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The Diablo 3 Podcast #153: Co-Op, Clans, & Blizzcon
Diablo 3 Podcast conversation about multiplayer co-op issues in Diablo 3. What are the benefits of playing with others? Should there be more party skill bonuses? Why are the Diablo 3 clan tools so meh? The curse of the double-Unity requirement. Show features Aahzmodius, Wolfpaq, and Flux. Click through for approximate segment starting times:
Randomization and level design in the future of Diablo 3
Creating good random map generators is a difficult task in video games, and something we’ve seen done with relative success in all of the Diablo games. Diablo 1 had four dungeon types with quite different maps for each area, though all were just big squares with different arrangements of the pieces within them. (The Hellfire […]
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Greater Rift Changes Coming: Less RNG, No Conduit Pylons?


Posted 14 Oct 2014 by at 01:33 GMT

Like it's compensating for something.

Like it’s compensating for something.

Last week Blizzard replied to questions about the goal of Greater Rifts and how they are balanced. Here’s the meat of last week’s address:

For the most part, DiabloWikiGreater Rifts are intended to act like a yardstick (or meter stick, if we’re waxing Metric) by which players can measure the power growth of their hero, as opposed to something that is meant to be completed. Part of the confusion about the intended role of Greater Rifts might come from the fact that, during the public test phase of patch 2.1.0, there was a temporary cap in place (for testing purposes), and some players were able to reach that limit while the PTR was running. However, we never intended to allow players to reach the maximum level of what Greater Rifts offer once the system went live. In fact, for all intents and purposes, the number of Greater Rift levels currently has no limit.

Today he returned to that thread and added a couple of replies about what sort of changes we might see for the future of Greater Rifts. Greater Rift Changes Coming: Less RNG, No Conduit Pylons?

GR is mostly luck.. at a certain level though, if your hero is strong then yeah, you dont need luck, but the top 10 of a class is, most certainly, luck based GR.
Grimiku: In general, we use randomness in Diablo III to increase the replayability, Greater Rifts included. At the same time, we don’t want Greater Rifts to be so random that it feels like your success is completely at the mercy of a random number generator. Ideally, the randomness within Greater Rifts should keep each Rift level feeling fresh and provide for some unexpected moments of excitement, as well as test how well a player is able to adapt to controlled amounts of unpredictability (i.e. randomness).

At the moment, though, we do feel randomness plays too heavy a role in Greater Rifts, and will be making improvements along those lines. No firm date on this, but just wanted to note that we’re on the same page. Valid feedback, and thanks!

Conduit Pylon a very good measure of power growth, No?
Pylons can be a hell of a lot of fun to encounter in game, and that’s one of the big reasons we added them to Greater Rifts.

That said, we do agree that pylons, at least in their current form, have had negative effect on Greater Rifts for the top end. Ideally, we don’t want to remove pylons from Greater Rifts, since we like the variety they provide, but we also don’t like the current situation where certain classes and builds are able to defeat a Rift level multiple ranks higher than could normally thanks to a single pylon (in this case, a Conduit Pylon).

As with other factors in Greater Rifts density, monster types, Rift Guardians, etc, finding a good balance between random vs. predictable is something we’re going to continue to iterate and improve upon for Greater Rifts, and that includes pylons too. Ultimately (as I noted in another post), randomness in Greater Rifts should create positive variety and a sense of excitement. We don’t think we’ve nailed that in all areas just yet, so we appreciate all the discussion and dialog on this topic in the meantime.

On the podcast a couple of weeks ago I threw out a remark that I’ve seen a few people quote then, so I’ll QFT myself: “It’s not really a Diablo game if you’re not being screwed by RNG.”

It can be said sarcastically whenever someone else is complaining about gambling all night without hitting a single Legendary, but it’s really just human psychology. No one makes a forum thread to celebrate when they hit six straight LGem upgrade rolls at 60%, since we all think our good luck is deserved and long overdue. But when the opposite happens, you get 10 page forum threads pushing anecdote as “broken” RNG data, all wrapped up in bright shiny tinfoil.

That said, do people really want to attempt to remove luck/RNG from the game? From Greater Rifts? We don’t want unfair or broken luck, but competitions always have variance. Every sports event has lucky bounces, missed tackles, bad referee calls, shots that miss by an inch, etc. All of those things are “luck” to some extent, especially when far more of them land on one side than on the other, but that’s why people enjoy competitions. As the cliche goes, “that’s why they play the game” and it’s the element of luck that makes actually playing/racing in Grifts something more than just comparing character sheets and declaring the higher DPS the winner.

