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New Patch 2.6.8 PTR Build Coming Soon

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Blizzard is intending to launch a new 2.6.8 build on the PTR during the ongoing test cycle, but major changes past the second patch are not expected, because they would put the build at risk before it hits live servers.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

As we are nearing the end of the first week of the PTR, is there a sense if/when we will get a patch? I know that Nev said that Blizzard are consolidating bug fixes/other potential changes, but it would be nice to have a week to test things.

I’m taking a super fast break from updating the incoming PTR patch notes to let you know that that’s exactly what we’re doing; we are intending to launch another patch during this cycle to get a handful of changes back to you to test for the remainder of the PTR.

Bear in mind that doesn’t mean we’ll necessarily be completely done with the patch. We’d like you to continue testing after this patch to root out any more critical bugs and continue to offer feedback. However, major changes will be more unlikely past this second patch, as the larger the changes, the more it puts the build at risk before it hits live servers.

Just the same, we’re still committed to ongoing balance even past the live deployment of 2.6.8. If something continues to perform too well or not well enough, we can (and likely will) continue to revisit both the new sets and other existing sets at a later date. 

Now, back to HTML and proofreading for me.

Should I interpret this as that after this upcoming patch things like functionalities of the new sets are locked in?

Correct. We’re actively trying to avoid a similar situation to 2.6.7. That’s both why we had the longer testing period and tried to squeeze in an extra PTR patch.

Just sent off the patch notes for approval. Assuming all goes, well, we’re hoping to deploy it tomorrow (CAVEAT: as with all things PTR, there’s always a possibility it gets delayed to next week).

I’ll try to keep ya’ll updated should things change drastically. 

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    • By Starym
      It's finally here! Blizzard have announced the Season 20 start date and, as expected, it's March 13th! We also get an official preview for everything related to the season and the patch notes for 2.6.8 and the Season of Forbidden Archives!
      In case you missed it, here are the main highlights:
      Season 20 power: use any Kanai's Cube slot for any item power Cosmetics: Teganze Warrior Portrait Frame and Bat pet New Class Sets: Barbarian, Wizard, Witch Doctor
        Season 20 Preview (source)
      Season 20 begins March 13, shortly after our next Diablo III patch. Read on to learn more about the brand-new Season buff, three brutally feral new class sets, and a handful of item reworks coming in Patch 2.6.8!

      Table of Contents
      Season Theme Season Cosmetic Rewards Season Journey Rewards Seasonal Conquests Haedrig’s Gift Patch Notes FAQ New Season Theme
      Season 20 is the Season of the Forbidden Archives. Many adventurers have come to learn the power that dwells within the ancient nephalem artifact, Kanai’s Cube. However, none understand this power better than the equally celebrated and reviled Horadrim, Zoltun Kulle. Kulle was able to unlock and harness the power of the Cube like none before, leveraging its power to siphon and archive the energies of powerful items. With Season 20, we explore the power Kulle might lend to your fingertips if his experiments went unchecked.
      For the duration of Season 20, the slots in Kanai’s Cube that allow you to equip three additional Legendary powers will not be restricted to their usual categories. While normally a player can equip one power each from the Weapon, Armor, and Jewelry categories, Season 20 players can mix and match between all three! This might allow you to run two Weapon powers with one Armor power. Or perhaps you might choose to run three Amulet powers instead. The choice is yours, and we’re as eager as you are to experiment with the new build opportunities this creates!
      Return to Top
      Seasonal Cosmetic Rewards
      Beginning with Season 17, we began re-introducing previous Seasonal rewards to make them available to players who may have missed them the first time around. For Season 20, this means awards originally available from Season 8 are returning to the Season Journey.

      However, we know it’s nice to have something new to aim for if you’ve participated in previous Seasons. We’re continuing to provide new End of Journey rewards as introduced in Season 17, with two new cosmetic rewards for those who complete the entirety of the Season journey. Feast your eyes upon the Teganze Warrior Portrait Frame and Bat pet!

