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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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Latest Diablo 3 News

Kadala Gambling Simulator Saves the Trouble of Playing

Posted 3 May 2015 by at 19:56 GMT

Something to do while waiting for Orek...

Something to do while waiting for Orek…

Someone’s coded a fairly brilliant Kadala simulator, allowing you to gamble to your heart’s content right through your browser, without any of that tedious Blood Shard farming. It’s very simple to operate; just select your class and then left click on the item you want to gamble. Items show up in blue, yellow, green, and orange quality just like in the game, and can be hovered on to view their stats. There’s even a counter on each item that keeps track of how many shards you’ve wasted spent on that slot.

It’s got some bugs in the item stats; I saw a few with five primary and two secondary affixes (on items that can’t have that in game) and some of the stat values were below the minimum range, but the ratio of blue/yellow/leg seemed pretty on (though greens seemed rarer than in the game, and it’s fun to click and see the items appear. The only thing lacking are sound effects, including Kadala taunting you as you burn through 25k shards trying to find a second #$*%ing DiabloWikiUnity

  • Kadala gambling simulator.
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    Tagged As: | Categories: Fan Stuff, gambling | 13 Comments

    Latest Diablo 3 News

    Unhallowed Essence Overpowered? Spin2Win Underpowered?

    Posted 1 May 2015 by at 22:29 GMT

    Everyone is Spin2Win now.

    Everyone is Spin2Win now.

    Though there was much freaking out back when Patch 2.2 went live with the “now you see it; now you don’t” last minute removal of Mortick’s Brace, time seems to have proven Blizzard’s point. Barbs using the Spin2Win build are everywhere, they dominate the GR leaderboards, and if you ask any Barb player how gimped they feel over the lack of an ideal BiS item in the Bracer slot, they just laugh.

    Everyone agrees, right? It’s obvious. Or not… Unhallowed Essence Overpowered? Spin2Win Underpowered?

    I play all the classes, fairly evenly now actually… I recently set out to try the new UE set because it had all the “buzz” surrounding it, and frankly I can see why. I mean sweet merciful crap.

    So if I have this right the set gives you a base 20% damage just for showing up provided monsters aren’t around. This seems to be multiplicative. Then for every 1 point of discipline you get a 15% increase to generators and multishot. So basically (I could be wrong here) the set is giving you (with max discipline)

  • 81 * 15 *1.2 = 1458% damage boost!??????
  • Which would be fine except it says “generators”, so both chakram and elemental arrow are included given krider or spines of seething hatred. Plus this is without even being able to test deadmans as it’s time locked behind seasonal, but it seems like it DOUBLES the damage of this set.

    I mean it’s complete madness, my multishot is regularly hitting the entire screen for 1.2-1.4 billion damage while charkam is hitting at a “weak” 600 million. I thought the new Tal’s changes were amazing, but my wizard looks like a total freaking chump in comparison.

    I know the IK set in its original 500% incarnation was crazy OP with mortics, but after watching my DH just look at stuff in GR40 and have it topple over, I have to wonder what the devs consider to be “OP”. According to Wyatt it was decided a week before that mortics was overperforming, despite the entire PTR having pages of feedback on the subject.

    But UE is balanced?
    Grimiku: To understand why Unhallowed Essence wasn’t changed, I think it’s first important to clarify why we decided to hold off on releasing Mortick’s Brace. Here’s the original post from Nevalistis:

    “In summary, though, we made the decision to remove Mortick’s Brace from 2.2.0 about a week prior to the release of the patch. With their removal, we believe each class should be within a couple Greater Rift levels of one another (which would not have been the case if the item had gone live). This is in line with one of our goals for the patch, which was for each class to have two or three competitive builds capable of Greater Rift 50+.”

    Wyatt Cheng goes a bit more in depth on this decision (and the possible future of this item) in a recent(ish) video interview with Ziggy D, and you can jump straight to that discussion here @ 3:01.

    Getting back on topic, while Unhallowed Essence is indeed very powerful, and fun to play, it wasn’t and currently isn’t creating a large disparity on the Solo Great Rift Leaderboards like Mortick’s Brace, which is why it wasn’t changed or removed. Even so, we’ll make sure to pass along your feedback about this particular set to our development team.

    Lest accusations of thread-surrection derail us… yes the OP above is two weeks old, before people really knew how powerful Spin2Win was, but thread has stayed active that whole time, with plenty of people still griping about the lack of Mortick’s Brace. And the Blue reply was made just yesterday evening, so it’s still a current thing.

