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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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Diablo 3 Strategy: Gearing Up for the New and Poor

One day soon, you will be penniless.

One day soon, you will be penniless.

A forum question from VeeSe spurred an interesting forum discussion; what’s the best way to gear up for a new player in Reaper of Souls? It’s largely a hypothetical question for most of us now, but that’ll change when Patch 2.1 goes live and and Ladder Seasons begin. If you create a seasonal character you start with nothing; no gold, no materials, no gems, no gear, paragon points, no leveled up artisans… you’ll even be scrounging for gold to buy your stash tabs!

Here’s the question from VeSee in our Diablo 3 community forum. Diablo 3 Strategy: Gearing Up for the New and Poor?

I was just wondering what the best way to build wealth was for someone who was new and didn’t have great items yet. I read a lot of these threads and guides and the recommended items are just so far out of reach, like I don’t have any of them pretty much. I have one character up to 70 but he’s not strong enough to really do anything besides Normal bounties and rifts.

Is the best way of building wealth just to keep grinding bounties and the occasional rifting in Normal? I’m at the point now where if I try to enchant a legendary I have, I better get it in 2-3 tries because I don’t have the materials to keep going after that and I have to grind for awhile to get enough to try again a couple times, and that doesn’t seem too productive. I’m still expecting the answer to be just to keep grinding bounties since they are the most rewards per time spent and at some point it will exponentially get better once I am able to get to do Torment rifts or something.

So what’s the best way to go about it? Where are the fastest places to level, what are the best ways to find gear, and where can you earn the most gold?

RoS =/= D3v

Considering the question made me to realize how much different the answer is in the current version of the game, whether Reaper of Souls or D3v2. Back in D3v the best way to gear up was via the Auction House (though that would have been different if we’d had seasons then). I spent my first couple months of D3 playing softcore, and when I switched over to Hardcore the best way to gear up was… to grind Act One Inferno on MP0 and collect gems and Tomes of Secret, which sold for very large amounts of gold in the Auction House. I could play a dozen hours like that and find 1 or 2 good items, while earning enough gold to buy good items for all my other inventory slots. (Which is why going DiabloWikiIronborn in D3v was such a bold commitment.)

That economic model is entirely gone in the game today. Not only is the Auction House gone, but everything you find that might be worth selling is BoA. Hell, even the gold itself is BoA. On the other hand, you find good gear about 50x as often as we did in D3v, which was the whole point in Blizzard making those changes. Because it’s more fun to farm your own gear and use only what you find yourself, than it is (was) to find gear and sell it for the gear you really wanted. (At least that’s the theory.)

Reaper of Souls Gear-Up Tips

So for the OP’s question… there’s no simple, obvious answer, but it’s interesting to consider. The overall key to gearing up in RoS is difficulty level. In D3v players needed a lot of DiabloWikiMagic Find to start finding a decent amount of legendary items, and characters could boost their MF by raising the difficulty level, and/or via Paragon Levels + gear. In the current game, MF is pretty much irrelevant, and almost all increased gear benefits come from higher difficulty level. Thus the question, “how do I gear up past level 70?” is really asking, “how do I survive on higher difficulty levels past level 70?”

Some question suggestions:

Stick to one Character
Smart Loot means that most of the gear you find will be themed for your class. That means regular upgrades, and also more Souls, since you’ll be salvaging redundant gear, rather than spreading legendaries around to multiple different characters. Plus with all the game rewards tied to difficulty level, you can get one character up in Torment and build wealth quickly… then your alts can gear up very quickly with plenty of Souls and Shards at their disposal.

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Reaper of Souls Adventure Mode Hands-On Report from Blizzcon

Posted 8 Nov 2013 by

I’ve had a chance to play a couple of hours on the Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls demo already this morning, and had a great time. I did the Campaign Mode first, which is identical in function to the game today. In this Blizzcon demo you start off at the beginning of Act 5, and you can pick a a premade level 32 character of any class. I chose the Crusader, of course, but I’ll save a report on that class until I’ve had time to play a bit more. What I can offer you now is a quick RoS DiabloWikiAdventure Mode Hands-On Report from Blizzcon.

Adventure Mode selection.

Adventure Mode selection.

