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The Ultimate Twink: Legendary Gem of Ease
There are three new available for PTR experimentation in the upcoming patch; the two defensive LGems that were previewed at Blizzcon 2014 — and — and another special/secret one, the Gem of Ease. The Gem of Ease is the most unusual of all the Legendary Gem; it only sockets into a weapon (not jewelry), and […]
Diablo 3 Legendary Ancient Items: Mega-Analysis + Screens
Last week I played a good amount of the upcoming Patch 2.1.2 on the PTR, with copied characters and then with a new Season Two Demon Hunter. Since it’s just for testing my S2 character was softcore, and with the insane drop rates of the community buff, gearing up (and leveling up) goes very quickly. […]
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6

Vote: Diablo 3 Forum Watch: State of Greater Rifts


Posted 20 Dec 2014 by at 21:20 GMT

As yesterday’s vote has clearly demonstrated that a strong majority of Diablo 3 players really do Hate the Realm of Trials, let’s take a look at the related issue. What do you guys think about DiabloWikiGreater Rifts?

Wurmer’s long-running State of Greater Rifts thread in our Diablo 3 community forum is a good place to see a variety of comments about DiabloWikiGRifts, as well as a wide-ranging comparison of everyone’s best GR clear times and related comments.

With the leaderboards displayed on B.net it’s easy to focus on the very highest GR clears, but that’s misleading when considering the average player’s experience. Just look at that link; the few top Barbs are over 50, but if you scroll down it changes quickly. There are only about 100 Barbs ever to finish GR40+, with the vast majority of the top 1000 in the mid-30s.

Things should shake up a bit when the current patch goes live, since there are many improvements to monster density and composition in Greater Rifts. On the PTR now you get more variety of monster types on each level of the Grift, and much higher density throughout. Most players who have copied over their accounts enjoy immediate 3-6 level bumps in their best GR time due to the increased monster density, and there are a few new legendary items that can boost performance as well.

So wherever you are on the gear and GRift curve, what do you think of the feature?

What do you think about the current state of Greater Rifts?

View Results

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One related question I asked in the thread and I’d like to survey here: How much of an outlier is your best GRift time? For instance, if your character can routinely clear GR25, is your best clear 10:34 on GR28? Or is your best a 14:58 clear on GR36 since you constantly try to push higher, and one time you got a really lucky spawn with Conduit Pylons?

Personally, my best times are only a level or three higher than the GR I can clear routinely, since I’ve never really focused on one char and tried to max out their GRift potential. That’s partially since my chars on Live are DiabloWikihardcore and that makes pushing higher GRs a dangerous proposition, but even with the softcore chars I’m lately playing on the PTR I don’t feel the urge to just do GRs repeatedly, trying to get a lucky run and a better time.

But I’m curious how other players approach that issue, so feel free to share in comments here, or in the State of Greater Rifts forum thread.

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Tagged As: | Categories: Diablo: IncGamers Votes, Greater Rifts | 6 Comments

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2

Reaper of Souls PTR Extending into 2015


Posted 20 Dec 2014 by at 15:20 GMT

Blizzard posted to announced officially what has been obvious for a while, and was discussed during the livestream on Thursday. The current PTR testing cycle will extend through the holidays and into 2015, with patch 2.1.2 not going live until early next year.

PTR Extending over Holiday Break

Hey everyone!

Just a quick heads up that the patch 2.1.2 PTR will be available throughout the holidays. While we initially planned for a shorter public testing phase, we feel this additional time has improved the quality of the patch, as well as allowed players like you to experiment with (and prepare for) all the upcoming changes. We’re excited to get patch 2.1.2 and Season 2 into your hands and look forward to sharing more information about both updates in the new year.

In the meantime, thank you, as always, for your diligent testing and amazing feedback. We wish the warmest and happiest of holidays, and can’t wait to see you in 2015!

As John Yang mentioned during the live stream, the patch is basically ready to go, but they don’t want to launch a patch with this many changes over the holidays, when most of Blizzard is on vacation. Because if something went wrong that didn’t show up on the PTR, they wouldn’t have sufficient resources to fix it quickly, and days of broken D3 = coal and switches for everyone.

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Vote: Everyone Hates the Realm of Trials?


