balance patch for the game. And I reiterate, I just don’t get Blizzard here. The game is amazing from a technical standpoint.

I played “Path of Exile” for all of two hours or so before uninstalling it again – it felt like a “Diablo II” mod in its early development stage, with all the nowadays completely outdated nuisances (penurious inventory management, TP scrolls being an actual item, pedantic waypoint hunting, etc.). A massive Sphere Grid-like skill tree can’t win me over if the underlying game makes advancing on it seem more like a chore than a reward.

“Diablo III” doesn’t have any of this, which is why this obvious lack of care and maintenance feels like a deliberate limiting of the game’s potential – and all the more frustrating because of it. For instance, why not give the community a chance to contribute their own Legendaries for the next content patch (don’t laugh)? Have some dumb contest where people can vote on the five best submissions, replete with mandatory balance, inventory pics, and in-game models; bam, new stuff for free and a year’s worth of good will with the public. Or how about a fourth Kanai’s Cube slot that accepts a Season buff in which you progressed until at least, say, Slayer? That way you could actually unlock long-term benefits from participating in them, rather than the I-had-my-15-year-old-deviantArt-loving-daughter-come-in-and-design-the-Season’s-four-Paragon-portraits-in-Photoshop-during-lunch-break portrait frames we get now. I’d love to be able to activate the double Goblin buff again for treasure hunting, or the double Bounty Cache we have right now for the admittedly tedious gathering of materials. And a thusly slotted RoRG could bring about actual gameplay novelties without the Season’s end looming over them in what currently sounds more like an extended PTR, owed to its ephemeral nature.

Sigh. There are so many talented fans of this game who could raise it from the scarcely visited, oatmeal enthusiast retirement home inhabitant to a foxy grandpa in no time. If only they had the chance. But with Activis— the accountants running the firm, this wishful thinking is about as useful as asking sexual favors of my waifu.

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1 hour ago, Infinal said:

Something about this feels like it’ll be the last-ever balance patch for the game. And I reiterate, I just don’t get Blizzard here. The game is amazing from a technical standpoint.

I played “Path of Exile” for all of two hours or so before uninstalling it again – it felt like a “Diablo II” mod in its early development stage, with all the nowadays completely outdated nuisances (penurious inventory management, TP scrolls being an actual item, pedantic waypoint hunting, etc.). A massive Sphere Grid-like skill tree can’t win me over if the underlying game makes advancing on it seem more like a chore than a reward.

“Diablo III” doesn’t have any of this, which is why this obvious lack of care and maintenance feels like a deliberate limiting of the game’s potential – and all the more frustrating because of it. For instance, why not give the community a chance to contribute their own Legendaries for the next content patch (don’t laugh)? Have some dumb contest where people can vote on the five best submissions, replete with mandatory balance, inventory pics, and in-game models; bam, new stuff for free and a year’s worth of good will with the public. Or how about a fourth Kanai’s Cube slot that accepts a Season buff in which you progressed until at least, say, Slayer? That way you could actually unlock long-term benefits from participating in them, rather than the I-had-my-15-year-old-deviantArt-loving-daughter-come-in-and-design-the-Season’s-four-Paragon-portraits-in-Photoshop-during-lunch-break portrait frames we get now. I’d love to be able to activate the double Goblin buff again for treasure hunting, or the double Bounty Cache we have right now for the admittedly tedious gathering of materials. And a thusly slotted RoRG could bring about actual gameplay novelties without the Season’s end looming over them in what currently sounds more like an extended PTR, owed to its ephemeral nature.

Sigh. There are so many talented fans of this game who could raise it from the scarcely visited, oatmeal enthusiast retirement home inhabitant to a foxy grandpa in no time. If only they had the chance. But with Activis— the accountants running the firm, this wishful thinking is about as useful as asking sexual favors of my waifu.

Very well put. The simple answer is that they've moved on and 3 people are working on the game. Obviously they also have 0 idea what to do with D4 so they've basically put the franchise on ice until 4 releases in like 5 years. I doubt this will be the last balance patch though, it's really easy to just up the % numbers on sets every once in a  while and double a stat like gold or legendary drops.

