Reaper of Souls Beta Test First Impressions


As you guys saw in the previous news posts, the Friends and Family stage of the Reaper of Souls beta test got off to a surprise start on Tuesday evening. I was lucky enough to score an invite as one of those (fansite) friends and as soon as I had the 16 gig download and install rolling, I leapt in with… my Monk. My Hardcore (formerly) Paragon 70 Monk. I was curious to see the end game, to play with Adventure Mode and Bounties and Nephalem Rifts, and while I want to do a Crusader too, it wasn’t my first priority. In that I seemed to be fairly alone, since I know six other people who are in the Beta so far, and all 6 went with a Crusader from level 1 for their first play action.

My first big legendary upgrade. Doubled my DPS.

My first big legendary upgrade. Doubled my DPS.

So, this is not a Crusader first impressions article. It’s an end game, from 60 to 70 report, with a bit of attention to Monk skills but mostly talking about AdMode, Rifts, Bounties, Paragon Points, but mostly Loot 2.0. I was very curious to see how the new loot worked, how I’d upgrade equipment as I leveled up, what Magic Find would do now that it’s been so nerfed in RoS, how much of a difference there was between pretty good gear in D3V and gear in Reaper of Souls, etc. And I certainly found out. There are huge differences, more in some areas than in others, and I found the growth curve very interesting.

So, here are some topics and issues of note, mostly focusing on items: enchanting, transmog, legendary finds, upgrades compared to D3V gear, new affixes and item scarcity, upgrading, gems, and other related topics. Before I start, bear in mind what Jason Regier urged when I interviewed him at Blizzcon, and don’t read too much into Datamining. This RoS beta is basically life-action datamining at this point, with some bugs and inconsistencies and many changes coming during the remainder of the beta.

Item Upgrading

So, I played a pretty well-geared Hardcore Monk from 60 up to 70, all in Adventure Mode. I collected bounties and did some Nephalem rifts, and played in all five acts. What was it like? How did the gear upgrades go in Loot 2.0? Should you throw away all your current gear in D3V? Will everything your using now be obsolete by level 65?

*pause*

ros-blood-shards1Yeah, pretty much. I’d upgraded 5 or 6 of my items by 65, all but one from finding new Rares, and once I got more organized, built up enough Blood Shards to start gambling and salvaged up enough other mats to start enchanting, I switched out all the rest of my gear save for the DiabloWikiMempo of Twilight helm, DiabloWikiWitching Hour belt, and DiabloWikiInna’s Temperance pants.

If you know the stats on the top items in Diablo 3, you already know why I haven’t found upgrades for those items yet. Technically I have.. I’ve found or gambled rare pants and belts that were slight upgrades on damage and huge upgrades on hps and res, but I didn’t want to give up the Movement Speed and Attack Speed bonuses, since neither of those were replicated on the rare “upgrades.” Soon, though.

Click through for much more. A discussion of general upgrade pace (300k hps by 70 is nice), then specific details on enchanting, gambling, transmogrify, the new mega-level gems, details on the legendary items I’ve found so far, and much more.


Upgrade Pace and RoS Monster Difficulty Scaling

How fast you upgrade your character’s gear once you enter RoS at level 60 varies greatly with the luck of your RNG, how assiduously you gamble and enchant, how good your D3V gear is, etc. I play HC in D3V so my gear is pretty optimized on resistance and vit, and there aren’t any bad pieces, but my raw DPS is a lot lower than a well-equipped softcore Monk.

Bear in mind that you lose your current Paragon level passive bonuses when you enter RoS, while gaining DiabloWikiParagon Points to spend as you see fit. My Monk was Paragon 70, so he lost 210 Dex and 140 Vit, and didn’t get back anywhere near that much stat from Paragon Points. I assigned the PPs cautiously, because Hardcore, so I sunk all of my DiabloWikiCore Tab points into Vit, and then most of my DiabloWikiDefensive Tab points into +%Life. Thus I entered RoS with around 85k hps and oh… 85k dps? I don’t remember exactly, and the DPS number is artificially lowered by my Monk using a Stone of Jordan. (For the skill damage bonus to Sweeping Wind, Spirit regen boost, and the huge boost to Elite damage.) Those points into Life % really paid off later though, when I doubled and tripled and quadrupled my Vitality, and the Life % multiplied that tremendously.

ros-item-bracers1At first I felt overgeared. I played on Hard (the 2nd level) and it was quite easy at level 60. It felt about like MP1 or maybe MP2, but with much lower monster density. The only thing that was harder were some of the Elites, as their damage seems considerably buffed, especially from elemental attacks, and some of the new Elite Affixes were tricky. (Wormhole teleports you to a random location, usually right into some huge Poison Enchanted explosion, Thunderstrike deals steady lightning damage to you while you’re near the monster, and Orbiter sends out dozens of little lightning pulses that whittle you steadily.

That said, most of those modifiers became nasty once I was closer to level 70. Right at the start, up to level 64 or so, I felt a little under on my damage, but over on my defense and res, since I was taking hardly any damage. The first upgrades I found were shoulders and bracers, neither of which were great, but with hundreds more to vit and dex, it’s easy to see green on the numbers for new items.