Posted 19 Dec 2014 by at 22:28 GMT

news-realm-of-trials-hatesI hear a lot of complaints from players who don’t want to prove their worth in the Realm of Trials before going into Greater Rifts, and since a Blue replied to one such complaint today, let’s get into it.

Trials – Why the GR system is failing

Do devs ever wonder why players do 1 GR for every 20-50 normal rifts? Why do players have hundreds and thousands of GR (ahem, I mean trial) keys sitting in stash but are always out of normal keys?

The answer is very simple: it’s because trials are a bland, boring and unrewarding waste of time. And no, upping the gold/xp trial rewards to scale trial difficulty won’t solve that.

I want to use my 500 keys and farm GR 30s, I really do. But in the time it takes me to get a GR35 key from a trial, I can already be halfway through a T6 rifts. It is not worth it to farm GRs, because trials exist to waste my time.
Nevalistis: We’re not happy with the Realm of Trials, and we’ve been tinkering around with various improvements. What I appreciate most about this thread is the friendly discourse, thorough discussion about why you feel the way you do about Trials, and the ideas being tossed around.

Great to see; I’m always taking notes!

The OP’s post has a lot of upvotes on B.net, and most of the replies sing a similar song. Which is why I’m curious to see how this vote goes, since I wonder if Trials are one of those things that no one likes enough to defend, while the minority who hates them makes all the noise. I’d fit myself into the first class; I don’t especially enjoy Trials, but I don’t really dislike them either, and I think they have a valid utility in the game.

I see a number of main complaints about trials. 1) No rewards/items. 2) Unrepresentative of the actual game so players have to regear and respec just to earn higher level keys. 3) Unfair to some classes/builds and too easy for others. 4) Boring/waste of time.

The last point is probably the most voiced, but is the hardest to defend with anything empirical, since it’s just subjective opinion. I’m not sure *why* people find Trials so boring, though. They’re full of huge hordes of monsters who scale up quickly, making it an interesting way to test your character’s strength. And the respecing can be kind of fun and strategic?

I recently did a bunch of Trials with my PTR Monk. In my normal kit I was topping out around 34, mostly since I kept dying and losing too much time. So I changed my gear around, adding in the Gungdo Gear contagious Exploding Palm bracers, switched out my Bane of the Powerful for a Mirinae, respeced to add Cyclone Strike for a pull and Serenity for the temporary invulnerability, and changed my helm gem to Amethyst, etc. And in that new build I was able to yank everything in, trigger enormous Exploding Palm domino chain blasts, and earn up to GR43 keys.

So that’s my counter argument, or at least anecdote. What do the rest of you think? Let’s take the temperature of the community. Vote: Everyone Hates the Realm of Trials?


How do you feel about the Realm of Trials?

View Results

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Click through for more pro/anti Grift arguments, and to explain exactly why you like/dislike them in comments.

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John Yang Diablo 3 Livestream Transcript


Posted 19 Dec 2014 by at 02:24 GMT

news-livestream-18dec2014aThe final Play Your Way livestream of the year went off this afternoon, hosted by CM Nevalistis and D3 developer John Yang, along with players Neinball and Abachio, whose non-Marauder DH was the featured build on the show. It was a Demon Hunter fest, with all four players running that build, and much of the conversation focused on recent and upcoming changes for the Demon Hunter, including skills that have been tweaked (Nightstalker), current changes to Marauder’s Set, upcoming changes to Natalya’s Set, DH items, and more.

Other game issues got some discussion as well, and there was a lot of talk about Ancient Items, increased Greater Rift monster density, Legendary Gems maybe going into armor, and more. For those of you who couldn’t watch, I typed out a rough transcript of all key stuff that John Yang talked about, added notes and links for more info, and highlighted the important parts.

Here goes, and the full video is embedded at the end, for your viewing pleasure.

Abachio Talking about the gear on his DH and why he’s not in a Witching Hour belt since it’s so hard to find.
John Yang: It should be a little easier now in patch 2.1.2.

All the most uncommon Legendary Items are boosted considerably in drop rate in the new patch. This means that you’ll find the total amount of legendaries as before, but the specific ones that were previously very-rare and ultra-rare are now more common. If you don’t know which ones are so designated and want to learn more about the overall legendary drop rate info, and want to see tables listing the precise drop rate for every item in the game, we covered all that in a big article back in September, when the drop odds were last tweaked.

