There’s a reason the devs are calling this Diablo 3 version 2, and it’s because the game has changed greatly. Major additions and system overhauls abound, with a complete reworking of the end game experience Paragon 2.0 system, items via Loot 2.0, the difficulty settings and game progression, major changes to the overall combat engine and gameplay, adjustments to almost every skill and rune effect, big changes to the economy and crafting, new UI features, and more.If you haven’t been following the changes and are just preparing to leap into v2 this week, you’ve probably got a lot of questions and I’m sure the forums will be buzzing as players demand to know where their character’s Paragon levels and Magic Find went, or curse the removal of sardine-can density to some of v1.08’s over/ever-farmed areas.
Thus follows a (fairly) brief tutorial covering the major new changes, with many links to related commentary that goes into much more depth about the new stuff. The Wiki links go to comprehensive articles on the issues and while not every page in the DiabloWiki.net has been updated to v2/RoS into yet, we’re working on it.
Difficulty has been completely overhauled. The grinding through Nightmare, Hell, and Inferno has been removed, replaced by a dynamic scaling system. All monsters in the game now adjust on the fly to match your character’s level. It is therefore impossible to choose to play content much higher or lower than your character’s level, unless you join a game created by another character, since the monsters will scale to his character’s level.
Difficulty can still be customized by “challenge levels” — Normal, Hard, Expert, Master, Torment 1-6 — which roughly approximate the previous Monster Power 1-10 settings. Higher challenge levels boost the gold and experience, and certain high quality items can only be dropped on Torment or higher.
Click through for similar coverage of other key changes in Version 2, including Paragon 2.0, removed D3 features, RoS-only features, skill changes, combat system modifications, advice on farming for items and/or exp, monster density changes, Cursed Chests, Bosses, and much more.
A few features have been removed or made minimally-functional, generally due to larger game changes.
Just to clarify and establish this up front, a lot of the features you’ve heard so much about during the Beta/PTR are only found in Reaper of Souls and are not present in Diablo 3, even in Version 2.0.1. A quick list:
The Paragon System is entirely reworked. No more do individual characters have Paragon levels. Now all exp earned by max level characters counts for an account-wide paragon level (Hardcore and Softcore are separate). All your current Paragon exp is combined to determine your account’s Paragon level, and the majority of players have between 50-150 points when entering the new system, with only very busy players over P200. (For example, in Softcore I had P81, P60, P18, P13, and P5 = P127 in the Beta. Checking today on live, I had only P105, so they tweaked the curve down a bit during testing.)
Paragon exp earned by already deceased HC chars counts towards your HC Paragon total when the system goes live.Each character on your account, of any level, has access to the full total of Paragon points. You don’t have to share them in any way. Each Paragon Level awards a Paragon Point to the 4 Tabs in alternating sequence. (Thus your 1st, 5th, 9th, 13th, etc point goes to the Core Tab.) There are 4 tabs, each with 4 stats in which you can spend Paragon points. (The fields were modified several times during PTR testing.)
The amount of gain varies between the fields and all stats other than Mainstat/vit max out with 50 points. (Points earned above P800 can only be spent in the Core Tab.) Paragon points provide small bonuses per point, but they add up substantially and are excellent to fill gaps in your gear, or to customize your characters in various ways. They are very impactful when applied to a new, low level character, making rerolling (such as in Hardcore) much more enjoyable.
There are massive changes to skills, with every skill and virtually every rune effect tweaked in some fashion. The developers made a concerted effort to provide many more viable builds and greatly increased the damage of many underpowered skills. See also the comments below on the changes to the combat system, which opens up more variety in skill use, since multiple defensive and crowd control skills are no longer required for most builds.
One of the biggest changes in Version 2 and Reaper of Souls is a general revision to how combat works. The clickclickclick mechanic remains unchanged, but there’s been a general smoothing and extending of combat. Most of the spiky damage has been removed, and decently-geared characters are now much less likely to get one-shotted or to feel trapped and helpless in certain combat situations.
