Patch 2.1 is hitting the live servers tonight/tomorrow after the weekly maintenance concludes, and there’s a ton of new stuff to be had. We’ve been newsing it all up for the past couple of months and keeping all of the DiabloWiki.net articles up to date. We’re datamining the Patch right now, so we’ll have the full data shortly. (Almost all the big changes were seen in patch notes during the PTR already. August 13, August 5, August 5 skills, July 21, July 18, July 11, June 26th start date.
The final patch notes will be along those lines, but what about the new features and systems? Here are concise summaries of all the major changes, plus links to blue posts and wiki articles for the full details. Diablo 3 Patch 2.1 Mega Preview:
Greater Rifts: A timed, progressively-harder type of Nephalem Rift designed to present the greatest end game challenge. Grifts have a 1-100 difficulty progression (GR25 roughly equals Torment 6), and players who finish a Grift in less than 15 minutes will earn a Greater Rift Keystone to a higher level rift. All item/gold drops in Grifts come from the Greater Rift Guardian (whether killed within 15m or not), and only in Grifts can Legendary Gems be found or upgraded via the NPC artisan Urshi.
Legendary Gems: There are 14 of these, each providing an upgradeable unique property and a secondary property that unlocks at rank 25. LGems drop commonly but only in Greater Rifts, can only be used in socketed rings/amulets, only work on characters (not followers), and can be upgraded to improve their basic function via Urshi, an NPC found only in Greater Rifts. Higher level Greater Rifts = better odds for LGem upgrading.
Realm of Trials: A small shadowy level where players face waves of progressively harder enemies, a bit like the Cursed Shrines/Chests. Each wave in a Trial must be defeated within the brief time limit, and when a player fails to clear an entire wave within the time, the Trial ends. Realm of Trials reward higher level Greater Rift Keys, enabling players to save time by starting their Grift at that level, rather than starting in a level 1 Grift and working their way up.
Greed’s Domain: A new bonus dungeon reached through a yellow portal occasionally left by a slain Treasure Goblin. The level is a reward stage with various weak trash mobs, several Goblins, and many destructibles which unleash ginormous stacks of gold. Greed the boss is fat and hideous and upon her death a double-size golden chest drops, and unleashes the
Hellfire Amulet. There are no changes to the Infernal Machine, except that now a Hellfire Amulet may be created by the Jeweler. (Hellfire Rings are still available and unchanged.) Hellfire Amulets are standard random 4/2 legendary amulets, except they have a legendary secondary affix that grants one randomly chosen of your class’ Passive Skills, thus giving a character 5 passives at level 70.
Seasons. (Modeled after Diablo 2′s ladders.) Participating in a Season is completely optional — players who choose can create new characters (HC or SC) and designate them as “Seasonal” which will put them into a pool where they can *only* interact with other seasonal characters. Everyone in the Season starts fresh; like a brand new account. You have no access to your current items, gold, stash tabs, artisan upgrades, paragon points, etc. (You will retain your ability to start out in Adventure Mode, at least.) Seasonal content is identical to the current game, except there are some new seasonal Achievements and a dozen new Seasonal Legendaries. Seasons will run a TBD time and when they end all characters/items/gold/paragon points/etc are merged back into your main account, and a new Season will begin.
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