Blizzard’s Official Patch 2.4 Preview


patch2.4Blizzard has posted the promised Patch 2.4 preview, which they said (during the Blizzcon panel) would be live for testing on the PTR next week. There’s a ton of new stuff, including revamped item sets, dozens of new legendary items, new stash space earned via the Season Journey, new tilesets and dungeons, tons of new bounties, and much more.

Here’s a quote about the new Set Dungeons, which are custom-designed to provide interesting challenges for each class geared in a variety of item sets.

New Feature: Set Dungeons

With all these updated sets comes greater power, and, with our latest feature, greater challenge. We want to give players the opportunity to learn and master their sets inside and out. To do this, we’re introducing an entirely new set of challenges in the form of Set Dungeons. Once you complete and don the full six pieces of any given class set, you’ll receive a clue to track down an ancient dungeon designed just for you and your set.

These completely static dungeons are not randomized, and it’s up to you to decide how to best utilize your powers to complete these challenges. Mastering a set dungeon comes with cosmetic rewards unique to each set, but the truly dedicated can earn even more exclusive rewards by mastering all the sets from one class or even all 24 of them!

DH Set Dungeon: Shadow's Mantle

DH Set Dungeon: Shadow’s Mantle


Click through for the full preview and experience the EXCITE, should your withered, jaded form still prove capable of such a reaction?

Blizzard’s Official Patch 2.4 Preview:

Patch 2.4.0 PTR Preview

We draw ever closer to the Public Test Realm for Patch 2.4.0, and it’s time to take a look at what the next patch for Diablo III: Reaper of Souls has to offer! We recommend you grab a drink, maybe a snack, and get comfy—there are loads of new items, features, and quality of life changes to cover, so let’s get to it!

Table of Contents

Please note that this is only a preview. The below information does not reflect all changes available in Patch 2.4.0 and is subject to change. Some images represent works in progress, and may not be representative of the final product.


New Zone: Greyhollow Island

Explore a new stretch of Sanctuary by venturing to Greyhollow Island! This mysterious forested locale is steeped in intrigue, and rumors abound that those who visit are doomed to never return. Brave the wild beasts and supernatural creatures and unravel the mystery behind the tragedies that have occurred here. This new zone is exclusive to Adventure Mode, but be forewarned; the land itself is said to be hungry for blood.

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Expanded Areas: The Eternal Woods and Royal Quarters

In addition to an entirely new zone, Adventure Mode will be growing even bigger. We’ve expanded on two existing areas in Sanctuary to give additional variety to bounties and pique the interest of the most stalwart explorers.

We know already what lies beyond the gates of the Ruins of Sescheron, but what’s the land like before it? Take a look over your shoulder and wander the Eternal Woods, an undead-infested boreal forest featuring new events and bounties.

Have you ever wondered what lies beyond the rubble in Leoric’s Manor? In Patch 2.4.0, you’ll no longer need to speculate as the blockade has been cleared and the Royal Quarters are open for exploration! Learn more about the Skeleton King’s living days and discover hidden secrets that are bound to lead to more adventure.

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Revamped Set Items

One of our long-standing goals has been to bring more parity across class sets. Patch 2.4.0 is going to be a milestone in this regard, as we’re revamping, revisiting, or revising nearly every one of the 24 class sets in the game. Some will see total overhauls, like Thorns of the Invoker or the Shadow’s Mantle. Others will be getting their power or play style juiced up, like Inna’s Mantra or Firebird’s Finery.

We’ve also completely reworked two existing two-piece jewelry sets and will be adding a two-piece flail and shield set for the Crusader. These are bound to spur an untold number of never explored builds, especially for those of you who’d like to explore the boundaries beyond 6-piece class sets.

The amount of changes headed to each set varies, so keep a close eye out for our upcoming PTR patch notes for full details!

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New Feature: Set Dungeons

With all these updated sets comes greater power, and, with our latest feature, greater challenge. We want to give players the opportunity to learn and master their sets inside and out. To do this, we’re introducing an entirely new set of challenges in the form of Set Dungeons. Once you complete and don the full six pieces of any given class set, you’ll receive a clue to track down an ancient dungeon designed just for you and your set.

