Season 20 The Forbidden Archives in Reciew

Posted by DHAdmin on March 29th, 2020 at 9:02 am

Season 20 - The Forbidden Archives in Review

Season 20 review

Now that Season 20 has been running for a few weeks, we thought it was time for a review of what we've picked up so far. We welcome your feedback as well.

In Season 20, there are 3 brand-new class sets to try out and we review the new armour sets here.

Horde of the Ninety Savages Armor - Frenzy

Horde of the 90 savages

In this armor set, there is a main Barbarian Skill known as "Frenzy". Frenzy is a single-hit attack that increases your attack speed each time you make a successful strike. If you get the Horde of the 90 Savages set bonus, Frenzy deals increasing more damage as you use it. What's more, each strike is spread out to all enemies located in a radius of 15 yards.

Blizzard have released Frenzy builds in previous Seasons, and the return of the Frenzy Barbarian Character is considered by many to be long overview.

If you enjoy thrashing and smashing around, then you'll love this set!

Season 20 Witch Doctor class set: Mundunugu's Regalia

Mundunugu's Regalia set featuring spirit barrage

The Mundunugu's Regalia set features another skill that is popular with Diablo fans.

The set is based around the Witch Doctor skill; Spirit Barrage. The Spirit Varage is a medium range missile attack that blitz's enemies with magical, spectral bolts.

There are many Witch Doctor builds but it's likely that Mundunugu's Regalia is likely to become one of the most popular builds ever.

Once of the major reasons for this is the fact that the Spirit Barrage is just one of the Witch Doctor's skills available in the set. There's also a new Diablo III game experience in parallel with Big Bad Voodoo.

Big Bad Voodoo normally only allows a buff within a confined area ie the Spirit Barage skill is only available in limited places in the game. In the Mundunugu's Regalia set, the buff can be used throughout the game.

Season 20 Wizard class set: The Typhon's Veil

The Typhoon's Veil

The Typhon's Veil class set interacts with the Wizard's Hydra skill in a completely new way. Normally this skill spawns a single, elemental Hydra that attacks your enemies independently. In the Season 20 Wizard's class set, Hydras are modified so that they grow extra heads and inflict even more deadly damage. There is a trade-off though; each time you take damage, one of your Hydra heads dies. This will of course will reduce the damage reduction the Typhon's Veil set would otherwise provide.

During the Typhon's development, there were some intial concerns as to whether this tradeoff would make this set viable for players

After this feedback, Blizzard made some adjustments to the set on the Public Test Realm 2.6.8 (PTR). An important tweak prevents the Hydra heads from dying off too suddenly with a two second delay between the time between heads die. At the same time, the amount of additional damage each head deals was increased further to help address player concerns.

Those are the notes on Season 20 we've put together, but we'd love to hear your feedback as well!

Season of the Forbidden Archives Starts Today

Posted by DHAdmin on March 3rd, 2020 at 12:02 pm
Season of the Forbidden Archives Starts Today

Season 20 - Season of the Forbidden Archives Notes

Diablo Season 20

Blizzard has launched Diablo III Season 20, naming it Season of the Forbidden Archives. Many adventurers have come to learn how to use the power within the ancient nephalem artifact known as Kanai's Cube. However, none understand this power better than the equally celebrated and reviled Horadrim, Zoltun Kulle. Kulle was able to unlock and harness the power of the Cube like none before, leveraging its power to siphon and archive the energies of powerful items. With Season 20, players are invited to explore the power Kulle might lend to your fingertips if his experiments went unchecked.

Season 20 has started


Table of Contents

Throughout Season 20, the slots in Kanai's Cube that allow you to equip three additional Legendary powers will not be restricted to their usual categories. Normally a player can equip one power each from the Weapon, Armor, and Jewelry categories but, in Season 20, players will be able to mix and match between all three! This might allow you to run two Weapon powers with one Armor power. Or perhaps you might choose to run three Amulet powers instead. The choice is yours, and we're as eager as you are to experiment with the new build opportunities this creates!

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Season 20 Cosmetic Rewards

Blizzard began re-introducing previous Seasonal rewards in Season 17 to make them available to players who may have missed them the first time around. For Season 20, this means awards originally available from Season 8 are returning to the Season Journey.

