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Blizzard Reveals Diablo 3 Patch 2.1 Preview

Posted 17 Jun 2014 by

Blizzard reveals Diablo 3 Patch 2.1 Preview in a new blog on the official site. The key info is regarding seasonal ladders, new dungeon areas, DiabloWikiGreater Rifts, DiabloWikiLegendary Gems, and some changes to the general combat and healing mechanisms, plus a big change/buff to the defensive value of Dexterity as a DiabloWikimainstat.


Seasons:

Similar to DiabloWikiLadders in Diablo® II, Seasons will offer players in Diablo® III a chance to periodically start fresh, leveling their level 1 characters and artisans from scratch. Season participation benefits include exclusive rewards and unique Legendaries as well as the the thrill of climbing all-new DiabloWikiLeaderboards by completing achievements, earning Conquests, or running Greater Rifts.

seasonal-hero-selection1
A Seasonal Hardcore Crusader gets ready to hop into the action.
seasonal-hero2A full overview of your Seasonal characters will be available in your Character Profile.


Conquests:

With the start of each Season, players will have the opportunity to earn DiabloWikiConquests. Conquests are special Season-only achievements (offered in addition to the suite of non-Seasonal achievements already available in the game) that represent a variety of challenging goals. These goals can vary in terms of gameplay and difficulty, and some might be easier to complete than others. With tasks ranging from killing DiabloWikiMalthael at level 70 on DiabloWikiTorment VI to finishing Acts I-V in an hour or less, Conquests are designed to encourage and promote an array of different playstyles.

Conquests are considered “first come, first served,” and the first 1000 individuals to complete a Conquest within a given Season will be immortalized on that Season’s regional Leaderboard. Right now, we’re looking to provide between 10-15 unique Conquests each Season, and each Conquest will have its own Leaderboard. Conquests will also provide achievement points and will count toward your Seasonal point total. These points will be provided regardless of whether your character placed in the regional Leaderboard.

No Seasons? No Problem!

Not in the mood to start from scratch? You’ll still benefit from Seasons (which, by the way, are completely optional). New Seasonal Legendaries will roll over to non-Seasonal loot pool after a Season concludes. In addition, Greater Rift leaderboards will also become available to non-Seasonal characters, so you can compare the progress of your friends and clanmates with that of your most veteran heroes!

Greater Rifts:

Formerly referred to as Tiered Rifts, DiabloWikiGreater Rifts are a special type of Nephalem Rift that are designed to provide players way to measure their gear progression and efficiency.

How to Access Greater Rifts:

To access a Greater Rift, simply complete a regular DiabloWikiNephalem Rift in any difficulty. When you defeat the DiabloWikiRift Guardian, they’ll have a chance to drop a Greater Rift Key. You can then use this new key at the Nephalem Obelisk, similar to other Rift Fragments — this will open a Greater Rift. If you have members in your party, each player will be prompted to use one of their own Greater Rift keys to join the fun!

tiered-rift-keystone3
Entering a Greater Rift requires its own type of Rift Keys.


How Greater Rifts Work:

While Greater Rifts are a type of Nephalem Rift, there are some key differences between the two features. In Greater Rifts:

  • You’ll race against a clock to fill a progress bar by accruing monster kills.
  • Most monsters do not drop loot; rewards have been completely shifted to the Rift Guardian.
  • This removes conflicting pressure from attaining a better time versus picking up all your loot.
  • Monsters grant differing amounts of progress for your progress bar; the tougher the monster, the more they fill up your progress bar.
  • You cannot resurrect at your corpse or in town while in a Greater Rift—only at the last checkpoint.
  • Note that, currently, if you die in a Greater Rift on a Hardcore character, that death will be permanent.
  • You cannot use player banners or the Teleport option if the target player is in a Greater Rift.
  • Higher Greater Rifts levels are progressively more difficult.
  • This difficulty is separate from the standard difficulty settings (Master, Torment I-VI, etc.)
  • If you complete a Greater Rift before time expires you’ll advance to the next difficulty level. Should your time be exceptionally good, you might even skip a few levels! If time instead expires, you’ll have reached the end of your current Greater Rift journey and your best results will be posted to the appropriate Leaderboards.


    tiered-rift-timer4
    Your progress bar is a little different inside a Greater Rift, to allow you to gauge your completion compared to your efficiency.


    Legendary Gems

    Greater Rifts are truly a challenge, and conquering such challenges should be met with great reward. To provide a unique and upgradable incentive, we’re introducing Legendary Gems.

    DiabloWikiLegendary Gems are still undergoing significant iteration at this time, so you won’t see them available on the PTR right away. The gist is that these gems are infinitely upgradeable, and provide special Legendary powers when DiabloWikisocketed into the appropriate gear slot. They can only be socketed into Rings and Amulets, and can be upgraded by completing additional Greater Rifts. The higher you place in a Greater Rift, the more likely your gem will be successfully upgraded. We’ll have more details in the future as we continue development on these powerful baubles, so stay tuned!

