• published the article A Note From Blizzard About BlizzCon

    A Note About BlizzCon

    Blizzard posted a quick update about the potential for BlizzCon this year with regards to the global situation, and have come to the conclusion that it's too early to make a call one way or another. This does indicate their desire to do BlizzCon this year, but we may need to wait several months before we hear any more news.

     

    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)

     

    Hello Blizzard community,

     

    A gaming convention is probably the last thing on most people’s minds right now, and that goes for many of us at Blizzard too. As events around the world announce cancellations, postponements, or shifts to an online format in response to COVID-19, we’re seeing questions about our plans for this year’s BlizzCon and we want to provide a quick update.

     

    We love BlizzCon, and we know many of you share that feeling and look forward to it as an opportunity to get away for a while, meet up with friends, and have a good time. As so many of us have been isolated for multiple weeks now, surrounded and in some cases directly impacted by the ongoing pandemic-related challenges around the world, we’re looking forward to the time when we can see one another again in person and have something to celebrate together.

     

    While we’re all hopeful things will look better later in the year, the bottom line is that at this point it’s too early to know whether BlizzCon 2020 will be feasible. The health of our community, employees, and everyone who helps with the show is our top consideration. It might be a few months before we know for certain if or how we’ll proceed, but as soon as we have a meaningful update, we’ll share it.

     

    We do want to mention that prior to the recent events we had been actively working to finalize our plans and in fact are still doing so, despite the workplace changes we’ve now made at Blizzard. That includes considering a range of scenarios and possibilities, not just in terms of the show, but also regarding what the experience would be for you. We know BlizzCon also involves preparation on your part, so we’ll do our best to provide as much clarity as we can, as quickly as we can.

     

    In the meantime, please be good to one another, stay well, and know that we’re holding everyone impacted by COVID-19 in our thoughts.

     

    Saralyn Smith
    Fury Warrior, Executive Producer of BlizzCon

    Posted in: A Note From Blizzard About BlizzCon
  • published the article Season 20 Meta-Watch: Solo Witch Doctors

      Brandy Camel Leaves Blizzard Entertainment

    Season 20 Meta-Watch: Solo Witch Doctor

    Witch Doctors were in desperate need of something new going into Season 20. With many of the main Witch Doctor players switching to different classes for the previous couple seasons, there was a tangible excitement in the air when the Mundunugu's set was revealed. Now that we are several weeks into Season 20, taking a quick glance at the solo Witch Doctor leaderboard in each region will make it clear that the Mundunugu's set has lived up to the hype, and is the overwhelmingly dominate build for the majority of Witch Doctors this season.

     

     

    The build utilizes the Ring of Royal Grandeur to run the full six piece set bonus of Mundunugu's while also using the three piece set bonus from Captain Crimson's. The damage potential of this solo build is huge, and we will see just how strong it can be when we look at the group meta later this season. There are very few variations of this Mundunugu's build, with most of the variation being present in whether you choose to wear Captain Crimson's pants or boots. This build also does not make use of the seasonal theme for Season 20, meaning that there will be very little power loss once Season 20 is over.

     

    Posted in: Season 20 Meta-Watch: Solo Witch Doctors
  • published the article Brandy Camel Leaves Blizzard Entertainment

    Brandy Camel Leaves Blizzard Entertainment

    Community Manager Brandy Camel, aka Nevalistis, is leaving Blizzard Entertainment. She explains in her post and on Twitter that this move is not for any ill reason, and she will in fact be joining Wizards of the Coast to be the new Community Manager for Dungeons & Dragons! Brandy has always been a beacon of light to our community, and she will be dearly missed; however, we know that she is undoubtedly the perfect person for the job! From all of us at DiabloFans, we wish Brandy the best of luck with this amazing new opportunity!

     

     

    Originally Posted by Nevalistis (Official Post)

    This is, undoubtedly, one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to write. Not gonna lie, it took me a few tries.

     

    March 27, 2020 will be my final day as Diablo Community Manager, and at Blizzard Entertainment. I’m not leaving for any ill reasons; my team here has always been understanding and kind, every developer I’ve had the honor of interacting with has been delightfully passionate, and the decision to leave was ultimately mine alone. I have an opportunity to explore a new and very different adventure, and if you’re curious about that, I’ll share more about it on my personal channels. Sometimes, opportunity presents itself and you just gotta roll the dice.

     

    What I want to focus on is expressing my gratitude to this community. For welcoming me when I stumbled in at the announcement of Reaper of Souls. For making me feel at home as I was trembling on livestream, fighting stage fright while introducing the expansion to the world. For all the smiles, high-fives, hugs, and selfies at conventions (especially BlizzCon). For the absolute conviction and passion for Sanctuary that I see in every player’s post, whether it’s excitement over the latest Season or constructive criticism for your favorite class. Regardless of highs and lows, this is one of the best communities out there, and the heart of it is warm, caring, and filled with people who just want more Diablo.

     

    Thank you for permitting me to be a part of your community. Thank you for reading my weird blogs and tolerating my terrible puns and memes. And thank you for staying awhile to listen. I’ve had an incredible opportunity learn and grow as person that I’ll carry with me the rest of my life, and I can’t wait to delve the depths of the Burning Hells and face down the mother of Sanctuary alongside the rest of you.

     

    Lastly, rest assured that the Diablo community will be left in good hands. I’ve spent a fair amount of my final weeks here preparing to pass the torch to those who will follow in my footsteps and working with the team here to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible. You won’t be left unheard or unacknowledged, but please be understanding while the next folks get settled in. We’re all here to battle the demons of Hell together, after all!

     

    I’ll see you in Sanctuary, adventurers.

     


    Season 20 Mega-Post!

      Check out the complete Ashes of Outland Card List, with release date and expansion details!

      See all new Demon Hunter Cards and full overview of Hearthstone's 10th class here!

     

    Posted in: Brandy Camel Leaves Blizzard Entertainment
  • published the article Challenge Rift - Week 144

      Season 20 Mega-Post!

      Check out the complete Ashes of Outland Card List, with release date and expansion details!

      See all new Demon Hunter Cards and full overview of Hearthstone's 10th class here!

     

    Challenge Rift - Week 144

    Challenge Rift Week 144 is live! This week the Challenge Rift features the new Typhon's Veil Wizard set with Hydra builds! If you are curious how Challenge Rift builds are chosen each week, you can view this official blog post!


     

    Posted in: Challenge Rift - Week 144
  • published the article Season 20 Meta-Watch: Solo Wizards

      Hearthstone: Ashes of Outland Expansion Card List & Release Date

      Demon Hunter Is Hearthstone's 10th Class

    Season 20 Meta-Watch: Solo Wizards

    It has now been one week since the start of Season 20, and we are already seeing the meta being shaken up due to the addition of three new class sets. Our meta analysis this week will focus on the Wizard, which was given the new Hydra focused Typhon's Veil set. This new set is widely regarded as the weakest of the three new additions; however, the solo Wizard leaderboard has seen the rise of two different Hydra builds. At this time it's still unclear which build has the most potential, but most players seem to favor the Legacy of Dreams version.

     

     

    The top represented build on the leaderboards for all three regions is by far the Vyr's Archon Wizard, which is not entirely a surprise seeing as it was the Haedrig's Gift for Wizards this season. Having Vyr's has allowed Wizards to push high solo rifts early, and has proven to be relatively easy to gear for in comparison to the other rising builds. With that said, we expect to see Vyr's slowly drop off the top solo Wizard clears as players are able to find the necessary pieces for one of the two Hydra builds.

     

     

    The Typhon's Veil Frost Hydra has the potential for an exceptional amount of damage output, but the set tends to be rather fragile. Forgetting to place Hydra's down when entering a new level in a rift can lead to players getting obliterated by enemies before they have a chance to react, and the finicky nature of the sets damage reduction mechanic can lead to a lot of frustration. Players who wish to use Cold damage will find a lot to love with the Typhon's Veil set, and those who master its mechanics can possibly rival the alternative Hydra build.

