news-patch212-meganewsThere are many useful Blizzard comments and fan testing results about Patch 2.1.2 on the PTR, Season 2, new game changes and features, Ancient Items, Greater Rift changes, and more. So rather than making a bunch of separate posts, here’s a compilation of all of today’s new news.

    Diablo 3 PTR Patch 2.1.2 Mega-Post

    New Sets Not Coming in 2.1.2

    There were new six-piece sets on the Demon Hunter, Barbarian, and Wizard in the Blizzcon 2014 demo, and all of them (or at least two of them) were great fun to use. Unfortunately we’ll have to subsist on our demo play memories for a bit longer, since the sets aren’t yet ready for prime time.

    No new skullgrasp / barb set on ptr notes? –Jonnzz
    The new set items are not included in Patch 2.1.2. Not all the previews at BlizzCon were for this patch, but future ones. —Nevalistis

    I’m not entirely bummed by this, since it’ll just give me more time to experiment with the new and very much improved Marauder’s six piece. More on that below.

    Seasonal Content or Not?

    Related questions about what of the new content is Seasonal and what is open to non-seasonal chars abound, and here’s a Blue reply on the issue.

    New patch contents Seasonal only?

    Am I correct to assume that all the new contents meant for 2.1.2 will only be implemented for seasonal only, specifically season 2? i.e. Ancient legendary, New set items, New legendary etc? Is there anything for people who doesn’t like or play seasonal to look forward to for the new patch?
    Tyvalir: Some of the new content coming in patch 2.1.2 – including new Treasure Goblins and Ancient Items – will be available to all heroes, regardless of whether they’re Seasonal.

    In addition, when Season 2 begins, Seasonal heroes will have a first crack at brand new Seasonal Legendary items (as well as a few existing Legendary items which have been updated with shiny new powers). The two new Legendary Gems that were announced at BlizzCon will also be Season-only, at least to start.

    Just as a reminder: At the end of Season 2, all Seasonal Legendary items (including the new Legendary gems) will be rolled over into the non-Seasonal loot pool, at which point non-Seasonal heroes will also have access to them. The only items which are truly exclusive to Seasons are the Seasonal transmog appearances, new Conquests, and new banner rewards.

    For more info on Season 2, you can check out our Season 2 preview blog. Hope that answers your question, Irvin!

    So to clarify, older legendaries that are getting changes (Wormwood, Gungdo Gear) aren’t getting retroactively changed, like The Furnace did?
    Tyvalir: Correct. For any Legendary items in patch 2.1.2 that are getting a new Legendary power, the old version will not retroactively have the new powers added.

    Click through for much more, including Wyatt Cheng defending the new “respawn at corpse” feature in Rifts, a big gallery of newly-found Ancient Items, the surprisingly positive DH reaction to the Marauder’s set changes, issues with the new types of Treasure Goblins, and much more.

    Concentrated Feedback Requested

    Blizzard posted today asking for concentrated testing feedback on the changes to existing item sets, and the changed to Greater Rifts and Guardians. That full post is here, but note the intro:

    As this PTR will be relatively short and last only a few weeks, we want to make the most of your testing efforts. While we welcome any and all feedback, we are currently looking for focused discussions on the following topics:

  • Changes to the Embodiment of the Marauder set
  • Changes to the Monkey King’s Garb set
  • Monster distribution in Greater and Nephalem Rifts
  • Rift Guardian Tuning
  • Just a few weeks could be the same as “soon” when said by Blizzard, but it sounds like probably less than a month. Which is relevant because…

    Patch 2.1.2 =/= Season Two

    As the patch notes said yesterday, they hope to keep this PTR fairly brief, just a few weeks, and get the patch live ASAP. That means the patch may go live before Season Two, and that (as of now) the start of Patch 2.1.2 is not necessarily tied to Season Two.

    Specifically, I want to know if PTR 2.1.2 will be done as if Season 1 has ended, where all my seasonal progress has rolled over.
    Nevalistis: Not initially, but we do plan to roll the end of the Season during the course of the PTR. While I don’t have a specific date just yet on when this will occur, this will be a relatively short testing phase and it shouldn’t take too long.

    From reading the post and following the history and trends I can guess with about 95% certainty that they will end PTR season one and start season 2 on PTR, Live won’t be affected until they test season 2 on PTR
    Nevalistis: Verifying this. I was specifically talking about Season 1 ending on the PTR.

    We have not yet announced the end of Season 1 for live, nor have we given the 30 day warning for the end of the Season.

