Patch 2.3 Season 4 Fast Leveling Guide
Season Four kicks off tonight in the US (and already in Europe and Asia) and while the game is still much the same, there are a few wrinkles to keep in mind for more efficient leveling and smoother play once you’ve hit level 70. Thanks to the pair of Season Four trial runs on the […]
The Diablo 3 Podcast #187: Season 4 and Patch 2.3
Season 4 is underway and Patch 2.3 has brought countless new features to the game. Using Kanai’s Cube for *real*, trying new builds in S4, botting consuming softcore, Torment farming sweetspots, and playing defensively. Featuring MJinSpace and Flux. Click through for more details and segment starting times.

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Blizzard on Solo vs. Multiplayer EXP Bonuses


Posted 4 Sep 2015 by at 09:38 GMT

Good enough to win an NBA title?

Good enough to win an NBA title?

Continuing our series of posts (yesterday was UI buff display) focused on the most important topics from this week’s Reaper of Souls developer chat, let’s talk about solo vs. multiplayer experience. It’s well known that playing in MP parties is a certain route to much more exp than is possible in solo play, and we’ve been debating it all year.

Some players who enjoy partying up like the current system, but many players who feel that solo play is more skill-based, or a purer form of gaming, have long complained about how heavily D3 and RoS incentivize multiplayer. The whole issue was really spelled out a couple of months ago in comments by the first player to achieve Paragon 2000, where he talked about what a waste of time it was to play solo. It’s not just about high Paragon e-peen, it’s the fact that very high paragon levels are *required* to achieve the top spots on the Grift leaderboards, which means anyone who wants to compete for top Grift times, even in single player, needs to spend most of their time grinding in party games to achieve those Paragon levels.

So what does Blizzard think of this state of affairs? They’re pretty much okay with it, at least judging from Wyatt’s comments in the chat this week. Here’s an excerpt:

Let’s talk philosophy. We want people to play together. I think everybody understands that groups should be better than solo, but there’s debate about how much that difference should be. If I’m playing by myself and then a friend joins me, I should be a little bit better off, right?

The issue is that this is only true when you and your friend are exactly the same power level. Realistically, in Diablo III, the power level of players varies widely. You may be in full Ancient gear with your 6-piece set bonuses and all the appropriate complementary legendaries while your friend only has their 4-piece bonus and a non-ancient weapon. Is it okay for your friend to join your game and your experience to be worse?

We took a long look at the way the game has evolved over the last three years and made a judgment call: as much as possible, we want a friend joining your game to make your experience better, not worse. People shouldn’t feel they need to inspect you when you join a public game and your friend that stopped playing for two months shouldn’t feel like a burden for wanting to play with you. Generally, you should prefer to have company in your game than not.

Actually, I object starting at the first sentence. Why should party always be better? Why should someone in crappy gear get more exp leeching off their friend than I do working harder to succeed solo? Why should someone else in good gear get more exp for carrying their friend than I do kicking ass in solo? Why should any four players fooling around in a PuG earn far more exp than one or even two expert players do?

Obviously Bliz has simply decreed that playing in a party *should* be more rewarding, but it’s not like there’s some objective proof of that. It’s just an opinion, and they could as easily say, “Solo should be more rewarded since it’s all about your individual skill, and not something you can achieve by using other players as crutches.”

In MP player get the advantage of much faster bounties via split-farming, plus more pets for tanking, plus shared party buffs, plus the monsters actually decrease in HPs (divided per player), plus you can take turns tanking, plus monster AI is terrible allowing for easy survival for glass cannon ranged chars… and parties *STILL* get huge EXP buffs on top of all that?

What do you guys think? Click through for the full Wyatt Cheng quote from the chat, where he talks about the different types of party exp buffs and (sort of) admits that at least one of them is probably OP.

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Getting Stuck in Patch 2.3


Posted 4 Sep 2015 by at 00:25 GMT

Lots of players have reported getting stuck in Patch 2.3, and it’s not just a metaphor by those guys who are like P700+ already and totally can’t hear their mom shouting down the basement stairs that they’d better hurry before the pizza rolls get cold.

Getting Stuck in Patch 2.3

Is anyone having a problem getting stuck on and unable to move? I been getting it alot since 2.3 patch. I had this issue in PTR and apparently Brandy got it during a stream play in Thursday play. I assume it was only a ptr thing but it does shows up in live.
Grimiku: Thank you all for reporting this. It happened to me the other day while I was opening up various artisans while in town. I thought it was something related to my mouse, though, and went about my business. I’ll pass it on and post an update when I can.

