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  • published the article Developer Chronicles - Eras, S7 GR 113 Rank #1, Wizard Fanart by Neon89

    HearthPwn Card Design Competition Season 4 - Death and Taxes
    Incoming Zarya Buff Hotfixes & Hero Bug Fixes
    Exorsus - Mythic Emerald Nightmare World First

    Developer Chronicles - Eras

    A new Developer Chronicles has been posted, this time giving some insight on the idea of Eras, their relation with seasons and what developers intended them to be. An interesting change mentioned is that we can expect Eras to advance less often, and not always when a patch is released. Read below.

     

    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

     

     

    Hi, everybody. Wyatt Cheng here again with a second installment of Developer Chronicles. Today, let’s discuss Eras.

     

    When we introduced Seasons to Diablo III, we also debuted "Eras." The thinking was that while the seasonal leaderboard would naturally reset every season, there would be some players who would want the non-seasonal leaderboard to reset periodically as well. There is a certain excitement associated with a fresh leaderboard—a sense that you could maybe see your own name up there at the beginning of an Era. It can also be disheartening to see somebody who is not currently playing the game hold a top position on a leaderboard long after the record was set.

     

    As Diablo III has evolved, it has become clear in hindsight that while the fresh excitement is there, it doesn’t last very long. First, the Era leaderboard is not something you "climb." If you are capable of achieving a particular Greater Rift tier, you're likely able to replicate that performance, or very close to it, at the very start of a new Era. Second, between patch changes, item buffs, and Paragon levels, there is built-in power growth over time—the concern of somebody holding a high Era ranking long after they've quit hasn’t really materialized.

     

    Eras Going Forward

    It has been our plan for some time to stop advancing the Era count every time a new season occurs. Expect that to be the norm moving forward. We are looking to move Eras to be 6–12 months in length.

    Besides simply allowing Eras to be 6–12 months long, there is an additional circumstance in which we feel an Era reset will still be warranted: when we expect that the highest attainable Greater Rift is going to go down. As an example, in patch 2.4.2, we made changes to the Twisted Sword, Energy Twister, and crowd control mechanics that caused the highest cleared Greater Rift to go down. When we have strong reason to believe the highest cleared Greater Rift will significantly drop, we do need to advance the Era to keep the non-seasonal leaderboard from going stale. Though this was the case in 2.4.2, expect Eras to advance less frequently moving forward.

     

    This brings us to a related question. When an Era advances, is it done before a patch goes live or after? The answer to this depends on the intent of Eras. Previously we advanced an Era as soon as a Season ended. This was back when there were season-specific items. The Era would advance in order to record the state of the non-seasonal leaderboards before all the season-specific items were transitioned to non-seasonal. We no longer have season-specific items and there is greatly reduced value in trying to memorialize the leaderboards at that particular moment in time. However, when we expect patch changes to cause the previous top ranks to be difficult or impossible to beat, it makes more sense to advance the Era AFTER the patch has gone live. Advancing the Era before the patch goes live would cause some players to lock in high ranks that become unbeatable once the patch hits. Advancing after the patch goes live allows players in the new Era to compete in a fresh environment based on the balance of the current live patch.

     

    To summarize, seasons are for those who want a recurring fresh experience; Eras should represent periods of time closer to a year.


    S7 GR 113 Rank #1

    Empyrian uploaded a new video of their highest Greater Rift clear, which gave his clan the rank #1 worldwide, from the perspective of one of their Monks. Watch below.

     


    Wizard Fanart by Neon89

    Neon89 has drawn an amazing fanart of a female Wizard, with some really unique strokes and style. Very cool sketch - check it out!

     

    What was supposed to be a simple sketch in a day became a fully rendered piece.
    Showing some Diablo 3 love <3

     

    Posted in: Developer Chronicles - Eras, S7 GR 113 Rank #1, Wizard Fanart by Neon89
  • published the article Battle.Net Now Blizzard Tech, Forum Migration Issues & New Icons

    Deck Spotlight: Spark's Beast Master Hunter
    Alarak Highlights - Rich's Alarak Gameplay, Telekinesis Tips & Build Guide
    Trial of Valor - Odyn, Battle.net Update, Upcoming Class Tuning, Blue Tweets

    Battle.Net Now Blizzard Tech

    Blizzard is changing its online service name from Battle.Net to just Blizzard Tech. The change appears to be mostly because of branding reasons, letting players more clearly understand how their online services work. Read below for details.

