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Boycott Demon Hunters!
A fan infuriated by the item changes on the PTR for patch 2.2 has has ordered a strategy both illogical and counter-productive, urging players to boycott Demon Hunters! Let’s see his argument: I didn’t follow every link provided, but all that I looked at were fairly generic, “my class should be more awesome” complaints. Imagine […]
Average Greater Rift Clear Times: Graphs!
Very useful article by LukDeRif collecting and comparing data on the top Greater Rift clear times for all classes. The figures are current for V2.2 on the Live realms, and it’ll be interesting to see how they change after Season Two ends and all the buffed and new Item Sets are introduced in v2.3 and […]
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Josh Mosqueira’s GDC Panel Video back Online

Posted 1 Apr 2015 by at 23:08 GMT

Josh Mosq intro slide.

Josh Mosq intro slide.

Last month, Diablo 3 Game Director Josh Mosqueira presented a talk at the Game Developers’ Conference in which he talked about the changes/improvements made in post-release patches to Diablo 3 and especially the bigger changes in Reaper of Souls. The GDC panel was an expanded version of a panel from Blizzcon 2014, and had a lot of interesting self criticism and explanations about what was changed and why.

I found the panel a fascinating and mostly very honest presentation, and spent the time to type up a full transcript with screenshots of the more interesting slides Josh showed during the talk. It was a good thing I did, since shortly after Gamespot posted the video on YouTube, it was deleted. (Then reposted a week later.)

If you missed the video when it was unavailable, GDC has now posted their full version, with annotations and chapter headings so you can skip right to whatever part you like. Obviously I’d recommend referring to our transcript as a much more detailed guide to what content is when, if you don’t want to watch the whole hour nonstop.

The GDC version is here, and you need to click the link since they don’t offer embed code. Josh Mosqueira’s GDC Panel Video back Online.

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Forcing Pylons fixed in Patch 2.2.0

Posted 1 Apr 2015 by at 22:46 GMT

Nay murh ah this, laddie..

Nay murh ah this, laddie..

We newsed last month about the trick of “forcing” pylons in Greater Rifts, and its possible strategic uses. A recent post by Wyatt Cheng reveals that Blizzard has fixed this trick in the upcoming patch, and that the “forced” pylons will simply not appear anymore. Forcing Pylons fixed in Patch 2.2.0:

When I read the question regarding pylons during the Tavern Talk I thought the person asking wanted pylons removed from Greater Rifts completely.

This particular issue was fixed over a month ago internally, but we decided to hold the fix for patch 2.2 rather than hotfix it directly to live.

For those who are curious, the fix is pretty simple. If you intentionally manipulate the mechanics to force the pylons to queue up with nowhere to spawn in unexplored area then you simply lose the pylons instead.

The trick was to explore a bunch of the map but not kill many of the monsters in the area (until it was all mapped). This exploited the dynamic spawning of Pylons in Greater Rifts (Shrines/Pylons in normal Rifts do not work this way) which causes a non-repeating type of Pylon to spawn about every 20-30% cleared. Players could explore a whole area before killing the monsters, which would result in multiple pylons appearing right at the start of the next unmapped area.

It was possible for some very fast moving characters to thus kill up to almost 100%, then enter a new level and immediately find two or three Pylons, loading a player with Pylon power for the Guardian battle. Was… but no more. Had any of you guys actually used this trick and found it successful? Are you glad it’s been fixed?

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B’Motes Expression Packs

Posted 1 Apr 2015 by at 18:48 GMT

d3_art_bgBlizzard has revealed a new feature which will insert witty dialogue into your online conversations with just the click of a few “lol wut” keys. Welcome B’Motes into your life!

Navigating the social pitfalls of online gaming can be a challenge. How do you voice your opinion without stepping on your party’s toes, or keep up with your clan’s witty banter while you’re trying to concentrate on smashing demons? If these are the kind of things that keep you awake at night, we have the solution. Today, we are proud to present you with a new way to enhance your Blizzard gaming experience: B’Motes!

With a staggering variety of brand-new emotes and expressions as well as an Automated Chat Optimization Overlay (AChOO*), you can finally sound just as epic as the heroes you play. To get the full run-down of how B’Motes will take your social online experience to the next level, visit the official B’Motes page now!