That said, when one single element (like a Conduit Shrine) can sway outcomes so greatly, especially when leveraged by a cheat (like a HUD that works in a Grift) it goes beyond the level of “RNG makes things more fun.” So it’s probably good that Bliz is looking to smooth down the variance a bit, at least at the highest level of Grifts, where any tiny edge can make all the difference.

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Randomization and level design in the future of Diablo 3


Posted 12 Oct 2014 by at 16:32 GMT

Defiled Crypt variations.

Defiled Crypt variations.

Creating good random map generators is a difficult task in video games, and something we’ve seen done with relative success in all of the Diablo games. Diablo 1 had four dungeon types with quite different maps for each area, though all were just big squares with different arrangements of the pieces within them. (The Hellfire expansion added two tile sets, but both exactly reused the random map grids from Diablo 1 areas.)

Diablo 2 diversified the random maps a lot, especially in the dungeons which could vary quite a bit in shape and layout. The surface areas were less varied, and were almost all big squares with some random pieces inside.

Diablo 3 is both more and less randomized, and players have been debating the merits of randomized and non-randomized maps since the game’s release. In D3v almost all surface areas are non-random maps, which was a point of debate even pre-release. The devs argued that non-random maps let them do more cool art stuff and focus the player’s experience (especially in the early game), while fans feared it would result in boredom and a lack of repeatablility. I’m not sure who won that debate, since while the devs added randomization to the Act 5 maps… the huge random levels = slow quests = part of the reason no one plays Act 5.

The dungeons in Diablo 3 are randomized, and much more flexible in layout than we saw in previous games. None are just big squares with different walls within, and they all have large chunks and set pieces to their maps. But those tend to be so large that they’re very obvious when they repeat, and they only fit into the rest of the jigsaw puzzle of level pieces in a few, predictable ways. That’s one of the things that was coolest when Rifts were new; just seeing some of the existing level maps (like the Act 1 Cathedral or Act 2 Dhalgur Oasis) put together in different configurations.

Quote from Bashiok, explaining the design idea from 2011:

So while the exterior is largely static, within that defined landscape there are literal square holes (from small to huge) and within those empty square holes a great number of possible pieces can be dropped in. And they’re chosen randomly. So you may play a few games and always see empty terrain in the same place, but on your next playthrough you’ll instead have a broken down wagon appear and a quest giver that needs you to go kill a unique fallen shaman who stole his tools to fix it. And maybe the playthrough after that the sqaure puzzle piece is a short dungeon to explore with a big chest or mini-boss at the end. Ideally it’ll encourage exploration of the exterior zones over and over, hoping to find that a rewarding adventure has appeared.

Dungeons on the other hand are completely randomized, same as Diablo II.* All of the halls and rooms and all the bits are shuffled around and it’s all different every time. Some of the rooms themselves will offer unique quests if they’re rolled up, and in some cases individual rooms themselves have those square chunks missing and within those randomly chosen rooms a number of random events can occur.

So I’m curious how you guys feel about the overall dungeon randomzation and design and layout… but also curious what you think of reused maps. Like Hellfire did with Diablo 1’s maps, some areas in Act 5 reuse maps from earlier Acts. The most obvious is the Ruins of Corvus, much of which is a reskinned version of the Act 3 Keep map. Another one I hadn’t noticed until I saw it in a recent forum post is DiabloWikiWhimsyshire/dale, which exactly reuses the Act One DiabloWikiCaverns of Araneae map. (Including all the annoying dead ends.)

Whimshire vs. Caverns of Araneae.

Whimshire vs. Caverns of Araneae.

Level Dreams and Desires

So, what do you guys want to see in maps and level layouts in future Diablo 3 areas? Pre-game everyone wanted bigger, more randomized areas… but look at where we actually play now? Rifts are all about the random, but before Rifts people mostly farmed Act 3’s less-random areas (which admittedly was mostly about monster density), and now we all spend our non-Rift time zooming bounties through the easiest parts of Act 1.

It’s impossible to separate the DiabloWikiRoRG incentive from the ease of Act One monsters and the generally smaller size of the maps… but I’m sure if the RoRG only dropped from Act 5 Horadric Caches, the forums would be continually filled with bitching about how large and random the maps were and how slow the bounties were to complete.

