Are You Prepared for 2.4.0?

Posted by DHAdmin on January 7th, 2016 at 5:33 am
Blizzard Quote [source]

Death continues to stretch its icy grasp over the world of Sanctuary. The terrors that await will crush the life from your fragile frames, and know that I shall be patiently observing from the threshold of existence. Let us examine the trials ahead together, that we might better prepare for your inevitable doom.


Mad Mysteries Await

- Greyhollow Island and Beyond -

Though I do not require respite, were I to take leave of my duties, this little lost island immersed in intrigue would be a restful destination. Bloodthirsty beasts, occult mysteries, and the total annihilation of an entire civilization? Even from the distant shores of a deserted Westmarch, I can sense the malevolent forces that are undoubtedly to blame. How invigorating.

The scattered remnants of the Coven have finally made use of their pitiful existence, clearing the previously collapsed stairwell within the decrepit halls of Leoric’s Manor. Perhaps it is worth your time to see what the Mad King left behind.

Return to the Ruins of Sescheron and take a moment to observe your surroundings. To the east lies the Eternal Woods, the wilderness that surrounds this barbaric landmark. Beware the yeti who roam this frozen wasteland and keep your wits about you; the remnants of their hunts often claw their way above the permafrost. . . 


The Strong Grow Stronger

- Set Item Revisions -

It is prudent to equip yourself to your best of your meager abilities. Luckily for you, your efforts are now much more manageable. Many of the fabled Set items of heroes past have grown in strength, boasting new or improved abilities.

This is, of course, in addition to the treasure trove of new items the Horadrim have discovered and catalogued. I have acquired some of their research, and I recommend you take note of their findings.


Rise to the Challenge

- Set Dungeons -

Pride is a satisfying sin, and there is no greater gratification than watching an egotistical hero fall as a result of their own hubris. Naturally, when a curiously dangerous new set of challenges arises, I have little doubt your arrogance will get the best of you. Set Dungeons have begun opening their mystical portals all around the land of Sanctuary, and you will be permitted to enter should you be fully equipped with a completed wardrobe.

The challenges that lie within will take planning, guile, and dedication to conquer. Naturally, you do not stand a chance and, regrettably, death will not claim you when you inevitably fail. Still, should you desire to overcome these challenges, your efforts will be well rewarded.


The Price of Power

- Empowered Rifts -

The greed of adventurers knows no bounds, and I have heard whispers of the immense fortunes so many of you possess. While I am hardly impressed, perhaps I can recommend an alternative to rolling about in your filthy lucre? The abilities of your nephalem friend Orek are not yet depleted, and he has use for such riches.

Empowered Rifts allow your gold to serve you best by enhancing your Legendary Gems with additional levels of power. Naturally, should you fail in your challenge, the treasure you offered will be as forfeit as your life. A pity, but to be expected.  Buyers should always beware.


Treacherous Shores Lie Beyond

- Greyhollow Hungers -

Are you prepared to dare the dangerous coastal forests of Greyhollow Island? Will you prevail a true victor over the challenges of Set Dungeons? Or do you simply pine for the newest Season, eager to once again begin your journey anew? Share your thoughts below, that I might welcome you to your end with open arms. I do so enjoy being the guide to your doom.

Best of luck, nephalem.

First Look - Season 5

Posted by DHAdmin on December 22nd, 2015 at 1:57 pm
Blizzard Quote [source]

Patch 2.4.0 is live on the PTR for testing and headed soon to live realms, stuffed to the brim with great new features for Diablo III. For our Seasonal heroes out there, we’ve prepared this guide to Season 5 so you can roll right into a fresh start on day one.

Several changes are coming to Seasons with Season 5, including the removal of Season-exclusive Legendary Items, the introduction of new and varied rewards, and a whole new feature in the form of Season Rebirth. Let’s check it out!

