Diablo 3 Patch 2.1 Mega Preview

diablo 3 patch 2.1 new featuresDiabloWikiPatch 2.1 is hitting the live servers tonight/tomorrow after the weekly maintenance concludes, and there’s a ton of new stuff to be had. We’ve been newsing it all up for the past couple of months and keeping all of the DiabloWiki.net articles up to date. We’re datamining the Patch right now, so we’ll have the full data shortly. (Almost all the big changes were seen in patch notes during the PTR already. August 13, August 5, August 5 skills, July 21, July 18, July 11, June 26th start date.

The final patch notes will be along those lines, but what about the new features and systems? Here are concise summaries of all the major changes, plus links to blue posts and wiki articles for the full details. Diablo 3 Patch 2.1 Mega Preview:

DiabloWikiGreater Rifts: A timed, progressively-harder type of DiabloWikiNephalem Rift designed to present the greatest end game challenge. DiabloWikiGrifts have a 1-100 difficulty progression (GR25 roughly equals DiabloWikiTorment 6), and players who finish a Grift in less than 15 minutes will earn a Greater Rift Keystone to a higher level rift. All item/gold drops in Grifts come from the Greater Rift Guardian (whether killed within 15m or not), and only in Grifts can Legendary Gems be found or upgraded via the NPC artisan DiabloWikiUrshi.

DiabloWikiLegendary Gems: There are 14 of these, each providing an upgradeable unique property and a secondary property that unlocks at rank 25. LGems drop commonly but only in Greater Rifts, can only be used in socketed rings/amulets, only work on characters (not followers), and can be upgraded to improve their basic function via Urshi, an NPC found only in Greater Rifts. Higher level Greater Rifts = better odds for LGem upgrading.

DiabloWikiRealm of Trials: A small shadowy level where players face waves of progressively harder enemies, a bit like the Cursed Shrines/Chests. Each wave in a Trial must be defeated within the brief time limit, and when a player fails to clear an entire wave within the time, the Trial ends. Realm of Trials reward higher level DiabloWikiGreater Rift Keys, enabling players to save time by starting their Grift at that level, rather than starting in a level 1 Grift and working their way up.

DiabloWikiGreed’s Domain: A new bonus dungeon reached through a yellow portal occasionally left by a slain DiabloWikiTreasure Goblin. The level is a reward stage with various weak trash mobs, several Goblins, and many destructibles which unleash ginormous stacks of gold. DiabloWikiGreed the boss is fat and hideous and upon her death a double-size golden chest drops, and unleashes the Kraken legendaries.

DiabloWikiHellfire Amulet. There are no changes to the DiabloWikiInfernal Machine, except that now a Hellfire Amulet may be created by the Jeweler. (DiabloWikiHellfire Rings are still available and unchanged.) Hellfire Amulets are standard random DiabloWiki4/2 legendary amulets, except they have a legendary secondary affix that grants one randomly chosen of your class’ Passive Skills, thus giving a character 5 passives at level 70.

DiabloWikiSeasons. (Modeled after Diablo 2’s ladders.) Participating in a Season is completely optional — players who choose can create new characters (HC or SC) and designate them as “Seasonal” which will put them into a pool where they can *only* interact with other seasonal characters. Everyone in the Season starts fresh; like a brand new account. You have no access to your current items, gold, stash tabs, artisan upgrades, DiabloWikiparagon points, etc. (You will retain your ability to start out in DiabloWikiAdventure Mode, at least.) Seasonal content is identical to the current game, except there are some new seasonal DiabloWikiAchievements and a dozen new DiabloWikiSeasonal Legendaries. Seasons will run a TBD time and when they end all characters/items/gold/paragon points/etc are merged back into your main account, and a new Season will begin.

Click through for much more in this preview.

DiabloWikiLeaderboards. These display the best characters at clearing Greater Rifts, with different boards for each solo class and for 2-4p groups. There are also Leaderboards that display 1000 chars of each class to reach level 70, and to earn various DiabloWikiconquests (special seasonal achievements). There is not a simple “most exp/paragon points earned” Leaderboard since the devs though it would encourage boring grinding play. (And we can’t have *that* in a Diablo game!)