We all say we want large randomized maps when a game is in development, and then in practice we just play the smallest, easiest, least-random areas. (Basically what Malcolm Gladwell shows about human coffee preferences, where everyone claims they like a rich, dark roast, and then most people serve themselves a milky, sugar-filled, liquid breakfast dessert.) Every time I bring up “should RoRGs be Act 5 only” on the podcast, the guests immediately say “Yes.” Most fans talk about wanting more challenge and variety in areas, and more exploration… even as we all secretly enjoy the RoRG being in the Act with by far the quickest/easiest bounties.

So what do you want in level design in the future of Diablo 3?

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2

Diablo Fan Art Watch #259: Blizzard’s Latest Batch of 2014


Posted 11 Oct 2014 by at 10:00 GMT

This week on the Diablo Fan Art Watch we feature 6 pieces of fan art that have been recently uploaded into Blizzards Diablo Fan Art Gallery.

With this set we see a nice blend of various Nephalem, Angels and Demons done in many ways; from Oils to the usual digital media.

Art by Zhou Shuo, Nguyễn Duy Anh, Cheol joo Lee, Víctor Leza, Gavin Li, and Valerio Carbone.



Click the thumbnail to see a larger version of the image.

If you enjoy Fan art and want to contribute to this growing community, please stop by the Fan Creations Forum. Many artists visit frequently, posting works in progress looking for feedback and conversation. You don’t have to be “arty” to join in. If you have any questions, comments or have some fan art related news on the web please send me a PM and I’ll get back to you. Also check out the wiki page for more art from the archives.

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Latest Diablo 3 News

5

One life to live: Chasing death in Diablo 3 Hardcore


Posted 10 Oct 2014 by at 23:00 GMT
one life to live chasing death

Death awaits. Well, not so much…

Death, The ever looming spectre over our characters lives. At any moment we could lose our character and yet that spectre has felt absent as of late, death forgotten about, and almost entirely avoidable.

Now lets first say that death was a very real threat at the start of the season. My clan was littered with death notices from characters ranging from level 1-69. After that first week rush the death notices stopped, and only on occasion does the epitaph of a fallen comrade blink on my screen. Usually it’s followed by a lament, and a curse about lag, and only on rare occasions acknowledgment of pushing too fast and too hard in grifts.

So why are we not dying as much? Because it’s too avoidable. As we leveled we faced death with each fight as we rushed to 70. We were ill equipped and ill prepared, but we soldiered in anyway to progress. As we accumulated our gear in torment, we developed a cushion, and a level of comfortability only lag could take away from us. Now we can stay in relative comfort in T1 gaining the same rewards ( with lower drop rates) while missing out on the rush of fighting for our life.

That isn’t to say everyone chooses to play it safe, many are pushing t6 content and higher level grifts but it’s far too easy not to, and there is no real reason to stray into them outside of personal preference. In Vanilla there was only one torment, and in the earlier iterations it was a foul beast determined to reap the soul from your character( see what I did there?). Each passing patch neutered that challenge, and while I don’t long for the days of being one shot by wasps in A2, I wouldn’t mind the challenge either.

I distinctly recall the rush of hitting paragon 100 on my HC WD, even at paragon 90+ I was hesitant in torment on a low monster power knowing that the wrong pack could seriously end my trek. Now with forty different difficulties(hyperbole!) I have to be cognizant of the lack of death and actively pursue it as opposed to fearing it. Hardcore works best when death is a part of the equation, I was excited for the greater rift ladders and seeing the names fall of as they encountered the perils located within. However, as the season has progressed that hasn’t happened.

Now is it all doom and gloom? No far from it, in fact I’ve found myself playing now far more than ever(and writing far less); Hardcore simply requires a shift in mindset. No longer must we run from death but chase it more consciously, when we push our limits in upper torments and greater rifts we can feel that rush again. So choose to chase death, seasons will end, starting over isn’t too bad, and damn if it isn’t fun.

How has your season gone? Are you chasing death or is it chasing you?

One Life to Live covers the Hardcore play and life style in the Diablo community. It is written by Xanth and is now back to being published weekly. Post your comments below, Follow me on Twitter @HCXanth or contact the author directly.

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5

D3 Console Community Buff Weekend


Posted 10 Oct 2014 by at 21:16 GMT

Blizzard is rolling out some love for the console players this weekend, with a community buff to exp or goblins, depending on the platform.