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14 hours ago, Starym said:

it's really easy to just up the % numbers on sets every once in a  while

I do think they can't push it much further than this though, as the GRift cap (150) has already been reached before this substantial buff, it took a team like 6K paragon average and a "one in a thousand" rift to pull it off, but it does show that it is already attainable with very hard work and luck. The more they'll start buffing sets (including the builds/sets that can reach that cap), the less effort it is going to take to reach that cap.

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On 12/21/2018 at 11:02 AM, rickster said:

Surprise, surprise, compared to the other Monk class sets, Blizzard has nerfed Inna's again.

But we can put Tasker and Theo in it now! 

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12 hours ago, Koxsos said:

But we can put Tasker and Theo in it now! 

and yet, even Inna's (hybrids) will still not come close to Sunwuko'sWoL, including Generators, but it's the only thing that makes Inna's viable. PTR's made no mention of the un-buffed TnT ?

 The Inna's 1500% to 750%, (for S16), is still a 50% full DMG% reduction, and NO other set Class got that nerfed.

Edited by rickster

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On 12/24/2018 at 11:04 PM, rickster said:

and yet, even Inna's (hybrids) will still not come close to Sunwuko'sWoL, including Generators, but it's the only thing that makes Inna's viable. PTR's made no mention of the un-buffed TnT ?

 The Inna's 1500% to 750%, (for S16), is still a 50% full DMG% reduction, and NO other set Class got that nerfed.

Say what? Either you’ve misread that or you have inside information that clues you in that there’s a typo in their announcement. Inna’s Mantra went up from 150%, not down from 1500%. It’s not a 50% damage nerf but a 500% damage buff.

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      Support Barbarian (Raekor + HotNS + Istvan) (Top Tier) Speed Farming Variant Rend Barbarian (WotW + Istvan) (Top Tier) Speed Farming Variation Seismic Slam Barbarian (MotE + Endless Walk) (Top Tier) Speed Farming Variation Frenzy Barbarian (HotNS + Endless Walk) (High Tier) Speed Farming Variation Hammer of the Ancients Raekor Barbarian (Raekor + Endless Walk + Istvan) (High Tier) Speed Farming Variation Hammer of the Ancients IK Barbarian (IK + Endless Walk) (High Tier) Speed Farming Variation Furious Charge Barbarian (IK + Raekor) (High Tier) Speed Farming Variation Leap/Earthquake Barbarian (MotE + Bastions) (High Tier) Speed Farming Variation Hammer of the Ancients GR Barbarian (Legacy of Dreams Gem) (Mid Tier) Whirlwind Wastes Barbarian (WotW + Bul-kathos) (Mid Tier) Speed Farming Variation Frenzy Thorns Barbarian (LoN) Speed Farming Variation
       
      Crusaders also didn't get a big shift in rankings, as the seasonal power doesn't really affect the individual builds.
      Heaven's Fury Crusader (Aegis of Valor) (Top Tier) Speed Farming Variation Blessed Shield Crusader (Legacy of Dreams Gem) (Top Tier) Thorns Crusader (Invoker + Endless Walk) (Top Tier) Speed Farming Variation Condemn LoD Crusader (Legacy of Dreams Gem) (High Tier) Condemn Akkhan Crusader (Akkhan + Bastions) (High Tier) Speed Farming Variation Hammerdin Crusader (SoL + Endless Walk) (High Tier) Speed Farming Variation Sweep Attack Crusader (Roland + Endless Walk) (Mid Tier) Speed Farming Variation Fist of the Heavens Crusader (Aegis of Valor) (Mid Tier) Speed Farming Variation Bombardment Crusader (LoN) (Mid Tier) Speed Farming Variation Shield Bash Crusader (Roland + Bastions) Speed Farming Variation
       