The general trend over time was pretty much that; huge stats offsetting loses to D3V stats, chiefly critical hit chance and damage. Critical damage more than anything; I found bracers and gloves and jewelry with CC, but CD is much less common in RoS, seemingly never appearing on weapons, and I only saw it once or twice in big numbers of jewelry. And since Ros Rares seldom roll more than 3 Primary stats, a trifecta is extremely unlikely in RoS, much less a quad or quinfecta with mainstat and/or +damage added in.

I didn’t track my DPS and HPS that closely, but they moved up steadily, and in big leaps. Around level 65 I was surprised to notice my hps were over 130k, and not long after they were at 220k, thanks to several items iwth 400-700 vitality. My DPS didn’t go up as quickly until I found my first legendary, a sword with 2800 weapon damage and 600 Dex, which instantly shot my total DPS from 130k to over 260k. (Screens of that sword and all my other legendaries can be seen below, in the Legendary section.) By level 70, when I’d replaced all my D3V gear except the belt, pants, helm, and amulet I was up around 330k HPs and 280k DPS. My toughness (the new EHP-style stat) had increased from 400k or so up to over 3.5m, though I join you guys in not yet having any intuitive sense what that number means or does.

The biggest trouble I had during the leveling? The big RoS nerf to DiabloWikiLife Steal. It’s cut 90% past level 60 and capped to zero at level 70, and for a Monk using Sweeping Wind with a Life Steal weapon providing 95% of my survival, that nerf was very obvious. By level 62 I had nearly died to several fairly simple bosses, just because I was slow to learn that I could *not* stand in Desecrator, or Plagued, or Molten, or other things I’d just have ignored in D3V where the Life Steal brought in enough hps to completely negate such attacks.

I found Bracers with LoH fairly quickly, but had no luck ever seeing any jewelery with that mod, and I couldn’t seem to get it on a weapon either. I went back to my old Unity ring for a while, just to get some, and generally played it safer, doing a lot more hit and run and movement, since I just could not stand still during Elite battles. (This was actually a pretty handy tactic to be forced into early on, since by level 68 and especially past 70, bosses were hitting soooooo much harder that any time standing still for more than a second or two became nearly lethal.)

One other weird thing; it’s really hard to fill up your health bulb when you have over 150k hps. It would be easy with Life Steal, but when your health is coming from 500 regen/sec and a lot of 1500 LoH clicks, it takes a looooong time to fill up. I kept getting down to maybe 1/3 in a boss battle, and then I’d mow through a few packs of trash mobs, and still have only 1/2 or 2/3 of my hps back. Which was scary going into the next boss fight.

Eventually I learned to use DiabloWikiSanctuary much earlier than in D3V. No more should it be saved until the last second as a panic button — I found it better to use much earlier in a battle, even if I still had high hit points, if I saw a situation coming where I was certain to take a lot of damage. Even if it wasn’t going to be lethal damage, it was better to avoid the the hindrance of dropping down to 1/4 hps and then needing to drink a potion (there is only one type of potion now, and it always instantly heals 60% of your total hps) or else scrounging along with low hps for the next minute or two, trying to find enough trash mobs to refuel naturally.

I have no idea how relatively powerful my Monk is now. He’s vastly stronger than he was in D3V, with like 250k more hps and 220k more DPS, double the Armor, much higher resistances, etc. But that doesn’t mean he’d done more than tread water in relative terms, since level 70 enemies on RoS are much harder than the monsters you get in Inferno now on D3V. I’d estimate that my Monk was about a 7 on a 1-10 scale of Hardcore quality gear in D3V. (Nothing I was wearing could have been replaced for less tan 50m, but nothing was really spectacular, 500m+, either.)

The Monk is probably a 3 or a 4 now, on the RoS scale. He’s only got one legendary in use, several items are still D3V leftovers, he’s got a Ruby in helm giving up 100k+ vs. an Amy, no socket in his weapon, no specialty RoS legendaries, etc. On the whole, RoS at level 70 is harder for him than D3V was on MP3, though part of that is surely tactics. I’ve tweaked my build a bit, changing to some new and improved rune effects, but I’m sure there are better Monk builds in Ros than a classic Sweeping Wind/Bell Dropper. I just haven’t put in the time or research yet to try out new permutations.

But he made it to 70 without dying, though DiabloWikiNear Death Experience triggered twice, and came clsoe to triggering several other times. The worst was in battle with a certain witch in Act Five, where I was actually expecting to die, since NDE had tripped and was on cooldown, the boss was hiding out of reach, there were no enemies to beat on to get hps back, and the entire level was covered in wriggling blood blobs that were dealing steady damage. Pro tip: lots of regen. Also, and especially if you don’t have lots of regen, do *not* hit either of the health urns on that level unless/until you absolutely must. Otherwise you’ll use them up too soon and die (or nearly die) during the last quarter of the battle when you’ve got nothing left to heal from.


Gems Are Uber

The biggest surprise? Well, maybe not the biggest, but a big one. Gems are way, way, way, higher level. Anyone who has been saving up gems for RoS? Hoping they’d be valuable, or hard to replace? Stop. Just stahp. Sell them. Throw them away. Whatever. They have no value in RoS, at least in the current version. (I saved my gems for a bit, before the onslaught of Marquise gems made me realize they had no purpose other than as twinks, so then I just dumped them, along with almost all of the other instantly useless and outdated gear in my stash.)