The official page is an amazingly colorful scrolldown, decorated with huge wallpaper images themed to each Blizzard game. I grabbed them and stuck them in the gallery below, if you prefer click by click viewing.

Other Blizzard highlights of the day include a T.I.N.D.R. service for WoW heroes, a big list of amusing Heartstone patch notes, Bighead mode for HotS, and announcing the SC2 beta has ended less than 24 hours after it began.

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Tagged As: | Categories: *Big News, Humour, Screenshots | 1 Comment

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Diablo 3 Bighead Mode

Posted 31 Mar 2015 by at 23:20 GMT

The Warden is large and in charge.

The Warden is large and in charge.

Amusing video showing off the Diablo 3 Bighead Mode, where all the characters and monsters are about 3x their normal size from the waist up.

It’s not clear if this is an April Fools joke by Blizzard that leaked early or some clever fan-made Machinima thing, but it’s pretty funny. Everything walks with fast, tiny little steps like people beneath a parade float, and the monsters that are basically all upper body or have big horns are great. The Butcher’s head fills the entire screen, Goatmen look like trophy bucks, and Diablo’s body can’t even really be seen. My favorite are monsters that are all upper body; the Scavengers look like furry sausages with legs invisible beneath their plump little bodies. A few sample screens:

The six-minute video shows off highlights of all five acts. Click through to view it.

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Tagged As: | Categories: Humour, Screenshots, Videos | 5 Comments

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First Look: Season Three Preview

Posted 31 Mar 2015 by at 19:48 GMT

season-three-leafBlizzard has posted a Blog talking up the new items and other features coming in Season Three.

First Look: Season 3

As Season 2 comes to an end and we prepare to launch Patch 2.2.0, we’re seeing lots of anticipation among players for Season 3. In addition to the 10 new or revamped sets that will be available in the patch, Seasonal players will have all-new Season-exclusive rewards to enjoy.

As with past Seasons, nephalem who test their mettle in Season 3 will have first crack at getting shiny new or revamped Legendary items, gain access to the final parts of the Conqueror’s transmogrification set, and have new Conquests to complete. Without further ado, let’s get rolling!


New Legendary Items

One of the most exciting draws of Season 3 will be the new Legendary items that will remain Season exclusives until the end of the Season. You can see a few of these pictured below, like the Legendary Gems Iceblink and Mutilation Guard, as well as the revamped Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac, and a new recovery-themed Legendary potion coming to the game: Bottomless Potion of Amplification.


In addition, here are the other new or reworked items that will be available first to those playing in Season 3, along with their respective Legendary affixes:

Click through for the rest of the blog, including all the new legendary items and a FAQ. Also remember that lots of new features coming in Patch 2.2, like the new Item Sets and all the buffs to vanilla sets, are not seasonal. They will be available in the season as well, but those poor few damned souls in the “single player online” experience that is non-seasonal Diablo 3, can also experience them.

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Datamined: New Reaper of Souls Item Graphics

Posted 30 Mar 2015 by at 19:19 GMT

A fan datamined some future items out of the PTR client, and shared them both in a short video. They feature a sleeping kitty that’s also a new Witch Doctor mojo, and a flapping winged hand crossbow for Demon Hunters.

If the WD’s “cat on a stick” mojo looks familiar, we got a preview of it during one of the Blizzcon 2014 panels, when they showed a slide of upcoming item graphics. You can see the winged xbow there also, now that you know what to look for. That bear paw looks fun too; probably a Monk fist weapon?

Datamined: New Reaper of Souls Item Graphics

New item art

New item art

Update: Monstrous shared some more screens of the new items, firm in his conviction that Wizards should have the right to bear arms.

I tried to match up unused datamined icons. Could these be future class sets for the crus, monk, wiz and WD? –Monstrous

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The Diablo 3 Podcast #169: S2’s Last Week and GRift Heights

Posted 30 Mar 2015 by at 12:15 GMT

What to do in the last week of Season Two, and how to prepare for Season Three? Plus higher Greater Rift strategy and death avoidance, SUPERKADALA, and a shared Legendary Gem interface. Featuring Tyr, Mjinspace, and Flux.