      Season 21 is very much the season of the Demon Hunter, as their new Gears of Dreadlands set brought them 2 top tier builds, both for solo pushing and XP farming.
      Support Demon Hunter (GoD + Marauder) (Top Tier) (New) Hungering Arrow Demon Hunter (GoD + Bastions) (Top Tier) (New) Bolas Variation Rapid Fire Demon Hunter (Legacy of Dreams Gem) (Top Tier) Rapid Fire Natalya Demon Hunter (Natalya + Endless Walk) (Top Tier) Impale Demon Hunter (Shadow + Endless Walk) (High Tier) Speed Farming Variation Group Progression Variation Sentry Demon Hunter (Marauder + Natalya + Endless Walk) (High Tier) Multishot Demon Hunter (Unhallowed + Bastions) (High Tier) Speed Farming Variation Cluster Arrow Demon Hunter  (Marauder + Bastions) (Mid Tier) Speed Farming Variation Rockets-based Progression Variation Grenades Demon Hunter (Unhallowed + Endless Walk) (Mid Tier) Speed Farming Variation Rain of Vengeance Demon Hunter (Natalya + Bastions) (Mid Tier) Speed Farming Variation Fan of Knives LoD Demon Hunter (Legacy of Dreams Gem) Chakram Demon Hunter (Unhallowed + Bastions) Speed Farming Variation
       
      Monk support is still on top as the class build rankings stay the same as last season.
      Support Monk (Inna + Born's Command + Captain Crimson) (Top Tier) Tempest Rush Sunwuko Monk (Monkey King + Captain Crimson) (Top Tier) Speed Farming Variation Tempest Rush Patterns Monk (Patterns of Justice + Captain Crimson) (Top Tier) Speed Farming Variation Wave of Light LoD Monk (Legacy of Dreams Gem) (Top Tier) Wave of Light Monk (Monkey King + Captain Crimson) (High Tier) Speed Farming Variation Inna Variation Generator Monk (Rainment + Endless Walk + Captain Crimson + Shenlong) (High Tier) Speed Farming Variation Inna Variation Seven-Sided Strike Monk (Uliana + Captain Crimson + Endless Walk) (High Tier) Speed Farming Variation Lashing Tail Kick LoD Monk (Legacy of Dreams Gem) (Mid Tier) Lashing Tail Kick Monk (Monkey King) (Mid Tier) Speed Farming Variation Exploding Palm Monk (Inna + Endless Walk) Speed Farming Variation Mystic Ally Pets Variation
       
      The Necromancer may have gotten the shorter end of the new set stick, but they did get plenty of new toys to play with, resulting in a new build at the top of the list and two more top tier ones, with a whole lot of LoD!
      Corpse Explosion LoD Necromancer  (LoD) (Top Tier) (New) Key Farming Variation Support Necromancer (Pestilence + Captain Crimson) (Top Tier) Poison Scythe LoD Necromancer (LoD) (Top Tier) (New) Trash Killer Variation Corpse Lance LoD Necromancer (LoD) (Top Tier) Skeletal Mage Singularity/Archers LoD Necromancer (LoD) (Top Tier) (New) Speed Farming Variation Key Farming Variation Corpse Lance Necromancer (Pestilence + Endless Walk) (High Tier) Speed Farming Variation Trag'Oul Variation Group Progression Variation Skeletons Thorns Solo LoD Necromancer (LoD) (High Tier) Generator Necromancer (Inarius) (High Tier) Speed Farming Variation Skeletal Mages Rathma Necromancer (Rathma + Jesseth) (Mid Tier) Speed Farming Variation Group Speed GR Variation Skeletal Mages Trag'Oul Necromancer (Trag'Oul + Jesseth) (Mid Tier) Solo Progression Variation Blood Nova LoD Necromancer (LoD) (Mid Tier)
       
      The WD's new set from a while ago has crept up the rankings and landed on top, edging out the ever popular Poison Dart build.
      Spirit Barrage Witch Doctor (Mundunugu + Endless Walk) (Top Tier) Speed Farming Variation Carnevil Poison Dart Witch Doctor (Zunimasa + Aughild's Authority + Endless Walk) (Top Tier) Speed Farming Variation Carnevil Poison Dart Dagger of Darts Witch Doctor (LoD) (Top Tier) Soul Harvest Witch Doctor (Jade Harvester) (Top Tier) Speed Farming Variation Spirit Barrage Witch Doctor (Legacy of Dreams Gem) (High Tier) Speed Farming Variation Group Progression Variation Firebats Witch Doctor (Arachyr + Endless Walk) (High Tier) Speed Farming Variation Group Progression Variation Gargantuan Zunimasa Witch Doctor (Zunimasa + Endless Walk) (Mid Tier) Speed Farming Variation Gargantuan Helltooth Witch Doctor (Helltooth + Endless Walk) (Mid Tier) Speed Farming Variation Zombie Bears Witch Doctor (Helltooth + Endless Walk) Speed Farming Variation Acid Cloud Witch Doctor (Helltooth + Bastions) Speed Farming Variation Grasp of the Dead Witch Doctor (Helltooth + Endless Walk)
       