We’ll post updated info on all the drop odds once the Patch 2.1.2 changes are finalized.

At least anecdotally, these changes to what’s ultra-rare are working. In limited play time on the PTR since the last tweaks to the drop rate, I’ve found 2 Tasker and Theo and 1 Frostburns gloves, plus 1 Ice Climber boots, all of which were previously ultra-rare. Still no luck on an Ancient Kridershot, though I’ve mostly been playing a Monk to test out the Sunwuko’s Set changes. (It’s nicely buffed, but still inadequate to compare to other top geared classes.)


Night Stalker changes. The Demon Hunter passive on live is pretty much infinite Discipline. Some builds on the PTR need to change things around to keep enough of that resource. Abachio says he’s switched one skill to get Preparation on his bar. Nevalistis says she switched a passive from Night Stalker to Perfection, to save on discipline costs.

John: We’re redoing Nightstalker from Discpline. Now on the PTR grants more Hatred per use of your generators. The reason: Discipline is meant to function like a cooldown for Demon Hunters. Smoke Screen has an intentionally short cool down since it’s supposed to be limited by Discipline. But with Nighstalker giving so much, like the old Critical Mass for Wizards, it’s too easy. Players are exploiting Night Stalker to enable them to stay in Smoke Screen the entire time, which is basically permanent invulnerability.

So sorry for killing Night Stalker, but people were playing with 2m toughness and living entirely by using perpetual Smoke Screen.

Smoke Screen has also been tweaked/nerfed in the upcoming patch, with a longer downtime between casts. Currently the cooldown is 2 seconds and SS lasts for 1 second, with the Lingering Fog rune raising that to 1.5 seconds. Patch 2.1.2 is going to increase the cooldown to 3 seconds, so Lingering Fog will only grant 50% uptime.

That was just the very start — click through for the rest of the transcript:

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Holiday Greetings from the Diablo 3 Team


Posted 18 Dec 2014 by at 23:03 GMT

The CM team sent along their annual digital Xmas card today, with some new artwork and signatures from all of the Diablo CMs, and I thought you guys might like to see it. They extend their well wishes to you fans as well, of course. (Except for the ones who complain a lot. Are you not entertained!?)

Holiday Card from the Diablo CM Team

Note that there is a Diablo character there, thanks to the Treasure Goblin. As to that lumpy thing he’s picked up while standing behind that reindeer thing… it might not be the usual type of gem.

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Tagged As: | Categories: Artwork, Blizzard, Community Relations | 1 Comment

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Diablo 3 Forum Watch: Why are Patches and Content so Slow?


Posted 18 Dec 2014 by at 04:47 GMT

In a new post in our Diablo 3 Community Forum, Gerhard makes an argument that puts a finger on a lot of the fan discontent I’ve heard lately. Here’s an excerpt from his post, Diablo 3 Forum Watch: Why are Patches and Content so Slow?

I don’t post often, but had the urge today because I can only conclude that Diablo 3 is currently on the back burner at Blizzard. They surely have redistributed quite a bit of the team to help out teams for other games – I can’t otherwise explain why they are doing things like they do them now.

…How on Earth is it possible to have a new set done to the point it is playable and with all its art in place (I’m talking about the new DH multishot, WIZ slow time and BARB whirlwind/rend sets) and not be at the stage of balancing it via, say, the current PTR?!

…I don’t know, it just seems to me that what they are churning out content-wise is very, very little and that they are very, very slow at that. And they tease people of what will come “in the future”. Seriously, at this pace they are going, when will patch 2.2 be rolled out? By June 2015? It’s OK to tease a new expansion a year before it will be released, but to tease a few items that are almost dome is just redic and rubbing salt in the wound.

See the full post and the thread for more debate. I don’t disagree with the “patches take too long and I want more content” sentiment… but I think our impatience is largely misguided. Or at least based on misconceptions.

