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Diablo 3 Podcast #146: Patch 2.1, Story, and Blizzcon D3X2?

Lots on this show, including PTR Patch 2.1′s big changes, legendary item buffs, Paragon 1000 achieved, the Stash space emergency and micro-transactions, Diablo 3′s story and “demon soul hooks,” and Blizzcon 2014 Diablo 3 expansion announcement expectations. Featuring Flux, N3rdwords and Neinball.

Approximate topic starting times:

  • 2:30 — Paragon 1000 has been achieved. Does everyone have amazement?
  • 5:00 — Seasons and Patch 2.1 should go live simultaneously?
  • 11:00 — Legendary item buffs on the PTR. Looking forward to new items when 2.1 goes live, since Blizzard doesn’t hate the Monk (currently). Hydra build rules, but intentionally bugged on PTR?
  • 18:30 — Story implications of the Black Soulstone and why Diablo is free in Prime Evil form. Adria setting “demon soul hooks” is obviously a metcon, but is it parsimonious with the larger story/lore/plot? Both guests surprisingly say yes.
  • 27:00 — Is Diablo 3 + expansion packs self-contained? Will Diablo 4 be set a week later just continuing the same story? Or a totally new story, set centuries earlier or later?
  • 37:30 — Stash space insufficient = biggest problem in Diablo 3? One guest disagrees.
  • 40:00 — Most fans accept micro-transactions these days. Why isn’t Blizzard selling more stash tabs yet? Votes have shown most fans would accept this.
  • 47:30 — Diablo 3 expansion #2 announced at Blizzcon later this year? Everyone votes yes, though tentatively.
  • 52:00 — There are a lot of Blizzard games out and/or under development. Busiest days ever in Irvine?
  • 54:00 — Bonus secret trick to guarantee Greed’s Domain entrance?!?

  • The Diablo 3 Podcast Episode Guide in provides links to every show, plus quick summaries.

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    Reaper of Souls Item Sets Illustrated

    A fan assembled all six of the class-specific item sets in Reaper of Souls, took pics of them on each gender for each class, and provided views from all angles. It’s quite a useful presentation, and credit to Zeldrin for creating it.

    I found it interesting since I’d never actually seen the full sets so clearly. Everyone’s got a few or all of the items from each set, but usually mixed with other gear, some transmogged or vanishing dyed, etc. So here they are, unadulterated and straight from the D3 artist’s tablets to your screen. All the sets (except for Firebird’s, which adds a source) consist of six items: helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, and boots, so visually they are pretty much apples to apples comparisons. So here are Reaper of Souls Item Sets Illustrated:


    DiabloWikiLegacy Of Raekor (armory), Barbarian set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, boots.


    DiabloWikiArmor Of Akkhan (armory), Crusader set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, boots.

    Demon Hunter

    DiabloWikiEmbodiment of the Marauder (armory), Demon Hunter set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, boots.


    DiabloWikiRaiment of a Thousand Storms (armory), Monk set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, boots.

    Witch Doctor

    DiabloWikiHelltooth Harness (armory), Witch Doctor set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, boots. (This set apparently lacks the light weight and flexibility of the huge slabs of unrefined steel that the other classes have strapped to their bodies, as both of these weary medical professionals are bent double beneath the weight of their assorted shark teeth, baboon femurs, and coconut shells.)


    DiabloWikiFirebird’s Finery (armory), Wizard set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, source, legs, boots. (Firebird’s has a seventh item, a Source, which is the only difference in the slots filled by these sets.)

    Diablo 3 “Gear Sets”

    This whole presentation reminds me of the hot (pre-game) topic of DiabloWikiGear Sets. We’ve got a big wiki article about them, and “Gear Sets” was a regular news category from 2010-2012, with 29 news items so categorized.

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    Blizzard on Nephalem Rift Buffs, Nerfs, and Boredom

    Posted 22 Apr 2014 by

    Blizzard on Nephalem Rift Buffs, Nerfs, and Boredom. Rifts have not been nerfed, but they might need some buffs or changes. To the official statements.

    I’m falling sleep while doing rifts

    Am I the only one who gets very sleepy while doing rifts? There’s not much excitiement right now while doing rifts With this BoA thing I keep losing hope of finding another piece of IK set or the Eartquake or Rakanors set (w/e these sets are called). Two weeks ago I could spend like 5 – 6 hours farming straight. Today I can barely stand 2 – 4 rifts without fallin asleep lol.
    Grimiku: I have some questions about this if you guys want to talk about it a little more. I’ve seen some feedback in other threads about DiabloWikiNephalem Rifts making players “sleepy” (or not exciting enough), but I’d like to focus on that topic a bit more with you. Before I do, though, I’d like to point out that there is some feedback about monster density in Rifts that we’re definitely aware of. So, density aside, what are some things that would make Rifts more exciting to you?