    And no, the OP’s argument isn’t a good one since as the Blue points out, the UE set is not OP compared to the other DH sets. One could certainly argue that six-piece set bonuses are way too good, but that’s how gearing works in RoS at this point, and every class benefits from it. Ironically for the OP, the better argument would have been to hit at the flaws in the UE set design, except that the Spin2Win build has the same problem; it’s too powerful for how easy it is to play.

    The DH’s Unhallowed Essence set requires very little of the player to succeed. 1) Players must maintain their distance in order to keep the 4p set bonus active (and staying back synergizes perfectly with Steady Aim, Zei’s, and not dying), and 2) players must alternate a Generator with Multishot to manage their Resource (and this synergizes perfectly with UE’s buff to Generator damage, Taeguk’s, and Focus/Restraint.) Not all UE DHs use all those items/tactics, but you can clearly see the set was designed to work as it does, and while it’s comparable in power, it’s much easier to use than Marauder’s or the awesome new Natalya’s.

    So what do you guys think? Is anyone still willing to argue that Barbs were ruined by the removal of an obvious BiS legendary bracer? And do you guys agree that there’s a common problem with Spin2Win Barbs and UE DHs… that both are too powerful for the relative ease/simplicity of their gearing and play style?

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    Latest Diablo 3 News


    Area Damage Bugged and Underperforming

    Posted 30 Apr 2015 by at 20:49 GMT

    Area Damage shows in white.

    Area Damage in action.

    DiabloWikiArea Damage sounds promising, with a 20% chance to deal X% of damage to nearby enemies, but most players soon learn that it’s far from one of the top offensive affixes. It’s not entirely clear why AD feels so weak; in theory it should multiply quite well within large groups, since an attack that hits 10 monsters in a bunch means that every one of them has a 20% chance to splash X% of that to all 9 of the others, which should easily add up to more total damage from Splashing than from the initial attack.

    Nevertheless, AD is little used or valued these days, and it doesn’t help that it’s buggy with a lot of skills and new item procs. Area Damage Bugged and Underperforming:

    Long story short:

  • Wastes (2) Rend = 1/6 of Area Damage
  • IK6 + Insanity with Weapon Throw = 1/3 of Area Damage
  • IK6 + with Weapon Throw = 1/2 of Area Damage
  • Area Damage seems to be unaffected by certain separate multiplicative damage bonuses.

    Area Damage is affected by:

  • elemental skill bonus
  • No Escape
  • Vile Ward
  • bonus vs Elites
  • Area Damage is unaffected by:

  • Wastes (2) set bonus
  • Immortal King´s (6) set bonus
  • Insanity
  • Convention of Elements
  • Focus and Restraint
  • Zei
  • Bane of the Trapped
  • Ruthless
  • Here´s the link to the bug report page posted. Feel free to upvote it or post a comment there.
    Nevalistis: Thanks to the thorough and specific testing from you all, we kicked this bug over to our Quality Assurance folks for investigation and they were able to verify exactly what’s being described:

    Area Damage is not benefiting from some skills or unique powers.

    This is something we intend to fix, but we’re holding off on sweeping changes for the time being as we’re reviewing the mechanics of Area Damage as a whole and we want to avoid introducing sweeping changes in the middle of a Season. As a result, changes to Area Damage will not be coming in Patch 2.2.1, but at a later date. I do want to thank everyone who’s brought this to our attention and provided detailed reports. Your diligence was extremely helpful!

    Area Damage shared from the initial single target crit..

    Area Damage shared from the initial single target crit..

    You see from the list a bunch of Barb-specific stuff and general game items that don’t work with Area Damage. This testing was done mostly by Barb players, so certainly there are many skills for other classes that don’t work with AD in the same way; it’s not just a Barb thing.

    The good news is what Neva said about the overview. During the recent Tavern Talk the devs mentioned how underperforming was Area Damage and how they wanted to make a pass over it and buff it considerably. It sounds like that’s underway as part of some larger future patch (2.3?) and that in the future we might see Area Damage become a stat worth having or maybe even basing part of a build around, through bug fixes and improved mechanics.

    Back in early Reaper of Souls we had sincere theorycrafting efforts to see if high Area Damage (initially called Splash Damage) could reasonably make up for a lack of AoE damage from skills, or just prove valuable as a supplement. Players who theorycrafted the math back in early RoS came up with impressive numbers, especially after AD was fixed to include damage from Crits.

    Could a buffed AD become the means to make single target skills viable? (Probably not, but it’s fun to pretend.)

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    Latest Diablo 3 News

    Remove Progress Orbs from Greater Rifts?

    Posted 30 Apr 2015 by at 01:22 GMT

    Every flavor orbs...

    Every flavor orbs…

    Some fans dislike having to pick up the purple eggs that DiabloWikiElites lay in DiabloWikiGreater Rifts, and ask why they must do so, instead of simply receiving the +1% experience boost directly. Remove DiabloWikiProgress Orbs from Greater Rifts?