Heads up, heroes. In celebration of the arrival of patch 2.1.0, all players who log into Ultimate Evil Edition this week will receive a temporary in-game buff!

To learn which buff applies to your platform of choice, read on below.

PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360:

  • Prepare to be enlightened. For a limited time, enjoy a +100% bonus to EXP! 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:

  • Double your treasure, double your fun. For a limited time, all Treasure Goblin spawns in the game have been doubled!
  • This bonus EXP and double Treasure Goblin period begins in all regions today, October 10, at 12:00 a.m. PDT and will end Friday, October 17, at 12:00 a.m. PDT. For time zone assistance, please visit: http://everytimezone.com/

    *Buffs apply to Ultimate Evil Edition only.

    Why not double goblins and exp for both? I mean, is there a technical reason or what? As far as I know PS3/Xbox360 didn’t get Patch 2.1, but there are still Treasure Goblins there, albeit much less exciting ones with no chance to spawn DiabloWikiGreed’s Domain.

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    Vote: Blood Shards and Gambling Changes Needed?


    Posted 10 Oct 2014 by at 11:09 GMT

    Ughhh....

    Ughhh….

    It’s been a few weeks since DiabloWikiPatch 2.1 made big changes to gambling prices and returns, and everyone who plays regularly has had time to absorb the tweaks. So what do you think of them? I was a fan until I started gambling Amulets, and now that I’ve gone 3000 Shards without a single legendary, my love is diminished. Others share that opinion, if not the motive, and a Blue acknowledged our pain today, without tipping any hints about further changes.

    Five Hundred Bloodshards no longer *FEELS* rewarding

    My usual sittings would involve playing rifts until capping 500 blood shards and them gambling for the piece of gear I am after. Even though Kadala rarely gave me what I was after, it still FELT rewarding, because of the quantity of tries — 5 blood shards per gamble. Ironically, by removing the need to go to the blacksmith more (a “quality of life” change I have never seen anyone ask for), and making it so that 500 blood shards no longer even fills my bag, I have to say it feels incredibly less rewarding.

    I realize legendary rates were increased. But the perception of reward is way off now. I no longer feel good about running rifts to cap 500 blood shards, because 500 shards gets me five times fewer gambles. It feels like a waste of time. And when those 5 times fewer gambles yield no legendaries, it feels FIVE TIMES more punishing than it did before.

    I actually didn’t mind having to go to the blacksmith (A1 Kadala is 2 steps from it), and I felt satisfaction by clicking “salvage all” to a full bag of gear, gaining a good amount of crafting mats.
    Tyvalir: Hey guys, just wanted to jump in to say this thread has some very solid feedback (from all sides of the discussion).

    We’ve been watching the topic of Kadala’s reward rate for some time, and how people feel about it after the recent patch (and the hotfix to crafting materials). While we have our own data on how frequently players are getting certain items, seeing these discussions gives us valuable insight into how you all feel about certain changes (which isn’t something we can get easily from our data).

    I’ll be passing this feedback to the dev team. Again, thanks for keeping the discussion constructive!

    This exact issue came up on the podcast last week, and Rankil and N3rdwords both complained that gambling was less fun now, since you got to do less of it. I forget which guy said it, but the analogy of having fun scratching 50 lottery tickets vs. scratching just one with 50x the potential payout seemed a useful one.

    I hadn’t thought about it like that, but I agreed. I liked the principle of the switch; more legendaries from fewer gambles, but the change to gambling prices was so abrupt and extreme. The devs could easily have just doubled or tripled prices while boosting the total return, but quintupling them, without warning?! That seemed like a PTR-type change, throwing a huge tweak in there to see how fans reacted.. and they did it on LIVE.

    Personally, I think the change is fine for armor. Paying 25 per roll gets you 20 armors from a full Blood Shards bank, and that’s a decent amount. It’s a lot less fun when gambling weapons or rings, and amulets suck. I’ll say it flatly. Gambling amulets sucks. Five is way too few rolls for a full stack of shards. It makes the price ratio feel insane, even though amulets have always cost 4x as much to gamble as other armor pieces. That wasn’t so noticeable when it was 5 vs 20, but at 25 vs 100, with the absurdly low cap of 500 shards, it’s really unfun. (And yes, the fact I’ve gambled my last 3000 shards on amulets without a single legendary is probably influencing my opinion.)