     

     

    The Legacy of Dreams Mammoth Hydra build is hard to gear for, as all Legacy of Dreams builds are, seeing as it requires a full set of particular ancient items to be the most effective. On top of that, leveling the Legacy of Dreams gem to 99 is necessary to extract all of the potential performance from the build. The use of Mammoth Hydras provides an exceptional amount of clearing potential for large groups of enemies, and the build doesn't struggle with most Rift Guardians either. The LoD Hydra is also quite a bit more tanky than the Typhon's Veil version, and many players will prefer its playstyle to the the alternative.

     

     

    It's still too early to say which Wizard build will top the solo leaderboards for Season 20, but at this point there are two fun Hydra builds available for Wizard players who wish to change things up. Vyr's provides a strong start for anyone looking to play Wizard; however, its potential does not quite live up to other potential Wizard builds. It's worth mentioning that Season 20 is still fresh, and the meta for the solo Wizard has the potential to shift greatly in a few weeks time.

     

    Have you been playing the Wizard during Season 20? What build have you been playing and what class would you like us to cover next week? Let us know in the comments!

    Posted in: Season 20 Meta-Watch: Solo Wizards
  • published the article Challenge Rift - Week 143

      Hearthstone: Ashes of Outland Expansion Card List & Release Date

      Demon Hunter Is Hearthstone's 10th Class

     

    https://www.hearthpwn.com/guides/7291-ashes-of-outland-cards-list-release-date-expansion


    Challenge Rift - Week 143

    Challenge Rift Week 143 is live! This week the Challenge Rift features the new Horde of the Ninety Savages Barbarian set with Frenzy builds! If you are curious how Challenge Rift builds are chosen each week, you can view this official blog post!


     

    Posted in: Challenge Rift - Week 143
  • published the article Season 20 Mega-Post!

      Diablo IV Quarterly Update: February 2020

     Season 20: The Season Of The Forbidden Archives

     

     

    Season 20 is the Season of the Forbidden Archives! For the duration of Season 20, the slots in Kanai's Cube that allow you to equip three additional legendary powers will not be restricted to their usual categories. A player can normally equip one Weapon, one Armor, and one Jewelry power through Kanai's Cube; however, for Season 20, players can mix and match between all three. For example, this allows players to run two Weapon powers and one Armor power, or even three Jewelry powers!

     

    Season 20 begins on Friday, March 13 at 5:00pm in each region. Season 20 goes live on all Consoles world wide at 5:00pm PDT, the same time as PC in North America. For timezone conversion, visit this site!

     

     

                                                                                   

     


    Table of Contents


     DiabloFans Discord

    Join us on our Discord server! It's the perfect place for finding people to group with, get your questions answered, and stay up to date on the latest news! You can join our server by clicking on the banner below, or by going here

     

    If you don't use Discord you're missing out, but you can also find people to play with by using our forums! 

     

     


     Haedrig's Gift & Seasonal Rewards

    Completing Chapters 2, 3, and 4 of the Seasonal 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 will 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:

     

    • BarbarianImmortal King's Call
    • CrusaderSeeker of the Light
    • Demon HunterNatalya's Vengeance
    • MonkUliana's Stratagem
    • NecromancerTrag'Oul's Avatar
    • Witch DoctorSpirit of Arachyr
    • WizardVyr's Amazing Arcana

     

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

     

     

    Blizzard is continuing to provide new End of Journey rewards as was introduced in Season 17, with two new cosmetic rewards for those who complete the entirety of the Season Journey. These rewards will be the Teganze Warrior Portrait Frame and the Bat pet!

     

     


     Seasonal Conquests

     Want to prepare your Conquests plans for Season 20? Here are all the conquests you'll face this season!

     

    • Curses!/Stars Align - Kill 350 or more monsters during a Cursed Chest event at level 70 on Torment X or higher.
    • Years of War/Dynasty - Complete Greater Rift 55 solo with the full bonuses of six class sets.
    • Masters of the Universe/Masters of Sets - Master 8 different set dungeons.
    • Divinity/Lionhearted - Complete Greater Rift 75 solo.
    • Boss Mode/Worlds Apart - Eliminate the following bosses at level 70 on Torment X or higher in under twenty minutes:
      • The Skeleton King
      • The Butcher
      • Zoltun Kulle
      • Ghom
      • Cydaea
      • Rakanoth
      • Diablo
      • Adria
      • Queen Araneae
      • Maghda
      • Belial
      • Siegebreaker Assault Beast
      • Azmodan
      • Izual
      • Urzael
      • Malthael


     

     Season 20 Starter Guides

    Any players looking to level quickly and get the best start to Season 20 should browse the selection of starter guides from various content creators below! If you're looking for a level 1 blood shard gambling guide, AlexRaEU posted a comprehensive spreadsheet last season on the r/Diablo Subreddit!

    Season 20 Class Starter Guides from Bluddshed:

    Ultimate Seasonal Starter Guide:

     

    Seasonal Leveling Guides:

    Master theory-crafter sVr recently uploaded a very advanced leveling strategy that utilizes Necromancers, Cursed Chests, and huge killstreaks to reach level 70 in just over 50 minutes. We do not suggest this method for new players, and only players looking to min-max their leveling experience with like-minded players should try this. Additionally, diabloseasons.com is a great resource for any average player looking reach level 70 quickly!

     


    Best Builds From Season 19

    We recently analyzed the top performing Greater Rift pushing builds from Season 19, and you can find the best solo and group builds below! Keep in mind that Season 19 provided players with a seasonal buff which had powerful effects at specific tiers during a killstreak. This seasonal buff and paragon levels played a large part in how builds preformed, and simply copying the build will not yield the same results. These builds are still powerful, and were certainly worthy of the top spots from last season!

     

     


    Level With A Cause

    The Level With a Cause charity event is returning for Season 20! Level With a Cause is a recurring charity event that occurs at the start of each new season in Diablo 3. Level With a Cause was created by Wolfcryer as a way to unite the Diablo community in an effort to raise money for various charities. 

    The first Level With a Cause was held on Thursday, July 20, 2017 with the release of Season 11 and continued throughout the weekend. Twitch streamers and YouTubers from the Diablo community played and directed viewers to donate to St.Jude's Hospital. In that first Level With a Cause, the Diablo community raised over seven thousand dollars and cemented this as a recurring event.

    As Level With a Cause continues to grow and the community generates more and more funds for charity, all streamers are encouraged to join the cause and be a part of something awesome! 

     

    You can donate to the Level With a Cause charity event here!


    Solo Self Found League

    The Solo Self Found League is a player made and enforced league that allows players who do not wish to play in groups a competitive ladder of purely solo players! If you have found yourself without a group for Season 20, then consider participating in this community lead league!

     

     


    Challenge Rift - Week 142

    Challenge Rift Week 142 is live! Because Season 20 begins this Friday, we advise that you DO NOT complete the challenge rift until after you've made your seasonal character! This week the Challenge Rift features three different Necromancer builds! If you are curious how Challenge Rift builds are chosen each week, you can view this official blog post!


     

     


    Patch 2.6.8 Changes

    Patch 2.6.8 added three new class sets to the game! Horde of the Ninety Savages is a new Barbarian set with a focus on Shouts and Frenzy. The Mundunugu's Regalia is a new Witch Doctor set with a focus on Spirit Barrage, and The Typhon's Veil is a new Wizard set that focuses on Hydras!

     

     

    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)

    Patch 2.6.8 Now Live

    Below you will find the final patch notes for the most recent update for Diablo III, Patch 2.6.8. Changes specifically from the last version of the PTR have been highlighted in RED.

