• published the article Diablo II Ladder Reset On Friday, December 6

    Diablo II Ladder Reset On Friday, December 6

     

     

    For those that might be feeling a bit nostalgic lately, there is a ladder reset for Diablo II coming later today. See Blizzard's post below for all the details.

     

    Originally Posted by Nevalistis (Official Post)

     Greetings adventurers,

     

    Darkness gathers and it is once more time to fight the evils that lurk below Sanctuary. The next Diablo II ladder reset is scheduled for Friday, December 6 at 5:00 PM PT!

     

    We’ll see you in a couple weeks for the latest ladder reset!

     

    Cheers,

    Diablo Community Team

    Posted in: Diablo II Ladder Reset On Friday, December 6
  • published the article Official Blog Update: System Design in Diablo IV (Part I)

    System Design in Diablo IV (Part I)

    As was promised last week, Lead Systems Designer David Kim has posted the first in a series of blogs detailing systems design within Diablo IV. This first post focuses mainly on addressing the massive amounts of fan feedback the developers have received following the announcement of Diablo IV and offering a hint of things to come. We can expect more in-depth posts in the coming weeks, and this level of communication is a great step forward for the relationship between the development team and the community.

     

    Since last year's BlizzCon, the community has wanted more open communication from Blizzard in regards to the direction the franchise was taking. Now that the secret that was Diablo IV is out in the open, the developers seem more than happy to embrace those calls for communication and share with us a little bit of the thought processes going on in the creation of the next iteration of the Diablo franchise. You can find David Kim's full post below.

     

    Originally Posted by David Kim (Official Post)

     

    System Design in Diablo IV (Part I)

     

    I have learned over years of experience that the player community is an incredibly valuable resource to draw upon when designing and refining a game. By working together, we can achieve great things. The biggest challenge with parsing community feedback is that with so many opinions, the takeaways are rarely unanimous. Diablo IV is still very much in active development, but we plan to keep you in the loop as we continue to design and iterate so that you can be a part of what we’re building. I am so incredibly appreciative for all the feedback we’ve received so far and I’m eager to dive into some of the most talked about topics.

     

    Itemization

    We’re still working through all the feedback that came in regarding itemization and we’re actively discussing ways to add more depth and complexity to base items (including Rares), ways to add greater variety to item affixes to make those powers interesting and your choices meaningful, and ways to give players more freedom to choose how to customize items, so you can have fun exploring a wide range of effective gameplay possibilities instead of just looking up “the optimal build” online.

     

    We’ll go into way more depth regarding itemization in a separate post soon, but we don’t want to leave you hanging until then—so we’re going to update you on a few other topics now.

     

    These are some of the topics that we’re seeing come up most often, but if we’re missing something, please let us know and we will try to share our thoughts on those subjects as well in future updates.

     

     


    Elective Mode in Diablo IV

    There’s a misconception that Diablo IV will lock skills to specific slots because of the BlizzCon demo user interface. Like many other things in the demo, the UI is not final and we will support Elective Mode-style skill selection. Skill selection and assignment will always be completely open for all players.

     


    Ancient Items

    We completely agree with the community sentiment—Ancients as they are don’t really serve a clear purpose in Diablo IV. We should have done a better job of explaining the role of Ancient Items in Diablo IV. We had a preliminary direction to share, but you’ve brought up some great points, so we’re revisiting our designs with your feedback in mind. We hope to have more details to share in the follow-up itemization update.

     


    Endgame Progression System

    We haven’t decided whether the character leveling and experience system should be finite or infinite. We’ve been discussing the pros and cons of both and would love to hear your thoughts. There seems to be some concern around infinite being worse because it will eventually overshadow all the power granted by other sources. However, we can control how much power each system gives, whether it’s infinite or finite.

    For example, say we’re talking about thousands of hours of gameplay . . . within those thousands of hours, we could choose to create a finite system that grants 1,000,000 times more power than an infinite system, making it practically impossible for the infinite system to catch up in power.

     

    Also, power increase doesn’t need to be linear throughout the ranks—it can slow down as players reach higher levels. We believe the more important question is what experience feels best for players, and we can playtest various approaches to tuning to find the power curve that makes the most sense.

    We have a couple reasons for having a different experience system in addition to a level cap. A level cap gives us the ability to grant players a sense of completion. But for players who want to go deeper into the game, a second experience system allows us to capture the fun of achieving those really difficult endgame goals and ranks. We can also introduce additional depth through this system, because players will be more experienced with the game at this point. Ultimately, our goal is to create a meaningful system that provides clear choices depending on your preferred playstyle in the endgame. 

     

     


    Sources of Power

    The community has shared many good points on the topic of power sources and we’re reevaluating how much power comes from each source at any given time.

     

    However, we want to clarify that in Diablo IV, power doesn’t come mostly from items. We want to have a good mix of power sources: characters naturally get stronger as they level up, skills have ranks that increase power, talents provide specific playstyle choices and additional character power, and of course items grant power and meaningful choices as well.

     

    Something else to keep in mind is Legendary powers are just one part of an item’s power, and they won’t invalidate all other Affixes due to how powerful they are. For example, two to three normal Affixes are currently equivalent in power to a Legendary power on most items.

     

     


    Keyed Dungeons

    A big question that’s come up is exactly how Keyed Dungeons are different from Rifts. Keyed Dungeons introduce greater challenges as their tiers increase through Dungeon Affixes. The majority of dungeons are real places in the world, and players will know some information about them including what types of monsters, events, and layouts to expect. With this information, as well as the specific Dungeon Affixes being displayed on the key, players will be able to strategize their approach before going into the dungeon. We believe this is the biggest change from Diablo III Rifts: the added planning and strategizing that takes place before you decide to run a Keyed Dungeon.

     


     

    Please continue to share your thoughts—we want you to be involved in the Diablo IV design process. I personally believe in making the best decisions for the game based on the strongest design ideas, no matter where they come from. My biggest hope is for us to be able to constructively discuss and iterate on the topics that are most important to the community—so keep the feedback coming!

     

     

    See you in Hell,

     

    David Kim

    Lead Systems Designer

    The Diablo IV Team

     

    Posted in: Official Blog Update: System Design in Diablo IV (Part I)
  • published the article Season 19: The Season of the Eternal Conflict Begins Nov. 22nd

    Season 19: The Season of the Eternal Conflict Begins Nov. 22nd

    After keeping the community guessing for a couple of days since the launch of patch 2.6.7 as to when the new season would start, Blizzard has official announced the beginning of Season 19 as November 22nd. Alongside the typical seasonal rewards there will be two all new rewards for achieving the rank of Guardian as you'll see below.

     

    Season 19 begins Friday, November 22 at:

    5:00 p.m. PST in North America

    5:00 p.m. CET in Europe

    5:00 p.m. KST in Asia.

     

     

    Originally Posted by Nevalistis (Official Post)

     

    Season 19: The Season of Eternal Conflict Begins Nov 22

     

    Season 19 begins November 22, alongside our next Diablo III patch. Read on to learn more about the brand-new Season of Eternal Conflict buff, two divinely inspired new class sets, and a handful of old and new item reworks coming in Patch 2.6.7!

     


     

    New Season Theme

    Season 19 is the Season of Eternal Conflict and with it come an awesome array of killstreak rewards! Inspired by the war waged between the High Heavens and the Burning Hells, you‘ll earn increasingly powerful effects as you unleash destruction upon your foes. So rack up those kills and clear the battlefields in the name of Sanctuary!

    All players will benefit from the Pandemonium buff during Season 19. For each stack of this buff, you’ll receive a small boost to movement speed and bonus damage, ultimately capping out at 50% movement speed and 100% damage at 1000 stacks. In addition, reaching certain killstreak goals will trigger a special effect and cause even more mayhem on the battlefield:

    • 15 Kills: Exploding Chickens seek and destroy
    • 30 Kills: A wide Frost Nova freezes enemies
    • 50 Kills: Corpses rain from the sky
    • 100 Kills: Five massive Energy Twisters are unleashed
    • 150 Kills: Dark Geysers form beneath enemies
    • 200 Kills: Treasure chests fall from the sky
    • 300 Kills: A ring of fire engulfs everything
    • 400 Kills: Meteors hail from above
    • 500 Kills: Angels descend upon the battlefield to fight for your cause
    • 1000 Kills: ?????

    This Season, we’re taking action on the great feedback we received from the community about Season 18’s Triune buff. With the killstreak mechanic, we can make sure the benefit is always traveling with you and something you won’t have to constantly reposition for. There’s still more room for exploration and innovation in the future, and in the meantime, we challenge you to push these killstreaks to their limits and discover its ultimate reward! We think you’ll find it devilishly delightful.