DiabloWikiThe Cesspools. A new tile set found only in Nephalem and Greater Rifts. Dark and gloomy outdoor maze-layout with rotting stone and wooden piers with jungle-type huts. Unfortunately does not include new types of monsters. Write up about this area with many screenshots here.

DiabloWikiTransmog: Most restrictions on transmog have been lifted, allowing more items (weapons especially) to be changed to look like other weapons. There are still some weird inconsistencies, such as 2H flails being stuck in appearance while 1H flails can look like nearly anything. Blue details here.

Combat and Gameplay

Impactful changes, mostly driven by Greater Rifts, since their near-infinite scaling difficulty put a magnifying glass over imbalances and issues with the highest end gear. Major discrete changes:

  • DiabloWikiDexterity no longer ties to DiabloWikiDodge, and instead grants Armor to DiabloWikiDemon Hunters and DiabloWikiMonks. Armor has exactly the same benefit for them that DiabloWikiBarbs and DiabloWikiCrusaders have enjoyed from DiabloWikiStrength.
  • The Healing system has been reworked with huge buffs to DiabloWikiLife per Hit, Life for Resource Spent, and Regeneration via items (retroactively) and DiabloWikiParagon Points. Blue theory explanation.
  • Cooldown reduction now factors into skills with charges, and a new animation shows this on the toolbar.
  • The Character window is improved with new tooltips that show a character’s +Elemental Damage, +Damage to Elites, and more.
  • DiabloWikiCrushing Blow-style functions from DiabloWikiExploding Palm, DiabloWikiThe Furnace, and DiabloWikiRimeheart have been removed. (Blue explanation here.)

  • Items Changes

    Two handed weapons were buffed, then buffed again in damage, up 26-30% in DPS. (But they’re still DiabloWiki4/2 affixes, don’t have other inherent properties, can’t get 2 sockets, and have a very slow attack speed.) This change is retroactive, so existing two-handers will get a huge DPS buff when the patch goes live. (Crusaders don’t go too crazy, since DiabloWikiHeaven Strength was nerfed a bit to compensate.)

    DiabloWikiRamaladni’s Gift is a new legendary material. It can be used to add a socket to any weapon without a socket. It will not make a second socket, and it only works on weapons. Players with weapons that spawned with sockets should DiabloWikienchant the socket into some other useful primary affix, then use Ramaladni’s Gift to add the socket back. Players with weapons they previously enchanted a socket into should curse under their breath while hunting a weapon upgrade.

    Legendary Item Changes

    There are hundreds of changes to legendary items, far too many to list in this article. Most are improvements to existing legendary items, with better stats, different stats, and often new legendary affixes. Most of those changes are not retroactive; you must find new versions of the items to get the new stats. There are a dozen new Seasonal Legendary items and a dozen new non-seasonal legendaries, including a whole new item set (DiabloWikiRoland’s Legacy). See the full list in the Wiki article. Here’s just the changes to rings from that compilation, for a sample:

  • DiabloWikiBand of Untold Secrets — Inherent roll to Attack Speed removed. Now rolls 5 primary stats.
  • DiabloWikiBul-Kathos’ Wedding Band — Removed inherent bonus to Life% and LoH. Legendary Affix: Life drain effect now capped at 2000% weapon damage per second. (Capped to prevent it being OP in deep Greater Rifts.
  • DiabloWikiEternal Union — New Legendary Affix: {{c_orange}|Increases the duration of all Phalanx Avatars by 200%. }}
  • DiabloWikiFocus — No longer LoH affix inherently.
  • DiabloWikiJustice Lantern — Now rolls 5 primary stats.
  • DiabloWikiLitany of the Undaunted — No more inherent affixes.
  • DiabloWikiManald Heal — May roll with all resource cost reduction. (Formerly only Spirit cost reduction was possible.)
  • DiabloWikiNatalya’s Reflection — Removed inherent Regen affix.
  • DiabloWikiObsidian Ring of the Zodiac — Removed bonus to all main stats and other default rolls.
  • DiabloWikiRestraint — Removed inherent rolls to Attack Speed and Cooldown Reduction by default. (Unmaking all similarity to the Ob/Zod of D1 fame.)
  • DiabloWikiRogar’s Huge Stone — Removed inherent rolls to life regeneration and vitality.
  • DiabloWikiStolen Ring — Now rolls 5 primary affixes.
  • DiabloWikiStone of Jordan — No longer rolls Max resource inherent bonus. (Sometimes rolled 5 primary stats on PTR, but changed for live.)
  • DiabloWikiThe Compass Rose — Now rolls 5 primary affixes.
  • DiabloWikiUnity — Removed inherent bonus to LoH.
  • All those changes were in patch notes during the PTR or were spotted by fans. There may be additional changes in the final patch notes… TBD.

    Seasonal Legendary Items

    New DiabloWikiSeasonal Legendary items. (All names and stats are from the PTR, and may differ in the final. We’ll update once the patch is live.)

    DiabloWikiBottomless Potion of Rejuvenation — Health potion.

  • Legendary Affix: Restores 15% of your primary resource when used below 25% Life.

  • New Set: DiabloWikiKrelm’s Buff Bulwark

    DiabloWikiKrelm’s Buff — Belt.

  • Legendary Affix: Grants a 20% Movement Speed bonus. Taking damage causes you to lose this effect for 15 seconds.
  • DiabloWikiKrelm’s Buff — Bracers

  • Legendary Affix: Grant you immunity to Knockback and Stun effects.
  • Set Bonus: (2): +500 Vitality.

    Follower Items:
    All grant 50% cooldown to Follower skills.

  • DiabloWikiHillenbrand’s Training Sword — Templar Relic
  • DiabloWikiSlipka’s Letter Opener — Scoundrel Token
  • DiabloWikiVadim’s Surge — Enchantress Focus

  • Weapons:
    DiabloWikiAether Walker — Wand.

  • Legendary Affix: Removes the cooldown of Teleport. Teleport now costs 25 Arcane Power.
  • DiabloWikiFrydehr’s Wrath — Crusader Shield

  • Legendary Affix: Removes the cooldown of Condemn. Condemn now costs 40 Wrath.
  • DiabloWikiLeonine Bow of Hashir — Bow.

  • Legendary Affix: Grants Bola Shot a 15-20% chance on explosion to pull in all enemies within 24 yards.
  • DiabloWikiRemorseless — One-handed Mighty Weapon.

  • Legendary Affix: Grants Hammer of the Ancients a 25-30% chance to summon an Ancient for 20 seconds.
  • DiabloWikiSacred Harvester — Ceremonial Dagger, WD only.

  • Legendary Affix: Soul Harvest now stacks up to 10 times.
  • DiabloWikiVengeful Wind — Fist Weapon

  • Legendary Affix: Increases the maximum stack count of Sweeping Winds by 5-7.

  • New non-Seasonal Legendary items:

    (All names and stats are from the PTR, and may differ in the final. We’ll update once the patch is live.)

    DiabloWikiRoland’s Legacy item set. Crusader set, meant to give the Knight a viable melee DiabloWikiShield Bash build. Helm: Roland’s Visage, shoulders: Roland’s Mantle, chest: Roland’s Bearing, gloves: Roland’s Grasp, legs: Roland’s Determination, and boots: Roland’s Stride.