      


     

    Last updated February 28 @ 10:00 a.m. PST.

    Below you will find the patch notes for the most recent update for Diablo III, Patch 2.6.8.


    PATCH 2.6.8

    Table of Contents:

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


    General

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

    Seasons

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

    Classes

    • Crusader
      • Developer's Note: We're not convinced that this change has fully reigned in Crusader performance to be more in line with other classes. We'll be continuing to keep an eye on overall Crusader performance (as well as performance among the other classes) in 2.6.8 and beyond.
      • Heaven's Fury
        • The animation for the Fires of Heaven rune can no longer be cancelled early.
    • Witch Doctor
      • Spirit Barrage (Phantasm)
        • The periodic attacks from Spirit Barrage (Phantasm) are now twice as slow, but twice as powerful
        • Developer's Note: We rolled this change back between PTR and Live as it was creating additional bugs. We may consider re-exploring this option in the future if we find this adjustment is still needed.

    Items

    • Developer's Note: With Patch 2.6.8, we're adding three(!) new class sets with similar goals to those we included in the previous patch. Each set was designed primarily with boosting long-requested skills and play styles we lifted directly from community feedback. Frenzy, Spirit Barrage, and Hydra were requests that offered a lot of opportunity for gameplay exploration, and we're looking forward to seeing what players do with these new tools at their disposal. Additional changes to associated supplemental Legendaries have been included to round out these builds.
    • Mantle of Channeling
      • The bonus granted by this item now occurs 1 second after channeling has begun
    • Barbarian
      • New Class Set: Horde of the Ninety Savages
        • 2-Piece Bonus: Double the effectiveness of all Shouts. Feared, Frozen, or Stunned Enemies take double damage.
          • Developer's Note: The callout that Stun may be the best fit for this set bonus was definitely heard, but we didn't want to take away other potential builds enabled by experimenting with Fear or Frozen. We hope this opens up a variety of options for Barbarians to explore!
        • 4-Piece Bonus: Each stack of Frenzy reduces damage taken by 6%. Frenzy lasts twice as long.
        • 6-Piece Bonus: Frenzy deals 1000% increased damage per stack.
      • Undisputed Champion
        • Frenzy gains the effect of every rune and deals 300-400% increased damage.
      • Bastion's Revered
        • Frenzy now stacks up to 10 times and hits an additional time per stack. Each additional hit will chain to any enemies within 15 yards and the damage is split between all affected enemies.
    • Witch Doctor
      • New Class Set: Mundunugu's Regalia
        • 2-Piece Bonus: Big Bad Voodoo now follows you and lasts twice as long.
        • 4-Piece Bonus: Gain 60% damage reduction for 30 seconds when you enter the Spirit Realm.
        • 6-Piece Bonus: Spirit Barrage deals 20000% increased damage plus an additional % equal to 5 times your Mana Regeneration/Second.
          • Developer's Note: We found this set was overperforming at the highest end, but we also wanted to maintain its capabilities at early gearing stages. The addition of a base multiplier and reducing the effectiveness of the Mana Regeneration bonus should accomplish this goal.
      • The Barber
        • Instead of dealing direct damage, your Spirit Barrage now accumulates on the target. When you stop casting, it explodes dealing 225-250% 400-500% of the accumulated damage to all enemies within 15 yards.
        • Is now classified as a Ceremonial Knife, with a base 1.4 attack speed
      • Gazing Demise
        • Spirit Barrage gains the Phantasm rune. Each active Phantasm lasts twice as long, increases the damage of Spirit Barrage by 40-50% 100-150%, and also increases the attack rate from Manitou spectres.
      • Ring of Emptiness
        • You deal 250-300% increased damage to enemies affected by both either your Haunt and or Locust Swarm.
    • Wizard
      • New Class Set: The Typhon's Veil
        • 2-Piece Bonus: Double the duration of Hydras and increase the number of heads on multi-headed Hydras by two.
        • 4-Piece Bonus: Damage taken is reduced by 8% for each Hydra head alive as long as there is one available. Each time you take damage, a Hydra heads dies. Heads cannot die more than once every 2 seconds
        • 6-Piece Bonus: Hydras deal 1200% 1300% increased damage for each Hydra head alive.
          • Developer's Note: We've continued to tilt more of the power for Hydra in favor of the 6-piece set bonus and away from the supplemental Legendary items.
      • Serpent's Sparker
        • You may have one extra Hydra active at a time and they deal 450-600% 250-300% increased damage.
      • The Magistrate
        • Frost Hydra Your Hydras now periodically cast Frost Nova and deal 450-600% 250-300% increased damage.
      • Etched Sigil
        • The bonus granted by this item now occurs 1 second after channeling has begun.
      • Deathwish
        • The bonus granted by this item now occurs 1 second after channeling has begun.

    Bugs

    • Several issues with adding/removing players to group and starting new games as a group have been resolved
    • Captain Crimson's Trimmings
      • Fixed an issue where the set bonus did not increase damage reduction when using Devour - Voracious
    • Barbarian
      • Fixed a bug where Threatening Shout (Grim Harvest) would not activate when enhanced by the Horde of the Ninety Savages set bonus
    • Crusader
      • Corrected the spelling of “Imperius” on the flavor text for several pieces of the Aegis of Valor set
      • Fixed an issue where the bolts cast by Fist of the Heavens - Divine Well failed to zap enemies
    • Demon Hunter
      • Fixed an issue where In-geom was not properly dropping for Demon Hunters
    • Wizard
      • Fixed a bug where Arcane Torrent would get an extra damage multiplier from Etched Sigil and Deathwish
      • Fixed a bug where Hydra (Frost Hydra) was getting a damage bonus instead of Attack Speed bonus from its owner's Attack Speed; this rune now benefits from Attack Speed in the same manner as other Hydra runes
    • PTR Specific
      • Note: The following issues were only live on the PTR, but we're including the fixes here for visibility and to indicate intended functionality on live.
      • Fixed a bug with Bastion's Revered where it would not properly benefit from Convention of Elements
      • Fixed a bug where Big Bad Voodoo would not properly follow its owner through zones when utilizing the new 2-Piece set bonus
      • Fixed a bug where Hydras would have a short delay after being summoned
    Posted in: Season 20 Mega-Post!
  • published the article Top 3 and 4-Player Builds from Season 19

      Season 20 Begins 3/13!

      Top Solo Builds From Season 19

      Top 2-Player Builds From Season 19

    Top 3-Player Builds From Season 19

    The 3-player leaderboard from Season 19 continues many trends seen in the 2-player leaderboard in regards to the focus being placed more heavily on how quickly a group can clear Greater Rift 150, and also on the group compositions/classes. The returning star of the 2-Player leaderboard, and the staple of all high Greater Rift group clears from season 19, is the support Barbarian. Being able to zip around the map while utilizing Ancient Spear to gather enemies and providing the other players with a large bonus to their toughness means that the support Barbarian is unlikely to lose its place in the group meta anytime soon.

     

    The Legacy of Dreams Wizard was also present in most GR 150 3-player clears. There was some representations from other classes taking the Wizard's spot, but those clears couldn't quite knock the Wizard out of its top spot. The final spot on the 3-player leaderboard was taken by the support Monk, which brings a high amount of additional toughness, healing, and utility to their group. There was a total of 1,193 Greater Rift 150 3-player clears across all three regions, with the fastest clear clocking in at 3:07.

     

    It's worth mentioning that both Paragon level and the Season 19 theme played a major part in the ability to clear as quickly as these players did, and simply copying the builds will not yield similar results.