    Also… can we get a Shards softcap? So you could exceed the 500 cap, but only to pick up one big stack? Currently there is nothing dumber or more annoying than dribbling 45 shards in a circle around Urshi since you hit 500, so now you have to portal to town, gamble a few times, then portal back down to pick up the rest of the shards from the ground, then portal back to town and end the rift and maybe gamble the rest. (I harangued a CM about this in-game the other night and he promised to bring it up to the devs, so there’s hope…)

    Vote: Blood Shards and Gambling Changes in Diablo 3

    What changes are most needed to the current gambling system? (Vote as many as apply.)

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    Greater Rift Leaderboards Exploited


    Posted 10 Oct 2014 by at 10:33 GMT

    It’s long been known that players could sometimes cheat the Greater Rift leaderboard by clearing most of a Grift in a party, then exiting before the finish so just the one remaining player got credit for a solo clear. Until recently this was more of a novelty than an exploit, and reportedly it was hard to time the game join and exit correctly. It’s become more than a novelty now that some players have used the trick to set record Grift runs for Era and Seasonal Barbarians, and some fans on Battle.net are pissed.

    Leaderboards Are Now Pointless

    There’s currently a game breaking exploit being used by people to get top ranks on the leader boards that makes it impossible for others to overtake their rank, from barbs on Normal and Seasonal, Ajijijiji(normal) has R1 spot with a R47 cleared in 13m 50s, Brotato(seasonal) has a R46 cleared in 13m 17s, neither of them did these solo, after klankster openly streamed how he cheated his R45 clear, people have been doing it for higher rank clears that can’t normally be done.

    How it’s happening: The barb groups with 1-3 DHs, they start a R45+ GRift togeather, everyone uses town portal including the barb, the DHs leave the group and the barb clears the trash to the boss, then he/she invites the DHs back to the group and they get the boss really low on HP and leave again for the barb to get the count as a solo clear.

    I put links to the two Barbarian leaderboards in the quote, but that there’s nothing special about Barbarians to do this. Update: It’s only Barbs who can do it since the Furious Charge build works fantastically against lots of trash mobs, but doesn’t work well against bosses. So Barbs can solo clear Rifts very quickly wiping out the garbage, and then use this cheat to bring in DHs to burn down the Guardian.

    Not to sound even more cynical than usual, but I always assumed that players would cheat and exploit to rise up the Leaderboards. If anything, I’m surprised we haven’t seen more of this sort of thing, and I guess credit has to go to the devs for fixing almost all of the exploits during the PTR.

    Does this sort of cheating surprise you guys? Do you care? Do you want a wipe of the Grift leaders, bans for the cheaters, and fixes to prevent this from occurring again? Or do you not really care how the 8+ hour a day players cheat each other or the system, since it’s totally divorced from anything you’ll ever do in your Diablo 3 play?

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    Tagged As: | Categories: Diablo III Bugs, Greater Rifts, Leaderboards | 22 Comments

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    Greater Rift Difficulty Scaling Chart


    Posted 9 Oct 2014 by at 12:23 GMT

    GRift monster hps/dmg scaling.

    GRift monster hps/dmg scaling.


    Someone came up with datamined figures for how much the monster hit points and damage dealt scaled up per each level of Greater Rift, which led another fan on Reddit to compile the figures in a big chart, running the math up to DiabloWikiGreater Rift level 60. The figures are surprisingly simple, as it turns out:

  • Monster Health increases by 17% per level.
  • Monster damage increases by 13.2% per level.
  • The table can be seen to the right in jpg form. It’s a huge image, to click to see it in readable size, and click here for the document in a spreadsheet format. Note that these figures match very well with the player-observed Greater Rifticulty, where players have estimated about one difficulty level per 3 GRs, and estimated that GR25 = Torment 6.

    Here are the actual figures, for the sake of nearly-identical comparison. Monster hit points increase by:

  • GR22 = 5400% vs. T5 = 5369%.
  • GR25 = 8650% vs. T6 = 8590%.
  • The figures also make it easy to see just how much the 50% damage reduction provided by the double DiabloWikiUnity exploit is worth; approximately 4-5 Greater Rift levels. That’s just in terms of monster damage scaling, though, and you’d need to factor in monster hit points and your killing speed, since Grifts are a race against the clock.

    How do these figures match with your observations? Going by this progression, GR28 = T7 and GR31 = T8, theoretically speaking. As most expert players feel that GR30+ is where things start to get really rewarding and requiring of very good gear, you have to wonder if we’ll see higher Torment levels added at some point. Well-geared character are now blasting through T6 Rifts, after all.

