Blizzard Reveals Diablo 3 Patch 2.1 Preview


Blizzard reveals Diablo 3 Patch 2.1 Preview in a new blog on the official site. The key info is regarding seasonal ladders, new dungeon areas, DiabloWikiGreater Rifts, DiabloWikiLegendary Gems, and some changes to the general combat and healing mechanisms, plus a big change/buff to the defensive value of Dexterity as a DiabloWikimainstat.


Seasons:

Similar to DiabloWikiLadders in Diablo® II, Seasons will offer players in Diablo® III a chance to periodically start fresh, leveling their level 1 characters and artisans from scratch. Season participation benefits include exclusive rewards and unique Legendaries as well as the the thrill of climbing all-new DiabloWikiLeaderboards by completing achievements, earning Conquests, or running Greater Rifts.

seasonal-hero-selection1
A Seasonal Hardcore Crusader gets ready to hop into the action.
seasonal-hero2A full overview of your Seasonal characters will be available in your Character Profile.


Conquests:

With the start of each Season, players will have the opportunity to earn DiabloWikiConquests. Conquests are special Season-only achievements (offered in addition to the suite of non-Seasonal achievements already available in the game) that represent a variety of challenging goals. These goals can vary in terms of gameplay and difficulty, and some might be easier to complete than others. With tasks ranging from killing DiabloWikiMalthael at level 70 on DiabloWikiTorment VI to finishing Acts I-V in an hour or less, Conquests are designed to encourage and promote an array of different playstyles.

Conquests are considered “first come, first served,” and the first 1000 individuals to complete a Conquest within a given Season will be immortalized on that Season’s regional Leaderboard. Right now, we’re looking to provide between 10-15 unique Conquests each Season, and each Conquest will have its own Leaderboard. Conquests will also provide achievement points and will count toward your Seasonal point total. These points will be provided regardless of whether your character placed in the regional Leaderboard.

No Seasons? No Problem!

Not in the mood to start from scratch? You’ll still benefit from Seasons (which, by the way, are completely optional). New Seasonal Legendaries will roll over to non-Seasonal loot pool after a Season concludes. In addition, Greater Rift leaderboards will also become available to non-Seasonal characters, so you can compare the progress of your friends and clanmates with that of your most veteran heroes!

Greater Rifts:

Formerly referred to as Tiered Rifts, DiabloWikiGreater Rifts are a special type of Nephalem Rift that are designed to provide players way to measure their gear progression and efficiency.

How to Access Greater Rifts:

To access a Greater Rift, simply complete a regular DiabloWikiNephalem Rift in any difficulty. When you defeat the DiabloWikiRift Guardian, they’ll have a chance to drop a Greater Rift Key. You can then use this new key at the Nephalem Obelisk, similar to other Rift Fragments — this will open a Greater Rift. If you have members in your party, each player will be prompted to use one of their own Greater Rift keys to join the fun!

tiered-rift-keystone3
Entering a Greater Rift requires its own type of Rift Keys.


How Greater Rifts Work:

While Greater Rifts are a type of Nephalem Rift, there are some key differences between the two features. In Greater Rifts:

  • You’ll race against a clock to fill a progress bar by accruing monster kills.
  • Most monsters do not drop loot; rewards have been completely shifted to the Rift Guardian.
  • This removes conflicting pressure from attaining a better time versus picking up all your loot.
  • Monsters grant differing amounts of progress for your progress bar; the tougher the monster, the more they fill up your progress bar.
  • You cannot resurrect at your corpse or in town while in a Greater Rift—only at the last checkpoint.
  • Note that, currently, if you die in a Greater Rift on a Hardcore character, that death will be permanent.
  • You cannot use player banners or the Teleport option if the target player is in a Greater Rift.
  • Higher Greater Rifts levels are progressively more difficult.
  • This difficulty is separate from the standard difficulty settings (Master, Torment I-VI, etc.)
  • If you complete a Greater Rift before time expires you’ll advance to the next difficulty level. Should your time be exceptionally good, you might even skip a few levels! If time instead expires, you’ll have reached the end of your current Greater Rift journey and your best results will be posted to the appropriate Leaderboards.


    tiered-rift-timer4
    Your progress bar is a little different inside a Greater Rift, to allow you to gauge your completion compared to your efficiency.