      In addition to the Boots and Pants slots of the exclusive Conqueror Set, you’ll be able to earn a series of portrait frames that smolder with demonic fires of the Burning Hells. The iconic “wings” of Andariel will also be available once more, allowing you to truly embrace your inner Maiden of Anguish.
      Return to Top
      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. You’ll earn one additional tab each Season by finishing the Conqueror tier, up to a maximum of five:
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      Seasonal Conquests
      Want to prepare your Conquest plan for Season 19? Here are the challenges you’ll face!
      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. Push your way to Greater Rift level 75 to complete Divinity/Lionhearted. For the fiercest demon slayers, Boss Mode/Worlds Apart is a speed challenge where you’ll need to eliminate the following bosses at level 70 and Torment X in under twenty minutes:
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      Return to Top
      Haedrig’s Gift
      Finally, the Class Sets rewarded for completing certain chapters in the Season Journey courtesy of Haedrig’s Gift have rotated once more. We’ve listed the available Sets below. For those new to Seasons, here’s how it works:
      Completing Chapters 2, 3, and 4 of the Season Journey will reward you with three of Haedrig’s Gifts. Each Gift contains a few pieces from one of your Class Sets. Players can only unlock one Class Set in this manner per Season across Hardcore and Non-Hardcore, so choose wisely!
      The set you 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.
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      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
      Return to Top
      Patch Notes
      Below you will find the final patch notes for the most recent update for Diablo III, Patch 2.6.8. Changes specifically from the last version of the PTR have been highlighted in RED.
      Last updated February 28 @ 10:00 a.m. PST.
      Below you will find the patch notes for the most recent update for Diablo III, Patch 2.6.8.
      PATCH 2.6.8
      Table of Contents:
      General Seasons Classes Crusader Witch Doctor Items Barbarian Witch Doctor Wizard Bug Fixes Note: The following changes apply to both PC and Console versions of Diablo III unless otherwise noted.
      General
      Infernal Machines and Organs are now subject to vacuum pick-up Crafting plans from Bounty Caches are now guaranteed to drop unless all plans have been learned Return to Top Seasons
      A new Season Theme has been added for Season 20, the Season of the Forbidden Archives: For the duration of Season 20, all slots in Kanai's Cube will be able to select Legendary powers from Weapon, Armor, or Jewelry This means you could select three Armor powers, three Weapon powers, three Jewelery powers, or any other combination thereof across all categories Items are not self-additive or multiplicative (meaning, you cannot stack multiples of the same item's power) Once the Season has ended and characters roll over to Non-Season, players will have all currently active powers in their Kanai's Cube reset Developer's Note: As we outlined in our Developer Insight blog, we want to continue to get creative (and maybe a little crazy) with the Season Themes and powers we add to the game. We heard from some players that they preferred themes that made your character directly feel more powerful rather than needing to focus on the environment around you. If that describes you, then the Season of Forbidden Archives should be right up your alley, and we're really interested to see how this changes the game for Season 20. Two new Seasonal rewards are available for players who fully complete the Season 20 Journey, including a new portrait frame and pet Return to Top Classes
      Crusader Developer's Note: We're not convinced that this change has fully reigned in Crusader performance to be more in line with other classes. We'll be continuing to keep an eye on overall Crusader performance (as well as performance among the other classes) in 2.6.8 and beyond. Heaven's Fury The animation for the Fires of Heaven rune can no longer be cancelled early. Witch Doctor Spirit Barrage (Phantasm) The periodic attacks from Spirit BarragePhantasm are now twice as slow, but twice as powerful Developer's Note: We rolled this change back between PTR and Live as it was creating additional bugs. We may consider re-exploring this option in the future if we find this adjustment is still needed. Return to Top Items
