PTR Log On Changes + PTR Season Four is Live

Season Four gogogo!

Season Four gogogo!

Season Four is live on the PTR, beginning right at 5pm as promised. Surprisingly, the community buff is gone, so starting off in S4 means no bonus legendary drop rate, bonus Shards, double Goblins, etc. I’d honestly suspect that Bliz turned it off by accident (or just forgot to turn it on for S4) since every past season on the PTR has offered the buff, as an incentive to players to spend the time building new chars and trying out the new gear.

I was going to leap into S4 testing, but without the community buff ain’t nobody got time fo dat, when I can just keep testing the new sets and legs on my existing account.

In other PTR news, the queues are virtually gone today, with even softcore games being created in just a few minutes. The whole system seems to have been tweaked, and when you connect to the PTR you now get a queue just to log on… but then almost no queues at all to create games. It’s impossible to say if they increased the PTR capacity or if this metering of player log ins is making a huge difference, but as I said, everyone’s creating games today with almost no delay at all, once they make it in past the velvet ropes at the door.

Update: Shockingly, the community buff ending is intentional.

we will be turning off the Community Buff on the PTR this evening at the same time Season 4 launches (5 p.m. PDT). We really want you to get the feel for what Season 4 leveling will be like with a new addition like Kanai’s Cube and the various balance changes that have happened. As the PTR progresses and testing needs arise, we may activate the buff again afterward.

Terrible decision, IMHO. There is zero chance I’m going to sink the hours into leveling up from scratch just to get back to lvl 70 and beyond, just for a PTR character that’ll be erased in a few weeks. Not when I can just play an existing level 70 right now on the PTR, with all the new gear I want to test out. Getting to use the handful of new Seasonal legendary items isn’t worth that effort.

Hopefully there are other players with enough free time to sink into the 1-70 grind and then the slow gearing up after that, but almost everyone I’d talked to with interest in playing S4 was counting on a very quick trip to 70 and beyond.

What do you guys think? Does the community buff ending influence your interest in testing S4 on the PTR?


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  1. If the PTR had launched with S4 live (as it should have last week) I'd have been willing to start off at 1, even with no community buff, just to try out the new stuff. But finally kicking S4 off a week into the PTR, after we've had the massive drop buff this far, seems very backwards.  I'll be happy to test out v2.3 with Kanai's Cube starting at level 1… when S4 starts for real in August.

  2. Great now we get WoW-Style login queues. I guess if it helps with traffic flow it works, but hope it doesn't end up being 2000+ queues when the buff is active and you can't login to join someone who was lucky enough to create a game type of problem.

  3. All i know is this 3+ month long season crap needs to never happen again. At most, 3 months is good. People getting 1000+ paragons in one fucking season is just silly.

  4. Re Season 4 progress: I cannot complain so far; hit my first Bandit Shrine at level 13 and got tons of mats & recipes, pushimg my brand-new WD from Normal to Expert/Master difficulty immediately. The only flaw I noticed so far is that the drops are now far behind the blacksmith crafts, at least in the early stage of the game.

  5. The logic for the removal of the buff is likely that there are some people who will do the s4 PTR either way, and this way they get some data on the real leveling process, and can identify anything they may want to change. Once people are in the mid to end game, they can re-activate the buff to facilitate super end game testing. This way, they get data on all phases of the game. If they just left the buff on, there'd be no early game data from pre-70 and fresh 70's, which increases the likelihood of exploits and poor early progression.

    • And it ensures that there won't be any log in queues for people doing S4, with so much less overall player traffic.

  6. Crafting changed a lot. You can raise, for example, your blacksmith up to Master or even Grandmaster level at char level 20+. These weapons are incredibly powerful at this early stage, plus they don't have level requirements anymore. IOW, you can twink yourself all the way up to 70 in a very short time; just farm gold and mats.

  7. Yeah, what nobbie said. They revised crafting nearly completely – and leaving the buff on for the season leveling process would prevent them from getting any data on how the new crafting works/is utilized.

    • That was expected, but I thought it defeated the purpose of their, "testing lvl 1-70 with the cube" stuff. Drops are irrelevant for weapons and most armor slots, with the new scaling crafting options.

      Also, you can't do anything useful with the cube until 70 anyway. All crafting mats from caches are A1 only until lvl 65, according to the patch notes, so even if you get a cube you can't do the "extract legendary power" recipe since that requires all 5 act mats.  I guess bliz's desire is to see how fast players can improve once they hit 70 and start using the cube, with normal drop rates…

      • I meant normal crafting, not cube crafting, exactly the scaling options you mention. If people find legendaries all the time, I'd guess they don't even look at the artisans.So they look – and maybe discover that the recipes are too expensive, that there are gaps in the scaling, that they drown in materials … whatever it will be. All feedback you wouldn't even see with 2000% leg drop rate. 🙂

  8. No community buff = no test. I’ll wait until the real season 4.

  9. Yeah pretty much what everyone's saying. I want to try the new season legendaries, and I'd rather not grind from 1 to 70 twice, please and thank you.It's fine though. It'll be here in no time.

  10. Community buff is off? Maybe we can actually get on the server and test now!

  11. Your observation also reveals another problem–season legs that shouldn't be season-only. The new Fazula's belt grants 1% attack speed, all res, and armor for every archon stack. Archon stacks typically range from 80-150 or so.+150% attack speed anyone?This is still not enough to fix the horribly broken Vyr set but it is impossible to give meaningful feedback without equipping this belt. It is 100% required in any archon build.No item that is 100% required should be season only.

  12. A lot of my friends and I have a PS4 and play lag free legitimate HC. When season 4 starts, the consoles get the patch. If you guys/gals haven't tried it yet, I urge you to. Josh really nailed it on console.

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