     

     


     

     

     

     


     

    Top 4-Player Builds From Season 19

    The 4-player leaderboard from Season 19 continues the same concepts found on the 2 and 3-player leaderboards. Legacy of Dreams Wizard is strong, so bringing one of those is good. Support monk represented itself well in the 3-player meta, so one of those is pretty good too. How about that support Barbarian though? Well, if one was already good, why not bring two!? The 4-player leaderboard turned already quick Greater Rift 150 clears into an absolute speed run, and the fastest GR 150 was cleared in 2:22! With over 3,000 4-player GR 150 clears across all regions, it's evident that player power has surpassed the current Greater Rift cap.

     

    As we mentioned in the previous posts about Season 19 builds, the seasonal theme and Paragon level play a large part in the clear speeds, and simply copying these builds will not yield the same results.

     

    Players are hopeful that Season 20 will bring about some changes to the group meta with the addition of three new class sets, but it still leaves the question as to whether the GR cap should be increased beyond 150 or if player power needs to be reduced across the board. What are your thoughts on the current Greater Rift situation, and do you think Season 20 will see a marked reduction in the amount of GR 150 clears? Let us know in the comments!

     


     

     

     

     

     

    Note: We do not take the console leaderboards into account when considering the top builds from a season.

    Posted in: Top 3 and 4-Player Builds from Season 19
  • published the article Top 2-Player Builds From Season 19

      Season 20 Begins 3/13!

      Top Solo Builds From Season 19

    Top 2-Player Builds From Season 19

    Because Greater Rift 150 is the current GR cap, the high-end group meta in Diablo III has become a question of who can clear a Greater Rift 150 the fastest, rather than who can reach the highest potential Greater Rift level. The result of this is that builds will slowly evolve throughout a season within the group meta to focus more on speed and the ability to wave-clear, which is the ability to kill large groups of enemies quickly.

     

    A staple of the group meta for Season 19 was the support Barbarian. Support builds have been present for quiet some time in the group meta of Diablo III, but the Barbarian has muscled out the rest in recent seasons. Since one of the two spots were filled by a support Barbarian in the top 2-Player meta, the question then became what class and build was the second player bringing. Necromancer and Crusader were some clear choices for many people; however, the class that was most represented in the top 2-Player 150 clears was the Legacy of Dreams Star Pact Archon Wizard.

     

    You can find the builds of top 2-Player clear from Season 19 below, which was a GR 150 completed in 3:20! A total of 564 Greater Rift 150 clears were completed on the 2-Player leaderboard across all regions for Season 19. As a reminder, Paragon levels play a large role in the ability of these builds to push as high as they do, and simply replicating the builds will not yield similar results! The Pandemonium kill-streak buff from Season 19 also helped play a part in the clear speed of some groups, and we expect Season 20 to result in fewer 150 clears across the board--even with the addition of several new class sets to change up the meta!

     

    Did you get onto the 2-Player leaderboard? Be sure to let us know what classes and builds you used in the comments!

     

     

     


      

     

     

    Note: We do not take the console leaderboards into account when considering the top builds from a season.

    Posted in: Top 2-Player Builds From Season 19
  • published the article Top Solo Builds From Season 19

      Season 20 Begins 3/13!

      Top 2-Player Builds From Season 19

    Top Solo Builds From Season 19

    Anyone playing a seasonal character in Diablo 3 is encouraged to do a solo Greater Rift at one point or another, whether that be to increase your max bloodshard capacity or to complete parts of your seasonal journey. It goes without saying that solo pushing is an integral part of the game, and pushing as far as you can remains a critical benchmark for seeing how well your character is performing. Season 19 introduced a rather strong seasonal theme in the form of the Pandemonium kill-streak buff, causing powerful effects to happen when players reached specific kill-streak amounts. This buff played a role in how well classes performed in Greater Rifts, and the exact same builds will likely perform worse in Season 20 due to the lack of a strong seasonal effect.

     

    Below you will find the best performing solo Greater Rift builds from Season 19 based on the top 50 clears in each region. It's worth mentioning that paragon level plays a vital role in how well an individual class performs, and simply copying a build will not yield the same results. Additionally, the process of Greater Rift "fishing" can be the determining factor between a top clear and a failed Greater Rift. Fishing is when players seek out the most ideal enemy types, tile-sets, and pylon placements through repeated Greater Rift starts.

     

    What class did you play in Season 19, and how well did you do in solo greater rifts? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

     


     

    Barbarian

     

    Solo Barbarian

     

    Barbarian was one of the most competitive classes in Season 19, only second to the Crusader. Utilizing the redesigned Wrath of the Wastes set, the Barbarian spun to the top of the solo Greater Rift rankings like an industrial blender in a smoothie shop. Whirlwind proved to be extremely quick with the fastest Greater Rift 150 clear of Season 19 being completed in just 6 minutes and 19 seconds in the Asia region. Barbarian saw a total of 129 players successfully clearing a Greater Rift 150.

     

     


     

    Crusader

     

    Solo Crusader

     

    Crusaders saw a lot of love in Season 19 with the addition of their new Aegis of Valor set. Before the season began, players knew that Crusaders would perform extremely well in solo rifts--even after being the victim of the nerf bat. Across all regions, 206 players reached GR 150 for solo Crusaders. This places Crusaders firmly at the top performing solo classes for Season 19, which shouldn't be too much of a surprise given their solo performance in recent seasons.

     

     


     

    Demon Hunter

     

    Solo Demon Hunter

     

    Demon Hunters have been struggling to find their place on the solo leaderboard as of late, not to mention their perpetual struggles to make it into the group meta. Season 20 had potential to bring Demon Hunters a new set to shake things up; however, they will need to wait another season to see any major changes. In Season 19, the solo Demon Hunter leaderboard was dominated by the Legacy of Dreams Rapid Fire build. The NA region only saw a single GR 150 solo clear, with the next closest being a GR 138. This is not entirely down to the performance of the class, but more likely due to the lack of representation from dedicated players who chose to play some of the more exciting choices for Season 19. Only a total of 17 GR 150 clears were completed across all regions for solo Demon Hunters.

     

     


     

    Monk

     

    Solo Monk

     

    Monks were an exciting choice to play during Season 19 due to their new Patterns of Justice set which focused on Tempest Rush and Sweeping Winds. Throughout the season, a new meta emerged utilizing Azurewrath as a second weapon to pair the Won Khim Lau; although, some variants involving a Pig Sticker were present as well. While the Monk performed well with its new set, there was only 21 GR 150 clears across all regions.

     

     


     

    Necromancer

     

    Solo Necromancer

     

    Due to the group meta for the past several seasons, the Necromancer has been seeing a healthy population of players, and this translates into a strong representation on the solo leaderboards as well. The Legacy of Dreams Death Nova build rose to the top as the best solo Necromancer build this season. Like the Demon Hunter, the Necromancer will have to wait until Season 21 to see a new class set; however, it preformed well with a total of 35 GR 150 clears across all regions.

     

     


     

    Witch Doctor

     

    Solo Witch Doctor

     

    Like Demon Hunters, the Witch Doctor saw a reduced representation due to more exciting prospects being available for Season 19. The Legacy of Dreams Carnevil Dagger of Darts build remained the top clearing solo build, and several variants were represented depending on which ancient items each player received. Season 20 is exciting for many Witch Doctor players since the new Mundunugu's Regalia set shows a lot of promise, and should give a greater variety to viable push builds available for play. Only a total of 6 GR 150 clears were completed across all regions for the Witch Doctor in Season 19.

     

     


     

    Wizard

     

    Solo Wizard

     

    Wizard typically has a high amount of representation on the leaderboards, and Season 19 was no exception. The Legacy of Dreams Star Pact Archon build topped the rankings for Season 19, and many Wizard players are hoping that the new Typhon's Veil set will mix up the Wizard meta for Season 20; however, whether the new Wizard set enters into the group meta or not will be determined after Season 20 has begun. A total of 31 GR 150 clears were completed for Wizards across all regions in Season 19.

