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A Guide to Diablo: IncGamers site changes – Here’s what we’ve done

Regular readers will have noticed quite a few changes on Diablo: IncGamers since the launch of Reaper of Souls which was the motivation for us to make some of the changes we had been thinking about for a while.

When RoS launched we pushed the first stage of front page layout changes live. We know everyone likes to read their content in different ways so the site was changed to a similar layout to the main IncGamers site. Of course not every one will love that format so in the past week we set to work on the second phase which was giving you the option to read the content in the old format if you so desired.

In case you hadn’t spotted it, there are a couple of buttons above the news that allow you to switch to your preferred format.

change view

Probably the toughest job we had to undertake was the forums. We have used the same forum system for around a decade and there were millions of posts to port over. It was important to us to make sure that threads from the old forum were not lost, we’d have hell to pay from you guys if they went missing :) Remember the great forum crash of 2003? That was not pretty.

So why the change? There were numerous reasons, the next version of the same forum was bloated with features that were useless to the community here. Spammers were also a consideration and the previous software was starting to struggle with the rise in spammers over the last couple of years. We needed a system that could pro- actively catch them and then make life easier for IncGamers moderators to deal with anything that managed to slip through.

The end results once we switched were good. The forums are now easier to use, faster and more robust. It’s taken some time to iron out issues with posts moved over from the old system but I would say we are 95% there with most things now. The forum is now easier to use and has more features to track new content additions.

One of the main issues we had during the change was with your logins. We have a custom login system that ties your forum account to the main site. When we moved forums that obviously broke down and had to be recreated. One of the issues we came up against was the inability for guests to post in the news and members who were logged in seeing a captcha. This was not acceptable so it took a few days for me to sort out but thankfully it now all works.

Regarding commenting on news, originally we had the news post into the community forum but as things move quite quickly here as far as content is concerned, we thought it best to create a separate forum for the news discussions. This reorganisation prevents any community forum discussion being lost in a pile of news. Your discussions are important after all.

hardrock

Trophies

Regarding accounts. Some of you have been registered here for over a decade and we have been helping members who have had login issues since the switch because they no longer have access to the email they originally registered with. If there are any of you still caught in that trap then we can sort it for you. Send an email here and we will deal with it.

With the new forums came new features, and something we’ve wanted to do for some time is highlight pro-active members and also award trophies for actions by the community. Elly sat down over a few days to come up with the points and reward system. You may have spotted the icons on threads but so you know how it works I have posted all of the trophies below for reference.

There are still a few things to do but the core updates are now in place. Your feedback on anything we do is much appreciated and a special thanks to the PALS who have helped make all the changes possible with their contributions.

Threads

Thread StarterThread Starter -Points: 15 -You have started 5 Threads
Topic RaiserTopic Raiser – Points: 45 -You have started 20 Threads
Town CryerTown Cryer – Points: 90 -You have started 50 Threads
ConfabulatorConfabulator – Points: 91 -You have started 80 Threads

Setting the Agenda Setting the Agenda – Points: 120 -You have started 120 Threads

Likes

Primary Source Primary Source – Points: 1 – Somebody out there liked one of your posts.

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A Total Guide to Greater Rifts

Greater Rifts (GRs, initially known as Tiered Rifts) are a higher level of Nephalem Rift, meant to provide a greater challenge and greater rewards for players geared well enough to take them on. Greater Rifts are timed, and *must* be completed within 15 minutes to earn rewards. All treasure in Greater Rifts, with usually a legendary item or two, comes from the DiabloWikiGreater Rift Guardian (GRG) which is an upgraded version of the regular DiabloWikiRift Guardians.

Greater Rift CompletionDifficulty: Greater Rifts are numbered as a measure of their difficulty. A level 1 Greater Rift is very easy, equivalent to Normal difficulty (or less.) Greater Rifts scale up quickly though, and will become challenging for any player ability. Level 8 is equivalent to about Torment 1, Level 15 is equivalent to about [Torment 3, and Level 25 is approximately the same as Torment 6. There should be an infinite number or Greater Rift levels since each one merely increases the hit points and damage of the monsters by some percentage.

Shrines: There are virtually no DiabloWikishrines or DiabloWikipylons in Greater Rifts. Pylons are seen occasionally, but their bonuses last only 15 seconds (instead of the usual 30) and Blizzard specifically said that DiabloWikiConduit Pylons would not be found in Greater Rifts since they are so powerful they would skew the entire rift DiabloWikiLeaderboard system.

Dying in Greater Rifts

Revive at Corpse. No.

