Jump to content
FORUMS
Starym

The Paradox of Diablo: Why "Optimal Builds" Hurt the Game

Recommended Posts

50777-season-21-power-hotfixes-visual-an
 

A lot of the comments on my last article got me thinking (and btw, thanks to everyone for reading and hopefully enjoying it) and opened up a whole lot of ideas for followups. But the biggest takeaway from them has to be something I've been struggling with for a long time now: the paradox of Diablo-likes, as I like to call it. Just to put a huge disclaimer at the top here: all of this is my personal opinion and preference, obviously, and there are many people who prefer to play differently, be it use the same build over and over (WW Barb comes to mind) or just push to the maximum GR every single season no matter what. This article is for the rest of us who are at least somewhat conflicted.


The what of Diablo-likes??

Ok, so bear with me here. A Diablo game is composed of three basic parts: the combat, the skills and the loot. Everything else is set-dressing and enhances (or diminishes) those three parts. I've already gone over how Diablo 3's combat is almost pitch-perfect and hasn't been matched yet in the genre (sorry Lost Ark), the skill system is problematic in most games in the genre so we'll skip that, which leaves us to focus on the real problem of (current) Diablo 3 instead - the itemization.

We all want the best gear. We all want to be optimal. We all want to push the hardest difficulties and feel powerful and awesome. That's what the game is about - power fantasy, killing demons, getting powerful rewards to kill more demons with etc. The problem arises when obtaining and using that best optimal gear becomes more important than everything else. When it becomes more important than fun. Think about that for a second. Something in a GAME you're playing is more important than having fun with said game. When you look at it from an outside perspective, it's a ludicrous statement. You play games to have fun, why on earth would you instead have less fun just so you can get better items and be more optimal? It makes no sense. And yet it's what I'd wager happens to most players. It's absolutely what happens to me every time I come back to the game. It certainly happens to anyone that goes "hardcore" (no, not the game mode) in these types of games. Now, obviously for that contingent of players that goes hard at the actual leaderboards and only wants to push themselves to ever higher Greater Rifts, THAT'S the fun in the game, but I feel pretty certain there are builds they'd rather play if they could push with those.

So the paradox here is that the point playing the game is to get better gear, but getting the better gear can make the game less fun at high levels of gear optimization, as it forces you into specific builds.

2rnwuwb.jpg


The Loop

In Diablo 3, it goes a little something like this: you get the set that buffs you with infinity-gillion% damage and it's really fun to play, whether it's from the seasonal journey or from farming it the regular way. Then you play it some more and more and it gets less fun, as every repetitive activity does. Now if the set you have isn't the MOST optimal one you get to farm for the next one and when you get it, the loop repeats. But it only repeats once. Now you're stuck with this optimal set, and, ok, you can now search for the ancillary pieces of the build, the few legendaries and cube items that complement the set. Usually though, these don't add much to the build in terms of gameplay, they just make that way of playing more powerful. This is the end of the loop in terms of gameplay gains, unfortunately, as you're now farming for small percentage upgrades, that perfect roll with the maxed affixes that give you that +137 Strength or 1.5% crit chance that will push you to that next GR level (don't even get me started on Greater Rifts and their litany of issues). Now, don't get me wrong, this issue isn't related to just Diablo 3, it's a problem in all loot-based games. The better ones manage to distract you from the issue and possibly downplay the need for being optimal.

For Diablo 3 specifically, the issue really only appeared after Reaper of Souls, because that's when the excellent new legendary system was introduced. This is one of the best additions in an expansion I've seen to any game I've ever played, as it took the potential of ARPGs and put it into overdrive. Until then we had stat sticks for items and that was fine, that was the way it's always been, with the very occasional legendary that actually had an ability (ah, MaximusMaximus, you were ahead of your time), or sets that gave you just more of the same stats. But with RoS, every single slot you had was now an option for deep customization of your gameplay style. Sure, not all legendaries had gameplay changing abilities, but they all added something to your build, at the very least visually. I'd say that initial Reaper of Souls period was the absolute best in terms of itemization and build diversity (although I'm sure there were plenty of optimal and "must-have" builds even then), because legendaries were pretty scarce so you had to make do with what you had and create builds based on that.

Then came the enemy. The sets system in Diablo 3 is just bad, there's no way around that. It takes the loop and just speeds it up infinitely. When the change to sets to make them actually viable was first announced, I was thrilled. Permanent Call of the Ancients with a 6 set for Barb? Sign me up! I didn't even think of the fact that that was 6 slots immediately gone, with additional ones having to bend to the now Ancients focused build. The deathblow came when sets became infinitely powerful with the various nonsensical +28193463184327423% buffs and legendaries weren't buffed alongside them.

Shadows-Mantle.jpg
The bonus is now 75,000%.