     

    Posted in: Top Solo Builds From Season 19
  • published the article Patch 2.6.8 Now Live!

    Patch 2.6.8 Now Live!

    Patch 2.6.8 is now live in all regions! Players may now find the new Wizard, Barbarian, and Witch Doctor sets and items to test out before Season 20 begins on 3/13!

     

    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)

    Patch 2.6.8 Now Live

    Below you will find the final patch notes for the most recent update for Diablo III, Patch 2.6.8. Changes specifically from the last version of the PTR have been highlighted in RED.

      


     

    Last updated February 28 @ 10:00 a.m. PST.

    Below you will find the patch notes for the most recent update for Diablo III, Patch 2.6.8.


    PATCH 2.6.8

    Table of Contents:

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


    General

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

    Seasons

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

    Classes

    • Crusader
      • Developer's Note: We're not convinced that this change has fully reigned in Crusader performance to be more in line with other classes. We'll be continuing to keep an eye on overall Crusader performance (as well as performance among the other classes) in 2.6.8 and beyond.
      • Heaven's Fury
        • The animation for the Fires of Heaven rune can no longer be cancelled early.
    • Witch Doctor
      • Spirit Barrage (Phantasm)
        • The periodic attacks from Spirit Barrage (Phantasm) are now twice as slow, but twice as powerful
        • Developer's Note: We rolled this change back between PTR and Live as it was creating additional bugs. We may consider re-exploring this option in the future if we find this adjustment is still needed.

    Items

    • Developer's Note: With Patch 2.6.8, we're adding three(!) new class sets with similar goals to those we included in the previous patch. Each set was designed primarily with boosting long-requested skills and play styles we lifted directly from community feedback. Frenzy, Spirit Barrage, and Hydra were requests that offered a lot of opportunity for gameplay exploration, and we're looking forward to seeing what players do with these new tools at their disposal. Additional changes to associated supplemental Legendaries have been included to round out these builds.
    • Mantle of Channeling
      • The bonus granted by this item now occurs 1 second after channeling has begun
    • Barbarian
      • New Class Set: Horde of the Ninety Savages
        • 2-Piece Bonus: Double the effectiveness of all Shouts. Feared, Frozen, or Stunned Enemies take double damage.
          • Developer's Note: The callout that Stun may be the best fit for this set bonus was definitely heard, but we didn't want to take away other potential builds enabled by experimenting with Fear or Frozen. We hope this opens up a variety of options for Barbarians to explore!
        • 4-Piece Bonus: Each stack of Frenzy reduces damage taken by 6%. Frenzy lasts twice as long.
        • 6-Piece Bonus: Frenzy deals 1000% increased damage per stack.
      • Undisputed Champion
        • Frenzy gains the effect of every rune and deals 300-400% increased damage.
      • Bastion's Revered
        • Frenzy now stacks up to 10 times and hits an additional time per stack. Each additional hit will chain to any enemies within 15 yards and the damage is split between all affected enemies.
    • Witch Doctor
      • New Class Set: Mundunugu's Regalia
        • 2-Piece Bonus: Big Bad Voodoo now follows you and lasts twice as long.
        • 4-Piece Bonus: Gain 60% damage reduction for 30 seconds when you enter the Spirit Realm.
        • 6-Piece Bonus: Spirit Barrage deals 20000% increased damage plus an additional % equal to 5 times your Mana Regeneration/Second.
          • Developer's Note: We found this set was overperforming at the highest end, but we also wanted to maintain its capabilities at early gearing stages. The addition of a base multiplier and reducing the effectiveness of the Mana Regeneration bonus should accomplish this goal.
      • The Barber
        • Instead of dealing direct damage, your Spirit Barrage now accumulates on the target. When you stop casting, it explodes dealing 225-250% 400-500% of the accumulated damage to all enemies within 15 yards.
        • Is now classified as a Ceremonial Knife, with a base 1.4 attack speed
      • Gazing Demise
        • Spirit Barrage gains the Phantasm rune. Each active Phantasm lasts twice as long, increases the damage of Spirit Barrage by 40-50% 100-150%, and also increases the attack rate from Manitou spectres.
      • Ring of Emptiness
        • You deal 250-300% increased damage to enemies affected by both either your Haunt and or Locust Swarm.
    • Wizard
      • New Class Set: The Typhon's Veil
        • 2-Piece Bonus: Double the duration of Hydras and increase the number of heads on multi-headed Hydras by two.
        • 4-Piece Bonus: Damage taken is reduced by 8% for each Hydra head alive as long as there is one available. Each time you take damage, a Hydra heads dies. Heads cannot die more than once every 2 seconds
        • 6-Piece Bonus: Hydras deal 1200% 1300% increased damage for each Hydra head alive.
          • Developer's Note: We've continued to tilt more of the power for Hydra in favor of the 6-piece set bonus and away from the supplemental Legendary items.
      • Serpent's Sparker
        • You may have one extra Hydra active at a time and they deal 450-600% 250-300% increased damage.
      • The Magistrate
        • Frost Hydra Your Hydras now periodically cast Frost Nova and deal 450-600% 250-300% increased damage.
      • Etched Sigil
        • The bonus granted by this item now occurs 1 second after channeling has begun.
      • Deathwish
        • The bonus granted by this item now occurs 1 second after channeling has begun.

    Bugs

    • Several issues with adding/removing players to group and starting new games as a group have been resolved
    • Captain Crimson's Trimmings
      • Fixed an issue where the set bonus did not increase damage reduction when using Devour - Voracious
    • Barbarian
      • Fixed a bug where Threatening Shout (Grim Harvest) would not activate when enhanced by the Horde of the Ninety Savages set bonus
    • Crusader
      • Corrected the spelling of “Imperius” on the flavor text for several pieces of the Aegis of Valor set
      • Fixed an issue where the bolts cast by Fist of the Heavens - Divine Well failed to zap enemies
    • Demon Hunter
      • Fixed an issue where In-geom was not properly dropping for Demon Hunters
    • Wizard
      • Fixed a bug where Arcane Torrent would get an extra damage multiplier from Etched Sigil and Deathwish
      • Fixed a bug where Hydra (Frost Hydra) was getting a damage bonus instead of Attack Speed bonus from its owner's Attack Speed; this rune now benefits from Attack Speed in the same manner as other Hydra runes
    • PTR Specific
      • Note: The following issues were only live on the PTR, but we're including the fixes here for visibility and to indicate intended functionality on live.
      • Fixed a bug with Bastion's Revered where it would not properly benefit from Convention of Elements
      • Fixed a bug where Big Bad Voodoo would not properly follow its owner through zones when utilizing the new 2-Piece set bonus
      • Fixed a bug where Hydras would have a short delay after being summoned
    Posted in: Patch 2.6.8 Now Live!
  • published the article Season 20 Begins 3/13!

    Season 20 Begins 3/13!

    We have the official announcement that Season 20 will begin on March 13th! As a reminder, Season 19 will end on March 1st, as was announced on the official Diablo Twitter account. You can find the full announcement below, along with the patch notes for the upcoming patch 2.6.8!

     

    Originally Posted by Nevalistis (Official Post)

    Season 20 Begins 3/13

    Season 20 begins March 13, shortly after our next Diablo III patch. Read on to learn more about the brand-new Season buff, three brutally feral new class sets, and a handful of item reworks coming in Patch 2.6.8!


    Table of Contents


    New Season Theme

    Season 20 is the Season of the Forbidden Archives. Many adventurers have come to learn the power that dwells within the ancient nephalem artifact, Kanai’s Cube. However, none understand this power better than the equally celebrated and reviled Horadrim, Zoltun Kulle. Kulle was able to unlock and harness the power of the Cube like none before, leveraging its power to siphon and archive the energies of powerful items. With Season 20, we explore the power Kulle might lend to your fingertips if his experiments went unchecked.

