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Diablo 3 Podcast #172: Fun Legendary Items & The Blood Shard Exploit
What’s it like to start a new season in Hardcore vs. Softcore? Plus, the best new builds and most fun new legendary/set items in Patch 2.2 and Season 3. Also, Blizzcon tix have sold out, and is power creep making Torment 10+ necessary? Featuring M0uakkai and Muggs. Click through for approximate segment starting times and […]
Diablo 3 Podcast #171: Season 3 + Fun New DH and Monk Builds
Season Three begins, but is the fresh start still fun? Plus why so many Treasure Goblins, fun new Demon Hunter and Monk builds, the mystery of Mortick’s Brace and Blizzard’s rush to start v2.2, and long term Season Three plans. Featuring Master X, MJNSpace, and Flux. Click through for approximate segment starting times and related […]
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Everyone Hates a Barbarian Party?


Posted 25 Apr 2015 by at 19:57 GMT

Eat his dust...

Eat his dust…

We’ve talked about this on the podcast several times, and it also comes up in clan chat all the time… which classes are the most fun and least fun to party with?

Pretty much everyone likes to party with Witch Doctors since most of them represent a walking army of tanks, and WD’s also provide some useful buffs. Some builds of Monks and Crusaders can also bring useful tanks/buffs, and the new Slow Time Wizards can be helpful. DHs aren’t tanks, but they’ve usually got some pet(s) that are, and they deal huge damage, and since they need health orbs, they aren’t usually miles out ahead of everyone else. Wizards can be pleasant, and the new Slow Time build is much more party friendly than the old dash along Firebirds. You’ll note one class I haven’t mentioned yet…

Everyone Hates a Barbarian Party?

Do people really avoid barbs on rifts?

I have noticed lately esp post patch that whenever a high level barb enters the game, a couple players usually leave the rift.

On my second to the last rift, one DH said something about how annoying they are because they spin around like ballerina acting like it’s a solo game. It turned into an entertaining exchange of words but here’s my thought.

Idk if there is an etiquette (i mean who am I kidding) but bit by bit it seems to have grown quite of an annoyance to me too. It’s like 1 second and the elite is dead as I am setting up my sentries or hydra, and then seconds later the barb is on the next level spinning and breezing through.
Tyvalir: Personally, I think it’s always a good idea when starting a public game to establish ground rules with your team, like what your pace will be and what group buffs you’ll use, among other things. Knowing those details at the outset can often help make multiplayer games go much more smoothly.

That said, we understand that playing in public games outside of Greater Rifts can have its ups and downs, especially when one player is able to more quickly power through enemies and obstacles than the rest of the group.

We don’t have any plans to take away movement-based builds or similar playstyles; instead, we’ll continue to discuss ways to present players at those higher power levels with options for more challenging public game content.

Yeah, this is a thing. Barbs do have some party buffs, but with the return of the perma-WotB spin2win, they’re pretty not-fun to party with. Barbs move as fast or faster than anyone else, and the play style seems to be to spin along without pause, damaging all and killing most of the trash mobs, and slowing only to wipe out Elites and maybe occasionally click a chest. Which is certainly profitable and fun for the Barb, but sucks for everyone else running along in his wake.

That said, it’s virtually the same as the dash and DoT Firebird Wizard play style that dominated Seasons 1 and 2, and there are plenty of other builds (Monk Tempest Rush) that can do much the same thing. I think Tyvalir’s “everyone talk about how we’re going to play together!” is cute but unrealistic, but that said, this isn’t inevitable. The spin2win Barb build doesn’t require that they never pause, or double back to actually kill stuff (instead of leaving most trash at about 25% hps). It’s the Barb players who choose to move super fast and take all the fun when it’s easy, before they bog down on a big single target and require your help to kill the Guardian.

And thus Barbs deserve to be shunned and vote-kicked!

Which classes do you LEAST enjoy in your party in v2.2? (Pick all that apply.)

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Or not? Can a Spin2Win barb be a useful member of a party? Should players moderate their play style a bit, and not rush out far ahead of everyone else just because they can?

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Latest Diablo 3 News

7

No Crafting Materials Interface Under Development


Posted 24 Apr 2015 by at 04:02 GMT

news-crafting-UI-nopeIn the months ago, fan requests for auto-pickup of crafting materials and a better interface received some Blue replies suggesting that they might integrate crafting materials into the UI and make them account-wide, much as Gold and Blood Shards are. Since then we’ve received a semi-auto-pickup system in Patch 2.2, and according to a blue post today, their plans for UI storage of crafting mats have been shelved.