Now look, obviously a lot of this isn't the developer's fault. The team is ridiculously small and was getting smaller ever since RoS, so tweaking % numbers is an easy way to make it seem as if something is being added. I get that, that's fine, you do what you can with what you have. But it's not just Diablo 3 that has this issue. The more power vs. more fun is an eternal struggle in the whole genre. The glaring thing with D3 isn't that its itemization is bad, it's that it has SO much potential with all of these legendary powers that's being squandered.
 

Unsolvable?

Is this even a solvable issue though? Yes and no, unfortunately. The basic loop I mention above will always be there, there will always be an optimal build, no matter how hard developers try to avoid it. However, there are things that make it either last longer, make it a more smooth loop or make it less noticeable. There are plenty of potential solutions, too many to write up here, but the below are the ones I feel are most relevant (and easy to explain).

  • The easiest way to resolve the issue is to simply not care. Take whichever combination of items you enjoy playing, head to the difficulty those items allow you to play and have fun! I'm sure plenty of people do this already, but I've tried many times and everyone I know has as well - we never keep at it. We always end up defaulting back to the "good" builds.
     
  • Items HAVE TO be hard to get. Of course everyone wants to get to play with the big toys and it's not actually fair that only people that spend insane amounts of hours in a game get to use the most powerful items. But, once you remove rarity as an issue, other than small % upgrades, the system collapses in on itself. Once the powerful builds become easily available to all, those are the ones that will be used. By all. They are supposed to be the goal, the carrot that keeps you playing and farming and enjoying the gameplay.

    Now of course the reason things are as they are in D3 at the moment is because it's a 7 year old game and the hardcore players (again, not the game mode) have already had all the powerful items, so it's completely ok for more casual players to get them too, but I'm talking in general here. Making tiers of power (not tier sets, mind you) as incremental goals is the way to go. So casual players get to play with powerful things, but they know there's more out there. Getting one full complement of gear from a single tier allows you to start going for the next one and so on. Just to clarify, by tier I don't mean the same items with bigger stats, but you take your legendary pool and see which are more or less powerful and sort them that way. This is already a thing, as you can always find tier lists for items in any game, ranking them by their power. The problem there is that you can skip huge parts of that if you get lucky with a drop. So, if you get a really good top tier item, that's it for that slot, you just completely ignored the other options available there. There are so many fun and interesting legendary combinations in D3 that are simply ignored because they aren't powerful enough.

latest?cb=20141009005449  

  • Content helps out a lot, as doing various different things to obtain gear keeps it feeling fun. Specific game modes or dungeons can completely revitalize a game. For example, if you came across a dungeon with really good rewards, but weren't allowed to use any of your top items, that would make you instantly have to change your build and playstyle, play with what you have available and adapt. Balancing said dungeon would be a nightmare, but it would be doable. Even separating the loot pool into different game modes is an option, so certain content is only accessible with the "worse" loot. It still rewards you with desirable items, but in order to get a chance at it you have to make sub-optimal builds with items that are weak. There are many different ways to do this and use content to liven up the itemization game, force players out of their comfort zone and get them thinking.
     

My solution

While most of the above is only applicable to a new game I've found a solution that works for me in Diablo 3 specifically. It's still a tough sell to some of my more hardcore-minded friends who physically can't have fun unless they're pushing the absolute highest GR possible, but I'll force/threaten convince them of this new way eventually. So what is it? Well it includes a bit of patience, unfortunately, but basically you make your own tiers and see how far you can get with them. If I stumble upon Ancients for my old reliable Cyclone + every single passive legendary possible that deals damage to everything around you Monk build I'm going to play it until it's no longer fun and try to see what GR level is the maximum I can get with it. Basically that Cyclone set is my own endgame. But here's the thing - I can have MANY endgames this way. Whenever I stumble upon an interesting combination of legendaries that might work well together, I'm going to try them out (or keep them in the stash because I need one or more additional legendaries to make it work) and if it's a fun build, then bam, I have another endgame goal for myself - take THAT build to it's maximum potential and gather items for it.

I'm actually going to make a spreadsheet for this purpose (yes, it's a bit much, but I have to keep myself away from those damned optimal builds somehow), charting what builds make it how far and how I can improve them.

All of this might seem like a lot of work and mental discipline for just one game when there's so much else to play, but it's worth it for me. Diablo 3 has many flaws and issues, but at its core, it's still the best in the genre and if I have to put in a little effort on my end to get it fresh again I'm absolutely willing to do that. Having tried literally every alternative out there in the genre for significant amounts of time, I keep coming back to D3 and there has to be a reason for it. That's not to say the other games are bad, but they're just not what I'm looking for - perhaps I truly am a gameplay snob.
 

The real name of the game

Creativity. Creativity and build diversity are the one and only solution in the end. Everything else I wrote about is just trying to emphasize that one aspect. If a game's items spark your imagination, make you think "OMG, if I just combine these 2 legendaries, and add this third one in, and then another and another, it'll be amazing. I can't wait to get them and try it out!", that's it, the game has you. Discovering new ways to play and creating them by yourself is what makes these games fun in the long term. As good as the gameplay can be and as good as the individual items are, they all have a pretty short expiration date. Finding new builds that change the way you play extends that to the extremes. There's nothing better to me than finding an item or items for a different class that immediately has me thinking I HAVE to try this class out now, look at how great this item is! Then, every once in a while, hop on to your optimally built destruction monster and stomp some crazy high GRs and Torments for some catharsis, just for good measure.