     


    Season 19 Cosmetic Rewards

    Beginning with Season 17, we began re-introducing previous Seasonal rewards to make them available to players who may have missed them the first time around. For Season 19, this means awards originally available from Season 7 are returning to the Season Journey.

     

    However, we know it’s nice to have something new to aim for if you’ve participated in previous Seasons. We’re bringing back End of Journey rewards as introduced in Season 17, with not one, but two new cosmetic rewards for those who complete the entirety of the Season journey. Feast your eyes upon the Valor Portrait Frame and Angelic Treasure Goblin pet!

     

     

    In addition to the Helm and Shoulders slots of the exclusive Conqueror Set, you’ll be able to earn a series of portrait frames that embody the snowy, foreboding aura of the Eternal Woods. If you need a warm little pal to keep you cozy through your cold journeys, the Dream of Piers fiery nature should do the trick—when he’s not instilling night terrors in the local fauna.

     


    Season Journey Rewards

    If you’ve been diligently slaying demons for the past few Seasons and reached Conqueror in the Season Journey each time, you’ve surely accrued 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 within five minutes
    • Gem of My Life: Level three Legendary Gems to level 55
    • All I Do IS Win: Complete two Conquests this Season
    • Kill You: Kill Ghom at level 70 in under 30 seconds on Torment XIII difficulty
    • Money Ain’t A Thang: Slay Greed on Torment XIII difficulty
    • Take U There: Reach Greater Rift level 60 Solo
    • 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

     


    Seasonal Conquests

    Want to prepare your Conquest plan for Season 19? Here are the challenges you’ll face!

    Returning for Season 19 is Sprinter/Speed Racer, where you’re challenged to complete the entire Diablo III campaign from Act I to Act V at level 70 in under 1 hour! Next is Avarice/Avaritia, where all that glitters is gold—that is, if you can complete a 50 million gold streak outside of The Vault or its Inner Sanctum. On a Good Day/I Can’t Stop encourages you to upgrade your Legendary Gems; level three Legendary Gems to 65 to complete this challenge! Push your way to Greater Rift level 75 to complete Divinity/Lionhearted. Lastly, a fan-favorite for those who enjoy unconventional builds, The Thrill/Superhuman requires completion of a Greater Rift level 45—solo and without any Set items equipped.

     


    Haedrig’s Gift

    Finally, the Class Sets rewarded for completing certain chapters in the Season Journey courtesy of Haedrig’s Gift have rotated once more. We’ve listed 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 19:

    • Barbarian – Wrath of the Wastes
    • Crusader – Roland’s Legacy
    • Demon Hunter – Unhallowed Essence
    • Monk – Raiment of a Thousand Storms
    • Necromancer – Bones of Rathma
    • Witch Doctor – Helltooth Harness
    • Wizard – Tal Rasha’s Elements

     


    Patch Notes

    Below you will find the patch notes for the most recent update for Diablo III, Patch 2.6.7. Changes from the PTR have been highlighted in RED.

     

     

    Last updated November 12 @ 10:00 a.m. PST.


    PATCH 2.6.7

    Note: All changes apply to all versions of Diablo III, including PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC unless otherwise indicated. Please note that PTR is only available for PC and Mac users.


    General

    • Greater Rift Keystones are now subject to vacuum pick-up
    • A note regarding the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) has been added to the Options -> Privacy menu, clearly stating we do not sell account information. For more information regarding the CCPA, please see here (Console Only).

    Return to Top


    Seasons

    • Developer Note: One of the biggest pieces of feedback from Season 18's buff was that the Triune bonus didn't stick with your character while you adventured. With Season 19, we've altered course as well as upped the ante by experimenting with new mechanics to add an element of both chaos and power to the battlefield. It should feel a bit like Pandemonium, and it may be a consideration whether or not you want to reset your total kill streak for a particular killstreak bonus versus continuously maintain the overall effect (especially as the highest level killstreak rewards will be harder to leverage in situations like Greater Rifts). Killstreaks with higher kill count requirements are more powerful, and we're looking forward to seeing what players think of and do with them!
    • The buff for Season 19, the Season of Eternal Conflict, has been added
      • Pandemonium
        • For the duration of the Season, all players will have a stacking buff that that persists as long as you have hit or killed a monster within the last 5 seconds
        • Each stack gives .005 movement speed and .001% bonus damage. This bonus caps at 50% movement and 100% damage (1000 stacks)
        • In addition, after reaching a certain number of kills in a row, a power is unleashed, dealing an amount of scaling damage based on player level and difficulty or Greater Rift level:
          • 15 Kills: Exploding Chickens seek and destroy
          • 30 Kills: A wide Frost Nova freezes enemies
          • 50 Kills: Corpses rain from the sky
          • 100 Kills: Five massive energy twisters are unleashed
          • 150 Kills: Dark Geysers form beneath enemies
          • 200 Kills: Treasure chests fall from the sky
          • 300 Kills: A ring of fire engulfs everything
          • 400 Kills: Meteors hail from above
          • 500 Kills: Angels descend upon the battlefield to fight for your cause
            • Angels should no longer one-shot Rift Guardians.
          • 1000 Kills: ???
        • Powers are tracked at a group level; this means only one power can be active in play at a time, regardless of the number of players in a group
    • Two new Seasonal rewards are available for players who fully complete the Season 19 Journey: the Valor Portrait Frame and the Angelic Treasure Goblin pet
    • Lilith's Embrace: This exclusive pair of cosmetic wings are now available for all players who purchased a Virtual Ticket. Hail Lilith. (PC Only)

     