Ironically, the false expectations were created by the D3 devs themselves, as they scrambled to improve the game after launch. The Blizzcon 2014 Evolving Reaper of Souls panel went into gruesome detail about a lot of the problems they’ve fixed since D3v, including the terrible item system, no DiabloWikiend game, too steep difficulty progression, lack of multiplayer perks, etc. Those and many other issues were fixed, or at least improved upon during multiple patches in 2012 and early 2013. Then in mid-2013 we got the Reaper of Souls announcement, plus all the news about the itemization makeover coming in DiabloWikiDiablo 3 version 2, which launched in early 2014. RoS followed in March 2014, and had a couple of quick patches as well.

We’ve seen much less activity since then, spurring rants like the OP quoted above… but I think what we’ve seen in the past 6+ months is what D3 devs had in mind from the start. A patch every few months with some new legendary items and some other game tweaks, but not big system changes or content additions, except in the form of Expansion Pack(s). Diablo 3 isn’t a WoW-style MMO with a monthly fee, and it’s not a “free” to play ARPG supported by advertising and a cash item shop, and it’s not one of those console games that ships with 50% of the content and sells the rest $5 or $10 at a time as DLC releases over the next year or two. D3 doesn’t even have an DiabloWikiRMAH anymore.

Diablo 3’s financial model is old school, much like D2’s or Starcraft’s, with a full-priced game followed every couple of year by a big expansion pack, with occasional patches and small additions in between. Players can object to D3’s financial model and wish it was something different, but it is what it is, and it seems highly unlikely that the devs can or will suddenly switch over to F2P with DLC or a cash shop, etc. And it’s also unlikely that they’ll start cranking out new content for free on a regular basis; at least not while most of the team is toiling on the next expansion, which we’ll likely see announced in the coming months. (At Blizzcon in October they didn’t announce anything, but made a lot of jokes and allusions to big content coming in the future, that they couldn’t talk about yet.)

I’ll echo what Gerhard said in the forum thread. What do you guys think of the current pace of development and the larger issue of the financial model? Would you prefer regular content updates? Would you pay $ for them? Are you content with minor patches while you wait 18-22 months for each new expansion? Do you want both? Or something in between

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4

Blizzard Holiday Break Questioned


Posted 17 Dec 2014 by at 13:28 GMT

Every year Blizzard basically goes dark from mid-December into early January, as the devs and most of the support staff (including Community Managers) take a couple/few weeks off. This is usually pretty obvious from Blue Trackers, and fans deal with the vacay issue in various ways. Sometimes with discontent:

Where are the Blizz posts, or already on holidays? For days there was no Blue post, neither on US or EU forum. Are they preparing something big or they already started going to holidays and there will be no more changes on the PTR? So what is now PTR will be 2.1.2?

Well, tomorrow is, “Play it your way coming”, so somebody still works.
Vaneras: The holiday season is upon us sure, but even though we may not be posting much right now, we are still around reading the forums and looking for feedback :-)

As the OP said and we newsed yesterday, the Play it Your Way livestream is coming up tomorrow, with John Yang available to provide good answers to juicy questions. And if they’re not asked, I shall smite Neinball most vigorously when next he joins the Diablo Podcast.

What do you guys think? Should the Blizzard devs and CMs be permitted some vacation time each year? Or should they be required to work 24/7/365 and provide us with amusement and diversion every day of the year, just like those poor damned souls who toil on fansites? *cough*

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Tagged As: | Categories: Blue Posts, Vaneras | 4 Comments

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5

Diablo 3 Dev Live Stream Thursday


Posted 16 Dec 2014 by at 22:41 GMT

play your way thursday dec 18The Blue Tracker would make you think that Blizzard has already gone into their Crimbo hibernation, but we’ll see and hear them at least once more this year, as Nevalistis and John Yang are joining to fans in a Play Your Way Thursday livestream on December 18th.

The votes are in for our next Play Your Way Thursday build, and it looks like we’re locked and loaded to feature the deadly Demon Hunter! Join us Thursday, December 18 as we challenge ourselves on the PTR in a good, old-fashioned demon massacre.

Here are the details:

  • What: Our fifth (and final for 2014) Play Your Way Thursday livestream
  • Where: http://www.twitch.tv/diablo
  • When: Thursday, December 18 @ 3:00 p.m. PT to 4:00 p.m. PT
  • Who: Brandy Camel, Abachio#2399, BlizzPro contributor Whitney “Neinball” Fairchild, and John Yang
  • Why: To embrace our inner Vengeance
  • I’ll be joined by associate game designer John Yang and Neinball’s glorious beard as we hop onto the patch 2.1.2 PTR and chat with Abachio about his non-Marauder build. We’ll be pushing ourselves to the limit, so be sure to join us and enjoy the all the shop talk as a stream of enemies go down!

