Patch 2.3.1 on the PTR made a lot of changes, especially to the Witch Doctor. Much discussion of that class, plus Reflects Damage changes, Kanai’s Cube tweaks, Paragon 2000 is broken, and more. Featuring Xanth, Empty1, and Flux. Click through for more details and segment starting times.
Infernal Machine 2.0: Illustrated Gameplay Report + VideoPosted 19 Jan 2014 by
The Patch Notes said it was enabled with the new recipes added and the Key and Organ drop rates set to 100%, and Blizzard’s asking for specific feedback on it… yes, it’s Infernal Machine 2.0, now with four keys, a new Realm and Uber, and upgraded quality Hellfire Rings. I teamed up with a friend to power through some key runs and Uber battles, and here’s a report on what’s new.
Hellfire Ring RequirementsThere are some changes, but the whole system works much as it does in the live game today. The same 4 Keywardens are still the source of keys, and the KWs are still randomly located on their same levels. See the wiki Infernal Machine article for all the details on where they are. You still have to scour their whole levels to find them, and though that’s not any harder than it once was, it feels harder since 1) none of those levels are super EXP farming areas anymore that you’d be doing anyway, and 2) RoS has trained us like dolphins at Sea World to seek out the blinking yellow sonar circle on the map when racing for Bounties. KWs are never bounties, and thus it *feels* long and wandering to hunt for them.
Yes, I’m basically saying that finding KWs is hard now because RoS has made me stupid and lazy. Read that last sentence in the voice of Confession Bear if you want it to be funnier.
Currently it’s very worth finding each KW since this patch has set them to 100% drop rates, on any difficulty, for testing purposes. In fact, they’re actually over 100% since I’ve found 2 keys per KW maybe 1/3 of my kills so far. It seems like they’re dropping 1 key guaranteed and when I get a 2nd key it’s the random drop key I would have gotten normally. The 2 keys from the same drop are not always the same type either.So, 4 KWs and 4 keys. You need one of each key to make each new of the 4 new Infernal Machine recipes, and each of those opens one new portal. There are now 4 portals, one new level with a new Uber(s), and each of the Portals can provide you with 1 new Demonic Organ. (Those are also dropping at 100% for now.) The Hellfire Rings are also new. They grant +45% EXP now, roll with bigger Loot 2.0-sized stats, and the special proc effect is a sort of fire nova explosion that’s actually pretty useful, especially for a melee character.
Click through for lots of screens of the new stuff, including some completed rings, the new Portal and Uber level, and other related stuff. There’s even a video showing the whole process.
Keys and Machines
The key farming process is much as it was in D3, and it’s much easier doing it in a party. It’s faster to find the KW if you split up, you have more chances for someone to get a key, it’s quicker to kill the KW in a group, etc. Especially now that you need 4 keys per Infernal Machine, and you have to make 4 different machines to do them all in the same game. A bit of communication is necessary there, so you don’t make multiple of the same machine, and come up one short of running all four in that game.On the bright side you no longer need to stack up your Nephalem Valor before you run the Ubers, and you don’t have to do all of them in the same game, since you can open whichever specific portal you wish. That should be very handy once the drop rates aren’t 100%; I don’t know about you guys but I always had terrible luck getting the portal and organ I needed in D3. I’d wind up with 5/4/0 Organs, farm up enough keys for 3 more Infernal Machines, hope to get just the Portal I needed in one try… and never get it. I’d have to burn all 3 Infernal Machines to get the one I needed, and then that would be the only one that didn’t drop an Organ. So then I was 6/5/0 after the game and out of keys.
That won’t be a problem in Reaper of Souls, since you can just make whichever portal you want. If you’ve got 4/4/3/0 Organs you can choose to make only the one Infernal Machine that opens that 4th portal, and do that one without any randomization about it. And if you don’t get an Organ you can just create a new game and try again, immediately, without any stacking NV or any other delays.
That convenience and specificity of targeting more than offsets the issue of added inventory space, with potentially 4 different keys and 4 different IMs in your stash in RoS.
The New Portal and Uber
We didn’t actually try to activate the Infernal Machines to open the portals in any particular order. I made the 3rd and 4th machines while Wolfpaq made the 1st and 2nd, and then I opened my two first. Thus it was just luck of the draw that our first three were the same three portals you see in the game today.