These completely static dungeons are not randomized, and it’s up to you to decide how to best utilize your powers to complete these challenges. Mastering a set dungeon comes with cosmetic rewards unique to each set, but the truly dedicated can earn even more exclusive rewards by mastering all the sets from one class or even all 24 of them!

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New Feature: Empowered Rifts

While not everyone is a virtual billionaire, we’ve heard from plenty of players that there just aren’tenough ways to spend your piles of filthy lucre. We agree, and our next feature aims at giving you a way to turn all that gold laying around into a greater chance of glory with Empowered Rifts.

When you enter a Greater Rift, you’ll have the option to choose to make your attempt an Empowered Rift. By spending some of your hard earned gold, you’ll increase the number of possible Legendary Gem upgrades at the end of a successful run by one, to a maximum of four. The amount of gold this will cost you varies based on the tier of Greater Rift you’re attempting, so spend wisely!

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New Legendaries

It wouldn’t be a new content patch in Diablo without a slew of new items. In addition to the numerous Set revisions being made, we’re adding over forty new Legendary powers in Patch 2.4.0. We’re adding new powers to existing power-less Legendaries, introducing completely new items, and even updating some existing powers that previously lacked that familiar orange text. We couldn’t possibly cover them all here, but enjoy this tiny taste of what’s to come!

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Revised Buff UI

When Kanai’s Cube was added in Patch 2.3.0, we knew we were opening up a level of power to all players that was completely unprecedented. With all these crazy new levels of power came an overburdened buff bar, and we immediately heard your requests to spiff up the user interface for better, clearer communication.

We’ve removed some of the more static buffs from the buff bar area, improving the skill bar to show duration and whether or not a given skill is active. This has cleared up a lot of space from the more precious temporary buff area for each class, and we’re excited to hear your feedback on this huge quality of life addition.

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More Stash Space

It’s been a long time request for players to have more room to store their treasures, and we’re pleased to announce the technology has arrived! With all the new stuff we’ve added and the loads more that are headed your way, it’s time to give you more storage for all of it.


So much room for activities!

We’re adding an additional gold-purchasable stash tab for all players with the Reaper of Souls expansion. If you’re concerned that’s not enough, don’t worry—we’re also adding a way for players to earn additional Stash tabs, up to a maximum of 10, through our Season Journey feature.

Stash space works differently for our Console players, so we’ll also be offering comparable new space on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One platforms. You’ll be able to purchase up to 350 item slots using gold.

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Season Journey Revisions

Seasonal players have spent Season 4 getting to know the Season Journey, a feature that details your adventure through any given Season, tailored for different styles of gameplay at every level. We’ve got some revisions headed to the Season Journey that are bound to make Seasons as a whole an adventure you’ll always want to re-explore.

We heard a lot of your feedback when it came to Seasons, so first up is a change that includes our non-Seasonal players: starting with Season 5, we will no longer be including new Seasonal Legendaries. Instead, all Legendary items headed to Patch 2.4.0 will be made immediately available to players regardless of Season participation.

However, we still want there to be item-based rewards as part of the Season experience. We’ve introduced Haedrig’s Gift, a special bundle of Set items you’ll receive on completion of certain stages of the Season Journey. Should you complete the first four chapters of the Season Journey, you’ll be guaranteed a full set of one of your six piece class sets. Which set applies to the Season will rotate with each new Season, so you’ll have plenty of opportunity to collect them all.

We’ll also be continuing to include cosmetic rewards, like banners and portrait frames, so don’t worry—there are plenty more of those to come!

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Season Rebirth

Sometimes, when you finish a Season, you just can’t wait to jump straight into the next one. We wanted to introduce a way for players to transition from Season to Season quickly and seamlessly, avoiding the tedium of the end-of-Season purge. The Season Rebirth option does just this, taking a non-Seasonal hero, reducing them to level 1, and stripping all their gear. Any gear removed from a hero in this way is automatically mailed to you in the non-Season, giving you thirty days to reclaim the items at a later time.

This change allows you to participate in a Season while keeping you’re hero’s name and hours played. This is a great option for when you’ve grown particularly fond of a hero and want to keep their legacy going or if you just want to jump straight into the newest Season. Bear in mind that your Paragon level, completed achievements, and other accomplishments all remain behind with your non-Seasonal heroes.