Season 20 rewards

That said though, Blizzard want to be sure that players have something new to aim for if you've participated in previous Seasons. With this philosphy if leaving no one behind, Blizzard aims to provide new End of Journey rewards as introduced in Season 17, with two new cosmetic rewards for those who complete the Season of the Forbidden Archives in its entirity. Check out this Teganze Warrior Portrait Frame and Bat pet!

Season 20 Teganze Warrior Portrait and Bat

As well as the Boots and Pants slots of the exclusive Conqueror Set, you'll also be able to win a series of portrait frames that smolder with demonic fires of the Burning Hells. The iconic "wings" of Andariel will also be available once more, allowing players to live in their inner Maiden of Anguish.

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Season 20 Journey Rewards

If you've been diligently slaying demons for the past few Seasons and reached Conqueror in the Season Journey each time, you will almost certainly gained a few extra stash tabs. You'll earn one additional tab each Season by finishing the Conqueror tier, up to a maximum of five:

  • Guardian of Sanctuary: Finish a level 70 Nephalem Rift on Torment XIII difficulty within 5 minutes.
  • Gem of My Life: Level three Legendary Gems to level 55.
  • All I Do is Win: Complete 2 Conquests this Season.
  • Warm Thoughts: Kill Izual at level 70 in under 15 seconds on Torment XIII difficulty.
  • Money Ain't a Thang: Slay Greed on Torment XIII difficulty. Treasure Goblins outside of Nephalem Rifts will sometimes open portals to Greed's domain, The Vault.
  • Take U There: Reach Greater Rift Level 60 Solo. Greater Rift keystones can be obtained from any Nephalem Rift guardian.
  • Power Amplification: Use Kanai's Cube to augment an Ancient Legendary item with a level 50+ gem.
  • Cubic Reconfiguration: Use Kanai's Cube to reforge a Legendary item.

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Seasonal 20 Conquests

Want to prepare your Conquest plan for Season 20? Here are the challenges you will have to overcome in Season 20.

For Curses!/Stars Align, pick any Cursed Chest event that requires killing monsters and defeat over 350 or more at level 70 on Torment X or higher. Push your way to Greater Rift level 75 to complete Divinity/Lionhearted. For the fiercest demon slayers, Boss Mode/Worlds Apart is a speed challenge where you'll need to eliminate the following bosses at level 70 and Torment X in under twenty minutes:

  • The Skeleton King
  • The Butcher
  • Zoltun Kulle
  • Ghom
  • Cydaea
  • Rakanoth
  • Diablo
  • Adria
  • Queen Araneae
  • Maghda
  • Belial
  • Siegebreaker Assault Beast
  • Azmodan
  • Izual
  • Urzael
  • Malthael

Finally, Years of War/Dynasty will be a great test for those who enjoy mastering various Class Sets, and if that's not enough, Masters of the Universe/Masters of Sets will challenge your tactical understanding of Set Dungeons.

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Haedrigs gift season 20

Haedrig's Gift in Season 20

Finally, the Class Sets rewarded for completing certain chapters in the Season Journey courtesy of Haedrig's Gift have rotated once more. Here are the available Sets below. For those new to Seasons, here's how it works:

Completing Chapters 2, 3, and 4 of the Season Journey will reward you with three of Haedrig's Gifts. Each Gift contains a few pieces from one of your Class Sets. Players can only unlock one Class Set in this manner per Season across Hardcore and Non-Hardcore, so choose wisely!

The set you receive depends on the class of the character you're playing when you open each Haedrig's Gift. To collect a full Class Set, you'll need to open all three on the same character.

Here are the sets granted by Haedrig's Gift in Season 20:

  • Barbarian – Immortal King's Call
  • Crusader – Seeker of the Light
  • Demon Hunter – Natalya's Vengeance
  • Monk – Uliana's Stratagem
  • Necromancer – Trag'Oul's Avatar
  • Witch Doctor – Spirit of Arachyr
  • Wizard – Vyr's Amazing Arcana

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Patch Notes

You will find the final patch notes for the most recent update for Diablo III here; Patch 2.6.8.

Patch 2.6.8 is live

Posted by DHAdmin on February 23rd, 2020 at 2:11 pm

PTR 2.6.8

There's a two-week PTR testing period for 2.6.8 that begins February 6 and Blizzard needs your help again!

