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The Diablo 3 Podcast #181: Patch 2.3 Item Sets
Patch 2.3 coming very soon to the PTR, so more analysis, including new and improved Item Set properties from datamining. Also T7-T10 scaling issues, shared LGems, and purist mode Hardcore? Featuring Aahz, N3rdwards, and Flux. Click through for more details and segment starting times.
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Diablo 3 PTR Game Creation and Joining Problems

Posted 2 Jul 2015 by at 11:05 GMT

Hurry up and wait.

Hurry up and wait.

In the early days of Diablo 3 PTR, the patches went live and hardly anyone bothered to test them, since they didn’t contain big game changes and/or there were no incentives to grind for no lasting reward. That’s obviously changed since Reaper of Souls, and now when every patch goes up on the PTR the biggest complaint is that overcrowding makes it impossible to create or even join a game. Diablo 3 PTR Game Creation and Joining Problems:

I’ve done everything that is required to play the PTR, i see few people (3) on t6 and t8 but it seem that i cannot enter the game ATM. They are telling me that the Diablo server busy.. like 14h wait time..
Tyvalir: We totally hear you on the queue times, Gold0RaK!

It’s common for players to rush to test content at the start of a new PTR, resulting in queuing, which should diminish as the PTR progresses. In the meantime, we’re absolutely passing your comments on to the development team.

As others have pointed out, it’s likely that the buff to the Legendary drop rate is also affecting queue times. While we’re maintaining it right now so that we can quickly identify issues players find between Legendary items and Kanai’s Cube, we’ll be deactivating it again later, which should further help alleviate queue times.

we need to be able to go from game to game to farm the caches for the cube testing yet due to the server being crowded we can not do this testing.
Tyvalir: You make a good point, Gimboo. I’ll be passing this to the team. Thanks for the insight!

I probably have 100 legendaries, but could only use the cube on 3 of them because after hours of doing bounties, I ended up with only 3 of one resource. So if you really want players to test Kanai’s, drop the legendary rate and significantly boost the mat rate.
Edit: And Toots!

The lack of materials to use the cube is a real problem, with the endless game creation queues. This happens every testing season on the PTR, where the +2000% drop rate has players drowning in orange and green items, but many builds aren’t working right since no one has a RoRG. Back in March during the Season 2 PTR we even had a crisis where everyone was out of Blue materials since the +2000% means you hardly every find any blue items to salvage.

Bliz reacted to that by cutting most of the blue mat enchanting costs to 1, so they could certainly crank up the Cache material drops, just for the time being.

PTR game creation tips:

  • The best advice for playing on the PTR is to to join a clan or get your friends playing on the PTR also, so you can invite them or the can invite you when/if anyone gets into a game.
  • Play outside of peak hours. Six hour waits in prime time are 2 hour waits late night or early morning.
  • Wait. There’s always a huge crush when the patch is brand new on the PTR, but it eases off after a few days or a week, especially if/when the +2000% buff rate is disabled.
  • Play Hardcore. The wait to create a Hardcore game is usually a fraction that of a Softcore game.
  • Try a different difficulty. The longest waits seem to be the game diff/mode that most people are in, and you’ll often see a MUCH shorter queue time if you try a lower difficulty or even go Story Mode.
  • It seems weird that those last 2 work, but I’ve been on every D3 and RoS PTR right from the first moment they go live, and have seen it happen ever time, first hand and from conversation with others. It’s as if all the PTR capacity is divided up like a pie chart with X amount of space devoted to each thing, but somehow they’ve always got far too little capacity for softcore T6 (T10 now?) and only slightly too little for other game modes. I got on this afternoon and created a T8 HC in about 10m, while everyone in the clan playing softcore was looking at 6+ hour waits.

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    Kanai’s Cube Hands-On Tutorial

    Posted 1 Jul 2015 by at 20:00 GMT
    Locked and loaded.

    Locked and loaded.

    A quick guide to how the new Kanai’s Cube works, based on first hand playing experience overnight, after defeating the invincible 4+ hour game creation queue! Kanai’s Cube Hands-On Tutorial short version:

    1. Fetch the Cube from the Ruins of Sescheron dungeon; Act Three, Adventure Mode only.
    2. Bliss out to the soothing conversation of Zoltan’s Kulle story, bro.
    3. The cube has seven recipes, all of which could use a bit better documentation and functionality.
    4. Bounty farm in ALL FIVE ACTS, because the powerful Cube recipes require at least 1 each of the five new materials that can only be obtained from Horadric Caches in each act.
    5. Spend way too long looking over every legendary item in your stash, trying to figure which to melt into the cube for the bonus property.
    6. Activate 3 properties and immediately obliterate your best Grift to date.