Blizzard make crafting material auto pick up like gold!
Grimiku: As some of you may have noticed, my original post about potential updates to crafting resource management was created over a year ago. A lot of changes relating to crafting, inventory management, and looting items in bulk have happened since then, and chances are there will be more changes that affect them in the future, too. At this time, we’re no longer planning to implement a currency-style storage system for crafting materials, and we don’t have any additional related updates to provide. That said, we do plan to continue to make improvements to these systems when it aligns with our design goals, and makes sense for us to do so.

As a refresher, here are some of the more recent changes that have improved on the crafting system and/or inventory management which are already in the game.

  • All normal Health Potions are now bottomless, and regular Health Potions no longer drop.
  • There is now a “vacuum pickup” system to make gathering large amounts of certain items (including gems and crafting materials) easier.
  • A Wardrobe has been added, which now manages cosmetic items like pets, wings, pennants, and portrait frames.
  • Players can now increase their Blood Shard cap by reaching new personal bests when playing in Solo Greater Rifts.
  • When crafting gems and items, the entire quantity will be crafted at once.
  • More info.

    I haven’t seen these options available on console… and I haven’t heard anything about whether or not console was supposed to have them included. Anyone hear or read about this somewhere?
    Grimiku: Good questions, and thank you for asking, Yakob. The short version is that we intentionally did not include these features in the Ultimate Evil Edition. Adding the Wardrobe feature to UEE doesn’t make as much sense as it does on PC because of the inherent differences with the user interface, and UEE was unaffected by the crafting changes because it never had a queued crafting system to begin with. With that in mind we felt that these features would be best left out of the Ultimate Evil Edition.

    I’m disappointed to hear, but not surprised. It would be nice if all materials (and Rift keys) went account wide, and if they didn’t clog up so much inventory space (and if enough f*&#ing blue mats dropped), but I guess that would be a *lot* of little icons and numbers on the bottom of the Inventory window.

    And if a dev were to defend it, I’m sure they’d say something similar to their whole “Blood Shards have to be hard capped low so noobs will notice they’re picking them up” argument. So if all crafting mats just seamlessly vanished into a UI, some players would never notice they had them or bother to learn what they were good for. And thus do the training wheels remain forever bolted to the Diablo 3 interface, slowing and inconveniencing everyone else, just because some hypothetical new players can’t ride without them.

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    Latest Diablo 3 News

    Easter Egg: The Secret Cow Bounty?


    Posted 23 Apr 2015 by at 23:17 GMT

    news-secret-cow-bountyOne of the best of the new bounties in Patch 2.2 is The Queen’s Dessert, which appears in the DiabloWikiCaverns of Araneae in Act One. Prior to this patch that was everyone’s least favorite area, since the bounty there was usually to kill DiabloWikiQueen Araneae, and it could take a long time to find her boss area. I haven’t seen the Queen Araneae bounty yet in S3, and I’ve done a fair number of Act One runs in search of a good roll on an RoRG.

    The Queen’s Dessert requires you to find six large cocoons, each protected by a dozen or so large spiders. Once you kill all the protectors you can click the cocoon and after a second it pops open, allowing you to finish that sixth of the bounty. Once you clear all six cocoons the bounty is completed, and since they show up on the map from a fair distance away, they’re pretty easy to track down quickly.

    The surprise part is when the cocoons open to reveal odd things. Usually it’s just a scrawny shirtless male human (looks like the mad hermit) who stands up and stretches and then vanishes, but not uncommonly you’ll get an Elite ghoul type monster, or a Treasure Goblin. (All humanoids, as apparently that’s what the Queen enjoys for her Dessert) Which is cool, but apparently, she also enjoys beef?

    Just this morning I got something I hadn’t seen before, when the last of the six cocoons… had a cow. Man. You see it in the screens below, and it was just a normal-sized cow. Unclickable, silent (no mooos!), unarmed (no halberd), and after standing still for a moment, it started to amble along through the dungeon, looking pretty calm about the whole thing.

    Yes, it’s an Easter Egg: The Secret Cow Bounty. Let the new secret cow level rumors begin!

    Here’s a rumor to start with… I hit level 70 (was leveling up an Alt DH) exactly as the cow appeared. Literally! I was about level 69.9 when I killed off the last of the spiders, and when I opened the cocoon I hit level 70 thanks to the exp bonus for completing the bounty. Imagine if there are numerous DiabloWikiEaster Eggs that no one knows about, since they can only appear in a few special locations, and only if you trigger them simultaneous to hitting max level?

