Diablo 3 Podcast #183: Patch 2.3 Season 4 Testing
Testing Season 4 in Patch 2.3, enjoying the Season Journey, Kanai’s Cube strategy, no “slow rolling” = few LGems, the benefits of Torment 7-10, materials balance in 2.3, and Reflects Damage must go. Featuring MJiNSpace and Flux. Click through for more details and segment starting times.
Blizzard press conference set for Gamescom – Expansion news?
Gamescom gets underway in Cologne in just over a week and this year Blizzard are holding another press conference on Wednesday 5th. It was a couple of years ago at Gamescom that Reaper of Souls was announced as the first expansion so can we expect another expansion announcement this year? There’s been plenty of rumours […]
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7

Season 4 Conquests and Power Creep


Posted 27 Jul 2015 by at 21:07 GMT

Unlike the new and enjoyable Season Journey which is composed entirely of Achievements you’ll “earn” through the (more or less) normal course of play, each Season also has some Conquests. These are like super achievements, e-peen style, requiring special efforts and a lot of end game grinding to achieve.

Conquests required some powerful characters to achieve in Season 3, but looking at the Season 4 conquests really shows how the developers expect the Power Creep to progress with the new items and DiabloWikiKanai’s Cube to add to the power of our characters.

Season Four Achievements

All conquests are identical for softcore and hardcore, with just different names. Softcore/Hardcore in the listing below:

  • The Thrill/Super Human — Reach Greater Rift Level 40 solo without the bonuses of any of the following Class Sets. (The 3 new sets are added to the otherwise unchanged list.)

    • Immortal King’s Call

    • Might of the Earth
    • The Legacy of Raekor
    • Wrath of the Wastes
    • Armor of Akkhan
    • Roland’s Legacy
    • Thorns of the Invoker
    • Seeker of the Light
    • Natalya’ Vengeance
    • Embodiment of the Marauder
    • The Shadow’s Mantle
    • Unhallowed Essence
    • Inna’s Mantra
    • Monkey King’s Garb
    • Raiment of a Thousand Storms
    • Uliana’s Stratagem
    • Helltooth Harness
    • Raiment of the Jade Harvester
    • Zunimassa’s Haunt
    • Spirit of Arachyr
    • Delsere’s Magnum Opus
    • Firebird’s Finery
    • Tal Rasha’s Elements
    • Vyr’s Amazing Arcana
  • Divinity/Lionhearted: Reach Greater Rift level 60. (Solo or multiplayer.)
  • Boss Mode/Worlds Apart: Kill the following bosses at max level on Torment X within 30 minutes of the start of the game. (All must be killed within 30m at the start of the same game. Split farming is required.)
    • The Skeleton King

    • Queen Araneae
    • The Butcher
    • Maghda
    • Ghom
    • Zoltan Kulle
    • Belial
    • Siegebreaker Assault Beast
    • Cydaea
    • Azmodan
    • Rakanoth
    • Izual
    • Diablo
    • Urzael
    • Adria
    • Malthael
  • On a Good Day/I Can’t Stop: Level 6 legendary gems to level 50.
  • Speed Demon/Need for Speed: Complete a Nephalem Rift at max level on Torment X within 2 minutes.

There are some changes to the conquests since Season Three, and you can see that full list below. Interestingly, these S4 conquests have actually changed just since S4 began on the PTR several weeks ago. Click through to see how they’ve evolved (grown more difficult) and for a reference back to the S3 conquests, which had considerably lower numbers for most of the events. (What was GR50 is now GR60. What was T6 is now T10, etc.)

Season Four Conquests, v1

These S4 conquests have actually increased in difficulty since the PTR began. A fan captured the initial S4 versions of the conquests back in early July, when the PTR first began. Power Creep!

  • 6 LGems to rank 40 (now it’s 6 to rank 50).
  • Reach GR50. (Now it’s GR60).
  • Kill a bunch of Unique bosses on T6 (Now it’s on T10.)
  • The only thing that got easier is the boss kill conquest now gives you 30 minutes instead of just 20. But as you’ve got to do it 4 Torments higher, that’s only fair.