NleT8YM.jpg?1


Conclusion

In closing, obviously you should play EXACTLY the way that you want to, and if pushing the high GRs and using the absolutely best gear that is available in a season is what's fun for you, then that's great, I'm actually envious of you! If using the same build all the time is what makes the game fun for you who am I to tell you different! This was just about my personal issues with the game and genre, and potential solutions to it. If you found any of this useful (or at all comprehensible), great! Let me know what you think of the whole thing above, from the paradox to the potential solutions and if I missed something in my reasoning. A big part of why I wrote this article (and hope to write more) is to see what other current Diablo 3 players think after 7 years, and to potentially be able to tell Blizzard what we want from Diablo 4, as they seem to not really have a firm idea themselves.

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the article, and I have to say I agree completely. I usually prefer to play on lower difficulties but with more creative and "off-meta" legendaries. Of course, it would be even better if we could equip most items and still be strong enough for the latter Torments, but that might be too much work for a small team.

In the end it's still a game, and IMO that means I should play to have fun.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The whole thing boils down to them adding "set items" and making "legendaries" a step-up from "rares". Very early in D3's lifespan, rare items were actually best, and the game was much better back then as far as character progression goes (but it had a lot of other problems which resulted in an overall poor experience anyway).

Look at PoE's item philosophy. There are "unique" items there instead of "legendaries" (think about the name!). All that makes a "unique" item special is that it has unique properties - they are 'building blocks' for builds, and they are generally taxing to run because they lack other useful stats along with the property, compared to running rares in the same slot. This is how it should be. You should struggle to piece the build together whilst still trying to get enough raw stats from the other (typically rare item) slots. THAT's what makes the item chase fun.

In many ways I still like D3, but character progression and customization are two things they completely missed the point of as far as ARPG's go. It's like, they totally misunderstood what made D2 fun for most people when designing D3 RoS (and D2 was similar to what I described about PoE in many ways, although using slightly different tools to achieve it [runewords and items with skills on them - which I believe is where PoE took their inspiration for skill gems]).

Edited by Thaya
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the old days i used to enjoy trying different combination of skills in diablo 2 LoD. Then came skill synergyes.... It's kinda fun for increase in complexity, but suddenly we are locked to certain combination and no longer free to mix and match.

Based on that i think somehow tired player that hates META set, META skill and META team composition will enjoy some chaotic moment. Something like season (or special mode) of no legendary/set effect but all dmg increased by xxx% and dmg reduction increased by yy% 😀

Maybe then we can see some crazy build like trap DH or clone Wizard (i know these build is not possible).

Well that's my idea if number tweaking is all we can ask from Blizzard.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Risen said:

In the old days i used to enjoy trying different combination of skills in diablo 2 LoD. Then came skill synergyes.... It's kinda fun for increase in complexity, but suddenly we are locked to certain combination and no longer free to mix and match.

Based on that i think somehow tired player that hates META set, META skill and META team composition will enjoy some chaotic moment. Something like season (or special mode) of no legendary/set effect but all dmg increased by xxx% and dmg reduction increased by yy% 😀

Maybe then we can see some crazy build like trap DH or clone Wizard (i know these build is not possible).

Well that's my idea if number tweaking is all we can ask from Blizzard.

Yep, content pushing build variety is a really good solution, which is one of the things that have to make it into D4.

  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The idea of powerscale will always be a problem in a game with leaderboards, even if you don't play to be part of said leaderboards. You'll see your buddies pushing on higher GRs than you, and feel your pride hurt because you're playing with a less "optimal" build. You will always find yourself lacking power, at some point, even if you have near perfect itemization. And Tier Sets completely ruined that, as well. You use X Tier Set until you find Y, because it is better. It is quite frustrating.

I've been playing Leapquake Barbarian since they introduced it. I find the gameplay style extremelly enjoyable and hard to get bored of. Yet, it is a build considered mid-low Tier for GR pushing; and it is something I feel when I play with friends that use the "Top Tier" builds, cleaning stuff faster than I do, to the point I feel that my presence in the group is a mere placebo.

I've tried other Barbarian builds that are deemed better than Leapquake, but none of them felt good to me. So I stick with Leapquake because it is the way I have fun in the game. Same with Ulliana, another build that is deemed low tier compared to other Monk builds.

If Blizzard really wants to make an impact with Diablo 4, they will have to step-up their game and either change how the whole system works, or tweak it in a way that makes it enjoyable again and not a huge chore. But with the internet, things will always be tricky, because there will always have those threads with questions like "Which is the best build in the game?!?!?"