In D3V the highest level gems you find are Flawless Squares, which are level 8 out of 14. You have to cube up to get to higher levels. I figured that would increase a bit in RoS, with gems of maybe level 9 or 10 or 11 dropping. I was on the right track, but way too low.

ros-gems1That’s a shot of my Inventory after about 6 hours of non-rushing play time, and those on the bottom, the lowest quality ones, are Marquise! Yes, that’s the highest level in the entire D3V game today, and they cost 50-100m to create, depending on the type and whether you’re HC or SC. Guess what? Marquise gems drop all the time for a lvl 60-70 character in Reaper of Souls. So do the next level, which are called Imperial Gems.

There are some oddities about it.

The weird thing is there’s no scaling up, which makes me wonder if it’s just a bug or an experimental setting in the beta. When I converted over my Monk and leapt into Adventure Mode at level 60, I found some Flawless Squares, and then found some more at level 61. And then suddenly at level 62 I found Marquise, and never anything lower than that from 63-70.

There are drawbacks to Marquise, of course. For one thing, they’re 5m a piece to unsocket. I quickly dumped all the Flawless Stars and other lower level gems in my gear and stuck Marquise in, but then I was pretty much stuck with them, since I wasn’t going to spend 15m gold to change around the sockets in my chest armor. What I ended up doing was just burning my initial items by salvaging them, which destroys the item but removes the gems, for free, in the process. I did that since I quickly found big upgrades for almost everything I was wearing from D3V, but also since the beta is on a PTR-type realm where there’s no long term lasting consequences.

Upgrade costs are weird too. To combine 3 Marquise into an Imperial costs 50m gold. It must get higher from there, right? Like 80m for the next level up? Try 10. Yes, ten gold for the next level. Plus one scroll of “Scholarly Writing” which is like the higher level Tome of Secret. I don’t think this is a bug; I think it’s just not finished yet. I think the devs literally have not yet had time to go into the spreadsheets and enter prices for the gem upgrades above Marquise, since the second level above Imperial was 10 gold also.

So, is this the new level of gems or is this just a weird thing they’ve thrown into the RoS beta for testing purposes? I lean towards the later, but I still think we can expect to find several tiers higher gems in RoS, if not Marquise quite so readily.

ros-gem-diamond-imperial


Gambling

Gambling is done via a new NPC. She’s got no lore or dialogue or personality or style; Gheed has not returned. Even the gambling method and pricing is very understated (and I think a WiP). Her menu simply shows one of every type of item in the game (except for quivers), and for 5 Blood Shards you can buy one. (No gold cost, or any other mats.) I probably bought 60 or 70 gamble items, and got upgrades to several armor slots from them. About 60% were rare with about 40% magical (I never saw a legendary from gambling and have no idea if that’s even possible.) and as cheap as they were, and lacking other compelling things to spend Blood Shards on, the game is basically begging you to gamble.

I suggest you take it up on the offer.


Transmogrification

I tried out the Mystic’s toys right away, and did enjoy the Transmog even though it’s kind of WoW-style “dressing up the dolly.” It’s very easy to use and works just like you see in the RoS preview video. You only have a few Transmog options at first; all the low and medium level base items in each armor and weapon slot. If you upgrade the Mystic, which was quite cheap, she gains more recipes with each level. I pinged her up to level 10 right away, but higher than that required some mats which I hadn’t found yet.

Transmogged shield gleams in character selection screen.

Transmogged shield gleams in character selection screen.

When you find legendaries the Mystic learns those when you ID the item. You don’t have to take it to her or anything; you just ID it and then the next time when you go to the Mystic and look in Transmog for that item type she’ll have the legendary at the end of the list, and you can select that look for the item you currently have selected.

The prices were very low in this early testing, like 50 gold to transmog an item to a normal base item type and 500 to the legendaries I’d found. All very cheap and hardly even a gold sink, so perhaps the prices will be adjusted higher in time? I transmogged several of my items before I even started playing, turning my Monk’s mismatched shield, Mempo helm, Inna’s chest, and spiky Archon crafted shoulders into streamlined, complimentary, bronze-hued items from the highest base set available. They were level 70 items, I think. They weren’t item looks you can get in D3V, at any rate. Later on I TMed my shield into the look of the


Enchanting

ros-enchant-sequence1Enchanting was awesome in theory, but had issues in execution. It works just like they showed it in the RoS preview movie, and I put together a step by step image to show it in action.

The system functions okay, though the interface looks a little clunky and remedial.

  • It uses an dark blue text that’s not very readable.
  • It’s not clear which mods are primary and which are secondary in the Enchant display (you have to move the mouse over to your Inv to hover on the item).
  • Sockets are a primary stat, despite the fact that they display at the bottom of the list.
  • Items don’t display anything to tell you they’ve been Enchanted already, so it’s easy to forget when you’re finding new gear all the time. (Transmogged items get a little purple swirl in the corner.)
  • Items should show which mod was enchanted also, since again, it’s easy to forget.
  • There also needs to be an easier/quicker/more obvious way to decline the two offered affix rerolls. Currently you have to move the pointer to click on your current affix, or else hit Esc and just close the whole window. It would be nice if you could instantly refuse the options and roll again, since you generally have to roll several times to get an upgrade. (The price goes up about 15% of the current price each time you reroll the same item, and items vary wildly in price. I paid around 18k for a roll on my shield while my amulet was over 1.5m for the first roll.)
  • That said, I think the interface is an early version and will be spruced up in iteration and polishing. (Many things in this beta seem rushed; this is earlier in the dev cycle than I’ve ever seen a Blizzard beta test go public.)

    ros-enchant-awesome1The more substantial issue is a lack of affixes. I tried to upgrade secondary affixes on all of the Rares my Monk had brought over from D3V, and was seldom able to upgrade, or to upgrade to anything impactful. The image to the right was an actual roll I got on a newly-found item, but the others weren’t much better. There seemed to be only a handful of affixes available, especially in the secondary slots, and they were all crap.