    Set Bonuses:
    (2) Set Bonus:

  • +500 Strength
  • (4) Set Bonus:

  • +100% Shield Bash Damage
  • +100% Sweep Attack Damage
  • (6) Set Bonus:

  • Hitting an enemy with Shield Bash or Sweep Attack grants 20% Attack Speed for 3 seconds, stacking up to 5 times
  • Other new legendary items:

  • DiabloWikiAkanesh, The Herald of Righteousness — One-handed spear. Inherent bonus of +15-25% holy damage.
  • DiabloWikiWojahnni Assaulter — Crossbow: Legendary Affix: Rapid Fire deals 40-50% more damage per second, stacks up to 4 times.
  • DiabloWikiThe Dagger of Darts — New WD dagger. Legendary affix: Your Poison Darts and your Fetishes’ Poison Darts now pierce.}}
  • DiabloWikiUnrelenting Phalanx — Crusader Shield: Legendary affix: Allows Phalanx to summon twice as many Avatars.

  • Class Skill Changes

    The full list is over 15 pages long in the editor, so we put them into a separate post. See that here with the full before/after skill changes in table format.

    Anyone has questions about the new patch stuff, ask away and I or others who have been following the news and PTR testing can probably answer. Besides, you’ll be playing in like 16 hours anyway, at this point.


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    1. What, no skill changes? I am disappoint… 😛

    2. "The Character window is improved with new tooltips that show a character’s +Elemental Damage, +Damage to Elites, and more."

      Isn't this on live already?

      • Hadn't checked the infoscreen on PTR either, so would also like a better explaination here. My guess is that they all now show changes to dps, as currently only +elemental damage does, though.

      • I honestly couldn't remember if they'd hotfixed that in or it was in the patch. I've been concentrating entirely on PTR for weeks so my memories of what's in Live are vague.

        • You were right it does show a new tooltip, when you hover over an element, that shows the total damage you do with that single element. This was definitely not in the previous patch.

    3. lol, unleashes the kraken… awesome

    4. Yesterday I had a little fun leveling a Seasonal Monk before the PTR was shut down. The new Exploding Palm is amazing, maybe even too good, especially with the Impending Doom rune (no DoT, but 6k+ damage). It's very easy to punch above your own weight with it difficulty-wise. If you can kill weakling enemies then you can blow up even Elites instantly.

      Likewise, the devs may have been overshooting their mark with the new 2h buffs. I was one of those people who felt that even before this patch there was a definite place for them in some builds, but now it feels like it's not even a contest anymore. I'm looking forward to trying them at max level before my final verdict, but for a leveling Monk one-handers felt like trash, largely because of the new Chant of Resonance and Exalted Soul. It's so easy to reach 10+ Spirit regen now just with skills that the higher damage of 2h weapons are much more useful, buffs or no buffs.

      In any case, class balance seems to be in a good place if the Leaderboards are any indication, as all classes were with 1 or 2 GR levels of each other.

      • It's so good to hear that monks are viable 😛

        • If you ask me they already were, at least in a party. I used to play with my friends in a Wizard, DH, Monk, Crusader party and our damage really suffered whenever our Monk wasn't online. To be fair though, not having our Crusader was about as painful as well, but mostly against Elites and Bosses.

          I don't know how viable Monks were in solo, but my friend never complained, just the opposite in fact. We weren't overly concerned with T6 though (we played mostly on T4-5), which could explain a few things. 🙂

      • I’m looking forward to the new monk passives. I hope there’s some more viable Monk builds now my dodge build is gone, particularly for those without super gear.

        • I'm looking forward to trying a generator focused build. You can boost their damage really high with Depth Diggers and the Simplicity's Strength gem. Add the Combination Strike passive into the mix and you're looking at some really nice numbers from completely free skills. Another advantage of this build would be that bonus Attack Speed would be a straight up DPS boost, unlike with builds that use spenders and with high enough Life on Hit survivability should be looking good as well.

    5. The seasonal legendaries are pretty boring. I was planning to roll a new char for the first season, but if this really is the full list, I'll probably skip this one.

      • If you care about Transmog looks then you should still level a Seasonal character to 70, since you'll get exclusive looks at the end of the season for doing that.

    6. Forgot to add, thanks for posting this mega summary, the mined skill changes being revealed would be cream on top of the icing :D.

    7. that last part about skill changes made me smile =) also the seasonal leg fist is only 3 extra stacks of sweeping winds now.

    8. Greed's Domain is the highlight for me, even over seasons.

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