    Items

    • Developer Note: With Patch 2.6.7, we are beginning to roll out new class sets for every class in Diablo III. For the Season of Valor, we're focusing on the two classes that embody the Light and wield some form of Holy elemental damage: Crusader and Monk. You'll also find a handful of retuned or newly added Legendary powers intended to synergize with the new class sets. We did a lot of community research into which skills were most requested by players as well as most underrepresented in current builds, and we hope you're as excited as we are for these new gameplay options. The other class sets will be coming in later patches, so if your class isn't represented this time around, fret not—they're coming in a future patch!
    • You'll also notice a significant number of Barbarian item changes in this patch. While the Barbarian class set will be coming at a later date, we have very much heard the War Cry from our dedicated Barbarian community and implemented a number of changes heavily inspired by extremely thorough feedback. While not every suggestion has been taken at a 1:1 parity, the thoughtful analysis helped guide us to changes we could implement in this patch. Thanks very much to the community members who expressed their concerns in a respectful, constructive manner. It's very helpful, and we greatly appreciate the thought and effort that went into making your voices heard!
    • New Crusader Set: Aegis of Valor
      • 2-Piece Bonus: The charged bolts from Fist of the Heavens has a chance to cast another Fist of the Heavens Attacking with Fist of the Heavens empowers you, allowing Heaven's Fury to deal 100% increased damage for 5 seconds. Stacks up to 3 times (multiplicative).
      • 4-Piece Bonus: Hitting with Fist of the Heavens generates 5 Wrath and reduces damage taken by 1% for 5 seconds. Stacks up to 50 times
      • 6-Piece Bonus: Increase the damage of Fist of the Heavens and Heaven's Fury by 10,000% 20,000%
      • Developer's Note: Thank you so much for your thorough feedback and testing on the 2.6.7 PTR! We decided to add Heaven's Fury to the mix based on popular request as well as because we agree that it matches the theme and adds more gameplay complexity. There is also still room for tweaks and additional iteration in the future, and we're glad we were able to introduce a set so many of you are excited to use!
    • New Monk Set: Patterns of Justice
      • 2-Piece Bonus: Sweeping Wind gains the effect of every rune and movement speed is increased by 5% for each stack of Sweeping Wind.
      • 4-Piece Bonus: Each enemy within Sweeping Wind increases your movement speed by 5%. Stacks up to 10 times. Attacking with Tempest Rush reduces your damage taken by 50% and increases Spirit Regeneration by 50.
      • 6-Piece Bonus: Hitting with Tempest Rush while Sweeping Wind is active will temporarily increase the size of Sweeping Wind after hitting over 30 times within a short period. Sweeping Wind damage is increased by 10,000% 15,000%
      • Developer's Note: Thank you so much for your thorough feedback and testing on the 2.6.7 PTR! We heard Monk requests for additional damage reduction and to better integrate Tempest Rush as a skill. We hope the result makes for a more survivable and engaging build that still captures that rush of Holy Justice sweeping through crowds of dastardly demons.
    • Darklight
      • Fist of the Heavens has a [45-60%] 100% chance to be cast twice.
      • Additional Legendary Power: Increases the damage of Fist of the Heavens by [200-250%][800-1000%].
    • Eye of the Storm
      • New Legendary Power: When Sweeping Wind hits exactly 1 enemy, its damage is increased by 100%.
      • Developer's Note: With the redesign of Patterns of Justice, there was less need for this item's introduction. We've removed it for now and may consider adding it (or possibly a different Legendary power) at a later date.
    • Vengeful Wind
      • Increases the maximum stack count of Sweeping Wind by [6-7] 10
      • Additional Legendary Power: Increases the damage of Sweeping Wind by [250-300%] [600-800%].
    • Won Khim Lau
      • New Legendary Power: Hitting with Tempest Rush will activate Cyclone Strike, and both skills deal [500-600%] increased damage.
    • Chantodo's Resolve
      • The scaled attack speed damage bonus to Wave of Destruction has been reduced
      • Developer Note: This is a reactive adjustment from an earlier change to how Wave of Destruction receives a bonus from Attack Speed. The buff that resulted from that change was more than we expected, so we're reigning it in.
    • Wrath of the Wastes
      • 6-Piece Bonus: The damage bonus now also applies to Rend
    • Lamentation
      • Additional Legendary Power: Increases the damage of Rend by [150-200%]
      • Developer Note: While we were very happy with how much better Barbarians are performing, we are concerned we may have overshot it. By removing just one silo'd addition, we can observe how the class performance goes for Season 19 and consider re-adding this change in the future. Remember we still have a patch coming up where Barb will be one of the focused classes, so there will be plenty of time to revisit if necessary!
    • Ambo's Pride
      • New Legendary Power: Attacking with Whirlwind also applies Rend and the total damage of Rend is dealt over 1 second
    • Remorseless
      • Hammer of the Ancients has a [25-30%] chance to summon an Ancient for 20 seconds
      • New Legendary Power: While both Wrath of the Berserker and Call of the Ancients are active, Hammer of the Ancients deals [200-250%] more damage.
    • Fjord Cutter
      • You are surrounded by a Chilling Aura when attacking.
      • New Legendary Power: Seismic Slam attacks 50% faster and also deals 100-150% increased damage against Slowed or Chilled enemies
    • Bracers of Destruction
      • Seismic Slam deals [400-500%] increased damage to the first 5 10 enemies it hits.
    • Fury of the Ancients
      • Call of the Ancients gains the effect of the Ancients' Fury rune and your Ancients attack 100% faster
    • Bone Ringer
      • Now has a cap of 60 stacks.
      • Developer Note: We never intended for this item to be used in a way where you farm stacks for an egregious amount of time (5+ minutes) and then watch all their health disappear in less than a second. It's not an engaging style of gameplay, and we don't want that experience to be the best way to play the Necromancer.
    • Legacy of Dreams
      • This gem is now more likely to drop from a Greater Rift Guardian

     


    Monsters

    • Blighter
      • Blighter's Poison Tentacles' Area of Effect now hits less frequently, but at higher damage, when attacking players

     


    Bug Fixes

    • Wizard
      • Archon
        • Fixed an issue where certain item bonuses (such as from the item Deathwish) would persist between changing forms to/from Archon
          • Developer's Note: A few patches ago, we stated we were going to continue to observe Bazooka Wizard to see its performance over time. Back then, we thought it would require a high level of skill to execute that would make it relatively less utilized as a hard, but rewarding, gameplay option. That hasn't been the case, as many feel it's too mandatory. In the context of this and other changes (like Bone Ringer and Chantodo's), we think it makes sense to make this change now.
    • Spite
      • Fixed an issue where casting Restless Giant would cause the 200% physical bonus damage to fail to apply when the Gargantuan enraged
    • Squirt's Necklace
      • Fixed an issue where some ground effects were causing the Squirt's Necklace buff to fall off despite being shielded

     


    FAQ

    Q: When does Season 19 start?

    A: Season 19 begins Friday, November 22 at 5:00 p.m. PST in North America, 5:00 p.m. CET in Europe, and 5:00 p.m. KST in Asia. For time zone conversions, see this site.

    Q: When do Seasons go live for players on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch?

    A: Seasons go live for all console players globally Friday, November 22 at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, regardless of which regional version of the game you may have. Please note that Seasonal Leaderboards for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch are still separate by hardware platform.

    Q: When will Season 19 end?

    A: We are no longer providing anticipated end dates for Seasons. However, we are committed to keeping Seasons roughly three months in length (give or take a few weeks based on development needs) and will continue to provide a minimum of two weeks advance notice for when the Season will be ending.

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

    A: Non-Seasonal Leaderboards are tied to what we call “Eras,” each of which lasts about 6–12 months. The most recent era began November 12. For more information on Eras, please see this post.

    Q: What will happen to older Seasonal and Era records?

    A: Starting with Season 10, we removed old personal bests from Season 1. When Season 19 arrives, we will remove old personal bests from Season 10, and so on. We will be doing the same for personal bests from the previous Era when the next one goes live.

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

     


    Themed Seasons are continuing to evolve as we venture into the future, and we’re quite excited to see where this one leads. Are you looking forward to the Season of Eternal Conflict? Are you going to try one of the two new Class Sets? Gear up and get ready; we’ll see you in Season 19!

    Note: Beginning next week, comments on Diablo III blog entries will be disabled. This is part of our website migration for GDPR compliance. We apologize for the inconvenience; please continue your conversation over on our General Forum.

    Posted in: Season 19: The Season of the Eternal Conflict Begins Nov. 22nd
  • published the article Diablo IV: Neinball's Thoughts on the Demo

    While at BlizzCon, we had the opportunity to get hands-on experience with the Diablo IV demo and compile some of our thoughts and feedback on those play sessions. Below are my thoughts on the demo, and Zenkiki will contribute his later this week.

     

    Quick shoutout for those of you interested in Hearthstone: Our sister site HearthPwn has you covered with the full list of Descent of Dragons Cards, and a Hearthstone Battlegrounds Hero Tier List for the brand new game mode!

     

     

    General Thoughts and Experiences

    For being so early in development, I think it needs to be said how fluid the game felt. Skills felt powerful, combat was visceral, animations were flawless. The developers said this game is quite some time from release and to me that means it'll only get better from here. The game felt incredibly familiar, but different. The demo felt like it was the natural extension of Diablo III's combat system, but a tad bit slower which made positioning and skill animation lengths more meaningful. The Barbarian in particular had a skill with a minor wind-up, but had high damage that felt rewarding when you connected with it. The overall gameplay felt like it struck a great balance between Diablo III's fluidity of combat and Diablo II's speed and pacing. 

     

    The demo itself was beautiful rendered, but maintained a muted, gritty feel that was missing in Diablo III. You start the demo on a cliff-side and have clear view of the surrounding areas to the north that really drive home how massive this game is going to be. You could spend the majority of your 20 minute play session just exploring the map and we saw in one of the panels that the demo area is tiny compared to the rest of the planned game. The world in Diablo IV is going to be massive. Hundreds of unique dungeons, hundreds of villages, landmarks from previous games will be explore-able. 

    Classes

     

    • Sorceress:

    The Sorceress was my least favorite of the three classes available in the demo. The class felt powerful and fun, but it felt like it hadn't evolved much from Diablo II or Diablo III's Wizard. The Sorceress was also the only class in the demo without a generator+spender skill setup and when you ran our of Arcane Power, you just had to stand there and spam the basic free Frost Bolt while waiting until you had enough resource to use one of your other abilities. I feel that the Sorceress would have played better if it had another cooldown based spell that didn't require Arcane Power or at least a way of on-demand resource generation. All-in-all, it felt very much like a non-max level class in the caster archetype.

     

     

    • Barbarian:

    The Barbarian has undergone quite a few changes from it's Diablo III counterpart. In Diablo IV the Barbarian has access to four separate weapon slots that allow you can bind to different skills. While this feature was predetermined in the beta, from developer discussions they intend to allow the player full control over binding which weapons will be used by different skills. So while some skills may require a two-handed weapon or that you're dual wielding, you'll have free range to determine which specific sets of you four weapons can be used allowing tons of player customization.