    Respawn at Corpse in Rifts

    A change covered in the Blizzcon panels was related to softcore players in Rifts. Currently it ruins your Greater Rift time if you die in the middle of a big level and have to run back from the start. Or the system can be exploited by fighting a Guardian near the start or end of a level, giving you almost instant resurrections.

    Blizzard is trying to remove the slow ones and limit the exploits by changing death in Rifts to a resurrect at corpse, with a time delay of 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, increasing with each death. This is the sort of thing that makes Hardcore players laugh hysterically, but it’s a big deal in Softcore players, as a guy argued on Reddit:

    The option to revive at your corpse is a good one. The (up to) 30 second cooldown is good. But when you get far into a rift that is now packed with terrible mobs, you’re screwed. If you get to the point where your gear is red, you cant get out without finding the next floor or going back. Sometimes that’s a long way. Teleporting out isn’t an option because the rift is so packed. It took me the last 6 minutes of time available (on Barbarian) while I was stuck at 95% to find a door so I could repair.

    tl;dr Leave the option to revive at a checkpoint
    Wyatt Cheng: We don’t want players to have to do a quick calculation of whether it’s better to resurrect at corpse or better to revive at your last checkpoint based on estimating the run time. That seems bad, and against the spirit of making the death penalty more consistent.

    That said, being in a situation that seems unrecoverable because your resurrect location is surrounded by monsters is also bad.

    We’re considering a few solutions – the most likely is that Revive at Checkpoint is still available but is also subject to the same cooldown as resurrect at corpse.

    Marauder’s Set Not Nerfed

    In our first impressions article last night I said the Marauder’s changes were great, making it much more fun to use and much more powerful for my Demon Hunter. However, I was pessimistic about how players who were doing very high level Grifts would greet the change, since the power of Sentries to forever shoot Hatred Spenders, dealing damage to enemies the Demon Hunter was hiding from, seemed to end with this set change.

    Marauder's Set Bonuses

    Marauder’s Set Bonuses

    Apparently not. I’ve read several threads and talked to people who had GR45+ DH builds, and most of them are very enthusiastic about the change, once they gave it a try. Almost everyone recognizes that it’s much more fun to play and makes Hatred resource management a real thing again, but apparently it’s not even nerfed in damage. The steady damage without effort is less, but almost everyone loves the burst damage now, with each additional Sentries adding 40% damage, and then all firing Hatred spenders when you do.

    Resource reduction cost to use more Spenders has become the DH’s new gear goal, with DiabloWikiCindercoat instantly becoming (almost a return to the DiabloWikiCLUSTERBEAR days) the most popular chest piece. Conversely, DiabloWikiTasker and Theo is no longer useful to a Marauder’s DH, since firing speed of Sentries isn’t the big break point issue it was. (Sentries seem to fire as fast as you do, when they start burning their Spenders.) That’s also driving build changes away from the cold-based and Cull the Weak, since Cindercoat adds fire damage, and Sentry battles are now about sudden burst damage, rather than gradually erasing the health of slowed enemies.

    Obviously the changes to the build are still in their early stages, but it’s impressive how quickly the “Sentries are nerfed and M6 is doomed” narrative has become, “M6 is so much more fun now and it’s even stronger if you play it right.”

    Also, as suspected in last night’s quick report, Kridershot is amazing now, since its trick — turning Elemental Arrow into a Generator while Marauders still treats it as a Spender — means non-stop Elemental Arrows from the DH and her Sentries.

    Finally, to clarify something unclear in yesterday’s post now that I’ve had more testing time — Sentries fire normal Sentry shots now, a single bolt aimed at nearby enemies, except when they are mimicking your Hatred Spender. They do not fire the same Hatred Generator as the DH, so no Hungering Arrow or Evasive Shot, etc. Alas.

    New Treasure Goblins

    Players have reported finding all three of the new Goblin types we saw in the Blizzcon demo, and also the mysterious fourth type referenced in the patch notes.

    The Gem-dropping Goblin and the material-dropping Goblin are fine. There are some issues with the purple Blood Shard goblin, though. Especially when encountered in large packs. See the screens to get a sense of the issue.

    I killed this goblin maybe a dozen times in the Blizzcon demo last weekend, and usually a single purple goblin would drop 1 shard at a time while running, and 1 or 2 stacks of 20-25 when it died. Once in a while though, maybe every 5th goblin would explode and drop 10-15 stacks of 20-25 per stack. I checked my inventory each time and found 290-320 Shards each of those times. And that was just on GR15 in the demo, from a single Goblin. Imagine how much a pack of them can drop?

