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Wizard Changes Preview for Patch 2.2
With Season 2 now in the rearview mirror it is time to look ahead to Patch 2.2, Season 3, and what is in store for the Wizard master race. The new Season is just a few days away. Lots and lots are changing with the patch. Even more will change with the start of the […]
Diablo 3 Podcast #172: Fun Legendary Items & The Blood Shard Exploit
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 […]
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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?

    View Results

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    Blizzcon 2015 Tickets, Going, Going, Gone

    Posted 18 Apr 2015 by at 19:52 GMT

    blizzcon-tickets-2015This morning was the second and final public chance for fans to purchase Blizzcon 2015 tickets. If you missed out, there’s still another chance, via a $750 ticket to the annual charity dinner. (Price includes a $200 Blizzcon ticket.)

    A limited number of tickets to an exclusive pre-BlizzCon dinner to benefit Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) will go on sale Wednesday, April 22 at 7 p.m. PDT. For those unable to attend the show, in-depth coverage of BlizzCon will also be available through the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket—further details will be announced at a later date.

    Any of you guys queue up today or earlier this week and score your tickets? Several IRL friends told me they were successful this morning, and had great excite. There are also always various contests to win tickets closer to the event — in some past years we’ve had a few tickets to give out to readers — so X your fingers.

    There’s no news about what games or projects Blizzard will be showing off at the show this fall, but safe to expect much more from Overwatch, a new WoW expansion, and of course we have hopes (expectations?) that we’ll see the second Diablo 3 Expansion as well, with a playable demo.

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    Tagged As: | Categories: BlizzCon 2015 | 1 Comment

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    Blood Thief Exploit Hotfixed, Bans Coming

    Posted 17 Apr 2015 by at 11:38 GMT

    Kinda like this...

    Kinda like this…

    Thursday evening an exploit went public that allowed players to spawn almost infinite amounts of blood shards from Blood Thief goblins. The trick was to find a Blood Thief, and while one player stayed near him, the others in the game went into a Greater Rift, before the first player killed the Goblin. In some way this caused the Goblins to drop thousands of shards for each person in the Grift, and the normal amount for the one who did the killing.

    The trick could be repeated every time a Blood Thief was located, word spread quickly, streamers were demonstrating it live, and things rapidly got out of hand with players gambling through tens or even hundreds of thousands of Blood Shards. Blizzard hotfix disabled the exploit by requiring everyone in the game to be within proximity of the goblin in order for Shards to drop, and now that the bug is fixed, outraged fans are demanding that heads roll, and Blizzard seems to agree.

    We’re currently working on a hotfix to address an exploit that allows players to gain a significantly larger number of Blood Shards from Blood Thief goblins than intended. While we don’t have an ETA to share at this time, we’re looking to implement the hotfix (which will also address the underlying bug) as soon as possible in all gameplay regions and will be sure to update this thread once it’s live.

    With this, we’re also in the process of actioning accounts which have been found to be actively using this exploit to gain an unfair advantage. This behavior not only undermines the spirit play, but directly violates our in-game policies for Diablo III. As always, maintaining a stable, safe, and enjoyable online environment for legitimate players is very important to us, and we’ll be continuing to keep watch on and take additional action as needed.

    In the meantime, we encourage everyone to please game responsibly. Not only can using exploits lead to account penalties, but it can also negatively impact the enjoyment of your fellow players. This is why we’re working as quickly as we can to fix the underlying issue, and why we’d appreciate your help in keeping the effects of the exploit as minimal as possible until it’s removed from the game.

    For more information on how to report exploitative behavior, click here. For questions regarding account actions, please refer to Account Administration.

    There are numerous claims that various streamers were banned for exploiting this, but there’s a lot of trolling going on with people claiming to be banned to get attention, or accusing others of using the exploit. How many people were actually doing it and how much (if at all) this will impact the Leaderboards (chars from banned accounts vanish from the Rankings) remains to be seen. Blood Thief Exploit Hotfixed, Bans Coming.

    Also note that the hotfix tonight didn’t properly fix non-splitting Gelatinous Sires, and they will now rarely do some mega-splitting, resulting in dozens of Gelatinous Spawn, rather than just the half dozen or so intended. Hopefully Blizzard won’t deem their execution another exploit, and likely we’ll see another hotfix soon to fix that issue as well.

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    Diablo 3 Patch 2.2.0 Hotfix Update 16 April

    Posted 17 Apr 2015 by at 01:36 GMT

    Hotfixes have gone live tonight to fix some minor issues and the critical Blood Thief exploit. (Details about that here.)



    • Fixing an issue where some players are not able to access their BlizzCon 2014 transmogrification appearances
    • Fixing an issue where stash tabs purchased during a Season are not rolling over to your non-Seasonal stash once the Season ends



    • Fixed an issue where the Gelatinous Sire would occasionally fail to split (4/16)
    • Fixed a bug which caused Blood Thief goblins in multiplayer games to drop more Blood Shards than intended (4/16)


    • The “Wortham Survivors” bounty has been disabled (4/16)
      • This bounty cannot always be completed and we will be addressing this issue in a later patch

    gelatinous-spawn-bugThe Gelatinous Sire fix is not perfect, and players are reporting occasional mega-splitting, with literally dozens of Gelatinous Spawn splitting off, each of which drop loot as normal.

    This is resulting in some giant heaps of goodies, with half a dozen or more legendary items fountaining from the chaos. Presumably this hotfix will be hotfixed to limit the total Spawn to the half dozen or so intended.

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    Massive Achievements Removal from Season 3

    Posted 16 Apr 2015 by at 22:45 GMT

    The guild old days...

    The guild old days…

    One big change in this new season is a major streamlining to the number of variety of Achievements available in Season Three. There are simply a lot fewer achievements in total, and most that were removed were for odd exploration stuff. As a result a far higher percentage of the total available Achievement points can be obtained simply by power leveling and upgrading LGems and such, which is a change some players greet with dismay.

    A huge thread full of their complaints can be seen on, and a CM swooped in to lend a sympathetic ear. Massive Achievements Removal from Season 3:

    We don’t mind re-doing achievements, Blizzard. New and exclusive challenges are nice, but don’t take away from the casual experience, please. That’s a really big part of the fun for us who don’t feel like real competitive play.

    Cutting out all the original achievements (class, explore, event, boss and monster kills, etc) is not the way to spark interest in Season 3. It excludes a massive amount of the player base shooting for “The Achievement Point Leaderboards” in a season.

    I agree 100%. I was so looking forward to going for the achievements and competing for them (when I was able) and seeing where I fell on the leaderboards. But when I logged in, it seemed like 90% of the achievements were gone.

    I have zero desire to put the time into competing on grifts and conquests, but last season at least I could get into the top 1000 by playing a lot and picking up a ton of random achievements.

    Tyvalir: Great feedback! You all have my thanks for sharing your perspectives so constructively here. Even fifteen pages later, I can see that most responses are on topic and respectful in their tone. *insert applause*

    I’m still parsing through and collecting all of the ideas presented in this thread (since there’s a lot of good stuff here). By all means, please continue this discussion and I’ll make sure your feedback gets in front of the right folks.

    I was oblivious to this Achievement-pocalypse in my own play, though I’d heard similar complaints in clan chat from people who do Achievement hunt. Any of you guys in that group? Care to share your thoughts on the issue for those of us who aren’t as impacted?

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