     

    The Barbarian felt very smooth in practice and the skill selection showed some new mechanics. Rupture for instance was a cooldown based skill that did massive damage over a couple of seconds, but if it killed an enemy the cooldown was instantly reset. It made gameplay very rewarding if you could hit smaller enemies and elites/bosses at the same time as it allowed longer uptime of the damage on the nastier monsters. I think the Barbarian showed a lot of potential in future skill design by making things such as positioning or timing the use of skills more important. If this is a hint of things to come from this early in development, I think the players will feel far more rewarded when they master certain elements of gameplay than in any of the prior entries in the series.

     

     

    • Druid:

    To me, the druid was far and away the best class in the beta. The shape-shifting animations were incredibly smooth and wonderfully showcased the possibilities of the new engine that was built from the ground up for Diablo IV. The druid had an excellent selection of skills with a couple of power skills on short cooldowns, a fast generator, an area of effect spender, with a little bit of crowd control thrown in. The druid really had that "Aha!" moment when you landed a Boulder skill into an elite that pushed them out of combat and gave you some breathing room to finish off other enemies around you. The druid also had the best legendary item in the demo that hit a random enemy with a lightning bolt every time you shape-shifted and you could shape-shift a lot. 

     

     

    Bosses

    There were two bosses in the demo you could fight: Ashava, the world boss, and the Sea Witch that you encountered if you played through the questline offered in the demo.

     

     

    Ashava was a truly massive boss. The camera had to pull out to full show the scope of the encounter. This encounter felt akin to a raid boss in WoW, with telegraphed attacks that were absolutely devastating if you didn't dodge or position accordingly. Ashava also showcased a new mechanic referred to as the Stagger System that is represented by a second bar under the boss's health that filled as you used crowd control effects against it instead of actually subjecting the boss to the control effects. When the bar filled Ashava was briefly stunned and one of her giant talons broke off, drastically lowering the damage and range of her attacks made with that claw. The system basically made it so that bosses couldn't be cheesed by chaining crowd control effects, but still made control effects have meaning. All bosses will have different responses to the Stagger mechanic and it will be very interesting to see it in action against more bosses.

     

    The Sea Witch also had the interaction and feelings of a boss that would be at home in a MMO. She would spawn area of effect circles all over the ground that did damage and summoned smaller mobs to try and bury you under their numbers. Sadly the boss was tuned to be easy to defeat as she was the showcase of the demo story and I always killed her before being able to Stagger her to see what the effect was. I was told that her Stagger would clear the room of the damaging pools, but also stun the player briefly while any minions that were still alive would become enraged. This sounded awesome and I wish I could have experienced it because it would give players a real choice in fighting the boss. Deal with the damaging pools continually covering the area and summoning more and more mobs or Stagger the boss and risk the stun, but clear the pools. This demo's bosses are already a couple steps ahead of any rift guardian and will offer far more fulfilling gameplay for players if this is just the starting point.

     

    What are your thoughts on Diablo IV so far? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to ask us any burning questions you may have about the demo!

     

    Posted in: Diablo IV: Neinball's Thoughts on the Demo
  • published the article Diablo IV: World & Lore Panel Recap

    The Diablo IV World & Lore panel is a quick run down on the influences and goals for the tone of the game, as well as a quick recap of how we got to this point in the story and some little tidbits of workings of the world of Sanctuary.

     

    Influences

    • The development team took influences from lots of sources. Comics, pop culture, and lots of tabletop roleplaying games.
    • One of the talents of the team is to see something cute and through their lens turn into something dark and horrific. Like a cute little pig that becomes a massive, horned, demonic boar.
    • In the development area they would blast heavy metal music and make it a part of the experience. 'Metal' became a common way to describe things in Diablo IV.

    Tone/Mood

    • Diablo IV isn't just about darkness, it's about bringing back a very specific feeling from the earlier games.
    • The developers wanted to take a more grounded approach to the development of Diablo IV compared to Diablo III.
    • There will be more chances to interact with villagers and common folk, with over 100 villages or towns within the game.
    • Diablo IV isn't about big heroes or politics or high fantasy, it's about the regular people and the evil that surrounds them.
    • The essence of Diablo is being alone and wandering through the darkness, wondering what's out there looking back at you.
    • Visual storytelling to reinforce that dark feel is very important to development. Lots of small details spread throughout the world will help build the mood of the game, but it's up to the player to notice those details or ignore them. It all depends on how much those things are important to the player.
    • The end of every road ends in evil. They showed a new boss called the Blood Bishop. The Blood Bishop created many evil things and overtime became warped and twisted by those acts of evil and is now a monstrosity composed of bothing but blood and veins,
    • The development team took lots of influences from the Middle Ages and a gnostic take on religion.
    • General story game flow approach was you'd encounter a villager who has a problem, you'd take a journey to where the trouble was coming from, and finally encounter some great evil thing at the end.
    • The game will be dark, gnostic, with a little bit of crazy and dark humor thrown in.
    • And to reiterate: a grounded story is important to Diablo IV.

    Lore

    • Diablo III recap: Diablo used the Black Soulstone to create the Prime Evil by merging the souls of all the Great Evils. Diablo then went on to devastate heaven, but was ultimately defated. Tyrael tried to hide the Black Soulstone, but it was taken by Malthael. Malthael then used the Black Soulstone's power to slaughter the population of Sanctuary. Malthael consumed the Black Soulstone and Evils contained within, but was defeated. With Malthael's defeat the essence of those Evils was freed and released back into the world.
    • The history of Sanctuary: Lilith is the daughter of the Lord of Hatred, Mephisto. Lilith fell in love with the angel Inarius and together they created the world of Sanctuary and subsequently the Nephalem.
    • The setup for Diablo IV: Malthael's campaign was a genocide across the entire face of Sanctuary. This genocide left a huge power vacuum that groups like the Zakarum or the Church of the Triune are vying the top spot. There's not a lot of hope left in the world.

    Worldbuilding

    • The world of Sanctuary that we know was introduced as just Tristriam and the first Diablo game. Most of the story was in the manual, but not so much in the game. Things like Inarius, the Crystal Arch, the Sin War, etc were all introduced in the original Diablo.
    • Diablo II gave us our first map of the world and started to show other places. We got see oceans and places with names we didn't understand, but inspired our imaginations.
    • Waypoints were also introduced in Diablo II as a form of travel and later expanded upon in Diablo III.
    • Reaper of Souls gave us adventure mode and added more maps of zones, but some places didn't fit or make sense. The Shrouded Moors, as an example, were just kind of thrown into a map without regards to where it actually existed in the world. In Diablo IV the maps are far better and areas will be more fleshed out and connected within the world.
    • The demo area for Diablo IV is pretty big for demo, but is incredibly tiny compared to the rest of the planned game map.

    World

    • In Diablo II when you switch acts the zone and pallet transitions were very stark. You could go back into the manual and find the world map to see how far apart they were and it was left to your imagination to fill in the rest of the journey. Now we will get to walk the entire path between those places and see everything in game.
    • Scosglen: The home of the Druids. A wild, untamed place where beasts and monsters lurk everywhere waiting to pounce on you. Darkness is always closing in and the inhabitants of this area always live in fear, hoping that their numbers will keep them safe from the beastmen and other dangers lurking just outside of their village walls.
    • Dry Steppes: Salt flats and deserts filled with pools of boiling water. A very difficult place to live where you are either predator or prey. Lots of wars are fought in this area vying for power of the region. With Lilith's return people here are giving into the darkness within them. All humans are half demon after all.
    • Fractured Peaks: Gothic Victorian themed area. The people here always live with anxiety that something is always out there watching them from the shadows, waiting for them to drop their guard. When night falls in the Fracture Peaks, you better lock your doors as being outside at night is a death sentence. Blood suckers and other evil things lurk here while decadent priests sleep soundly, ignorant to the darkness continually drawing in around them.
    • Hawezar: Southern swamplands. Lots of poison gases and delusions plague this area and the dreams of those who live here. People travel here to be forgotten, thieves, exiles, and the like. The area is home to swamp witches that worship gigantic snakes and can offer arcane knowledge, but at steep prices.
    • Kehjistan: The remnants of the once massive empire.This is the last bastion of the Zakarum faith, which has suffered many setbacks in the few games. The Zakarum is decaying in it's own decadence. Kurast is here and that place has gotten even worse since we last saw it. This is an ancient area, the Sin Wars were fought here as well as the Mage Clan wars. The Church of Triune is also centered here, where they worship the Prime Evils and hope summon back their dead masters. The people of Kehjistan live in fear and are trapped by superstitions to try and keep the evil away.

