Some undocumented changes and notes on the minor tweaks, afnews-patch211-testingter some play testing this afternoon and conversation with other testers.

    Treasure Goblins

    Goblins now have a little white dot showing them on the map, for easier hunting. The dot doesn’t show from very far away, but it will point one out on the other side of a wall. You may need to retrain your eyes to alert you to a small white dot on the map; I kept running into Goblins and only then glancing at the map and noticing the dot.

    When you first see a Goblin now, it’ll always be standing there with a golden portal open. At first I kept thinking I’d hit one without noticing and that it was about to escape, but it’s just their default resting animation now. They also open a portal when they die, which remains open until you get close enough to grab the dropped loot. At that point the portal closes… unless of course you got lucky and triggered the goblin portal. (More noticeable for ranged characters, obviously.)

    This is a cool change visually and it matches the lore, which states that dying goblins sometimes “accidentally” leave open a portal to DiabloWikiGreed’s Domain. So a new player, who didn’t know about DiabloWikiThe Vault from articles like the ones we’ve posted here, would see the portals open every time they saw a goblin, and eventually one would stay open when the goblin died, thus boosting the excitement of the initial exploration.

    Showing on map, over walls.

    Showing on map, over walls.

    Resting animation with portal.

    Resting animation with portal.

    Boon of the Hoarder

    New "gold explosion" BotH results.

    Typical BotH gold splash results.

    The patch notes say the number of gold piles created by the “gold explosion” from the DiabloWikiBoon of the Hoarder DiabloWikiLegendary Gem has been reduced, while their amount per stack has been increased. Both assertions are true. That’s definitely true. To the right you see the typical results of a gold explosion caused by BotH. It’s usually 5 stacks now, whereas it was 8-12 before the patch.

    So fewer stacks, but they are bigger, and the total take of gold felt about the same to me. It’s hard to tell since the drop rate varies and there’s RNG, but I ran around today in the same gear that I was wearing last night pre-patch doing some gold farming, on the same difficulty level, and my gold gain felt almost identical. Still around 500-700k for a Cursed Shrine event, but with fewer stacks. Note that “fewer” is a relative term; doing waves of a Red Shrine event you’ll still completely fill the screen, but the gold symbols seemed to fade away more quickly than before, so I didn’t have as many monsters invisible beneath them.

    Note that the DH who took these pics has zero gold pickup radius gear, and is using the +Rapid Fire damage seasonal Wojahnni Assaulter Xbow, which loses its stacks and bonus if you cease Rapid Fire for any reason, so there’s been zero gold picked up during the battles. Also note that her Boon of the Hoarder is only level 4, since my leveled one died with a Monk last week, so the gold explosion proc rate is pretty low.

    Gambling and Materials

    Gambling prices have quintupled in this patch, from 5/10/15/20, up to 25/50/75/100 Blood Shards. Yes, that’s 100 shards for a single amulet gamble. I had, of course, gambled myself dry playing last night, so when I got on today to test patch stuff I had 11 Blood Shards. Which is 14 less than even the cheapest gamble now available. That obviously limited my ability to test the new gambling out, at least right away, but I collected shards while testing the BotH and seeking goblins and such, and I ran a few Nephalem Rifts to see how the material drops work now, as Travis Day spoke of today.

    Click through for the rest of this article, and why gambling/crafting is screwed up now…

    The Guardians do indeed drop stacks of materials, but this needs to be tweaked. I did 3 guardians on T1 and while each dropped a stack of white and a stack of blue that had 10-20 materials, the gold stacks, the Veiled Crystals that crafting consumes so many of, were “stacks” of 1, 3, and 3. That’s pathetic, and as a player who still needs to pick up every single rare I see purely to salvage them for the mats, I see this as a problem.

    Not just that the Guardians don’t drop more stacks, but since gambling now costs 5x as much and returns more legendary items, you’ll have FAR fewer yellow materials from gambling. Previously you could get your ~55 Shards from T1 or ~100 from T6, and turn most of those shards into a rare item (and thus a Veiled Crystal) at 5 or 10 (or 15 or 20) shards at a time.