     

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

     


    Seasonal 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 20, this means awards originally available from Season 8 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 continuing to provide new End of Journey rewards as introduced in Season 17, with two new cosmetic rewards for those who complete the entirety of the Season journey. Feast your eyes upon the Teganze Warrior Portrait Frame and Bat pet!

     

     

    In addition to the Boots and Pants slots of the exclusive Conqueror Set, you’ll be able to earn a series of portrait frames that smolder with demonic fires of the Burning Hells. The iconic “wings” of Andariel will also be available once more, allowing you to truly embrace your inner Maiden of Anguish.

     


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

     


    Seasonal Conquests

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

     

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

     

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

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


    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 20:

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

     


    Patch Notes

    Below you will find the final patch notes for the most recent update for Diablo III, Patch 2.6.8. Changes specifically from the last version of the PTR have been highlighted in RED.

     

     


     

    Last updated February 28 @ 10:00 a.m. PST.

    Below you will find the patch notes for the most recent update for Diablo III, Patch 2.6.8.


    PATCH 2.6.8

    Table of Contents:

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


    General

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

    Seasons

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

    Classes

    • Crusader
      • Developer's Note: We're not convinced that this change has fully reigned in Crusader performance to be more in line with other classes. We'll be continuing to keep an eye on overall Crusader performance (as well as performance among the other classes) in 2.6.8 and beyond.
      • Heaven's Fury
        • The animation for the Fires of Heaven rune can no longer be cancelled early.
    • Witch Doctor
      • Spirit Barrage (Phantasm)
        • The periodic attacks from Spirit Barrage (Phantasm) are now twice as slow, but twice as powerful
        • Developer's Note: We rolled this change back between PTR and Live as it was creating additional bugs. We may consider re-exploring this option in the future if we find this adjustment is still needed.

    Items

    • Developer's Note: With Patch 2.6.8, we're adding three(!) new class sets with similar goals to those we included in the previous patch. Each set was designed primarily with boosting long-requested skills and play styles we lifted directly from community feedback. Frenzy, Spirit Barrage, and Hydra were requests that offered a lot of opportunity for gameplay exploration, and we're looking forward to seeing what players do with these new tools at their disposal. Additional changes to associated supplemental Legendaries have been included to round out these builds.
    • Mantle of Channeling
      • The bonus granted by this item now occurs 1 second after channeling has begun
    • Barbarian
      • New Class Set: Horde of the Ninety Savages
        • 2-Piece Bonus: Double the effectiveness of all Shouts. Feared, Frozen, or Stunned Enemies take double damage.
          • Developer's Note: The callout that Stun may be the best fit for this set bonus was definitely heard, but we didn't want to take away other potential builds enabled by experimenting with Fear or Frozen. We hope this opens up a variety of options for Barbarians to explore!
        • 4-Piece Bonus: Each stack of Frenzy reduces damage taken by 6%. Frenzy lasts twice as long.
        • 6-Piece Bonus: Frenzy deals 1000% increased damage per stack.
      • Undisputed Champion
        • Frenzy gains the effect of every rune and deals 300-400% increased damage.
      • Bastion's Revered
        • Frenzy now stacks up to 10 times and hits an additional time per stack. Each additional hit will chain to any enemies within 15 yards and the damage is split between all affected enemies.
    • Witch Doctor
      • New Class Set: Mundunugu's Regalia
        • 2-Piece Bonus: Big Bad Voodoo now follows you and lasts twice as long.
        • 4-Piece Bonus: Gain 60% damage reduction for 30 seconds when you enter the Spirit Realm.
        • 6-Piece Bonus: Spirit Barrage deals 20000% increased damage plus an additional % equal to 5 times your Mana Regeneration/Second.
          • Developer's Note: We found this set was overperforming at the highest end, but we also wanted to maintain its capabilities at early gearing stages. The addition of a base multiplier and reducing the effectiveness of the Mana Regeneration bonus should accomplish this goal.
      • The Barber
        • Instead of dealing direct damage, your Spirit Barrage now accumulates on the target. When you stop casting, it explodes dealing 225-250% 400-500% of the accumulated damage to all enemies within 15 yards.
        • Is now classified as a Ceremonial Knife, with a base 1.4 attack speed
      • Gazing Demise
        • Spirit Barrage gains the Phantasm rune. Each active Phantasm lasts twice as long, increases the damage of Spirit Barrage by 40-50% 100-150%, and also increases the attack rate from Manitou spectres.
      • Ring of Emptiness
        • You deal 250-300% increased damage to enemies affected by both either your Haunt and or Locust Swarm.
    • Wizard
      • New Class Set: The Typhon's Veil
        • 2-Piece Bonus: Double the duration of Hydras and increase the number of heads on multi-headed Hydras by two.
        • 4-Piece Bonus: Damage taken is reduced by 8% for each Hydra head alive as long as there is one available. Each time you take damage, a Hydra heads dies. Heads cannot die more than once every 2 seconds
        • 6-Piece Bonus: Hydras deal 1200% 1300% increased damage for each Hydra head alive.
          • Developer's Note: We've continued to tilt more of the power for Hydra in favor of the 6-piece set bonus and away from the supplemental Legendary items.
      • Serpent's Sparker
        • You may have one extra Hydra active at a time and they deal 450-600% 250-300% increased damage.
      • The Magistrate
        • Frost Hydra Your Hydras now periodically cast Frost Nova and deal 450-600% 250-300% increased damage.
      • Etched Sigil
        • The bonus granted by this item now occurs 1 second after channeling has begun.
      • Deathwish
        • The bonus granted by this item now occurs 1 second after channeling has begun.

    Bugs

    • Several issues with adding/removing players to group and starting new games as a group have been resolved
    • Captain Crimson's Trimmings
      • Fixed an issue where the set bonus did not increase damage reduction when using Devour - Voracious
    • Barbarian
      • Fixed a bug where Threatening Shout (Grim Harvest) would not activate when enhanced by the Horde of the Ninety Savages set bonus
    • Crusader
      • Corrected the spelling of “Imperius” on the flavor text for several pieces of the Aegis of Valor set
      • Fixed an issue where the bolts cast by Fist of the Heavens - Divine Well failed to zap enemies
    • Demon Hunter
      • Fixed an issue where In-geom was not properly dropping for Demon Hunters
    • Wizard
      • Fixed a bug where Arcane Torrent would get an extra damage multiplier from Etched Sigil and Deathwish
      • Fixed a bug where Hydra (Frost Hydra) was getting a damage bonus instead of Attack Speed bonus from its owner's Attack Speed; this rune now benefits from Attack Speed in the same manner as other Hydra runes
    • PTR Specific
      • Note: The following issues were only live on the PTR, but we're including the fixes here for visibility and to indicate intended functionality on live.
      • Fixed a bug with Bastion's Revered where it would not properly benefit from Convention of Elements
      • Fixed a bug where Big Bad Voodoo would not properly follow its owner through zones when utilizing the new 2-Piece set bonus
      • Fixed a bug where Hydras would have a short delay after being summoned

    FAQ

    Q: When does Season 20 start?

     

    A: Season 20 begins Friday, March 13 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, March 13 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 20 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; the Era will be resetting with the release of Patch 2.6.8. 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.

    Posted in: Season 20 Begins 3/13!
  • published the article Diablo IV Quarterly Update Blog: February 2020

    Diablo IV Quarterly Update: February 2020

    The first quarterly update for Diablo IV has been posted! This blog contains a huge amount of information regarding Diablo IV, and we highly suggest reading through the whole thing!