A lot of people will disagree with me, but I feel that if Blizzard really takes the supposed route and make the game like Dark Souls, replayability will become something more engaging. I played Dark Souls 3 over and over countless times because of how enjoyable it feels to fight those hard bosses again, but with full gear and spells and whatnot.

Edited by Valhalen
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the format, and the in-depth topic of game design. It would be wonderful to see more analysis' (analysees? analysi?) on topics such as skill systems and class structures. Keep up the good work.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/7/2019 at 5:42 PM, Starym said:

Diablo 3 has many flaws and issues, but at its core, it's still the best in the genre and if I have to put in a little effort on my end to get it fresh again I'm absolutely willing to do that. Having tried literally every alternative out there in the genre for significant amounts of time, I keep coming back to D3 and there has to be a reason for it. That's not to say the other games are bad, but they're just not what I'm looking for - perhaps I truly am a gameplay snob.

This, right there. I couldn’ta cared less about this season after straying off to Path of Exile, a suitably fun, suitably developed, suitably being-developed game, but then their season ended and they rolled out the new expansion, and starting anew in there seemed extremely unappealing. I still haven’t figured out how to stop these incessant, sudden deaths on my main character: Stepping on the wrong Pixels of Atrocity and Apocalypse and getting inexplicably one-shot into losing 10% of my total progress to the next level is not exactly my idea of a good time, considering that a single percentage point takes in the vicinity of five minutes to attain. I also read that it could be caused by a flaky server and tried to fix it with some manual sync command macros, the whole idea of which is as ludicrous as it is sad in a modern, supposedly powerful, spottily polished game engine. That game needs a combat log or at least anything in that direction; it doesn’t even have Diablo III’s simple “was slain by” messages.

Anyhow, after spending quite some time and, indeed, money on that game, I decided that if I were to start an ARPG from scratch, it might as well be ye olde faithful Diablo III. And despite picking my least favorite class, which I’ve blissfully ignored until now, I had a blast. The game has so many flaws, so many errors, which are all the more excruciating because it’d take a beginner programmer such as myself little more than an afternoon to fix. And yet there’s this strange attraction that keeps me going back to killing fruity, by today’s standards outdated-looking demons by the thousands. After months of making actual progress with a game that’s alive and well and tempting for a nerdy mind to crunch the numbers of its manifold possibilities, I find myself craving Diablo III’s fast food-like, greasy and sleazy and indubitably unhealthy (because short-lived) burgers, simply because their secret recipe – the combat – has never been copied by anyone outside the Krusty Krab: Guilty pleasure inludite.

I recall a similar situation many years ago when a far less popular game of a different genre, the real-time strategy–RPG hybrid Warlord’s Battlecry III, had this fascinating band of followers despite its endless flaws and, more importantly, its factually superior alternatives (Blizzard’s own Warcraft III, Spellforce, etc.). Not being a developer myself back then, I just admired its premise of never-ending progress, an utter niche but rewarding grind, long after it had been abandoned not only by the people who hated it from the start (and there were a lot), or those who liked it for a while and played it with me before shrugging it aside, but even by its own developers. So this tiny but glistening core humbly asked the company, at least what was left of it, for the custody of their misshapen, grotesque but all the same beloved game – and got it. After signing an agreement not to share the game’s code, they were allowed to make their own alterations and modifications to an already dead, zero-profit patient, and revel in whatever perverted homunculus might emerge.

If Diablo III ever found a fate like this, I’d gladly pour my spare time into raising this abandoned kid, for I know that with such coruscating potential at its core, one could develop something grand. Knowing it is about as likely as seeing a successful manned Mars landing in my lifetime, I get frustrated and consider equally frustrating options like Path of Exile again, simply because its many glaring mistakes have at least a mild chance of being fixed. Other developers would kill for an engine and combat like Diablo III’s, but Blizzard curses its offspring with a terrible sentence for the chubby son: Disregard.

  • Like 3
  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Think you nailed it on the head Infinal, Diablo III has the best engine / combat of the genre, while Path of Exile has the best itemization / crafting systems and a great on-going support, imagine what could be done if both's best parts were to be merged...Diablo III with actual support / innovation going on as well as a rewarding, long-term progression chase, and PoE without lag / rippy deaths all the time and more engaging gameplay.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/7/2019 at 6:04 PM, Valhalen said:

I've been playing Leapquake Barbarian since they introduced it. I find the gameplay style extremelly enjoyable and hard to get bored of. Yet, it is a build considered mid-low Tier for GR pushing; and it is something I feel when I play with friends that use the "Top Tier" builds, cleaning stuff faster than I do, to the point I feel that my presence in the group is a mere placebo.

I've tried other Barbarian builds that are deemed better than Leapquake, but none of them felt good to me.

Agree 100% and I have had the same experience but substitute "Leapquake" for "Whirlwind." That has been my favorite playstyle since D2. I love it.

A shame it caps out about 2-3 weeks into a season and pushing it beyond 100 is nearly impossible. And to do so basically requires grinding high rifts on another build (for me zbarb, which I enjoy but it gets old and requires a full meta group to be worth anything). 