    Legendary Gems

    Greater Rifts are truly a challenge, and conquering such challenges should be met with great reward. To provide a unique and upgradable incentive, we’re introducing Legendary Gems.

    DiabloWikiLegendary Gems are still undergoing significant iteration at this time, so you won’t see them available on the PTR right away. The gist is that these gems are infinitely upgradeable, and provide special Legendary powers when DiabloWikisocketed into the appropriate gear slot. They can only be socketed into Rings and Amulets, and can be upgraded by completing additional Greater Rifts. The higher you place in a Greater Rift, the more likely your gem will be successfully upgraded. We’ll have more details in the future as we continue development on these powerful baubles, so stay tuned!

    Coming to a Nephalem Rift Near You:

    Some of the changes in Greater Rifts are also coming to regular Nephalem Rifts — like the way the completion bar will advance based on monster difficulty. In addition, we’re slightly modifying the entry mechanism for all Rifts. All players will need to have a Rift Fragment in order to enter a Nephalem Rift; however, we’ve reduced the cost for entering a Nephalem Rift down to one Rift Fragment per character to compensate.


    Leaderboards

    With so many ways to compete, we want to provide players with a quick and easy way to measure their progress. Enter our next big feature for patch 2.1.0: DiabloWikiLeaderboards.

    Leaderboards will track progress for Greater Rifts, Seasonal achievement points, and Seasonal Conquests across a variety of game styles. Designed to be informative and detailed, Leaderboards will allow you to compare your progress to that of your gameplay region, friends, and clan members, and each type of board will track progress a little differently.

    leaderboard5
    Leaderboards offer a variety of ways to compare your accomplishments to your friends and clanmates.


    Greater Rift Leaderboards

    Greater Rift leaderboards will be split between both Hardcore and Normal gameplay modes as well as Seasonal and Non-Seasonal characters. To help encourage a variety of play styles and allow you to measure yourself against similar competitors, we’ve also broken up Greater Rift leaderboards into the following categories:

  • Solo play for each class (e.g. top players for Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Crusader, etc.)
  • 2-Player Groups
  • 3-Player Groups
  • 4-Player Groups

  • Season-Only Leaderboards:

    Some Leaderboards will be Season-only. For example, Conquests are only tracked on Seasonal characters, so these Leaderboards won’t have a non-Season equivalent. The same will be true for Seasonal achievement points. In addition, because Conquests and achievements are account-wide, their associated Leaderboards will not be split between Normal and Hardcore (even though some tasks may require playing a particular mode).


    Combat Changes:

    Of course, with so many competitive elements hitting the PTR, we’re also reviewing each class thoroughly to ensure no matter what you play, you have a fair chance at reaching your Seasonal goals. While we won’t be getting into class specific details here, we wanted to share with you a few examples of overarching adjustments we plan on experimenting with during the Public Test phase.

    Dexterity & Survivability:

    A major change is coming to DiabloWikiDexterity to benefit Demon Hunters and Monks. Each point of Dexterity will grant 1 point of DiabloWikiArmor instead of Dodge chance. Dodge isn’t as reliable as Armor or DiabloWikiResistances and doesn’t protect you from some of the most dangerous monster affixes like DiabloWikiPlagued or DiabloWikiThunderstorm. In light of this buff, the existing passives that grant 30% of your Dexterity as Armor (Seize the Initiative and Awareness) will be completely redesigned.

    Healing:

    The next change will be to Healing. Currently, Healing provided by gear isn’t very valuable because you receive the vast amount of your healing from DiabloWikiHealth Globes. During internal testing, we discovered that as you reached higher Greater Rift levels, you really wanted more of your healing to come from your gear in order to survive. To facilitate this, we are reducing the amount of healing Health Globes provide, but buffing DiabloWikiLife on Hit and Life DiabloWikiRegeneration on gear to compensate. This change should make a more consistent experience when you turn up the difficulty (or reach a higher tier in a Greater Rift) in situations where you’re not killing as quickly and actually require the increased Healing.

    The Cesspools:

    While Seasons and Greater Rifts are definitely taking center stage with this patch, we’re also providing some additional content to add more variety and flavor to your Adventure Mode exploration.