Table of Contents:


Season Journey Updates

The Season Journey feature was introduced in Patch 2.3.0 for Season 4, and we’ve made a few updates in time for Season 5 to begin. The first major change is a direct response to popular player feedback, as we have removed Seasonal Legendaries from the game. All new Legendaries included in Patch 2.4.0 will be made immediately available to be found by players regardless of Season participation.

However, we still want there to be item-based rewards as part of the Season experience. We’ve introduced Haedrig’s Gift, a special bundle of Set items you’ll receive on completion of certain stages of the Season Journey. Starting in Chapter 3, three of the objectives in the Season Journey will reward you one of these bags, each containing two pieces of one of your class sets.

By the time you complete all of Chapter 4 of the Season Journey, you should be fully decked out in a full class set! Which set you receive will rotate with each Season and depends on which class of hero you open the gifts on. Each Haedrig’s Gift will be mailed to you and can be retrieved by opening the in-game mail icon in the bottom left corner of the screen.

Be careful, though; each step of the Season Journey will only reward one Haedrig’s Gift (for a total of three bags per Season/one full set of gear), regardless of how many characters you might play in a given Season. Make sure to claim these gifts on the character you want to receive their set!

The class sets offered in Season 5 are:

  • Barbarian: Might of the Earth
  • Crusader: Thorns of the Invoker
  • Demon Hunter: The Shadow’s Mantle
  • Monk: Monkey King’s Garb
  • Witch Doctor: Raiment of the Jade Harvester
  • Wizard: Firebird’s Finery


New and Updated Conquests

Conquests continue to be a staple of the Seasonal experience, and we’ve updated some of our existing Conquests and added some new ones based on features included in Patch 2.4.0.

If you’re looking for an entirely new challenge, you should try tackling the Masters of the Universe / Masters of Sets Conquest! Designed around the new Set Dungeon feature, this Conquest requires you to complete 8 different Set Dungeons of your choosing.

The Thrill / Super Human Conquests previously asked players to push the limits of their gear without equipping a class set. With the introduction of more powerful two-piece sets, we’ve decided to up the ante on this challenge by tweaking the rules. In Season 5, you’ll need to complete these Conquests without using a single set item. Save up those Ancients and well-rolled Legendaries—you’re going to need them!

We’ll continue rotating through different challenging Conquests in Season 5, and you can expect to see the return of a few favorites. Sprinter / Speed Racer makes a triumphant return, as well as Avarice / Avaritia. Finally, Years of War / Dynasty has been updated for the latest levels of class power, now requiring Greater Rift Level 55 Solo to complete.


New Cosmetic Rewards

Starting with Season 5 and moving forward, we will provide a variety of cosmetic rewards, and what type of reward you will receive will rotate with each new Season.

In addition to the usual exclusive Portrait Frames and pieces of the Conqueror’s Transmogrification set, you will also receive either a pair of wings, an exclusive pennant, or a non-combat pet. For Season 5, players who reach level 70 will receive the Wickerman pet.


Season Rebirth

Last, but certainly not least, is the addition of a totally new Season-exclusive feature called the Season Rebirth. This allows you to take any non-Seasonal character you have and instantly transform them into a Seasonal character, ready to jump straight into the action on day one.

Any of the gear or items equipped on your character or in your inventory will be automatically stripped from the hero and mailed to your non-Seasonal characters, similar to the rollover process that occurs with your stash space when a Season ends. In addition, your character will be reduced to level 1, ready to start the process as though they were freshly created!

Accomplishments like achievements, crafting recipes learned, artisan levels, or unlocked stash tabs will be left behind as part of your non-Seasonal progression. However, personal records like your character name or time played will be retained and carry on through your Seasonal adventures.

There are a few things to keep in mind when using Season Rebirth:

  • Gear mailed to your non-Seasonal characters will only be available for reclamation for up to 30 days from the time it is mailed!
  • You may only Rebirth up to three characters per Season.
  • Hardcore characters who have fallen are not eligible to use the Season Rebirth feature.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When does Season 5 start?