      Developer's Note: With Patch 2.6.8, we're adding three(!) new class sets with similar goals to those we included in the previous patch. Each set was designed primarily with boosting long-requested skills and play styles we lifted directly from community feedback. Frenzy, Spirit Barrage, and Hydra were requests that offered a lot of opportunity for gameplay exploration, and we're looking forward to seeing what players do with these new tools at their disposal. Additional changes to associated supplemental Legendaries have been included to round out these builds. Mantle of Channeling The bonus granted by this item now occurs 1 second after channeling has begun Barbarian New Class Set: Horde of the Ninety Savages 2-Piece Bonus: Double the effectiveness of all Shouts. Feared, Frozen, or Stunned Enemies take double damage. Developer's Note: The callout that Stun may be the best fit for this set bonus was definitely heard, but we didn't want to take away other potential builds enabled by experimenting with Fear or Frozen. We hope this opens up a variety of options for Barbarians to explore! 4-Piece Bonus: Each stack of Frenzy reduces damage taken by 6%. Frenzy lasts twice as long. 6-Piece Bonus: Frenzy deals 1000% increased damage per stack. The Undisputed Champion Frenzy gains the effect of every rune and deals 300-400% increased damage. Bastion's Revered Frenzy now stacks up to 10 times and hits an additional time per stack. Each additional hit will chain to any enemies within 15 yards and the damage is split between all affected enemies. Witch Doctor New Class Set: Mundunugu's Regalia 2-Piece Bonus: Big Bad Voodoo now follows you and lasts twice as long. 4-Piece Bonus: Gain 60% damage reduction for 30 seconds when you enter the Spirit Realm. 6-Piece Bonus: Spirit Barrage deals 20000% increased damage plus an additional % equal to 5 times your Mana Regeneration/Second. Developer's Note: We found this set was overperforming at the highest end, but we also wanted to maintain its capabilities at early gearing stages. The addition of a base multiplier and reducing the effectiveness of the Mana Regeneration bonus should accomplish this goal. The Barber Instead of dealing direct damage, your Spirit Barrage now accumulates on the target. When you stop casting, it explodes dealing 225-250% 400-500% of the accumulated damage to all enemies within 15 yards. Is now classified as a Ceremonial Knife, with a base 1.4 attack speed Gazing Demise Spirit Barrage gains the Phantasm rune. Each active Phantasm lasts twice as long, increases the damage of Spirit Barrage by 40-50% 100-150%, and also increases the attack rate from Manitou spectres. Ring of Emptiness You deal 250-300% increased damage to enemies affected by both either your Haunt and or Locust Swarm. Wizard New Class Set: The Typhon's Veil 2-Piece Bonus: Double the duration of Hydras and increase the number of heads on multi-headed Hydras by two. 4-Piece Bonus: Damage taken is reduced by 8% for each Hydra head alive as long as there is one available. Each time you take damage, a Hydra heads dies. Heads cannot die more than once every 2 seconds 6-Piece Bonus: Hydras deal 1200% 1300% increased damage for each Hydra head alive. Developer's Note: We've continued to tilt more of the power for Hydra in favor of the 6-piece set bonus and away from the supplemental Legendary items. Serpent's Sparker You may have one extra Hydra active at a time and they deal 450-600% 250-300% increased damage. The Magistrate Frost Hydra Your Hydras now periodically cast Frost Nova and deal 450-600% 250-300% increased damage. Etched Sigil The bonus granted by this item now occurs 1 second after channeling has begun. Deathwish The bonus granted by this item now occurs 1 second after channeling has begun. Return to Top Bugs
      Several issues with adding/removing players to group and starting new games as a group have been resolved Captain Crimson's Trimmings Fixed an issue where the set bonus did not increase damage reduction when using DevourVoracious Barbarian Fixed a bug where Threatening ShoutGrim Harvest would not activate when enhanced by the Horde of the Ninety Savages set bonus Crusader Corrected the spelling of “Imperius” on the flavor text for several pieces of the Aegis of Valor set Fixed an issue where the bolts cast by Fist of the HeavensDivine Well failed to zap enemies Demon Hunter Fixed an issue where In-geom was not properly dropping for Demon Hunters Wizard Fixed a bug where Arcane Torrent would get an extra damage multiplier from Etched Sigil and Deathwish Fixed a bug where HydraFrost Hydra was getting a damage bonus instead of Attack Speed bonus from its owner's Attack Speed; this rune now benefits from Attack Speed in the same manner as other Hydra runes PTR Specific Note: The following issues were only live on the PTR, but we're including the fixes here for visibility and to indicate intended functionality on live. Fixed a bug with Bastion's Revered where it would not properly benefit from Convention of Elements Fixed a bug where Big Bad Voodoo would not properly follow its owner through zones when utilizing the new 2-Piece set bonus Fixed a bug where Hydras would have a short delay after being summoned Return to Top
      FAQ
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      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 12; the Era will be resetting with the release of Patch 2.6.8. For more information on Eras, please see this post.
       