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New to PC: Action Combat

Players who have challenged Diablo on console may be familiar with this upcoming feature to PC and Mac. While you may already be familiar with Massacre and Destruction bonuses, these kill-and-destroy streaks function quite differently in the Action Combat system.

Massacre bonuses begin once you’ve killed at least fifteen or more enemies, and as you kill more, you’ll see this new bar accompanied with a timer that indicates how long you have to engage another enemy before you trigger your bonus. Completing a Massacre bonus gives you a boost to experience gained—the more monsters you kill, the higher the bonus.

Destruction bonuses occur when you chain demolishing destructible environment objects in the world around you, including barrels, stalactites, flimsy wooden doors, and more. Chaining together this wreckage will grant you a temporary boost to speed that will last longer the higher your chain reaches.

Finally, you can receive the Trap Mastery buff by defeating enemies through the clever use of environmental traps. This handy buff lasts longer based on the number of enemies defeated and grants you double resource generation for its duration.

The Action Combat feature will be available to all Diablo III players, regardless of whether you have upgraded to the Reaper of Souls expansion.

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And So Much More…

Patch 2.4.0 is a monstrous patch, packed to the brim with not only features we’ve seen requests for, but our own love letters to a game we have poured our hearts into and love dearly. We’re so eager to share all of this and more with you that we are aiming to launch the Patch 2.4.0 PTR in the weeks following BlizzCon so you can dive in and provide your feedback on all these new features.

We’ll have more information on how to participate on the PTR soon, nephalem, but in the meantime—we’ll see you in Sanctuary!

So what do you guys think? I’d think any honest objective of the promised patch contents has to be strongly positive… but I can imagine some players feel disappoint at a lack of big news at Blizzcon and thus no joy in the patch.

Also, this patch is clearly more of the same as the current game, even if the “moar” is pretty good. No big structural changes to the game, so most of the issues you guys voted as the biggest ones in D3 (discussed on our last podcast), are not addressed.

Comments

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  1. “It’s been a long time request for players to have more room to store their treasures, and we’re pleased to announce the technology has arrived!”

    the technology has arrived

    LOL

    • But only if you play seasons…

      At least you could get the legendaries after the season ended… this is such a bad move…
      I have no interest to keep playing with such limited stash space and so many items…

      • Yep. Bad move indeed. That decision is just tipping the tide away from fun and back into playing the game kinda being more like going to work, for all the players not actually enjoying a regular fresh start for a few more sparkles in the half-dry carrot.

    • I actually think that’s completely true. There are many indications that Blizzard’s server architecture is an outdated mess. I can believe that they couldn’t handle a simple increase in database size.

  2. lol that legacy set will be op. so if you have 13 ancients , you get 13*800% = 10400% dmg and 52% dmg reduction

    • But you can only have 11 ancients equipped plus that set, though that’s still not a small increase.

      • Edit: Assuming, of course, it doesn’t count the rings themselves in the calculation (I thought it was ancient legendaries, rather than any ancient).

    • Yeah there’s some weird mixed information about that item. On the site it says “800% per ancient item” but on the blizz panel it says “75% per ancient item” I wouldn’t be surprised if that 800% was a typo, or if it means 800% total increase.

  3. It’s actually 13*75% as can be seen from the stage screenshots.

  4. I play seasonal hardcore because i enjoy the fresh start, completing that first set.. leveling up gems. I enjoy all those facets of the game. I also enjoy competing on the leaderboards. So .. Rebirth ? seriously? these characters better not be included on the seasonal leaderboards.

    No more seasonal legionaries? So the only reason to play seasons is competing on fresh leaderboards? .. yeah those things dominated by the unaddressed botting issue.

    And the most baffling thing i took from the diablo blizzcon presentation, those set dungeons .. The wizard actually has a requirement to kill x amount of mobs with the firebirds death meteor? gonna work so well in hardcore.

    After pushing paragon 1000 in all previous seasons. I’m nonplussed about most of this. Good thing fallout and xcom2 will arive soon.

    • Why not? The only thing that makes any meaning and gets taken is hours played. Nothing more.