A: Season 5 will begin Friday, January 15 at 5:00 p.m. PDT in North America, 5:00 p.m. CEST in Europe, and 5:00 p.m. KST in Asia. For assistance with time zones, click here.

Q: How long will Season 5 last?

A: Starting with Season 5, all seasons going forward will last approximately three months.

Q: When are the non-Seasonal Leaderboards being wiped?

A: Non-Seasonal Leaderboards are tied to what we call “Eras.” We currently anticipate the next wipe to coincide with the end of Season 4, although this may not be the case for future Seasons.

Q: Will Seasons be coming to console?

A: Some features on console are best designed for that platform, and the same is true for the PC version of the game. A large part of the fun of Seasons is the entire community rerolling heroes together at the same time. Because the offline and disconnected nature of console does not support this style of play, we do not currently have plans to implement Seasons on console.

Q: What will happen to older Seasonal records?

A: As we continue on into additional Seasons, we will no longer be able to store some personal Seasonal records. While Season 5 will store your personal bests for all Seasons to date, at some point in a future Season, we will begin removing old personal bests, beginning with Season 1. This will be true regardless of your personal participation in previous Seasons. We will have more information on this change at a later date.

Seasonal Leaderboard records are not being cleared, and will remain archived both in game and on our website.


Are You Ready?

We’re stoked to start Season 5, and we hope you’re as excited as we are to jump straight in with us on day one! With tons of class set revisions, oodles of new items, and the new Set Dungeon feature, this is bound to be our most exciting Season yet!

Have you already picked which class you plan to roll in Season 5? Do you plan to dust off an old favorite using the Season Rebirth feature? What are your goals for this Season Journey, or your strategy for the day-one rush? Let us know below—and good luck in the new Season!

Patch 2.4.0 Preview: Items and Sets

Posted by DHAdmin on December 18th, 2015 at 11:07 am
Blizzard Quote [source]

Patch 2.4.0 is currently on the Public Test Realm, and we’re introducing over fifty new Legendary items and powers for you to collect. Here’s a first look at some of the incredible new loot coming soon in Patch 2.4.0!

Please keep in mind that the PTR is still active, and there may be more changes in store before these items arrive on live servers for Patch 2.4.0. Keep an eye on our latest PTR Patch Notes for more information.

Updated Sets

Several class sets are receiving significant revisions in Patch 2.4.0, including a couple that are expanding from 4 to 6 pieces, like the Thorns of the Invoker and The Shadow’s Mantle. 

Other sets, like Armor of Akkhan or Firebird’s Finery, are receiving a bit more power to make them more comparable to other high-performance options. 

While some sets are simply receiving adjustments, like the addition of new skills to their bonuses or adjustments to damage values, others are being completely redesigned. 


New and Updated Legendary Items

Patch 2.4.0 will also have a ton of new and updated Legendary items. While some are designed to augment the class sets we’ve redesigned or revisited, there are plenty aimed to enhance class skills that previously lacked complementary Legendaries.

That’s not all—for the players who want to seek power beyond 6-piece sets, we’ve got just the thing for you. The revisited Legacy of Nightmares (or the “no set” set, as we like to call it) allows you to make your wildest build dreams a reality, boosting damage and defense for every Ancient item equipped as long as no other set bonuses are equipped.


Seasonal Rewards

As you may have heard, we’re removing Season-exclusive Legendaries from the game. However, there are still plenty of rewards in store for those of you who enjoy starting fresh! By the time you complete Chapter 4 of the Season Journey, you will be guaranteed a full six-piece set for your class.

The featured class sets for Season 5

You will receive two pieces at a time via Haedrig’s Gift, a new reward mailed directly to you after completing certain milestones in the Season Journey. But be careful - each gift can only be earned once, so choose wisely when you open these precious packages! The items you receive will be determined by the class who opens them.

In addition to guaranteed class sets, we’re continuing our tradition of rewarding cosmetics for Seasonal participation. Take a peek at the unique pet and portrait frames you can earn in Season 5!