     

    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Official Post)

    We’re going to be transitioning away from using the Battle.net name for our gaming service and the functionality connected to it. Battle.net technology will continue to serve as the central nervous system for Blizzard games—nothing is changing in that regard. We'll just be referring to our various products and services using the Blizzard name instead. You've already seen this recently with things like "Blizzard Streaming" and "Blizzard Voice," and more changes are on the way.

     

    When we created Battle.net, the idea of including a tailored online-gaming service together with your game was more of a novel concept, so we put a lot of focus on explaining what the service was and how it worked, including giving it a distinct name. Over time, though, we’ve seen that there’s been occasional confusion and inefficiencies related to having two separate identities under which everything falls—Blizzard and Battle.net. Given that built-in multiplayer support is a well-understood concept and more of a normal expectation these days, there isn’t as much of a need to maintain a separate identity for what is essentially our networking technology.

     

    We just wanted to make sure everyone was aware as we moved forward with this change over the next several months; we’ll provide any relevant updates as the transition progresses.


    Forum Migration Issues & New Icons

    A few problems occurred during the official forum migration, delaying the process until next week. What's interesting about it is that along are some of the new icons seen. Archaetect shared them on Reddit, and some have a quite "unique" style to them - once again sparking our curiosity.

     

    Could they mean more than just a style change to the forums? Could they be a preview of something new we'll see in the near future?

     

    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

    Hey all,

    Forum migration is now underway! We really appreciate the feedback that's been given, and we'll be retiring the Service Status forum as a result.

    In the mean time, please pardon the dust while the migration is completing. This may take a couple of hours, but you should see the shiny new interface before the end of the day.

    We'll let you know if there are any other updates in the meantime.


    As a result of unforeseen circumstances, the deployment of our new forum style has been delayed. Currently, we are aiming to redeploy sometime next week. In the mean time, you may notice some sizing issues with the forum icons on the main page. This is a temporary display issue and should be resolved shortly.

    Apologies for any inconvenience, and thanks for bearing with us as we work to resolve these issues!

     

    I don't know if the forums were in maintenance mode yesterday but I got a glimpse of some of the new icons and assumed they were rolling them out until I noticed they were gone today. Yes, I should've grabbed a screenshot but I assumed they were mid-deploy since it looked messed up. Edit: they did try to deploy the new forums. Here are the images that I opened in tabs to inspect further:

    The generic cube that doesn't appear to match either the Horadric or Kanai equivalents...it could be simply stylized to represent both but it's a curious choice nonetheless. Also, the new logo background pattern that seemed to debut at Gamescom in the room during Wyatt's interview is also consistently applied.

    A small bit of coal to fuel those hungry hype-trains, but keep in mind these are probably going public next week anyways.

     

          

     

          

     

    Posted in: Battle.Net Now Blizzard Tech, Forum Migration Issues & New Icons
  • published the article New Wave of DDoS Attacks, Diablo Rise of the Hunter

    What One Night in Karazhan Could Have Been + Early Karazhan Art
    Zarya & Warhead Junction Available on PTR, Muradin Price Increased
    Bonus Rolls, Brewfest 2016, Metzen Statue, Legion App Updated, Tweets, DLC #552

    New Wave of DDoS Attacks

    A new wave of DDoS attacks has happened over the last couple days on Blizzard servers and some internet providers - causing connection issues on most Blizzard games, including D3. If you enjoy hardcore, keep that in mind and maybe make sure things have settled down before doing higher GRs.

     

    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Twitter)

    We are currently monitoring a DDOS attack against network providers which is affecting latency/connections to our games. #BlizzCS

    Diablo Rise of the Hunter

    A really cool project called Diablo Rise of the Hunter was recently revealed to the public through its Facebook page. It's a short film made by fans which will tell the prequel story of Valla, the Demon Hunter from Diablo - how she went from a simple Tristram villager to a deadly nephalem.

     

    Very interesting project with fan favorite characters like Deckard Cain and the blacksmith Griswold making an appearance. Check out the preview below, or visit their official page for more behind the scenes photos and info!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Posted in: New Wave of DDoS Attacks, Diablo Rise of the Hunter
  • published the article BlizzCon Goodies Revealed, Potential D2 HD Hoax

    Popular Decks of the Week for September 18
    BlizzCon Goodies Revealed, Unused Brightwing Model, Paid BattleTag Changes
    Paid BattleTag Changes, Patch 7.1 Raid Testing, Sept 15 Hotfixes, 7.1 Notes Update

    BlizzCon 2016 Goodies Revealed

    Blizzard recently unveiled what players will get by attending BlizzCon of through a virtual ticket. Diablo 3 players will receive an exclusive pet to celebrate Diablo's 20th anniversary - the Lord of Terror himself! On his classic form. See below.