    So can somebody at Blizzard please tell me why the progress in greater rifts isn’t baked into the elites and instead we have to zig zag all over the place to pick these annoying little globes up? I can’t think of a single good reason, but if there is one I’d like to hear it.
    Tyvalir: That’s a fair question.

    During the initial development of Patch 2.1.0, we experimented with a variety of different designs for Greater Rifts. For example, in one such design, loot dropped throughout the Greater Rift. This was eventually changed and we removed said loot from everything but the Rift Guardian (so that the focus can be on killing things).

    At one point, we actually tested a version of Greater Rifts where nothing dropped at all; not even progression orbs. Based on feedback, though, that scenario felt strangely unrewarding, especially when killing the more challenging monsters.

    The current design provides a reward visually while playing through Greater Rifts, up until the final loot-splosion when you slay the Greater Rift Guardian. While we don’t have plans to change this, it is a great question, so I’m glad you brought it up. :)

    Sometimes they get lost if you kill them around certain things. Like lava and or mobs that fly off the actual map….

    …Is there any way to change how they’re tossed out/received? The only real flaw in the system is the time lost while scrambling to pick them up. Also it can be a real pain when they fall in the radius of a molten explosion, or other still-active elite effects.

    …The problem is when you’re in a room and the orbs drop on 3 opposite corners and you end up running around to pick up orbs vs making progression on the map. Some elites drop them in a small radius and there’s those that throw them across screen. That’s what needs to be fixed
    Tyvalir: Ah, I’ve seen this happen, too. Basically, you’re saying that when you kill an Elite or Champion pack, the resulting progress orbs can fly off in different directions, which can be frustrating if they end up being very far apart or being hidden behind other objects.

    It’s not his job to argue fans out of bad ideas, but I think Tyvalir went too, “all feedback is are good feedback!” here. The reason, fairly obviously, is that a valuable reward like progress orbs should take some (minimal) effort to acquire. If you want the bonus Progress from the purple orbs, you have to go pick them up, and sometimes they don’t drop right in a stack, or you have to avoid Molten or Frozen or Arcane, etc. Welcome to Sanctuary, where random things are random. Enjoy your stay. Watch your step.

    Early progress orb graphic.

    Early progress orb graphic.

    I wouldn’t say purple orbs are exactly a balancing factor, but obviously the fast moving builds with DoT damage are (slightly) inconvenienced by having to delay or detour to get the purple orbs, while direct damage classes/builds are generally standing right there when the Elite pops. That seems fair to me, as a help to the slower classes in a game where mobility is almost always a huge advantage.

    And lest you think I’m just hating on Spin2Win Barbs (generally a safe assumption), my current fave build is a Strafe/Nat’s DH, and in T6 Rifts I use RoV: Dark Cloud, plus DoT on my Lgems, which means I’m usually well past the Elites when they pop, so any leg drops require me to backtrack. The same would be true in mid-level Grifts, (I use Fire RoV on higher Grifts, and can’t race madly past Elites) but of course I know that every Elite is going to drop purple orbs, so I stay closer to the bosses to make retrieval quicker when they die. (And still sometimes just keep on going, if I’m far ahead and flying with a Conduit or Channeling Pylon active.)

    Do you guys like purple orbs and want them to stay? They are another form of shiny and they make a cool “gulpgulpgulp” sound when you PacMan over then. Do you think there’s a valid strategic element or class equalizer to having to pick them up, rather than just baking their bonus Progress into the Elite kill? Or do you want to just get the bonus without having to pause for an instant? Rushing is what Grifts are all about, after all.

    What should happen to Progress Orbs in Greater Rifts?

    View Results

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    Latest Diablo 3 News

    Hotfixes: Death’s Bargain Exploit Disabled

    Posted 29 Apr 2015 by at 05:38 GMT

    Deaths-bargain-nut1In the “it’s always something” file, tonight a bug/exploit courtesy of some legendary pants that everyone thought sucked has surfaced and been disabled. Hotfixes: Death’s Bargain Disabled.

    We’ve recently become aware of an unintended interaction that occurs when Death’s Bargain is used in combination with a specific set of items and abilities. In addition to causing server instability, this combination could also be leveraged to gain significant progression in higher level Greater Rifts (that wouldn’t otherwise be possible). To help mitigate these effects, we have disabled the Legendary affix for Death’s Bargain until further notice.

    Note that this is a temporary measure and we are working on an additional hotfix to address the underlying issues. While we don’t have an ETA for this fix to share at this time, we will provide updates as they become available.