    Don’t want to miss us the moment we go live? Then don’t forget to follow us on Twitch so you know when the action begins!


    Readers will be familiar with Neinball from his many appearances on The Diablo Podcast, and if you heard him TDP #159 a couple of weeks ago, he related the sad tale of how a medical issue caused him to miss out on attending Blizzcon 2014. Nice that Bliz is making it up to him with a slot in the livestream.

    We’ll be watching the livestream when it goes Thursday afternoon and transcribing any valuable nuggets of dev info. I talked to John for some time at Blizzcon this year and he’s very direct with the game info and his opinions about game issues. Some of past the livestream John Yang’s been part of have run almost like interviews, with him answering game questions and sharing dev infos, so there’s hope we’ll get more than just “streamer of consciousness” type banter during this week’s show.

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    Tagged As: | Categories: Fan Stuff, John Yang, Live Chats | 5 Comments

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    Diablo 3 PTR: Bigger and Better Nephalem Rift Maps


    Posted 16 Dec 2014 by at 14:48 GMT

    The size and shape and monster density/composition of the Nephalem Rifts and Greater Rifts is one of the main areas of testing during the current PTR session. The big changes were noted in the first days of the PTR, with much higher density in Greater Rifts allowing most characters to instantly boost their highest Grift completed by 3-5 levels.

    That improvement remains, but the changes to layout and density are found in non-Greater Rifts as well, and there are numerous improvements to the map layouts. Some tile sets that most players dread in the live game, such as the Act 1 Spider Caverns or the various long, narrow caves levels (Act 1 dirt, Act 2 water, Act 3 ice), are much better when you get them now on the PTR. There’s much more variety in how those levels are laid out, with hardly any dead ends, more density, more monster variety, and very different overall map shapes.

    That issue was covered in the Blizzcon Evolution panel, with the devs sharing horror stories about really long, boring maps in some Rifts. (Though the biggest issue with some maps is fixed now that characters can resurrect at their corpse in Rifts, instead of having to respawn at the last checkpoint.)

    Some of the bigger maps are tweaked as well, and you’ll sometimes get them now with two main portions connected by a narrow passageway. I’ve seen that layout type in the Rift version of the Dhalgur Oasis, the Act 5 cemetery, and most notably in the Act One jail. I got one such map playing tonight, and combined two screens to fit the whole thing on the map. It’s the mega-jail! Diablo 3 PTR: Bigger and Better Nephalem Rift Maps indeed:

    rift-map-ptr-jail1

    That’s a reduced image size for easier viewing, and the fact that every bit of it was crammed full of monsters made it seem even larger. The density was very high, the monster variety was varied, and it was an Elite Rift, as often happens in that Jail level. I didn’t count, but I must have gone through 40 or 50 elites in this thing, and if the completion % counter kept going above 100% (I wish it did, just for the sake of curiosity) I’m sure I would have gone well over 500% completion just on this level.

    I went left at the start, was confused when the dungeon perimeter turn right (this tileset never does that in the live game, always forming a square or rectangle), and got the Rift Guardian while I was in that area. I kept going since it was Elite-arific, explore that whole lower area, and kept expecting to find the stairs down, or even the Rift end altar. Instead I found a long hallway, and then that whole second half to the lower left.

    About to get all Archeologist on a Goblin Tribe.

    About to get all Archeologist on a Goblin Tribe.

    Note that there are stairs to a level 2. I didn’t check, but I wouldn’t have been surprised to see more levels below that. Rifts on the PTR never seem to end after one level, no matter how large or dense they are, and I have seen many Rifts that keep going for 5 or 7 levels, even when just 1 or 2 was plenty for the completion. These new, bigger Rifts remind me how nice it would be if Rifts gave a bonus for total completion, such as a chance to spawn a second guardian at the ending Altar. You’d really have to earn it now, as these are damn deep dungeons.