     

    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Official Post)

     

    Every BlizzCon®, we give out a treasure trove of in-game goodies to attendees and Virtual Ticket holders to commemorate the occasion. Take a look at what you’ll get for your favorite Blizzard games when you join us for BlizzCon X.


    Diablo® III – Diablo 20th Anniversary Pet

    Blizzcon2016_Goodies_444x250_D3.jpg

    Celebrate two decades of terror with this anniversary-themed Diablo pet, based on the Dark Lord’s design from the original game.*

     


    This cache of in-game goodies will be available to you when you join us for BlizzCon X via the Virtual Ticket or in person (just redeem the Digital Bonuses code you received when you purchased your tickets).

    They’ll be unlocked in-game closer to the show—stay tuned for more information, and we’ll see you at BlizzCon!

    Order BlizzCon Virtual Ticket

    *Diablo III in-game content for PC/Mac version only. To redeem Overwatch in-game content for PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, players must link their Battle.net account to a PlayStation Network® account or Xbox Live® account respectively. For more information on account linking, visit https://us.battle.net/support/en/article/linking-your-battlenet-account-on-consoles.

    Bonus StarCraft II goodie will also be available separately—more details to come.


    Potential D2 HD Hoax

    A new website named diablo2hd.com was noticed by mfw_high, with the message "Evil Has Survived" and a countdown on its front page. Players generally agree that it does not look legit, based on the style, domain and other factors. What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments!

     

    Posted in: BlizzCon Goodies Revealed, Potential D2 HD Hoax
  • published the article Chris Metzen Retirement, Meta Update - Top 10 S7 Builds

    HearthPwn Card Design Competition - Perpetual Commotion Finalist Voting
    Alarak & Braxis Holdout Release, Machines of War Showdown, Rotation & Sales Sep 13
    Chris Metzen Leaving Blizzard

    Chris Metzen Retirement

    Chris Metzen has decided to retire from the gaming industry and shift his focus more towards his personal life and family.

     

    He posted a farewell message on the official forums, a deep and emotional one. Specially for those who still believe Blizzard developers love their games and worlds as much as we do! Take some time to read, and feel, it by yourself.

     

    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

    [Posted on behalf of Chris Metzen]

    I had just turned twenty years old when I started working at Blizzard. Seems like a lifetime ago. Guess it was. Those first few years were the start of a very grand adventure for me, one that would take me around the world, introduce me to thousands of wonderful geeks just like me—and ultimately shape the course of my adult life.

    Of course when I started, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I had no idea how to make games or build entertainment products.…

    But I had an insatiable passion for ideas. For stories. For heroes.

    My only real training before joining Blizzard was the long-running D&D campaign I had with my closest friends—Sam, Mike P., Daniel, and Mikey C. (you know who you are, boys…HAMRO!). Building ideas—vast worldscapes, characters, and plotlines with my friends was my first great love. I lived for it. It was a safe space amid the tension and change of some rough teenage years. The grand refuge of D&D was a glorious meeting of minds and imaginations where I felt I truly belonged.

    It was a space where friendship and imagination were inextricably linked.

    The sharing of ideas on the fly, the crazy, unexpected turns other players would take—it stretched our imaginations in ways we’d never have dreamt of on our own. I loved how roleplaying through adventures taught us so much about each other—and, more often than not, ourselves. Imagining together helped us make sense of the crazy world we were growing up in. It made us stronger together.

    I wouldn’t really understand the depth of it for many years, but I had learned an important truth from my friends back then:

    Creativity is relational.

    Looking back at my years at Blizzard, I see now how profoundly this idea has shaped my career. I see how profoundly my friends and coworkers at Blizzard have shaped me as a person.

    For nearly twenty-three years I’ve had the very distinct privilege of shaping worlds and building games with the brightest creative minds in entertainment. I’ve walked with giants (and stood on some giants’ shoulders, too).

    In short, I’ve had the time of my life.

    I pretty much had the coolest job ever—but the truth is, sometimes it was really hard. Building games with dozens of brilliant, passionate alpha-geeks with their own red-hot instincts and perspectives can be pretty tricky. Coming to consensus about certain design decisions, story motifs, or courses of art direction takes a lot of communication, patience, and “give and take.” It stretches you. Sometimes it wasn’t all that pretty. But engaging with your teammates and collaborating through the potential quagmire of all that creative tension is where the real magic happens.