    Monsters

    • Monster design is about taking the lore and trying to have it kill you. Monsters tell a story by punching you in the face.
    • There exist all these monster of legends, terrors in the night that have been forgotten or that people just refuse to believe are real.
    • One of these are the Drowned. You've heard the tells of them stealing people away in the night and drowning them, sinking ships, and terrorizing the coasts. But they are real. With the light of the first full moon, they come ashore in droves and hunt their victims. Their approach is always heralded by the ever present ringing of a bell. But how do you tell this story in a monster?
    • The Drowned Juggernaut is an example of using the lore to create a monster. He's a big heavy punisher that shambles out of the ocean to try and drag you back down to the depths. His concept art has him holding a giant flail, but how does that tell a story? The monster designers changed the massive flail into a broken shipmast to reinforce his themes, as well as making some of his attacks summon a spectral ocean wave to supplement that.
    • Ashava is a world boss that exemplifies Diablo IV. Ashava is an always present threat, always lurking just below the surface and can appear anywhere in Sanctuary. She tougher than what you can fight on your own and reinforces that feeling of fighting against overwhelming odds.
    • Duriel is back! Duriel is the Lord of Pain & Maggots and while he's returning in Diablo IV developers don't want to spoil his impact on the story. In Diablo II Duriel was a brutal close quarters fight that had the feel of a two men enter, one man leave kind of fight and they want to pay homage to that while expanding on his lore. He can burrow underground forcing you fight his maggots or impale you and throw you into his belly/mouth which acts as an iron maiden, reinforcing his status as the Lord of Pain.

    Q&A

    • When asked if Inarius will return the devs reminded us that there were more angel/demon pairs that had children than just Lilith and Inarius. Inarius was last scene being tortured by Mephisto 3,000 years ago and as far as they know he's still there.
    • Sanctuary will be a fixed world but will include outside dungeons with randomly generated areas.
    • When Malthael was killed the essence of the Prime Evil was divided and the souls of the Evils were separated and loosed back into the world including Mephisto, Inarius' jailer.
    • We've seen Duriel in the trailers and we know that the other Evils have been able to resurrect, so the threat of them returning is out there. But Lilith is here and active, the Evils may be a bigger threat on the horizon Lilith is in our face.
    • When asked if Tyrael will return as the narrator for Diablo IV the devs asked "Does the game need a narrator?", but they're not ready to talk about Diablo IV's timeline and how long after Diablo III it takes place, so where Tyrael is at or what part he plays is something they're not ready to talk about. Remember: Heaven is closed, we're on our own.
    • While it's awesome if fan favorites, like the Butcher, could return in Diablo IV their inclusion has to make sense. Those character have to fit, their lore has to matter to the game. The devs want to honor the legacy of older titles with monster that will murder you.
    Posted in: Diablo IV: World & Lore Panel Recap
  • published the article Diablo IV Community Group Q&A

    We were given the opportunity to take part in a group Q&A with Lead Game Designer Joe Shely and Senior Producer Tiffany Wat. Bellow is some notes we took from the Q&A for everyone see a little more into the developer's thought processes on the current development of Diablo IV.

     

     

    Diablo 4 Community Q&A with Lead Game Designer Joe Shely & Senior Producer Tiffany Wat

     

    While Blizzard has made it clear that the game is very, very early in development, Joe and Tiffany were very open with their answers and were excited to share as much as they could about Diablo IV.

     

    Story and Game Modes

    • Hell is going to be an important part of the game and it will underlay all of Sanctuary, but the specifics of how we travel to Hell and Hell’s mechanics are still very early in development.
    • Duriel is back! That was in fact Duriel in the gameplay footage. But what does that mean for the other Lesser and Prime Evils? We were told to watch the Lore & World panel tomorrow.
    • With regards to zones having specific levels or how difficulty is handled: Scaling is an important feature to the team to allow exploration and players of varying levels to play with one another. The world zones will scale to the level of the party leader. But while scaling is important to have monsters increase in power with you, feeling the power level increase of getting awesome new items is equally important. The team is very aware of the fine balance between difficulty scaling and the player reward from finding new items.
    • There will be a Hardcode mode
    • Diablo 3 had a very wide playerbase and for many of those players this was their first Diablo game and for them, Diablo 3 is what it means to be a Diablo game. For many players Diablo 2 is what a Diablo game means. The devs are aware of all these different opinions on the game and hope to offer playstyles and content that will be fulfilling for everyone. There will be varied content for casual players and difficult content for those looking for challenges. Any player should be able to log on for any amount of time and feel as if they accomplished something or progressed in some way.
    • How leveling ties into the game and how important max level is is still being worked on, but you’ll likely see the whole world well before max level.
    • Crossplay between consoles is something the team is aware of and they’re currently exploring options, but can’t give any answers at this time.
    • They will offer controller support for PC, but currently have no plans for keyboard support on console.
    • 2 player local co-op will be supported on console.
    • Diablo IV is being designed as a massive immersive world with partying and group in mind, so there are no plans for an offline only mode, but there will be options for those who only want to play solo or only play with friends.

    Trading and Crafting

    • The developers are still early in developing trading systems, but the current philosophy is that crafting mats and consumables will always be tradeable. Powerful items will likely be bound on trade, meaning that can be traded, but only once. The most powerful items however will not be tradeable and likely stay bind on pickup. They want the primary source of items and power be from playing the game itself, so there are no current plans for auction houses, but there will be limited trading available through clan banks.
    • Clans will be in the game and they will include clan banks to help with trading, but no other details were given.
    • Loot drops will be individual to the character like Diablo III currently is, but if you drop an item on the ground, everyone will be able to see it.
    • Crafting will be important to the game and they want to make it so you may go off course from completing quests to go grab a rare crafting material, but it’s still early in development and didn’t have more details at the moment.

    Skills, Classes, and Gameplay

    • Skills will be bound to classes, you may have an item or two that procs another class’ skill, but still no plans for another enigma.
    • They’ve no plans for cross class skill interactions or combos, but they liked the idea.
    • The developers have been designing the monsters and skills so that they mesh well and interact with one another.
    • Movement skills will be more moderate than they were in Diablo III, the world is huge and the game will include mounts for traveling distances. You can highlight points of interest or quest in the world map to get a path indicator to help guide you towards those areas.
    • There will be a new system called “Stagger” for bosses. Whenever you use a crowd control skill on bosses it won’t cc the boss but will add to it’s stagger meter. Once a boss’ stagger meter is full they will be stunned to offer a brief reprieve for the players but with additional unique effects on each boss. One of the demo bosses had a long range sweep attack with it’s massive claws, but once staggered the claws break and their range is greatly reduced.
    • When World Events start they will notify everyone in the world and give its location on the world map for all players. If you can get to the events, you can participate.
    • Currently no max player counts yet, they’re still testing out what feels good.
    • The developers have lots of ideas for endgame systems and they want to offer a wide variety of things to do. We’ll get a preview of ‘Keyed Dungeons’ during tomorrow’s Systems & Features Panel.
      • Sanctuary has hundreds of dungeons and you’ll be able to get ‘keys’ that unlock max level versions of those dungeons with special modifiers on them and better loot.

    Items and Character Customization

    • Magic and Rare items are designed as stepping stones to help players familiarize themselves with gearing and itemization as they level. Sets are designed for fresh characters that reached max level and to act as a guide to how items interact and buff skills with very set play styles. Legendaries are designed as the next step past sets where you have free reign on developing item loadouts to suit your play style. There will be tons of options as they’re designing hundreds of Legendary items and they all affect your skills. Some will add damage, some will change functionality and all are designed to give the player another level of customization for their character. There are apparently more tiers of items played, but whether they’re just better legendaries or actually different types of items is unclear.
    • Character customization has many avenues. In addition too items and runes there are skill and talent choices. While leveling or when ‘skill tomes’ you gain skill points that you can use to increase your skill ranks, unlocking new skills or empowering others. Skill point choices are permanent, but you will eventually be able to unlock and max all skill ranks. Talents are more playstyle choices and have effects on your skills, but will be respecable in the game.
    • Runes will have prefix and suffix types that when combined together have bonus effects. Gems will also exist and can be used in runewords as well.
    • The demo has pre-created characters but there will be a fully customization engine for creating your character. Face type, hair, skin color, eyes, scars, tattoos, and more will be available. They want it to have as many options as the WoW character creator. 

