Some nephalem hunt for portals to the Vault, while others hunt down Easter Eggs. Some celebrate their odd gaming quirks, while others obsess over their latest Legendary. What fascinating discussions are your fellow players sharing? Find out in this week's edition of The Waypoint!
/u/Mosaz (also from Reddit Diablo) asked an interesting question: Have you ever looted an item that you decided to try out, ended up falling in love with, and changed your whole play style as a result? Over a hundred players have already chimed into the discussion, citing a variety of Legendaries like Boon of the Hoarder, Wand of Woh, Carnevil, and Fate of the Fell, and more!
Can you think of an item that made you rethink your play style? If so, what was it, and what build did you end up using?
Are you wondering how many Paragon levels you'll ding on your non-Seasonal characters once the current Season is over? Wonder no longer, as /u/djindjin from Reddit Diablo has you covered with his Diablo III Paragon Calculator! Just type your current Seasonal and non-Seasonal Paragon levels into his helpful calculator, or simply enter your BattleTag, and hit "Go!"
Since the Vault was released in patch 2.1.0, many nephalem have been hunting for that one Treasure Goblin who will grant them their portal to riches! Over on Diablo Incgamers, several players in Vantek's thread are sharing their experiences tracking down this golden, but often elusive opportunity, discussing different farming locations and techniques.
Have you had any luck finding the portal to the Vault? If yes, where did your lucky Treasure Goblin spawn?
DPS? CD? CHD? Even, dare we say, a DW WW Barb using CotA? What does it all mean? Hulktopus on our official forums helps you sort out all of this Diablo speak and more in his "Acronyms - The Definitive List" guide, which was also stickied in our New Player Help forum! It's a long list, but as Hulktopus says: "ctrl + F is your friend!"
Did Hulktopus miss any key phrases? Post your additions below!
Anuiran of Diablo Hub made a list of all the fun, fabulous, and sometimes freaky Easter Eggs he's found in the game. His database is filled with everything from Legendary items to Lamentations (of the women), and includes a variety of references you might not have recognized.
Know of any other Easter Eggs or homages buried in Diablo III? If so, we'd love to hear your most hilarious or clever finds!
That wraps up this week's discussions! Until next time, heroes. We'll see you in Sanctuary.
Found a cool player-created thread, article, guide, tweet, or video? Then don't hesitate to send it to email@example.com along with a brief explanation of why you think it should be included in our next column!
To ensure that StarCraft II continues to offer a smooth experience for players when Patch 2.1.4 goes live, we’re looking for some extra help testing on the PTR, and that’s where you come in. When you test the new features on the PTR in all the various game modes (Matchmaking, Custom Games, Arcade, vs AI) and reach level 5, you’ll become eligible to win some awesome prizes.
How to Qualify
You’ll have from 12:00 a.m. PDT on August 26, 2014 to 11:59 p.m. PDT on September 22, 2014 to reach level 5 on the StarCraft II PTR in order to become eligible for the prizes below. You can check out the official rules here: Patch 2.1.4 PTR Participation Giveaway – Official Rules.
Prizes for participation
To all players who reach level 5 on the PTR:
To 50 random players who reach level 5 on the PTR:
To one random player who reaches level 5 on PTR:
How to Get In
Accessing the Public Test Realm is easy with the Battle.net Desktop App. Once you've installed and logged into the App, select StarCraft II from your list of games. Next, click the region selection box above the Play button, choose "PTR: Heart of the Swarm" from the dropdown list, and hit Install. If you own a copy of StarCraft II but don’t see a PTR option available, you can enable PTR access by going to Battle.net Account Management and selecting the Public Test Region button under your game license. Once your installation is complete, hit Play to launch the PTR and start digging in to all of the goodies mentioned above.
If you'd like to switch back to the current version of StarCraft II, simply exit the game and head back to the Battle.net App to switch the region selector back to your preferred Battle.net region.
Please note that the Public Test Realm can only be accessed through the Battle.net Desktop App as outlined above. Attempting to launch “StarCraft II Public Test.exe,” found in your StarCraft II installation folder will not grant entry into the PTR.
Thank you very much for helping us test upcoming StarCraft II features on the Public Test Realm. Your participation will be vital during this extended testing period as we prepare to roll out StarCraft II Patch 2.1.4.
To celebrate the arrival of this major content update, all players who log into Diablo III this week on Windows or Mac will not only receive a +100% bonus to Gold Find, but all Treasure Goblin spawns in the game have been doubled! (As with our previous buff, please note that the Gold Find bonus will stack multiplicatively with existing bonuses including those provided by items and Paragon points.)
This bonus Gold Find and double Treasure Goblin period begins in the Americas region today, August 26, and ends on Tuesday, September 2, at 11:59 p.m. PDT.
We hope you enjoy patch 2.1.0 and look forward to hearing your feedback. In the meantime, good luck, have fun, and we'll see you in Sanctuary!