    It’s not just the decisions you come to—or even the final shape of the product you craft.… It’s bigger than that—and infinitely more important. True collaboration builds trust—and trust is the basis of all lasting relationships. With trust you build more than just a great product.

    You build a TRIBE…that can build anything.

    A family of craftsmen.

    That’s what Blizzard has been for me. My second family, through all of life’s ups and downs, it’s always been there. The great, geeky backdrop of my life. I don’t just mean “the job” or even the creative mission—but the people. The people who over and over lifted me up, believed in me—and pushed me to find my potential as both an artist and as a leader all these years.

    To my Blizzard brothers and sisters…I wish I had the words.

    Everything just sounds…trite.

    All I can think of is…

    You helped me believe in myself and achieve every one of my wildest dreams.
    I am forever grateful to you.

    I love you all with everything I’ve got.

    Thank you.

    And to all of you out there in Blizzard’s vast gaming community—those of you I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person and all of you around the world I’ve only heard about—thank you.

    Thank you all for letting me be a special part of your community. For letting me belong with you. We’ve shared countless adventures together and I’ve always been overwhelmed and humbled by your passion for our games as well your commitment to each other. Thank you for all the BlizzCon hugs, smiles, handshakes, and stories over the years. You will never know how much you’ve all touched my heart and inspired me to give my all into this craft.

    With that said, I’ll try to get down to the point, here. I’ve come to a turn in the road. A new, far quieter chapter in my life looms ahead.

    I am retiring.

    Yup.

    Hangin’ up my guns.
    Clockin’ out.
    Takin’ the last gryphon out of Stormwind.
    You get the picture.

    Crazy, I know.

    It’s a massive change for me, but it’s one I’ve been looking forward to for a while now. It’s ironic given the fact that things have never been better or more energized at Blizzard. Just this year alone has been incredible.

    Legion’s arrival.
    The launch of Overwatch.
    The Warcraft feature film.

    I’ve never been more proud of Blizzard and the quality of its products than I am now. It’s remarkable that even after all these years we can still reach new heights and take the world for an amazing ride. I believe Blizzard’s future is brighter than ever.

    I won’t lie—it’s going to be really hard stepping away from these worlds that I love. But I’m content that I’m leaving them in the hands of the most passionate, talented, and dedicated craftsmen ever assembled.

    I can’t wait to see where Blizzard’s worlds go next—and to experience them first-hand like everyone else does. As a fan. As an adventurer. Right back to the start.

    That’s just so cool…

    The reason I use the word “retire” is because I’m not going to some other company or starting up new projects or anything remotely like that. It’s been a long, amazing stretch of years. Now it’s time to slow it down. Rest. Lay around on the couch and get fat. Well, fatter.…

    Seriously though, I’ll be focusing on the one thing that matters most to me in all the world—my family. They’re the core of my life and the source of my deepest joy and inspiration. In addition to raising our two little ones, we recently welcomed our new baby into the family! Being home with them all, having time and space to really live…to love my wife with all my strength…that’s my career now.

    And I’ve never been happier.

    Ever. ☺

    Peace out, y’all.

    I love you all.

    I’ll see you online.

    Chris

    Meta Update - Top 10 S7 Builds

    Rhykker made a video update to the Top 10 Meta Builds for Season 7. His previous one used PTR data, which was arguably not completely reliable. But now with the live Leaderboards it's possible to have a much better picture of what the top of the ladder looks like. Great stuff - check it out!

     

    These are currently the best builds for Diablo 3 patch 2.4.2 season 7 based for solo GR pushing. Wizard is tops, followed by monk, then Crusader and Witch Doctor, and lastly Demon Hunter and Barbarian. Gameplay shown in video. Our PTR predictions of the best builds were mostly accurate, with some surprises. Also, we compare regions: NA, EU, Asia.

     

    Posted in: Chris Metzen Retirement, Meta Update - Top 10 S7 Builds
  • published the article EU Login Issues, Support Gem Leveling Tip, Master Auriel Fanart

    Weekend Wacky Wild Decks for September 10
    Ranked Season 2 Details & Rewards, Streamer Sound Packs
    Legion Developer Q&A - Ion Hazzikostas

    EU Login Issues

    Blizzard sent out a tweet saying that there are some login issues happening with their european servers. If you're going to play at the EU servers this Sunday, keep that in mind.