Click through for approximate segment starting times and related links:

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Average Greater Rift Clear Times: Graphs!

Posted 29 Mar 2015 by at 23:02 GMT

Very useful article by LukDeRif collecting and comparing data on the top Greater Rift clear times for all classes. The figures are current for V2.2 on the Live realms, and it’ll be interesting to see how they change after Season Two ends and all the buffed and new Item Sets are introduced in v2.3 and Season Three.

Average Greater Rift Clear Time for every class

With all the outrage about class imbalance lately I was curious what the situation on the Leaderboards really looked like. While it is easy to take a quick glance at the top and the bottom, it is much harder to get a grasp of the overall situation of the Leaderboards. So I made a spreadsheet that would help me get a better overview over the Leaderboards. The data was taken on the 26th March and is from the EU SC and EU HC seasonal Leaderboards.


First I wanted to know what the average greater rift clear on the leaderboards was for each class in SC:

Barbarian: 46.3
Crusader: 43
Demon Hunter: 46.7
Monk: 46.7
Witch Doctor: 40.7
Wizard: 42.3


At this point Barbarian, Demon Hunter and Monk seem to be fairly even. The Crusader and the Wizard are 3 to 4 levels lower. Considering the hitpoints of monster are increased by 17% a per level and the damage is increased by 10% that is actually a huge difference. Remember that the increase is based on the previous level. That means the difference between gets gradually larger. The Witch Doctor is 6 levels below the top three. Averages are often a statistic of limited value so it is valuable to take a look at the data as a whole.


What you can see here is: the more powerful the class the fiercer the competition.

Fun fact: When I was typing in the data exactly 46 Wizards had cleared a GRift level 46 or above (the Demon Hunter Leaderboard starts at 46 by the way). It is also interesting to note that the difference at the very top is much smaller (in terms of Rift levels) than it is on average. There are multiple Wizards that have cleared GRift 50 and the only class that is seriously lagging behind is, again, the Witch Doctor.

If you want to take a look at the Softcore Data then you can find it on Google Docs.

Click through for the same study applied to Hardcore, and some thoughts on how HC vs. SC compare in Grift clear times at the mid-range and at the high end. Average Greater Rift Clear Times: Graphs!

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Music Volume Too Low in Reaper of Souls

Posted 28 Mar 2015 by at 08:21 GMT

lord-of-destruction-soundtrackI check the posts in our Blue tracker every day and find useful stuff and sometimes funny stuff. But seldom have I begun laughing just from the title, before I even click the thread, as I did on this one. Music Volume Too Low in Reaper of Souls:

Music extremely low compared to sound effects

…The Diablo series has always had amazing soundtracks to go along with their games, so it just strikes me as strange that the third entry has what sounds like a great soundtrack, yet you can barely hear it, no matter the volume settings.
Did you check your mixer settings for Diablo III while playing? You access the mixer by alt-tabbing out and right clicking the speaker icon on the lower right side of your task bar. Select Open Volume Mixer and you’ll see separate settings for each open application and the system sounds.

I’ve had that exact same complaint since May 2012, and it’s not a technical issue on my end. The music is plenty loud… there’s just hardly ever music to hear. I don’t think everything needs to be like it once was, and moving away from the hard-driving soundtracks Matt Uelmen created for D1 and D2 was a valid option for Diablo 3. After all, Matt’s music was amazing in Diablo I and Diablo II and Diablo II: LoD, but it could get repetitious with the same song playing repeatedly in the same dungeon areas.

That said, D3’s move to hardly-noticeable ambient sound effects, with only occasionally a burst of audible “music,” usually to punctuate a boss fight, has disappointed and puzzled me since 2012, and on the rare occasions I play without some external music in the background, I always get about 5 minutes in and wonder why it’s so quiet, with only the sound effects breaking the silence.

We’ve debated this several times, but never actually posted a vote. So here we go. What do you guys think about the music and musical style in D3 and RoS?

What do you think of Diablo 3's musical style?