    At one point I found a weapon upgrade, a Monk Fist weapon, and I rerolled it like six times, trying to turn one secondary slot into something more useful. I never could. There were only 4 or 5 possible affixes, none of them any good, and they just kept repeating and repeating. The options were something like:

  • +90-120 experience per kill
  • 1.5-2.5% chance to stun target
  • 1.5-2.5% chance to freeze target
  • +10-13% to Seven Sided Strike. (That skill was on the item to begin with.)
  • And it just kept repeating those, with varying values on them. SSS over and over again; never any different Monk skills, and plenty of rolls I’d get like +92 exp per kill, and +101 exp per kill for the two options. Which was annoying, and felt pointless. There were more affixes possible, I saw lots of them on other items that I found, but the game seemed to get stuck in the same few possibles in the RNG when you rolled and rerolled the same item.

    The larger issue is that enchanting is almost never a big fix or improvement. All the things you can change on secondary affixes are icing on the cake. At best. More like a sprinkle on the icing on the cake. With armor you’ll shift between different individual types of resistance, or add 1-2y pickup radius, etc. Very minor changes that hardly seem worth it. The big changes are in primary stats, but you hardly ever find anything with more than 3 primary stats and usually all 3 are pretty good. On a weapon you’ll get get +elemental damage, +mainstat, and a socket on those, with 2 secondary mods of no importance.

    ros-item-bug1

    Above you see my Monk’s current weapon, with a weird name bug on a wand I found. The rare Monk fist has the prototypical crap stats in the secondary slot. You could reroll that 10x and you’d get nothing but more of the same. +EXP, +some tiny % chance of cold/freeze/stun on hit, etc. Which mod did I enchant? The IAS in the primary slot. As you can see, it’s not a very good weapon, in terms of multiple mods. No socket, no +%damage… it’s just a really good roll on total damage, it has nice +Dex (that’s actually a quite common/average mainstat for level 70 weapons; only the DPS is standout quality). The lucky part was it spawned with a junk 3rd primary stat; Life for Spirit Spent, as I recall. So I rerolled that, hoping for a socket, and after a couple of rolls I got IAS and stuck with that, since it was a considerable DPS boost. It’s not great, but I hope to find a much better weapon so I wasn’t going to put too much effort into perfecting this one.

    You can get great things with Enchant, though. My chest armor is a pretty good example:

    ros-chest-armor1

    This rolled (via gambling) with a very uncommon 4 primary stats. The last one was +defense, which I rerolled several times until I got 3 sockets, and kept that. And yes, I should have put 3 Diamonds into it. That’s really an imbalance on value in socketing; this character has something like 3100 vitality and 550-650 resistances, so obviously there’s hugely more value from 70 more Res All than 70 more Vitality. I only had two diamonds at the time though, and I wasn’t putting a huge amount of thought into my item upgrades, since I was finding or gambling a new one every level or two anyway.

    Another imbalance is Item Set bonuses. They’re pathetically small now, at least the +stat ones. I was wearing Inna’s chest and Inna’s pants on my Monk before upgrading to that rare armor. Yes, Inna’s chest had some nice stats, but that rare gained me nearly 1000 in vit + dex, and 89 res all. And losing the +120 dex from equipping two items of Inna’s was almost irrelevant in the bigger picture. Even if a level 70 version of Inna’s chest had something like +700 Dex / +500 Vit, the set bonuses would need big buffs to remain relevant.


    Legendary Items

    I’ve found five so far, and I’m currently using none of them, though I’m going to switch to the Gift of Silaria when I play next. (I found it right at the end of my last game.) I used the Doombringer for a while earlier, and when I found it I gasped since it was a gigantic upgrade. The weapon I was using at the time is in the screenshot, and going from 1400 to 2800 damage on the weapon was amazing. My character’s DPS went from around 134k to 270k, and that was well worth giving up the LoH, especially since the Vit gain partially offset it.

    Speaking of the Doombringer, check out that legendary stat: +10% chance to block. As a Hardcore Monk who was using a shield, it should have been awesome but I honestly didn’t notice any real difference in my damage mitigation. That’s at least partially due to the fact that my Monk was low on resistances at the time, so my danger kept coming from elemental attacks by Elites, not by things I could block.

    Greater Horadric Cache contents.

    Greater Horadric Cache contents.

    I didn’t mention it in the overlong Enchanting section, but legendaries are tough to to enchant in RoS since that requires one Forgotten Soul material, and those are very rare. I’ve only found two so far, both from Horadric goodie bag drops (awarded for collecting Bounties). You also get them for salvaging new high level legendaries, and that’s tough since most legs you find in the early going will be huge upgrades over the rares you are already using.


    Conclusion

    Not a conclusion yet, since this is only scratching the surface. I’ve got a lot to add on overall difficulty level, new DiabloWikiElite Affixes (there are 5 I’ve seen so far), general upgrades to existing Elite Affixes and monster behavior, Adventure Mode and Nephalem Rifts, the new Clans system and interface, the Crusader, and much more. Those will have to come in another article though, since this one is overlong already.