     

    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Twitter)

    We're currently investigating an issue affecting our authentication servers, which may result in failed or slow login attempts. #BlizzCS

    Support Gem Leveling Tip

    Zhanji made a very interesting video sharing a quick tip about Legendary gems for support characters. It's related to how high the level of your Iceblink should be - he argues that going over level 25 for this particular gem actually hinders the efficiency of your GR clear. Watch it below.

     


    Master Auriel Fanart

    Davikcrovich recently published an amazing fanart drawing of Auriel, the Archangel of Hope, based on her Master skin from Heroes of the Storm. He made it on photoshop, based on one of the tints that resembles Imperius' armor. Check it out!

     

    Posted in: EU Login Issues, Support Gem Leveling Tip, Master Auriel Fanart
  • published the article Diablo 2 Bosses Remade in HD

    HearthPwn Card Design Competition - Spelling Bee Finalist Voting
    Rotation & Weekly Sales for Sept. 6, 2016, WTF Moments #62, Funny & WP Moments #82
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    Diablo 2 Bosses Remade in HD

    With the recent debate about what might be revealed at this year's BlizzCon, and in an age where remastered games are a reality, some people still believe that a Diablo 2 remake could be a possibility.

     

    In the past we featured some of the work by Svein Yngve Antonsen, a norwegian artist that made amazing high definition models of the D2 bosses. In order to imagine how these could look by today's standards, today we would like to highlight them once again - together and in order!

     

    Click the images to check their ArtStation pages, where you can freely rotate the 3D models.

     

    Act 1 - Andariel, Maiden of Anguish

     

    Act 2 - Duriel, Lord of Pain

     

    Act 3 - Mephisto, Lord of Hatred

     

    Act 4 - Diablo, Lord of Terror

     

    Act 5 - Baal, Lord of Destruction

    Posted in: Diablo 2 Bosses Remade in HD
  • published the article Gamescom 2016 Recap & BlizzCon Expectations

    Popular Decks of the Week for September 4
    PTR Balance Update - September 1st, Symphony of Destruction Ep. 1 by Darkhoru
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    Gamescom 2016 Recap & BlizzCon Expectations

    If you haven't been following most Diablo news, quite a few people expected for this year's Gamescom to have some sort of reveal regarding the franchise, and the result was kinda disappointing.

     

    Rhykker made a video going over what happened at Gamescom, and then discussed the probability of something big happening at BlizzCon later this year - and what that could be. Check it out!

     

    Posted in: Gamescom 2016 Recap & BlizzCon Expectations
  • published the article Play Your Way Thursday - Leshin's "Ice Goddess" Wizard

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    Play Your Way Thursday - Leshin's "Ice Goddess" Wizard

    Getting somewhat tired of the standard Firebird's playstyle for Wizards? Maybe you would like to try a different element this weekend, for the sake of variety and for fun? This week's Play Your Way spec by Leshin is for you then! Check it out below.

     

    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

     

    While Wizards are the ultimate master of a variety of elements, it can be a lot of fun to invest fully in one particular style. Fire and Lightning are both popular options, but sometimes it’s best to chill out and entomb your enemies in bone-chilling Cold abilities. Today’s Play Your Way from Leshin#1101 turns their Wizard into an unforgiving Ice Goddess that will make any monster in Sanctuary shiver at mere sight.


    About the Build

    First and foremost, the Ice Goddess Wizard is a channeling build, taking advantage of your usual round-up of channel-boosting powers and abilities and stacking as many of them as possible. This does mean you should be willing to plant your feet and stand your ground—a risky playstyle many players are naturally averse to adopting. However, this approach becomes quite exciting once you discover that you will rarely be budged. Like an iceberg in dangerous waters, those that run headlong into you won’t survive. 

     

     

    Like many of the other submissions we’ve seen, most of the testing of this build occurred on Torment X and there’s definitely room to expand toward the necessary damage and survivability that higher difficulties would demand. Leshin has left several slots open for flexibility, including bracers, boots, amulet, and belt, as well as an opening for a third Legendary Gem. I’ve made my own recommendations below, but it’s clear there’s plenty to explore!


    The Skills

    Here’s a closer look at this build in the skill calculator.

     

    Active Skills:

    Passive Skills:


    The Items

    Required Items:

    Recommended Items:

    Recommended Legendary Gems:

    Recommended Kanai’s Cube Powers:

    Recommended Stats:

    • Offense: Critical Hit Chance, Critical Hit Damage, Attack Speed
    • Defense: Armor, +% Life, All Resist, Life per Second
    • Other: +% Hydra Damage, +% Ray of Frost Damage

    Tell Us What You Think!