There are 3 brand-new class sets to dig into, an armful of Legendary item changes, and a pretty crazy game-changing Season mechanic that's bound to blow the lid off your traditional build approach. Check out the preliminary patch notes below and start theorycrafting; Patch 2.6.8 is here!

Patch 2.6.8 table of contents

Table of Contents

  • PTR Details
  • Patch Notes
  • How to Participate in PTR
  • PTR Character Copy

    PTR Details

    Blizzard will be conducting the Patch 2.6.8 PTR over the course of two weeks, starting Thursday, February 6. During the course of PTR, there may be periodic maintenances, outages, hotfixes, or minor patches.

    There will be two buffs active to help you on your PTR journey: increased Legendary drop rate and double Blood Shard drops. You can also buy customized gear Blizzard are focused on testing from the special PTR vendor, D'jank Miem, who will exchange Blood Shards for class-specific bags full of Legendary items that need your testing!

    Feedback should be provided in the PTR Feedback forum while bug reports should be provided in the PTR Bug Report forum. Clearly separating these discussions allows your designers and quality assurance testers to home in on the information they need most.

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    PTR Goals

    With another new game-impacting Seasonal buff and entirely new class sets to experiment with, Blizzard knows it'll be very tempting to get your hands on as much as you can! To help guide your focus, here are our priorities in terms of what Blizzard would most like to see tested.

    • Barbarians, Witch Doctors, and Wizards heavily testing their new class sets and item changes
      • Please note when providing feedback about these class sets to avoid mixing/matching with the Season buff, mentioned below. While that feedback is valuable, it's best kept separate to ensure Blizzard are reviewing the long-term strength of these sets beyond Season 20.
    • Experimentation with the Season of the Forbidden Archives mechanic, with emphasis on finding bugs and testing functionality

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    PTR Tips

    As with Blizzard's previous PTRs, this testing period will have a short duration. Whether you're a PTR veteran or newcomer, they will pass along a few tips to get you started.

    • Because of the limited duration of this PTR, Blizzard asks that participants pick a particular portion of this update to focus on testing.
    • For example, if you're mostly a Wizard player, think about the changes impact the Wizard specifically. What you like best, what you think may still need adjustment, and what you'd want to see in the future (even if that may be beyond the scope of this patch) are all good questions to ask yourself.
    • Prior to the start of PTR, think about stocking up on items like Puzzle Rings and Bovine Bardiches. Having these available after you import your character can make any necessary PTR farming much faster!
    • Try to break things! Tell Blizzard when you find a problem so they can fix it when the patch launches.
    • When providing feedback, focus less on a solution and more on your experience. How did the changes make you feel? Was there something “off” that you noticed? Did something seem wrong or insufficient? Suggestions are always welcome but identifying the issues themselves is most important.

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    Patch Notes

    Below you will find the patch notes for the latest PTR patch for Diablo III, Patch 2.6.8.


    Patch notes

    PATCH 2.6.8 Notes

    Table of Contents:

    Note: The following changes apply to both PC and Console versions of Diablo III unless otherwise noted.

    Note: Changes between PTR patches have been denoted in RED.


    General

    • Infernal Machines and Organs are now subject to vacuum pick-up
    • Crafting plans from Bounty Caches are now guaranteed to drop unless all plans have been learned
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    Seasons

    • A new Season Theme has been added for Season 20, the Season of the Forbidden Archives:
      • For the duration of Season 20, all slots in Kanai's Cube will be able to select Legendary powers from Weapon, Armor, or Jewelry
        • This means you could select three Armor powers, three Weapon powers, three Jewelery powers, or any other combination thereof across all categories
        • Items are not self-additive or multiplicative (meaning, you cannot stack multiples of the same item's power)
        • Once the Season has ended and characters roll over to Non-Season, players will have all currently active powers in their Kanai's Cube reset
        • Developer's Note: As Blizzard outlined in its Developer Insight blog, they want to continue to get creative (and maybe a little crazy) with the Season Themes and powers that Blizzard add to the game. The Diablo 3 team heard from some players that they preferred themes that made your character directly feel more powerful rather than needing to focus on the environment around you. If that describes you, then the Season of Forbidden Archives should be right up your alley, and Blizzard are really interested to see how this changes the game for Season 20.
    • Two new Seasonal rewards are available for players who fully complete the Season 20 Journey, including a new portrait frame and pet
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    Patch classes

