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    New Goblins on the minimap.

    New Goblins on the minimap.

    The long-awaited Patch 2.1.2 is scheduled to go live this week, and it’s making a lot of major and minor changes to the game. More than just the usual patch assortment of skill changes/buffs, this one is changing some big aspects of the game. Rifts and Grifts are getting big tweaks to (increase) monster density and (improve) their layouts, four new types of Treasure Goblins are joining in, Ancient Items are coming to (potentially) increase the quality of Legendary Items, Conduit Pylons are getting a big nerf, a Vitality boost means everyone gains HPs, and much more.

    Here’s a very quick summary of the important changes, with links to additional infos. Diablo 3 Patch 2.1.2 Survival Guide:

    General Gameplay:

  • Nephalem Rift and (especially) Greater Rifts have increased monster density and improved maps. (Most characters copied to the PTR immediately gained 3-5 to their highest level Grift.)
  • All characters gain more HPs per point of Vitality, granting a solid overall HPs increase. (My copied over HC chars went up 10-15% in hit points, enough that I could regear to drop Vit from an item or two.)
  • The Clan roster now shows how long a player has been offline.
  • Wave of Trials are streamlined, with less downtime between waves. Some tweaks made to the types of monsters that spawn during waves. Improved exp/gold rewards.
  • DiabloWikiConduit Pylons are very nerfed in Patch 2.1.2 and are no longer powerful or fun or game-changing. Thankfully, they are already marked for a buff in a future patch.
  • Class and skill changes:

  • Barbarian: Legacy of Raekor set bonuses reworked, along with Furious Charge: Dreadnaught redesigned to make the Barbarian’s “trash collector” build less annoying.
  • Demon Hunter: Sentry redesigned. Now builds up to 2 charges (3 with a rune) like the Monk’s Dashing Strike. Marauder’s Set bonuses tweaked so Sentries only fire Spenders when the DH does. Also, Sentries boost the damage of the DH’s attack, but Sentries do much less damage with their own shots. Smoke Screen cooldown increased from 2 to 3 seconds. Night Stalker no longer restores Discipline.
  • Monk: Sunwuko’s Set bonus redesigned (improved). Thousand Storms set bonus buffed (still lame).
  • Wizard: Hydras fire much faster and Attack Speed is now factored in as well.
  • Items

  • Ancient Items added. This is a designation applied to Legendary Items that boosts many of their primary and secondary affixes up to 30%. Hugely impactful on weapons, somewhat on armor, irrelevant on jewelry. Detailed analysis here.
  • The 25 or so most uncommon Legendary items are doubled (or more) in drop rates.
  • Item affixes that “Gain X exp per kill” now multiplies by difficulty level, increasing exponentially. (This will roughly double the +exp going from Normal up to T6, and works incredibly with the Season 2 ultimate twink Gem of Ease.
  • Crafting material maximum stacks increased from 1000 to 5000.
  • New Legendary Items: None added in Patch 2.1.2, but Season 2 will bring several legs with new DiabloWikiLegendary Affixes, plus 3 new DiabloWikiLegendary Gems. (Season 2 only.)
  • All patch 2.1.2 changes to existing item set bonuses (Raekor’s, Marauder’s, Sunwuko’s) are retroactive, applying to existing gear. You do not need to find new set items to get the changed bonuses. (You will need to find new legendary items to get them with the new legendary affixes.)
  • Monsters

  • Elite Affixes: DiabloWikiExtra Health and DiabloWikiVampiric removed from the game.
  • There’s a big reduction in damage taken by pets from Elite Modifiers that deal damage on the ground. Pets/mercs now seldom die from DiabloWikiPlagued, DiabloWikiMolten, DiabloWikiDesecrator, etc.
  • DiabloWikiTreasure Goblins: 4 new Goblin types added. Goblin packs in Rifts spawn with mixed types of Goblins at about their normal distribution.
  • Goblin AI tweaked a lot.
  • Goblins now show up on the minimap, and give a chuckle warning sound before you are close enough to see them on the map.
  • Goblins in their idle animation stand with an open portal, making them easier to see.
  • Goblins wait longer when opening a portal before escaping, and will often go back into their idle mode when they move far enough offscreen and are not pursued.
  • Goblins run more erratically, and will head straight for any nearby Elites.
  • Click through for much more info on the coming feature changes in Patch 2.1.2, plus a reminder that Season Two and all of its new features are not coming with the Patch, and won’t be here until a week or two after Season One ends on February 3.

    Season Two =/= Patch 2.1.2

    Just the Patch is coming this week. Season 1 ending and Season 2 starting doesn’t happen until February 3rd at the soonest.

    Also note that putting up a content patch mid-season is *not* how Blizzard wants to do things going forward. This time was out of order, largely due to the holiday vacation. In the future, Blizzard plans to end a season, launch a new patch, give even non-PTR players a few days to experiment, and then start the next season.

    Patch Notes Preview

    Patch 2.1.2 was on the PTR for a couple of months, and after a lot of early tweaks and changes, it was content-complete on the PTR back before Xmas, so the live version of Patch 2.1.2 is going to be almost identical to what players were testing. Which means the last Patch Notes tell almost everything coming in the patch. You can see them, from December 9th, here.

    Conduit Pylons

    The "good" old days, on GR41.

    The “good” old days, on GR41.

    Everyone’s favorite shrine in the current game will be no one’s favorite in Patch 2.1.2. The super powerful yellow lightning death shrine still looks and functions the same, but the damage is *much* lower in Patch 2.1.2, and based on your weapon damage, rather than scaling by the game difficulty.