    If you’ve got questions about the topics covered here, especially regarding items, modifiers, crafting, upgrading, etc, throw them into comments and I’ll reply here, or possibly collect answers to questions in another post, if there are enough to make for a juicy presentation.

    Comments

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    1. nice read! thx for sharing. one question, what have they done with the hellfire ring? can it go to lvl70? and the ubers.. easy at 70? or havent tried yet?

      • You mentioned monster density,is that related to difficulty level now? How are cyrpts still the place to exp farm? or did they nerf the whole area?

      • Lots of good questions in the comments here, so I’m going to collect a bunch for a new article. And I was going to cover a lot of other issues in a second article; things like leveling up and exp, adventure mode, crafting, mats, the economy, etc. And that’ll cover a lot of the questions too.

    2. Great article, Was watching some streaming earlier from a random dude. You mentioned streaming, when will any Incgamers start?

      Keep up the good work.

      • Moldran is not associated with Incgamers, but he’s very knowledgeable about the game and he’s not a total fanboy

        http://www.twitch.tv/moldran

        he’s not as critical of the game as many, but he will point out flaws if he sees them

        he did a lot of math and graph breakdowns in the original D3 – so he can be pretty thourough

    3. Life steal description: Life steal gets 0.10 multiplier at level 60. Life steal doesn’t work at lvl 70 at all. Life steal can be increased by items. Ok, now how will you handle LS affix on items in the end-game if will be useless? It won’t roll? I really HOPE so Blizzard or you gonna win the prize for most retarded mechanics ever…

      • Pretty sure Lifesteal no longer rolls on items in RoS. That mechanic is just there for carry over items from the current live patch. IIRC

    4. Great report. Did you notice any benefit from Life After Kill bonuses? Do any testing with Thorns to see if that mechanic actually works in RoS? The splash damage mod looks interesting.

      (Obligatory nitpick: You wrote “Sanctuary” in your article but I’m pretty sure you meant “Serenity.” Unless you meant “Inner Sanctuary” which would be an interesting skill change.)

    5. One thing that keeps bugging me is the PH over the items on all the screenshots.

      What does that mean, and why is it only on some items?

    6. Placeholder graphics/name/whatever

    7. Nice article, Flux!

      XP for next paragon level? And time how long until getting there in real life time?

      (In other words, you think we should be grinding paragon levels right now? Or the level 70 monsters will give much more XP/hour even on pre-torment?)

    8. “””””At one point I found a weapon upgrade, a Monk Fist weapon, and I rerolled it like six times, trying to turn one secondary slot into something more useful. I never could. There were only 4 or 5 possible affixes, none of them any good, and they just kept repeating and repeating. The options were something like:

      +90-120 experience per kill
      1.5-2.5% chance to stun target
      1.5-2.5% chance to freeze target
      +10-13% to Seven Sided Strike. (That skill was on the item to begin with.)

      And it just kept repeating those, with varying values on them. SSS over and over again; never any different Monk skills, and plenty of rolls I’d get like +92 exp per kill, and +101 exp per kill for the two options. Which was annoying, and felt pointless.”””””

      LOL. This is exactly what i was talking about like 3 days ago. Pointless secondaries…

      • You are correct, but I think it’s buggy in the game now. Since there were many other secondary stats. On rares, often rare weapons, I saw bonuses to at least a dozen different Monk skills, some of them quite good. Like +13% to Sweeping Wind, etc. But when you’d reroll those in the enchant you’d just keep getting different values of the same skill that was originally on the item; never a variety of different skills.

    9. The big question is: have they buffed act1-4 monsters ? Or that there is a huge gap right now between acts1-4 and act5 difficulty ?

      • Right now the first Act is easier, despite the fact the in HP and damage monsters there are similar to the inhabitants of the later areas. Of course this is because they have much simpler abilities. Even if this doesn’t change it won’t be a problem and here’s why: Adventure mode.

        AM is the best way to farm items or XP and it’s completely randomized. You can do Bounties and Nephalem Rifts, but both will put you in all Acts, so the balance between the Acts is much less important. For this reason AM is really clever high level design decision from the devs.

        • Just to clarify, by right now I mean in the current, live version of the game, not in RoS. I don’t know if this will change in the expanions, I just wanted to say why I don’t think it will matter that much going forward.

    10. I’m sure this has been said but I need some clarification. As the game currently sits, is it pointless to hold onto any gear in D3V that we want for transmog in RoS? I know you unlock skins and you ID them, which is why I’d like to clarify. No sense in holding onto things I can’t use in RoS anyway.

    11. Thanks for the report, I’d pity the time you had to put in instead of playing, but F you, you at least get to play! πŸ™‚

      On a more serious note, while many things look great indeed, many seem to be wip and in spite of my optimistic view on ROS, I expect a lot of QQ upon release.

      However, hopefully, the lord of mosquitoes will steer the ship in the right direction and if I’ll get the amount of fun from ROS that d3v gave me, I’m a happy camper>.

    12. My apologies for the 3 posts.. I can’t figure out how to delete them.

    13. I saw marquis gems dropping in archons stream last night. I promptly unloaded all my (unused) gems on the ah. Only getting a million or so, but it seems gold is the only thing that will retain value in ros.