    This Rift had a special bonus, though just a random one. Mega-pack of Goblins! Click through for some more screens of that, and info about how those guys work in the new patch.

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    The Ultimate Twink: Legendary Gem of Ease


    Posted 14 Dec 2014 by at 12:28 GMT

    news-gem-of-ease-twinkThere are three new DiabloWikiLegendary Gems available for PTR experimentation in the upcoming patch; the two defensive LGems that were previewed at Blizzcon 2014 — DiabloWikiEsoteric Alteration and DiabloWikiMolten Wildebeest’s Gizzard — and another special/secret one, the Gem of Ease. The Gem of Ease is the most unusual of all the Legendary Gem; it only sockets into a weapon (not jewelry), and it adds nothing to your offensive or defensive capabilities. What it does instead is add +1000 experience per kill, a value that increases with each rank, and at rank 25 the special bonus property unlocks and grants any weapon the gem is socketed in a level requirement of 1.

    It’s the Ultimate Twink: Legendary Gem of Ease:

    Level 1: 2700DPS weapon.

    Lvl 1 weapon?

    I first tried the gem a couple of weeks ago when I made a new Monk, and it was pretty cool. At the time the gem only gained +1 exp per rank, so at rank 25 it was worth +1025 exp per kill. That was great, for a few levels, and my Monk hit level 16 in just a few minutes. But the crazy exp rate tailed off at that point, and while I still hit level 50 within an hour, it didn’t feel like the Gem of Ease was making that much of a difference. (And it did little to no good from 50 to 70, where I could just have used a reduced requirement level 70 weapon with an emerald or ruby socketed.

    I gave the Gem of Ease another try this weekend since Blizzard buffed it in this week’s patch. The Gem of Ease still gains +1 exp per rank, but that amount scales up with the difficulty you play on. And when you’re a level 1 character with a level 70 weapon, you can obliterate anything in your path. In the early going at least. Not that it’s early going for long, since each rank on the gem adds 50 more exp per kill on Torment 6. My Gem of Ease sits at rank 28, which was good for +1900 exp per kill.

    New Legendary Gems

    New Legendary Gems


    I stuck it in an Ancient Pig Sticker I’ve got on the PTR, enchanted the mainstat to Intelligence, loaded up my Paragon points, made sure the game was on Torment 6, and hit a Rift. From there it got silly very quickly, as you can see in the pics below.

    Note the clock on the screenshots to see how long things took. Nothing in the shots is ‘shopped except the size reduced a bit for easier loading and viewing on the webpage. I opened the Rift at 1:30, and 1 minute later I was level 26. Seven minutes later I was well into the 40s. I hit 50 in under 15 minutes, and that was with no twinks except for the weapon. I didn’t have a helm with a socket at 15, Cain’s Set, +exp gear or a Leoric’s Ring on my Follower, etc. Those would all have been good ideas, but I didn’t plan ahead that far, since it was just a PTR experiment to see how fast it could go. Very fast indeed.

    Click through for some more details about the leveling experience and tips/warnings about prepping for and using this gem. I thought it was fantastic and fun, but died repeatedly, and I’d strongly warn anyone about using this with a Hardcore character; you get so far over your head so quickly that it’s ridiculous.
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    0

    Diablo Fan Art Watch #264: The Demon Hunter VI


    Posted 13 Dec 2014 by at 10:34 GMT

    Greetings all and welcome to the weekend edition of the Diablo Fan Art Watch. This time we bring you another class collection featuring 6 pieces of fan art about the DiabloWikiDemon Hunter.

    This set has many eye catching pieces of the class in various styles in great detail.

    Art by ker93, hart-coco, BestIdeaInTheApple, Tr1gg3r117, Gworld, and Dilute Dream.


    Click the thumbnail to see a larger version of the image.

    If you enjoy Fan art and want to contribute to this growing community, please stop by the Fan Creations Forum. Many artists visit frequently, posting works in progress looking for feedback and conversation. You don’t have to be “arty” to join in. If you have any questions, comments or have some fan art related news on the web please send me a PM and I’ll get back to you. Also check out the wiki page for more art from the archives.