    Coming to a Nephalem Rift Near You:

    Some of the changes in Greater Rifts are also coming to regular Nephalem Rifts — like the way the completion bar will advance based on monster difficulty. In addition, we’re slightly modifying the entry mechanism for all Rifts. All players will need to have a Rift Fragment in order to enter a Nephalem Rift; however, we’ve reduced the cost for entering a Nephalem Rift down to one Rift Fragment per character to compensate.


    Leaderboards

    With so many ways to compete, we want to provide players with a quick and easy way to measure their progress. Enter our next big feature for patch 2.1.0: DiabloWikiLeaderboards.

    Leaderboards will track progress for Greater Rifts, Seasonal achievement points, and Seasonal Conquests across a variety of game styles. Designed to be informative and detailed, Leaderboards will allow you to compare your progress to that of your gameplay region, friends, and clan members, and each type of board will track progress a little differently.

    leaderboard5
    Leaderboards offer a variety of ways to compare your accomplishments to your friends and clanmates.


    Greater Rift Leaderboards

    Greater Rift leaderboards will be split between both Hardcore and Normal gameplay modes as well as Seasonal and Non-Seasonal characters. To help encourage a variety of play styles and allow you to measure yourself against similar competitors, we’ve also broken up Greater Rift leaderboards into the following categories:

  • Solo play for each class (e.g. top players for Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Crusader, etc.)
  • 2-Player Groups
  • 3-Player Groups
  • 4-Player Groups

  • Season-Only Leaderboards:

    Some Leaderboards will be Season-only. For example, Conquests are only tracked on Seasonal characters, so these Leaderboards won’t have a non-Season equivalent. The same will be true for Seasonal achievement points. In addition, because Conquests and achievements are account-wide, their associated Leaderboards will not be split between Normal and Hardcore (even though some tasks may require playing a particular mode).


    Combat Changes:

    Of course, with so many competitive elements hitting the PTR, we’re also reviewing each class thoroughly to ensure no matter what you play, you have a fair chance at reaching your Seasonal goals. While we won’t be getting into class specific details here, we wanted to share with you a few examples of overarching adjustments we plan on experimenting with during the Public Test phase.

    Dexterity & Survivability:

    A major change is coming to DiabloWikiDexterity to benefit Demon Hunters and Monks. Each point of Dexterity will grant 1 point of DiabloWikiArmor instead of Dodge chance. Dodge isn’t as reliable as Armor or DiabloWikiResistances and doesn’t protect you from some of the most dangerous monster affixes like DiabloWikiPlagued or DiabloWikiThunderstorm. In light of this buff, the existing passives that grant 30% of your Dexterity as Armor (Seize the Initiative and Awareness) will be completely redesigned.

    Healing:

    The next change will be to Healing. Currently, Healing provided by gear isn’t very valuable because you receive the vast amount of your healing from DiabloWikiHealth Globes. During internal testing, we discovered that as you reached higher Greater Rift levels, you really wanted more of your healing to come from your gear in order to survive. To facilitate this, we are reducing the amount of healing Health Globes provide, but buffing DiabloWikiLife on Hit and Life DiabloWikiRegeneration on gear to compensate. This change should make a more consistent experience when you turn up the difficulty (or reach a higher tier in a Greater Rift) in situations where you’re not killing as quickly and actually require the increased Healing.

    The Cesspools:

    While Seasons and Greater Rifts are definitely taking center stage with this patch, we’re also providing some additional content to add more variety and flavor to your Adventure Mode exploration.

    Originally designed as the sewers of Westmarch, we weren’t quite able to include the DiabloWikiCesspools in the list of playable environments in Reaper of Souls by the time the expansion launched.

    cesspool7 cesspool6

    Expect to encounter (and slaughter) a variety of creatures in the Cesspools!

    Still, we loved the look and feel of this festering, dank underworld and we’ve spent some time polishing it up for use in Nephalem Rifts and Greater Rifts. You’ll have a chance to spawn Cesspool levels while in a Rift, and we hope you enjoy this new randomized landscape!

    We may have additional treats on the horizon, but let’s not get too Greedy. . . . You’ll have your hands on the PTR soon enough to find out more.

    We are incredibly excited to share patch 2.1.0 with you and can’t wait to see your reactions once the PTR goes live. Be sure let us know what you think of the changes and features, and send any bug reports our way as you explore Seasons, Greater Rifts, Leaderboards, and more.

    What new feature are you most excited about? Are you going to climb the Greater Rifts leaderboard, or will you race to be the first to complete as many Conquests as you can? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll see you soon™ on the PTR!

    Lots of interesting changes, but I’m surprised no mention of new legendary items for the ladders? I figured they’d tease something there, but perhaps still too much under construction, like the Legendary Gems.

    Fewer health globes dropping seems reasonable to me, as I’m used to ending battles with half a dozen of them littering the screen. The real issue with Health Globes is often more about resource management (via DiabloWikiReaper’s Wraps) than healing, and a Blue reply on that is worth noting. We’re not going to see fewer health globes; they’ll just do less healing per.

    I didn’t think they were nerfing the amount of globes that drop, just their effectiveness. So you’d still get the same amount dropping they would just heal you for less life.
    Nevalistis: This is correct. The number of Health Globes that drop isn’t changing, which should reduce the impact for items or skills that proc off of collecting them.

    Has excite?