    • Rebirthed characters are reset to level one and all their items stay in non-season. It’s just meant to save you having to delete a character in order to create a new one.

      And Hardcore heroes survive death in set dungeons. (Although dying in a dungeon means you lose even in softcore.) I don’t think deliberately proccing one of your cheat deaths is too huge a burden in that instance.

  5. “Any gear removed from a hero in this way is automatically mailed to you in the non-Season, giving you thirty days to reclaim the items at a later time.”

    I didnt catch them saying non-season mail… are you sure? not gonna watch it again.

  6. I honestly don’t get the purpose of all these things. I liked D3 when it was fairly simple and monster bash-y with different skill choices and stuff, but this seems to have gone insane with the 500 different ways to do the same thing and my head just spins even thinking about getting back into the game now.

    It wasn’t even that complex when the choice was Bounties/Rifts/Greater Rifts. Now I just have absolutely no idea what I would even do if I logged in. Which I guess will just mean I continue not to log in until they create some kind of D3 redux that doesn’t rely on a bunch of crazy modes and impermanence to push players forward. (Also lol at one extra stash tab and other stash tabs based on some arbitrary set of impermanent requirements, why not just give everyone the 10 extra stash tabs?)

    • You have the Season Journey for exactly that. A simple 4 or 5 point bucket list that lets you know what would be a good thing to invest time in. And if you follow it, you’d kinda have that redux-guideline until you reach chapter 5 of the Season Journey.

      • Wait, so how does that work? Is that some kind of impermanence and every few months I have to start from scratch and do it again?

        Is there a way to have that without the whole season stuff?

        • I’d rather imagine that you’ll only be able to add a few rows of inventory each season. If my assumption holds true, then missing a season would mean that you’re lagging behind in regards to your peers. Like your general pyramid scheme, though with regular(!) time investment in set investment intervals(!!) as currency. And only with still lacking the inventory space as a negative, if missed.

          Though a kinda ‘dementia’-system for neglected characters, perhaps by prohibiting access to permanently aquired stash space for a while after starting to play around with them again, does actually sound like a nice idea to my roleplayer ears …

    • ? Diablo could hardly be a simpler game. Just log on and start killing stuff. It doesn’t matter where you do it, really.

      Or for a basic guide: Bounties -> Rifts -> Greater Rifts. end of.

      • Wait, but aren’t there like a bunch of different modes?

        I feel like it USED to be what you are describing. But now there are seasonal journeys (whatever that is) and apparently you can pay gold to boost legendary gems? And set item dungeons?

        Although I guess honestly, if the “endgame” is still greater rifts I’ll just go back to lurking; time attack mode is why I stopped playing D3 in the first place.

        • Nah journeys are just achievement things. All you have to do is log on, open a Rift portal and start slaying stuff, and you can get basically all gear from regular rifts. And there’s bounties. These are both untimed killing modes (which I agree the timed mode can get annoying). The only timed mode is greater rifts which simply give you Legendary Gems.

          Set Dungeons, true, are another addition, but by the sounds of it they’re really just an achievement thing you can completely ignore. But fair enough if you’re a bit over it, I know the feeling.

    • 500 different ways to do the same thing. I agree. But that hardly makes D3 more complex. More like tedious to keep an overview upon the available choices.

      I’d last played on the 2.3 PTR and wasn’t really interested by the added options in that patch. (Yeah, even the cube … ) But patch 2.4 does indeed sound promising. Though I shudder by the power creep through the Litany-set as much, as the possibility of finally being freed from the shackle of 6-piece set requirements ‘anticipates’ me. So call me patiently waiting for patch release.

      ‘Patiently waiting’, because what the game really needs imho is a way of character developement not bound by the RNG of item drops, providing the feeling of making an character mine, and mine alone. (Else the ‘fondness of a hero’-attachement spoken about at the ‘Season Rebirth’-section just won’t come up for me, as RNG- and account-centered, as the game still is…)

      Not item drop bound doesn’t necessarily mean not item drop driven, though. The original idea of multi-tiered runedrops is still not a bad one and should imho be taken out of the graveyard and put into an interesting skillsystem of gradually increasing complexity, with the current Skill Runes being seen as different, competing schools of teachings deriving from the same base skill, that is more than ‘just numbers’.