    Classes

    • Crusader
      • Developer's Note: Blizzard are not convinced that this change has fully reigned in Crusader performance to be more in line with other classes. Blizzard will be continuing to keep an eye on overall Crusader performance (as well as performance among the other classes) as Blizzard moves into 2.6.8 and beyond.
        • The animation for the Fires of Heaven rune can no longer be cancelled early.
    • Witch Doctor
      • Spirit Barrage (Phantasm)
        • The periodic attacks from Spirit Barrage (Phantasm) are now twice as slow, but twice as powerful
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    Items

    • #
      • The bonus granted by this item now occurs 1 second after channeling has begun
    • Barbarian
      • Developer's Note: Blizzard wanted to provide an alternative method to gaining the benefit of the 2-Piece bonus of Horde of the Ninety Savages. Adding in Frozen as an option allows this benefit to work on bosses, provides an alternative gearing option, and should work better in groups without having to remove an option for play.
      • New Class Set: Horde of the Ninety Savages
        • 2-Piece Bonus: Double the effectiveness of all Shouts. Feared and Frozen Enemies take double damage.
        • 4-Piece Bonus: Each stack of Frenzy reduces damage taken by 5% 6%. Frenzy lasts twice as long.
        • 6-Piece Bonus: Frenzy deals 1000% increased damage per stack.
      • Undisputed Champion
        • Frenzy gains the effect of every rune and deals 300-400% increased damage.
      • Bastion's Revered
        • Frenzy now stacks up to 10 times and hits an additional time per stack. Each additional hit will chain to any enemies within 15 yards and the damage is split between all affected enemies.
    • Witch Doctor
      • Developer's Note: Many of the changes Blizzard made for the Witch Doctor focused on improving the set's survivability and server performance. They've also improved the behavior of Big Bad Voodoo, so it should be much less likely to be left behind!
      • New Class Set: Mundunugu's Regalia
        • 2-Piece Bonus: Big Bad Voodoo now follows you and lasts twice as long.
          • Big Bad Voodoo will now follow you more closely, across zones, and correctly in groups
        • 4-Piece Bonus: Gain 50% 60% damage reduction for 30 seconds when you enter the Spirit Realm.
        • 6-Piece Bonus: Spirit Barrage deals increased damage equal to 50 times 50% of your Mana Regeneration per Second.
          • Developer Note: This isn't actually a buff or a nerf; it's a rewording to make the functionality of this bonus more clear.
      • The Barber
        • Instead of dealing direct damage, your Spirit Barrage now accumulates on the target. When you stop casting, it explodes dealing 225-250% 400-500% of the accumulated damage to all enemies within 15 yards.
        • Is now classified as a Ceremonial Knife, with a base 1.4 attack speed
      • Gazing Demise
        • Spirit Barrage gains the Phantasm rune. Each active Phantasm lasts twice as long, increases the damage of Spirit Barrage by 40-50% 100-150%, and also increases the attack rate from Manitou spectres.
        • PTR CHANGE: The attack rate granted to Manitou specters has been slightly reduced.
      • Ring of Emptiness
        • You deal 250-300% increased damage to enemies affected by both either your Haunt and or Locust Swarm.
    • Wizard
      • Developer's Note: Wizard encountered a lot of bugs with its new class set, so please make sure to check the Bug Fixes section below for additional detail! Blizzard did consider adding another skill into The Typhon's Veil, but they believe there's more work to do first on Wizard Legendary options to make choices outside of the Etched Sigil/Deathwish/Mantle of Channeling combo more appealing. They're looking at this now as a longer term goal, as they have plans to do much larger overall balance passes in the future after all the new class sets have been added to the game.
      • New Class Set: The Typhon's Veil
        • 2-Piece Bonus: Double the duration of Hydras and increase the number of heads on multi-headed Hydras by two.
        • 4-Piece Bonus: Damage taken is reduced by 8% for each Hydra head alive as long as there is one available. Each time you take damage, a Hydra heads dies. Heads cannot die more than once every 2 seconds
        • 6-Piece Bonus: Hydras deal 1000% 1200% increased damage for each Hydra head alive.
      • Serpent's Sparker
        • You may have one extra Hydra active at a time and they deal 450-600% 350-450% increased damage.
      • The Magistrate
        • Frost Hydra Your Hydras now periodically casts Frost Nova and deal 450-600% 350-450% increased damage.
      • Etched Sigil
        • The bonus granted by this item now occurs 1 second after channeling has begun.
      • Deathwish
        • The bonus granted by this item now occurs 1 second after channeling has begun.
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    Bugs

