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Diablo 3 Podcast #174: DH Sets, GRift Records, & D3X2
Lots of content/topics this week, including perma-CC issues, DH set debates, CoE ring and buff icon issues, player UI mods, expanded Grift leaderboards, and D3 expansion #2 theorizing. Featuring Katniss, AdAstra, and Flux. Click through for approximate segment starting times and related links:
Vote: Diablo 3 Anniversary Cow Level
The new not-so-secret cow level went live in Diablo 3 on the 15th, and will remain accessible until the evening of the 21st. The Goblin-cow that provides access is spawning pretty frequently (in Adventure Mode, but not in Rifts) and most players I’ve talked to have seen the Secret Cow Level, by now. So what […]
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Vote: Diablo 3 Anniversary Cow Level

Posted 17 May 2015 by at 21:37 GMT

news-vote-not-cow-levelThe new not-so-secret cow level went live in Diablo 3 on the 15th, and will remain accessible until the evening of the 21st. The Goblin-cow that provides access is spawning pretty frequently (in Adventure Mode, but not in Rifts) and most players I’ve talked to have seen the Secret Cow Level, by now.

So what do you guys think? Do you like the nostalgia and the level? Find it rewarding? Enjoying the treat? Or would you rather just have a week of +100% gold/legendaries, with maybe double goblins as well?

Vote: Diablo 3 Anniversary Cow Level

Your opinion on the Diablo 3 Secret Cow Level?

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I enjoy the level, but I’ve found it so many times already that the novelty is wearing off. I’ve had rather limited play time this week, but I’ve found the Not A Cow Level 4x already, and twice the Cowblin was standing right beside the first waypoint I hit in a brand new game, making it virtually impossible to *not* score the orange portal.

As for the level, the novelty is neat, but masses of trash mobs go so fast in D3 that it seems over before it begins. All the chests are pretty neat, and I’ve seen 1-4 legs each time into the level, but really, the biggest benefit for me has been all the blue items. I’ve joked with other players that Bliz should have lined the outside of the level with armor racks also, or just had the Cow Queen drop 500+ stacks of white/blue mats, if they really wanted to make players value the experience.

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Latest Diablo 3 News

Dave Brevik on the Original Diablo 3 MMO Design

Posted 15 May 2015 by at 23:20 GMT

A new interview with Dave Brevik, co-founder of Blizzard North and creator of the Diablo series, includes a mention of the initial plans for Diablo 3 at Blizzard North, when the game was going to be an MMO. The brief D3 conversation starts at around the 30:50 mark, and thanks to Nobbie for the tip.

Whenever another mention of “D3 was originally an MMO” hits the news, lots of players hear it for the first time and get all curious. Happily there’s a source for more useful info, and it’s us. The Blizzard North’s Diablo III article in our goes into a lot of detail and has those leaked (years after the fact) screenshots of Heaven.

Bliz North's D3.

Bliz North’s D3.

Nothing like that was (yet) in the game back when Brevik and the Schaefers were working on it at Blizzard North, though. For details on that, check out the first Diablo Podcast we ever recorded back in 2011, which features an interview with Max Schaefer which was the first time ever (AFAIK) any of them revealed that D3 was initially designed as an MMORPG:

FLUX: can you tell us anything about what your plans were for Diablo III? What you wanted to change from Diablo II? What you wanted to expand upon? Just better, bigger?

MAX SCHAEFER: We wanted to make it a bigger… we actually were going a more MMO route with it. So, it had more players in the game. But, we were very early and it’s the point in a project where you don’t talk to the public about it because so much can change and so much can go on. There’s lots and lots of things that go on at game companies that never hit the light of day, because it’s just too early to really sit and things are subject to change all the time. So, we may have changed our own path radically had we kept going with it.

But, at the time our thinking was to go more MMO style with it. With big communities in-game, not just like a session-based – four-person or eight-person – or anything like that. But, to really make a big overworld and a giant shared community.

Click through for much more from Max about those early D3 MMO plans, including his comments on the leaked Heaven screenshots, D3’s removal of Crosses/Pentagrams, and much more.

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Cows Broken & Fixed, Plus Console Anniversary Buff

Posted 15 May 2015 by at 20:54 GMT

The Anniversary Buff went live yesterday, but was broken on the Americas Realm by the server maintenance that went on early this morning. The problem has now been fixed, and the secret that do not exist may once again be found. Cows Broken & Fixed:

Following this morning’s maintenance, it was reported that the special event buff for our third anniversary was no longer live in North America. Our investigation has been completed and we have found the source of this issue. We are actively working on a solution.