    The cube properties are awesome and very impactful, even when you’re not sure which you want to roll with. I didn’t have any real impactful weapon adds to my physical damage Natalya’s (dual wielding Nats/Calamity), but adding a Unity (F/R equipped) and Hexing Pants greatly improved my character’s performance. Without changing any gear, I took a char that could struggle ugh a GR45~ on the live realm at great personal danger, and just by adding the 3 properties via the Cube I did GR48 in 9 minutes, with almost no feeling of danger. (When I have time to play some more, clearing 50+ will be no problem, even without gear switching.)

    The item bonuses via DiabloWikiKanai’s Cube are awesome, even better than I’d hoped. They’re so good you’ll farm even those endless Act Five bounties with a smile. (Or at least without a frown.)

    • Also see the Kanai’s Cube Q&A for lots of answers to specific cube questions, such as why you can’t double dip the same property.

    Finding Kanai’s Cube

    First of all, you need to find it. The Ruins of Sescheron is the area you need, and it’s found in Act Three, only through Adventure Mode. The only game I was able to create, there was a Cursed Chest bounty in that area, and after clearing that I explored more of the second level and found the Cube inside part of the crumbling castle. I assume the Cube is there every game, while the bounty in that area is RNG.

    There’s nothing to fight or kill to get the Cube; you just have to find it on the large and maze-like map, click it, and then when you return to town the Cube is on a stand next to Zoltan Kulle, in town.

    Here are some screens of that portion of the adventure:

    Click through for all the rest, including the 7 Cube Recipes, screens showing all the weapons, jewelry, and armor you can use with a Barb or a DH, more about the interface, etc.

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    Blizzard Adds Patch 2.3.0 PTR Info

    Posted 1 Jul 2015 by at 14:56 GMT

    Now Ancients get a {{double bracket}}.

    Now Ancients get a {{double bracket}}.

    Collection of useful Blue info and answers about new patch stuff. Blizzard Adds Patch 2.3.0 PTR Info:

    As the PTR is currently still running Season 3, the following Patch 2.3.0 Season 4 exclusive items will not be dropping until we roll over to Season 4.

  • The Demon’s Demise (Demon Hunter 1-Hand X-bow)
  • Lion’s Claw (Monk Fist Weapon)
  • Sacred Harness (Crusader Belt)
  • Dishonored Legacy (Barbarian 1-Hand Mighty Weapon)
  • Fazula’s Improbable Chain (Wizard Belt)
  • Henri’s Perquisition (Witch Doctor Mojo)
  • Bane of the Stricken (Gem)
  • We apologize for any confusion this may have caused and we’ll keep you updated as the PTR Season rollover draws nearer.

    I lost nearly all of my gem recipes on my level 12 crafter, and repair costs are in the millions….. Why?
    Tyvalir: Hey guys, just wanted to confirm that repair costs being too high for items socketed with gems on the PTR is a known issue. Many thanks to those who reported this!

    Reforge can turn your item into Ancient
    John Yang: The chance to reforge a legendary item into an Ancient version is 10% – same as the chance a legendary will be Ancient when it is crafted or obtained from Kadala.

    R E M O V E – T R I A L S

    just remove them already, so many players are asking for that.
    John Yang: The Realm of Trials has been removed from the game.

    That last thread was 3 months old, so you know John Yang was just waiting for this patch to go live so he could blow up that “mic drop” moment.

    There are a bunch of known issues as well; click through for the full list of those.

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    Tagged As: | Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

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    PTR is Live for Patch 2.3.0

    Posted 30 Jun 2015 by at 22:25 GMT

    All Rift Keys are now the same. All Keys turned into Machines.

    All Rift Keys are now the same. All Keys turned into Machines.

    Blizzard has announced that the PTR is now accessible to players wishing to test out Patch 2.3.0 and its myriad of changes and game enhancements. You’ll need to have the PTR client downloaded and installed, and all the info about that and how to copy over your characters from the live realms can be seen below.

    Happy hunting.

    Update: I hopped onto the PTR and took some screens of the new stuff, and posted them while sitting in the 23 minute game creation queue.