These items (and plenty more) are headed your way in Patch 2.4.0, but you can test them right now by joining us on the PTR. We’ll see you there!

Season 4 Ending Soon

Posted by DHAdmin on December 16th, 2015 at 2:56 pm
Blizzard Quote [source]

Here we are again, nephalem. As we prepare to close out another Season in Diablo III, it's time to take a moment to remember what you have achieved and ensure you're ready for the transition to a new Season.

If you haven't experienced the end of a Season, there's a lot to know about what happens to your gear, progress, and characters. Don't fret! We're here to give you a full overview of what to expect and fill you in on the details of when the current Season will end and the next one will begin.

Table of Contents:


The Season Rollover:

Those who have played through a few Seasons know there has been no shortage of gold, gear, or Paragon levels to earn. So what happens to all that hard earned progress when a Season ends? In short, you get to keep just about all of it.

Here's a list of all the rewards from this Season you can expect your non-Seasonal heroes to enjoy:

  • Heroes
    • Seasonal heroes will be converted to either non-Seasonal Normal or Hardcore mode heroes, as appropriate. There's no need to delete any characters to make room for them; your Seasonal heroes will continue to use the same slot they currently occupy in your roster after the rollover. And starting in Season 5, you’ll be able to use Season Rebirth to convert any non-seasonal character into a Seasonal, level-one character.
  • Gold
    • Any gold you earn during the Season will transfer to your non-Seasonal heroes.
  • Paragon Experience
    • The total amount of Paragon experience earned is the amount that rolls over, not your raw total amount of Paragon levels gained.
    • For example, if your Seasonal heroes reached Paragon 300, but your current non-Seasonal heroes are already Paragon 400, your new non-Seasonal Paragon level will still be less than Paragon 700 since higher Paragon levels take more experience to earn.
  • Blood Shards
    • Similar to gold, any Blood Shards you have available at the end of the Season will transfer to your non-Seasonal heroes.
    • If your non-Seasonal heroes are currently at the Blood Shard cap, any Blood Shards you earn once the Season ends will temporarily ignore the cap. You can spend these at your leisure; however, note that you cannot pick up any additional Blood Shards until you are below your current cap.
  • Items
    • Items that are currently equipped on a hero or in that hero's inventory will stay on that hero as it moves to a non-Seasonal game mode.
    • Items that are in your Seasonal stash will be sent through the in-game mail system to your non-Seasonal heroes. These items can be claimed by any non-Seasonal hero for up to 30 days from the time you first log in after the Season ends.  To access these items, enter a game and hit the Mail icon located in the lower-left corner of your screen to open up your inbox. 
  • Artisan Progress and Recipes
    • If your Seasonal Artisans are a higher level than your non-Seasonal Artisans at the end of the Season, their level will transfer to your non-Seasonal Artisans.
    • Any recipes you have on your Seasonal Artisans that are not available to your non-Seasonal Artisans will be transferred as well.
  • Shared Stash
    • Any Shared Stash slots or tabs you purchase during a Season that are not currently available to your non-Seasonal heroes will be transferred accordingly.
  • Achievements
    • Any Achievements or Achievement progress made during the Season is automatically applied to your non-Seasonal Achievement profile. This happens in real time and does not require the Season to end first. Your Achievement point total is also updated appropriately throughout the Season.
  • Kanai's Cube
    • After the Season rollover, any Legendary Powers unlocked using Kanai’s Cube on a Seasonal Character will become available on non-Seasonal characters as appropriate.
    • At the start of a new Season, Seasonal characters will not have access to any Kanai’s Cube Legendary Powers unlocked during previous Seasonal or non-Seasonal play.
  • Season 4 Rewards
    • All players who reach level 70 on a hero in Season 4 will unlock exclusive head and shoulder transmogrification appearances. These appearances will unlock immediately upon hitting level 70 on a Seasonal hero, and will be available on Seasonal and non-Seasonal heroes alike (even before the Season concludes). To access your new appearances, simply visit Miriam the Mystic and open the Transmogrification tab.
    • In addition, players can earn portrait frames and an exclusive pet for completing various chapters of the Season Journey.