My friends who like multishot DH, DMO frozen orb, and tons of other core, iconic builds that have FULL SETS designed around them have the same problem. There are playstyles and builds they really enjoy, but they very quickly max out and cannot be played in viable groups beyond GR100. 

And now we have "Season of Nightmares" that will just make 2 of the same top meta builds even stronger, while now making the other builds even WEAKER as they lose RoRG.

Season of Nightmares is right....... a nightmare for anyone other than the 2-4 super OP LoN builds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/7/2019 at 5:42 PM, Starym said:

A big part of why I wrote this article (and hope to write more) is to see what other current Diablo 3 players think after 7 years, and to potentially be able to tell Blizzard what we want from Diablo 4, as they seem to not really have a firm idea themselves.

I personally would like to see that in regards to itemization Blizzard goes back a bit more into the direction Diablo 2, where unique items (the legendaries of D2) had predetermined affixes and were also not limited to 4 primary and 2 secondary affixes like in D3.

Some legendaries in D4 could have 6 affixes, while others have 8 or even 10 different affixes, and not just one special affix, but maybe even two or three, if it fits the fantasy of these items.

Also, their special affixes shouldn't be like insane damage multipliers to a single skill (because as you said, it funnels everyone into the same builds in the endgame), but more generic and not just apply to a single skills, but be useful to various builds.

Furthermore, there probably should be various Best in Slot legendaries for different purposes. There could be for example a really offensive oriented legendary Best in Slot weapon, then there is a defensive BiS legendary weapon, then maybe a BiS utility legendary weapon, or even several other BiS legendary weapons that provide offense and defense and utility in other ways than the previous ones.

==============================

If anyone is interested, I attached some concept art I made to this post to illustrate of how such legendaries could look like.

The numbers and so on are just examples for the purpose of illustration and if that would be a real game, the numbers might change.

There are a few more concept arts here:

https://imgur.com/a/Z5NswCo

==============================

Thanks for your article / blog post.

It very much reflects the thoughts and feelings I have about Diablo 3 as well.

Windforce - Kopie.jpg

Earth Shatter.jpg

Bloodfist.jpg

Vampiric Embrace.jpg

Heart of Ice.jpg

The Mahim Oak Curio.jpg

Lenymo.jpg

Blade of Time.jpg

Thundergod's Wrath.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice article. IMHO, set items should be the standard, like start sets to get that little extra bonus )not the insane bonus u get now, but not in DH..:D) while legendaries should be the real deal and primals only on "legendary" items, not set items. that would make the set builds usable to a certain level and from that point on, u must work on ur legendary (and add possibility for all pieces to have sockets and modify more than 1 affix/suffix, after all, why to we horder so much gold if there is nowhere to spend it beside paying for grs?

The opportunity to reroll and get better affix/suffix would change the face of D3, turning the legs/primals the real goal not set items....

Just my thoughts tho..

Brgds

GK

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

D3 hasn't had any major content update since RoS, - 4 years ago?  Content helps instill game-playing adventure, and peaks interest, which indirectly helps alleviate the continual grinding.

Content updates are needed for D3, and if not, then I hope they address this for D4 in a timely manner.

Edited by rickster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, rickster said:

D3 hasn't had any major content update since RoS, - 4 years ago?  Content helps instill game-playing adventure, and peaks interest, which indirectly helps alleviate the continual grinding.

Content updates are needed for D3, and if not, then I hope they address this for D4 in a timely manner.

While I agree that the continual grinding can get stale without updates, grinding is very much a part of Diablo and this style of game. No matter what they change, the grind will always be there and I do think it should be. I'd hope for a balance in Diablo 4, where you get content on a scheduled basis, but you retain that grinding element.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Staff
      The ongoing Trial of Tempest Season ends November 8 at 5pm PDT/CET/KST.
      (Source)
      Hello all -
      Season 21 is coming to a close. Below are the times when Season 21 will end for each region.
      Along with these ending times, the Double Bounties event will also be ending. We will be providing a Season 22 Preview post soon which will include the start time for the next season.
    • By Staff
      We now finally have the official Season 21 end date, and it's only 2 weeks away! We've already seen the "ending soon" announcement on the launcher itself, but this one is coming through a relatively unusual source, as the official Diablo EU facebook page has just announced that the current season is ending on November 8th:

    • By Staff
      Blizzard announced in the Battle.net launcher that Diablo's ongoing Season 21 is ending soon.
      No other details are available at this time, as the linked blog post hasn't been updated to reflect this change.
      Patch 2.6.10 testing on the Public Test Realm has been extended to October 27.