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    Marauder’s Set Change (Nerf) Hits the PTR


    Posted 12 Dec 2014 by at 14:22 GMT

    As promised yesterday, the latest change to the Demon Hunter’s Marauder’s set is now playable on the PTR, and the reduction in damage by Sentries is very noticeable. Here’s the blue confirmation. Marauder’s Set Change (Nerf) Hits the PTR:

    We are bringing the PTR realms down for a short maintenance today in order to apply the following hotfix:

    marauders-ptr-v3Embodiment of the Marauder

  • Fixing an issue where the 6 piece set bonus damage was erroneously applying to Sentry damage.
  • We’ll also be resetting the following Leaderboards to allow this change to be reflected in Leaderboard performance:

  • Solo Demon Hunter
  • 2-Player
  • 3-Player
  • 4-Player
  • This hotfix has been successfully applied and Leaderboards have been reset.

    It’s too soon to say how this change is going to affect Demon Hunter’s at the highest end, but after about 12 hours since the hotfix, the top solo DH GRift clears are 48, when they were 54 yesterday, before the Marauder’s set change and Leaderboard wipe.

    My power was out all evening (because weather!) so I only got to test it briefly, but just doing a short game, I noticed an immediate difference in the DiabloWikiRealm of Trials. Previously, my PTR DH could easily get GR 42-45 Rift keys from the Realm of Trials, even without changing any gear or skills from my usual T6 racing kit. Trying three quick Realm of Trials tonight after the M’s set change, my DH got 37, 38, 40 keys, and was struggling to get those.

    Nothing felt any different doing a couple of quick T6 Rifts, but in the Realm of Trials the waves got much harder to kill past Wave 35ish. At that point the damage my Sentries were contributing was markedly lower, and the usual “Vault back out of range and nuke everything with Sentry Multishot” technique was just not working. I had to stay closer and put in more shots myself to see the beefier trash mobs die, and slower killing speed and Hatred-exhaustion set in several Waves sooner than in the past.

    Note that I intentionally did *not* specialize my gear for the Trials. I didn’t change around any LGems, I didn’t boost my Hatred regen, and I didn’t even switch Vault to Smoke Screen to let me stand still and payload. But that was the point; I wanted to try the Realm of Trials with the same gear/build, and thus I really noticed the reduced killing power of the Sentries once I got past the equivalent of GR35.

    Obviously the results will differ for everyone depending on their gear and tactics, but if Blizzard’s objective was to nerf the high end DH killing via Sentries, they seem to have achieved that goal.

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    Tagged As: | Categories: *Big News, Demon Hunter, Diablo 3 PTR, Item Sets | 10 Comments

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    4

    Ancient Hellfire Ring or Amulet is Possible


    Posted 12 Dec 2014 by at 13:33 GMT

    Question about crafting an Ancient quality Hellfire Ring or Amulet got a Blue reply. Ancient Hellfire Ring or Amulet is Possible

    I saw on a blue post that you could get ancient items from crafting. Can anyone confirm that we can get an ancient hellfire ring and amulet?
    Nevalistis: Yes, I can!

    Any Legendary has a chance to roll as Ancient. This includes both the Hellfire Amulet and the Hellfire Ring (as well as Horadric Cache-specific Legendaries, like Ring of Royal Grandeur). It’s worth noting, though, that the Ancient modifier does not alter Legendary affixes.

    In short, an Ancient Hellfire Amulet won’t give you additional passives. However, applicable stats, like Dexterity or Life on Hit for example, will benefit from the Ancient upgrade.

    horadric cache farmingHi Neva. Regarding cache servers… If we farm them now and open them when the next patch hits live, can the specific legendaries from these farmed caches roll as ancient items?
    Nevalistis: Good question. The answer is no. Caches acquired prior to the 2.1.2 Patch will not have a chance to drop Ancient items after the launch of 2.1.2 Only caches acquired after the patch launches will have a chance to drop Ancient items.

    I have yet to obtain an Ancient Legendary from a DiabloWikiHoradric Cache, despite finding many, many dozens of Ancient Legendary items. I assume it is possible though, since Blizzard keeps saying it is, and yes, a DiabloWikiRoRG with +250 more mainstat would be a nice find. Someday.