      Wizards retain their rankings from last season, with the ubiquitous Archon remaining on top.
      Archon Wizard (Vyr + Chantodo) (Top Tier) Speed Farming Variation Mammoth Hydra Wizard (Legacy of Dreams Gem) (Top Tier) Frost Hydra Wizard (Typhon's Veil) (High Tier) Meteor Wizard (Firebird + Endless Walk) (High Tier) Speed Farming Variation Tal Rasha Variation Star Pact Variation Frozen Orb Wizard (Delsere + Endless Walk) (High Tier) Energy Twister Wizard (Delsere + Endless Walk) (High Tier) Manald Lightning Archon Wizard (Tal Rasha + Vyr) (Mid Tier) Group Progression Variation Solo Progression Variation Archon Wizard (Firebird + Chantodo + Endless Walk) (Mid Tier) Speed Farming Variation Arcane Torrent Manald Wizard (Tal Rasha + Endless Walk) (Mid Tier) Electrocute Variation Spectral Blade Variation Arcane Orbit Wizard (Delsere + Endless Walk) Speed Farming Variation Explosive Blast Farming Wizard (Tal Rasha + Sage) Greater Rifting Variation
        Those are all the class guides we have, the season start in a matter of hours and we hope you have a great time!

      Header image source.

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    • By Starym
      We have official confirmation on the Season 21 start times for this Friday, July 3rd, as PezRadar confirmed that they will be the same as previous seasons, at 5PM PDT, CEDT and KST for the three major regions. While we wait you can check out the patch notes, class guides, class tier rankings, or an article on the new XP meta featuring Demon Hunters.
      Season 21 Start times (source)
      Hi all !
      Season 21 start times are the following for each server.
      North America - 5pm PDT
      Europe - 5pm CEST
      Asia - 5pm KST
       

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      The Rat Is Dead: Long Live the Demon Hunter Speed Meta
      Which Class to Play in Diablo 3 Season 21? Solo, Group and Speedfarm Rankings
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    • By Starym
      We only have a short time until Season 21 is upon us, and it's going to be quite a season, especially for Demon Hunters. We've already taken a look at the top builds for solo pushing, speedfarming and group compositions, as well as the meta-breaking new 3x DH-based XP farm setup which dethroned Rat runs, so now its time to head for the full guides themselves!

      The Support build still reigns supreme, as it retains it's place in the new XP farm meta, and the rest of the rankings haven't changed since the last season, as Barbarians didn't get many changes.
      Support Barbarian (Raekor + HotNS + Istvan) (Top Tier) Speed Farming Variant Rend Barbarian (WotW + Istvan) (Top Tier) Speed Farming Variation Seismic Slam Barbarian (MotE + Endless Walk) (Top Tier) Speed Farming Variation Frenzy Barbarian (HotNS + Endless Walk) (High Tier) Speed Farming Variation Hammer of the Ancients Raekor Barbarian (Raekor + Endless Walk + Istvan) (High Tier) Speed Farming Variation Hammer of the Ancients IK Barbarian (IK + Endless Walk) (High Tier) Speed Farming Variation Furious Charge Barbarian (IK + Raekor) (High Tier) Speed Farming Variation Leap/Earthquake Barbarian (MotE + Bastions) (High Tier) Speed Farming Variation Hammer of the Ancients GR Barbarian (Legacy of Dreams Gem) (Mid Tier) Whirlwind Wastes Barbarian (WotW + Bul-kathos) (Mid Tier) Speed Farming Variation Frenzy Thorns Barbarian (LoN) (Low Tier) Speed Farming Variation
       
