Diablo 3 Patch 2.1.2 Survival Guide

Diablo 3 Patch 2.1.2 Survival Guide

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.


    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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    34 thoughts on “Diablo 3 Patch 2.1.2 Survival Guide

        • It really hasn't, though. If you hated D3, you'll most likely hate RoS. Maybe even more than you hated D3 for that matter, since the whole thing feels like some kind of odd mini game, now. PLaying my M6 DH for patch 2.1.1 in Trials was like Yay, Diablo turret defense!

          Those who could stomach, or those who enjoyed original D3 feel the game is improved, though. Those still wanting serious ARPG systems and gameplay should go to PoE or Grim Dawn. (common knowledge at this point, but hey.)

      • Why would anybody that honestly believes D3 is the worst run game in recent memory continue to troll a fansite for it? I've played a number of other games over the past couple of months waiting for the new patch, and all of them were fun but once I completed them I was done. I am really looking forward to the new patch and will continue playing a bunch once it's released. I got my "money's worth" out of this game a LONG time ago, and will continue to play it and have fun.

        • Yeah, the primary gameplay is top notch and itemization has become somewhere between tolerable and acceptable. ADest above is still right, though: It's lacking the arpg core element of roleplaying, with its depth still unacceptable to serious fans of its predecessor or the arpg-genre in general.

    1. Great summary of the new patch. Thanks for the work you put in to the site Flux.

      Hope that the European Incgamers clan picks up in activity again once the patch goes live. Hardly ever see more than 1 other person on whenever I log in!

    2. Thanks for the summary! For some reason I thought the other class sets, besides Monk, Barb, and DH, were going to be adjusted as well. I seem to recall the Wizard set benefiting Slow Time. Does anyone know when those changes will drop? Maybe that was part of Season 2. I could be off.

      • You're talking about the new sets shown at Blizzcon, which will be included in the next "big content patch, coming soon™." Not in Season 2.

        — Wizard's new set centers on Slow Time, causing damage in the bubble and amplifying damage from certain spells.

        — New Barb set allows extra stacks of Rend, and amplifies WW damage on enemies with Rend.

        — DH set gives discipline from generator skills, amplifies generator and multishot damage based on discipline.

        I think some of the original sets (Nats, IK, etc.) will also be changed at that time.

      • For me, I just wish they had taken another look at the dominant sets for the other classes as well. One of the things they did with Raekors, Wuko, and M6 is that they also made the earlier set bonuses more worthwhile, smoothing out the power curve some. I wish they had taken a look at firebirds, jades, and akkahns and done the same, changing the earlier set bonuses to something that has better synergy with the 6 piece bonuses (akkahns 4 piece at least does this).

        Sadly they didn't, and so those classes won't have a much different feel going into S2. Season 3 should be awesome though, with the changes coming to the original sets (tals, IK, etc) and the new sets being added.

          • Did it? I haven't seen anything about it, other than the infinite DOT falls off if you get too far away from the RG. Is there something I missed (it's totally possible).

      • There are some skills being tweaked for all the classes in the patch, but the big changes are only from gear for the barb/monk/dh.

        See the patch notes from the PTR for documentation.

        And yes, the 3 new sets we saw at blizzcon demo are big changes, but not coming in this patch. Unknown if they'll be S2; they haven't been confirmed in or out of that yet.

    3. Nice writeup Flux! Please finish the end of the section about Ancient Items, it is missing. Or is it just me?

    4. Conduits are being buffed again? Mmm. Well hopefully they do this via one of 3 ways:

      1) Revert conduits to original form but make them not work on Rift Guardian.

      2) Revert back to original form but completely remove all pylons from Greater Rifts.

      3) Revert back to original form but have separate GRifts, one with pylons, one without.

      • I talked to a dev before Xmas and he agreed with me that Conduits were WAY too nerfed on PTR. But said the current level was locked in for v2.1.2, but he was pushing for a buff in the first patch after that.

        I don't know the exact level of improvement, but the dev agreed with my opinion that Conduit should let you lawnmower all trash mobs, and take out normal Elites quickly, if not as effortlessly as now. So hopefully it'll be something along those lines.

        The whole point in the conduit nerf was to keep them from being Guardian cheese tools, which is fair enough, but IMHO it should still be a really fun shrine and powerful enough to change your play style, if only for 15 seconds of mad dashing destruction.

        • Yeah I agree that pylons should be fun, otherwise there's kind of no point to them. But there's also the other side that if they do any significant damage to Rift Guardians then we're just back to the initial problem of Conduit Farming being necessary for those climbing the leader/conduit board.

          I think option 1 above would possibly be acceptable to both sides of the equation.

          • I agree too. I hate what they did to this shrine but, I understood why they did it. I'm just hoping it comes back. The thing about using it as a way to finish off a Grift is that … to me, even that took some great effort.

            I tried it, but, the thing was, you had to create tons of grifts looking for an optimal one, then find the conduit shrine fairly quickly and then you had to leave the perfect number of monsters around it to kill. And that to me, that was a total time suck. SO, IMO, anyone who went through all that to gain an extra grift level almost deserved it! I couldn't do it.

      • yes blizzard sucks, why bother having a ptr when they decided to nerf the conduits beyong useless ? not like anyobody ever complained about conduits they should if anything just nerf them on gr bosses i can understand some dont liked where all kill just with conduit but for regular mobs and elites it should work same as before no reason to fix something thats not broken…

    5. Changes to Thousand Storms set in 2.1.2? First I heard of this / not in the PTR notes. Are you thinking about the Blizzcon version?