    Note also that they removed the “Language” conquest from the start of S4, no doubt to the dismay of people who enjoy hunting up all the rarely-spawning lore books. (That one is still an Achievement, just not a Conquest.) I can’t argue the change; I’m not a real lore hunter, but even if I was, all the other conquests are about power gaming and grinding to make a really powerful character… not exploration. You could have completed the Lore Book one without going above Normal difficulty, which would have left it out of place compared to all the other “play to crush” style conquests.

    Season Three Conquests

    The conquests as you see them now on the Live realm in Season Three.


    Sprinter (SC)/Speed Racer (HC)

  • Complete Acts 1-5 at max level in under 1 hour.
  • Avarice (SC)/Avarita (HC)

  • Complete a 50,000,000 gold streak while outside of The Vault and The Inner Sanctum.
  • Years of War (SC)/Dynasty (HC)

    • Reach Greater Rift Level 40 Solo with the bonuses of three of the following Class sets.

      • Immortal King’s Call

      • Might of the Earth
      • The Legacy of Raekor
      • Wrath of the Wastes
      • Armor of Akkhan
      • Roland’s Legacy
      • Thorns of the Invoker
      • Natalya’ Vengeance
      • Embodiment of the Marauder
      • The Shadow’s Mantle
      • Unhallowed Essence
      • Inna’s Mantra
      • Monkey King’s Garb
      • Raiment of a Thousand Storms
      • Helltooth Harness
      • Raiment of the Jade Harvester
      • Zunimassa’s Haunt
      • Delsere’s Magnum Opus
      • Firebird’s Finery
      • Tal Rasha’s Elements
      • Vyr’s Amazing Arcana
      • On a Good Day (SC)/I Can’t Stop (HC)

      • Level six Legendary Gems to rank 40.
      • Curses! (SC)/Stars Align (HC):

      • Kill 300 or more monsters in a Cursed Chest event at level 70 on Torment VI difficulty.

    I guess killing 300 monsters from a Cursed Chest is easy pie with DiabloWikiKanai’s Cube powers enabled? And since gold find amounts are higher above T6, that one is also less than compelling, and Bliz didn’t want to just increase the numbers. (I “earned” Avirita the first day on the Patch 2.3 PTR entirely from a double spawn of Gilded Baron goblins on T8.)

    You guys motivated for Conquests in Season 4? Have you pushed to achieve them in Season 3?

    Post a Comment »

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    7

    PTR Community Buff, Queues, Return for the Weekend


    Posted 25 Jul 2015 by at 07:38 GMT

    Zing, zang, boom.

    Zing, zang, boom.

    Friday evening a blue announced that the PTR community buff was back on, giving players a weekend of super-charged item finding.

    The following buff is now active on the PTR:

  • 2000% Bonus Chance to find Legendaries
  • This buff was reactivated on July 24 at 5:00 p.m. PDT. Happy testing!

    In related news, game creation queues are back to 4+ hours Friday night.

    In other related news, our clan is back in action, after this weeks’ patch wiped all PTR characters and clans. (We were maxed out at 150/150 members before the wipe, and had been kicking anyone who hadn’t logged on for a week+ to create room for active players.) Our PTR clan is open to all, softcore or hardcore, and as usual on the PTR, it’s useful to be in a clan since you can join someone else’s game, rather than sitting for hours trying to create your own.

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    Blizzard press conference set for Gamescom – Expansion news?


    Posted 24 Jul 2015 by at 16:56 GMT

    Gamescom gets underway in Cologne in just over a week and this year Blizzard are holding another press conference on Wednesday 5th. It was a couple of years ago at Gamescom that Reaper of Souls was announced as the first expansion so can we expect another expansion announcement this year? There’s been plenty of rumours flying around that now could indeed be the time.

    Every game except Diablo 3?

    Every game except Diablo 3?