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    BlizzCon 2014 Schedule


    Posted 9 Oct 2014 by at 01:45 GMT

    Blizzard have posted the schedule for DiabloWikiBlizzCon 2014 on 7th and 8th November. There are just two panels scheduled for Diablo 3 this year, one on each day.

    Friday at 2:15 – 3:15 PST – Diablo III, What’s Next. Join the Reaper of Souls developers as they discuss the new features and concepts that will be coming soon to the world of Sanctuary.

    Saturday 12:45 – 1:45 PST – Evolving Reaper of Souls. Explore the team’s ever-evolving design philosophies, and learn about changes now in development. Then watch the developers team up with the community to create a new Legendary item for looting in a future patch.

    Not bristling with Diablo 3 action so it’ll be a relatively quiet event for the Diablo 3 community this year. Still, two panels to tune into and perhaps a chance to get involved with the second one if there is some online component included.

    Thanks to nobbie for the tip.

    Update: A couple of points, from comments and other conversation about the schedule:

    1) The Blizzcon schedule usually evolves and gets filled out more as the show draws closer. In past years we’ve seen panels for Diablo 3 and other games cancelled or entirely changed in content just days before the show. Do not count on this being the final form.

    2) Blizzard always leaves blank spaces for panels supporting new announcements, but doesn’t tip their content in advance. For instance, on Friday there’s nothing scheduled on the main stage for 2 hours after the opening ceremonies. That’s because they’re keeping secret whatever the panel(s) immediately after the Opening Ceremony will cover. Starcraft expansion #2? Diablo 3 expansion #2? Warcraft 4? Titan Reborn? Unknown, but there will certainly be a lot more going on at the show than you see confirmed on this advance schedule.

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    Tagged As: | Categories: BlizzCon 2014, Controversy | 15 Comments

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    Legendary Gem Upgrade Odds: Interactive Tables


    Posted 8 Oct 2014 by at 12:26 GMT

    A fan created some useful interactive tables that let you figure exactly your upgrade odds for any level Legendary Gem. Just locate the level of your LGem and you can see the exact odds for each of the three rolls, and the cumulative odds to get 1, 2, or 3 upgrades.

    legem-upgrade-table1

    The calculation for LGem upgrading is actually very simple, as I think most players know. Above you see a screenshot of the little table on the DiabloWiki.net Legendary Gems page, which I thought was sufficient.

    The upgrade odds are pretty generous, with 60% or higher so long as your LGem is at least equal to the level of the Grift. If you want to be guaranteed of success with all 3 rolls, you need to clear a Grift 12 levels higher than your gem. So if you’re working up a brand new gem and don’t want to waste time clearing higher Grifts than necessary, but still want 100% for all 3 chances each time, you’d go 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, etc.

    Here are some screens of the three different options on the automated charts, showing 1-25, 10-35, or 1-50, and check out the source page for these all interactive.

    Note that the odds are sort of oddly expressed for rolls where the odds are above 60%, but decreasing with each success. For instance, if you start off +10, your rolls (if successful) would go 100%, 90%, 80%. The chart shows this as: “Chance of 2 upgrades: 27%. Chance of 3 upgrades: 72%” I had to look at that a minute to figure why the odds were worse for 2 than 3, before I realized it means “exactly 2,” not “at least 2.” So yes, you’ve got lower odds to get exactly 2 successes than 3 successes in this instance, but your odds to get at least 2 out of the 3 would be well above the 72% chance to get all 3.

    Do you guys have any interesting strategies for upgrading LGems?

    I’m dividing my play time between US and EU, and I’m HC so I’ve lost my highest level gems a couple of times. And I’ve compounded that by experimenting a lot with different gems, so I’ve leveled multiple gems up to level 10 or 12, rather than sticking to 2 or 3 and getting them up as high as they’ll go. Note that this is neither a wise nor an effective strategy, but like I said, I’ve been enjoying experimenting.

    Hopefully other players have done it a little more scientifically, and I think there could be some interesting debate on the best technique. Would you rather level one gem to 25 as quickly as possible, then leverage its upgraded power for faster/higher clears to zoom up your 2nd and 3rd gems? Or would it be better to level 2 or 3 LGems at once, thereby boosting your character’s abilities across a broader range? I suppose it might matter how many good socketed jewelry slots you had, though in my exp it’s worth trading almost any jewelry affix for the bonus provided by even a Rank 0 legendary gem.