      I think I figured out why all the the goblin changes. Every large software project has some dark corner where all the new / untrusted devs are forced to work to prove their worth and to keep them the f***ing up something important. I'll bet goblins are it for D3.




    7. I hope the patch lives up to the hype, I stayed away from the PTR so season 2 would feel fresh! Although I have to admit that if I’m judging the patch simply by the list of changes it seems fairly lackluster… How did everyone feel about the re balancing of classes?

      • the PTR was pretty spectacular. If they get int he habit of doing a 2000% Buff to the legendary drop rate every time there's a PTR … It may end up being my main Diablo gig.

        To be honest. The new patch is far from lack luster just for the monster density alone. Ancient items can be awesome. new Golbins are not only more fun to fight, they're actually helpful now.

        The changes to the DH and Monk set are pretty boss. Get ready

    8. Looking forward to any changes that actually HELP improve alternative builds for classes. I don’t see those changes in this patch. But I’m glad that new Sunwo adds some variety for the monk.

      Aren’t people bored/upset w/ the fact that if your a monk/dh you must be dashing/sentry to play at the highest lvls?

      Seems to me that Raekor’s nerf was unnecessarily harsh.. if the problem was that barbs were moving mobs out of range of party and/or AOE, couldn’t you just limit how far the mob could be moved or stop the mob from being moved at all?

      Have the barb sweep up single/duo/trio mobs until a mob of 5-10 is formed.. at the moment you form the mob, the mob is dropped and can’t be moved again for a few seconds. This would allow party to essentially have a vortexed mob to bombard and the barb still the ability to FC into the mob w/o moving it.

      as an aside… I found my first RamaGift the day after 2.1 patch went live, which left me w/ the initial impression that it wouldn’t be SOOOO rare. So I used it… badly I might add… trying to improve a mediocre OydnSon.

      Flash-forward 5 months to me finding my second RamaGift a couple of days ago and now I’m stuck w/ the dilemma of using it on a handful of the best weapons I’ve ever found that I’ve been hoarding for just this occasion…. or saving it in the hopes of finding an equally good/better Ancient weapon… that may never drop or take a year to find!!

      • After commenting yesterday that I thought the nerf to Raekor’s was too harsh (having not played the PTR I was going on only what I’d read), I find that it actually fits very well w/ my playing style! For me at least, it’s more buff than nerf!

        Before Raekor’s I hadn’t played FC since vanilla nor was it my intention to hunt for Raekor’s to allow me to use FC. My barbs had a playstyle that I enjoyed and it was only in my need to tweak their abilities that I decided to give Raekor’s a try (having found the entire set many months ago).

        Given that Avalanche (my second cool-down skill) was too weak once I got to T5, it seemed that using Raekor’s provided enough perks (little or no CD, CC, vortex, fury regen and a decent sized punch) to offset the re-gearing hit I felt I’d take to use it. My other choices beyond avalanche didn’t seem as appealing.

        In my playstyle, FC was never intended to be a main attack. I used it more situationally: gathering mobs for primary attacks; escaping from tricky situations and hammering elites/champions w/ dangerous affixes. I certainly could have used it more extensively, but doing so would have created a playstyle I was not fond of using.

        The current changes in FC actually makes me use it bit more.

        I’d thought that losing the vortex (replaced w/ 2 FC charges) would hurt more than it actually does. Gathering a group that was also CC’ed (frozen) while simultaneously inflicting Battering Ram/Merciless Assault was such a devastating blow. It seemed that taking out vortex and requiring charges would nerf the skill greatly.

        But I’ve not found that to be the case.

        The charges actually allow me greater leeway by not being required to hit a mob of 5 (to avoid the CD) each time I use FC. This is especially useful when using it to escape tricky situations.

        The 3000% DOT also helps ease the pain of losing the combo of vortex/CC’ed/Battering Ram’ing that was once possible. It’s not as good a hit in comparison, but it does a good job and makes for a more challenging attack.

        With my dual wielding barb, I’ve barely noticed any fall off in power. My 2nd barb using Scourge is a bit more tricky — losing vortex/CC’ed/Battering Ram’ing combo hurts a lot more in this case.. but I think I can compensate w/ better leg-gems and some tweaking to toughness.

    9. I got my entire stash full with perfect weapons but I also don’t find any RamaGifts. At this point I just vendor Calamities for gold. No item is relevant except those fucking ramas.

      I got one from Para 200 to 600 that somebody gifted me heh. He found like 10 in a week.

      I used it on my best almost perfect rolled DH. The next one will obviously be stashed for ancients.

      • Gifts seem very odd on randomness. Playing on the PTR for this patch, I found 20+ with season 2 chars. I was actually getting annoyed that they don't stack, as they were eating up major chunk of my gems/mats stash page even after I was using them pretty indiscriminately, just to compare and try out different weapon finds.

        Yet I'd never found a single one on the live realm with my HC chars. Happily, I found my first one ever on Live just a few days ago, but the irony was it dropped in a game on T3, when I'd lowered the diff from my usual T6 just to do some quick gold farming with a Boon.

        • http://diablo.incgamers.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/inv-ptr-rama-gifts.jpg

          Screen of my PTR stash, from early november. You can see how (comparably) few gems and mats (other than souls) I had, since it was Season 2 and I had found everything from scratch in the past couple of weeks.

          Gifts didn’t seem boosted in drop rate by the +2000% drop rate thing, BTW. That only applied to items, and not gifts or potions or crafting plans, and it was only drops, not gambling odds. (Which made Gambling and shards almost pointless, when you could find 50+ legs in a single rift.)

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