     

    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)

    Diablo IV Quarterly Update—February 2020

     

    Table of Contents

    Introduction to Quarterly Updates
    Luis Barriga, Game Director

    UI Design, Controller Support, and Co-Op
    Angela Del Priore, Lead UI Designer

    Monster Family & Design Highlight: Cannibal Tribes
    Candace Thomas, Senior Encounter Designer


    Hello, and welcome to the new blog section of the Diablo IV website!

     

    The Diablo IV development team has been hard at work since BlizzCon and we are all still incredibly energized by the response to our announcement and follow-up blog posts. We can tell you are all excited to see more info coming from the team and about how the game is coming together.

     

    Well, we have some great news for you today. We are stoked to deliver the first of our quarterly blog updates with you, and this one happens to be a doubleheader.

     

    First, we have a word from our Lead UI Designer, Angela Del Priore, with some super cool updates on post-BlizzCon feedback, controller support on PC, and a deep dive into couch co-op. If you’d like to jump to her update right now, click here.

     

    Our second update is by our Senior Encounter Designer, Candace Thomas. She shares a first look at a new set of enemies: the cannibal tribes of the Dry Steppes. You’ll see some amazing new art by Igor Sidorenko, read some of our in-world lore, and even watch video of these flesh-eaters in action. To check out Candace’s update, click here.

     

    We hope you enjoy both of these updates. We’re looking forward to your thoughts and comments on them, and please also let us know the sorts of things you’d like to hear about next. We realize many of you are curious about different aspects of the development process—some of you love reading and re-reading lore, while others of you may geek out over item tooltips or want to hear some early music tracks. So be sure to tell us what excites you most! Our goal for these updates is to cover a wide variety of subjects and, over the course of development, share something exciting for everyone. 

     

    Once again, we want to thank you all for sharing in this journey with us.

     

    See you in Hell.

     

    -Luis Barriga-
    Game Director, Diablo IV Team

     

     


    UI Design, Controller Support, and Co-Op

    Angela Del Priore, Lead UI Designer


    For anyone who isn’t familiar with user interface (UI) design, our team is responsible for communicating game systems to the player and providing players with the inputs they need to engage with those systems. So while we are focused on helping the player achieve what they want to do, we also need to balance that goal against the vision for the game while maintaining the clarity of what our interface is trying to communicate.

     

    As you might imagine, this means that we iterate on our UI regularly. As systems change, the UI changes with it, which can in turn cause player goals to change. The UI then needs to adapt while keeping our visual language consistent across the entire game. Visual polish is one of the last things we focus on for this reason. Please keep that in mind as we talk through and show some of our in-progress work, but feel free to let us know your thoughts!

    BlizzCon Demo Feedback

    It’s been a few months since BlizzCon, but we still wanted to take a moment to address some of the UI-specific feedback we received from the demo and announcement videos.

     

    Inventory

     

    We saw a lot of feedback around the inventory, either regarding its coloring, the style/size of the item icons, or overall aesthetic. To avoid interrupting gameplay with pockets of inventory management, we’re not planning on bringing back different-sized items. However, we’ve been tackling the other points from a variety of directions.

     

    With item icons, we’d initially pursued a painterly style to stay in line with the overall art direction of the game, and we’re finding that it doesn’t come across as well when we’re talking about small elements in the UI. We’re now exploring another approach more directly based off the 3D models to give them natural texture and realism.

     

     

     

    We’ve also toned down the brightness and saturation of the icon backgrounds, as well as added secondary visual cues for indicating rarity via the border decoration. This way, we’ve made rarity indicators visually more subtle but hopefully with a wider range in accessibility.

     

    We received some non-specific feedback about the inventory, but we had guesses as to what people were reacting to based on our own observations. We’ve reorganized the layout of the inventory to what is hopefully a more balanced composition, and across the board we’re looking at the color spread and contrast levels of individual UI pieces.

     

     

    We hope to both home in on our goal of a gritty, realistic UI, while balancing ease of use. As the inventory screen is something our players will probably interact with the most, we really appreciate your feedback in this area.

     

    Rebinding Left-Click

     

    A surprising number of players asked for the option to rebind their primary skill to anything but the left mouse button so that they could separate moving from attacking. Adding more flexibility to our binding options had already been on our radar for a while, and the demo feedback helped confirm that this was a customization feature that players really wanted.

     

    In addition to giving players the freedom to assign any skill to any slot from the get-go, all skill slots can now have their keys rebound. We’re committed to supporting skill rebinding for controllers as well.

     

    The Left-Corner Action Bar

     

     

    We went through a lot of iteration on this piece of UI. The left-corner configuration came about because we wanted to try clearing the central combat area and freeing up the bottom of the screen where the isometric camera already sees less. However, based on usability test results, the team’s feedback, and the feedback we received from the demo, we’re going to move the default position of the action bar back to the bottom center for PC players.

     

     

     

    That’s not all, though! The preferred position changes to the left-corner when people play further away from the screen. This doesn’t come as a surprise given the shift in viewing angle (illustrative diagram below not to scale), but it does mean that the center configuration isn’t a majority winner on PC since we’re supporting controller input. So, while we will only stick to the corner configuration on consoles, we will offer both left and center positions as options on PC.

     

     

    Supporting controllers on PC

     

    This is the first time a Diablo game is being developed simultaneously for both PC and consoles, but the decision to support controller input on PC is what caused the greater paradigm shift for us. We wanted to give players the ability to switch between the two options freely, so our UI needed to be unified enough that swapping hardware inputs on the fly wouldn’t throw people completely off kilter. A unified UI means our layouts are more grid-based for ease of navigation, but it doesn’t necessarily mean an identical interaction flow.

     

     

    We try to maintain this sort of approach, of keeping established keyboard and mouse conventions while creating controller-friendly shortcuts or alternate flows, throughout the game. Controller support shouldn’t be a limiter on how complex our game can be; it just means we have more paths that we need to consider. It’s not a simple undertaking, but we’re really striving for a native feel for both types of inputs.

     

    Couch Co-Op UI

     

    We know many players enjoyed couch co-op in Reaper of Souls, and that the biggest complaint was the inability to do anything while one local player had a UI screen open. When the topic of couch co-op came up early on in development, we looked at the number of people who utilized this feature in Diablo III and found that the 2-player setup accounted for an overwhelming majority. For Diablo IV, we decided to focus on improving the favored 2-player co-op experience and set up our core progression UI screens such that they can be opened independently or at the same time.

     

     

    We iterate on this interface regularly and ease of interaction comes before visual polish, but we still welcome impressions at any stage. Everyone approaches the game with a different set of experiences and, consequently, different expectations for how things should look or work and it’s always interesting to hear these perspectives.

     

    Thanks for reading!

     


    Monster Family & Design Highlight: Cannibals

    Candace Thomas, Senior Encounter Designer


     

    If you had the chance to watch our World and Lore Panel during BlizzCon, you learned that monsters in Diablo IV are classified into “families.” In our various panels we covered different monster families such as the Fallen, who are returning to once again terrorize Sanctuary, and the Drowned, who are a brand new threat plaguing the shores of this world. We touched on their story, combat abilities, the regions they inhabit, and how they interact with one another in a meaningful way. Now, we would like to give you a look into another new family: The Cannibals.

     

    What is a Monster Family and Why Does it Matter?

     

    Cultist Family—Diablo IV

     

    Before we dive into the specific mechanics of the Cannibal family, let’s take a moment to talk about our design philosophy when it comes to monsters.

    In the bestiary of Diablo III, we classified monsters into broad categories like demon, unholy, undead, humanoid, or wildlife. These monsters served as an anchor to the story by adding to the overall setting and tone, which made the whole game feel complete.

     

    In Diablo IV, the vast and seamless world we created necessitates a slightly different approach to worldbuilding and storytelling. It requires building Sanctuary as a living, breathing character—especially through its creatures. Since we have everything from serene ocean cliffsides to the gaping maw of Hell itself, what does that mean for the bestiary? Well, to fill those areas and make them feel real, we definitely needed to have more non-aggressive wildlife than in Diablo III. But never fear, we still have plenty of monsters to fight.