    Originally designed as the sewers of Westmarch, we weren’t quite able to include the DiabloWikiCesspools in the list of playable environments in Reaper of Souls by the time the expansion launched.

    cesspool7 cesspool6

    Expect to encounter (and slaughter) a variety of creatures in the Cesspools!

    Still, we loved the look and feel of this festering, dank underworld and we’ve spent some time polishing it up for use in Nephalem Rifts and Greater Rifts. You’ll have a chance to spawn Cesspool levels while in a Rift, and we hope you enjoy this new randomized landscape!

    We may have additional treats on the horizon, but let’s not get too Greedy. . . . You’ll have your hands on the PTR soon enough to find out more.

    We are incredibly excited to share patch 2.1.0 with you and can’t wait to see your reactions once the PTR goes live. Be sure let us know what you think of the changes and features, and send any bug reports our way as you explore Seasons, Greater Rifts, Leaderboards, and more.

    What new feature are you most excited about? Are you going to climb the Greater Rifts leaderboard, or will you race to be the first to complete as many Conquests as you can? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll see you soon™ on the PTR!

    Lots of interesting changes, but I’m surprised no mention of new legendary items for the ladders? I figured they’d tease something there, but perhaps still too much under construction, like the Legendary Gems.

    Fewer health globes dropping seems reasonable to me, as I’m used to ending battles with half a dozen of them littering the screen. The real issue with Health Globes is often more about resource management (via DiabloWikiReaper’s Wraps) than healing, and a Blue reply on that is worth noting. We’re not going to see fewer health globes; they’ll just do less healing per.

    I didn’t think they were nerfing the amount of globes that drop, just their effectiveness. So you’d still get the same amount dropping they would just heal you for less life.
    Nevalistis: This is correct. The number of Health Globes that drop isn’t changing, which should reduce the impact for items or skills that proc off of collecting them.

    Has excite?

    Comments

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    1. "Note that, currently, if you die in a Greater Rift on a Hardcore character, that death will be permanent."

      Sounds like they may make HC death in Great Rifts survivable.

    2. Very interested in the upcoming changes! I'm not normally very competitive with these kind of games but the new content (greater rifts, cesspools) should really improve the overall experience. I like the change/improvement to Dex (DH is my main), though I'm curious if Dodge Chance will be completely removed from the game. It's not good enough to depend on all by itself, but there are times I'll miss spotting a frozen bomb about to go off but dodged the explosion. No doubt the change will help DH/Monk durability but to me it seems like Blizz couldn't figure out a different way and decided to take "the easy way out" (like the recent and complete removal of legendary crafting mats) and just make Dex function like Str.

    3. The main emphasis is on random level combinations.

      Is there a timer on the Greater Rifts? They said the good loot is saved for the end boss (Guardian) so you aren't conflicted between picking up loot or completing. If it's timed doesn't that encourage facerolling through the levels?

    4. Really pleased to see we are getting a new level. I hope it's large one, more rambling with different levels to it would be great

    5. Leaderboards. I'm not sure this is meant for pure farming.

      But if they do mean for you to farm these rifts as well, then hopefully they also increase the rewards at higher difficulties (and get the balance right) thereby encouraging you to go as far as you can (rather than just do a few tiers then start a new one).

    6. I like the idea of having everyone pay 1 rift key fragment.

    7. I particularly like the idea of Leg gems though I worry that it'll then make sockets in rings feel required the way they do in weapons. Was also really hoping they could find a more interesting solution for Dex but ah well.

    8. Well looks like I will be completely regearing my monk once again for the new Harmony passive but I am happy with the changes to Dex and mitigation. Now if they could get the Damage right we will be golden.

    9. "there are some key differences"

      hehe

    10. Seems fair, right? Though it will probably put a damper on RIF, it will encourage more coop playing of rifts. At least, that's how it seems for now.

    11. Lots of changes in 2.1 are geared toward the competetive folk. Looks like a nice patch, but not for me, who likes to play at more leasure pace.

    12. hmmm, I've just returned to the game after a big break, so bear with me as I try to assimilate all the changes.

      Am I understanding this correctly, basically it will be who gets to run the rift after rift in the fastest possible way? If so, is it just me, or wont this get boring after after a while?