No Respecs: Characters can reallocate their Paragon Points while in a Rift, but can not access their inventory or skill menus (DiabloWikirespec) while in a Greater Rift. It is possible to return to town mid-GR, and players can respec and make repairs then, though it’s not recommended since the GR is a timed race. This is a feature designed to limit exploits via equipment or skill changes, so players can’t change gear or skills to be more effective against a single target before they reach the Greater Rift Guardian for instance.

Rewards: Items and gold do not drop in Greater Rifts, and there are no chests or other clickables. All treasure comes from defeating the Greater Rift Guardian, who drops a huge amount of stuff, about double that of a normal Rift Guardian, and has a very high probability of dropping at least one legendary item. (Note that the lack of gold and chests hurts the effectiveness of legendary items such as DiabloWikiGoldwrap and DiabloWikiHarrington Waistguard that proc up in effectiveness via gold pickups or chest/clickables opening.)

Progress Bar: The progress bar in a Greater Rift increases gradually from killing trash mobs, but jumps up by larger amounts for Elite kills. (Elites drop objects that look a bit like gooey health orbs, which count for big boosts in the progress bar when collected.) This is a feature designed to keep players from simply rushing past Elites to more quickly finish the rift by killing trash mobs, as can be done in normal Nephalem Rifts, and players will fill their progress bar more quickly by killing Elites than by skipping them, except in very rare long Elite battles.

Accessing and Process

  1. # Get a Greater Rift Keystone level 1 from completing a Nephalem Rift. – Drop rate still being determined.
  2. Use the GR Keystone to open a portal to a Greater Rift at the regular Nephalem Obelisk next to DiabloWikiOrek.
  3. Kill all the mobs in the Greater Rift before the timer runs out.
  4. No regular or champion mobs drop loot in Greater Rifts.
  5. The Rift Guardian will drop loot regardless if the timer has run out or not.
  6. If the Rift Guardian is killed before the timer runs out he will drop a Greater Rift Keystone.
  7. The Keystone’s level is determined by how quickly the Greater Rift was cleared. The quicker, the higher the GR key fragment.

Progress Bar and Rift Speed

The progress bar in a Greater Rift looks the same as the bar in a normal Nephalem Rift, with two added slider needles, displayed above and below the bar. The total bar coloured in orange, and the icon above it show your current progress towards completing the rift. The icon below it and any colour in blue shows how fast you need to progress to complete the rift in time.

greater rift progress bar

Ahead of the progress time

When players are battling through a Rift that’s just at the limit of their killing power, they will often see their progress dropping behind and the bar showing blue, before they kill a couple of Elites in a row and see the bonus from Elites shoot them back up ahead of schedule.

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Dueling, New Crafting Recipes, PTR Exploit and the Economy

Posted 15 Jan 2013 by

The Blizzard CMS have been busy fielding questions today as the PTR server goes live with the new DiabloWikiPatch 1.0.7. I’ve grouped their responses into sections as the posting was all over the shop.

Dueling

In a question about having to return to Act I to speak with DiabloWikiNek the Brawler in order to duel Lylirra had this to say.

We’ve actually discussed adding a dueling NPC to each Act hub to help address the concern you’ve brought up (though that may not make it to the PTR).

That’s something that should have been pre-empted and pushed live at the same time.

Crafting Recipes/Reagents

The new crafting recipes have a 50% chance to drop from certain bosses with five stacks of DiabloWikiNephalem Valor and Lylirra has clarified that this is just the regular bosses and NOT the uber bosses encountered via the DiabloWikiInfernal Machine.

Only the “normal” versions of the bosses listed have a chance to drop the recipes. The DiabloWikiInfernal Machine bosses will not drop them.

(Tangentially related, but a good FYI: I’ve confirmed that the recipes can be sold to a vendor as well as dropped on the ground. They can also be sold on Auction House, since they’re not BoA.)

The new Rare crafted items currently aren’t designed to salvage back into a Demonic Essence. Right now they’re set to salvage into Rare crafting materials, just like other Rare items.

We’re thinking about allowing the items to have a very small chance to DiabloWikisalvage into a Demonic Essence, but that’s definitely not a confirmed decision. It won’t be something that’s available on the first build of the PTR.

The new crafting recipes are not consumed on use, no.

We wanted them to be on bosses so players have a more “targeted” location to farm for the recipes, similar to the way that the Infernal Machine recipe worked (but obviously not exactly the same). We also chose the bosses we did specifically, as they are generally less farmed than others.

As for why a 50% drop rate? It’s a problem of competing goals:

1. Add something to the game to act as gold sink
2. Add something to the game that’s thematically interesting

In order to achieve 1, whatever we add needs to widely available. In order to achieve 2, we can’t just distribute those additions solely through vendors.