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I should stress that I still feel as I did back in 2012: I don’t dislike the music in D3/RoS; I just feel like I only know it from listening to the soundtrack since it’s so seldom audible in the game. And I prefer the mixing style we had in D1/D2 to the subtle ambient stuff in D3. Back in the ago of D1/D2, the music was very up front and a key component in setting the mood/theme of a dungeon area.

Click for *LOTS* of Diablo music stuff, with Matt Uelmen’s music for D1, D2, D2X, and D3 (which was used in WoW:BC), plus the D3 and RoS by not-Matt composers, and Matt’s more recent music for Torchlight 1 and 2.

Tristram Music Comparison: Diablo 1, Diablo 2, and Diablo 3’s Tristram themes compared.

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PTR Hotfixes and Leaderboard Wipe

Posted 27 Mar 2015 by at 18:46 GMT

news-leaderboard-ptr-27march2015Blizzard has posted news of changes to some skills and a wipe of the PTR leaderboards, as testing for patch 2.2.0 draws closer to the finish line.

Upcoming Bug Fix Patch and Leaderboard Wipe

We will be applying a small patch later today to fix several bugs on the 2.2.0 PTR. In addition, we will be resetting all Seasonal and Non-Seasonal leaderboards to allow them to better reflect previous changes and the upcoming bug fixes.

There should be minimal downtime to apply this patch. Please keep an eye on our PTR Hotfix list for more information once this patch goes live and the hotfixes have been applied.

Obviously, there’d be no need to wipe the leaderboard if players were still exceeding the highest scores, and there’s an obvious leftover from the few days when the IK set was mega-buffed and Barbs were suddenly doing GR60, 10-15 GRs higher than any other classes.

Looking at the PTR leaderboards right now, this is pretty obvious. In Hardcore, the highest clears for all classes are 46-49, with Barbs up to 57. In Softcore it’s a similar situation with Barb GRs way above everyone else, though DHs are a bit above the other four classes as well.

Click through for a gallery of the rest of the single class and the 2p, 3p, and 4p standings on the current PTR leaderboard, plus details about today’s hotfixes…

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Diablo 3 Podcast: Westmarch Workshop Feat. Flux

Posted 27 Mar 2015 by at 11:34 GMT

Neinball and Katniss/Leviathan, two longtime guests on our Diablo 3 Podcast have been doing their own Diablo 3 podcast thing of late, which they call the Westmarch Workshop. Since this week is the anniversary of Reaper of Souls and more importantly the Reaper of Souls launch party, the guys invited me to join them on their podcast to chat about the past year in RoS and to reminiscences about the launch party.

After recording hundreds of Diablo 3 Podcasts I found it sort of odd but sort of freeing to just be a guest instead of the host, and ironically (or not) I actually spoke a lot more than I do in my usual moderator roll.

The YouTube version of the show has now been posted, and you can check it out below. My appearance begins before the start and continues relentlessly throughout, largely via my endless, double-intermission Demon Hunter story.

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Season Three Exclusive Legendary Items

Posted 26 Mar 2015 by at 03:39 GMT

news-s3-legsBlizzard has clarified the full list of legendary items that can *only* be obtained by playing in Season Three. (Until the season ends and they join the general item pool.) Season Three Exclusive Legendary Items:

DiabloWikiDead Man’s Legacy

  • Multishot hits enemies who are below (50-60%) health twice.
  • DiabloWikiDread Iron

  • Ground Stomp causes an Avalanche.
  • Massed and ready.

    Massed and ready.


  • Summons a Fallen Lunatic to your side every 12 seconds.
  • DiabloWikiObsidian Ring of the Zodiac

  • Your first hit with each cast of a resource-spending attack reduces the remaining cooldown of one of your skills by 1 second.
  • DiabloWikiBlessed of Haull (Previously Hammer Belt)

  • Justice spawns a Blessed Hammer when it hits an enemy.
  • DiabloWikiRanslor’s Folly

  • Energy Twister periodically pulls in enemies within 30 yards.
  • DiabloWikiLittle Man’s Finger

  • Gargantuan instead summons three smaller Gargantuans, each more powerful than the original.
  • DiabloWikiSpirit Guards

