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Diablo 3 Podcast #173: Power Creep and Spin2Win Barbs
Season Three marches on with massive power creep in higher GRifts. Are higher levels of Torment required, or will the removal of Realm of Trials solve the problem? Also, why doesn’t anyone want to play with Spin2Win Barbs, do Seasons need more incentives, and does anyone really want to play Thorns? Featuring N3rdwards, Master X, […]
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Keywardens are now Global drops

Posted 22 Apr 2015 by at 23:19 GMT

Try my new, less convenient location.

Try my new, less convenient location.

An undocumented change in Patch 2.2 has made Key farming much easier in multiplayer games, since Keywardens are now Global drops. The patch notes don’t mention this, though they do list a bit about keywardens.

Areas in which DiabloWikiKeywardens are located now have a boss icon on the Waypoint map

  • The icon will indicate whether or not the Keywarden has been killed
  • This is only for level 60+ games
  • DiabloWikiNekarat the Keywarden

  • Has been moved from Silver Spire Level 1 to Gardens of Hope 2nd Tier
  • Previously, the common way to farm for keys was for 2+ players to head to the same area and spread out, rushing through the Fields of Misery, Dahlgur Oasis, Stonefort, or Silver Spire Level 1 Gardens of Hope 2nd Tier. Whoever found the keywarden would alert the others and wait, not killing the KW until everyone was in the vicinity so they would be eligible for the drop.

    That was the old way. You can still do that, and it might even be faster on the really large areas (Dhalgur Oasis), but characters in the game no longer need to be in proximity to earn a key drop. Each Keywarden will drop a key for everyone in the game, or no one — it’s all or nothing, so everyone gets a key, or no one does, from each Keywarden, and the best odds are still just 50% on T6.

    The key does *not* just appear in your inventory like a Horadric Cache. Each character must go to the spot of the Keywarden’s death to pick it up, but since everyone or no one gets each key, everyone stays in synch for group Infernal Machine efforts. This also allows players to split-farm Keywardens, spreading out to different acts and searching simultaneously. You just have to let everyone else know if a key drops, and then drop a banner or wait until the others arrive, so they don’t have to search the level, since Keys still do not show up on the map as Legendary Drops.

    Also, the recent Blood Shard exploit hotfix did *not* change how Keywardens drop. I split farmed a few yesterday in an MP game and the key drops were still global.

    Do you guys like the change? It makes key farming a bit less teamwork, with people splitting into different acts and exploring solo, rather than spreading out to search the same area simultaneously, but I think it’s a good idea to make the drops global, just so everyone in the game stays in synch on their keys. It was always annoying in the past if you had four people farming and one guy got really unlucky and was stuck on something like 6/2/7/9 keys while everyone else had at least 4 of each key and wanted to move on to the Ubers.

    Related point that’s been made many times, but can we get a reset the Ubers option after all 4 portals have been cleared? Stick on the annoying Rift 30s timer if necessary, but it’s annoying to have to keep creating new games when you’re doing multiple Infernal Machines in a row.

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    Latest Diablo 3 News

    Blood Thief Exploit Hotfix Details

    Posted 22 Apr 2015 by at 14:11 GMT

    Blizzard has posted details about the Blood Thief exploit and the hotfix that has changed some game mechanics to prevent it happening again. Blood Thief Exploit Hotfix Details:

    While this issue is now resolved, we know a lot of players have questions about what happened and how we responded, so we wanted to take some time to discuss a few of the details with you here.

    Following the launch of patch 2.2.0, players discovered an exploit that caused Blood Thief goblins to drop a larger number of Blood Shards than intended. The exploit could only occur in Greater Rifts when in a multiplayer group and required a specific sequence of steps to activate.

    As soon as we were able to able to verify the exploit and identify its underlying cause, we immediately began working on a hotfix for PC. The hotfix was deployed in all gameplay regions on April 16, which made the following changes to the game:

    In order be eligible for experience or loot from any monster (including Treasure Goblins), you must do damage to it or be in the same area when it is killed

  • If you are in a Greater Rift, you are no longer eligible for any experience or loot gained by party members outside of the rift
  • For console, this particular change cannot be implemented via hotfix, so we’ve temporarily disabled all Blood Thief goblin spawns on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One until further notice (pending a future patch).
  • From there, taking the complexity and impact of the exploit into consideration, we also elected to action accounts on a case-by-case basis. In general, one of three things occurred:

  • Accounts which were found to have both used the exploit excessively and publicly promoted its use were permanently banned.
  • Accounts which were found to have used the exploit excessively, but did not publicly promote it, were rolled back and their associated heroes removed from active Leaderboards (both Seasonal and non-Seasonal).
  • Accounts which were found to have used the exploit to a limited degree (or quickly stopped once realizing the scope of what was happening) were effectively pardoned. We understand these situations can inspire a certain level of curiosity and that it may not always be immediately clear if you’re undermining intended game mechanics. Mistakes happen, but we hope this leniency won’t be taken for granted in the future.
  • All in all, this incident has shown us that the vast majority of players, upon encountering an in-game exploit, will not only put sportsmanship and fair play above personal gain, but will also work to bring the matter to our attention quickly via channels like, our online webform and ticket system, and these very forums. (We even received a few Twitter DMs, Skype messages, and personal emails too!) So, on behalf of the development team, I just want to say thank you to those of you who took the time to notify us, as well as apologize for any inconvenience caused a result.