    Miscellaneous Tidbits and Monetization  

    • Potions are an ever evolving system as they develop the game. Nothing really to share yet, but they don’t like how waiting 30-sec for your potion feels. 
    • Treasure goblins will return. The developers like the gameplay elements they add where chasing a goblins may put you into dangerous situations.
    • Diablo IV has been developed from the ground up with PvP in mind. Diablo III had issues with balancing the game around PvP, but with Diablo IV PvP is factored into every development choice. The game will PvP.
    • Diablo IV is using a brand new custom built engine that uses physical based rendering. The engine allows for things like transitional skill animations where one skill will flawless blend into the next. There will be dynamic weather and day/night cycles in the game. Certain skills like the Druid’s Cataclysm can change the weather.
    • No support for UI mods are planned, but players familiar with Diablo III will be happy to know that elective mode style skill selection is the default. Freedom of choice is very important.
    • The developers play a lot of other games and game development is a lot of interpreting what others do. They get a lot of ideas from other games.
    • Monetization. Despite the early development the team has pretty much settled on a base game supported by expansions as the business model for Diablo IV.
    Posted in: Diablo IV Community Group Q&A
  • published the article Patch 2.6.7 Notes and PTR Soon

    Patch 2.6.7 Notes And PTR Soon

    In a surprising turn, the PTR for Patch 2.6.7 will be deploying this week! This patch contains new class sets for Crusaders and Monks that were previously promised as well as many balance adjustments for Barbarians. What's so suprising about the PTR being out this early is that it means there's one less thing for Blizzard to discuss at BlizzCon lending even more credibility to the rumors that Blizzard will finally be announcing Diablo IV this year.

     

    Are you happy with the Barbarian changes? Interested in the new Crusader or Monk sets? Stop by our Discord or sound off in the comments or forums and let us know!

     

     

    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)

     

    The one-week PTR testing period for 2.6.7 begins October 17 and we need your help to make Season 19 better than ever!

     

    We’ve begun introducing brand new class sets to Diablo III as outlined in our Ongoing Support blog, heavily revised several Barbarian Legendaries at the direct request of the community and continued to iterate on our approach to Seasonal buffs and how they can change up the overall gameplay experience. Take a look at the preliminary patch notes below and start theorycrafting; Patch 2.6.7 will be arriving before the end of the year!

     


    Table of Contents

    • PTR Details
      • PTR Goals
      • PTR Tips
    • Patch Notes
      • General
      • Seasons
      • Items
      • Monsters
      • Bug Fixes
    • How to Participate in PTR
    • PTR Character Copy

    Please note that this is a preview for PTR content, which is subject to change.

     


    PTR Details

    We’ll be conducting the Patch 2.6.7 PTR over the course of one week, starting Thursday, October 17. 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 we’re 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.

     

     


    PTR Goals

    With another new game-impacting Seasonal buff and entirely new class sets to experiment with, we know 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 we’d most like to see tested.

     

    • Monk and Crusaders heavily testing their new class sets and item changes
    • Barbarian testing for the revised Barbarian legendary item changes for
    • Experimentation with the Pandemonium buff, with emphasis on finding bugs and testing functionality

     

    PTR Tips

    As with our previous PTRs, this testing period will have a short duration. Whether you’re a PTR veteran or newcomer, we thought we’d pass along a few tips to get you started.

     

    • Because of the limited duration of this PTR, we ask that participants pick a particular portion of this update to focus on testing.
    • For example, if you’re primarily a Wizard player, consider what 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, consider 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! Just tell us when you do so we can make sure that the patch launch is as smooth as possible.
    • 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.

     


    Patch Notes

    Last updated October 14 @ 10:00 a.m. PST.

    Below you will find the patch notes for the most recent update for Diablo III, Patch 2.6.7.

     


    PATCH 2.6.7

    Table of Contents:

    • General
    • Seasons
    • Items
    • Monsters
    • Bug Fixes

    Note: All changes apply to all versions of Diablo III, including PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC unless otherwise indicated. Please note that PTR is only available for PC and Mac users.

     


    General

    • Greater Rift Keystones are now subject to vacuum pick-up
    • A note regarding the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) has been added, clearly stating we do not sell account information. For more information regarding the CCPA, please see here. (Console Only)

     

     


    Seasons

    • Developer Note: One of the biggest pieces of feedback from Season 18's buff was that the Triune bonus didn't stick with your character while you adventured. With Season 19, we've altered course as well as upped the ante by experimenting with new mechanics to add an element of both chaos and power to the battlefield. It should feel a bit like Pandemonium, and it may be a consideration whether or not you want to reset your total kill streak for a particular killstreak bonus versus continuously maintain the overall effect (especially as the highest level killstreak rewards will be harder to leverage in situations like Greater Rifts). Killstreaks with higher kill count requirements are more powerful, and we're looking forward to seeing what players think of and do with them!
    • The buff for Season 19, the Season of Eternal Conflict, has been added
      • Pandemonium
        • For the duration of the Season, all players will have a stacking buff that that persists as long as you have hit or killed a monster within the last 5 seconds
        • Each stack gives 0.05% movement speed and 0.1% bonus damage. This bonus caps at 50% movement and 100% damage (1000 stacks)
        • In addition, after reaching a certain number of kills in a row, a power is unleashed, dealing an amount of scaling damage based on player level and difficulty or Greater Rift level:
          • 15 Kills: Five massive energy twisters are unleashed
          • 30 Kills: Dark Geysers form beneath enemies
          • 50 Kills: Exploding Chickens seek and destroy
          • 100 Kills: Corpses rain from the sky
          • 150 Kills: A wide Frost Nova freezes enemies
          • 200 Kills: Treasure chests fall from the sky
          • 300 Kills: A ring of fire engulfs everything
          • 400 Kills: Meteors hail from above
          • 500 Kills: Angels descend upon the battlefield to fight for your cause
          • 1000 Kills: ???
        • Powers are tracked at a group level; this means only one power can be active in play at a time, regardless of the number of players in a group

     

     


    Items

    • Developer Note: With Patch 2.6.7, we are beginning to roll out new class sets for every class in Diablo III. For the Season of Eternal Conflict, we're focusing on the two classes that embody the Light and wield some form of Holy elemental damage: Crusader and Monk. You'll also find a handful of retuned or newly added Legendary powers intended to synergize with the new class sets. We did a lot of community research into which skills were most requested by players as well as most underrepresented in current builds, and we hope you're as excited as we are for these new gameplay options. The other class sets will be coming in later patches, so if your class isn't represented this time around, fret not—they're coming in a future patch!
    • You'll also notice a significant number of Barbarian item changes in this patch. While the Barbarian class set will be coming at a later date, we have very much heard the War Cry from our dedicated Barbarian community and implemented a number of changes heavily inspired by extremely thorough feedback. While not every suggestion has been taken at a 1:1 parity, the thoughtful analysis helped guide us to changes we could implement in this patch. Thanks very much to the community members who expressed their concerns in a respectful, constructive manner. It's very helpful, and we greatly appreciate the thought and effort that went into making your voices heard!
    • New Crusader Set: Aegis of Valor
      • 2-Piece Bonus: The charged bolts from Fist of the Heavens has a chance to cast another Fist of the Heavens
      • 4-Piece Bonus: Hitting with Fist of the Heavens reduces damage taken by 1% for 5 seconds. Stacks up to 50 times
      • 6-Piece Bonus: Increase the damage of Fist of the Heavens by 10,000%
    • New Monk Set: Patterns of Justice
      • 2-Piece Bonus: Sweeping Wind gains the effect of every rune
      • 4-Piece Bonus: Each enemy within Sweeping Wind increases your movement speed by 5%. Stacks up to 10 times.
      • 6-Piece Bonus: Attacking with Tempest Rush while Sweeping Wind is active will temporarily increase the size of Sweeping Wind after hitting over 30 times within a short period. Sweeping Wind damage is increased by 10,000%
    • Darklight
      • Fist of the Heavens has a [45-60%] 100% chance to be cast twice.
      • Additional Legendary Power: Increases the damage of Fist of the Heavens by [200-250%].
    • Eye of the Storm
      • New Legendary Power: When Sweeping Wind hits exactly 1 enemy, its damage is increased by 100%.
    • Vengeful Wind
      • Increases the maximum stack count of Sweeping Wind by [6-7] 10
      • Additional Legendary Power: Increases the damage of Sweeping Wind by [250-300%]
    • Chantodo's Resolve
      • The scaled attack speed damage bonus to Wave of Destruction has been reduced
      • Developer Note: This is a reactive adjustment from an earlier change to how Wave of Destruction receives a bonus from Attack Speed. The buff that resulted from that change was more than we expected, so we're reigning it in.
    • Wrath of the Wastes
      • 6-Piece Bonus: The damage bonus now also applies to Rend
    • Lamentation
      • Additional Legendary Power: Increases the damage of Rend by [150-200%]
    • Ambo's Pride
      • New Legendary Power: Attacking with Whirlwind also applies Rend and the total damage of Rend is dealt over 1 second
    • Remorseless
      • Hammer of the Ancients has a [25-30%] chance to summon an Ancient for 20 seconds
      • New Legendary Power: While both Wrath of the Berserker and Call of the Ancients are active, Hammer of the Ancients deals [200-250%] more damage.
    • Fjord Cutter
      • You are surrounded by a Chilling Aura when attacking.
      • New Legendary Power: Seismic Slam attacks 50% faster and also deals 100-150% increased damage against Slowed or Chilled enemies
    • Bracers of Destruction
      • Seismic Slam deals [400-500%] increased damage to the first 5 10 enemies it hits.
    • Fury of the Ancients
      • Call of the Ancients gains the effect of the Ancients' Fury rune and your Ancients attack 100% faster
    • Bone Ringer
      • Now has a cap of 60 stacks.
      • Developer Note: We never intended for this item to be used in a way where you farm stacks for an egregious amount of time (5+ minutes) and then watch all their health disappear in less than a second. It's not an engaging style of gameplay, and we don't want that experience to be the best way to play the Necromancer.
    • Legacy of Dreams
      • This gem is now more likely to drop from a Greater Rift Guardian