    Well, now we know.

    Players who have found these on Torment 6 report upwards of 2000 total Shards, which sounds cool but is kind of annoying when it requires you to go back to town, gamble 500 shards, dispose of items, go back to the dungeon, pick up, go back to town, gamble 500 shards, dispose of items, repeat, repeat, repeat.

    Like most people in our recent poll, I think 500 is way too low a cap. It should be at least 1000, and aside from that, I’ve long advocated a soft cap on Shards. The theory is that you’d be able to exceed 500 from one burst of shards, with the pick up close enough to count like a gold pickup streak. So if you had 500+ when you started a game you couldn’t pick up any more, but if you had 327 and found 300 more in one spot, you’d go up to 627. (Or if you had 125 and found 2173 from 10 Shard Goblins in a rift, you’d go up to 2297, and couldn’t pick up any more until you gambled down under 500.)

    The whole point is to eliminate the annoyance of multiple trips back to town just to gamble. And it’s much more of an issue now with the purple goblins than it was in the old days of just going over the cap from Guardian drops.

    As for the mystery fourth Goblin type… it’s just a sort of super dropping goblin. It looks normal, but is called the DiabloWikiMalevolent Tormenter. Reports of how much more he drops vary in this early testing, but it seems to be 2-3x the normal amount of items.

    Which usually just means more Rares, but one fan found a huge horde of Goblins, about half of them MTs, and he got 7 legendary items from the whole massacre. More testing on these guys is needed, to draw any firmer conclusions.

    New Chat Icons

    chat-iconsJust a nice tidbit, as fans have noticed that the status of characters in chat are now identified with icons.

    No more confusion if someone is or is not seasonal when you talk about playing together, or fighting to the bloody death.

    Ancient Items Gallery

    Lots of players are finding Ancient Items, the upgraded types of Legendary items. A good way, at least for now, is to craft items. They are bugged on crafted sets (this is a known issue), but some amazing legendary weapons have been crafted, and the Ancient rate seems to be about 10%, same as AIs from drops on Torment 6.

    Examples culled from personal experience, reader submissions, and threads on Reddit and Battle.net:

    Some of the Ancient weapons are painful to look at, and immediately spawn cries of, “That’s why I don’t play on the PTR, since I couldn’t stand finding that and knowing it wasn’t permanent.” Testing PTR treasures… only for the stout of heart.

    Greater Rift Density and Maps

    We commented on the much increased density of Greater Rifts in the first impressions article last night, and everyone seems to agree. Much, much higher density and monster variety in Grifts. Possibly too much, as players are recording much improved best times.

    I’ve seen numerous reports of players copying over their account and immediately completing a Grift 5 or more levels higher than ever before, almost entirely due to the much higher density in Grifts.

    Which might be fine; Bliz has confirmed plans to reset all of the “Era” leaderboards when Season Two begins. But even if you don’t care about Leaderboards, you might want the difficulty of Grifts to remain roughly consistent? Or not; maybe you want power creep and a quick +5 to the levels on your LGems.

    At this point the Grift changes seem to be mostly impactful in the middle and high-range. I don’t think anyone is going up from GR51 to GR56 (though I could be wrong) due to higher density, but lots of players are going up from GR35 to GR41.

    Realm of Trials is changed to remove almost all of the delays between waves, and everyone seems to prefer the new, faster-paced style.

    The other issue is the greatly increased frequency of Pylons in Grifts, and most players think they are too common now. I’ve seen reports of 3 or 4 Conduit shirnes in a row just turning a whole Grifts into a mockery, so whatever frequency rebalance the devs did on Pylons (as discussed at Blizzcon panel) doesn’t seem to be quite balanced yet.

    Finally, new Grift maps are working and are mostly getting praise. A guy posted a couple of screens of the Jail level, which is no longer just one huge rectangle. (Now it’s two big rectangles with an umbilical cord connection through the middle. Reminiscent of the layout you sometimes get for the Act 5 cemetery, eh?)

    More Testing Needed

    That’s a run down of all I’ve seen so far today. Lots of players are testing and finding new stuff, and I’m curious to hear feedback on the changes to the Monk set, and if the Grift Guardian changes are noticeable. It’ll be interesting to hear more details about the new Goblins. Also, I’ve yet to see anyone report on using the new Legendary Gems, and apparently no existing LGems have been tweaked, though perhaps we’ll see that later in this patch cycle.

    Anyone done some testing, or got thoughts on what’s been reported so far?

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