Luck, but cool, since we’d done the 3 known ones and were wondering where the 4th portal would appear and what we’d find going through it. You see their arrangement in the screen to the right, but I think that might be temp, since it’s kind of crowded now. It would make more sense to retain the semi-circle layout and just move the top center one to the side to make room for two at the top of the room, in my opinion.
Given that the NPCs have been shuffled all over the place in the Act Five town, changing locations multiple times since the beta started, I won’t be at all surprised if the Portals get the same treatment.
So what’s through the new portal? What’s the 4th Uber encounter? I’m not going to say here, just in case someone wants to avoid the spoiler and find out for themselves. There are pics of it below, but I’m leaving them in gallery form so you only see the thumbnails. Click at your own risk.
To briefly describe the battle without giving it away, you only get one Uber to start, but near the end of the battle it summons other Ubers to join the fight. In the only trial I’ve done so far we got a Siegebreaker and Zoltan Kulle added in, who both died a moment later when the main guy went down.
It wasn’t a problem since we were playing on kust Hard difficulty (MP1 equivalent) and were pretty overgeared for that low diff level, so the battle ended quickly. Playing on a higher difficulty level (to up your odds of an Organ, once they’re not 100% for beta test) that should be a pretty lively fight. Not sure I look forward to doing it in Hardcore, when it actually matters. Three Ubers at once could be pretty crazy. It was certainly vision-blocking, as I was in there tanking away with my Monk and couldn’t see a damn thing once Siegebreaker appeared almost between me and the camera.
The New Hellfire Ring
You see my ring below, plus the options available via enchanting that socket into something possibly better. I got a pretty good roll; big Dex and Vit, plus a nice roll on Critical hit Damage. If I could turn that ChC into Crit change it would be a really nice ring, but you can see how many options there are in the enchant menu, and at one Forgotten Soul per roll, those are long odds at a high cost.
Note that there’s only one Hellfire Ring design now. No more can you choose STR/DEX/INT/VIT on the roll. With 6 random mods and Loot 2.0’s smart drop system you’ll (almost?) always get a big roll to the attribute that’s your class’ mainstat, so if you do the Ubers with your Crusader and you want a HR for your Witch Doctor, be sure you stash the organs and actually make the ring with your WD, or you’ll get the wrong attribute.Note also that the ring is BoA (of course) but also has a lvl 70 requirement. The D3 version of the HR is account bound, but has no level requirement so it’s ideal as a twink. No more, so save any rings you have from D3 for twinking and Follower equipment in RoS.
The fireball of current HR is gone entirely. Now you get a “Fire Ring” effect that triggers every few seconds when you attack. What’s it do? A pretty cool explosion, actually. It’s nothing amazing; 200% weapon damage, but the fire goes out quite a distance and each part of the flame deals full damage and passes through all monsters in a path. On a really crowded screen you’ll hit dozens of enemies, almost everything within say 30 yards and then a lot more outside of that all the way to the edge of the screen, and if you’re a melee char in the middle of the horde that can be a pretty nice bonus.
Beware; the fire goes quite a distance and only stops for walls. While clearing a rift to test out the ring’s proc effect one of the fire fields activated a Treasure Goblin who was well off the screen and who I hadn’t seen yet. Only the text notification clued me in, and then I had to run around wildly to try to pick up the gold trail before he got away. The devs might actually need to reduce the distance the Fire travels, since it was going off the edge of the screen every time.
The timing of the proc doesn’t seem real tied to your attack rate or behavior. I used the ring on my Monk who was in melee combat, hitting constantly at about 2 APS, and saw one proc every 3-4 seconds. And I tried the ring on the Enchantress who was doing her tag along behind thing and hurling her purple missiles in every now and then… and saw one proc about every 3-4 seconds. The procs did much less damage from her, since she was not surrounded by a ton of enemies when they went off, and of course as in D3, she only gave me 1/5 of the EXP bonus when using the ring.
Here’s a video I shot of the game with Wolfpaq’s DH and my Monk. Apologies for the image quality not being real high; I need to fiddle with the settings on my capture and encoding software, I guess.
The only real drama comes during the ZK + Siegebreaker Uber battle due to SB’s Reflects Damage property getting what felt like a huge boost. Wolfpaq’s DH got embalmed right at the start thanks to his big DPS and Fanaticism attack, and then I had to spend the rest of the fight running around waiting for my Serenity to cooldown so I could activate it again and get in a few hits, without killing myself, before it was time to run around again. Load up on the LoH and Regen before you head into that battle, me hearties.