Beta Patch 16 Changes Details

There aren’t a lot of changes in this patch, at least not in the early content we can see in the beta.

At no point during the Diablo III beta test have I needed healing from an NPC in town. The option has always existed though, courtesy of Brother Malachi, who can be found ranting and raving on the path between the stash and the front gate. Presumably he’ll become more necessary later in Act One, and other NPC healers will be handy in later acts, so to make him easier to find, he’s been given a big red heart on the minimap.

Incidentally, if you’ve not spoken to him, try it some time. He’s kind of annoying with his screeching doomcrying whenever you run past, but I like that he’s a pessimistic healer. According to him, everyone’s going to die and the world is doomed… but at least you’ll face that fate with a full HPs bar!

Captain Daltyn’s Frozen Upgrade

One very noticeable change is DiabloWikiCaptain Daltyn, the zombie that crawls up out of the floor in Adria’s Cellar, now has a boss ability where five little frozen rocks appear in the air, all around the area, during the battle. They grow in size for about a second, then explode, each dealing a Frost Nova that damages and freezes any characters in the vicinity. Amusingly, they have no effect at all on Leah, who keeps plinking away with her useless little arrows while you are blue and motionless.

Most likely this is a preview of the sort of attack that DiabloWikiFrozen bosses will have later in the game, since each of the little ice balls looks just like the one you see now when you kill a Frozen boss, champion, or minion. Those appear right on top of the boss though, and only when they die.

New Boss Modifiers Enabled

I haven’t seen it myself yet, but some players have reported finding bosses with Waller and Jailer DiabloWikiboss modifiers in the Den of the Fallen level 2. Previously these mods had only been seen in the “Beyond the Gate” levels that are reached after the beta. Other higher level boss mods had previously been found on that level as well (and nowhere else) so beware in the Den of the Fallen, since level 2 is potentially the hardest content in the entire beta.

Update: Several players in comments say they got those guys in the previous patch, so not new to this one. (I didn’t play much in the last patch thanks to the new 0.2 patcher with the infamous agent.exe rendering the beta unplayable for WinXP machines 3 weeks ago.)

Skill Interface Unchanged

The biggest non-change is the Skill UI. Despite the fervent hopes of many (most?) players, the same clunky, screen-filling, six-category, console-style skill interface remains. The “Elective Mode” is still there, and it enables you to assign skills from any category, but there’s no escaping the annoying, “six clicks to set a skill” interface.

Buy Trinkets

The NPC merchant over on the left side of town now sells rings, via a new “Trinkets” tab, once your character has reached level 6. They’re fairly price, but can offer huge bonuses, for the level. See the screenshot below; +2-4 damage and +3% attack speed on a ring is fantastic for that early in the game. OP, even.

DiabloWikiRings were a very common drop throughout the entire beta, until the previous patch raised their item level considerably, thus making them almost impossible to find in the early beta content. So now you can’t find them until after the DiabloWikiSkeleton King, (with some farmable exceptions) but you can just buy one that’s got better stats than 99% of the found rings in previous versions of the beta?

Skill Changes

A few skills changed around, and we got some rune effect shuffling as well.

The first rune effect in the Wizard’s DiabloWikiRay of Frost was previously DiabloWikiSleet Storm, at level 7. That one has been swapped with DiabloWikiNumb, which was previously available at level 38. Numb increases the movement speed debuff from 40% to 60%. This is probably a more useful rune effect for the low level, as Sleet Storm was a powerful defensive ability best used against multiple melee attackers. It also made nonsense of the annoying skill UI category system, turning your first “Secondary” skill into something that should have been in the “Defensive” or “Conjuration” categories, though I doubt that was a relevant factor in the skill rune reordering.

The Monk’s first rune effect in DiabloWikiFists of Thunder got shuffled as well. DiabloWikiBounding Light was previously at level 6, and it created a powerful chain lightning effect on the money hit, that was very useful against large groups of enemies. That’s been moved miles away, and the rune effect at 6 is now DiabloWikiThunderclap, which was previously found at level 52. It causes the Monk to teleport to the target and release an energy shockwave that deals lightning damage over a 6y radius.

Another obvious change is the first rune effect in the Witch Doctor’s uber-useful DiabloWikiGrasp of the Dead. It was previously DiabloWikiGroping Eels at level 7, which increased the damage. That one was switched with DiabloWikiUnbreakable Grasp, which does nothing to the damage but increases the slow debuff to 80%. As even the plain GotD is hugely OP in the early going, I can see why they decided to move the +damage one to a later stage.