    How low? Much too low, in the opinion of most PTR players, since the shrine isn’t fun anymore, with not enough power to even destroy trash mobs, much less Elites. (And it does almost nothing to Guardians.) For example, my well-geared PTR Demon Hunter got crits of around 13m from a Conduit Pylon, while her normal Multishot attacks scored crits of 50-60 million per shot. (Unbuffed.)

    The nerf was not a real surprise, as players had taken to referring to the highest levels of Greater Rifts as “Conduit Rifts” since the best times were being made or broken entirely by frequency of DiabloWikiConduit Pylons, and smart players in parties were sending someone rushing back to the Conduit when they were nearly done, hitting the Conduit when the rest of the party reached about 98%, so they’d zap down the Guardian in an instant.

    Blizzard didn’t want one shrine having such an out-sized impact on high end play, and they’d repeatedly talked about needing some kind of Conduit nerf. Unfortunately they took it much too far, and in Patch 2.1.2 the Conduit Pylon is almost useless, especially on higher difficulty levels. Fortunately, it shouldn’t be forever. A dev told me personally that the Conduit Pylon is set for a buff… Unfortunately that’s not going to happen until the next patch after v2.1.2 (or possibly in a hotfix).

    Unless they can hotfix that in very soon, we’re doomed to endure days of “Y R U nerf Condit!!?1?” posts from people who haven’t been following the PTR news. I’ll be sure to news about them, so you all can suffer with me. Teamwork!

    Treasure Goblins

    There are four new types of DiabloWikiTreasure Goblins. Screenshots and details about them can be seen in a recent article.

  • The DiabloWikiBlood Thief is a purple-colored Goblin who drops Blood Shards while running, and multiple stacks of Blood Shards upon death. He does not drop any gold or items.
  • The DiabloWikiOdious Collector is a green-colored Goblin who drops crafting materials of white, blue, and yellow quality. He does not drop orange materials, but may drop orange legendary and green item set crafting plans, all for the Blacksmith only. He does not drop gold or items.
  • The DiabloWikiGem Hoarder is a diamond-skinned Goblin who drops gems while running and a huge stack (20-25 gems) upon death. The gems are of the same quality as monsters/chests drop at the level, thus at level 70 (the maximum in Reaper of Souls) the gems are about 90% Marquise and 10% Imperial.
  • The DiabloWikiMalevolent Tormentor is a dark brown tinted Goblin who looks basically like a normal Treasure Goblin. He drops gold and items when he runs, has a short range teleport when fleeing, and drops more and better quality than a normal goblin. Players will usually get a legendary item from his item fountain.
  • Greater Rift Changes

    New layout for the jail Rift.

    New layout for the jail Rift.

    Normal Rifts and especially Greater Rifts have been improved in a quality of life way. The density is much increased (especially in GRifts) and there are more varied types of monsters on each level. The maps are also bigger and better, with very few dead ends and better shapes and layouts.

    Refer to our recent article about Rift testing on the PTR for full details and screens.

    Ancient Items

    We’ve written a lot about these already, so refer to our huge article with 100+ screenshots for full details. The DiabloWiki.net DiabloWikiAncient Items article is also up to date and extensive.

    Ancient does not affect Legendary Affixes or Set Bonuses in any way; it’s just a buff to some of the affixes on the item.

    Ancient spawns on about 1.5% of legendary items dropped on Torment 1, scaling up to around 10% on Torment 6. It seems to be around 10% for all crafted and gambled legendary items, regardless of difficulty level.

    Your first priority when Patch 2.1.2 goes live should be to upgrade to an Ancient weapon. You might gamble or find one, but the best way to get one quickly is by crafting. This is something of a loop hole, but one very worth exploiting by players who want a big DPS buff, and who are not stuck with a Legendary Item they *require* for their build to work.

    Any Ancient Weapon with a decent roll will be a huge damage upgrade. Ancient Armor can potentially be much better, with higher possible numbers to mainstat, vitality, ResAll, and more. But finding pieces with the ideal combination of affixes is very hard. Jewelry is almost irrelevant with Ancient, since all the best jewelry affixes (Crit Chance, Crit Damage, IAS, socket, Cooldown Reduction, and +Elemental Damage) are unaffected by Ancient. The only useful affixes on jewelry that get a boost from Ancient are mainstat.

    Long term, players will replace some of their gear with Ancient items, but this will take longer the better your kit is. Playing on the PTR during the insane +2000% legendary drop rate buff, I saw hundreds of legendary items per game, with about 10% of those Ancient, and my DH was only wearing ancient in 7 or 8 slots. (Screens of all those equipped items can be seen in our big Ancient Items writeup.) Playing the real game with a real drop rate, ancient armor/jewelry will seldom be an upgrade over your current gear… but Ancient adds some excitement to every legendary weapon ID, and you’ve always got the chance to roll very lucky on Ancient Armor and step into a nice upgrade.

    Conclusion

    There’s a ton more to write about the changes in Patch 2.1.2, so check the linked articles for more detail, or pose your specific questions in the comments. The PTR ran so long that many regular readers did extensive testing, and many of us will be happy to answer questions. Or at least speculate with some authority, for the benefit of non-PTR players.

    I’m personally ready for the Patch to go live, and looking forward to some Legendary Weapon crafting right off the bat, before I leap into Greater Rifts and see if the density changes are the same as they were on the PTR. Last week playing on Live after the PTR shut down, I was annoyed at how empty the Grifts felt, and how lame were some of the maps and layouts. That aspect of Rifts is definitely very improved in Patch 2.1.2, in a very “quality of life” sort of way. Embrace the upgrades.

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