    Have you been running a channeling build? Are you willing to stand strong against an endless tide of the Burning Hell’s forces? Or do you prefer a more mobile playstyle? Let us know in the comments! 

    This will be the final chapter in this round of Play Your Way. We're taking a look at your feedback on this version of the blog and deciding which direction we'd like to go in the future. If you have thoughts on what you'd like to see in these kinds of blogs, let us know by emailing us or just leaving a comment on the blog. We'd love to hear from you!

    Posted in: Play Your Way Thursday - Leshin's "Ice Goddess" Wizard
  • published the article Developer Chronicles - Wrath of the Wastes, Official Forums Migration

    Value Town #85 - The Menagerie, Deck Tech, Mekkatorque's Workshop
    Varian Background Image, PTR Blue Posts Round-Up, Datamined String Changes
    Addon - HideOrderHallBar, Patch 7.0.3 Hotfixes - August 30, Blue Posts

    Developer Chronicles - Wrath of the Wastes

    In an attempt to improve the communication between developers and the community, Blizzard started a new blog series which should come out in a semi-regular fashion, about commonly discussed subject matters. Their first chronicle is on the Wrath of the Wastes set. Check it out!

     

    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

     

     

    Hey everybody, Wyatt Cheng here.

     

    Communication is key to a great community, and we’re aiming to improve the ways in which we deliver important information to our players. What you’re reading now is our next communication experiment: a semi-regular blog where we tackle the most commonly discussed questions and feedback from the community. Welcome to Developer Chronicles!


     

    Today's Topic: Wrath of the Wastes

    For our first topic, we wanted to address a common question from the Barbarian community. For the last few patches, we’ve seen a lot of requests to buff up or redesign the Wrath of the Wastes set. Whirlwind is a very iconic Diablo ability, steeped in the history of the series, so it’s natural for it to be a fan favorite.

     

    There’s a lot going on here. Before we get started, the most important takeaway is that we want to make sure a Whirlwind-based playstyle has a place in Diablo III. Therefore, providing ways to make Wrath of the Wastes a reasonable choice as compared to other Barbarian sets is definitely on our list.

     

    The last few patch cycles haven’t seen a lot of changes for Wrath of the Wastes for two reasons:

     

    1. We are trying to cut down on the number of changes we make to live items. It’s been a longstanding policy that we avoid making changes to Legendary items. Set items tend to be the exception. Our typical approach would be to buff Wrath of the Wastes and Whirlwind by adding new Legendary effects to the game. However, there are a lot of interactions that happen between Wrath of the Wastes and the other Barbarian class sets, particularly Raekor and Immortal King’s. Many of these sets get combined, so in order to prop up Wastes specifically, we have to do so in a way that doesn’t necessarily further buff the other class sets. Otherwise, the gap doesn’t really change. We have some other ideas on this front that we are also exploring.

    2. Straight talk: Whirlwind causes performance issues. Many of you may remember performance issues during Patch 2.1.0 and 2.2.0. We have been (and will continue to be) making performance optimizations with each patch. However, our initial investigations identified Whirlwind as one of the skills that caused heavy strain on our servers. The more people using Whirlwind, the more it exacerbates the issue. This means we don’t necessarily want everyone using Whirlwind—at least, not until more server optimizations have been made.

    Aside from this, it’s unrealistic to expect that all 24 class sets (plus Legacy of Nightmare and its boundless combinations) are going to be balanced 100% equally across the board. There is often a “best” build for each purpose, whether that’s for Nephalem Rifts, group play, or solo Greater Rift pushing. Generally, the goal is to get a variety of builds close enough that playstyle preferences or gearing differences allow some choice and variety.

     

    In the case of the Barbarian, it makes sense that Wrath of the Wastes will always be a favorite when it comes to chilling out and farming Rifts. But it may not be the best choice for pushing your solo Greater Rift. We’re okay with some sets serving specific purposes and the Whirlwind playstyle has a special place in our collective Barbarian hearts, so we hope to see some changes to support the playstyle in a future patch.


    Official Forums Migration

    Nevalistis has shared with us that the official forums will be changed in the near future, with less used subforums being merged with others. Do you frequently use the official forums for feedback? Or do you prefer sticking to DiabloFans or Reddit? Let us know in the comments!

     

    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

    Greetings, nephalem!

    Our web team is working towards deploying an update to our forums. If you frequent the forums of our other game titles, you may be familiar with this layout already. We're constantly keeping an eye out on feedback and implementing bug fixes and functionality improvement, and we'll be continuing to do the same for our Diablo community.