    Back of the envelope calculation, with very approximate figures:

  • Prior to this patch, 500 shards = 100 armor gambles = 14 blue / 85 yellow / 1 legendary = ~25 blue mats, 85 yellow mats, 1 legendary item.
  • Patch 2.1.1 gambling: 500 shards = 20 armor gambles = 2 blue / 16 yellow / 2 legendary = 3-5 blue mats, 16 yellow mats, 2 legendary items.
  • So we’re looking at an increase in legendary item rate, a slight increase in white and blue mats (including those you pick up from the Rift Guardian that gave you the Blood Shards), but a huge drop in yellow materials. If you weren’t picking up all the Rares before this patch, you’re going to want to start. I’m far from alone in this evaluation; check some comments from our Patch 2.1.1 notes post. People think the Shard cost is too high now since it means you hardly get to gamble, and they’re worried about the huge drop in yellow mats.

    I understand that Kadala’s drop rate has been upped, even increased above proportional, to make up for raise in shard prices but it doesn’t feel rewarding or efficient. Spend say 30 mins maxing out shards on T6 then, if you’re looking to gamble 2h’s(expensive) you’ve exhausted your supply in 6-7 rolls. Not very satisfying.

    Veiled Crystals are now ridiculously tedious to gather. From doing a handful of T6 rifts, they drop a single crystal each, plus 30 or so reusable materials and a dozen-ish dusts.

    I have 3 stacks of the white materials and dusts, but only 30 crystals total. The “improved materials drop” from Rift Guardians only results in me getting more junk crafting materials to sell faster.

    As for gambling: gut reaction is it feels worse, just because out of 10 pants so far I’ve gotten 1 blackthorne’s and that’s it. Could be similar to the old ratio, but now it feels more expensive for less consolation prizes (veiled crystals), so I dread seeing that.

    5 T6 rifts for 5 rare amulets feels like a kick in the teeth.

    Completely agree. Getting yellow crystals was the only good thing about gambling. Now that is gone…

    I’m undecided on the gambling cost increase. I thought the legendary rate was too low before, but I’d have been happier with it buffed and “salvage all” buttons added to Kadala’s interface. This radical patch change, with 5x higher prices makes for an unsatisfying brief gambling experience. And that’s not even considering the huge drop in yellow materials. I hope Bliz reworks this as it seems an unpopular change. When even players who can faceroll T6 and pick up 500 shards in an hour think gambling has been made too scarce, that’s an issue.

    If they’re wedded to the gambling change, how about just increasing the salvage returns for Rares? Buff them up to 1-2 per salvage, and/or make the Rift Guardians start to drop much bigger stacks. (BTW, overall drop rate of blue items seems buffed in this patch. I got 2 at once from lots of normal chests, but Blue Mats are the one kind I don’t need more of.)

    Enchanting Jewelry Cost Change

    This should be good, reducing the required gem from Flawless Imperial to a plain Imperial. Obviously that’s 1/3 the cost in gems and gold, and almost feels free since you find Imperial gems pretty regularly. I’ve seen positive feedback for this.

    The irony is people who had been stacking their gems up to Flawless Imperial for future jewelry crafting now have big stacks of those, with no purpose for them. I’ve been bottlenecked in my crafting by a lack of Forgotten Souls, not gold or gems, and I had 10+ of all five colors of Flawless Imperial gems just sitting in my stash, waiting to die for a really good ring or amulet. I’m still waiting on the ring/amulet find, and now I’ve got all these Flawless Imperial gems that I might as well upgrade, since they’re doing nothing for me now.

    I’ve got no comment on the Pet buffs or Elite debuff to Electrify, since I only tested briefly with a Demon Hunter. What do you guys think, if you’ve tried those out or experimented with the other changes? Are you feeling short on Veiled Crystals already, even before you log on?

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