    The trick worked since Death’s Bargain turned your regen into damage, but didn’t let it heal you. So a player needed to die and trigger their cheat death passive (which worked by providing a ton of Life Per Second) while wearing Death’s Bargain and Rogar’s Huge Stone, which boosted LpH by a larger amount when you had fewer hit points. Thus a character could exist with essentially negative hit points, but not dead, and with all the intended regen turning into a damage aura via Death’s Bargain, creating kazillions of points of damage. Literally. A couple of shots of the exploit in action:

    There are a few other upcoming hotfixes regarding legendary items and Greater Rift timers as well. Click through for the full list:

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    Latest Diablo 3 News

    Fix the System: Infernal Machines & Hellfire Rings/Amulets

    Posted 28 Apr 2015 by at 21:55 GMT

    Hellfire Ring proc used to do this.

    Hellfire Ring proc used to do this.

    Sitting in clan chat the last couple of days, I’ve tried to talk some other players into doing some keywarden farming and then some Ubers. Without success. Plenty of players are geared enough to split farm them quickly in T6, but no one enjoys the process, and the chances of getting a good roll on a Hellfire Amulet remind of the old one-liner about playing the lottery. (It’s a tax on people who are bad at math.)

    Arguments against:

  • Key farming is the slowest and least fun thing ever (next to Wave of Trials?), with a long search for each of the four keywardens located somewhere on their huge surface area maps.
  • There’s little exp/item reward in KW farming; much less than the Rift(s) you could do in the same time.
  • There’s only a 50% drop rate for the keys even on T6 (though thankfully the Ubers have a 100% drop rate on T6).
  • The Ubers are very easy for well-geared chars, making the epic portal battles an afterthought.
  • The odds of a DiabloWikiHellfire Amulet rolling with anything approaching BiS stats are incredibly low, and many players feel one of the immunity amulets is mandatory for higher GRs.
  • The odds of an ideal DiabloWikiHellfire Ring is non-existent, since even a perfect roll wouldn’t be BiS in the ring slot in v2.2. At best it’s something you can gear for the exp boost on T6 or mid-GRifts, or put it on your Merc.
  • Etc. Because yucky…
  • Some players will do them anyway, especially people who have hours to play every day, since even the very long odds of a great Hellfire Amulet seem worth it. And/or it’s just something slightly different to do for a chance of pace. Most players don’t even bother, or just do a few early in a season, get all junk items, and lose interest.

    So how could this system be fixed, to become more compelling? Hellfire Rings and Amulets with better odds of rolling well? Quicker key farming? Fewer keys required to make Infernal Machines? All of the above? Here’s a vote with options for improvements. Pick all that you agree with, and of course there’s a “current system is fine,” just in case Jay’s voting.

    Changes to the Infernal Machine system. (Vote all you agree with.)

    View Results

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    Try my new, less convenient location.

    Try my new, less convenient location.

    I didn’t mention that Portals should close after use so players can do multiple Infernal Machines in the same game, since that’s got to have universal support.

    Note that the system has seen some recent changes. Keys now drop globally, so players can split-farm KWs in multiple acts at once and Uber Maghda’s annoying invulnerability no longer lasts so long. On the other hand, the A4 now takes longer to farm, with Nekarat moved from the smallish Silver Spire Level 1 to larger, longer Gardens of Hope 2nd Tier.

    Hit the comments to explain why your idea for fixing the system is better than any of these, or share in the brainstorming.

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    Diablo 3 Podcast #173: Power Creep and Spin2Win Barbs

    Posted 28 Apr 2015 by at 14:11 GMT

    Season Three marches on with massive power creep in higher GRifts. Are higher levels of Torment required, or will the removal of Realm of Trials solve the problem? Also, why doesn’t anyone want to play with Spin2Win Barbs, do Seasons need more incentives, and does anyone really want to play Thorns? Featuring N3rdwards, Master X, and Flux.

    Click through for approximate segment starting times and related links:

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    GR59 Demon Hunter with an Amazing Finish

    Posted 28 Apr 2015 by at 12:10 GMT

    We posted last week about some clever builds turning the Demon Hunter set Natalya’s Vengeance into the best DH set, much to the surprise of most players. The play style that works best is a high skill, click-intensive one, and here’s a great video with an amazing ending showing the first ever solo clear of a GR59 by a DH in Nat’s set, courtesy of Quirkitized.

    The vid shows the whole run, but even if you don’t care about the class or build, you really want to check out the ending, which could not be more dramatic as the 15m timer and the health of Perdition are in a neck-and-neck race to the absolute last second.

    GR59 Demon Hunter with an Amazing Finish:

    (video is auto-load, so moved below the fold. Click through to view.)

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