*The buff is only available on Windows and Mac, but it will apply to all heroes—including those on accounts without Reaper of Souls enabled.
Amidst the chaos of battle, ragged opportunists sneer and scuttle to collect the loot of the fallen. Hunched over by the weight of their purloined wealth, these mischievous scavengers represent a more recent addition to Sanctuary's bestiary, with sightings increasing (perhaps unsurprisingly) shortly after the Fallen Star appeared. While not much is known about these so-called "treasure goblins," one thing is certain: they're not native.
As quickly as they enter our world, they depart—disappearing into mysterious portals and escaping with their misbegotten goods. But from where do these enigmatic visitors hail? And to where do their strange doorways lead? No mortal has ventured into nor even seen beyond their gilded veils to provide such answers. . . .
Ever since the recent demonic invasion, tales of Treasure Goblins scurrying about Kehjistan's battlefields have riddled Sanctuary’s taverns. At first believed to be frenzied grave robbers, the goblins' true nature became known only once they were witnessed in broad daylight. Now, their grayish bodies and lizard-like heads are recognizable to all but the most cloistered of citizens, and prove a welcome sight to powerful nephalem in search of easy loot.
Treasure Goblins are a guarded species, however. If observed during one of their hunts, they will attempt to retreat through arcane portals—formed from magic not unlike that the Horadrim once employed to summon Town Portals and waypoints. As their presence has become more common, so have rumors of their gold-filled "vault." It is said that beyond a goblin's portal untold riches await, as well as untold horrors.
But what is fact and what is simply fable? It's time to find out.
In patch 2.1.0, whenever a Treasure Goblin is slain, there is chance that he (or she) will open a portal to the Vault.
In the Vault, players will encounter unimaginable wealth, presumably stolen from the merchants and townfolk of Sanctuary. Piles of gold, chests brimming with treasure, and enough gems to sate even Shen himself will reward your curiosity.
Be warned! The Vault is also the domain of the Baroness Greed, the de facto leader (or so we assume) of the Treasure Goblin horde.
She is a swarthy matron consumed by her namesake and will not take kindly to your intrusion. End her reign and claim your spoils (if you dare)!
Treasure Goblins are among the most beloved of all of Sanctuary's creatures, and their ability to escape (often with precious trinkets in tow) has drawn the focus of many adventurers. As a result, the idea that a player could actually catch one of said goblins off-guard and suspend the doorway into their world offered a tantalizing possibility for the Diablo III development team.
We had a chance to sit down with lead writer Brian Kindregan, senior level designer Matthew Berger, and a cadre of talented artists (senior character artist Chris Amaral, senior environment artist Richie Marella, and technical artist Neal Wojahn) to discuss the creation of, and inspiration behind, the Vault and its sumptuous leader. They kindly put down the weapons of their trade to help us pull back the design portal and see inside the development process.
Brian: The Baroness Greed is never satisfied, so there's a lot of work to be done to keep the Vault up to snuff. Her goblin minions are continuously sent out to collect more gold. The incoming gold in turn has to be tallied. And the existing gold must be inventoried to make sure none of it has gone missing. Plus, Greed takes a bath in all her gold every three hours. She's definitely high-maintenance, as is her domain.
Brian: Greed is obsessed with all things valuable. It's a compulsion and the only cure is, apparently,
more cowbell increasing amounts of physical wealth.
Richie: We started on the Vault environment first and worked closely with the character team. We actually borrowed coin designs from them and they used a goblin statue for a mace inspiration.
Neal: Victor Lee did some really sick concepts a while ago, too; I’m not sure if they were for anything in particular but we always loved them so much that they inspired a lot of the architecture in the Vault itself.
And as Richie noted, those coin effects inspired us a lot. As we iterated, the Vault developed its own identity, and it drifted a bit away from that initial style. Instead of the Vault being a gold realm, we thought of it like a treasure realm. That's when we added a lot of things in the background for interest like gems, weapons, vases, and other valuables.
Richie: The inspiration for the Vault was a mixture of a couple of things: a bee hive, the Lord of the Rings, and Scrooge McDuck's infamous Money Pit.
One thing early on we really wanted to go for was "mountains of treasure" that covered a lot of the Vault grounds. We also wanted to create this atmosphere of "worker" goblins, busy working away much like worker bees in a bee hive. I also played around with the hive motif with multiple storage holes built into the walls—these eventually evolved into mini-vaults.
Initially, most people assumed that Greed would be a male. When working with the character team on Greed, though, they proposed for it to be a female. This turned out to be a great idea because it fell in line with what we were going for with the bee hive motif and having the so-called queen (aka the Baroness) at the end fit perfectly.
Chris: We knew that we needed a variety of goblin types for the zone, too. A low level/low health worker goblin, a hefty brutish guard goblin, and of course the leader of the pack: The Baroness!