      Blizz could, for example, orient themselves on the Swordmaster expansion (or DSA Professional) of the p&p-rpg The Dark Eye, as written by Ulrich Kiesow, respectively the runespell-system incorporated. (Source, Effect and Way, if my fleeting memory prevails – ain’t having the rulebook on hands anymore and my mobile connection is over it’s limit, making researching tedious at the moment…)

      A previous pre-work of properly aspecting the individual skills and skillrunes, the current design actually provides a very good base to then build a compelling skill system upon it. Using one aspect of a respective skill to boost one or more other aspects by ‘exploiting the nature’ of a third aspect, would allow the individual runedrops to still offer some clean and accessible detail control over their characters used skills, while opening up a whole bunch of possible skill interconnections to always have something left open to work up to and really makes the runedrop idea compelling.

      While every skill may have all (direct) synergetical interconnections available to them working at the same time, different rune and rune-tier combinations could strengthen the interconnections of two skills, to the impediment of all other interconnections open to these two. Balancing tier levels of both right enough could then allow for opening up an ‘in row’-link to interconnect to a third skill. Again, more tightly rebalancing all three could open up a fourth skill interconnection, and so forth. (Though I’d say five interconnections in a row is a good time to stop, as our mind is not made for juggling around more than five elements worth of social interconnections.)

      This could be taken even further by taking ‘runing’ all skills and skillrune-versions into account and limiting maximum link availability for interconnections to strictly following a certain school of teachings (, as spoken about above, ) for weighing one his skill interconnections, effectively providing multiple, more or less clean archetypes to each class to orient oneself upon. Favoring skill interconnections outside of theses well defined archetypes may then offer shorter rows of interconnections by themselves, but could open up cross-linking multiple different interconnections, to allow for a more layered, deeper tied web of interconnections, balancing the loss of interconnection chain lengths by strengthening all of the respective interdependent skills as a whole and/or grouping interconnections for even more indirect synergies by running in parallel. (Additional layers of crosslinking could open up even deeper layers of cross-linking through the same rebalancing idea, as above.)

      On the user interface I’d graphically imagine the above as scrolling out and back of the available skill interface to a sphere, where the skills are placed, respectively float on the surface and the web of interconnections are displayed in the sphere themselves. Width of interconnections, their colour, grouping and whatever else is visually possible could easily turn this complex rerere-balancing concept into an enticing and player reconfirming one, that is fun to play around with.

      Add a limited and more or less surgical ruleset for mobs and players alike, to fiddle with the balances as set by the players/pvp-opponents, and the primary gameplay could be brought into being more grounded and even more enticing, while never loosing an inch of the fun action it already provides. And PvP centering as much on making the opponent loose the one or other synergie interconnection, while guarding one his own, as on actually overpowering the opponent, sounds like more than just fun to me.

      But yeah … That’s ‘a bit’ more expansion, than patch-content stuff. And Blizz won’t probably ever listen to my cries for more RPG in the “ARPG” D3. But whatever…

      In short: So you refrain from complexity? Well I crave it. And I still see D3 as lacking thouroughly in this regard…

      • I’d be fine with more complexity. It’s just that D3 feels some combination of impossible and unattractive to jump back into.

        If the game had coomplexity beyond what it has/had, and if endgame was centered around anything other than time attack mode, I probably wouldn’t have stopped playing – after all, I played it for at least an hour a day from release up through about a year after RoS release. But honestly, progression only through higher #s of greater rifts just killed it for me, and now that I’ve also seen from another post that even the set dungeons are a fun challenge mode that is also still timed for some reason, I’m deffo going back to lurking. No worries, plenty of other games to play, but it’s hard for me to live down my most hated imperative (RUSH RUSH RUSH!) in what used to be my favorite game.

      • Its a great idea, but for a different game. Diablo 3 in its current incarnation will never be the ideal platform for an in-depth characterization and skill system as you describe. Its a possibility in D4, but I still doubt it because you alienate a large fraction of the fanbase the more in-depth you go with the systems and at the same time, those you do satisfy tend to be very prickly about the line between good balance and freedom of choice, which takes a lot of dev time to get right.