  • Your Spirit generators reduce your damage taken by 30-40% for 3 seconds.
  • DiabloWikiIceblink (Legendary Gem)

  • Your Cold skills now apply Chill effects and your Chill effects now Slow enemy movement by an additional 5% (increases with each level).
  • Rank 25: Gain 10% increased Critical Chance against Chilled and Frozen enemies.
  • DiabloWikiMutilation Guard (Legendary Gem)

  • Gain 10% melee damage reduction (increases with each level).
  • Rank 25: While below 30% Life, you may move unhindered through enemies.
  • DiabloWikiBottomless Potion of Amplification

  • Instantly restores 60% Life. Increases healing from all sources by 20-25% for 5 seconds.
  • As with previously reworked Seasonal items, once patch 2.2.0 launches, these items will no longer drop in non-Seasonal games and will remain removed from the non-Seasonal Legendary pool until Season 3 concludes.

    The common player complaint is that some of the non-seasonal new or changed Item Sets aren’t as useful without certain legendary items that pair ideally with the, such as Dead Man’s Legacy with the new Multishot Unhallowed Essence set, or the Ob/Zod with lots of things. There’s no real response to that other than, “play seasons, Dude.”

    We know from the Tavern Talk that S3 and future seasons should run for about 3+ months, so if you refuse to Season your heroes, at least you won’t have to wait much past the start of July to get your shot at these S3 exclusives.

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    Boycott Demon Hunters!

    Posted 25 Mar 2015 by at 20:04 GMT

    PTR sets vs. Live sets

    Item Sets: PTR start vs. finish

    A fan infuriated by the item changes on the PTR for patch 2.2 has has ordered a strategy both illogical and counter-productive, urging players to boycott Demon Hunters! Let’s see his argument:

    Its Time To BoyCott The Dev’s Bread & Butter Class

    Seriously! I hate to say this and even Suggest it but We all know that DH’s are the Bread and Butter In this game. DH is the only class that Doesn’t get hit with Nerfs and since the Developers Let Other Classes Join their DPS Level then it time for the Players to Prove a Point.

    You have to ask yourself do you want to play “Demon Hunter 3″ or do you want to play “Diablo 3″ Look at the threads! these prove my point:


  • Tyvalir: Hey all, just a quick reminder:

    One of the main reasons we have a PTR is that it provides us a place to test ideas and changes that are still in development in an environment that approximates the live game as well as seek feedback from our community.

    This process only works, however, if the feedback we receive is shared in earnest and with the goal of improving the game experience. This post and its core suggestion works against both those concepts. Not only is it disingenuous to encourage your fellow players to falsify their feedback, but it works to diminish the value of said feedback and its potential impact on the design process. For everyone. =/

    In the future, please try to keep your feedback-related discussions focused on specific issues you’re facing, providing as much detail as you’re able. And, please, keep it honest. Any additional threads that incite others to post spurious claims or anecdotes will be locked or removed.

    I didn’t follow every link provided, but all that I looked at were fairly generic, “my class should be more awesome” complaints. Imagine that, complaints about something in Diablo 3 in the forums. Unpossibru! Also, consider that when players do boycott a class, the devs take that as evidence that class needs a buff and they give them new and awesome items. Witness the comments in this week’s tavern talk about how they saw the Monk go from one of the least played to the most played classes in 2.1, thanks mostly to the lure of the Gungdo Gear bracers. So yes, speaking as a DH fan… everyone plz boycott!

    Logical consequences of a boycott aside, let’s look at the larger issue and the fan passion. (And ignore DH fans like me who are annoyed by changes to Natalya’s during testing, and hate that the new DH set is arbitrarily limited to work with just Multishot.) The devs addressed the big picture on the Tavern Talk, stating pretty strongly that, (paraphrasing Wyatt, but check the transcript or watch it around the 1:12 point), but basically, “if you can’t handle big changes in balance over the course of patch testing, don’t follow the PTR.”

    They were arguable ham-handed about it this time, with the Barb’s IK set 6P bonus granting a ginormous +500% damage, which was then trimmed all the way down to +100% in the next patch. (Leaving the Barb very strong, but not godlike.) Which caught players’ eyes. The Wizard’s Tal Rasha set also got nerfed from the start of the PTR, but those two sets and all the other vanilla sets are still considerably more powerful in v2.3 than they are currently.