I’ve played three full Adventure Mode games so far (twenty minute time limit each), and it looks much as you see it teased in the new RoS trailer. It’s a full open world; all 5 acts and every waypoint is available in every act. You can jump from one to the other, or right from the dungeons to another one on the map, in any act, without returning to town. You can go anywhere you want; you could full clear all 5 acts in the same game, or just do your favorite few levels in each Act, and there are no quests or cut scenes or dialogues at all. (You can talk to NPCs and such, but Artisans and hiring Followers are disabled in the Adventure Mode (for Blizzcon demo I guess?), so they only talk when clicked on.)

The obvious thing to do when you start up in Adventure Mode is to hit the zones with Bounties active. Those appear with an ! icon on each Act’s waypoint map for random bosses, or a Diablo’s skull icon (like you see on the map in boss battles now) if the boss is a quest type boss. (That seems to be a new change since the footage in the Blizzcon RoS demo movie, which only shows the ! icon for all Bounties.)

Update

Added Friday night: Just to clarify some things in this, since they shared more details about this game mode in Friday’s panel and it clears up some stuff I couldn’t tell just from playing it. (Full transcript here.) I also replied to a bunch of questions in the comments to this post:

  • The current difficulty modes, Normal/NM/Hell/Inferno are not in Adventure Mode. It’s flat difficulty, scaled to your character’s level. (Multi game scales to game creator?)
  • You can start Adventure Mode any time with a character (maybe not from lvl 1, but certainly by 10 or 20) and do not need to grind through all of Normal, much less up to Inferno, to play it. You can level up entirely there instead of Campaign Mode, if you wish.
  • There are 25 random bounties per game, 5 per act. The panel mentioned “Complete an Event” and “Clear a Dungeon” as bounty types, but I saw none of those in the demo. All were kill monster or kill boss type.
  • Bounties will sometimes drop DiabloWikiRift Keystones, which are used to open DiabloWikiNephalem Rifts. I never saw any drop (not enabled in demo?) but the demo chars have 10 of them in inventory, so there was a Rift open in each game (yellow portal in town, it was the same in all 5 acts in each game.)
  • I did 2 DiabloWikiNephalem Rifts and it was very fun with the randomized levels and monsters. The Rift dungeon levels are medium-sized, packed with random Elites, and they go 1-10 levels, though both games I got at least 4 (didn’t go deeper because time, plus I got enough kills to release the Rift Guardian on lvl 4 both times.) Full article on Nephalem Rifts coming later today.

Click through for much more on Adventure Mode and related topics… 

Bounties

Bounties are Purple bosses, from random half-trash dudes with big names, all the way up to Act Bosses. The goal of a bounty is to find that boss and kill him or her (or it), which earns you their normal drop, plus a substantial exp and gold award. I was pulling 20k gold and 50k exp per Bounty in Normal at level 32, and Bounties are *very* farmable. I did 6 of them in one 20 minute game, once I sort of knew what I was doing, and that was with a Crusader in the junky pre-made equipment.

I thought they were so farmable that I brought it up with DiabloWikiJason Regier, when I happened to bump into him in the lunch line in the press room just before I stated writing this post. (Of course the Bliz employees eat in the press room; it’s where the food is.) He agreed that Bounties were very farmable, and that it encourages a different type of gameplay, but that it’s intentional and under control. I’ll sample it a bit more before I form opinions on whether it’s balanced or not.

 

Finding the Bounty

The Bounties I experimented on ranged from “almost instant” to “two levels down” in terms of how findable they were. The easiest one was a random Purple Wraith in the Festering Woods, who attacked me as I appeared on the Waypoint. That’s just luck in the monster’s location, and I might have needed to explore the whole level to find him, but you get the idea. Other Bounties might require more searching, but their icon shows up on the map once you’re within a few screens of them. That’s what makes them so farmable; even with the slow premade character I was racing through levels just looking for the icon on the map, and with a powerful character in good gear, with a movement skill, Bounties will be farmable at a very rapid rate.

The clues even point you to the right sub-level. I got Digger O’Dell for a Bounty in the DiabloWikiCemetery of the Forsaken. That’s a very small area and I figured I’d find him in three seconds. What I found instead was the quest target icon on one of the three crypts, with Digger located randomly down in that level.

Other bosses might take a level or two to find as well, depending on how close the waypoint is. I don’t recall the exact level, but in Act Three I got a random Purple for a Bounty on one of the levels of the never-ending Staircase, and the quest icon was on the stairs down from that level, with the boss (a jumbo-sized Phase Beast) on the next level down.