        So, from a buisness case perspective, never going to happen. But we will likely see systems like that in different games. There a few current action RPGs as well as a few on the horizon that may excite you, including Path of Exile, Grim Dawn, Lost Ark and Umbra.

        • For these players, the different archetypes via following specific schools of teachings are meant. These (, and only there, ) could be complemented by showing the runes necessary for linking, grayed out, and step by step indicating the changes to runetiers necessary to access the respective next step in the chain. Though, if done right, the sphere-visual could indicate just as much and would, in my expectation, greatly increase the fun with experimentation and through that enticing even these players to think for themselves. (Just like the allthrough thourough design of D2 did for me.)

        • ‘Thourough and logical’, better said …

        • ‘But we will likely see systems like that in different games.’

          Given the past development of the industry, I honestly doubt that. Blizz was the last hope of an AAA-company successfully swimming against the ongoing current of ever more simpler (and not just more accessible) arpg game design. And that hope seems lost since the release of D3 vanilla.

          But I’ve not given up yet, because who else but Blizzard has both the financial backgound open, as the amount of dedicated manpower at hands? Valve, perhaps. And them attempting to develope a proper iso-arpg.

          And an AAA-company you’d need, given the workload naturally coming with creating any in-depth game system. On this particular idea, foremost the amount of work put onto the skill animation team from the initial rune combination concept alone would be frightenly huge. Especially, if skill aspectation into the physical and mystical laws of Sanktuario and the social interactions therein could be developed neatly enough, that it would actually turn out to be more akin to a spell construction script language.

          Just imagening the workload necessary to transcend the skill visually, gives me goosebumps. And I’ve got no actual game development experiences, except the ifs and wannabes in my mind. (Just my gaming experience of around 36 years out of my 39.)

        • Talking about a possibility for D4: Skillsystemwise you could basically forgo on a level based progression curve design completely. Controlling runedrops of the different tiers throughout the difficulties and attribute point rewards through story progression, should be more than enough felt progression from a players perspective.

          Though aiming for similar progression with gear, would make the base item design and tiering of D2 items, with the ever so slightly increasing numbers in between and sharp increases each new tier, more appealing again, I’d guess. And that’s something Blizzard “not North” can’t have, now can they?! 😉

          • Some more thoughts on itemization and how to realize ‘surgically breaking up and defending connection chains’ going from pvm to pvp:

            Bringing back the +skill-affix idea (, or more like a whole family of different +skill/runetier-affixes, ) together with the concept, would allow players to adjust runetier-balances on even higher levels, which would open up more leeway to stray from the ideal balance, without breaking the chain. That’ll open up the possibility, to still interlink different … well, let’s say base linkchains and/or cross-linkchains, whose own leeway would be overlapping. Though this would come at the cost of the respective skill actually being easier for an opponent use for breaking up one his characters interaction chains. (Just the linkchains achieved by overlapping, shifting the balance against the leeway [up vs. down] with the attack, or including the actual basechains by adding to the leeway steps already taken)

            +Skill affixes could also open up the option of having runetier balances in the game, which are actually unreachable without the help of items. (: AKA. providing a skill with a new, inert skill link route, it wouldn’t normally have.) Naturally, using focused +skill affixes to such degree would practically mean, breaking up a lot of other chainlinks, which would have to be rebalanced for each skill the player has in mind to specialize on. [Same holds true for more linkchain-based specialization, though certainly not to the same degree.]

            That wouldn’t make +skill to the megauber-affix, though. More like filling one niche for item dependent character builds and a lot of room for items without a +skill affix for more skillsystem development dependent builds, where placing ones runetiers is more critical and getting the wrong +skill on character could break up enough tierbalances, to scrap ones entire build development concept.

            And there’s still room for legendary affixes as another, different variant allowing item dependent character builds, even then. (: And still alot of room for useful items having neither +skill, nor legendary affixes … – should finally start calling them +runetiers instead of +skills, btw …) These could have their place as more like mutations linking outside of the sphere-visual, though, which would make the sphere-visual like really bubbly.