    • Several issues with adding/removing players to group and starting new games as a group have been resolved
    • Captain Crimson's Trimmings
      • Fixed an issue where the set bonus did not increase damage reduction when using Devour - Voracious
    • Barbarian
      • Fixed a bug where Threatening Shout (Grim Harvest) would not activate when enhanced by the Horde of the Ninety Savages set bonus
    • Crusader
      • Corrected the spelling of “Imperius” on the flavor text for several pieces of the Aegis of Valor set
      • Fixed an issue where the bolts cast by Fist of the Heavens - Divine Well failed to zap enemies
    • Demon Hunter
      • Fixed an issue where In-geom was not properly dropping for Demon Hunters
    • Wizard
      • PTR CHANGE: Arcane Dynamo should now properly apply to extra Hydra heads created by The Typhon's Veil
      • PTR CHANGE: Fixed a bug where active Shields would not prevent Hydra heads from dying while utilizing The Typhon's Veil
      • Fixed a bug where Arcane Torrent would get an extra damage multiplier from Etched Sigil and Deathwish
      • Fixed a bug where Hydra (Frost Hydra) was getting a damage bonus instead of Attack Speed bonus from its owner's Attack Speed; this rune now benefits from Attack Speed in the same manner as other Hydra runes
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    PTR Only Changes

    • Djank Mi'em's Bag of Fortunes now also include crafting materials
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    How to Participate

    To participate in the public test, you must have a Diablo III game license attached to a Battle.net account in good standing (i.e. one that hasn't been suspended or banned). In addition, you will also need to download and install the Blizzard Battle.net desktop app if you have not already done so.

    Step 1: Restart the Battle.net desktop app.

    Step 2: Navigate to the Diablo III tab on the left-hand menu.

    Step 3: On the Diablo III screen, there is a drop-down menu right above the "Play" button (note that this may say "Install" if you do not have Diablo III currently installed). Select "PTR: Diablo III" from this drop-down menu before proceeding.

    Step 4: Click Install to begin the installation process.

    Your PTR account will be created automatically if you do not already have one. The PTR is available in all supported languages, and accounts from all regions are eligible to participate. For additional assistance with installing and launching the PTR, click here.

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    Patch characters

    PTR Character Copy

    The option to copy your existing Diablo III characters from your live account to the PTR will be available and can be done directly through the PTR client. However, only one region per account can be copied at a time. So, if you choose to copy characters from your account in a different region, any previously copied PTR characters will be lost.

    Step 1: Log into the live game and then log out.

    Step 2: Log into PTR client and create a level 1 character. After you're done, return to the main character screen.

    Step 3: Click on the "PTR Copy" button located in the upper right-hand corner. (The PTR Copy button will not appear in-game until you have created a new level 1 character.)

    Step 4: Select your region.

    Step 5: Click "Copy." This will copy all characters on your account from the selected region.

    Step 6: You will be disconnected from the PTR client.

    Step 7: Log back in. Your copied characters will be available for play.

    Please note that you can only copy characters from one gameplay region at a time. If you choose to copy characters from a different region, any previously copied PTR characters will be lost. In addition, you can only copy characters over to your PTR account once every 24 hours. Attempting to copy characters before this cooldown is up will result in an error.

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Diablo III Balancing & Class Set Design

Posted by DHAdmin on January 29th, 2020 at 1:45 pm

Diablo III Wizard

Blizzard are celebrating 2020 with a relaunch of The Darkening of Tristram; one of its favorite events for Season 19; released for the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.

The Blizzard team have been working on multiple content patches for Diablo III, including Patch 2.6.7. that was made public in November. This release introduced two new class sets, one each for Crusader and Monk, and a reworked Whirlwind gameplay for the Barbarian. According to Blizzard, the end product was pivotal to the endgame meta and an ambitious undertaking that has worked out well even if they acknowledge that there's a lot more work to do!