I’ve hardly had time to play in Patch 2.3 on live, but I played a lot on the PTR and never got stuck there. (Except in the game creation queue…. hi-yoh!)

You can see it happen to Nevalistis on the last live stream with Wyatt Cheng. Jump to about 27:30 of the video and you’ll see her character get frozen in place in the dungeon, and remain stuck even after she portals back to town. Only exiting and rejoining the game fixes the issue. (Click through for the video.)

Anyone else experienced this problem? Found any workarounds to fix it?

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Tagged As: | Categories: Blue Posts, Diablo III Bugs, Grimiku | 2 Comments

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No Torchlight 3… Here’s Hob!


Posted 3 Sep 2015 by at 20:57 GMT

hob-title1The guys at Runic Games just revealed a new upcoming action/puzzle game called Hob. Runic Games, co-founded by Diablo co-creators Max and Erich Schaefer, was previously best known for creating the Diablo-type Torchlight games. Their new game Hob is reminiscent of Zelda type exploration puzzle solving titles, and does not include the endless clicking combat of an ARPG.

So why Hob instead of Torchlight 3? An article on IGN addresses that question:

“We’re just burnt out,” Runic Games President Marsh Lefler told IGN when asked why the team made Hob instead of Torchlight 3. “Let’s admit it, Diablo 3 is killing it right now. Diablo 3 is a really fun game. Not that Torchlight 2 isn’t a fun game, it is, but it’s just different. For us to try to compete with Diablo 3? We weren’t trying to compete before.”

Lefler added that Diablo and Torchlight were different kinds of action RPGs, and that after a decade of making dungeon-crawlers, “we just needed a little break” to focus on “something we love” that’s even more different.

The demos and gameplay footage of Hob look very cool and very different than anything Diablo-style, so it’s interesting to see the guys going in a new direction. The official site is here, and check out the video below for lots of game footage with audio of an interview with Marsh Lefler.

Thanks to Arseniy for the news tip.

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Tagged As: | Categories: Other Games, Torchlight, Torchlight 2 | 4 Comments

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The Diablo 3 Podcast #187: Season 4 and Patch 2.3


Posted 3 Sep 2015 by at 12:24 GMT

Season 4 is underway and Patch 2.3 has brought countless new features to the game. Using Kanai’s Cube for *real*, trying new builds in S4, botting consuming softcore, Torment farming sweetspots, and playing defensively. Featuring MJinSpace and Flux.

Click through for more details and segment starting times.

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Blizzard on UI Buff Display Issues


Posted 3 Sep 2015 by at 09:26 GMT

We’re going to post articles on several of the most contentious issues in the game today, analyzing what the Devs said about them during this week’s live chat. First up is a topic that’s been bubbling for months (years?), the limits on displaying buff icons in Diablo 3.

I remember way back in the D3v days when only 5 buff and 5 debuff icons would show at the same time. Players often asked for more to show, and there was special annoyance at the game reserving space for 5 each, since players often had 4-8 buffs and almost never had more 2 or 3 debuffs, which made it seem like there was room for more buffs to show, but it was wasted, reserved as space for debuffs that would never come. Later patches upped the buff display to 8, but that’s still far too few for many builds, especially in multiplayer games and double-especially with DiabloWikiKanai’s Cube now adding 2 or 3 more to most players toolbars.

Wyatt Cheng addressed this issue in depth during the live chat, and I’m curious what you guys think of his argument. Here’s a short excerpt:

The inability to see important buffs that affect your moment-to-moment gameplay is something we want to address.

Path of Exile = Visual buff spam?

Path of Exile = Visual buff spam?

We have been avoiding simply adding more buffs because having a large number of buffs on the screen is not only visually unappealing, but it can be just as frustrating to locate the buff that you care about in a sea of buffs.

I laughed reading that, since some time ago I worked on but never completed/posted an article about this “show all the buffs” issue, and one of the main points of debate was the sort of thing you see in the image to the right. That’s from Path of Exile, and those 23 (!) icons along the top of the screen are all the buffs currently in effect for that player. Case in point of Wyatt’s comment, in which he was too polite to say something like, “too many buffs showing at once are visual pollution.”