    As noted in our original post, maintaining an enjoyable and equitable play experience is very important to us, and we’re going to continue to monitor the game as well as take steps to prevent exploits like this from happening again.

    That reaction; banning the biggest exploiters/publicizers, rolling back abusers, and sparring experimenters, matches pretty well with the community consensus as expressed in our vote/survey results. As I argued on the last podcast, I’d still like to see a lot more transparency, with names and dates and such, but both guests disagreed, and it’s an irrelevant debate since Blizzard has made clear that they’re not going to “name and shame.”

    So what do you guys think, now that this issue seems to have been resolved?

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    Latest Diablo 3 News


    Diablo Fan Art Watch #272: Diablo 2044

    Posted 22 Apr 2015 by at 06:29 GMT

    Greetings all and welcome to the latest installment of the Diablo Fan Art Watch. This week we bring you two pieces of art by artist Lap Pun Cheung. Featuring the classes of Diablo 3 in the futuristic setting of 2044. Here’s what he had to say on one of the pieces:

    Cheung: My redesign of Diablo III character classes, placing them in a cyberpunk version of the world. The Demon Hunter is now a bounty hunter, the Witchdoctor is an technomage, the Monk is brawler, the Barbarian is a bouncer and the Wizard is a hacker. They are just hanging out around the Slaughtered Calf bar.

    New Tristram Slums:

    The Ghost in the Machine:

    If you want to see more futuristic and mecha style diablo fan art check out Watch #270 Cyber Diablo III for more.

    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


    Vote: Patch 2.2 and Season 3 Legendary Items

    Posted 21 Apr 2015 by at 18:46 GMT

    Much of the conversation on this week’s podcast focused on some of our favorite new legendary items in Patch 2.2/Season 3. All of us on the show were pretty happy with the new gear we’ve been finding and using, but how goes it for you guys?

    Have you benefited from the new legendary items and new/upgraded item sets? Are they doing what you want or need? Or was not your favorite skill or play style supported, or your class of choice ignored, so you can only look bitterly at the others frolicking in their near gear and bide your time until v2.3?

    Vote: Patch 2.2 and Season 3 Legendary Items:

    Your opinion on the new/upgraded legendary/set items in Patch 2.2 / Season 3?

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    Latest Diablo 3 News


    Diablo 3 Podcast #172: Fun Legendary Items & The Blood Shard Exploit

    Posted 21 Apr 2015 by at 06:22 GMT

    What’s it like to start a new season in Hardcore vs. Softcore? Plus, the best new builds and most fun new legendary/set items in Patch 2.2 and Season 3. Also, Blizzcon tix have sold out, and is power creep making Torment 10+ necessary? Featuring M0uakkai and Muggs.

    Click through for approximate segment starting times and related links:

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    Thorns in Diablo III?

    Posted 21 Apr 2015 by at 02:13 GMT

    Iron Maiden on Cows.

    High end D2 strategy in play…

    A Thorns/Reflects Damage build has never been viable (at the high end) in Diablo III, and while the developers have occasionally talked about it or tried to create it (via the Thorns of the Invoker set and a few associated legendary items), it’s currently a non-starter. There is, however, some new info into the Devs’ thinking via Wyatt Cheng’s recent spot on the Westmarch Workshop.

    Thorns in Diablo III?

    The Thorns of the Invoker set actually came up during Westmarch Workshop’s interview with one of our designers, Wyatt Cheng. Here’s what he said (with the occasional linguistic quirks carefully omitted):

    WYATT: We’ve basically been trying to err away from totally passive playstyles, and … I guess the question we’ve been asking ourselves is “What is the fantasy of being a Thorns player?” I think back to D2 and you have your Golem and you’ve probably been casting Amplify Damage and playing Necro and you have Thorns… That’s one common way to go… And I think that the Amplify Damage kept things to be somewhat active, but at the same time, I think a big part of the fantasy is that I can stand there and not doing everything and the monsters just kill themselves attacking me. So it’s kind of like a power fantasy at that point, where you’re just like, “I am so amazing that monsters die in my presence.”

    Click through for the rest of Wyatt’s lengthy thoughts on the issue, and a huge player-developed list of the reasons Thorns doesn’t work in D3, and what would be needed to fix it.

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    Strategy: Natalya’s Vengeance Gets Its Revenge

    Posted 20 Apr 2015 by at 20:21 GMT

    Nat's in action.

    Nat’s in action.