      • You may regret that.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if they added in some sort of ilvl scaling of gem power, rather than having so many fixed tiers. Since Flux says it went from dropped flawless squares straight to Marquis, it seems obvious they haven’t fully finished on the gem drop chances.

        • I realize it’s a chance I’m taking. If I’m wrong, I’ve got until March to buy them back.

          Here’s a quote from lead designer Kevin Martens that inspired me to do this:
          ‘People can do anything they want. They can corner any market and amass gold or gems or whatever. That will help them a little, but not a lot. It won’t give them a huge advantage in the next economy after the 2.0 patch.’

          I’m more inclined to bet on gold rather than gems, since it’s guaranteed to have some value in RoS.

    14. I’ve been playing the act 5 campaign mode methodically for a few hours now, and right now I just did a bounty and a rift. Level 68 and no legendaries or usable rares so far…
      Enchanting is nice, got my DPS up to 500k. Master difficulty with D3V items is quite hard (at least rare and champs).
      Really love transmog actually. I was getting really sick of the look of zuni armor and boots.
      Tomorrow I’ll concentrate more on bounties to see if I can get some upgrades.
      Really missing life leech lol.
      Not sure why Blizz is trying to make the game hard again… I thought that experiment failed on May 15 2012 πŸ™‚
      Health globes seem to be dropping way less often.

    15. Why’d they change the font of loot on the ground? Ugh.

      • If you don’t like it you can also choose to display items on the ground as icons, just like in the console version. I quite like that option. Less visual clutter means that I can concentrate on what’s important: dodging attacks. πŸ™‚

      • Agreed… looks kinda weird, and I wonder if it’s intended.

    16. Nice write up – looking forward to more updates! At least I know I’ll be able to empty out my stash.

      One question – any noticeable improvement in drops from resplendent chests/treasure goblins/purple monsters (other than bounties/Rift champions)?

    17. Thanks for the report, Flux.

      I was hoping they’d do something about currently useless affixes like “1% chance to freeze” or whatever, but it seems they haven’t gotten around to that yet. Several other affixes seemed to scale very poorly as well (e.g. +3000 life per kill on the Doombringer) so perhaps they’re saving itemization balance until the main systems and content are locked down.

    18. QUOTE

      so perhaps they're saving itemization balance until the main systems and content are locked down.

      That’s what they said before release. We saw how it turned out πŸ˜€

    19. Awesome report Flux, thanks. Keep writing down those juicy Legendary affixes. πŸ™‚

    20. the gameplay looks really fun and different with all the new monsters and abilities.
      It appears the gems still have no item lvl to equip.
      they are generating many more items with the same amount of storage space.
      the numbers are all just higher on items and monsters too.
      Monster density is localized to specific areas.
      So I need to see many more improvements or it’s just very much the same only higher numbers more items, different monsters with different abilities.
      thanks Flux, nice read!!

    21. yes … I have a question:

      can you get me in?

      pa pa pa please?

    22. what are the mats you use for enchanting?

    23. Thank you, Flux.

      Been watching a few streams myself to get a feel of things, and some thoughts on things:

      -EHP seems way more valuable now since sustain isn’t quite as simple as it used to be with LS, and it looks to remain valuable in the long run. It’s nice to see a lot of players stacking both defensive stats and offensive stats. The Toughness stat helps make things clearer in terms of upgrades, I think, and actually makes a big EHP boost tangibly exciting.

      -Trifecta is most certainly dead. CC/CD or IAS/CC maybe, but CB, Reduced CD, Splash Damage, and Reduced Resource could lead to some intense theory crafting for the best way to get the most out of these based on your build.

      -Enchanting is awesome. So many trash drops given potential they never would have had. A lot of “That sucks… well, actually, maybe not.”

      -The reward cycle is a lot more focused now. Instead of the bleak endless grind of mobs, the game does a great job of offering up huge rewards every so often with the Loot Caches. So even if you’re not getting anything from the monsters themselves, there’s always that cache to look forward to. And at the very least, you get crafting mats from them, which you always need, since enchanting is so appealing.

      • Since on Torment 6 white mobs have 300-400 million HP I have a feeling the Crushing Blow will be a must. Attack speed should scale well with that, so we almost have our theorycrafted Trifecta again. If Splash Damage can proc CB, then we have a winner for our third slot.

    24. Questions

      1 do elemental effects matter, other than cold?

      2 I noticed in a stream that music is more noticeable in act 5. Is this true in all acts?

      3 how does cooldown reduction on multiple items work? Is it additive or multiplicative?

      4 any improvement in first game load stutter or load lag?

      5 for the highest difficulties, is there scaling other than more hp and damage, ie more monster abilities or ai?

      6 any interesting new crafts?

      Please keep posting legendary stats!

      • 2 – Don’t know, but from what I’ve heard I think Nephalem Rifts have randomized music as well, so the answer is kinda yes.

        4 – Can’t comment, but I can tell you that there’s no load lag even in vanilla when you play it from an SSD. Buying one just for D3 would be overkill, but it helps so much with game and general system performance that if you play a lot I can’t recommend it enough.

      • I don’t know the answers to all of your questions, but I know that for #6 there are new legendary craft recipes. One of the benefits of playing on higher difficulties is that new legendaries and new craft recipes can drop. Also, I don’t know for sure, but I believe that the answer to #1 is also yes. I saw a bunch of people using fire attacks and burning enemies for a few seconds. I don’t know much about the other elements (I have only watched Crusader videos, and he uses physical, fire and holy), but if fire has a special effect, then it would follow that the other elements would as well. That said, I don’t know if they’re all in game yet. A lot of things seem to be placeholders or not quite finished/balanced, so maybe they only have a few elemental effects. Either that, or some effects are more obvious than others.