            I mean: You have seen the episodes of Naruto, where he’s training hard to learn Rasengan in the first place? The finding the 4th Hokage-Arc? That kind of bubbly! But that actually brings me to rotation and, thus, finally to the idea, how these rotations could possibly be [ab?]used to create a highly playerskill based pvp-environment:

            The sphere-visual could actually also placed somewhere on the mainscreen, akin to a minimap. Swapping skills in onto your four hotkeys [: Yeah, this idea would actually need more skills mapped to keys, than just these four … More like the whole three rows below. Or even just three Hotkeys and the three rows below.] then rotates the sphere, offering the player an actual method to defend his weakpoints or bringing in the attacks more probably hitting the weakpoints on ones opponent.

            A method to display opponents sphere-visual, though, won’t imho be needed. Mobs spheres would logically have to start with fairly simple, basic sphere patterns, with only boss and elite mob spheres going up to halve the complexity of player spheres, though not deviating much from clear usage pattern tendencies.

            And on pvp, it would just bring in the difference between luck winning an open-pvp, to studying and learning the weaknesses and rotational tendencies of your fellow pvp-proplayers and hoping, that they haven’t adjusted too much since your last fight (and making the best out of any differences perceived during the match, where they indeed have).

            The ‘outside the sphere’-concept for legendary affixes would open up the additional possibility of blocking rotations into a specific direction being part of the pvp-metagameplay, thus adding the flaw to their merit that swapping skills on the ‘backkeys’, which would result in a rotation in this direction, may become impossible, until breaking up the blockage. This could be made accessible visually, by simply displaying the whole keymapping numberpadlike directly on screen (, on the lower right side, for example, ) and ‘reddening out’ the unusable skills.

            [On second thought, such visual representation would be handy to necessary for this rotational sphere attack idea in the first place, as the swapped out skills would constantly be lain down on different backkey-rows with each and every swap. The ‘column’ should be static, though, to not become to complicated in respect of preplanning attacks and rotations, before you hit a button.]

            Apropos legendaries: This always brings me to the threadweaving concept of the pen&paper rpg Earthdawn and the idea of powering items through learning of their history … *twink twink* 😉

            Silverfang

            PS: Different to the above contributions, the ideas presented here are freshly born this night. So please excuse the rough ride and if there’s the one or other part not quite reflected…

        • By the way:

          ‘[…] those you do satisfy tend to be very prickly about the line between good balance and freedom of choice, which takes a lot of dev time to get right.’

          Ever thought about making balancing part of the gameplay?

          Referring to the design above, for example by building the community features up into a clan-war (instanced clan quests & group-pvp, up to tournaments) setting, with clans striving for the limited places in community-hubs (-> email 4x-game meets simple webgame like “shakes&fidget” style, mostly about gaining and holding resources, while giving out quests to connected and free guilds in reaction to regional events – may also be base for other controlled semi-modding option), with alliances across shifting regions and different casus belli systems for Clan and Community activities as a base for a political game.

          The political game would be the first balancing part and would allow players to shift initial balances of individual skill/rune-combinations one point at a time, for the respective region only. (Votes on what changes will be made, counted most votes each weak.) Then you could add a religious game atop of it, working via the spirits around in each region ingame-philosophically and deciding over shifting balances of entire blocks in a chainlink (,or the whole respective chain, )up to a higher or down to a lower level of runetierbalance in the respective region. (Votes taken in over a season, under simple majority rules.) And talking about philosophy, philosophers would strife for adding or taking inert links to&from individual skills. (Votes counting over periods of three to four seasons, with two-thirds majority rule in effect.)

          All talk about seasons above equaling one season to one ingame year, while expecting regular intervals with four to six seasons each RL year. Apart from the instance based clanwar-idea, the community game I’m thinking about would be based on retired heroes instead, with each hero taking on a specific jobtask to handle. (Merchants, whose two inventory rows would pop up in the main game to be bought by other players; Mules; Production [by types, mostly traps for clans and communities to plan defenses and tournament challenges]; Ressource grabbing [Food for the community to cater for more members/clans, for example]; Spys [: Spying and other informational activities, sabotaging, and so on, as part of the casus belli systems]; …)