    On the second OP question, I’m actually sort of impressed with the programming. Remember when we used to save up Caches from Normal and open hundreds of them on T6 to get boosted leg drop rates and free Imperial gems? And how we thought that sort of exploit and general confusion about Horadric Caches would last forever? How little we knew…

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    Latest Diablo 3 News

    5

    Marauder’s Set Changes Coming Soon + Math!


    Posted 11 Dec 2014 by at 13:25 GMT

    As we noted in the Patch notes, the next change to the Demon Hunter’s Marauder’s Set is not yet live on the PTR. That omission spurred some player debate as to whether the Marauder’s tweak had been shelved, but a Blue post today says that it’s still in the works, and will even involve a PTR Demon Hunter Leaderboard wipe.

    Marauder’s Set Changes Coming Soon:

    the sentries of the demon hunter still benefit from the m6-bonus (+100% dmg/sentry). The M6-DH is still absolutely overpowered for T6 and dominates the leaderboards. I don’t think that this is intended.
    You are correct! This is definitely an unintended bug.

    We’re currently working on a hotfix to correct this behavior. Once that hotfix rolls out, we’ll also be resetting the Demon Hunter, 2-Player, 3-Player, and 4-Player Leaderboards for Season and Non-Season on the PTR to allow this change to be reflected in Leaderboard performance. We’ll need to bring the PTR down for a short time in order to reset the Leaderboards; I’ll update this thread once the time frame is available.

    We’re also working on an updated list of Focused Feedback topics. Waiting on just a few more details, but that will be coming soon as well.

    The change and ladder wipe should be interesting, as the current PTR top GRift Leaderboards are much higher level than the live game. Compare the top Greater Rifts for the live game and the PTR:

    PTR DH Leaderboard.

    PTR DH Leaderboard.

    Solo DH:

  • Live Era and Live Season One: 50
  • PTR: 54
  • Best 2/3/4 Player GRifts:

  • Live Era: 51/54/54. Live Season One: 53/54/55.
  • PTR: 57/58/62. (All top teams include at least one DH.)
  • It’s not an even comparison, since Grift density and layout is generally improved on the PTR, there are some new and improved legendary items/sets, plus better skills and builds for all classes. That’s why overall Grift times are much higher for almost every class and 2/3/4 parties, despite the Conduit Pylon being nerfed in duration for the entire PTR (and ruined in this week’s patch), and that’s with the PTR only being live for a few weeks, and with a much smaller player population. (Though everyone geared up very quickly during the community buff.)

    That said, the current changes to Marauder’s Set are clearly a buff over the live version, and apparently Blizzard thinks the set will be less powerful once they hotfix it. The play style will at least be changed, since each Sentry will deal much less of the total damage, while the DH’s damage will be considerably boosted. I’m assuming the Sentry damage will drop enough that Enforcer will no longer be one of the top LGems for the build, but we’ll have to wait and see once the changes become playable.

    This upcoming change means 40% less total damage (than the current PTR version of the set) output with each additional sentry, so that’s just 40% and not real noticeable with just one sentry, but is 200% less with 5, which should make a big difference on the highest level Grifts.

    Click through for bullet point comparison of the 3 stages of the Marauder’s Set bonus, and math on how the total damage output for the DH + Sentries is changing in the coming version.

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    Latest Diablo 3 News

    Updated: The Story of Diablo


    Posted 11 Dec 2014 by at 11:11 GMT

    Blizzard has updated their online Story of Diablo. It summarizes the story up to this point (with D3-era DiabloWikiMetcons included) and takes the tale through events in Reaper of Souls. The RoS portion of the story begins on page 54, and should be useful for those of you who rushed through the Campaign Mode without really reading or listening, and have only played Adventure Mode since. *cough*

    Updated: The Story of Diablo. Here’s the last page of the book, which seems to provide some pretty clear foreshadowing to what we might see as the plot of the next Diablo 3 expansion:

    …And Tyrael wondered if his Nephalem allies, who had now bested champions of both Heavens and Hells, would one day fall to the same corruption that brought low even the greatest of the Archangels.

    We’ve speculated about that on the podcast, since it seemed the only place for the story to go. After besting all of the Demons (repeatedly) and taking out the strongest of the Angels… what’s left to fight other than our corrupted selves? (It’s a familiar trope in fiction, you know.)

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    Tagged As: | Categories: Lore and Story | 10 Comments