    25. Well…. That’s it. Good by incgamers. It was a fun 10+ year run, but with all the account bound going on… I kind of don’t care about diablo any more. Peace out everyone

    26. Ive experienced load lag on my SSD to be honest. Not nearly as bad as others are describing it, but still enough that in HC I wont just run out into the middle of the biggest group of enemies right after starting the game.
      SSD is awesome though.

      Very interested in the Elemental effect question too.

    27. Am I understanding correctly that each of the new Elite mods that you saw were causing unavoidable damage? Cuz if so: ultra-sadface πŸ™ πŸ™ πŸ™

      • From what I’ve seen, unless you have absolute garbage Toughness, that damage will never kill you outright. It’s still getting into a pack of enemies or taking direct hits from attacks that will do you in. It works more as an early warning to gauge how squishy your character is.

    28. I think the same. When i saw the white mobs with half a bil HP i said to myself \CB will be a must\ because there is no way you can get so much raw damage without CB. It seems CB is another trifecta sort of problem…

    29. Thanks for the write up, Flux. Looking forward to more!

    30. Thanks Flux keep up the good work!

      I have a question regarding to paragon experience and hardcore. Since at the moment paragon experience from fallen heroes is retroactively counted towards your total i think it is fair to assume there is no experience penalty upon death. Do you have any info on this or are you willing to test it with one of your non-active HC characters? πŸ™‚

      • All your earned exp counts in, and doesn’t get deleted. Xanth died with his HC P100 WD and didn’t lose Paragon Levels for his other chars. Though it would be pretty funny if he did….

        • I think I’ve read somewhere that XP from dead characters only count if they are still in the HC graveyard. Care to try this? It’s only a beta. πŸ™‚

    31. Curious to know if Crushing Blow functions exactly the same as in D2, or if it’s different (and if so, how).

    32. I’m beginning to get concerned the more I watch streams on the direction of the game, its seemly heading down the instant gratification that the console version gives. This initially gives you a great reason to play initially but in the long term its detrimental to the games “health”.

      Mainly I’m seeing streams hit level 70 and instantly be able to reforge gear and find new items so quickly (think 30 minutes) that boosts their stats so high they farm “hard” which is around MP6 in old school terms.

      The problem then compounds, once you start doing the higher tier of difficulties you start having higher legendary and item drop rates so you start getting insane items (1Handers rolling 3k+ damage ranges on rares). all of this with-in just 1-2 days of playing the game, so what will happen in 3-6 months time once EVERYONE is kitted out like this?

      You will be stuck int he same rut we are in now, you will hit a point where you are so decked out that finding upgrades is pretty hard to do, and you will likely be at a level where you demolish everything and the game will turn into you finding some random legendary that will give you a “game changer” type affix ie makes you try a different build but doesn’t actually change the game that much for you. You are still wiping screens, finding sub par loot rinse repeating.

      • The fundamental cause of this is that their item system is not broad enough. In D2 there was a lot of gear that was useful for different builds, different classes and also while you were levelling up. In D3 there’s a much narrower range of useful gear, and simply more of anything is always better.

        In D2 (and D1) you could spend a long time hunting for the “perfect” item, but in D3 it doesn’t really matter: once you’re doing 3,500 DPS, finding another item that does 3,505 DPS isn’t interesting.

      • Let’s wait and see shall we? It’s been 1 day of F&F beta.

    33. QUOTE

      Curious to know if Crushing Blow functions exactly the same as in D2, or if it's different (and if so, how).

      The tooltip for it stats that it “has a chance to inflict 1/4 of the mobs health as damage”

      • Weird wording. If you have 100% Crushing Blow, will you kill absolutely anything in 4 hits, every time, or will you go 3/4, then 9/16, then 27/64, etc?

        • It’s 25% current HP as damage, not max HP. You can never kill something just with Crushing Blows.

          • Thanks for answering CorpsieAU. Heh… it’ll be neat to see CB back in the game again…

            I almost think it could be better. For example… if I have an enemy at 25% of their life, it’ll do much less damage (possibly less than a non-CB attack) than if they were at full health. But in D2, CB did the same amount of damage each time (it just couldn’t kill the enemy). I almost feel this is a great stat when you’re starting to kill bosses, but that it would get less and less useful relative to your other attacks as the fight drags on…

            I’d rather have a CB mechanic where the amount of damage is a random percentage (%5-%25) but applies to enemy’s total HP with each hit, not current HP. I’d accept randomness in exchange for every hit having *some* chance to take off a huge hit of the enemy’s life.

            • I’m assuming a CB rolls alongside a regular hit. So, you swing, game rolls for damage, game rolls for crit, game rolls for CB (don’t know what order it rolls CB and crit, although it should always apply CB first before anything, you’d hope). Anyway, you roll a CB, but then you still have the regular damage/crit damage on top of that. So if you had 100% CB, you would at least be able to kill stuff. Otherwise people would be weapon/gear switching like crazy, front loading CB and then switching to CC/CD late in a fight, which would be madness.