    Of course we don’t know what’s going to happen and your guess is as good as ours at the moment. There’s usually an indication of what the announcements could be, if there will be any, a few days before the conference. The speculation at the moment is that a new WoW expansion or Diablo 3 expansion could be possible announcements.

    With BlizzCon happening later this year, if there was to be a WoW expansion, it would likely happen there as that event is usually far more WoW focussed than Diablo

    All previous Diablo announcements have happened in Europe, the game announcement at WWI in 2008 and the Reaper of Souls expansion at Gamescom in 2013 so perhaps that’s something to think about.

    The press conference kicks off at midday on the 5th so if you’re intrigued then keep an eye out for an announcement and also look over this previous speculation post.

    Thanks Nobbie.


    Update: Note that Blizzard’s Gamescom promo image shows all of their current games… except for Diablo 3. Notable by its absence? (The ghost winged Diablo skeleton in the back is from Heroes of the Storm.)

    Also, as Nobbie points out in comments, there’s a new and unsourced rumor that D3X2 is going to be called “The Dark Prophet.” There’s no firm base for the rumor, but it does satisfy the “always three or four words” criteria for the name of a Blizzard expansion (though it lacks “of” as the middle word, which is unusual… why not “Prophet of the Dark?”)

    Also, the lore and story of the the Enchantress follower focuses heavily on a mysterious figure known as “The Prophet,” who recruited the Enchantresses around 1500 years ago, and who we eventually learn was the Angel Inarius in disguise. Click through for videos telling his lore and story.

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    6

    Drug Testing for E-Sports Athletes


    Posted 24 Jul 2015 by at 06:02 GMT

    Concentration is essential...

    Concentration is essential…

    The headline sounds like a joke, but it’s a real thing, and coming very soon to the world of competitive video gaming. Drug Testing for E-Sports Athletes:

    ESL announces plans to test for PEDs

    As the popularity and money associated with e-sports has skyrocketed, the world’s largest gaming organization, the ESL, announced Thursday it would begin to explore a comprehensive drug testing program.

    “We’ve known for some time that performance-enhancing drugs could be a challenge that we’d eventually need to face,” James Lampkin, vice president of pro gaming for the league, told ESPN.com. “With the explosive growth of our events and industry, the stakes have gotten to a point where, just like traditional athletes, some have begun to look for that extra edge. With knowledge that there was likely active abuse of PEDs taking place, we immediately began serious discussions with top drug agencies for methods of prevention.”

    In order to ensure an even playing field, the ESL, which is headquartered in Germany, said it has partnered with the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) in its country to take the next steps and will also involve the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to help carry out its rules and penalties when a policy is formed.

    The proximate cause was an esport “athlete,” a pro gamer from the Counter Strike world, admitting that he and his team had used Adderall, and not because they’ve all got ADHD.

    This post could actually be out first “Caption This” for an article instead of a funny image. Anyone got any good jokes about Mt. Dew and Cheetos? How they’ll take your Red Bull mouse when they pry it from your cold, dead, fragged fingers? How when caffeine is outlawed, only outlaws will drink caffeine? Etc…

    Or am I making too much light of a serious issue affecting the competitive balance of the world’s fastest growing competitive sport?

    Post a Comment »
    Tagged As: | Categories: Humour, Leaderboards, Other Games | 6 Comments

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    The First Paragon 2000 Reveals Flaws in the System


    Posted 23 Jul 2015 by at 23:18 GMT

    Though Season Three is far from over, a player named Vajet has accumulated enough experience to equal out to Paragon 2000, ahead of anyone else. He’s actually at the equivalent of P2008 right now, with an amazing P1789 in Season Three, which gets him to 2008 when added to the P1339 worth of exp he earned before S3 began.

    The grind... it grinds us.

    The grind… it grinds us.

    The world’s #2 biggest grinder is back at 1978, and yes, of course they’re both softcore. The highest in Hardcore is at P1339, again adding Season 3 experience to non-seasonal total, which you’ll note is coincidentally the same amount of EXP the P2008 guy had before S3 began. Hardcore… just a season behind!