    Do you guys think the devs know more on long term balance matters than fans can see in just a few weeks of testing? Does anyone really think that one class is specially favored, for whatever reason? (And yes, most of us thought this about the Barb back in D3v, when spin2win was obviously the strongest build for about 16 months straight.)

    And should the PTR be handled differently, with more gradual tweaks and maybe even a dev plan to start out weak and then steadily buff sets and items over the course of the PTR, so players would get a “getting stronger” warm feeling in their tummies, rather than a “it was expectation, now it’s reality” reaction to a big nerf late in any PTR testing cycle?

    Click through to review some of the visual literature on PTR item set expectations vs. live patch reality:

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    Diablo 3 Wallpaper Watch #139: Reaper of Souls Anniversary

    Posted 25 Mar 2015 by at 19:11 GMT

    RoS year one Anniversary.

    RoS year one Anniversary.

    HolyKnight has produced an anniversary-themed wallpaper for the first year of Reaper of Souls, will surely brighten your day should you install it as your new desktop. Well, looking more closely, it’ll bring gothic grimness and the aura of death, but if you’re a fan of the Diablo games, that’s what you’ve come to love.

    You can see HK’s RoS Anniversary wallpaper to the right, and some of his other recent Wallpapers below, in gallery form.

    Note that all the pics in this post are bite-sized versions for easier loading on the news page. Access them via our Diablo 3 Wallpaper gallery (which holds over 680 RoS and D3 wallpapers) to DOUBLE IT in terms of size, with 2844×1600 or 2560×1600 dimensions for the full visual goodness.

    Diablo 3 Wallpaper Watch #139: Reaper of Souls Anniversary.

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    Tagged As: | Categories: Fan Stuff, Reaper of Souls, Wallpapers | 1 Comment

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    Reaper of Souls Season Three Conquests

    Posted 25 Mar 2015 by at 08:49 GMT

    Current PTR standings.

    Current PTR standings.

    Each Season offers new Conquests, the special Seasonal Achievements that test the highest mettle of players. They’re all available right now on the PTR, and a fan took the time to note them all down. Reaper of Souls Season Three Conquests:

    Sprinter (SC)/Speed Racer (HC)

  • Complete Acts 1-5 at max level in under 1 hour.
  • Avarice (SC)/Avarita (HC)

  • Complete a 50,000,000 gold streak while outside of The Vault and The Inner Sanctum.
  • Years of War (SC)/Dynasty (HC)

    • Reach Greater Rift Level 40 Solo with the bonuses of three of the following Class sets.

      • Immortal King’s Call

      • Might of the Earth
      • The Legacy of Raekor
      • Armor of Akkhan
      • Roland’s Legacy
      • Thorns of the Invoker
      • Natalya’ Vengeance
      • Embodiment of the Marauder
      • The Shadow’s Mantle
      • Inna’s Mantra
      • Monkey King’s Garb
      • Raiment of a Thousand Storms
      • Helltooth Harness
      • Raiment of the Jade Harvester
      • Zunimassa’s Haunt
      • Firebird’s Finery
      • Tal Rasha’s Elements
      • Vyr’s Amazing Arcana

    On a Good Day (SC)/I Can’t Stop (HC)

  • Level six Legendary Gems to rank 40.
  • Curses! (SC)/Stars Align (HC)

  • Kill 300 or more monsters in a Cursed Chest event at level 70 on Torment VI difficulty.
  • We often joke about having to turn off Achievement notifications in Clan when a Season is new, as there’s a constant spam of “Hero has turned over a rock!” Conquest notifications aren’t the same thing, and even if they were…. spam would not exactly a problem with these, because they are tough. Beyond tough… anyone who completes GR40 with Thorns of the Invoker on deserves a double Conquest. Srsly, guyz.

    You guys have epeen motivation to finish off some of these? Aside from ranking 6 LGems to 40, the others take special efforts with specialized gear or play styles, and they’re not conquests you just trip over getting out of bed. Have any of you guys completed them before? Tips for the rest of us?

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