Patch 2.1 is hitting the live servers tonight/tomorrow after the weekly maintenance concludes, and there’s a ton of new stuff to be had. We’ve been newsing it all up for the past couple of months and keeping all of the DiabloWiki.net articles up to date. We’re datamining the Patch right now, so we’ll have the full data shortly. (Almost all the big changes were seen in patch notes during the PTR already. August 13, August 5, August 5 skills, July 21, July 18, July 11, June 26th start date.
The final patch notes will be along those lines, but what about the new features and systems? Here are concise summaries of all the major changes, plus links to blue posts and wiki articles for the full details. Diablo 3 Patch 2.1 Mega Preview:
Greater Rifts: A timed, progressively-harder type of Nephalem Rift designed to present the greatest end game challenge. Grifts have a 1-100 difficulty progression (GR25 roughly equals Torment 6), and players who finish a Grift in less than 15 minutes will earn a Greater Rift Keystone to a higher level rift. All item/gold drops in Grifts come from the Greater Rift Guardian (whether killed within 15m or not), and only in Grifts can Legendary Gems be found or upgraded via the NPC artisan Urshi.
Legendary Gems: There are 14 of these, each providing an upgradeable unique property and a secondary property that unlocks at rank 25. LGems drop commonly but only in Greater Rifts, can only be used in socketed rings/amulets, only work on characters (not followers), and can be upgraded to improve their basic function via Urshi, an NPC found only in Greater Rifts. Higher level Greater Rifts = better odds for LGem upgrading.
Realm of Trials: A small shadowy level where players face waves of progressively harder enemies, a bit like the Cursed Shrines/Chests. Each wave in a Trial must be defeated within the brief time limit, and when a player fails to clear an entire wave within the time, the Trial ends. Realm of Trials reward higher level Greater Rift Keys, enabling players to save time by starting their Grift at that level, rather than starting in a level 1 Grift and working their way up.
Greed’s Domain: A new bonus dungeon reached through a yellow portal occasionally left by a slain Treasure Goblin. The level is a reward stage with various weak trash mobs, several Goblins, and many destructibles which unleash ginormous stacks of gold. Greed the boss is fat and hideous and upon her death a double-size golden chest drops, and unleashes the
Hellfire Amulet. There are no changes to the Infernal Machine, except that now a Hellfire Amulet may be created by the Jeweler. (Hellfire Rings are still available and unchanged.) Hellfire Amulets are standard random 4/2 legendary amulets, except they have a legendary secondary affix that grants one randomly chosen of your class’ Passive Skills, thus giving a character 5 passives at level 70.
Seasons. (Modeled after Diablo 2’s ladders.) Participating in a Season is completely optional — players who choose can create new characters (HC or SC) and designate them as “Seasonal” which will put them into a pool where they can *only* interact with other seasonal characters. Everyone in the Season starts fresh; like a brand new account. You have no access to your current items, gold, stash tabs, artisan upgrades, paragon points, etc. (You will retain your ability to start out in Adventure Mode, at least.) Seasonal content is identical to the current game, except there are some new seasonal Achievements and a dozen new Seasonal Legendaries. Seasons will run a TBD time and when they end all characters/items/gold/paragon points/etc are merged back into your main account, and a new Season will begin.
Click through for much more in this preview.
Leaderboards. These display the best characters at clearing Greater Rifts, with different boards for each solo class and for 2-4p groups. There are also Leaderboards that display 1000 chars of each class to reach level 70, and to earn various conquests (special seasonal achievements). There is not a simple “most exp/paragon points earned” Leaderboard since the devs though it would encourage boring grinding play. (And we can’t have *that* in a Diablo game!)
The Cesspools. A new tile set found only in Nephalem and Greater Rifts. Dark and gloomy outdoor maze-layout with rotting stone and wooden piers with jungle-type huts. Unfortunately does not include new types of monsters. Write up about this area with many screenshots here.
Transmog: Most restrictions on transmog have been lifted, allowing more items (weapons especially) to be changed to look like other weapons. There are still some weird inconsistencies, such as 2H flails being stuck in appearance while 1H flails can look like nearly anything. Blue details here.
Combat and Gameplay
Impactful changes, mostly driven by Greater Rifts, since their near-infinite scaling difficulty put a magnifying glass over imbalances and issues with the highest end gear. Major discrete changes:
Two handed weapons were buffed, then buffed again in damage, up 26-30% in DPS. (But they’re still 4/2 affixes, don’t have other inherent properties, can’t get 2 sockets, and have a very slow attack speed.) This change is retroactive, so existing two-handers will get a huge DPS buff when the patch goes live. (Crusaders don’t go too crazy, since Heaven Strength was nerfed a bit to compensate.)
Ramaladni’s Gift is a new legendary material. It can be used to add a socket to any weapon without a socket. It will not make a second socket, and it only works on weapons. Players with weapons that spawned with sockets should enchant the socket into some other useful primary affix, then use Ramaladni’s Gift to add the socket back. Players with weapons they previously enchanted a socket into should curse under their breath while hunting a weapon upgrade.
Legendary Item Changes
There are hundreds of changes to legendary items, far too many to list in this article. Most are improvements to existing legendary items, with better stats, different stats, and often new legendary affixes. Most of those changes are not retroactive; you must find new versions of the items to get the new stats. There are a dozen new Seasonal Legendary items and a dozen new non-seasonal legendaries, including a whole new item set (Roland’s Legacy). See the full list in the Wiki article. Here’s just the changes to rings from that compilation, for a sample:
All those changes were in patch notes during the PTR or were spotted by fans. There may be additional changes in the final patch notes… TBD.
Seasonal Legendary Items
New Seasonal Legendary items. (All names and stats are from the PTR, and may differ in the final. We’ll update once the patch is live.)
Bottomless Potion of Rejuvenation — Health potion.
New Set: Krelm’s Buff Bulwark
Krelm’s Buff — Belt.
Krelm’s Buff — Bracers
Set Bonus: (2): +500 Vitality.
All grant 50% cooldown to Follower skills.
Aether Walker — Wand.
Frydehr’s Wrath — Crusader Shield
Leonine Bow of Hashir — Bow.
Remorseless — One-handed Mighty Weapon.
Sacred Harvester — Ceremonial Dagger, WD only.
Vengeful Wind — Fist Weapon
New non-Seasonal Legendary items:
(All names and stats are from the PTR, and may differ in the final. We’ll update once the patch is live.)
Roland’s Legacy item set. Crusader set, meant to give the Knight a viable melee Shield Bash build. Helm: Roland’s Visage, shoulders: Roland’s Mantle, chest: Roland’s Bearing, gloves: Roland’s Grasp, legs: Roland’s Determination, and boots: Roland’s Stride.
(2) Set Bonus:
(4) Set Bonus:
(6) Set Bonus:
Other new legendary items:
Class Skill Changes
The full list is over 15 pages long in the editor, so we put them into a separate post. See that here with the full before/after skill changes in table format.
Anyone has questions about the new patch stuff, ask away and I or others who have been following the news and PTR testing can probably answer. Besides, you’ll be playing in like 16 hours anyway, at this point.