Update 3:47PM EDT: Tyvalir posted some clarifications in the blog's comments on how the passives from Kanai's Cube are going to work. It looks like they will not take up any existing skill or item slots!
@PardalBR: There's been some confusion about how these passives work, so let me clarify.
With the current plan, the passives you get by breaking down Legendary items with special effects in Kanai's Cube do not replace passive skills on your character, but are instead part of a separate set of passives that are specifically stored within the cube. You can store as many special effects as possible in the cube, but only a limited number can be active at a given time (currently, this is three: one weapon effect, one armor effect, and one jewelry effect). Hope that helps!
Patch 2.3 Preview and PTR
Blizzard has posted a Preview for Patch 2.3 and its soon to go live Public Test Realm! Check the post below. Also make sure you actually "click" on the image previews to see their full version!
The Public Test Realm for Patch 2.3.0 is right around the corner! Are you ready to feast your eyes on all the new goodies that await you in the world of Sanctuary? There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started.
As always, please note that this is only a preview. The below information does not reflect all changes available in Patch 2.3.0 and is subject to change. Some images represent works in progress, and may not be representative of the final product.
New Zone: Ruins of Sescheron
In Patch 2.3.0, the frozen wasteland that is the Ruins of Sescheron will open for exploration. Here you’ll face off against strange new enemies and perilous environmental hazards, all while unearthing new mysteries from the lore of the mighty Barbarians. Those brave enough to make it through in one piece will discover curious new points of interest, including the lost Tomb of King Kanai and his ultimate treasure—Kanai’s Cube.
New Artifact: Kanai’s Cube
Those who played Diablo II might remember the Horadric Cube, a unique device which allowed you to combine items. Useful as it was, it was easily surpassed in power by the item from which it originated, Kanai’s Cube. In Patch 2.3.0, players will be able to discover this powerful ancient relic and utilize its incredible potential, including the ability to break down Legendary items and equip their special effects as passive skills, convert crafting materials from one type to another, and so much more.
Crafting System Updates
For those who eagerly gather crafting materials on their journey to level 70, we’ve got good news you’ll especially enjoy. Starting in Patch 2.3.0, the same crafting mats you use at max level will be available as you level up! We’ve also crunched down the number of crafting recipes, making the process easier and more fluid than ever as your results now dynamically adjust to your character’s level. Whether you’re bashing skulls on the highest difficulty or have just started your career and killed your first Champion or Elite pack, your crafting mats will never go to waste.
Adventure Mode Updates
This patch also includes changes designed to improve the pacing of Adventure Mode while encouraging players to explore Bounties across a variety of Acts. In addition to removing the Realm of Trials, we’re improving Bounty rewards by adding new Act-specific crafting mats to Horadric Caches. Completing Bonus Acts in Adventure Mode games will also now grant a bonus Horadric Cache stuffed with crafting materials, gold, and additional Act-specific crafting mats.
New Feature: Season Journey
Every player’s Seasonal journey is different—and so are their accomplishments. Starting in Season 4, you'll be able to track your individual progress through the Season Journey interface. This helpful feature is divided into Chapters, which include major milestones that are achievable by most players, and Tiers, which are designed for advanced players. Completing Tiers unlocks new portrait frame rewards, and the highest Tier includes challenges which will take effort to achieve for even the most powerful nephalem.
New Difficulty Levels
As players continue to discover powerful new gear, the current hardest difficulty level—Torment VI—can begin to feel less challenging. To help keep hardened battle veterans on their toes, we’re adding four new Torment levels with appropriate reward rates, including Torment X. We’ll be iterating on these new difficulties and rewards as the PTR progresses, so we look forward to hearing your feedback!
New Legendary and Set Items
For all you dedicated loot hunters, we’re also adding lots of shiny new Legendary and Set effects to the game. Aside from doing this through introducing new items, we’re also revamping special effects on some existing items, and granting new effects to some items which don’t currently have one. As in other patches, changes to Legendary items are not retroactive, so you’ll need to find them once more to use their updated form. Overall, this should result in more build options for you to explore.
Several changes to monsters are coming to the game as well. Along with reducing the amount of crowd control the game’s tougher monsters will tolerate, we’ve adjusted the experience and Rift progress granted by killing monsters so they better reflect the effort required to kill them. For example, monsters that take more time or effort to kill now provide more experience, and those that are especially easy to kill will provide less. We’ve also made changes that create a better balance between the time you spend exploring and clearing Nephalem or Greater Rifts, and the time you spend facing the Rift Guardian. With these changes, more of the emphasis will be on your journey as you explore and clear the Rift.
New zone, new Cube, new items, new difficulty levels, new Adventure Mode changes—the list goes on and on! We hope you’re looking forward to trying out all these new features and leaving your valuable feedback once the PTR hits. Out of all that you’ve seen above, which of these changes are you most excited to experience for yourself? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll see you on the Public Test Realm!