Possibly since there’s another well-known Blizzard RPG that can be modded to make PoE look positively minimalist.

Click through for Wyatt’s full quote from the chat, and share your opinions in comments. Would you rather have an instant patch to show 12 or 16 or an unlimited number of buffs at once, clutter be damned? Or are you happy to wait for the ideal solution Wyatt discusses? (Why not both?)

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Tagged As: | Categories: Interface, Wyatt Cheng | 15 Comments

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Torment Difficulty Scaling Graphs and Charts


Posted 2 Sep 2015 by at 22:44 GMT

The huge leap in monster hit points on T7+, and especially in T10, is obvious when you play or look at the actual figures. In a nutshell, when you go up to T10 the monsters don’t gain that much in exp value or gold find value, and they don’t do much more damage, but their hit points skyrocket.

This is made very clear by a useful line graphic:

Monster gains in hit points, damage, EXP, and gold.

Monster gains in hit points, damage, EXP, and gold.

Steep line is steep. In a way, playing on T10 is kind of silly, since the rewards increase so little compared to the monster hit points. (Unless you’re geared enough to kill with speed, in which case you might as well.) On the other hand, the monster damage doesn’t increase very much either, so you don’t need to raise your toughness anywhere near as much as your DPS. (Though consider that Elites living 3-5x longer have that much more time to put a hurt on you.)

While we know the exactly values for things like exp and gold find, and know that they don’t increase by much on T7-T10, we don’t know official figures for how drop rates are boosted. Most players feel that it’s a considerable increase, especially if you’re doing Rifts on DiabloWikiT10. How about the other increases, though? How much more likely are you to find things like DiabloWikiDeath’s Breaths, DiabloWikiGreater Rift keys, DiabloWikiInfernal Machines and DiabloWikiDemonic Organs? Tabulating/estimating those is a common exercise and we took a stab at it during the PTR, then updated the info recently. At the time I meant to create a big chart with all the values, but never found the time… thankfully, someone else stepped up.

difficult-v23c

This chart shows the precise figures where we know them, and puts in consensus estimates for other things, with “?” where there’s not enough data to even make a reasonable guess. (Someone needs to do some more testing on sub-T6, obviously.) It would be great if Blizzard released the official figures so we’d know for sure, but they seem to like some ambiguity and “play it by feel” aspects left in the game (DPS calculator, anyone?) so probably they enjoy players only able to guesstimate the frequency for double DBs on T9, legs from Rift Guardians, etc.

Click through for a couple of more charts showing how monster rewards increase up to T10, and why it’s foolish to play that difficulty unless you’ve geared up to the point that your damage makes it a smooth ride.

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Tagged As: | Categories: *Featured, Fan Stuff, Strategy News, Torment | 8 Comments

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Diablo 3 Podcast #187: Pals’ Early Access


Posted 2 Sep 2015 by at 11:11 GMT

As per usual, the newest episode of the Diablo 3 Podcast is now online, a day early for our loyal and beloved Site Pals. If you’d like to help support the site for as little a as few bucks per month, and get perks like no ads and advance access to the Podcast, click here.

The newest podcast can be enjoyed in the Pal’s forum here, and if you’re not a Pal, don’t fear. The podcast will go live for everyone early Thursday morning. Click through for show contents and times, just to whet your appetite.

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Tagged As: | Categories: Podcasts, Site News | No Comments

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Diablo Fan Art Watch #282: TamplierPainter’s Diablo


Posted 2 Sep 2015 by at 08:00 GMT

Greetings all and welcome to the latest installment of the Diablo Fan Art Watch. This week we bring you another incredibly detailed masterpiece by artist Dmitriy Prozorov also known as TamplierPainter.

Tamplier posted on Youtube a video showing his drawing process. At first he created this piece as a black and white “Fast Drawing” and just recently added the color and extra details. It really just pops out at you.



Also don’t miss Tamplier’s previous work the Barbarian featured in Watch #273 for more and another timelapse video. If you want to see more of his great art check his deviantART for more.


Click the thumbnail to see a larger version of the image.


If you enjoy Fan art and want to contribute to this growing community, please stop by the Fan Creations Forum. Many artists visit frequently, posting works in progress looking for feedback and conversation. You don’t have to be “arty” to join in. If you have any questions, comments or have some fan art related news on the web please send me a PM and I’ll get back to you. Also check out the wiki page for more art from the archives.

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