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    Latest Diablo 3 News

    6

    Video: World’s First 4P Hardcore GR60


    Posted 23 Apr 2015 by at 19:39 GMT

    A powerful party on the EU realm has completed GR60 in Hardcore, raising eyebrows across the globe. The group can be seen atop the current EU HC Season 3 leaderboard, with the 12:55 clear you see in the video below. The team consisted of a WD and Crusader for the lockdown and a Wizard and DH for the artillery support, and it all looks pretty simple in the video, if you forget that any single tiny mistake means they’ll all die almost instantly.

    Witness the Video: World’s First 4P Hardcore GR60:

    GR 60 HC EU S3 FTW LOL WTF.

    GR 60 HC EU S3 FTW LOL WTF.

    If you’re wondering about the overall Rankings, the next best on their EU HC Seasonal 4p is GR57, though EU HC Era isn’t far behind with a party through GR58. Compared to the US Hardcore Grifts, they really stand out though. The best so far this season on this side of the Atlantic is 54 for HC Era and 56 for HC Seasonal. As a ‘murkan HC player I’d like to pretend that 8 hour head start the EU players got when the patch/season went live was to blame, but a week and a half into the season that excuse is getting old.

    (The current 4P records for Softcore are 69 Era EU, 65 Season EU, 68 Era US, and 65 Season US.)

    This concludes today’s installment of, “some people have way more time to play video games than you do.” Have impressed?

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    Latest Diablo 3 News

    Keywardens are now Global drops


    Posted 22 Apr 2015 by at 23:19 GMT

    Try my new, less convenient location.

    Try my new, less convenient location.

    An undocumented change in Patch 2.2 has made Key farming much easier in multiplayer games, since Keywardens are now Global drops. The patch notes don’t mention this, though they do list a bit about keywardens.

    Areas in which DiabloWikiKeywardens are located now have a boss icon on the Waypoint map

  • The icon will indicate whether or not the Keywarden has been killed
  • This is only for level 60+ games
  • DiabloWikiNekarat the Keywarden

  • Has been moved from Silver Spire Level 1 to Gardens of Hope 2nd Tier
  • Previously, the common way to farm for keys was for 2+ players to head to the same area and spread out, rushing through the Fields of Misery, Dahlgur Oasis, Stonefort, or Silver Spire Level 1 Gardens of Hope 2nd Tier. Whoever found the keywarden would alert the others and wait, not killing the KW until everyone was in the vicinity so they would be eligible for the drop.

    That was the old way. You can still do that, and it might even be faster on the really large areas (Dhalgur Oasis), but characters in the game no longer need to be in proximity to earn a key drop. Each Keywarden will drop a key for everyone in the game, or no one — it’s all or nothing, so everyone gets a key, or no one does, from each Keywarden, and the best odds are still just 50% on T6.

    The key does *not* just appear in your inventory like a Horadric Cache. Each character must go to the spot of the Keywarden’s death to pick it up, but since everyone or no one gets each key, everyone stays in synch for group Infernal Machine efforts. This also allows players to split-farm Keywardens, spreading out to different acts and searching simultaneously. You just have to let everyone else know if a key drops, and then drop a banner or wait until the others arrive, so they don’t have to search the level, since Keys still do not show up on the map as Legendary Drops.

    Also, the recent Blood Shard exploit hotfix did *not* change how Keywardens drop. I split farmed a few yesterday in an MP game and the key drops were still global.

    Do you guys like the change? It makes key farming a bit less teamwork, with people splitting into different acts and exploring solo, rather than spreading out to search the same area simultaneously, but I think it’s a good idea to make the drops global, just so everyone in the game stays in synch on their keys. It was always annoying in the past if you had four people farming and one guy got really unlucky and was stuck on something like 6/2/7/9 keys while everyone else had at least 4 of each key and wanted to move on to the Ubers.

    Related point that’s been made many times, but can we get a reset the Ubers option after all 4 portals have been cleared? Stick on the annoying Rift 30s timer if necessary, but it’s annoying to have to keep creating new games when you’re doing multiple Infernal Machines in a row.

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    Latest Diablo 3 News

    Blood Thief Exploit Hotfix Details


    Posted 22 Apr 2015 by at 14:11 GMT

    Blizzard has posted details about the Blood Thief exploit and the hotfix that has changed some game mechanics to prevent it happening again. Blood Thief Exploit Hotfix Details:

    While this issue is now resolved, we know a lot of players have questions about what happened and how we responded, so we wanted to take some time to discuss a few of the details with you here.