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      A: Starting with Season 10, we removed old personal bests from Season 1. When Season 19 arrives, we will remove old personal bests from Season 10, and so on. We will be doing the same for personal bests from the previous Era when the next one goes live.
       
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      Return to Top
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    • By Starym
      We still don't have a firm date for either the patch 2.6.8 or Season 20 releases, and Nevalistis cleared up why we haven't heard anything on the matter, despite them having said the announcements would be coming last week:
      Nevalistis (source)
      I had wanted to (and, way back when, originally planned) to publish it last week. A number of last-minute publishing conflicts and illnesses caused delays.
      We intend to ensure the publication of the S20 preview before Patch 2.6.8 deploys in the near future. That should still give you guys a heads up on what’s happening, before it happens. ?
      I know it’s later than originally anticipated; this is part of why we typically don’t provide time estimations. Things can, and often do, happen. If I’m being honest, I thought I had scrubbed all posts of time estimations for that reason, but it’s clear I missed one. ? That’s on me, personally.
      Thanks for bearing with us.
      We also heard from game producer Matthew Cederquist on the matter a lot recently and he confirmed there's been a lot of sick people on the team which delayed the post:
      Matthew Cederquist (source)
      Hey Kinceks,
      The Patch 2.6.8 Preview Post should be coming out relatively soon. We’ve gathered all the feedback from the PTR as of last week and are finalizing patch notes, localization, and coordinating with regions in regards to a launch date.
      Should hear something soon!
      Thanks again.
      ...
      Hey ChrustAA,
      I think the sickness plague hit us hard - we’ll be getting the patch preview out soon enough!
      Sorry about the delay but thanks for understanding
      We're still going with our predictions of March 3rd for 2.6.8, with the Season 20 start being a bit more up in the air, but March 13th seems like a solid bet for now. Meanwhile, you can check out our Season 20 cosmetics and Haedrig's Gift preview right here.
       

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    • By Stan
      In our Season 20 preview, we're looking at Conquests, Haedrig's Gift sets, and rewards.
      Conquests
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      Barbarian: Immortal King's Call (2): Call of the Ancients last until they die. (4): Reduce the cooldown of Wrath of the Berserker and Call of the Ancients by 3 seconds for every 10 Fury you spend with an attack. (6): While both Wrath of the Berserker and Call of the Ancients are active, you deal 4000% increased damage. Crusader: Seeker of the Light (2): Every use of Blessed Hammer that hits an enemy reduces the cooldown of Falling Sword and Provoke by 1 second. (4): You take 50% less damage for 8 seconds after landing with Falling Sword. (6): Increase the damage of Blessed Hammer by 12,000% and Falling Sword by 1000%. Demon Hunter: Natalya's Vengeance (2): Reduce the cooldown of Rain of Vengeance by 4 seconds when you hit with a Hatred-generating attack or Hatred-spending attack. (4): Rain of Vengeance deals 100% increased damage (6): After casting Rain of Vengeance, deal 14,000% increased damage and take 60% reduced damage for 10 seconds. Monk: Uliana's Stratagem (2): Every third hit of your Spirit Generators applies Exploding Palm. (4): Your Seven-Sided Strike deals 777% its total damage with each hit. (6): Increase the damage of your Exploding Palm by 9000% and your Seven-Sided Strike detonates your Exploding Palm. Necromancer: Trag'Oul's Avatar (2): Blood Rush gains the effect of every rune. (4): While at full Life, your healing from skills is added to your maximum Life for 45 seconds, up to 100% more. (6): Your Life-spending abilities deal 3800% increased damage and your healing from skills is increased by 100%. Witch Doctor: Spirit of Arachyr (2): Summon a permanent Spider Queen who leaves behind webs that deal 4000% weapon damage over 5 seconds and Slows enemies. The Spider Queen is commanded to move to where you cast your Corpse Spiders. (4): Hex gains the effect of the Toad of Hugeness rune. After summoning a Toad of Hugeness, you gain 50% damage reduction and heal for 10% of your maximum Life per second for 15 seconds. (6): The damage of your creature skills is increased by 9000%. Creature skills are Corpse Spiders, Plague of Toads, Firebats, Locust Swarm, Hex, and Piranhas. Wizard: Vyr's Amazing Arcana (2): Archon gains the effect of every rune. (4): Archon stacks also increase your Attack Speed, Armor, and Resistances by 1%. (6): You gain 1 Archon stack when you hit with an Archon ability and Archon stacks also reduce damage taken by 0.15% and have their damage bonus increased to 100%. Season 20 Rewards
      Earning the Guardian rewards the following Bat pet. There's also a new Teganze Warrior Portrait Frame for Season 20 that you can earn as portrayed in the image below.