      Crusaders also didn't get a big shift in rankings, as the seasonal power doesn't really affect the individual builds.
      Heaven's Fury Crusader (Aegis of Valor) (Top Tier) Speed Farming Variation Blessed Shield Crusader (Legacy of Dreams Gem) (Top Tier) Thorns Crusader (Invoker + Endless Walk) (Top Tier) Speed Farming Variation Condemn LoD Crusader (Legacy of Dreams Gem) (High Tier) Condemn Akkhan Crusader (Akkhan + Bastions) (High Tier) Speed Farming Variation Hammerdin Crusader (SoL + Endless Walk) (High Tier) Speed Farming Variation Sweep Attack Crusader (Roland + Endless Walk) (Mid Tier) Speed Farming Variation Fist of the Heavens Crusader (Aegis of Valor) (Mid Tier) Speed Farming Variation Bombardment Crusader (LoN) (Mid Tier) Speed Farming Variation Shield Bash Crusader (Roland + Bastions) (Low Tier) Speed Farming Variation
       
      Season 21 is very much the season of the Demon Hunter, as their new Gears of Dreadlands set brought them 2 top tier builds, both for solo pushing and XP farming.
      Support Demon Hunter (GoD + Marauder) (Top Tier) (New) Hungering Arrow Demon Hunter (GoD + Bastions) (Top Tier) (New) Bolas Variation Rapid Fire Demon Hunter (Legacy of Dreams Gem) (Top Tier) Rapid Fire Natalya Demon Hunter (Natalya + Endless Walk) (Top Tier) Impale Demon Hunter (Shadow + Endless Walk) (High Tier) Speed Farming Variation Group Progression Variation Sentry Demon Hunter (Marauder + Natalya + Endless Walk) (High Tier) Multishot Demon Hunter (Unhallowed + Bastions) (High Tier) Speed Farming Variation Cluster Arrow Demon Hunter  (Marauder + Bastions) (Mid Tier) Speed Farming Variation Rockets-based Progression Variation Grenades Demon Hunter (Unhallowed + Endless Walk) (Mid Tier) Speed Farming Variation Rain of Vengeance Demon Hunter (Natalya + Bastions) (Mid Tier) Speed Farming Variation Fan of Knives LoD Demon Hunter (Legacy of Dreams Gem) (Low Tier) Chakram Demon Hunter (Unhallowed + Bastions) (Low Tier) Speed Farming Variation
      Header image source.

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      Which Class to Play in Diablo 3 Season 21? Solo, Group and Speedfarm Rankings
      Diablo 3 Season 21 Start Times
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      Diablo 3 Patch 2.6.9 (Season 21 Precursor) Is Now Live + Patch Notes
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      Is the Season 21 Power Too Good? ZDPS Barb Can Solo GR 150 Without Area Damage
    • By Starym
      The XP/paragon farming meta is changing this season, as the extremely popular Rat runs are no longer the top dog and Demon Hunters are taking on Necromancers for the throne. We have our own guide writer Impact taking us through all the details, from the start, through the Haedrig's set and on to the actual group compositions and builds for the optimal group XP runs in the endgame!

      The Rat Run
      For many seasons now the “Rat Run” has held the top spot of being the most efficient and best group composition for farming XP in d3. “Rat Runs” refer to the 3x Necromancer and 1x Barbarian group composition that focuses on the two supports spawning as many health globes as possible so that the two DPS Necromancers, using Reaper's Wraps, can pick them up for quick essence gain. This enables them to continuously summon full essence Skeletal MageSingularity for insane damage potential early on. They  get their name from the Rathma set that Necromancers have, which boosts their Skeletal Mage damage. Over time the build has evolved into using the Legacy of Dreams gem instead for even higher damage potential, but the name stuck. These runs were so off the charts efficient that no other group composition could ever come close to touching them, until now. With the nerfs to Reapers’ Wraps in Season 21 through a 2 second cooldown, the Necromancer has been dethroned. In its place, the Demon Hunter rises.
      Demon Hunters Arrive
      Season 21 is the season of the Demon Hunter.After many long seasons of the Necromancer and “Rat Runs” reigning supreme in the XP grinding meta, the DH is here to take the throne. For those of you planning out your season start, if you are looking to be the most optimal that you can be, then you should be looking to maximize efficiency in whatever you will spend the most time. During a season start, your time playing can generally be broken down into three stages.
      Leveling 1-70 Starter build at 70 with Haedrig’s Gift End-game build While Necromancer is still far and away the best class in the game for a swift 1-70 leveling process, level 70 is where the Demon Hunter will truly take over. Demon Hunters get access to the Shadow’s Mantle set this season, allowing them to access the Impale build as a starter build. The Impale build has a huge multiplier baked into the 2-set for the build, allowing you to start dishing out huge number straight out of the gate. You also can upgrade level 70 rare daggers in your Kanai’s Cube which has a 50% chance to get a Karlei's Point, providing yet another easily accessible multiplier to the build and the best weapon that you will want to use. Finally, if you save your challenge rift bloodshards until level 34, you can try to roll quivers which gives you a 25% chance to get a Holy Point Shot when you roll a legendary quiver. If you do get lucky, you can easily jump straight into t8 or higher once you get your 2pc bonus, giving you a huge start at 70.
       