    Update #2: Short play update, from Campaign Mode on Torment 10. A trick of the PTR; if there’s a long queue, you can often find a shorter one trying a different, less-popular difficulty, or by going to campaign mode. I had 29m wait trying to create Adventure Mode on T10, 17m trying to create T7 Adventure Mode, and 2m wait to create Campaign Mode on T10. So that’s what I played, just to get some trial time on Torment 10.

    It’s for real. Playing my HC Natalya’s DH who was wearing gear that could 3-4m farm GR35 Rifts, and felt safe on GR40… I proced half a dozen times just doing early Act 1 Campaign Mode. Jailer seems to have been nerfed in damage (not dangerous now) and Thunderstorm felt much less damaging also… but Reflects Damage was horrifying. Instant proc even from off screen, and I had to switch from Vault to Smoke Screen at once. Mortar was very dangerous as well, nearly one-shotting me to proc each time.

    Monster hit points are way high also; I was kiting and bombing off 10-15 RoVs every Elite pack (It takes me 3-5 RoVs per elite on GR35ish, at most), and Goblins (double spawning with the community buff) were legitimately hard to kill. I had a few escape when I got an Elite at the same time, and it’s been so long since I didn’t one-shot Goblins (on T6) that I hardly knew how to chase them down anymore.

    Repair costs are crazy high on TX; I was getting 500k+ bills every time back in town, and this is Hardcore so it wasn’t like I was dying a bunch and breaking my gear.

    I didn’t get to test out Greater Rifts since I didn’t have time to wait to create an Adventure Mode game, but all Trial Keys and Rift Keys of any level are the same Rift Key + now, and they all stack up. All Keywarden Keys I had in my inventory became Infernal Machines; no crafting required.

    Also, the PTR reset all clans since last PTR, so I created Diinet PTR. All are welcome, hardcore or softcore. As with the past few PTRs, it’s very useful to be in a clan so you can join someone’s game, since creating your own usually requires a very lengthy queue.

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    Tagged As: | Categories: Blue Posts, Diablo 3 Patches, Diablo 3 PTR | 18 Comments

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    Patch 2.3.0 PTR Notes

    Posted 30 Jun 2015 by at 22:16 GMT

    news-ptr-smallBlizzard has unveiled the official patch notes for Patch 2.3.0, coming soon to the PTR. As with all PTR patches, bear in mind that things will change during testing.

    There’s a ton of stuff in this patch, including DiabloWikiKanai’s Cube, big changes to overall combat, four new levels of Torment difficulty, lots of new set items, changes to existing legendary items, etc. Here’s a quote from the Kanai’s Cube info; which makes the object sound insanely powerful. Reroll set item? Upgrade Rare to random Legendary? SuperKadala has arrived.

    New Feature: Kanai’s Cube

    Kanai’s Cube is a new artisan that offers a slew of new recipes to fully customize your items and catalogue your Legendary powers. Several recipes are available to players immediately upon acquiring Kanai’s Cube:

  • Extract Legendary Power: Destroy an item to add its Legendary power to your catalogue of collected powers. Once a power has been extracted, it can be equipped to your character without the need to equip the item. Players may have one Weapon, one Armor, and one Jewelry power equipped at a time. Players may only equip powers from items that their characters can normally equip and use.
  • Reforge a Legendary Item: Completely re-rolls a Legendary item as though it had dropped for the first time. This includes any powers that may have been previously enchanted on the item. Note that reforged items may re-roll as either Ancient or non-Ancient, so reforge at your own discretion!
  • Upgrade Rare Item: Upgrades the quality of a level 70 Rare item to Legendary. This item will roll as a randomized Legendary that shares that item’s equipment type.
  • Convert Set Item: Converts a Set item to a randomized piece of gear from the same Set. For example, if you convert a pair of Asheara’s Finders, you could get Asheara’s Custodian, Asheara’s Pace, or Asheara’s Ward in return.
  • Remove Level Requirement: Removes the level requirement from an item, allowing it to be equipped by a character of any level.
  • Convert Gems: Converts 9 of any color gem to 9 of any other color.
  • Convert Crafting Materials: Converts 100 of normal, magic, or rare Crafting Materials to 100 of another type of non-legendary Crafting Material
  • To acquire Kanai’s Cube, visit Zoltun Kulle in New Tristram, Hidden Camp, Bastion’s Keep Stronghold, or The Survivor’s Enclave in Adventure Mode. He’ll be quite pleased to guide you on your way.

    Kulle beans! Click through for the massive patch notes, which we’ll be able to hands on via the PTR any hour now.