      Source: Reddit
    • By Staff
      Blizzard has extended Patch 2.6.10 testing on the PTR and there are also some item changes, seasonal updates, and bug fixes in the latest PTR update.
      (Source)
      Update on October 21: A new PTR patch has been implemented and PTR playtesting has been extended to October 27. Item changes, seasonal updates, and bug fix details have now been updated. Update on October 14: We are extending PTR for an unspecified amount of time to troubleshoot latency and login issues. At this time you may notice the Seasonal Theme content being enabled and disabled at certain points of the test. 
      Update on October 8: 2.6.10 PTR has been updated. Please see below for changes with "Developer's Note" annotations in RED.
      Our two-week PTR testing period for the 2.6.10 update begins October 1 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 content, a new item, and tons of Legendary item changes; Patch 2.6.10 will be arriving soon.
      Table of Contents
      PTR Focus & Details PTR Tips Patch Notes Seasons Items 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 2.6.10 PTR, and phasing in content updates over the course of two weeks, starting Thursday, October 1. During this time there may be periodic maintenances, outages, hotfixes, or minor patches. This time around, testing will consist of two phases:
      Phase 1 - October 1: During this phase, we will be introducing Legendary and Set item changes Phase 2 – October 8: In this phase, we will be adding the Seasonal Theme content NOTE: Phase 1 content will persist throughout the entirety of the PTR. Phase 2 content will be an addition to the existing content. 
      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!
      Class Changes: To ensure that the most significant class changes receive an ample amount of attention, we'd love for you to focus testing and feedback on the Wizard changes around Etched Sigils and Hydras, the Crusader’s Steed Charge build, and the Witch Doctor’s Crazy Chicken build.
      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. 
      Return to Top
      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
      Patch Notes
      Below you will find the patch notes for the upcoming update for Diablo III, Patch 2.6.10.
      PATCH 2.6.10
      Table of Contents:
      Seasons Items Bug Fixes Note: All changes apply to all versions of Diablo III, including PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC unless otherwise indicated.
      Seasons
      The shadows, they are moving, and they seem… animated. It is as though they have a will of their own. Whatever this trickery is, perhaps you can use it to your advantage. Let’s see what the demons say when you fight side by side with your own shadow!
      Shadows of the Past: Activating a Shrine/Pylon will spawn in a shadow clone of your class. This clone will randomly have 1 out of 3 predetermined builds. This clone's power will scale with your character and will last for 1 minute or if your character dies. See below for the shadow clone variations that can spawn when activating.
      Developer's Note: We appreciate and gathered feedback regarding the initial list of skills from the clones. We have decided to remove all hard crowd control effects from all kits and balanced each of the build variants to not have a potential buff that is more beneficial than the other 2 in the same class.
      Developer's Note: Adjusted Seasonal Theme's Shadow Clone damage numbers and they can now move unhindered through enemies. Damage numbers should now be more even across all classes
      Witch Doctor
      Build Variation 1 Build Variation 2 Build Variation 3 Grasp of the Dead - Rain of Corpses Wall of Death - Fire Wall Haunt - Poisoned Spirit  Piranhas - Zombie Piranhas Firebomb - Flash Fire Spirit Barrage - The Spirit is Willing Acid Cloud - Kiss of Death Acid Cloud - Corpse Bomb Wall of Death - Communing with Spirits Zombie Charger - Zombie Bears Piranhas - Zombie Piranhas Piranhas - Zombie Piranhas Corpse Spiders - Medusa Spiders Zombie Charger - Explosive Beast Acid Cloud - Slow Burn Locust Swarm - Diseased Swarm Spirit Barrage - Well of Souls Grasp of the dead - Unbreakable Grasp Wizard
      Build Variation 1 Build Variation 2 Build Variation 3 Arcane Orb - Frozen Orb Meteor - Molten Impact Arcane Orb - Obliteration Frost Nova - Bone Chill Arcane Orb - Scorch Disintegrate - Volatility Blizzard - Unrelenting Storm Explosive Blast - Short Fuse Wave of Force - Debilitating Force Energy Twister - Raging Storm Blizzard - Apocalypse Slow Time - Exhaustion Explosive Blast - Obliterate Wave of Force - Heat Wave Energy Twister - Raging Storm Ray of Frost - Black Ice Disintegrate - Convergence Meteor - Star Pact Barbarian
      Build Variation 1 Build Variation 2 Build Variation 3 Seismic Slam - Rumble Battle Rage - Marauder's Rage Battle Rage - Ferocity Threatening Shout - Falter Threatening Shout - Falter Threatening Shout - Falter Avalanche - Volcano Wrath of The Berserker - Insanity Leap - Launch Earthquake - Molten Fury Sprint - Run Like the Wind Wrath of The Berserker - Insanity Wrath of The Berserker - Insanity Whirlwind - Dust Devils Bash - Pulverize Ancient Spear - Boulder Toss Rend - Lacerate Hammer of The Ancients - Rolling Thunder Monk