Numerous players report the knockback property on bosses is much more noticeable than previously, and that it sends your character and minions staggering back a much greater distance.

If you’ve had time to play some, feel free to stick your observations or additions into the comments, and I’ll update this OP with other new stuff as the day progresses.

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29 thoughts on “Beta Patch 16 Changes Details

  1. The jailer mod in the Den is not new from this patch. I ran into some bats with that mod over a week ago.

  2. Am I hallucinating, or did Quill Rats get a new look? I thought they used to walk on all fours, but now they’re bipedal.
    Maybe I am hallucinating :/

    I hadn’t noticed the rings… just checked and there they are (on Radek the Fence). They ARE pricey, since you need 4 per char (two each for you and the templar). My dude spawned two identical ones, though, which is kind of a waste, considering you can buy as many as you want anyway :/

    • 2 on the templar is a huge waste.  Its hard to understand the reasoning behind this change other than to simply make the vendors more worthwhile.. but why?  Its very unlikely we’ll be combing through vendor’s stock (restarting games over and over..) past Normal difficulty.

    • The quill fiends have always moved on 4 feet, but also stood up on their hind legs when idling or attacking.

  3. Hey ”
    New Boss Modifiers Enabled”

    Old info, that was in patch 15 in den of the fallen, I think it was even in patch 14 (but cant confirm that) just that i was already in patch 15

  4. Good stuff 🙂 , but I can’t see how you could ever label “Sleet Storm” as a defensive move? It’s basically a close range badass channeling nuke. It has some defensive values, sure. But it’s definitly not a defensive move. At least not in my book. 

    • Yeah, I pretty much used it offensively as a PBAoE. Mixed very well with diamond skin. I’m disappointed with this change because I hate the skill in ray form.

    • To me it always seemed like a channeled version of frost nova (before frost nova lost its damage component) so it was both offensive and defensive, but yes the skill itself has always been more about the offense (even with numb since it doesn’t take away damage like it originally did).

    • I see it as a larger radius version of Frozen Armor that forces you to stand still. So more defensive than offensive, but clearly a mixture of the two, since you’d always want to use it in special situations, ideally when you’ve moved into the midst of a lot of enemies.

      • Except that it does more damage per cycle than the other two channeled secondaries…

  5. It would be more fun if instead of healing, Brother Malachi just blathered on and on and maybe even tried to get you to hate women’s reproductive rights or science or modern medicine.

    Then you notice that among all the “Figment is the Answer” and “Pausing Stops a Beating Heart” bumper stickers on Brother Malachi’s truck, he’s got a pair of truck balls swinging off the trailer hitch. You realize the guys a hypocrite and nothing is happening. He’s full of bull and you are still bleeding HP, so you go across the screen to a doctor and actually get healed. Of course, if you don’t subscribe to an in-game insurance policy, you pay twice as much.

    But, then, three months later 23 bills show up for your medical costs and say you owe 10 times the amount of gold you have and your insurance company won’t pay it because they don’t believe you were bleeding HP and just elected to get healed. You try to convince other players who are suffering the same innephalym (that’s Diablo for “inhumane”) practices at the hands of a for profit insurance system, and you even go as far as to elect Tyrael as the first Angel president, but, alas, you find out the in-game insurance company bought out the chat channels and the developers and have convinced half of the players that this would deprive them of their “freedom to choose” – the choice being between one thieving insurance company and another.

    You want to see who these players who have been fooled are, so you go check them out. It turns out they are all standing around Brother Malachi who is now telling everyone that Tyrael is a Muslim Kenyan socialist Hitler. You give up and transfer your character from the “Merica” server to a Canadian, French or Scandinavian server, where your RMAH fees are the same, but cover all your healthcare –  which, by the way, only makes up 10% of the GDP instead of 19% on back on “Merica” server. You now get labelled a “freedom hater” by the people standing around Brother Malachi and the insurance-owned media.

    (The characters and events in this forum post are not intended to depict any real-life persons or incidences. Any similarity is purely coincidental.)