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    The Diablo 3 Podcast #153: Co-Op, Clans, & Blizzcon


    Posted 8 Oct 2014 by at 11:57 GMT

    Diablo 3 Podcast conversation about multiplayer co-op issues in Diablo 3. What are the benefits of playing with others? Should there be more party skill bonuses? Why are the Diablo 3 clan tools so meh? The curse of the double-Unity requirement. Show features Aahzmodius, Wolfpaq, and Flux.

    Click through for approximate segment starting times:

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    2

    Patch 2.1 Live Ultimate Evil Edition Diablo 3 Console


    Posted 8 Oct 2014 by at 03:14 GMT

    Patch for PS4 and Xbox1 only.

    Patch for PS4 and Xbox1 only.

    The wait is over and console players with the Ultimate Evil Edition can now dig into all the new features and coolness of Patch 2.1, which is going live for the PS4/XboxOne today. (Unfortunately, Xbox360 and PS3 will not receive ongoing UEE/RoS content patches.) The patch does *not* include Seasons, as those are PC/Mac only via Battle.net, but it has everything else in the Patch 2.1, including DiabloWikiGreater Rifts, DiabloWikiLegendary Gems, DiabloWikiGreed’s Domain, DiabloWikiRamaladni’s Gift, all the updated legendary items (but not DiabloWikiSeasonal Legendaries), etc.

    Patch 2.1 Live Ultimate Evil Edition Diablo 3 Console:

    Patch 2.1.0 is now live for Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

    …To update your game, please make sure you are signed in to either your PlayStation Network or Xbox Live account. PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold subscriptions are not required to access this newest update.

    Hi all, I’m back with an update: Although the patch is technically live, it turns out that it may take some time before all players see that the console update is available. We expect that all PlayStation 4 and Xbox One users will have access to the 2.1.0 update by around 6PM PDT. To those of you who have not yet received the update notice yet, thank you for your continued patience!

    We’ll be keeping our eyes on the threads and would appreciate you let us know if you don’t have the update by around that time. Thank you!

    Is there a detail Patch Notes for 2.1.0 console version? Like the PC version, they have the detail changes for each classes. Is there a separate patch notes for console? Or PC and console share the same one?
    Araxom: Patch 2.1.0 for Ultimate Evil Edition captures all of the updates that were included in the PC 2.1.0 patch, which effect changes that the console supports. One particular difference would regard Seasons which are not included in the 2.1.0 console patch.

    Full Patch 2.1 notes can be seen here, and also check our summary of the Patch 2.1 undocumented changes. Good luck and strong thumbs to all you couch warriors.

    Update: Just adding one interesting UEE tidbit. If you want a Hellfire Ring/Amulet, the process is different (for no apparent reason).

    My friends and I have killed the key warden on T4 exaclty 58 times. Today we totally gave up, Blizzard you need to fix this with patch 2.1 please. Until it is fixed there is nothing we can do we tried for 2 weeks we just cannot keep wasting hours and hours on one item in the game. We have like 10 of each of the other keys with a 90% drop rate, there is something wrong with the key warden in act four simple as that.
    Grimiku: I’d like to help clear up any confusion about where the Key of Evil is found in Ultimate Evil Edition, since it doesn’t work the same way it does on PC. In UEE the Key of Evil drops from The Savage Behemoth during the Infernal Machine of War event instead of Nekarat (like it does on PC).

    To put it another way, players who are used to the PC version will discover they need to craft Infernal Machines of War instead of farming the Act IV keywarden in order to get a Key of Evil.

    The Savage Behemoth is the Uber version of Seigebreaker, which is weird. In the PC version of RoS you need all 4 keys to create any of the Infernal Machines. But on the UEE you can apparently make Infernal Machines with just the other 3 keys, and then you get the 4th key while doing the Ubers? So then do you need to craft the last Machine once you find that key, with all 4 keys? Or is the Key of Evil the only material required to make the 4th type of machine? It seems a weird and confusing change, putting events somewhat out of sequence.