    As part of this migration, we are planning to tidy up and consolidate some of our lesser used forums. Here are the forums you can expect to see when we make our migration:

    • Gameplay Forums
      • Items & Crafting
      • Hardcore
      • Brawling
      • Lore and Story
    • Community Forums
      • General Discussion
      • Aus/NZ Discussion
      • Console Discussion
        • Trading [Console] will be merging with the above forum
      • Clans and Communities
      • New Player Help
      • Community Creations
        • Gameplay Videos & Streams will be merging with the above forum
    • Classes
      • Barbarian
      • Crusader
      • Demon Hunter
      • Monk
      • Witch Doctor
      • Wizard
    • Support Forums
      • Blizzard Archive [Read-Only]
      • Service Status [Read-only]
      • Bug Report
      • Console Bug Report
      • Technical Support
      • Mac Technical Support
    • Games, Entertainment, and Technology Forums
      • Games & Technology
        • Games, Gaming, and Hardware and Technology and Science are merging into this new forum
      • Movies, Books, and TV
        • Movies, TV, and Entertainment and Books and Comics are merging into this new forum
    Of course, the forums aren't just a place for us at Blizzard to post information; it's a place for our community to interact, discuss topics, and offer feedback. We're leaving this thread open for exactly this purpose.

    Are there any forums you'd like to see created, or any that you will particularly miss having around? Do you have any feedback about forum functionality you'd like to see? While we can't promise immediacy in implementation (or that some requests are possible for us to fulfill), we do want to know your thoughts on how we can improve your community experience.

    Let us know! We look forward to reading your feedback.
    Posted in: Developer Chronicles - Wrath of the Wastes, Official Forums Migration
  • published the article Stutter Step Guide by TryHardEnmity

    HearthPwn Card Design Competition - ECHO, Echo, echo Finalist Voting
    Varian Background Image, PTR Blue Posts Round-Up, Datamined String Changes
    Legion Cinematics

    Stutter Step Guide by TryHardEnmity

    TryHardEnmity used to make super useful Diablo 3 guides before taking a break some time ago. Recently he came back from that hiatus and started working on those guides again.

     

    To go along with the DH build we highlighted yesterday, we would like to showcase a quick Stutter Step guide he put together where he explains the fundamentals of the technique, the reasons for doing so, ways to optimize movement and damage and more useful tips. Check it out!

     

    Posted in: Stutter Step Guide by TryHardEnmity
  • published the article Demon Hunter Fanart, philosophios' S7 Rank 5 Solo GR Clear & Build

    Insomnia Truesilver Championship III - Results & Decklists
    Machines of War & Alarak PTR Live!
    Legion Cinematics

    Demon Hunter Fanart

    Today we would light to highlight an amazing Demon Hunter fanart piece by heliconius. A lot of detail in the strokes and an interesting reduced color palette too. See it below.

     


    philosophios' S7 Rank 5 Solo GR & Build

    philosophios recently uploaded footage of his Rank 5 Greater Rift, with a spec he published on our Builds section. Check them out below!

     

     

    Posted in: Demon Hunter Fanart, philosophios' S7 Rank 5 Solo GR Clear & Build
  • published the article DDoS Attacks & Blizzard Games, 4-Man GR 107 Rank 1 Clear

    Value Town #84 - Opera Wing, Totem Shaman Deck Tech, HCT Americas Prelims
    MVP & Commendations, Mount Speed Changes Explained, Dragon Shire Montage
    Azeroth Armory - Forging Ashbringer

    DDoS Attacks & Blizzard Games

    Blizzard is having problems with DDoS attacks in the past couple days, both in the Americas and Europe servers. It seems that some providers are being attacked and Blizzard's games are being affected by it. Hardcore players, keep that in mind when playing!

     

    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Twitter)

    We are currently monitoring a DDOS attack against network providers which is affecting latency/connections to our games. #BlizzCS

    4-Man GR 107 Rank 1 Clear

    Empyrian recently updated footage of his party clearing Greater Rift 107 on Season 7, and getting a worldwide rank 1 with it. Congratulations, guys! You can see the screenshot of their clearing time and the gameplay video below.