Note that all heroes, rewards, and progress will convert to the appropriate non-Seasonal game mode. Any items, gold, Paragon experience, Achievements, Artisan levels or recipes, Stash space, and Blood Shards earned on Normal Seasonal heroes with transfer to your Normal non-Seasonal heroes when the season is over. Similarly, anything you’ve earned on Hardcore Seasonal heroes will transfer to your Hardcore non-Season heroes instead. 


Season 4 Conquests:

Unlike other rewards, Conquests do not roll over at the end of the Season (because they aren’t available to non-Seasonal heroes). This also means that your non-Seasonal Achievement point total will not be affected by any Conquests you earn during a Season.


Season 4 Leaderboards:

Once the Season ends, all Seasonal Leaderboards will be wiped and you will be unable to attain new Leaderboard ranks until the next Season begins. The results of the previous Season’s Leaderboards will remain available for viewing in-game. Once the new Season begins, a handy drop-down menu will allow you swap between the current and previous Season records. 

Don't forget that you can also view current and past Leaderboards right here on our website.

The non-Seasonal Greater Rift Leaderboards will also be wiped at the end of the Season. However, you'll immediately be able to compete in the next Era with your non-Seasonal heroes (including those who have just rolled over), and will not have to wait for the start of the next Season. 


Season 4 End & Season 5 Start Dates:

There will be a period of time between when a Season ends and the next begins. During this time, you’ll be able to sort through your rollover rewards and review your progress on the Leaderboards. It’s a great time to reflect on the accomplishments you’ve made and enjoy the culmination of your pre and post-Season loot hunts!

Season 4 will be ending at the following dates and times for each region:

  • North America: Wednesday, December 30 @ 5:00 p.m. PST 
  • Europe: Wednesday, December 30 @ 5:00 p.m. CET
  • Asia: Wednesday, December 30 @ 5:00 p.m. KST

Season 5 will be starting about two weeks afterwards at the following dates and times for each region:

  • North America: Friday, January 15 @ 5:00 p.m. PST 
  • Europe: Friday, January 15 @ 5:00 p.m. CET
  • Asia: Friday, January 15 @ 5:00 p.m. KST

For time zone assistance, click here. We look forward to seeing you in Season 5!


Ready for the Rollover?

How have you fared during Season 4? What was the highest Greater Rift you reached? Did you complete any Conquests? Any other exciting accomplishments to share?

Let us know in the comments and prepare yourself—Season 5 is just around the corner!

Patch 2.4.0 Preview: Greyhollow Island

Posted by DHAdmin on December 11th, 2015 at 12:17 pm
Blizzard Quote [source]

The sting of sea salt burns your eyes, adding insult to injury as an endless storm rages on. The memory of countless ships dashed upon jagged shores is fresh in your mind as a streak of lighting cracks across the sky, briefly illuminating the dense forest that surrounds you. The heavy scent of pine and sodden earth is interrupted by the sickly sweet note of decay, and a thousand flickering eyes in the distance serve as warning—if the madness of Greyhollow Island does not take you first, the beasts surely will.


What's Lost Should Stay Lost

Miles off the coast of Westmarch lies an island that many believe to be little more than legend. Cut off from the rest of Sanctuary’s developed civilizations, Greyhollow was once the center of a grand empire. Often times, such isolated societies grow and advance at incredible rates, and Greyhollow was no different. Its citizens devoted their cause to a mysterious and, as is often the case in Sanctuary, completely evil being. For reasons still unknown to this day, this unimaginably advanced society collapsed, leaving ruin, chaos, and a lingering curse behind.