      Right now I'm doing bounties across all acts and running rifts after I've cleared each act. I must confess – I kinda missing campaign mode so I've gone back to it for a bit. Rift's are fun, but I think I'd go mad if that's all I was able to run.

      Now, I'll admit I'm able to do other things, but there doesn't seem to be very much incentive (other than variation) to do so. Still – I love the game.

    13. Ditto. The more time you can spent on ROS, the higher you can get in Seasons. People with a full time job and a family are ruled out by default.

      Not that it matters to me, I love theory crafting and testing the limits of my own characters at my own pace. I only hope my clan/friend list will not be divided into two sections.

      I usually play high torments, but the people I play with are paragon 5xx, ie they will very probably be playing seasons which might make it harder for me to find other players after 2.1 has gone live 🙁

    14. I don't know why, but I'm not too excited about this patch. I guess it's because I'm starting to get bored of the game?
      I have no confidence that they manage to make this speed-rifting even between characters. I just get this feeling that they will buff Bash dmg from 215 to 225% to compete with Jade WD's.
      I spend so much time gearing my monk. Farming mats for hours/days to finally get the perfect rolls on main and secondary stats which included armor as an affix. Now they removed mats, nerf One with everything and make armor from Dex 🙂 Time invested on my monk really paid off.

    15. "Am I understanding this correctly, basically it will be who gets to run the rift after rift in the fastest possible way? If so, is it just me, or wont this get boring after after a while?"

      This sounds boring even when you read about it. Rifts and bounties were fun, but only for the first two weeks (many players saw that coming).

      So instead of enhancing current rifts and bounties with more variety, like:
      – boss-only rifts
      – treasure goblin-only rifts
      – rifts where you can face fallen HC characters from other players
      – rift modifiers (crit. chance set to 0%, killing champion pack has a chance to summon random boss)
      – optional challenges (clear rift with naked char, destroy 200 objects,…)
      – new variety of monster packs
      – new tile sets (more 'Cesspools')

      they added boring time challenge (like cursed chests), which many other players are playing right now (rift efficiency speed runs like RIF).

    16. RIP Rift it Forward 😀

    17. "but let’s not get too Greedy"

      eeehehehehehehee

    18. An alternative would be to make dodge proc more often but reduce the damage less (ie, make it proc twice as often but only reduce the damage of the dodged attack by 50%).

    19. Why not just combine al stats together in one uberstat called "Main Stat". The higher it is, the better. That one stat defines all other stats so it won't be neccesary to go through your detailed info and calculate stuff or make choices. All the other stats aren't really of importance or work really as intended so just "main stat" is what remains.

      After that change the rifts so that you'll just have to click and stuff falls out with a chance of 103,497% of a legendary with a high "main stat". This has the added bonus of preventing HC death by disconnect. It's basically a big pinata in town so you don't have to walk very far…the 1000 people who hit it the most in a season go in to the HoF.

      Also the first person to find a 3000 dps + 2000 main stat weapon wins the season.

      ohwell…

    20. "Ditto. The more time you can spent on ROS, the higher you can get in Seasons. People with a full time job and a family are ruled out by default."

      That's always been the case (in every game) with ladders &/or higher tier content, those that can play for longer will get more from it.

    21. Legendary gems? Sounds like a jewels to me. We could use some variety in socketing department.
      I'm not very competitive player but I'll definitely try seasons – I still have three more characters to level for the achievements so might just as well wait for the 2.1 to do that.

    22. That would still contribute to instances of 'spiky' damage, which is antithetic to what they are trying to achieve with the game. Eg. the 50% DR that procs 60% of the time will not help you move up to the next torment level, as you'll be taking heavy damage 40% of the time that may well kill you.

    23. No mention of additional character slots for making season characters? Has anything been posted as to how exactly they're going to handle that?

    24. Yeah, Greater Rifts are like a game feature designed on Pimp My Ride. "Yo Dawg, we heard you like rifts, so we put rifts in your rifts!!"

      The timed aspect of them doesn't really float my boat; the main complaint most people have about public Rifts is other players rushing madly ahead, ignoring lots of monsters and abandoning all teamwork. And it sounds like Greater Rifts are just going to incentivize and codify that sort of behavior. Why would anyone slow to kill an Elite in a tiered Rift, if the entire point is to kill X enemies as quickly as possible, and item rewards are turned way down with almost all the loot coming from the Rift Guardian?

