BlizzCon 2016 - Complete Recap

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BlizzCon 2016 - Complete Recap

 

This year's BlizzCon has brought us plenty of info on upcoming content: From the Necromancer class to the Anniversary Event and Challenge Rifts. Minor changes include UI additions such as the Armory, crafting materials and dyes, two new zones with more monster types, and changes to Greater Rifts as well as added powers for Legendary items.

Patch 2.4.3 "The Darkening of Tristram" with the Anniversary Event, new Legendaries, the Dye UI, and Rift improvements will be on the PTR next week and will make it to live in January. The other changes will be coming later next year.

 

 

  • The Necromancer will be a new playable hero, available as both, male and female characters.
  • They will be available in the "Rise of the Necromancer Pack", which will also include a pet, two new character slots, and two new stash tabs. along with a portrait frame, pennant, banner shape, and sigil.
  • The pack will release some time in the second half of 2017, it will not be free, though the price is unknown as of yet.

     
Necromancer presentation slides

 

     
Necromancer armor studies

Gameplay

  • One-handed Scythes will be the Necromancer's class weapon type, likely to be paired with a special off-hand, just like Wizards and Witch Doctors.
  • They will have access to new Sets and Legendaries, specifically tailored to them.
  • The Necromancer will have less than 4 Sets at release, to leave room for the community to come up with new playstyles and have those added onto new sets.
  • The Necromancer's resource is called Essence and caps out at 200. It does not regenerate automatically, but is only gained from skills.
  • Necromancers will also be able to use Monsters' Corpses for many of their skills.
  • The Necromancer's main stat will be Intelligence.
  • Known Spells: (Keep in mind that they're in a very early version)
    • Bone Spear - 20 Essence. Summon a piercing Bone Projectile that causes 450% weapon damage as physical to all enemies it passes through.
    • Siphon Blood - Channeled. Generate 15 Essence each time damage is dealt. Siphon the Blood from the targeted enemy dealing 300% weapon damage as physical. Siphon Blood heals you for 2% of your total health every second while channeled.
    • Command skeletons - 50 Essence. Active: Command your skeletal minions to attack the target and increase their damage by 100% for 5 seconds. Passive: Raise skeletons from the ground every second. Skeletal minions deal 50% weapon damage per attack.
    • Blood Rush - 4 second cooldown. Shed your mortal flash and reappear up to 50 yards away, passing through most obstacles.
    • Corpse Explosion - Target an area, exploding all corpses within 20 yards dealing 150% weapon damage as physical.
    • Decrepify - 10 Essence. A crippling curse that reduces the enemies' movement speed by 75% and reduces damage done by 20%.
    • Blood Golem - Will also be Active/Passive, allowing you to directly command it.
    • Army of the Dead - Summons over a hundred skeletons to instantly attack an area.

     
     
The eight known Necromancer spells

 

  • You can view the Official Blog post showcasing the Necromancer here.
  • The announcement trailer for the Necromancer is available on Youtube.

     
Necromancer Cinematic Trailer stills


 

  • The Anniversary Dungeon recreates the events, monsters, and levels of the original Diablo inside Diablo III.
  • The Dungeon will be 16 levels deep and accessible for all existing characters.
  • Returning boss fights are The Butcher, The Skeleton King, Lazarus and Diablo himself.
  • You will be able to enter the Dungeon via a teleporter in The Old Ruins of Tristram.
  • The Anniversary Dungeon will be included in Patch 2.4.3, "The Darkening of Tristram".
  • It will be a limited time event, occurring for the month of January every year.

     
Anniversary Dungeon presentation slides

Retro Aesthetic

  • The whole dungeon will feature special visual and audio filters to invoke all that sweet nostalgia. Here is a little sneak peek of what that will look like.
  • The whole graphics will be more pixelated, colors will be desaturated and the light radius reduced.
  • Animation changes include snapping to one of 8 directions, walking only, and no variation in attack animations. Here is a tiny clip to showcase those.
  • Many old sound assets will replace existing ones and the remaining ones will sound more tinny.
  • Monster AI and physics engine will also be tuned down.
  • The UI in the dungeon will also be changed to be more reminiscent of the earlier titles.
  • The assets it uses will all be from Diablo III, with the exception of some bosses.

     
Pixelated, darker art style of the Anniversary Dungeon

Rewards

     
Rewards to be earned in the Anniversary Dungeon


 

 Challenge Rifts

  • Challenge Rifts will be a new type of Greater Rift in which everyone will play the same character and same Rift layout, completely independent of the character you entered with.
  • Both will be taken directly from a Greater Rift run a player has done previously. We don't know whether it will be picked randomly or be a curated system.
  • They will refresh periodically, giving a new challenge after each refresh, current plan is new build every 3-10 days, though that's not set in stone.
  • There will be a staging area where you can test out the character's build before heading into the actual timed Rift.
  • Challenge Rifts will include Leaderboards to compare your performance with that of your friends and whole region.
  • To place highly, you will need to practice the build and learn the GR layout.
  • Beating the original runner's time will reward your main character, likely with Bounty Bags.
  • Entering a Challenge Rift in Multiplayer will have all players play the exact same character.
  • Challenge Rifts will come later in 2017, not with patch 2.4.3.