    Please feel free to free-form your answer. If you’re not sure where to begin, though, I’ve provided some questions below.

  • Does the atmosphere in a Rift influence how exciting or not exciting it feels? If yes, what Rift environments feel exciting to you? And which ones don’t?
  • Do certain monster groups feel more or less engaging?
  • Are there any mechanics from other parts of the game that you feel would make Rifts feel more exciting? If yes, what are those mechanics?
  • What’s the most noticeable difference between a “boring” Rift and an “exciting” Rift for you?
  • I want to point out that because they are fully randomized there will be some Rifts that are more exciting than others, but we definitely want them to feel engaging and rewarding. We’d love to hear what you think would improve them in that way.

    Any action carried to a repetitive state can become soporific. This certain applies to video games, and if players are just doing the same thing over and over again, in mental cruise control, it’s going to get boring. The OP sounds like he’s pretty well geared, so only a tiny % of items in the game will be an upgrade. He’s probably playing on a comfortable difficulty level where nothing is much of a challenge or surprise, hence boredom.

    The easy and obvious solution is to change up the activity; anyone falling asleep in Rifts needs to just switch to Hardcore and move up in difficulty level. The constant risk of permanent death will perk you up considerably. And if it doesn’t, the inevitable death certainly will. Problem solved!

    Elsewhere, more Rift complaints and suspicions.

    Rift Guardian drops 0 items, 0 shards, 0 gold, 0 etc.

    I have recently run into some bad luck, maybe? And no, it isn’t that the guardian doesn’t drop a legendary or what have you, it is that he doesn’t drop anything at all! The whole mechanic of needing to be within 1 screen away is ridiculous and very frustrating.

    I understand that the way they have it now is to prevent people in town getting drops or leeches standing too far back out of danger, but this is ridiculous and has happened to me 3 times now.

    - Run with the group the entire rift from 0% to 95%+
    - “OOO, look there a conduit pylon!”
    - Time to go for it so we can have an easy win!
    - group continues running and I hit the pylon
    - rift guardian joins and instantly dies before I can catch up.
    - 0 loot and 0 drops for me.

    At first I though, meh… must be a one off unlucky situation… I just got unlucky, but there is seriously a broken mechanic when you can put in full effort the entire rift only to walk away as if there was no guardian at all due to him not dropping a single thing. Please fix this broken mechanic as it is starting to really anger me.
    Grimiku: I can definitely sympathize with you in this situation, and I agree that it stinks when you miss out on a bosses loot while actively participating. I’ll be sure to bring this up, but I’d like to know a little more about it. So, here’s a few questions for all of you. :)

    Have you ever missed out on Rift Guardian loot while you’re in a rift?What were you doing when it happened?How often has this happened to you?

    Rift 100% drop buff ninja-nerfed already? I did 30-40 rifts yesterday and barely got any drops. People in my clan have been saying they feel like it’s been nerfed too.
    Lylirra: No changes have been made to the Legendary drop bonus while in Nephalem Rifts since it was implemented. The bonus remains at 100% increased chance to find Legendary items* in Rifts (which stacks multiplicatively with other Legendary drop bonuses).

    If you feel the bonus may be bugged or not working appropriately (as an FYI, we’ve no evidence or data to suggest this is the case right now), then please be sure to drop a line in our Bug Report forum so our QA team can investigate.

    I always wonder what people are doing, asking if X has been stealth nerfed/buffed. Isn’t that like asking someone if they’re lying? I mean if they are… they’re not going to tell you. That’s kind of the whole point in the “stealth” part, neh?

    As for the guy missing the whole Rift Guardian drop… I don’t want to call shenanigans, but how often is anyone going to 1) find a DiabloWikiConduit pylon at +95% completion, 2) see it while everyone else missed it and ran on ahead, 3) far enough ahead that you can’t get close enough to share in the Rift Guardian’s drop?

    I guess it’s possible, especially if you’re lumbering along with the “wait for me guys” torture that is a Crusader in a Party game, but the real stumbling block seems to be step 2, since people aren’t exactly prone to running past and leaving Conduit Pylons for others to click.

    Do you guys have any general issues with Rifts? Is the big DiabloWikiLegendary drop rate bonus making them the only part of the game that feels worth the trouble? And is that making them boring since you’re doing them over and over and over again, with your attention focused entirely on the chance of a green/orange drop upgrade? Or do they remain exciting and varied and randomized, etc?