The game isn’t exactly “easier” since the most overpowered skills and Life Steal have been nerfed, but it feels more tactical and strategic in battle, with a wider variety of options and play styles opened up. Players can still go all or mostly DPS and crush, but to survive on higher difficulty levels requires a lot of life regen, healing from various sources, damage mitigation, crowd control, and other tactics. Without Life Steal + big damage = instant full health restore, players have to engage in hit and run and move to avoid danger.
The combat now feels more like an active interaction where avoiding trouble is necessary, rather than just gearing up and tanking through it (or not) as in the old days. This has opened up many more play styles and made the game a lot more fun for glass cannons, in the process greatly improving the Demon Hunter and enabling a huge variety of Wizard builds.
The Crafting system has been extensively overhauled.
The monster density has been tweaked throughout the game with fewer empty stretches and more interesting “clumping.” Compared to v1.08, most levels have more monsters, though the few densest areas from the previous patch are now less crowded. This means that there are no clear best farming areas. Most players on the PTR tended to farm areas they liked the best, with no real concensus as to what was the most profitable. (Players in Reaper of Souls ran bounties or cleared Nephalem Rifts, neither of which is available in D3v2.)
See the many detailed discussions of farming choices and values in this new forum thread from PTR testers. Popular areas are the Leoric’s dungeon levels of Act One, the Dhalgur Oasis in Act 2, the Keep levels in Act 3, and all of Act 4 (the last act has much improved density and is now a viable farming option).
Legendary items drop much more frequently, and they seem fairly-evenly distributed between objects, trash mobs, and bosses. There’s no reason to skip bosses or trash or concentrate on anything in particular in order to find the most legendaries.
Side events and Cursed Chests provide substantial experience and gold rewards, and are almost always worth doing if you encounter them during your adventures.
These glowing red chests trigger monster events that are worth substantial experience if successfully completed. There are several types of these events (which sometimes function as bounties in Reaper of Souls, but not in D3v2.)
Cursed Chests provide exp and gold rewards, with bigger bonuses and usually a second chest appearing if you complete the entire challenge. The drops from the chests are generally crappy though, and most players on the PTR felt that they needed a buff, much like the Treasure Goblins got.
Bosses may now spawn with minions not of their same monster type. This can be easier or harder, depending on the luck of the RNG. Minions in general are much buffed in hit points and make fights with Yellow Elites much more difficult and lasting. (Beware Arcane Enchanted, Molten, Plagued, and other effects that Minions can cast.)
Champion packs often spawn with up to 5 enemies now, adding to their challenge.
There are five new Boss Modifiers described in the Patch Notes. They add flavor, but none are especially dangerous compared to current enemies. Watch out for Wormhole since it moves you from one location to another which is confusing at first. Poison Enchanted looks terrifying with the green covering, but the damage isn’t that bad. Frozen Pulse is sneaky dangerous, as the puck will home under your feet and start pulsing directly on you.
Many of the existing Affixes seem less dangerous now. Desecrator takes longer to scale up damage, Arcane Enchanted gives more indication where the initial needle is going to point, Plagued and Molten are less damaging, etc. [/wiki]Reflects Damage[/wiki] received the biggest nerf, since it no longer deals back a percent of damage taken, which means high DPS characters don’t have to worry about killing themselves on the Thorns. Any reasonable amount of regen or LpH will offset it completely.
The most dangerous updated Modifier is Fire Chains, which deals considerably higher damage than anything else, save perhaps standing on a pair of Arcane needles. Beware fast enemies with it, especially Teleporter.
Horde can be troublesome simply because there can be such a huge number of minions spawned by it. Ten or twelve at once was not uncommon during the RoS beta, and with Minions greatly increased in hit points, they could take a while to kill.
I’m sure I forgot to mention some things, so if there’s a topic not addressed here or you want more clarification on something, hit it in comments. We’d like this to be a useful reference for players for some time early in the life of v2.0.1, so we’ll update/fix it with better info as available.
Update: And still on the theme of welcoming everyone to hell the official IncGamers clan and community is open now. DFollow that link for details.