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    Latest Diablo 3 News

    9

    Top 1000 Greater Rift Averages, 6 October, 2014


    Posted 7 Oct 2014 by at 14:29 GMT

    A fan provided updated charts showing the average highest Greater Rift cleared for the 1000 ranked characters on the Americas server, Seasonal and non-Seasonal. Viewing the top 1000 aggregate is more useful into than just glancing at the top 10, since it incorporates a lot more data points and gives a better sense of relative class strength.

    grift-avg-lvl-7oct2014

    Aside from the steady improvement across the board, the only obvious change is the big jump the Witch Doctor has enjoyed since the last patch buffed pets. For non-seasonal that’s just let the WD move from distant 6th to closer 6th, but on Seasons it’s created much more change, with the WD jumping up past the two sad melee-only chars into 4th place, not far below the semi-melee Crusader.

    The above image is just a screenshot of the chars. If you click to the JSFiddle page, you can hover on the graphics for interactive details about precise levels and dates for all the classes.

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    Tagged As: | Categories: *Big News, Fan Stuff, Greater Rifts, Leaderboards | 9 Comments

    Latest Diablo 3 News

    Greater Rift 100: Hard Cap or Impossible Dream?


    Posted 7 Oct 2014 by at 13:45 GMT

    A fan asked if the maximum level Greater Rift 100 was meant as a goal, as something to challenge players to push further, or if it was just a hard cap ending the GRrift experience. Neither, said a Blue in reply. Greater Rift 100: Hard Cap or Impossible Dream:

    Grimiku: There is some confusion that comes up from time to time about the role that Greater Rifts are intended to play, and I’d like to take a moment to help try and clear that up.

    For the most part, Greater Rifts are intended to act like a yardstick (or meter stick, if we’re waxing Metric) by which players can measure the power growth of their hero, as opposed to something that is meant to be completed. Part of the confusion about the intended role of Greater Rifts might come from the fact that, during the public test phase of patch 2.1.0, there was a temporary cap in place (for testing purposes), and some players were able to reach that limit while the PTR was running. However, we never intended to allow players to reach the maximum level of what Greater Rifts offer once the system went live. In fact, for all intents and purposes, the number of Greater Rift levels currently has no limit.

    There are predictable cries of outrage at this in the B.net thread, and while most of them are just doing the B.net thing of complaining for the sake of complaining, the larger issue deserves some debate. (Various exploits that enabled GR100 during the PTR: Exploding Palm scaling with monster hit points, Rimeheart and the Furnace dealing Crushing Blow-type damage, WD pets granting progress when killed, Zei’s Gem dealing infinite damage via DoT for a player in town.)

    So, Diablo 3 Greater Rifts are not meant to be Sword Art Online, with 100 floors to complete or die trying. Should they be, though? After all, most of the content and systems in the game are designed to be completed (eventually). Torment 6, Ubers, Rifts, Item Sets, Paragon 100 (in D3v), etc. Not only are they mostly completable, but in RoS and especially since Patch 2.1, most of these things have been made much faster/easier to complete. Players used to spend hundreds of hours to gear up to MP10 or to level to Paragon 100, while the equivalent (Torment 6 and finding full class sets) can now be done in just hours or days.

    So, with the game so much faster to progress through than it used to be, and players accustomed to mastering the highest difficulty level and finding the best gear quickly… I can see why some players would object to Blizzard’s attitude of, “you’ll never approach the highest level Greater Rifts.” (Though no one seems to mind Paragon levels going on forever, when they could max out at 800 or 1000.)

    Do you guys agree with the design theory that Greater Rifts extend off into infinity, and there’s no way players will ever max them out? Or would you prefer that the highest level content is attainable, or at least possible to imagine obtaining?

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    Latest Diablo 3 News

    Diablo 3 Co-Op Play, In a Single .gif


    Posted 6 Oct 2014 by at 00:41 GMT

    For this weekend’s podcast we’re planning to chat about multiplayer in Diablo 3, and especially co-op play. Which wasn’t really a thing early on for Diablo 3, with insufficient incentives for partying up, but which has become a lot more viable in Reaper of Souls, and not just for split farming bounties. (Now people actually cooperate to do A1 bounties in games, with the much-buffed legendary drop rate on higher Torments.)

    Diablo3 Co-op is pretty good though, and while it’s better to party up and help out, not all builds work well together. At least there aren’t direct drawbacks though, like non-consensual PvP or friendly fire or ninja looting, etc. Right?

    Diablo  cooperative play at its best.

    Diablo 3 ccooperative play at its best. (Click if you don’t see it animated.)

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    Tagged As: | Categories: Humour, Multiplayer Issues, Party Play, Videos | 17 Comments