    Following the launch of patch 2.2.0, players discovered an exploit that caused Blood Thief goblins to drop a larger number of Blood Shards than intended. The exploit could only occur in Greater Rifts when in a multiplayer group and required a specific sequence of steps to activate.

    As soon as we were able to able to verify the exploit and identify its underlying cause, we immediately began working on a hotfix for PC. The hotfix was deployed in all gameplay regions on April 16, which made the following changes to the game:

    In order be eligible for experience or loot from any monster (including Treasure Goblins), you must do damage to it or be in the same area when it is killed

  • If you are in a Greater Rift, you are no longer eligible for any experience or loot gained by party members outside of the rift
  • For console, this particular change cannot be implemented via hotfix, so we’ve temporarily disabled all Blood Thief goblin spawns on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One until further notice (pending a future patch).
  • From there, taking the complexity and impact of the exploit into consideration, we also elected to action accounts on a case-by-case basis. In general, one of three things occurred:

  • Accounts which were found to have both used the exploit excessively and publicly promoted its use were permanently banned.
  • Accounts which were found to have used the exploit excessively, but did not publicly promote it, were rolled back and their associated heroes removed from active Leaderboards (both Seasonal and non-Seasonal).
  • Accounts which were found to have used the exploit to a limited degree (or quickly stopped once realizing the scope of what was happening) were effectively pardoned. We understand these situations can inspire a certain level of curiosity and that it may not always be immediately clear if you’re undermining intended game mechanics. Mistakes happen, but we hope this leniency won’t be taken for granted in the future.
  • All in all, this incident has shown us that the vast majority of players, upon encountering an in-game exploit, will not only put sportsmanship and fair play above personal gain, but will also work to bring the matter to our attention quickly via channels like hacks@blizzard.com, our online webform and ticket system, and these very forums. (We even received a few Twitter DMs, Skype messages, and personal emails too!) So, on behalf of the development team, I just want to say thank you to those of you who took the time to notify us, as well as apologize for any inconvenience caused a result.

    As noted in our original post, maintaining an enjoyable and equitable play experience is very important to us, and we’re going to continue to monitor the game as well as take steps to prevent exploits like this from happening again.

    That reaction; banning the biggest exploiters/publicizers, rolling back abusers, and sparring experimenters, matches pretty well with the community consensus as expressed in our vote/survey results. As I argued on the last podcast, I’d still like to see a lot more transparency, with names and dates and such, but both guests disagreed, and it’s an irrelevant debate since Blizzard has made clear that they’re not going to “name and shame.”

    So what do you guys think, now that this issue seems to have been resolved?

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    Latest Diablo 3 News

    8

    Diablo Fan Art Watch #272: Diablo 2044


    Posted 22 Apr 2015 by at 06:29 GMT

    Greetings all and welcome to the latest installment of the Diablo Fan Art Watch. This week we bring you two pieces of art by artist Lap Pun Cheung. Featuring the classes of Diablo 3 in the futuristic setting of 2044. Here’s what he had to say on one of the pieces:

    Cheung: My redesign of Diablo III character classes, placing them in a cyberpunk version of the world. The Demon Hunter is now a bounty hunter, the Witchdoctor is an technomage, the Monk is brawler, the Barbarian is a bouncer and the Wizard is a hacker. They are just hanging out around the Slaughtered Calf bar.

    New Tristram Slums:

    The Ghost in the Machine:


    If you want to see more futuristic and mecha style diablo fan art check out Watch #270 Cyber Diablo III for more.


    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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    Latest Diablo 3 News

    7

    Vote: Patch 2.2 and Season 3 Legendary Items


    Posted 21 Apr 2015 by at 18:46 GMT

    Much of the conversation on this week’s podcast focused on some of our favorite new legendary items in Patch 2.2/Season 3. All of us on the show were pretty happy with the new gear we’ve been finding and using, but how goes it for you guys?

    Have you benefited from the new legendary items and new/upgraded item sets? Are they doing what you want or need? Or was not your favorite skill or play style supported, or your class of choice ignored, so you can only look bitterly at the others frolicking in their near gear and bide your time until v2.3?

    Vote: Patch 2.2 and Season 3 Legendary Items:

    Your opinion on the new/upgraded legendary/set items in Patch 2.2 / Season 3?

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