          And yes, if a community or alliance of communities holds control over regions, where parts of the storyline are taking place, the balancing should reflect back upon the maingame there …

          Silverfang

          PS: And just so you know, where the above rererebalancing link web idea came from, here is the link to the original idea, it essentially derived from: https://www.diabloii.net/forums/threads/diablowiki-reveals-diablo-3-development-reversals.857966/#post-8629243

  7. well atleast this is a start to closing the gap between group and solo play

  8. can the set dungeons be any more gamey?

    nephalem, great hero of sanctuary, slayer of demon lords of hell is venturing into a ‘set dungeon’ to… complete a bunch of arbitrary f*cking video game objectives. wow.

    and more f*cking time runs ;/ I can’t express how much I hate those.

    • Mate, if you didn’t want your video game to “feel like a video game”, I’m afraid your choice of media consumption is poorly placed. Generally, people play video games because they “want to play a game”. Given the number of people who choose Adventure Mode over Campaign mode, I think building on the fact that Diablo III is a game over trying to build it as a story has done Blizzard a lot of good (though there’s always room for more story elements).

      As far as the timed runs thing goes, timers been a very good, simple, and understandable thing as far as balance, high-end capping, and leaderboards are concerned. If these are mostly optional cosmetic rewards then it doesn’t sound terribly unreasonable to me, especially since we don’t actually have much in the way of information yet until the PTR hits and everything is subject to change anyway.

      • no, just I want a world in my RPGs to make sense and not feel like a bunch of systems thrown together with no rhyme or reason.

        Nobody does campaign because it’s gimped to oblivion btw, you can hardly progress there at all these days with everything being tied to adventure mode.

        you’re right though, I probably shouldn’t have freaked out with PTR not even out.

        • Ahh, Campaign Mode… I rue the day we go back to infinitely grinding “Alkaizer runs” in Act III because there’s not much else to do in the game. But anyway, as for the systems thrown together thing with “no rhyme or reason”, I’d say Blizzard has actually done a really good job of making the game /good/ since D3 Vanilla’s pitiful launch, and a lot of that was from the restructuring and adding of Adventure Mode from RoS, although things like the inclusion of the Mystic were at least tied to the story in some small way via Act V. Nowadays we mostly just get a weak explanation from Tyrael, so I see where you’re coming from.

          It doesn’t sound like we’re getting a new Xpac anytime soon, so to keep the game alive and interesting they’ve been basically adding “video game” content, which the majority of players keep clamoring for (or complaining about…). It seems to be the easiest to implement from a design perspective, and it gives the most direct visceral satisfaction when playing. To tie them more directly into story requires either more assets (budget spent on new zones, characters, voices, models, ect., likely at the expense of game dev time and dollars) or more clever workarounds or ways to tie them in than Blizzard’s currently figured out how to do. I certainly wouldn’t be /adverse/ to the gameplay elements fitting the story and lore more, but I’d have to say I’d take more Game over more Lore anyday. But that’s just my opinion.

          • Nobody is saying, that the primary gameplay ain’t brought up to be quite the fun. That’s not, what he’s talking about. What he talks about would be the substance behind the primary gameplay, giving depths to the game and its grounding into the world of sanktuario by a coherency of inner logical rules.

            If you’ve reread crazyjiggies comments and still ain’t knowing, why what we say is different from what you’ve meant, then go grab a copy of the Dark Elf Trilogy by R.A. Salvatore, read the thing and keep in mind, that it’s all neatly intertwining with the AD&D-Ruleset of the time, when it was release … 😉

  9. Some of this looks very interesting. As someone who hates the balance of the current sets the revisiting of 24 sets is much needed. (And if Tal Rasha is changed from a buff watching contest I will be very happy.)

    That said the amount of changes here pretty strongly says no D3X2 or D4 for a long, long time, if ever. Not too surprising I guess with WoW expansion, Heathstone, Heroes, SC2 LOV, and Overwatch.

  10. If they’re adding some console features to PC, how about the mailing and nemesis system too? I would much rather see those than some fancy murder bars.

  11. CAN we also please get more stash tab artwork variety? Pretty simple thing to do.

  12. Fix the servers please. I experience game-breaking lag, particularly pushing great rifts in groups.

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