Table of Contents

Paragon & Greater Rift Levels

Paragon greater rift

Blizzard has a lot of user feedback and stats to consider when tweaking Diablo III. This data comes in many forms, including build guides, gameplay from your favorite streamers, and the Diablo III leaderboards. Paramonth though, Blizzard also tracks its own data internally, which allows them to see a lot more than just the top 1,000 player clears for each category.

None of these stats should be taken in a vacuum though; and the dev team at Blizzard consider the following metrics:

  • Individual performers and their Paragon Level
    • Paragon level directly impacts a player's long-term progress; it's important that this is accounted for when comparing different points of data
  • The intended design and in-practice functionality of each class set
    • For example, one might ask what this set do best? Does it clear a lot of smaller monsters, or is it a good Rift Guardian killer? Does the set serve a support role? Is it better in group play over solo? Does it need to be doing something different? All these questions need to be considered.

Blizzard are also at pains to list what they specifically avoid when considering overall class balance:

 

  • Seasonal buffs and their impact on overall power
    • Blizzard aims to design fun, engaging Seasonal buffs without worrying about how they might impact class balance
      • Data from non-Seasonal players is especially helpful here
    • Some buffs may be better or worse for different classes, but since Season effects are temporary, Blizzaed say they are relaxed about this.
  • Direct 1:1 class comparison
    • While Blizzard is keen that each class must perform similarly, it is still important that classes retain their unique class fantasy
      • Each class should be able to accomplish similar goals, just in different ways

When balancing, the Blizzard team loos for a point of reference to work around. The "ideal" class set performance for Diablo III is approximately Greater Rift 130, solo, and assumes the character has 5000 Paragon levels. They point out that this might sound high and low to others but they argue that if this is the case, then they have the balance about right.

Leaderboard data

Assuming a player is at 5000 Paragon, here's where all the classes landed, on average, a few weeks into Patch 2.6.7 for non-Seasonal play, aggregated across player leaderboard data world-wide:

Barbarian

Crusader

Demon Hunter

Monk

Necromancer

Witch Doctor

Wizard

GR Avg.

130

138

125

130

123

130

130

From the data above Blizzard can be certain which classes are under or over performing.

Just for fun, here's a similar comparison during the same timeframe upscaled in Season (where many players hadn't reached 5000+ paragon):

Barbarian

Crusader

Demon Hunter

Monk

Necromancer

Witch Doctor

Wizard

GR Avg.

135

136

124

134

118

120

130

It's interesting to see which classes most likely benefit most from the Seasonal buff - it's also evident which classes are probably not being played as much or pushed as hard as others.

While this Blizzard's main goal, they are also conscious they aren't always going to hit it perfectly. Like many games, Diablo III has substantial number of mechanical details. A single change can have knock-on effects through many other parts of the game, so it's important to be mindful of what each change can affect. To take these factors into account, Blizzard has a scale for error, based on how a class is performing above or below our guideline:

  • +/- 1-2 Greater Rift Levels: Very close. Probably fine, when accounting for random elements (the perfect "fish") or high player skill cap (excellent play and timing).
  • +/- 3-4 Greater Rift Levels: The warning zone. We need to watch for buffs/nerfs in this area, but action may not yet be necessary. Time to keep an eye on it!
  • +/- 5 or more Greater Rift Levels: Warrants significant change. At this range, it's clear that something is over (or under) performing and needs to be addressed.

Blizzard are at pains to point out they are using aggregate data; the above tables only cover overall class performance rather than individual class set performance. Better performing builds may be equalizing out weaker ones when it comes to the broader picture. They make changes at the set and item level, which means that they must additionally parse out data by build performance (whether it's a class set or Legacy of Nightmares-based). The above method is meant to serve as an example of our general approach and informs them which classes most likely need more attention first.

The Greater Rift 150 Cap

It's important to note, especially for those of you who have been looking for this answer: but the dev team has no plans to increase the Greater Rift level cap beyond 150. As to why, the short answer is because it causes more problems than it solves.

The long answer is simply that continuing to expand the end game through additional Greater Rift levels hasn't been the healthiest approach for Diablo III. At this late stage of game development, Blizzard say they would prefer to focus on making the current game the best, and most varied, experience it can possibly be. We hope to accomplish this by (1) continuing to add new builds and (2) improving existing builds that have fallen behind. Maintaining a cap, and even backing away from it a little, will allow us to focus on greater gameplay variety.