Over the years, inquisitive adventurers would catch glimpses of this land off in the distance, though many presumed it to be an illusion, perhaps even a trap devised by the many evils that inhabit the world. Those who found their curiosity insatiable attempted to travel to and explore the land, dreaming of notoriety or wealth. Instead, each journey ended in tragedy, as those foolish enough to pursue this myth were never to be seen again.


Making the Mystery - Breathing Life into Greyhollow

The enigma behind the events of Greyhollow Island took careful crafting, and several themes were at play. There’s an overall creepy ambiance to this thoroughly supernatural slice of nature, and we wanted to make sure that vibe was prevalent in each aspect of the zone, extending from art and visuals to gameplay and creature design.


Left: Concept Artist Sojin Hwang. Right: Senior Artist Matthew Ryan.

Putting this island forest together came quickly and fiercely, as our artists and designers were so eager to breathe reality into this zone that ideation and conception were completed more organically than traditionally. This means that few sketches or style guides were needed; Greyhollow was so clear and composed that it took little effort to jump straight into producing its components in our tools.

It became clear that to deliver the man-versus-nature feeling, it was necessary to avoid as many humanoid creatures as possible. Senior Game Designer Joe Shely explains this conscious decision in a succinct way: “Greyhollow Island is about being alone in the woods at night. It’s an untamed island filled with natural and supernatural dangers.” The monsters of the island reflect this, with natural enemies like the Primeval Hunter and Glowing Death to the more fantastical Hive Mother and Silverback.

Inspiration for the zone came from a variety of places, but Technical Artist Neal Wojahn’s personal experience of the Pacific Northwest played a key role in bringing the deadly marine elements to bear. Born and raised in the region, Neal recalls a section of coastline called “The Graveyard of the Pacific,” an area known for the highest number of shipwrecks than anywhere else in the ocean.


Left: Photo Copyright Kimon Berlin. Right: Photo Copyright Adbar.

 

“Greyhollow is supposed to be set in a similarly treacherous area. As a child, I have vivid memories of driving with my family to the Oregon coast and seeing shipwrecks sinking out into the sand, being beaten by the grey fury of nature.”

These notes are visible all over Greyhollow Island, and it takes only a moment of observing the crash of the waves or churn of the ocean to feel the raw power of the elements that the team wished to convey.


Endless Exploration—Delivering a Story in Adventure Mode

With the addition of new zones into Adventure Mode that were not present in Campaign Mode, the development team decided to experiment with new methods of storytelling. “There was really no way for us to just drop this into the middle of the story,” shares Senior Level Designer Matthew Berger. “This presented some unique challenges because Adventure Mode is meant to be story light; it is the place where players go to replay content again and again.”

Grasping the story of Greyhollow is a more complex endeavor than a jaunt through the zone. As you explore the island, you’ll begin to unravel the mystery that’s threaded through each journal entry and event you stumble upon. Not every player will experience the story in quite the same way and may not even draw the same conclusions as a result; it’s truly the choice of each adventurer how much they want to focus on what’s unfolding or just blitz through and check a bounty off their list.

It was also a great opportunity to explore the world of Sanctuary outside of the events of The Eternal Conflict. Senior World Designer Leonard Boyarsky explains that the storytelling method of Greyhollow Island is more driven by exploration than exposition. “We focused on less of a main narrative, and more on mystery and side story and having the player piece together what was actually happening.” This approach makes Sanctuary feel a lot larger and more alive than ever, where events beyond the machinations of angels, demons, or adventurers can transpire.


The Island Hungers...

The atmosphere, enemies, and gameplay of Greyhollow Island all deliver a creepy, lonely sensation designed to instill desperation in those lost among the boughs of its broken tree line. Both flora and fauna can be described as bloodthirsty, and only the most stalwart explorers will discover the secrets buried within. We’re excited for players to dive in and piece together the legend left behind by Greyhollow’s mysterious denizens. Be wary, adventurers, lest you become yet another forgotten victim crushed beneath this ancient evil. 

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