Patch 2.3: Torment Difficulty Undocumented Buffs
Blizzard has updated their game guide with some of the general game changes in Patch 2.3, including the increased rewards and perils you’ll find on the new, higher levels of Torment. We wrote an article about this back at the start of the PTR, trying to figure if was worth it, and included the interesting […]
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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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 | No 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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Minecraft Mastermind Mints Millions, Marinates in Misery


Posted 2 Sep 2015 by at 07:35 GMT

A nice view, admittedly.

A nice view, admittedly.

Interesting short piece about Markus Persson and the lottery-winning misery he’s sunk into over the year since he sold his company, Mojang, to Microsoft for $2.5 billion dollars.

Minecraft creator Markus Persson has posted a series of tweets revealing that he feels deeply lonely. He spent a reported $70 million on an 8-bedroom, 15-bathroom mansion in Beverley Hills that came complete with a replica James Dean motorbike and a bar stacked with Dom Perignon.

Since, he’s been hosting parties attended by Selena Gomez and skateboarder Tony Hawk and had Skrillex DJ a pool party for guests in his infinity pool, which has panoramic views across LA. So many parties, that he was surprised recently to discover a huge pile of lost and found items left by guests in his garage.

The problem with getting everything is you run out of reasons to keep trying, and human interaction becomes impossible due to imbalance.
— Markus Persson (@notch) August 29, 2015

Hanging out in ibiza with a bunch of friends and partying with famous people, able to do whatever I want, and I’ve never felt more isolated.
— Markus Persson (@notch) August 29, 2015

This sort of thing is quite common with lottery winners and others who achieve sudden riches, where suddenly they go from a normal life with real friends to this quasi-celebrity figure surrounded by parasites who all want to leech off of them. It’s not usually so intense in the tech field since the nerds who hit the jackpot usually know and want nothing more in life other than doing their computer stuff, and they can keep at it. For instance, the Schaefers and Dave Brevik (plus their other early employees) did very well when Blizzard bought Condor and turned them into Blizzard North just before Diablo 1 became a smash hit, but that just meant they drove a Mercedes instead of a broken down Volkswagon to and from their job making video games.

You have to think Markus Persson would be happier if he’d stayed in the video game field and just thrown himself into making some new game or running some new computer company. I hope he gets better financial advice than he did personal, since he seems to have made horrendous choices. Moving to the most superficial place on earth and buying a gigantic house that feels like a hotel, without a single comfortable, intimate room, and wasting money throwing huge parties for the superficial fame-hungry parasites that fill LA sounds like a sure route to misery and despair, for any real computer gaming geek. (Pics or video of his outrageous house here.)

That said, it’s easy to lecture and scold from a safe distance, uncorrupted by fame and fortune. What would you guys do if you were abruptly hit with that sort of impossible wealth? Could you resist the urge to throw your life upside down and fall into some club party scene of phonies and celebrities, even knowing you’d soon come to hate it and everyone attached to it?

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Tagged As: | Categories: Other Games | 12 Comments

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Diablo 3 Developer Q&A Full Transcript


Posted 1 Sep 2015 by at 22:08 GMT

Pretend that they're typing...

Pretend that they’re typing…

The promised Diablo 3 Developer Q&A on Reddit is set to kick off in just minutes, with a bunch of devs ready to type answers to player questions.

John Yang, Travis Day, Wyatt Cheng, and Matthew Berger, software engineer Roger Hughston, artist Richie Marella, and writer Brian Kindregan, on Tuesday, September 1 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. PDT.

Update: The start time has been pushed back to 3pm, and the chat is now scheduled to run for just one hour.

reddit-503-errorUpdate #2: Lots of Blue replies once things got going, but Reddit is crashing under the user load.

  • The active Q&A thread is here.
  • We’ll keep an eye on the /r forum-thing as it runs, and stick anything new and/or interesting into this post, with a full transcript to come once the dust has settled. If you’ve got a Reddit account you can ask questions, or if not stick them in comments and we can forward them along.

    Update #3: The chat has completed and the entire transcript is below, sorted by topic. It was a very long and fruitful event, with replies about most hot issues and some new info. All of the now-underperforming item sets are getting buffed in Patch 2.4, the Demon Hunter is getting a viable melee range build (sword+quiver!), lots of older 4 piece sets are getting buffed next patch, and much more.

    There were also lengthy theory replies about inadequate stash space, buffs not all showing, the disadvantages of solo play, economic issues of Gifts and Death’s Breaths, lots of replies about issues with set and build balancing, and much more. The entire transcript runs over 6500 words, so click through and dig in.

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