     

     

     

    Posted in: DDoS Attacks & Blizzard Games, 4-Man GR 107 Rank 1 Clear
  • published the article Minor Patch - August 25th, PTR Server Slam - Optimizations

    HearthPwn Card Design Competition Season 4 - ECHO... Echo... echo...
    MVP & Commendations, Mount Speed Changes Explained, Dragon Shire Montage
    Artifact Power Reward Scaling, August 24 Hotfixes, Blue Posts, Tweets, Illidan Art

    Minor Patch - August 25th

    A small patch was deployed earlier today - there were no balance changes or updates, however. Read below for the blue post.

     

    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

    Greetings, nephalem,

    You may notice a client update released today. There are no major updates or balance changes included in this patch, as its focus was on a number of minor back-end updates and small language tweaks.

    This mini-patch is already on its way, and your clients should receive this updated automatically. Thanks for your patience and we'll see you in Sanctuary!

    PTR Server Slam - Optimizations

    Blizzard is working on some behind-the-scene optimizations to improve gameplay, but before these can go live they wanna test them on the PTR first - probably to make sure there are no major issues. If you'd like to help them test by slamming the PTR servers, check the post below.

     

    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

     

     

    We are working on some behind-the-scenes optimizations, and we need you to help test them out! Some of these solutions are not the kind we want to deploy immediately to live servers via hotfix as they come with their fair share of risks—so we need your help!

     

    Join us starting today, August 25, to stress test a special 2.4.2 PTR that includes these optimizations. There's nothing special we need you to do besides logging in and play the game to your heart's content!

     

    We’re looking for players of all types to participate, so what are you waiting for? Download that PTR and hop right in!

     

    A few important notes:

    • There is no new content included on this PTR.
    • While you will be able to copy your existing characters, we will also be activating the 2000% Legendary Find buff to encourage participation.
    • As a reminder, any progress made on the PTR does not transfer over to your live account.
    • We will not be opening the PTR feedback or bug report forums, as manual feedback is not needed; we simply need you to play!
    • Over the course of the PTR, server performance may vary.
    • This PTR will only be available for a limited time, and we’d greatly appreciate all the help we can get in testing it quickly and with as many participants as possible!

    We hope you have some time to help us out. If you need more information on how to participate on the PTR, visit our FAQ or see below for details.

    Thank you, nephalem, and we’ll see you in Sanctuary!

     

    HOW TO PARTICIPATE:

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

     

    Step 1: Create a PTR account. To create a PTR account, log in to Battle.net Account Management and double-click on your Diablo III game license; this will bring you to the game management page. On this page, click "Create a PTR account." 

    If you've participated in any previous Diablo III PTR (including the Reaper of Souls beta), the "Create PTR account" button may not appear. This is because you've already created a PTR account and can therefore skip this step.

    Step 2: Once you have created a PTR account, installed the Battle.net desktop, and logged in with your Battle.net credentials, select "Diablo III" from the main menu on the left-hand side of the application.

    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: You should now have the option to install and play the patch 2.4.2 PTR.

    The 2.4.2 PTR is available in all supported languages, and accounts from all regions are eligible to participate.

     

    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.

     

    As this is a test server, please anticipate uneven game performance, and note that restarts and downtime may occur without warning.
    Posted in: Minor Patch - August 25th, PTR Server Slam - Optimizations
  • published the article Wizard vs Belial Fanart, Wizard Builds Highlight - Tal Rasha & Firebirds Solo / Group Setups

    HearthPwn Card Design Competition - Choose Your Weapon Finalist Voting
    Samuro Easter Egg, Auriel Price Reduction & Spellbreaker Johanna, SolidJake's Bloodlust
    Legion Dungeons and Raids Schedule, August 22 Hotfixes

    Wizard vs Belial Fanart by Cristalombre

    Cristalombre recently published an amazing artwork of the Wizard Li-Ming facing off against Belial, the Lord of Lies. Feel free to drop by his profile to let him know what you think of it!

     


    Wizard Builds Highlight - Tal Rasha & Firebirds Solo / Group Setups

    Since Wizards are the theme today, we would also like to highlight some of the top rated Wizard setups from our Builds section. Check them out!

     

    This setup is meant for solo players who are pushing higher Greater Rifts and maybe looking to get into the Leaderboards.


    This Firebird build, on the other hand, is optimized for group play - for parties of either 3 or 4 players. 


    The Tal Rasha's spec is an alternative to the Firebird's set, and is also used to solo push higher Greater Rifts.


    This spec combines the Vyr's and Tal Rasha's sets with Archon to make farming higher difficulties a breeze!

    Posted in: Wizard vs Belial Fanart, Wizard Builds Highlight - Tal Rasha & Firebirds Solo / Group Setups