 

Adventure Mode Transportation

Choose your Adventure (Mode).

Choose your Adventure (Mode).

Moving around on the Adventure Mode map is super fast. When you click one of the waypoints, with a Bounty or not, on the Adventure Mode waypoint map, your character instantly teleports to it. Well, that’s instantly if you’re in town; if you’re in the dungeon (like you just killed a Bounty) your character goes into the Town Portal casting animation and requires 5 seconds of uninterrupted casting. But then you pop straight to the chosen waypoint location; no stop in town required, even if you switch acts.

 

For instance, you can finish a bounty in the Weeping Hollow (I got DiabloWikiMira Eamon and Mange there in 2 different games, and there’s a new waypoint in the Weeping Hollow right at the end of the bridge out of Tristram), open the Adventure Mode map, decide to do the Butcher via Leoric’s Torture Level 3, click the waypoint, and your character will go into the Town Portal casting motion, and if you are uninterrupted for 5 seconds you will appear on that waypoint, just as if you’d selected it from town.

Difficulty

The difficulty for Adventure Mode is flat, or nearly so, much as Inferno difficulty is in the game today. I wasn’t playing on Inferno though, not with the premade demo characters.

There was no option in the Blizzcon demo to select a difficulty — either the old DiabloWikiMonster Power or the new Difficulty options — and the pre-made characters were level 32 (to start, I leveled to 33 each game) and the game was on Normal. Yet from Act 1 to Act 5 the monsters felt about the same. It was a little easier in Act One, but that’s also true in Inferno today.

One interesting thing; the random Elites all had two DiabloWikiBoss Modifiers, and this was on Normal difficulty. I saw two new ones (Poison Enchanted and Frozen (sp?) Orb), but whether bosses had one of the new ones or two old ones, they all felt harder than I’m used to. I don’t know if they’re turned up in RoS or if I was just noticing the undergeared demo character (or both) but my hit points were constantly going much lower than I expected. The hardest one I got was in a Nephalem Rift (article on that coming up later) and it was a DiabloWikiMolten Electrified.

I don’t even notice that combo in the game today, but either the Molten was stacking on the DiabloWikiElectrified or they turned the damage of those affixes way up, but I had to retreat twice during the battle, running back a screen or three to find some Health Orbs I’d left behind (benefit of having no pickup radius on the demo char).

Some of the bosses are buffed as well. The normal random ones had two modifiers, but the purples were tougher than before with additional properties. The hardest boss I got the whole time was the Rift boss in the Nephalem Rift (an Angel type with two entirely new abilities), but all of the Bounty bosses were quite active with multiple affixes in action, some of them unlike any I’ve seen in the game previously.

The most noticeable was DiabloWikiIskatu, the boss you get right at the start of Act Four. He was very quick to reach (obviously) with just a dash through the portal from the opening waypoint of Act Four. (There was no sign of Tyrael and Imperius arguing beside it, as in Campaign Mode.) Once into the area things looked the same as now, but once Iskatu appeared it got much spicier. Meteors kept slamming down (randomly, I think), dealing high damage to me or any of the little black shadow things in the area, and Iskatu repeatedly cast Desecrator under my feet.

I didn’t get to test out Bounties on quest bosses or Act Bosses yet, but I expect they’ve been upgraded as well.

Conclusion

That’s all I can think to say after a few quick games on the show floor. I’ll have more observations after playing more today and tomorrow, and we should get some official info about this from one of the D3 panels. For now I can say that it’s a very fun play mode. It seems to be almost exactly what players have been asking for; longer games, all acts accessible, all the bosses active, no dialogue or cut scenes to slow things down, etc. I can easily see players getting their Nephalem Valor stacked up (assuming it’s still in the game; it is not present in this demo) and then doing every Bounty in all five acts, plus clearing out some of the other good leveling zones, plus all the Key Wardens (assuming they are present in this mode; I didn’t check yet), plus hitting a few Nephalem Rifts.

If you guys have any questions throw them into comments and I’ll try to answer some when I have a minute.

Keep an eye on the BlizzCon Coverage Section for the full transcripts (not bullet point lists) of the Diablo 3 Panels, videos, hands-on reports, photos, screenshots and more.