    During the PTR for patch 2.2 most DH players saw the buffs to Natalya’s Set and thought it looked neat, but no challenge to Marauder’s or the new Unhallowed Essence set at the high end. “Fun way to finally use Strafe; maybe good enough for T6 farming.” I used a simple version of the build early on the PTR, just going with Physical Strafe and RoV (before Nat’s weapon became so powerful with the +damage to Rain of Vengeance) and it was very fun for T6 Rifts, but at about GR35 it slowed down too much.

    Others were not content with that, and tried new/different gearing and play styles, and their theorycrafting has paid off… New builds show that Natalya’s Set is not just comparable to Marauder’s and UE, but actually better. Plus, it offers very different playstyles from the standard M6/UE “shoot everything from the very edge of the screen” which are effective, but not very fun at the higher end.

    The version of Natalya’s that looks the most fun harnesses the intense burst damage and knockback of the Rain of Vengeance: Stampede rune, which can be cast every ~3 seconds thanks to CDR gear and constant use of a Generator + Strafe, and nicely triggers the Focus/Restraint buff. The build generates (and requires) infinite Discipline, and the DH exists in a permanent state of Smoke Screen. It’s a very aggressive and fast paced build, and in the video below you can see a Chinese player clearing a GR54 like a boss. (Good tutorial from a GR55 clearer in this thread.)

    That’s just Softcore, though, and he dies repeatedly. There’s another version of the build that is even more fast-paced, and has been used to clear GR49 in Hardcore. Click through for video of that, but note the big disclaimer… these builds need a tremendous amount of control dexterity, and will probably lead to arthritis with the intense keyboard mashing and back and forth mouse control required.

    Strategy: Natalya’s Vengeance Gets Its Revenge!

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    Tagged As: | Categories: Demon Hunter, Item Sets, Strategy News | 13 Comments

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    Vote: Blood Thief Exploit Aftermath: Bans, Rollbacks, and Debate

    Posted 18 Apr 2015 by at 20:43 GMT



    Blizzard has replied to some questions, comments, and complaints about how they handled Thursday’s Blood Thief/Shards exploit. There was lively debate in comments of our news thread, and lots of angry threads demanding that heads roll have been closed or deleted on, but in a couple of cases a Blue had made some sort of reply. Blood Thief Exploit Aftermath: Bans, Rollbacks, and Debate:

    Punishment suggestion for exploiters

    Since we’ve all heard about the bloodshard exploit and the possibility of Blizzard banning the exploiters, I would like to propose the correct punishment for them. Reset their accounts completely, in season and non-season:

  • Lose all paragons
  • Lose all Characters
  • Lose all Items
  • Ban them from current season
  • Ban their accounts for one week
  • After said week, let them play again. This way there could be no dispute over value lost, but it will send a strong message to those who would like to continue abusing exploits and the exploiters will surely think twice…

    Personally I’d like Blizzard to post a list of the users they, if they ever going to that is, banned. Naming and shaming should be a good deterrent as well.

    Tyvalir: Hey guys, I just wanted to share a quick reminder with everyone, since I’ve seen a lot of threads popping up around this topic.

    It’s totally okay to share your thoughts and concerns here on the forums. In fact, that’s a big part of what people enjoy about them, and an important part of their purpose.

    While we welcome friendly and constructive discussions about the game and the community, we draw the line at making derogatory remarks about other players (even when they are made with the best of intentions for the community). These comments can wear away at our sense of community, and create a hostile atmosphere.

    If you believe someone was playing the game and using hacks or exploits, rather than make a post about it here, please send an e-mail to and include as much detail about the hack or exploit as possible. Thank you!

    The reason why naming-n-shaming isn’t allowed, is because people will often do this in err, accusing innocent people of things they didn’t do.
    Tyvalir: The bottom line is that name shaming (of any kind) isn’t appropriate for these forums. It doesn’t result in constructive dialogue, no matter how well-intentioned an OP might be, and instead works to tear down the community.

    If your goal is to report hacks and exploits, or other types of exploitative behavior, there are tools both in-game and outside the game (as referenced in my previous post) which are far better suited to this purpose.

    All that said, this is really not the place to discuss what account actions should be taken against which individuals. Since that’s the direction this thread is headed, I’ll be locking it up.

    It’s interesting that Blizzard has (in recent years) relentlessly promoted people who stream their games, far in excess of any promotion (or even acknowledgement) of their fansites. And there’s no policy on Bnet about not linking to or publicizing streamers the rest of the time… but once a bunch of them start pushing some exploit, it’s forbidden to mention them or talk about what they did or how they were punished.

    As for the issue of punishment, what do you guys think should be done? Here’s a vote with the commonly-suggested punishments, arranged in a sort of sliding scale of retribution. Pick the one that most closely aligns with what you think should be done, and hit the comments if you’d like to plead with the mercy of the court, incite more vengeance than a Demon Hunter, or instruct others on the error of their opinions.

    How should Blizzard punish those who exploited the Blood Shard trick?

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