    • But then they realize that the Canadian sever is bland and sucky and move back to the “Merica” server despite its shortcomings… 😉

    • Yeah lets all go to Canada where they let marxist’s onto the voting ballot and say “…we’re not that close to communism, eh?”
      Ignorant fools, this is a true story saw it w my own eyes.
      “oh sorry, eh”

      • In response to Yes, because in a democratic country voting should be limited to only the parties you like. 🙄 
        A communism does not equal the opposite of democracy, and capitalism does not equal democracy. These are models of economic production and regulation, and so long as the officials obey the democratic rules of governance (i.e., election laws, campaign finance laws, limits on powers and terms in office, respecting public will, accountability, transparency, etc.) the model adopted is democratic. I don’t support the party, but if the electorate supports certain regulations on their economy then those regulations are democratic. 
        And part of a democracy is the ability for anyone to run for office so long as they respect these principles. You are not so dimwitted as to believe democracy is limited to two parties who adopt virtually identical economic platforms? thanks to anti-democratic campaign finance laws, which enshrine corporate bribery at the highest levels, both your parties call for austerity measures while using taxpayer money to subsidise the richest multinationals in the world, which offshore labour for their personal gain and the detriment of your own population. 
        The corporate-owned media and these two parties then divert attention from this by reducing public debate to degree to which they are willing to discriminate against homosexuals and women and to abandon poor children, the unemployed, the mentally ill and the elderly to insurmountable destitution. And the only way these multinationals and their two puppet parties succeed in this endeavour in banality is that the people lack education and financial security – the blame for both of which largely lies with these multinational, this mercenary media and these bought-out parties. This lack of education and financial insecurity mould people into the personification of greed and ignorance, making them so self-concerned that they easily have the rug being pulled over their eyes and are susceptible to being brainwashed into believing, “Hey, our fate is not at all attached to these members of our society who live just down the street.”
        Meanwhile, the quality of life in states that have implemented universal safety nets for all common necessities (housing, healthcare, education, etc.) have lower costs of living; better living, education and working conditions and higher quality of life.
        Thanks anyway for the lesson in anti-democratic ignorance, Yank, but your help is not needed and you’ve got your work cut out for you at home.

  6. Haven’t played it much yet, but Hammer of the Ancients got a graphic upgrade, and Bash seems to knockback further when it procs.

    • Are you sure? Because it seems like skills that do a knockback can do it for random distances. At least that is how Lashing Tail Kick seems to work. Sometimes it will knock a monster off the screen and other times it will knock the same type of monster a few “yards.”

      By they way, the way Hammer of the Ancients looks now is not actually new… They seem to have reverted it back to the way it used look in pre-beta builds. The sound effect for it, however, seems to have had some extra versions added in…

  7. IS malachi related to Pepin the Healer at all, will we find out in diablo 3?! i wonder!?!?!?!

  8. Yeah, I do agree that Skill Interface looks clunky and could do a total makeover. At the very least, give us an interesting image on the background, not just that huge brown box. It doesn’t feel innovative, presentable or modern.

  9. I’m surprised they didn’t nerf and/or move Splinters… it is the highest damaging rune of Poison Dart and has the added benefit of being able to hit additional targets if the first enemy dies (or by some miracle is able to move out of the way from the second two darts). The fire darts one is the second highest unlocking one and pales in comparison to the others…

    By the way, the Collector merchant guy also go a new tab. He now sells weapons in addition to the armor and misc tabs. I guessed they felt like unlocking those two vendors needed to be more rewarding so you would go back to them instead of just the miner.

    • Or maybe he doesn’t… Oddly when I was playing though with my sc wizard last night to unlock hc, he had a weapons tab with items for sale, but now today, when going through with my hc monk and barb and starting a new game with my wizard, he doesn’t have it anymore…

  10. In regards to Boss modified it seems \Knockback\ had the distance really increased on far they it tosses you and your pets.

  11. A few small things: Haedrig’s Apprentice now gives you a magic item each time, instead of several white items. They fixed the lore entries, so that picking one up will no longer open the journal/quest window.

  12. I personally don’t like the way the heart appears on the map for the healer. I’ve never complained during the whole art controversy… but everytime I see on the heart… seeing it so out of place with the other colors and being so cartoony… I just see rainbows… and then unicorns… and they haven’t even released the secrete rainbow level yet :/

    • I think it is, I almost had my ass handed back to me a couple times by a group of winged bats in cath level 1 and had to backtrack, caltrop and impale a lot to get them down with my DH (they were knockback)
      I think it’s a good thing that it’s harder and one of the thing I noticed is that good gear doesn’t drop often so they probably increased monster dmg and HP and yourself have crappier gear so its a combined effect

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