      Sound great if you like rush rush gameplay style, but not so much for others.

    25. As I understood it the tougher monsters will fill progress bar faster than a trash mobs so it will be viable strategy to concentrate on the elites. Providing there will be a proper balance of course. If it will be faster to just bypass elites for trash mobs the system won't make sense.
      For the record, I'm not a fan of any timers or timed events but I guess Blizzard is supporting all kinds of gameplay.

    26. Regarding all the RIF naysayers…It will not change RIF almost at all. Atm the only person not 'paying' and average of 1 rift key per rift they join is the person that is running. Now the runner also has to pay 1 rift key, that's the only difference. You can still join for the boss and leave again, you just have to 'pay' your rift key before you kill the boss, rather than after.

      I am so happy to see competition come into D3, even if I don't have all day everyday to play (not even close, with family, work, etc). I can compete with myself or friends, or see what others have done to spur me towards greater feats.

      The only part I am sad about is that I either have to join a season or I have to twiddle my thumbs till season 2 comes around so I can get season 1 scraps.

      The healing changes could be great. From a barb perspective it was a major issue blocking higher torment levels, requiring extreme stacking of mitigation to compensate.

      Waiting with baited breath for PTR, my SoH ain't gonna drop anyway so might as well test!

    27. If I start a character for the season, will that character have to complete the campaign in order to unlock adventure mode?

    28. IncW Smackery here.

      I am pretty uninterested. I'm certainly not the target gamer – ten years ago with D2 and college, I had 30 hours a week to goof off with my bear druids, etc. Now, I find an hour here, fifteen minutes there.

      I did a whole lot of bounties. Honestly I think Rifts are incredibly dull once you get over any early excitement about "Hey it's goats, but in a swamp!" The Pylons are about the only thing I find interesting any more. Sadly, rifts are the only way to play in groups anymore. I suppose I'm in the vast minority when I rather enjoyed popping on, killing two or three bounties in areas I enjoyed playing in, or maybe a spot like A4 that felt fresher than yet another SK kill.

      I always tried to find bounties with leg mat dropping purples; that was removed. Now any reason to take my time and enjoy a slow-paced run to kill a bounty is gone. Riftriftriftriftrift faster faster faster is going to leave players like myself in the dust.

      Oh well. I think the changes are great for most of the D3 community, but I sure wish they'd encourage slow-and-steady play.

    29. My number 1 complaint about the proposed system for Ladder Seasons is that it totally invalidates the current Paragon 2.0 system of long term progress.

      Assuming there are no gaps between season, most people will probably move from season 1 to season 2 to season 3, etc. . You won't ever go back to your base non-season account to use accumulated Paragon points if you keep hunting the newest exclusive items.

    30. Or you will go back when you dont have to much time to play anymore

    31. Any game will become boring if you do the same things over and over. Be that Diablo is an aRPG game, it is especially susceptible to this.

    32. Hopefully not. I was going to do a practice of doing campaign to level up, to get ready. I got to level 3 and gave up. Oh and I was doing it on Expert cause that is the highest diff on a fresh account.

    33. they don't invalidate anything

      nobody's forcing you to abandon your long term char and hunt for the newest exclusive item

      you can ignore the season and keep playing your main char and gain 50 Paragon points while every one else starts from level 1

      and once the season is over you'll still find the item

      yeah, people who did the season will have the item too, but you'll have item AND the additional Paragon points

    34. I miss item building from D2.

      Hunting for the perfect white for a runeword.
      Refreshing vendors for +3 to Barbs Item Find skill to dual wield on switch.
      Saving diadems for imbuing +2 all skills.
      Farming for Ort runes and sapphire pgems to craft knockback gloves.

      I spent most of my time doing things like that and it's all missing now. I think Blizzard doesn't understand how important those features were.

    35. but why would runners waste their time and invite random people for the boss now? the whole incentive is they get a free rift afterwards.

      the amount of runners will decrease drastically. I don't think it will be viable for the leechers anymore. RIF as it is now will be done.

    36. Higher character + lower rift difficulty = more Greater rifts = high position on "the boards!"
      I'm glad I enjoy the game for the game and NOT for the RUSH to nothingness.

    37. Any ETA on the PTR yet?

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