We want you all to have the opportunity to maybe possibly encounter potential hellacious bovinity at your leisure. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your reports and patience as we work to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.

Update: 5/15/15/ @ 10:20 a.m. PT

Good moos, everyone! We have confirmed the anniversary buff is now live. You may need to restart your game to see the buff icon and enable the event.

Happy hunting, and beware strange portals!

Console players get an Anniversary buff also, but need to have the Ultimate Evil Edition for the full bovine experience.

PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360:

  • Double your adventuring profits! For a limited time, enjoy a +100% bonus to EXP and Gold! This bonus will stack with other existing bonuses in the game including (but not limited to) those provided by items, shrines, and Pools of Reflection.
  • PlayStation 4 and Xbox One:

  • We’ve always said there is no cow level, and you should really beeflieve us by now. Beware strange encounters and even stranger portals that may be left behind. For moo-re information, read our full advisory here.
  • These events begun in all regions Friday, May 15, at 09:00 a.m. CEST and will end Thursday, May 22, at 08:59 a.m. CEST. For time zone assistance, please visit:

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    Latest Diablo 3 News

    Guest Article: D3X2 @ Gamescom 2015: Xiansai + Wizard-Necromancer?

    Posted 15 May 2015 by at 03:01 GMT

    We recently offered up Nobbie’s speculative article about D3X2, with his thoughts on the likely setting (Skovos) and 7th class (Druid/Amazon hybrid). Today he’s back with more on that topic, with alternative possibilities for the setting of Act Six and the new class.

    First off, he’s got some interesting theories about when the announcement might be made. Many fans have hoped for a D3X2 reveal at Gamescom 2015, after RoS was announced at Gamescom 2013. The odds of that seem less than glowing after Blizzard’s press release about Gamescom 2015 confirmed their biggest Gamescom presence ever, with prominent mention of… every single Blizzard title except for Diablo 3. Might that be a ruse to preserve the surprise? After all, if they listed some Diablo 3 panel, everyone would assume that meant expansion announcement.

    D3X2 @ Gamescom 2015:

    The absence of Diablo 3 in the list of hands-on demoed games led to wild speculations that there may be no Diablo news at all, but I’ve found solid hints last week, which should disprove this theory now.

    nobbie-gamescom15The current gamescom exhibitor info for Blizzard Entertainment SAS clearly states that Blizzard not only demoes a selection of their latest titles but also has a “Development/Developer in general” spot booked, which points to a press conference with relevant announcements. What gives me that idea? Now, if you look up the same info for Sony Entertainment on that site, you’ll notice that they don’t have such a spot booked, and in fact, Sony announced last week that they won’t be holding a press conference at gamescom 2015. Instead, there will be an “international media briefing” at Paris Games Week in October.

    This is great news for us Diablo fans because:

  • Hearthstone just recently got its latest adventure Blackrock Mountain
  • Heroes of the Storm launches June 2, 2015
  • The StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void beta is currently running
  • The Overwatch beta begins this fall
  • The World of WarCraft content patch 6.2 beta is currently running
  • So, all listed franchises either just had their release, will be released shortly, are already in beta or will be in beta very soon. This leaves only Diablo in the “development” category, whose last big announcement dates back to August 21, 2013, when the first expansion Reaper of Souls (RoS) was revealed during a press conference at gamescom. Considering the fact that the demand for news about future, expansion-size Diablo content is imminent and that Blizzard booked the aforementioned “development” spot, I think it’s now pretty safe to say that the second expansion will indeed celebrate its premiere in three months.

    That’s just an excerpt from the piece. Click through for the full article, including Nobbie’s theories about hybrid necromancer-mages in the Wizards’ homeland.

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    Latest Diablo 3 News

    Anniversary Buff: D2’s Secret Cow Level Returns!

    Posted 15 May 2015 by at 00:20 GMT

    A cool Third Anniversary buff is now live on the realms, where players can find a special golden cow who runs around just like a Treasure Goblin. Kill him and he may open a red portal which grants access to a Diablo 2-style DiabloWikiSecret Cow Level, just packed with halberd-wielding Infernal Bovines. There’s even a Unique level boss, appropriately named the Cow Queen. (Diablo 2’s was the Cow King.)

    It’s udderly amazing, and live in the game right now until May 21st, in celebration of Diablo 3’s third anniversary. Here’s a video showing the area posted by streamer Natsuma Z. Anniversary Buff: D2’s Secret Cow Level Returns!