Brian: There is indeed. The entire bureaucracy and society of the realm is set up to bring in, tabulate, and store as much gold and treasure as possible.
Matthew: We'd always wondered exactly what was hiding behind the portals that those pesky goblins disappear through and the idea of being able to visit that place—which we assumed would be awash with riches—was pretty fun.
Once we had decided that we were going to finally visit Greed's lair and let players try and take a fraction of her wealth back with them it was all a question of making it as memorable as possible. Everyone wanted to add their own little personal touches to the Vault. Piles of gold everywhere, goblins running around in the background, troopers appearing through portals, and (SPOILERS!) Greed's death. There really was no shortage of ideas.
Matthew: The fight with Greed itself evolved fairly naturally as we played it internally. Her charge attack, for example, was initially much more straightforward: she would charge at you and if she missed she'd get stunned. To add a bit more variety we then added a second charge that had a much longer range so that she could charge all across the room sometimes and surprise the player—that then evolved into her triple charge. Initially, Greed oriented herself while preparing the charge which made it very hard to avoid, when we moved into the triple charge we had her stop doing this, allowing the player an easier time to avoid it. This coupled with the great new warning that the artists had given it was the winning formula.
In a similar fashion, we made a variant of her attack where she makes chests of treasure rain down on the player, adding a lot more tempo to give the fight some fresh legs as you got towards the finale.
Neal: I loved making the breakables because of the gold effects I got to do, but my absolute favorite was making the giant treasure chest that appears at the end of the Baroness fight! It was cool to make a mega-uber chest. As a prop artist, I don't do as much figurative work, so it was nice to add all the little elements like the face teeth and little feet on it. It was also fun because I got to do a clean version for when it's closed, and a bloody version for when it's open!
But that's not all! The character and environment teams were also kind enough to share several pieces of concept art:
And so it is, that in patch 2.1.0, Treasure Goblins will become just a little more reckless, offering players a chance to finally venture through into their world to reclaim the lost spoils of war and contend with Greed, the Goblin Baroness.
Fortune and glory awaits those who are bold enough to step through, so good luck! We'll see you on the other side.
Updates to patch notes can be found in red. Last updated August 5, 2014 @ 7:00 p.m. PDT.
Below you'll find the preliminary PTR patch notes for patch 2.1.0. Please note that this isn't the final version of the patch notes and that some changes may not be documented or described in full detail.
To provide feedback on patch 2.1.0, please visit the PTR Feedback forum.
To report any issues you experience while playing, please visit the the PTR Bug Report forum.
For additional information about the PTR, click here.
New Feature: Seasons
Seasons are an optional, recurring game mode that offers players the opportunity to periodically start fresh, leveling Normal or Hardcore characters from scratch without gold, resources, or previously earned Paragon experience. Similar to the separation between Normal and Hardcore game modes, Seasonal characters will have their own shared stash and artisan progression as well. Any items, gold, or Paragon experience earned during a Season will be rolled over to a player's non-Seasonal characters once the Season concludes.
Seasons offer unique rewards and new challenges for players, including new Legendaries, an exclusive Transmogrification set only available to those who compete in each Season, and new achievements called Conquests. Progress within a given Season will be tracked in our new Leaderboard system.
To learn more about Seasons, click here.
New Feature: Greater Rifts
Formerly referred to as Tiered Rifts, Greater Rifts are a special type of timed Nephalem Rift. There are an infinite number of Greater Rift levels, and each Greater Rift level will be progressively more difficult than the last.
Completing a Greater Rift within its alloted time will allow players to progress to the next level (and if your time is exceptionally good, you may even skip multiple levels at once). Players can continue progressing through Greater Rift levels so along as they complete the Rift before its timer expires. Once a timer expires, players will reach the end of their current Greater Rift journey and their best results will be tracked in our new Leaderboard system.
To learn more about Greater Rifts, click here.
New Feature: Leaderboards
With the addition of Seasons and Greater Rifts, we want to provide players with a way to measure their progress within each of those environments. To do so, we've created Leaderboards.
Leaderboards will track a variety of competitive player data including Greater Rifts clear times, Seasonal achievement point totals, and Seasonal Conquest completion ranking across several different game styles. Designed to be informative and detailed, Leaderboards will also allow you to compare your progress to that of players within your gameplay region, on your friends list, and in your clan roster.
To learn more about Leaderboards, click here.
New Feature: The Cesspools
In patch 2.1.0 and moving forward, players will now have a chance to spawn a new level environement while in a Nephalem Rift or Greater Rift: The Cesspools.
Originally designed as the sewers of Westmarch, we weren't quite able to include the Cesspools in the list of playable environments in Reaper of Souls by the time the expansion launched. Still, we loved the look and feel of this festering, dank underworld and have spent some time polishing it up for use in Nephalem Rifts and Greater Rifts. We hope you enjoy this new randomized landscape!
To learn more about the Cesspools, click here.