     

     


    Monsters

    • Blighter
      • Blighter's Poison Tentacles' Area of Effect now hits less frequently, but at higher damage, when attacking players

     

     


    Bug Fixes

    • Spite
      • Fixed an issue where casting Restless Giant would cause the 200% physical bonus damage to fail to apply when the Gargantuan enraged
    • Squirt's Necklace
      • Fixed an issue where some ground effects were causing the Squirt's Necklace buff to fall off despite being shielded

    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.

     

     


    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. Thank you, and we look forward to your feedback!

     

    Posted in: Patch 2.6.7 Notes and PTR Soon
  • published the article Diablo 3 and Classic Games

    Diablo 3 and Classic Games

    A community discussion point over the past few days has been a recent Blizzard job posting for a Senior Software Engineer on the Classic Games team. Blizzard's Classic Games team is charged with supporting, patching, and maintaining legacy titles. This matters because one of the responsibilities for the job is specifically Diablo III development, but Team 3 has traditionally been the development team working on Diablo III. While many in the community are claiming that Diablo III is now considered a "Classic" title, in actuality Diablo III has been a Classic game for over a year now as Team 3 has been moved onto other projects.

     

     

    The last major involvement of Team 3 can be traced to patch 2.6.1 in October 2017. Patch 2.6.1 followed shortly after the launch of the Rise of the Necromancer, implementing sweeping class balance changes that buffed many outlier builds as well as added a great deal of new items to help supplement builds. After many seasons of smaller patches, the back-to-back changes in 2.6.0 and 2.6.1 was heralded by the community as exactly what we had been asking for--new items, better build variety, and other changes broad enough to shake up high end "meta" play. But what wasn't known was that after Patch 2.6.1 launched, development on Diablo III would come to a standstill. There were some major changes going on in the background during this time, and we've since learned that production on Diablo IV had begun ramping up again after its development restarted the previous year. 

     

    We didn't have any major news on Diablo III or its future for almost a full year until Diablo III began themed Seasons in June 2018, and later when they announced the Nintendo Switch version of the game in August 2018. While no new features for the PC or previous console versions were announced, there was still something very odd about this announcement for those of whom were paying attention. The press release was handled by Pete Stilwel, Senior Producer for Classic Games. Throughout the entire news cycle for the release of Diablo III on Nintendo Switch everything was handled by Classic Games, not Team 3. At some point between Patch 2.6.1 and the Switch announcement, Classic Games had taken developmental control of Diablo III, all while Team 3 quietly began working on Diablo IV. There was no announcement of the change in development teams, but at a time when everyone was concerned about the game being forgotten or in maintenance mode (not receiving any future updates/patches), then an announcement of the game being handed over to the Classic Games team would have had the community convinced that Diablo III had been abandoned.

     

     

    The first thing Classic Games appeared to tackle for Diablo III was the release of the Nintendo Switch version and the implementation of themed seasons. After the Nintendo Switch version of Diablo III released, they put their full effort into the game and have since put out patches 2.6.4, 2.6.5, and 2.6.6. If you've enjoyed the features or balance changes in those patches, then you should feel confident in the Classic Games commitment to keep Diablo III a top notch ARPG. Classic Games has already stated they intended to keep support for the foreseeable future and have even promised new armor sets for each class. We're hoping to hear more about what's planned for Diablo III at BlizzCon 2019, and maybe, just maybe, something about Diablo IV as well.

     


     

    Diablo With Hellfire Expansion On Sale!

    For anyone unaware, the original Diablo and Hellfire expansion is available for purchase on GoG.com. Additionally, the game is on sale for 15% off for the next three days! While this isn't a massive change in the $9.99 price tag, it still is a good opportunity for people to return to the game that started it all!

     

     

    Posted in: Diablo 3 and Classic Games
  • published the article ATVI Stocks On the Rebound, Analysts Guess at Diablo 4 Release

    Activision Blizzard Stocks On The Rebound

    It's been a rough year for Activision Blizzard. Following the lackluster response to BlizzCon 2018, the backlash over Diablo Immortal, and the mass layoffs in February, ATVI stock dropped by roughly 50% and remained flat for most of this year. Recently however, ATVI has been climbing as analysts have been upgrading the stock--citing the excellent performance of Classic WoW and Blizzard's expected releases from 2020 onward. Of particular interest to Diablo fans is that Diablo IV is listed as one of the factors leading to ATVI's upgraded expectations. Visit CNBC for more details.

     

     

    This all falls in line with the constant string of rumors we've been hearing since last year. Even Blizzard's competitors have been talking about Diablo IV, with Grinding Gear Games' Director Chris Wilson commenting on how they've been developing Path of Exile's 4.0.0 expansion with the eventual release of Diablo IV in mind. We know Blizzard is working on Diablo IV, so it's a matter of when we will see some sort of announcement rather than if we will. In the event that Diablo IV gets announced at this year's BlizzCon, it's not likely to release anytime soon. A release in 2021 seems like a safe bet, but what do you think? Do you think we'll get a Diablo IV announcement this year? Let us know in the comments or stop by the forums.

     

    Posted in: ATVI Stocks On the Rebound, Analysts Guess at Diablo 4 Release
  • published the article Diablo III On Sale Until 9/23

     

    To celebrate Season 18 Blizzard has placed all PC versions of Diablo III on sale! Prices range from 26% off of the Eternal Collection (which includes the base game, the Reaper of Souls expansion, and the Rise of the Necromancer pack) to 50% off the base game or Reaper of Souls expansion. You can view the sale here for NA, or here for EU!

    Posted in: Diablo III On Sale Until 9/23
  • published the article Top Changes We Saw From the Season 18 PTR

     

    The Season 18 PTR has come and gone, but there is still plenty of discussion to be had! Because of the shorter PTR, not everything was tested to its fullest; however, we have a lead on some of the bigger changes coming in the Season of the Triune.

     

    Flavor of Time

     

    Without a doubt, the single biggest game changer is the newly updated Flavor of Time amulet. The new and improved amulet doubles the duration of all pylons, which greatly improves the capabilities of high end group play that are very dependent on pylon placements and timing. More casual players could also see great mileage out of this item as its power for even a solo player makes it an excellent choice for any build that doesn't have a mandatory amulet slot.

     

    Captain Crimson's Trimmings

     

    The newly buffed Captain Crimson's crafted set offers more optimized stats to a multitude of support builds. With the doubled cooldown reduction and new damage reduction mechanic that scales with Resource Cost Reduction (that the set already provides, or from something like a double duration Channeling Pylon), support builds will have even more of the stats that they want. There are also some combinations that can be made with other class sets; although nothing looked meta breaking, it will be interesting to see where the full potential of this set lands once more testing is available when Patch 2.6.6 launches.

     

    Necromancers

     

    While there were no class balance changes on the PTR, Necromancers still came out with new build potentials and farming options. The Sage's Journey set was given a new belt piece which will allow Necromancers to use both the Sage's set and a 6-piece class set for the first time. Neromancers traditionally were not able to make great use out of Legacy of Nightmare builds due to how dependent they were on their ring slots, but with the new legendary gem they'll finally make full use of 'LoN' builds after Season 17 ends.