     

    Every monster has been reimagined, but in a darker, more gritty art style. We have lovingly handcrafted every creature you’ll encounter from the ground up: that includes demons, NPCs, Act Bosses, and even the skittering critters you can crush underfoot. Though we still pay tribute to some hallmark gameplay—such as Fallen Shamans resurrecting other Fallen—we have completely reimagined things in other places.

     

    To have these creatures feel more sophisticated and robust, we designed them in what we call “monster families” and archetypes. Each family has a different combat style and feel. For example, the Drowned family has five members in various archetypes: bruiser, ranged combat, melee combat, swarmer, and dungeon boss.

     

    Drowned Family Lineup in Diablo IV

     

    Each archetype plays a different role in combat. Swarmers strike in groups, making AoE attacks feel satisfying. Bruisers are larger monsters with high health values, which will make damage over time abilities feel good. Melee combat units act as shields by standing in the way of projectiles for their ranged counterparts. Situations like this provide the player with interesting positional dilemmas if they want to focus fire on ranged units. When adding all of this together, each encounter with the Drowned will be slightly different with regards to player positioning and choice of attack. These rich and varied combat experiences are the power of a monster family.

     

    Who Are the Cannibals?

     

    Cannibal Family Lineup in Diablo IV 

     

    “Corpses riddled with bite marks. Splintered bones scraped clean of marrow. Tongues sawed off and eyes gouged out of their skulls. These are the bloody fingerprints the Cannibals leave behind—if they leave behind anything at all. No one is certain where they come from, but some legends claim they are a former tribe of barbarians, banished from Arreat years ago. Whether their cannibalism led to their exile or developed out of desperation afterward is unknown. The outcasts brought their endless hunger to the Dry Steppes, and from there spread to the far corners of the world to prey on lonesome caravans and unsuspecting villages.

    The few who have survived encounters with these butchers share the same stories. They tell of the mad fire that burns in the eyes of all Cannibals, of how eating the flesh of their victims in battle only fuels their hunger for more. They whisper of the unlucky souls spared in the attacks, hauled off like livestock for the raiders to pick clean until their next hunt. And then, they say no more. The silence speaks for them: sometimes it is better to die than to live and remember.”

     

    —Liya Khal’tib

     

    A Battle for Survival

     

     

    Now that we’ve introduced some new lore about this family, we can dive into how we try to use them to give a cohesive experience narratively, while also providing the peaks-and-valleys of combat expected in a hack-n-slash ARPG. So what does this mean for Cannibal combat design? How do we convey their story through combat? We took a couple of approaches:

     

    Weaponry 

     

    The Cannibal family has four members. They each have their own unique weapon and a significantly different silhouette or stance to help differentiate them from one another. There are two standard melee combatants: one wielding a two-handed greatsword cleaver, which delivers a slow, sweeping frontal attack; and the other using a lightweight halberd which allows them to leap at players from a great distance and crash down with a devastating attack.

     

     

    The bruiser uses a spiked club in each hand to deliver intense blows that will stun players if they aren’t paying attention. By contrast, the dual-axe-wielding swarmers can unleash a flurry of frontal attacks that will quickly kill if left unchecked. However, this is a less binary pass/fail than the bruiser’s stun attack. If the player finds themselves surrounded by flurrying swarmers, getting hit by the bruiser’s dazing blow would remove all possibility of escape. It’s combinations of attacks like these that make this family so deadly.

     

     

    Archetype

     

    Earlier, we explained how different monster archetypes play different roles in an encounter. For example, players who want to efficiently kill ranged monsters will need to learn how to reposition their accompanying melee attackers so that a cleverly dropped area of effect ability will target both clusters of enemies. This makes for interesting on-the-fly decision-making, and skilled players will be able to spot the optimal positions for these attacks very quickly.

     

     

    By design, the Cannibal family has no ranged units. Instead, they spring at the player with supernatural swiftness. Some may close the gap by leaping over obstacles and would-be competitors, while others will swiftly and deftly maneuver through other monsters to get first blood. This provides a very different experience and gives the player less time to make thoughtful positioning decisions, thus making combat with these flesh-eaters feel frenetic.

     

    That’s it for today. Thanks for staying a while and listening!

     

    Posted in: Diablo IV Quarterly Update Blog: February 2020
  • published the article Patch 2.6.8 PTR Preview

    Patch 2.6.8 PTR Preview

    The patch 2.6.8 PTR is now live! You can find a preview of the upcoming new Barbarian, Witch Doctor, and Wizard sets along side a look at the Season 20 portrait and pet rewards!

     

    Barbarian

    • New Class Set: Horde of the Ninety Savages
      • 2-Piece Bonus: Double the effectiveness of all Shouts. Feared Enemies take double damage.
      • 4-Piece Bonus: Each stack of Frenzy reduces damage taken by 5%.
      • 6-Piece Bonus: Frenzy deals 1000% increased damage per stack.

     

    • Undisputed Champion
      • Frenzy gains the effect of every rune and deals 300-400% increased damage.
    • Bastion's Revered
      • Frenzy now stacks up to 10 times and hits an additional time per stack. Each additional hit will chain to any enemies within 15 yards and the damage is split between all affected enemies.

    Witch Doctor

    • New Class Set: Mundunugu's Regalia
      • 2-Piece Bonus: Big Bad Voodoo now follows you and lasts twice as long.
      • 4-Piece Bonus: Gain 50% damage reduction for 30 seconds when you enter the Spirit Realm.
      • 6-Piece Bonus: Spirit Barrage deals increased damage equal to 50 times your Mana Regeneration per Second.

     

    • The Barber
      • Instead of dealing direct damage, your Spirit Barrage now accumulates on the target. When you stop casting, it explodes dealing 225-250% 400-500% of the accumulated damage to all enemies within 15 yards.
    • Gazing Demise
      • Spirit Barrage gains the Phantasm rune. Each active Phantasm lasts twice as long, increases the damage of Spirit Barrage by 40-50% 100-150%, and also increases the attack rate from Manitou spectres.
      • Now always rolls with Critical Hit Chance instead of Life Per Second.

    Wizard

    • New Class Set: The Typhon's Veil
      • 2-Piece Bonus: Double the duration of Hydras and increase the number of heads on multi-headed Hydras by two.
      • 4-Piece Bonus: Damage taken is reduced by 8% for each Hydra head alive as long as there is one available. Each time you take damage, a Hydra heads dies.
      • 6-Piece Bonus: Hydras deal 1000% increased damage for each Hydra head alive.

     

    • Serpent's Sparker
      • You may have one extra Hydra active at a time and they deal 450-600% increased damage.
    • The Magistrate
      • Frost Hydra Your Hydras now periodically casts Frost Nova and deal 450-600% increased damage.
    • Etched Sigil
      • The bonus granted by this item now occurs 1 second after channeling has begun.
    • Deathwish
      • The bonus granted by this item now occurs 1 second after channeling has begun.
    Posted in: Patch 2.6.8 PTR Preview
  • published the article Rod Fergusson Joins Blizzard

    Rod Fergusson Joins Blizzard

    Rod Fergusson announced on Twitter today that he has left The Coalition to oversee the Diablo franchise at Blizzard. Rod Fergusson is best known for overseeing development of the Gears of War franchise, which he has worked on for over 15 years. There is, without a doubt, an incredible amount of pressure that comes with overseeing such a beloved franchise, especially with high expectations for Diablo IV.

     

    From all of us at DiabloFans, we want to welcome him to our hellish family and wish him luck in his new exciting position!

     

     

    What do you think of this recent addition to the Diablo team? Let us know in the comments!

    Posted in: Rod Fergusson Joins Blizzard