      You can find more details about Season 20 including Patch 2.6.8 notes here.
    • By Starym
      The second and final week of patch 2.6.8 / Season 20 testing has ended and the PTR has been taken down. As we know the Season 19 end date is coming in just over a week on March 1st, it seems likely the new patch will arrive a few days later, or on March 3rd, if everything goes the same way 2.6.7 did. Following the same pattern, we should be seeing Season 20 itself 10 days later on March 13th. Hopefully we'll get the final patch and season notes a bit sooner this time around, but meanwhile you can check out the most recent PTR notes here.
      Season 20 PTR (source)
      Hello everyone,
      The PTR has been taken offline. We’ll be moving the PTR forums into read-only until our next PTR cycle.
      Thank you for your feedback and contributions. We’ll be providing updated 2.6.8 patch notes in the upcoming Season 20 preview blog.
      See you in 2.6.8!


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    • By Starym
      We're getting another Era reset with the new patch, as Nevalistis pointed out, which means the non-seasonal leaderboards are getting a wipe as well! This is very close to the last era reset which happened with patch 2.6.7 aka Season 19, and is a much shorter duration than the usual year-ish period they tend to last. Apparently the reasoning behind it is the big balance changes coming.

      We still don't have exact dates for the patch or the Season, with a high probability of a week in-between them as well, but we do know last season started 12 days after the one before it ended.
      Era Reset (source)
      We’ve been chatting about it, but I wanted to have a finalized answer before I responded to any posts.
      Given the balance changes we’re introducing to Patch 2.6.8, we agree an Era rollover will be needed. So, we will be resetting the Era with the launch of the patch.
      And in case you forgot just what exactly Eras were and what they do, here's the post explaining it:
      Eras (source)
      Hi, everybody. Wyatt Cheng here again with a second installment of Developer Chronicles. Today, let’s discuss Eras.
      When we introduced Seasons to Diablo III, we also debuted "Eras." The thinking was that while the seasonal leaderboard would naturally reset every season, there would be some players who would want the non-seasonal leaderboard to reset periodically as well. There is a certain excitement associated with a fresh leaderboard—a sense that you could maybe see your own name up there at the beginning of an Era. It can also be disheartening to see somebody who is not currently playing the game hold a top position on a leaderboard long after the record was set.
      As Diablo III has evolved, it has become clear in hindsight that while the fresh excitement is there, it doesn’t last very long. First, the Era leaderboard is not something you "climb." If you are capable of achieving a particular Greater Rift tier, you're likely able to replicate that performance, or very close to it, at the very start of a new Era. Second, between patch changes, item buffs, and Paragon levels, there is built-in power growth over time—the concern of somebody holding a high Era ranking long after they've quit hasn’t really materialized.
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      It has been our plan for some time to stop advancing the Era count every time a new season occurs. Expect that to be the norm moving forward. We are looking to move Eras to be 6–12 months in length.
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      This brings us to a related question. When an Era advances, is it done before a patch goes live or after? The answer to this depends on the intent of Eras. Previously we advanced an Era as soon as a Season ended. This was back when there were season-specific items. The Era would advance in order to record the state of the non-seasonal leaderboards before all the season-specific items were transitioned to non-seasonal. We no longer have season-specific items and there is greatly reduced value in trying to memorialize the leaderboards at that particular moment in time. However, when we expect patch changes to cause the previous top ranks to be difficult or impossible to beat, it makes more sense to advance the Era AFTER the patch has gone live. Advancing the Era before the patch goes live would cause some players to lock in high ranks that become unbeatable once the patch hits. Advancing after the patch goes live allows players in the new Era to compete in a fresh environment based on the balance of the current live patch.
      To summarize, seasons are for those who want a recurring fresh experience; Eras should represent periods of time closer to a year.

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