We’d also rather have a situation where the recipes are selling for vendor cost on the DiabloWikiAuction House rather than one where only a few people have access to them (and their respective items). We’ll see how things go on the PTR. We also wouldn’t be opposed to reducing the drop rates over time if that’s what’s best for the health of the game.

As we noted in our Patch 1.0.7 Preview, Elite monsters in Inferno will have a chance to drop an account-bound crafting reagent called Demonic Essence. We also intend for bosses in Inferno to have a chance to drop Demonic Essences, but that change may not be active until

After the break you’ll find info on Hellfire Rings, Fiering Brimstones, Nephalem Valor, the economy, PTR exploit and bugged achievements

And on DiabloWikiHellfire Rings:

Oh, and because I’ve seen people asking: Hellfire Rings will salvage into Brimstones and some Tears in 1.0.7, same as other Legendary items (though I don’t believe that change will be available in the first build of the PTR).

This wasn’t mentioned in the preview, but is it a change we’re planning for the next patch.

Someone suggested we could be stuck with piles of worthless DiabloWikiFiery Brimstones as they could be replaced by the new DiabloWikiDemonic Essence]. Lylirra clarifies:

Don’t believe that’s planned, but one of the new crafted items (the amulet) will require Brimstones as a reagent.

We know that this likely won’t resolve the Brimstone surplus completely, and we may end up adding Brimstones as a reagent for some of the other recipes and/or changing the current cost for the amulet. It’s something we’ve discussed, and we’re open to your thoughts on the matter.

Even so, the new Rare items already have a fairly high reagent cost, and we don’t want to make crafting them too prohibitive, as that will mean we won’t see much movement of commodities out of the economy. When it comes to item sinks, it’s usually better to have a larger number of players crafting items with a slightly less expensive reagent cost than it is to have a very small number of players crafting items with a much more exorbitant cost.

Speaking of, I feel it’s important to note that the crafting costs of items being introduced in 1.0.7 are subject to change, so please keep that in mind before liquidating certain assets (or, conversely, stocking up on others).

We did/do plan on having at least one of the Rare crafted items require a Brimstone to make.

Is DiabloWikiNephalem Valor required for Demonic Essences to drop and will new crafted items get a colour change.

Under the current design which is shipping with the PTR, Nephalem Valor will not be required in order for Demonic Essences to drop.

Economy

As Flux demonstrated in his article yesterday the recent revelation of changes to come sent gem prices skyrocketing. A poster wanted to know if Blizzard are aware of the influence blue posts can have on the economy:

Yes, we’re definitely aware of that effect and do take it heavily into consideration whenever we post. At the same time, we also want to be as transparent as possible with players about the game and upcoming changes to it, so it’s an incredible tightrope to walk. In some cases, we may choose not to post about a certain topic due to the potential impact it could have on the economy, or otherwise delay our response to help mitigate it. In others, we accept the risk, acknowledge your concern, and provide some insight — even if it’s vague — about what we’re doing to address the issue (this is what we chose to do with the earlier Brimstone post of mine you referenced).

For this particular situation, even if we didn’t release the patch preview, and even if I didn’t post about Brimstones today, as soon as the PTR hits and crafting recipe info goes public, the same thing you described would happen. By your logic, should we not have a PTR then, because players will respond a certain way on the Auction House? There are some situations where the long-term health of the game (or our long-term relationship with the community) need to take precedence.

PTR Exploit

A previous exploit that allowed people to id items they had transferred to the PTR server, selling on the poor items on their live characters on the AH as unidentified items, (knowing full well they are shitty). This will no longer be possible.

For the patch 1.0.7 PTR, unidentified items cannot be copied over from the live client to the PTR client.

Since there won’t be any warning or error messages for this restriction (the stash/inventory slots which held the unindentified items will just appear empty once your character is copied over), we’ll be creating a reminder post in the PTR Feedback forum once the PTR is live.

Bugged Achievements

There is a bug on the PTR which is preventing certain DiabloWikiAchievements from being completed. Blizzard are aware of this and a fix is being pursued.

I just wanted to jump in really quickly to let you guys know that the issues with these achievements are definitely on our radar. We’re currently working on bug fixes for some of them, and we’ll let you know just as soon as they’re ready for primetime. We know that many of you are eager to complete these challenging achievements, but they won’t be ready for the initial 1.0.7 PTR build we have coming out, and we don’t have a current ETA for when the fixes will be implemented.

There’s a thread in the general forum detailing undocumented changes and bugs found so far in DiabloWikiPatch 1.0.7