     
Challenge Rift presentation slides

Quality of Life and UI changes

  • The Armory will allow you to save loadouts, to switch to with a single button press.
    • A loadout includes skills, passives, items, and cubed powers, but not Paragon Points.
    • You will be able to store and name 5 full loadouts per character at a time.
    • Items that are part of a loadout will still need to be physically present in your stash or inventory.
    • When switching to a new loadout, you can choose to send your current gear to the stash or inventory.
    • The Armory loadouts will always use the highest level of appropriate gem (normal and Legendary) you own.
    • As part of the Armory introduction, removing gems from gear will become free.
  • We will be getting a full Crafting Material UI, meaning that materials no longer take up inventory or stash space!
    • This UI will be accessible from the inventory and include the more common materials as well as Bounty Cache materials and Hellfire Event parts.
    • You will still need to click those items to pick them up, but will now get a floating text notification for the amount you picked up.
    • Kanai's Cube will get a button to automatically fill it with the required materials for the active recipe.
  • The Mystic will get an additional tab: The Dye Interface allows you to buy and apply all dyes directly to your gear.
    • No more running around all the towns to find that one dye color!
  • The Mystic changes will make it to 2.4.3, the rest of these interface additions will become available later next year.

     
New UI elements showcase

New Legendary Affixes

  • Six Legendary items will get new affixes with patch 2.4.3, one per class.
  • Barbarian: Saffron Wrap - The damage of your next Overpower is increased by ~50% for each enemy hit. Max 20 enemies.
  • Crusader: Faithful Memory - Each enemy hit by Falling Sword increases the damage of Blessed Hammer by ~50% for 5 seconds.
  • Demon Hunter: Hellcat Waistguard - Grenades have a chance to bounce ~5 times dealing an additional 50% damage on each bounce, 800% on the final bounce.
  • Monk: Rabid Strike - Spirit Spenders that teleport you while Epiphany is active are also mimicked on a distant target for free.
  • Witch Doctor: The Barber - Instead of dealing direct damage, your Spirit Barrage now accumulates on the target. When you stop channeling, it explodes dealing ~250% of the accumulated damage within 15 yards.
  • Wizard: Manald Heal - Enemies stunned with Paralysis also take ~2750% weapon damage as Lightning.
  • There is also word of the Akkhan Set getting a seventh piece, likely an amulet.

Rift Changes

  • Finishing a Greater Rift without dying will grant an additional Gem upgrade attempt. Hardcore players will always get this 4th attempt.
  • A new algorithm will be used to spawn monsters in Rifts, ensuring that there are no more huge empty areas.
  • Any monster population can now spawn on any tile set.
  • The areas near the entrance to a new Rift floor will be free of monsters.
  • Greater Rift floor sizes will become more consistent.
  • Currently, there is a high chance to get an identical tile set when descending a Rift floor. This will be changed to make new tile sets much more likely.
  • The Necromancer demo build would open a portal to a small boss floor when getting 100% in a Greater Rift.
    • This may very well be a demo only feature and not make it to live.
  • All of these changes will be included in patch 2.4.3.

New Zones & New Monsters

  • The Shrouded Moors
    • A rain-swept, windy, and desolate grassland.
    • Many civilizations have tried to settle here but none ever lasted, their remnants still visible throughout the zone.
    • The Shrouded Moors are located in the north of Act II.

     
Concept art and early in-game version of the Shrouded Moors

  • The Temple of the Firstborn
    • An ancient structure with a lovecraftian vibe to it
    • This is the place where Inarius and Lilith created the first Nephalem.
    • The temple can be found beneath the Shrouded Moors, deep underground.

     
Concept art and early in-game version of the Temple of the Firstborn

  • The Realms of Fate
    • A new type of zone that allows seamless transitions from one tile set into another
    • Still in an early stage, not quite clear where it'll see use.
  • The two new zones will come with multiple new monsters, some more feral ones for the Shrouded Moors and Demons for the Temple where shown off.
  • The zones and monsters will also not be in 2.4.3, but rather come later net year.

     
Concept art for future monsters

Monster Changes

  • Leaping monsters will become killable in mid-air.
  • Invisible and buried monsters will appear much more quickly.
  • The Reflects Damage Elite affix will be changed to fire projectiles in retaliation instead of dealing damage instantly.
  • The Shielding Elite affix's shield will be instantly removed if only one monster with it remains.
  • New Elite affix: Juggernaut - Drastically increased crowd-control resistance.

Seasons on Consoles

  • Starting with Season 10, Seasons will finally be coming to PS4 and Xbox One!
  • They will be functionally identical to the PC Seasons, including Leaderboards, the Season Journey and all its rewards.
  • Cheating on consoles is something the team has an eye on, but won't share any details on yet.
  • New Seasonal rewards - like the Seraphim Wings - for PC and consoles were also shown off.

     
Seasons on Consoles presentation slides and upcoming Seasonal rewards


Useful Links & More

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