    If you’re wondering what it takes to reach P2000 ahead of everyone else in the world, you’re in luck as a Diablo 3 ladder site has posted an interview with Vajet. The First Paragon 2000 Reveals Flaws in the System:

    Read More & Comment »

    Tagged As: | Categories: Experience, Interviews, Paragon | 19 Comments

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    0

    Patch 2.3 Known Issues


    Posted 23 Jul 2015 by at 21:05 GMT

    Not a lot of known issues listed for the new patch, and “massively increased legendary drop rate” isn’t included. (Which means either Bliz doesn’t know, or it’s not considered an issue.) Here are the current Patch 2.3 Known Issues:

    Kanai’s Cube

  • The Leoric’s Crown legendary power can currently be applied to characters twice
  • Items

  • Mimics created by Grin Reaper Voodoo Mask will continually spawn additional Spider Queen minions
  • The Leoric’s Crown issue is amusing, since that was about the only legendary item that has been non-functional when extracted via DiabloWikiKanai’s Cube since the PTR started. So whatever Bliz fixed to enable it, disabled the “no double dipping” code, which prevents you from gaining the same legendary affix via wearing the item + enabling it via the Cube.

    As always, programming is hard. In the meantime, if you’ve ever wanted almost 100% uptime for any ability that’s bottlenecked by cooldown reduction, hit the PTR with 2 Leoric’s helms a Flawless Royal Diamond.

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    Tagged As: | Categories: Blue Posts, Diablo 3 Patches, Diablo 3 PTR | No Comments

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    Bonus Bounty Act Bugged?


    Posted 23 Jul 2015 by at 08:59 GMT
    Act 2 and Act 3 mats required.

    Act 2 and Act 3 mats required.

    In Patch 2.3, you only get one of the five Acts as a bonus act at a time, and when you finish all the bounties in that act the bonus switches to one of the other Acts that you have not yet completed.

    Since the Bonus Act awards you a Bonus Horadric Cache when completed, and those are the only way to get the new Cache Materials required to operate Kanai’s Cube, plus you need them for all the level 70 crafting recipes, so it’s kind of a big deal.

    The system on the PTR is supposed to switch which Act is the bonus every hour, but not while you’re actually playing, since it would suck to get 4 of the bounties done and then suddenly that act isn’t the bonus anymore. Especially if it’s Act five, because Act Five bounties are a little slice of death. Bonus Bounty Act Bugged?
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    2

    Blizzard Peeps Haxor Grift Records


    Posted 23 Jul 2015 by at 08:41 GMT

    diablo 3 greater rift leaderboards

    The Bliz class, obviously.

    Some Blizzard test accounts on the PTR were erroneously not removed from the Leaderboards, and players who spotted their impossible times reacted with dismay. Blizzard Peeps Haxor Grift Records:

    you might wanna look into how ppl were getting to lvl 70 last night in seasons with only 49 seconds played on there profiles blizz before this goes live.
    Nevalistis: This was actually a direct result of some internal testing that required the use of the PTR servers. The method used requires a specially flagged account and cheat codes that don’t function at all in the live environment and was not a result of a bug or exploit.

    It wasn’t, however, intended for this progress to get entered on the leaderboards; we’ve since fixed this and removed the test account entries. Sorry if this caused some confusion!

    is that enSG005 account, with the GR66 in 2m40s clear time, one of these test accounts? Only like 4 hours of play time?
    That’s correct; looks like these accounts are still getting purged from the leaderboards, so you might still see them up a bit longer.

    Blizzard doesn’t have accounts that can hack or cheat on the live realms, where they’ve got to play under all the same rules as players. This is on the PTR though, where the testing goes for players and Blizzard as well. That would be an interesting community buff though, eh? Superpowered everything so you could clear GR60+ in 3 minutes.

    Post a Comment »
    Tagged As: | Categories: Blue Posts, Diablo 3 PTR, Leaderboards, Nevalistis | 2 Comments