      Build Variation 1 Build Variation 2 Build Variation 3 Lashing Tail Kick - Sweeping Armada Fists of Thunder - Static Charge Exploding Palm - Essence Burn Seven-Sided Strike - Fulminating Onslaught Way of the Hundred Fists - Hands of Lightning Seven-Sided Strike - Sudden Assault Inner Sanctuary - Intervene Crippling Wave - Concussion Lashing Tail Kick - Spinning Flame Kick Epiphany - Soothing Mist Lashing Tail Kick - Vulture Claw Kick Sweeping Wind - Fire Storm Breath of Heaven - Circle of Scorn Dashing Strike - Barrage Wave of Light - Explosive Light Wave of Light - Empowered Wave Sweeping Wind - Blade Storm Epiphany - Inner Fire Necromancer
      Build Variation 1 Build Variation 2 Build Variation 3 Land of the Dead - Plaguelands Land of the Dead - Plaguelands Land of the Dead - Plaguelands Frailty - Early Grave Frailty - Early Grave Frailty - Early Grave Army of the Dead - Dead Storm Army of the Dead - Blighted Grasp Bone Spirit - Poltergeist Corpse Explosion - Final Embrace Corpse Lance - Ricochet Corpse Lance - Blood Lance Bone Spear - Blood Spear Bone Spear - Blighted Marrow Bone Spear - Shatter Death Nova - Blood Nova Death Nova - Blight Death Nova - Bone Nova Demon Hunter
      Build Variation 1 Build Variation 2 Build Variation 3 Marked for Death - Valley of Death Marked for Death - Valley of Death Marked for Death - Valley of Death Caltrops - Jagged Spikes Rain Of Vengeance - Dark Cloud Rain Of Vengeance - Shade Fan of Knives - Assassin's Knives Cluster Arrow - Shooting Stars Cluster Arrow - Maelstrom Chakram - Twin Chakrams Multishot - Arsenal Impale - Overpenetration Vengeance - Side Cannons Vengeance - Personal Mortar Chakram - Serpentine Impale - Ricochet Elemental Arrow - Immolation arrow Elemental Arrow - Frost Arrow Crusader
      Build Variation 1 Build Variation 2 Build Variation 3 Akarat's Champion - Fire Starter Akarat's Champion - Hasteful Akarat's Champion - Rally Falling Sword - Superheated Iron Skin - Flash Falling Sword - Rapid Descent Sweep Attack - Blazing Sweep Blessed Shield - Shattering Throw Heaven's Fury - Split Fury Consecration - Shattered Ground Consecration - Bathed in Light Fist of the Heavens - Retribution Bombardment - Annihilate Blessed Hammer - Limitless Iron Skin - Explosive Skin Condemn - Reciprocate Condemn - Unleashed Condemn - Shattering Explosion
      Rewards: Two unique new rewards, a portrait frame, and a pet will be granted to players who complete the Season 22 Guardian Journey.
      Kanai’s Cube: Additionally, the Kanai’s Cube will have a fourth slot this season. This fourth slot will have the choices of the first 3 slots but will not stack with any of them. The intent is to provide players with creative flexibility to their character builds.
      Return to Top
      Items
      General
      Haedrig’s Gifts now grants all class sets and we have a new rotation schedule. This upcoming season, depending on which class you choose, Haedrig’s Gifts will reward you with Horde of the Ninety Savages, Aegis of Valor, Gears of Dreadlands, Patterns of Justice, Masquerade of the Burning Carnival, Mundunugu’s Regalia, or Typhon’s Veil. Stone Gauntlets now drops for all classes. Paragon Bonus Gold Find has been changed to Gold Pickup Radius at 0.1 per point. Item Changes
      New Item* Gelmindor’s Marrow Guards: Bone Spear cast from Simulacrums deal 400-500% 300-400% increased damage. Developer's Note: We see how strong this is performing. We would like to tweak it back a little for now.
      Ivory Tower: Rapid multiple blocks will now scale the damage for Fires of Heaven, up to a maximum of 2.5 times damage. Mantle of Channeling: Removed the 1 second start up before the power takes effect. The Twisted Sword: The Twisted Sword: Energy Twister damage is increased by 125-150% for each Energy Twister you have out up to a maximum of 5. The Raging Storm rune is automatically applied to Energy Twister and allows the tornado to merge with 3 additional Energy Twisters. Unfortunately, this item is not available with PTR vendor, Djank Mi'em. Developer's Note: We want to address the lag situation of multiple Energy Twisters doing AoE by allowing them to combine up to 5 while dealing with their combined damage. We will monitor the situation and see if this is the correct approach. 