Solo vs. Group Design

Solo vs Group design

It's apparently a common misconception that the Diablo III dev team looks for a balance solely around 4-man groups. They say that while they certainly take it into account, group play is not their only focus because not all players enjoy playing in groups. Blizzard wants to ensure that the content they're designing can be enjoyed by the most players, so their design decisions should take both styles into account. They note that to design solely around one style of play, the other would be severely impacted (and likely a lot less fun).

However, there is one notable exception to this. zDPS, or "zero Damage Per Second," builds tend to only thrive in group play. The team debated for a long time as to whether this was a style we should encourage or actively avoid (or possibly even remove). Any Diablo game is, at its heart, about killing monsters and getting loot, so we considered heavily whether this gameplay fit the spirit of the game they had made.

Blizzard notes that zDPS (zero damage per second) is a style of gameplay that some players like, but not all do. Blizzard ultimately decided that it's good that there are unique ways to play Diablo III, and they don't want to take that fun away from those who enjoy it. However, they're also not actively trying to create more zDPS builds. Their intent is rather to design new item powers and sets that either facilitate entirely new builds that can be used solo or in groups, or to give more item support to some of the most requested class skills. Inevitably, regardless of what gets added, they know the community will find combinations Blizzard never anticipated—and they are looking forward to our feedback!

"Creative" Game Mechanics & Animations

There have been a handful of problematic gameplay styles that have emerged over time, largely due to creative use of snapshotting or taking advantage of the ability to cancel skill animations. Blizzard claim that these impede can impede efforts at overall game balance, and it makes it very difficult for them to change skills or items without overly punishing the whole class when these tactics aren't used.

With this in mind, Blizzard is keen to be able to address the balance issues these builds pose, but at the same time they don't want these classes to fall behind as a result of these changes. Blizzard are honest that fixing these problems is going to be a game of whack-a-mole as they make fixes and other issues arise through player experimentation. Their first area of concern will be disabling animation cancellation on certain skills. The Crusader class is the most subject to this (though not alone) and Blizzard say they will ensure no class falls behind as a result of losing this "trick." Once this this specific issue has been addressed, they will continue to review and revisit areas of the game where similar mechanics are having a negative impact and act accordingly.

The Darkening of Tristram 2020

Posted by DHAdmin on January 7th, 2020 at 11:27 am

Season 19: The Darkening of Tristram Returns

Darkening of Tristram

Blizzard are celebrating the new millennium with a relaunch of one of its favorite events for Season 19; The Darkening of Tristram released for the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.

The Darkening of Tristram has been around since 2016 and has become something of a Blizzard favorite. It's popular with fans alike because it allows players to explore the original cathedral in Diablo III.

With the launch scheduled for Jan 4th the season will be a short-lived one ending on January 31st or Feb 1st depending on where you live.

For those of you who are new to Diablo or for those looking for a refresher, we've compiled this review of the 2020 anniversary dungeon and its unique rewards.

Darkening of Tristram screenshot


 

Hunt Down the Cultists

cultists is causing trouble in sanctuary

Season 19 starts with the hunt for a group of enigmatic cultists raising hell in Sanctuary. Hunt them down in Adventure Mode and you will pick up vital clues that will lead you to a portal in Tristam's origin and the terrifying darkness that took hold of the town in ancient times. . . .


 

Explore the Cathedral

Tristam Cathedral

Follow the clues laid for you and once again you will discover the realm of glorious RetroVision &tm;, where an in iconic cathedral await. Explore some more and you'll come across old enemies and iconic items, all brought to life in the Diablo III engine. Ominously, in the catacombs below the cathedral, the Dark Lord himself is ready to destroy anyone who dares to confront him. . . .


 

Discover Precious Loot

Season 19 items

No Diablo III Season would be complete without polished new loot to grab for yourself. Each activity completed in the Darkening of Tristram event leads to unique transmogrification effects, achievements, portraits, pets, and more.

You'll find that some of these rewards are easy to discover, whereas others will require you to unlock every achievement to seize them. It's up to you to find them all!


 

Season 19: Your Journey Begins Again…

Relive The Darkening of Tristram in 2020! Unspoiled rewards and formidable enemies are waiting for you, but they won't last forever! The cultists have already started appearing since December 31st but the portal opened on January 4th 2020.

Let us know how you get on and give us your feedback.

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