    34. QUOTE

      You will be stuck int he same rut we are in now, you will hit a point where you are so decked out that finding upgrades is pretty hard to do, and you will likely be at a level where you demolish everything and the game will turn into you finding some random legendary that will give you a "game changer" type affix ie makes you try a different build but doesn't actually change the game that much for you. You are still wiping screens, finding sub par loot rinse repeating.

      This is true of all ARPGs. The only question is how long it takes, how gated the content is.

    35. QUOTE

      You will be stuck int he same rut we are in now, you will hit a point where you are so decked out that finding upgrades is pretty hard to do, and you will likely be at a level where you demolish everything and the game will turn into you finding some random legendary that will give you a "game changer" type affix ie makes you try a different build but doesn't actually change the game that much for you. You are still wiping screens, finding sub par loot rinse repeating.

      demolish everything and wiping screens in 30 min? lulz..that’s awesome.

    36. Thanks for the great write up, Flux! πŸ™‚

      After having watched both King Kongor, Moldran, Flux and others play the game for the last 24 hours, the game looks more promising than ever, and a deeper, more rewarding Single Player experience is exaclty what is going to save the game for me!

      A couple questions for you:

      1. How dominant is CB? It was probably my most beloved stat back in LoD, and I wonder how does it work and stack in RoS?

      2. Is there really any point in your opinion in keeping our old chars? I get the whole Paragon Level points thingy, but what about a fresh start, would that be really such a huge mistake? Kinda like Kripp’s approach here, and this is something I did back in 2000 as well with the launch of LoD.

      Thanks for the report, oh, and GIEB BETA πŸ˜€

    37. Nice post. I wonder how well life on hit will work with batdoctors. I rely on skorn to do mp8-10 hardcore and if i can’t heal nearly instantly i’m in trouble. My monk is probably used to the slow ticking up with life steal at ~160k dps or so. Waiting on PTR…..

      • Life steal is gone, and damage is higher than it was. If you rely on LS with your build in D3V, you will have to make major changes in RoS. I gave up on my LS weapon by lvl 62 when it was obviously not doing what I needed it to do.

        Witness Xanth’s article; dead HC WD Paragon 100 immediately in RoS, since the LS on his Zuni’s was no longer useful.

    38. the new patch .. are excellent .. please beta key!

    39. What about elemental damage? They said it will have the effect associated with it, not just visuals. Are these in?

    40. nice read, thx Flux.

      btw. with enchanting you can see which affixes can be rolled, when you click on the question mark.

    41. It’s chance to do dmg equal to 25% of current mobs hp (white mobs) and it’s half effective vs champions/elites – so 12.5%. Also looks like crushing blow chance has build in diminish return – still it’s massivly powerfull mechanic.

    42. Can someone tell me if I should disenchant stuff or sell for gold to vendors now at 60 before RoS?

      • Doesn’t really matter either way. You won’t use current crafting mats for long and getting gold will get much easier, due to Bounties and Rifts. Still, concentrating on getting gold is the only thing that makes any sense. Sell anything you can at the AH, the rest at the vendor.

    43. Well I was lucky enough to get a Beta Key. While I am enjoying the feel RoS has, I have 2 issues:

      1. The game crashes every 10 minutes or less, so I am not getting anywhere. Actually I gave the testing up because of this, for now anyways. Anyone else having this problem?

      2. I did a stupid thing, which was copy all my chars first, then I decided to make a Crusader, which seemingly deleted all the copied chars. Is that true (deleted chars on PTR) or is it just me being dumb as usual? Also, I tried the crusader a bit and then tried to copy my chars again but I could not. Is there a cooldown to do it or I can never do it again?

      Cheers

    44. Do the ‘legacy’ level 60 legendaries salvage into the new crafting mats?

    45. Amazing, can’t wait.

    46. Are the keywardens still there or the infernal machine event has been deleted from the game??

    47. My very first drop on my DH in Westmarch was a rare 1 handed xbow.

      I have high hopes for loot 2.0.

      Incidentally it was already ID’d…is that a thing now? I don’t recall that.

    48. All of these details leave me wondering when Blizzard will address the elephant in the room: the itemization is still crap and nothing shown so far seems to address it pointedly. This seems like a pretty major issue not to have at least started on it by now.

    49. QUOTE

      My very first drop on my DH in Westmarch was a rare 1 handed xbow.  
      
      I have high hopes for loot 2.0.
      
      Incidentally it was already ID'd...is that a thing now?  I don't recall that.

      Yep. From what i heard, all rares will be ID’ed immediately. You only need to manually identify Legendaries/Set.

    50. QUOTE

      My very first drop on my DH in Westmarch was a rare 1 handed xbow.  
      
      I have high hopes for loot 2.0.
      
      Incidentally it was already ID'd...is that a thing now?  I don't recall that.

      Yes, Blizzard is testing non ID for rare items. This can still change though.

      • GET RID OF ID ALTOGETHER!!! Ugh, such a stupid, worthless “mechanic” that hasn’t added anything to the game ever. Some of the stubbornness is maddening.

    51. But it was in Diablo 2. It must be awesome!

      • It was in Diablo I on blue items, and you had to buy ID scrolls individually (no books), and even if you went to Cain you had to click every item individually.

        I like the rares being IDed already. Makes the Book of Cain kind of irrelevant, since it’s not like you’re finding 10 Legs at a time that you need to ID them all at once.

    52. Any special feature for elemental attacks?

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