     

    Legacy of Dreams

     

    This is the first new legendary gem in years. The Legacy of Dreams allows players to unlock the same potential as the current Legacy of Nightmares set without taking up ring slots. Season 17 has proven to be one of the most popular Seasons in a long time, and people have been calling for Blizzard to implement the LoN buff permanently and apparently Blizzard listened. This new gem scales with any legendary item equipped instead of just ancient items, and will give players the wide swath of choices and playstyles they've been used to for the last couple of months. The bonus of the gem perfectly matches the 'LoN' set once it's fully leveled up to Rank 99.

     

    Honorable Mention - Triune's Will

     

    The new buff for Season 18 is a great step forward for the potential of future Themed Seasons. This new buff grants the following ability:

     

    The buff for Season 18, the Season of the Triune, has been added

    • Triune's Will: All abilities have a chance when hitting an enemy to spawn a circle that gives a power. Only one circle can be active at a time.
      • Power: Players in the circle receive a 100% damage bonus while active
      • Resource Reduction: Players in the circle receive a 50% discount on resources spent while active
      • Cooldown Reduction: While standing in an active circle, any skills currently on cooldown come off of cooldown more quickly

     

    This buff is the first time we've had a wholly unique buff given for the season instead of using a preexisting set/item bonus or community buff. While the Triune's Will itself is an amazing buff (the buff along with some of the new items allowed a fresh seasonal group on the PTR to clear a GR150 within the short testing time), the fact that Blizzard is still taking the time to create whole new effects for the game means that Diablo 3 isn't quite done yet and there may be more surprises coming our way in future seasons.

     

    What's the change you're most excited about? Do you feel we overvalued any of the changes? Let us know in the forums, our discord, or the comments below.

     

    Posted in: Top Changes We Saw From the Season 18 PTR
  • published the article Art of Diablo Book: Updates

    The Art of Diablo Book: Updates

    Earlier this year, Blizzard announced a new art book "The Art of Diablo" that will be releasing later this year. While there hasn't been any official updates from Blizzard since then, the Amazon listing for the book has undergone a couple of changes. Previously the release date for the book had been listed as October 31st, but now it has been moved back to Nov. 3rd. While this new date is far from final, it does ensure the book won't be out until after BlizzCon. It should be noted that this book encompasses the art of the entire Diablo series and not just Diablo III, even though all currently shown art is from Diablo III. While I doubt that it will contain art from any of the unannounced Diablo titles, it could have some interesting insights into the current art direction Blizzard is setting for the future of the franchise.

     

    This past week we've also had a collection of new preview images from the book added to the listing:

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Posted in: Art of Diablo Book: Updates
  • published the article Diablo Netflix: Everything We Know

     

    Although DiabloFans was closed for a few months, the Diablo news didn't come to a halt. Further information has recently come to light that the Diablo Netflix series is continuing to move forward. While we've reported on this in the past, here's a quick recap to catch everyone up on what we know:

     

    In August 2018, the movie and nerd review site Revenge of the Fans originally reported they had come across a credible rumor that Blizzard was talking with Netflix to produce an animated TV series based on the Diablo franchise, with Andrew Cosby tapped to write the show. This rumor was later substantiated by Cosby himself on twitter.

     

    I guess I can confirm I am indeed in final talks to write and show-run the new DIABLO animated series for Activision and Netflix. It's very exciting and I hope to the High Heavens it all works out.

    — Andy Cosby (@andycosby) September 20, 2018

    However, that tweet was quickly deleted, but not before being picked up and passed around the internet. While the tweet itself did make it clear that the deal had not yet been reached, it's evidence enough that it is indeed a project actively being pursued by Blizzard. We also learned from this that Cosby would not only be writing for the series but acting as showrunner as well. For those not familiar with the term, a showrunner is the person with creative control for a TV program, sometimes credited as executive producer. 

     

    Cosby has worked on and created a variety of TV and film projects ranging from writing the recent Hellboy reboot to being co-creator of the TV show Eureka. Cosby is also the co-founder of BOOM! Studios, a comic book publisher that has worked on the comic book adaptions for a number of popular series such as Toy Story, Warhammer 40k, and numerous other film tie-ins. Cosby has the background for writing mature content as well as experience in working with adaptations of preexisting properties, which adds a lot of credibility behind the rumors that he was selected to head up the Diablo Netflix project.

     

    It appears that those behind the scenes talks did eventually go somewhere, because on March 8th Blizzard filed a new trademark for Diablo in regards to a film or movie for a video-on-demand service.

     

     

    Adding even more fuel to the rumors, Cosby himself tweeted a rather cryptic hint that he's working on something big:

     

     

    Netflix has contributed further to the speculation around the possible Diablo series by acquiring and producing a growing number of video game adaptations, including shows for The Witcher, The Division, Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, and an all-new season for its hit Castlevania series. Diablo fits right in with these other series, building a collection of mature, adult-themed shows to add to Netflix's catalog of content.

     

    With the annual San Diego Comic Con coming next week, do you think a formal announcement of the series could be at our doorstep? Or are you not yet convinced that Blizzard will actually go through with the series? We've had our own thoughts on what a Diablo TV show could look like, but let us know your thoughts in the comments below or stop by our forums to share your ideas of the shape a Diablo TV series could take.

    Posted in: Diablo Netflix: Everything We Know
  • published the article Diablo II's Anniversary

     

    The last week in June always brings a couple of very important days to long time fans of Diablo. June 26th was the 18th anniversary of Diablo II's expansion, Lord of Destruction, and today, June 29th, marks 19 years since the release of Diablo II. It's been almost 20 years since we got our hands on these titles and the ARPG genre has never been the same since. If you're looking to celebrate the classics, now is the perfect time. Ladder Season 24 just started on June 14th and the Diablo II player base is still very active for a title of its age.

     

    Don't forget to stop by our Diablo II Legacy Forum, and you can also find other players to slay demons with in our official Discord Server!

     

     

    Posted in: Diablo II's Anniversary
  • published the article Mike Morhaime Discusses Diablo

     

    Yesterday, Mike Morhaime was given the Gamelab Honor Award during the Gamelab Conference held in Barcelona. During the conference Morhaime also took part in a round-table discussion hosted by GamesBeat's Dean Takahashi and covered by Tom Phillips of Eurogamer that centered around his career at Blizzard. While the talk featured topics spanning from Blizzard's beginnings to what Morhaime's future plans are, he did spend some time talking about the history of Diablo and many of the challenges Blizzard has faced with the franchise.

     

    The Dreaded Real Money Auction House

     

    As Diablo players, we know there were a lot of hardships involved with the launch of Diablo III. One of the most divisive features being the inclusion of the Real Money Auction House (RMAH) and it was this feature that gave Blizzard some of the biggest design hurdles. The RMAH affected gameplay and player behavior in ways they didn't expect.

     

    "People are going to do this anyway - why don't we provide them a safe and secure way to trade items?" Morhaime said. "But the problem was that we didn't design the loot model with that in mind. We designed it without an auction house initially, and when you have an auction house in a game that's dropping tonnes and tons of loot, it's way cheaper and easier to get second-hand items from the auction house."

     

    This created a very skewed structure of play where players acquired their gear primarily from the RMAH instead from within the game and the item reward loop that is the core of most ARPGs was "completely destroyed".

     

     

    Morhaime would go to to approach the team and ask "If you could do what you wanted and snap your fingers to make it happen, would you remove the auction house?" "They said yes, that's what we'd do." There was no obvious way of justifying this to management on paper, Morhaime said, but it proved the right call.

     

    Reaper of Souls brought in the cancellation of the RMAH and it was met with a far more positive reaction from the fan-base than the original launch of Diablo III. The coined 'Loot 2.0' that put more emphasis on self found gear helped to put the reward loop back in line, but at the cost of the almost complete removal of trading.

     

    Diablo Immortal and Managing Expectations

     

    Morhaime also talked about Diablo Immortal's announcement at BlizzCon 2018 and the back lash Blizzard received from the fans. 

     

    "It's sort of like when you have a group that's really passionate about a franchise like Diablo, really excited about a project that hasn't been announced - Blizzard tried to manage expectations that they weren't going to announce Diablo 4 at Blizzcon, but I'm not sure that got through," Morhaime recalled. Morhaime also added, "Most of the audience did not get that memo. Maybe there should have been more discussion around: Blizzard is not abandoning the PC."

     

     

    This mirrors Blizzard's current president J. Allen Brack's comments back in May where he responded to a question about what Blizzard learned from the fans reaction to the Immortal announcement. Brack said "A huge number of lessons. I think that one of the things that we failed to do was to really help articulate that we are a PC gaming company and that we’re going to continue to be a PC gaming company." 

    Posted in: Mike Morhaime Discusses Diablo