    Some screens from the spectacular.

    Update: Blizzard’s has posted a very tongue in cheek article denying the existence of the cow level, plus a secret hidden video. Click through for those.

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    Tagged As: | Categories: Community Buffs, Easter Eggs, Videos | 22 Comments

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    Infernal Machine Improvements Coming “Soon”

    Posted 14 May 2015 by at 05:50 GMT

    news-infernal-machine-improvA thread on about issues with the DiabloWikiInfernal Machine / DiabloWikiHellfire Ring/DiabloWikiHellfire Amulet events earned a Blue reply with a promise of better days to come.

    Great discussion! We agree with many of the points debated here, so we’re going to be looking at the Infernal Machine event in the future. Right now there is a disparity between the footwork required to participate in the event and the reward for completing it, so we’re currently looking at our options to better align the two. We’re currently aiming to have a solution in place for the next major content patch, but of course as a work in progress that’s subject to change.

    (And before you crazy diamonds ask: Patch date is still TBD. Patch content is still WiP. We’ve no additional info to share at this time.)

    I didn’t quote the OP since I didn’t see any ideas better/different than the ones we came up with in our recent Fixing the Infernal Machine discussion. Here’s the “pick all you like” vote from that article, which is still open if you haven’t voted already.

    Changes to the Infernal Machine system. (Vote all you agree with.)

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    One of the best ideas I’ve heard came from Lanth in comments, when he said instead of dropping a key (or not), the KeyWardens should drop fragments of some key material. Say you need 10 total fragments, and each time on T6 the KW will drop at least 1, and often more. (Or just change the Infernal Machine recipes to require 10 of each key and have the KWs drop 1-10 keys each time.) This could be balanced to keep the overall key farming rate approximately the same as now, but at least you’d get something each time, rather than the current “fail 4x in a row and /ragequit the Dhalgur Oasis” system.

    Are we likely to see any of these incremental boosts to the system any time soon? I doubt it. Click through for the grim tidings.

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    Death’s Prophet’s Gift: Jewelry Socketing coming to RoS?

    Posted 14 May 2015 by at 02:15 GMT

    Thanks to Nobbie for sending word of an allegedly leaked in the newly-released Chinese version of Diablo 3, here’s a screenshot of a new type of DiabloWikiGift of Ramaladni, which would be used to answer a common player prayer by adding a socket to jewelry.

    The translation reads:

    Death Prophet’s Gift: Use this item and select an unsocketed jewelry to add a socket.

    Assuming this isn’t an outright hoax, it’s not clear if this is a leak of a future object (Next patch? Expansion #2?), or if it’s something specific to the F2P, semi-P2W version of the game recently launched in the Russian and Chinese markets. From the description it sounds like a free fifth affix on jewelry, which would add quite a bit more power creep, of the most delightful kind.

    Death's Profit Gift

    Death’s Profit Gift

    Death’s Prophet’s Gift: Jewelry Socketing coming to RoS? I’m all for this, and not just because I’ve had terrible luck finding any decent jewelry so far this season, to the point that even a DPG wouldn’t have given me a well-equipped neck. And yeah, it would create a whole new level of power creep, but we’ve got so much of that already in Patch 2.2 that a little more wouldn’t see that big a deal?

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    Tagged As: | Categories: Controversy, Datamining, Legendary Items | 14 Comments

    Latest Diablo 3 News


    The Secret Cow Rift Music

    Posted 13 May 2015 by at 15:15 GMT

    March to his beat.

    March to his beat.

    With the Cow Rift much more common now in Patch 2.2 (I’d never seen it before and I’ve gotten it 3x so far this season.) most players are finally getting a chance to kill the Infernal Bovines. Better yet, there’s special music as part of the level, and like all the in-game music in Diablo 3 it’s haunting, moody, and almost audible.

    Anyone knows where I could get that awesome music that you can hear durning cow level? :)
    Vaneras: Actually, somebody did that not so long ago :-)

    To be honest, I had no idea there was any music, much less special music in the Cow Rift, since I’ve long since given up on being able to hear the never-loud-enough music in the game. Ambient dungeon sounds, yes. Sound effects, very yes. Music? That said, this sounds pretty cool, and next time I get the Cow Rift I’ll pause the WinAmp and turn up the game sound enough that it becomes audible, just to appreciate it in-place.

    Click through for a bonus gallery of The Secret Cow Rift Music:

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    Tagged As: | Categories: *Big News, Blue Posts, Easter Eggs, Music | 8 Comments