      Etched Sigil: While channeling Arcane Torrent, Disintegrate, or Ray of Frost, the damage of your Energy Twister is increased by 200-250%, and you also cast Energy Twister every second. Fragment of Destiny: Your Signature Spells attack 50% faster and deal triple damage. You gain a Spectral buff whenever you land an attack with a Signature Spell. Hydras deal 25-30% increased damage for each Spectral stack. Max 10 stacks. Valthek's Rebuke: Energy Twister now travels in a straight path and deals 300-400% increased damage. Winter Flurry: Enemies killed by Cold damage have a 25% chance to release a Frost Nova. Your Hydra deals 125-150% increased damage to enemies in a Blizzard. Wizardspike: Performing an attack has a 25% chance to hurl a Frozen Orb. Arcane Orb deals 300-350% increased damage. Delsere's Magnum Opus: 6 piece bonus increased from 8500% to 12500%. The Typhon's Veil: 6 piece bonus increased from 1300% to 2000%. Norvald's Fervor: Buff 2 piece bonus damage from 100% to 400% Armor of Akkhan: Buff 6 piece bonus damage from 1500% to 2000% Roland's Legacy: Buff 4 piece bonus damage from 13,000% to 17,500% Seeker of the Light: Buff 6 piece Blessed Hammer bonus damage from 12,000% to 15,000% Belt of the Trove: Every 4 seconds, call down Bombardment on a random nearby enemy. Bombardment deals 400-500% increased damage. Mortal Drama: Double the number of Bombardment impacts. Bombardement deals 400-500% increased damage. Thorns of The Invoker: 2-Piece bonus decreased from 350% to 90% and has a cap of 10 stacks. 6-piece bonus increased from 15,000% to 67,500% and increased attack speed bonus from 50% to 100%. Developer's Note: This is to address the Bombardment build that Crusaders have been tearing across the board. We've severely nerfed the 2-piece and compensated in the 6-piece. We also thought about extending the duration of the buff past 2 seconds, but we rather change a couple of things first rather than too many things to see how things play out.
      Manajuma's Way: Angry Chicken explosion damage increased from 400% to 2000%. Manajuma's Way now includes a third legendary affix, which allows angry chicken to spawn a chicken that seeks enemies every second that deals 25% of the angry chicken's explosion damage.  Developer's Note: This build wasn't clearing T16 as fast as we want, so we wanted to give it more juice in an interesting way
      New Item* Ursua's Trodden Effigy: New Witch Doctor Legendary mojo buffing Zombie Charger 100-150%, and spawning more Zombie Bears. Unfortunately, this item is not available with PTR vendor, Djank Mi'em. Developer's Note: More, Bears
      Spirit of Arachyr: Buff 6 piece bonus damage from 9000% to 17,500%. Helltooth Harness: Buff 6 piece bonus damage from 9000% to 17,500%. Scrimshaw: Reduces the Mana cost of Zombie Charger by 75% and increases its damage by 6-7 times. Inna's Mantra: Buff 6 piece bonus damage from 750% to 950%. Shenlong's Spirit: Damage bonus increased from 200% to 350%. Uliana's Strategem Set: Now has 77% damage reduction for 7 seconds after applying Exploding Palm. Developer's Note: This set needed damage reduction much more than a damage boost, so we'll see where this takes it.
      Gungdo Gear: Exploding Palm's on-death explosion applies Exploding Palm. Exploding Palm's damage is increased by 75-100%. Blade of the Tribes: War Cry and Threatening Shout cause an Avalanche and Earthquake. Avalanche and Earthquake both deal 150-200% increased damage. Consolidated Blade of the Tribes Earthquake affix into the new legendary affix so that it's no longer two affixes that buff Earthquake.   
      Developer's Note: This item had a standard affix that boosted earthquake by up to 200%, along with a legendary affix that boosted Avalanche and Earthquake. We've combined those two which means also buffing Avalanche at the same time.
      Return to Top
      Bug Fixes
      Fixed an issue with PC Win32 (32-bit) and macOS clients crashing. Please share any issues on our PTR Bug Report section Fixed Wizardspike to more properly proc Frozen Orb. Simulacrums casting Grim Scythe with Haunted Visions no longer gain double benefit from Trag’Ouls Corroded Fang (currently bugged on the PTR) Blessed Hammer will now destroy itself after hitting 63 targets. Reduced the tick rate of Energy Twister by half and doubled its damage. (currently looking into improving this) Reverted Energy Twister's tick rate and damage back to normal which is 0.5 seconds per tick. Fixed legacy items stacking with the new items from this PTR: Gundo Gear, Blade of the Tribes, Scrimshaw, Belt of the Trove, Mortal Drama, Winter Flurry, Wizardspike, Etched Sigil, and Fragment of Destiny Fixed Necromancer's pets doing extra damage to cursed enemies from a bug caused by the original fix for Haunted Visions + Trag'Ouls Corroded Fang. 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.
      Return to Top
      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.
      Return to Top
      As this is a test server, please anticipate uneven game performance, and note that restarts and downtime may occur without warning. Thank you, and we look forward to your feedback!
    • By Staff
      It seems the PTR will continue after all, as we get another week on the test realm with some adjustments to the theme, items and more.
      PTR (source)
      10/20 UPDATE
      PTR is scheduled for an Update (scheduled for this week)
      – PTR and will be extended to 10/27 Patch will include:
      – Seasonal Theme Adjustments
      – Item Nerfs/Buffs/Updates
      – Bug Fixes
      – Dev Comments
×
×
  • Create New...