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    Tagged As: | Categories: *Featured, Diablo 3 Patches, Diablo 3 PTR | 4 Comments

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    The Diablo 3 Podcast #181: Patch 2.3 Item Sets

    Posted 30 Jun 2015 by at 11:11 GMT

    Patch 2.3 coming very soon to the PTR, so more analysis, including new and improved Item Set properties from datamining. Also T7-T10 scaling issues, shared LGems, and purist mode Hardcore? Featuring Aahz, N3rdwards, and Flux.

    Click through for more details and segment starting times.

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    Diablo II’s 15th Anniversary Memories

    Posted 30 Jun 2015 by at 00:06 GMT

    Thanks for Xanth for tweet-reminding me that today is the 15th anniversary of Diablo 2’s launch on June 29, 2000.

    I didn’t clearly remember what I was doing that day or which character I played first, at least not until I refreshed my memory. Let’s hop into the wayback machine and see what looked like on that fateful day, before some of you were more than a twinkle in your daddy’s eye!

    You can read all the news from June 29, 2000, and the years before/after it via’s vaults. If you’ve never seen the original version of this site, realize that 15 years ago bandwidth expenses were a huge deal for websites, and most readers were on dial up modems… which is why we hardly ever included any images on the main page., June 2000., June 2000.

    OMG that classic wood border layout! (We had an alternate skin Elly made up with Christmas lights wound around it, which we put online for the holidays and usually left up until about March, just like your annoying white trash neighbors… if newer readers were wondering what people were talking about in various mysterious comments about our recent domain name resurrection.)

    Visuals aside, check out those historical artifacts! This is like the Dead Sea Scrolls of Diablo fandom. Vote results from early 2000:

    Which D2 player will you play first?

  • Necromancer – 28.4% [1687.244]
  • Paladin – 26.2% [1556.542]
  • Sorceress – 16.9% [1004.029]
  • Barbarian – 14.2% [843.622]
  • Amazon – 14.1% [837.681]
  • Total Votes: 5941

    There’s even a first hand report on the Diablo II launch party, attended by our old time writer Gaile Grey (who was the first of many, many site contributors to join the industry, eventually leaving us to take a head CM job with ArenaNet). I clearly remember having dibs on attending that party, and turning it down (letting Gaile go in my place) since I wanted to be home where I could play the game as soon as it launched and post site updates. Admire my youthful dedication compared to my more recent hedonism. *cough*

    I’ll repost Gaile’s typically-breathless D2 launch party write up below the fold for the sake of nostalgia.

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    Tagged As: | Categories: Diablo 2, Diablo: IncGamers Articles, Twitter | 7 Comments

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    No Diablo 3 PTR… Yet

    Posted 29 Jun 2015 by at 22:49 GMT

    Patience, Grasshopper.

    Patience, Grasshopper.

    In the old days of Diablo 3 classic, the PTR was inaccessible except during the rare times when a patch was up for testing. Back then you had to download and install what was basically a second copy of Diablo 3, (which you still do) and launch that to connect to the PTR and do any testing. That system was upgraded shortly before Reaper of Souls launched, and these days players see the PTR displayed all the time as one of the selectable realms in the launcher, with the same “Play” button they see for their normal realm (or “Install” if they haven’t set up the PTR client yet.)

    This can be confusing, since the PTR shows in the drop down (up) menu whether or not there’s a patch available for testing. Thus players who aren’t following the news can click the PTR button, think they’re about to log on, and instead get a failed to connect screen, same as if they try to play when their regular Realm is down, with no indication why. No Diablo 3 PTR… Yet:

    The service is down for maintenance – PTR Help!?

    I get this message every time i try and log into the Diablo 3 Public Test Realm (PTR). And the forum server check says everything is online and working… Is this a problem on my end i can fix? Thank you.
    Omrakos: I believe you’re referring to the Blog report concerning the upcoming PTR for 2.3. It’s not been released yet. Keep in mind, when it is, it’s a PTR (Public Test Realm), not the retail game.

    In an ideal world, the Diablo 3 launcher would tell you if a realm was up or down before you bothered to click “Play.” Failing that, just follow the news to keep up with the PTR’s status. It’s not available yet, but with any luck it will go live later this week. Bear in mind that the PTR is a separate realm, so when it gets patched and goes up or down doesn’t necessarily coincide with activity on the live realms, such as the weekly maintenance that goes on early Tuesday morning.

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