      The Endgame Build
      Demon Hunters up to this point are arguably the best class, but now we get to where you will spend most of your time in Diablo: your end-game build. It is fun to optimize your season start and getting good builds early is great, but regardless of how you start you can always get to an end-game build within a couple of days, or even within the first day if you are lucky enough. For Demon Hunters, that means playing the GoD Hungering Arrow build.
      Once you have your end-game build, you should be able to clear t16 Nephalem Rifts without much trouble. This means your main source of progression will be in greater rifts. Once you have your full set of correct pieces in your end-game build, your main source of power progression is going to come from farming ancient pieces, getting gem upgrades, and farming XP for paragon levels. The last two specifically are done primarily in greater rifts. With an optimized 4-man group, you can clear higher greater rift levels, much higher than you would be able to achieve solo early on in a season. This enables you to rack up the paragon levels, with some of the more optimized groups even reaching 1000 paragon within the first 24 hours of a season launch. This XP farming meta is where Demon Hunter really shines this season. The optimized 4-man group for farming XP consists of the following:
      1x Support Barbarian 1x Support Demon Hunter 2x GoD Hungering Arrow Demon Hunters The true power of this group lies within the Support Demon Hunter. Thanks to the update to Leonine Bow of Hashir, your Bolas will not instantly explode, pulling in enemies within 24 yards into one spot. The DH can speed through the rift due to the movement speed that the GoD 4 piece bonus brings along with Smoke Screen, creating large, dense groupings of enemies ahead of the support Barbarian and Hungering Arrow DHs. You map out the rift for your team, create nice density of enemies through your Bolas, and then spin on top of the groups using Entangling Shot and Odyssey's End to put a 150% damage amplification on every enemy you hit. This is the single largest support buff that any class in the game can give, making DH an incredibly strong support early on when you need the extra damage.
      The support Barbarian is there to do their normal job helping to toss elites onto the packs for better positioning for Area Damage, while also using all of theirs shouts and the 2 pc HotNS for double effectiveness. Finally, your two GoD DH’s can spin around without stopping, utilizing Blood Vengeance for all their hatred generation so they do not have to stop channeling Strafe.

      The true devastating damage potential of this group comp lies within the innate damage that the GoD Hungering Arrow set provides. Thanks to your Devouring Arrow rune, your arrows will gain exponential damage each time they pierce enemies, but can pierce infinitely, only limited by the number of targets you have grouped. The crazy grouping potential that your two supports bring allows your arrows to pierce huge numbers of targets, which means your damage scales more than most classes would even without accounting for Area Damage.
      The GoD Hungering Arrow Demon Hunter build is the best solo-pushing build this season, and the insanely high base movement speed that the build offers without any support items allows you to build for full damage while still moving fast enough to do speed clears without missing a beat. While other speed compositions often must sacrifice damage for better mobility and speed, the Demon Hunters will never need to make that trade. You can abuse the base mobility that the build offers, building full damage, and push higher greater rift levels than any other group composition would ever allow for speed clears.
      If your goal is to be as optimal as possible in Season 21 with a group, you need to be playing the Demon Hunter meta to abuse it for all it is worth.
      Header image source.
      Image source 1,2,3.
       

      Related articles:
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      Diablo 3 Season 21 Start Times
      Demon Hunter Set Guides Spotlight for Season 21: Gears of Dreadlands
      Diablo 3 Patch 2.6.9 (Season 21 Precursor) Is Now Live + Patch Notes
      Diablo 3 Ban Wave: June 19th
      Is the Season 21 Power Too Good? ZDPS Barb Can Solo GR 150 Without Area Damage
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