Reaper of Souls Patch 2: New Stuffs

I got to play a couple of hours of Reaper of Souls beta with the new patch last night, and found plenty of new stuff worth sharing with you guys. In addition to testing out the changes to bounties and Cursed Chests and Nephalem Rifts and gambling, I teamed up with Wolfpaq to run some quick KeyWardens, and together we got enough keys to make one each of the four new Infernal Machines, did the four Ubers (one new one), and each got one of the new +45% exp Hellfire Rings.

In the interests of length and organization I’m going to post the new Infernal Machine stuff in a separate article, but there’s plenty of other stuff to weigh in on, good and bad, so read on for that.

New Bounty Graphics

I’ll start off with one I think is bad, though it’s open to debate. The new Bounty pop up notification graphic:

New bounty graphic.

New bounty graphic.

I think it’s silly. Not so much ugly as inappropriate. Is that background… wallpaper? I mean literal wallpaper, like something ripped off the wall of a library in an olde English country estate? I didn’t think the previous Bounty notification was perfect in every visual way or anything, but this new one just looks out of place in a Diablo game. Or perhaps it’s just me? I debated it earlier with Elly and she wasn’t a big fan, but thought it a lot less fugly than I did. You guys have a vote?

Like the graphic/style or not, it’s really screen-obscuring. The old one was also, so that’s not a new thing, but I think it needs to be changed. You get a nice graphic and visual and explosion and such when you level up, but it’s just text without a big vision-blocking background. Every time this one pops up I have to scramble to hit Esc or some other key to remove it, since I’m usually in the middle of a fight when I ding the 40 or 50 monster kills in the area that I needed to finis the Bounty.

Click through for details on changes to Nephalem Rift Guardian drops, Torment difficulty display issues, color changes to Legendary Materials, and more.

Legendary Material Color Change

There are two graphical changes to legendary materials in the patch. The undocumented one is obvious as soon as you look in your Inventory and wonder who puked pink everywhere. All the leg mat inventory graphics have been removed, and every single one of them has the same glaring, hot-pink, “No Icon” graphic now. Even the few that previously had appropriate graphics. (About one third had appropriate graphics before this patch, while all the others shared the same blood splat graphic. Faced with the ugly wall of pink, I take back my complaints/jokes about the blood splat one.)

I need an icon!

I need an icon!

That’s just a temporary art thing, though. The bigger change, which I think is the single worst change in the beta, is that all legendary mats now display with yellow/Rare color when they drop. Yes, exactly like all the Rare items, 99% of which I no longer bother to pick up.

I’ve long wondered why Demonic Essences, an essential and scarce crafting material, displays in yellow text in Diablo 3. All the other stackables and crafting mats in that game display in light blue which makes them very easy to notice when they drop. Crafting plans are in Rare/yellow, but they tend to have long names so they’re easy to notice. Easier, anyway.

Demonic Essences have a name that’s exactly the same length as a lot of Rares, and that’s far more true in RoS now that Rare items drop already identified, with only their names (not their item type) showing on the ground. You hardly ever seen DEs in RoS (which is fine since they’re required in very few recipes), but now Legendary Materials are yellow text when they drop, losing their formerly orange color and legendary clang sound effect, and they’ve got weird two or three word names just like most of the rare items.

Honestly, it’s like Blizzard decided, “people are finding way too many of these leg mats. But if we nerf the drop rates the forums will light up. So we’ll just make them really hard to see. Progress!”

I guess some players were complaining that only legendary items should clang and orange when they drop, and I can understand that even though I don’t agree. But why pick Yellow, of all colors, when Rares are completely useless to any decently-equipped character? Light blue, orange, or how about Purple like Blood Shards which you hardly ever see on the ground anyway?

Unidentify Rares, Please

On that topic, I really want Rares to go back to be unidentified. All the time, or via a check box in Options. Why? Since the game is designed for Legs/Sets to be the end game gear, after you’re 70 for a bit you’ll realize that no Rare you find is a real upgrade, and since they drop so often and only salvage into one type of material, you’ll soon have 1000 stack of it and never need anymore.

In Diablo 3, well-geared characters had almost no use for any Rares other than Rings, Amulets, and one-handed weapons, and all those were mostly hoping for something worth AH selling. In Reaper of Souls, well-geared characters have no use for *any* rares. At most/best, you’d pick up rings/amulets, and maybe Follower special items, but nothing else since Legs are always better.

This 1) makes it really hard to spot yellow-text legendary mats, and 2) makes already ID’ed rares annoying, since you can’t tell their item type by the random 2-3 word name. You can sometimes see the item graphic clearly enough to tell that it’s chest armor or pants or a weapon or something else never worth picking up, but often the graphics are obscured by monster corpses, other items, etc. I’d love if it items were again just “ring” and “amulet” visible on the ground. And so would you, once you’ve played RoS for a few weeks and moved yoru main beyond having any interest in anything with yellow text. (Well, anything that *should* have yellow text.)

(No screenshot of yellow legendary mats on the ground because THEY CAN NOT BE SEEN.)

Difficulty Display Tooltip

Since the new difficulty system went in the lower difficulty levels have displayed their bonus EXP and Gold drop rates just fine, up to Torment 1. Higher levels of Torment had a slider, and said they boosted MOAR to the drops, but no figures were given. The new patch notes said that was being fixed… but it’s not. In fact, it’s entirely broken now, with 0.00% displayed on all difficulty levels.

Previously it was 0/75/100/200/300% from Normal up to Torment. I assume those are still the values, and they’re just not showing. (It’s possible to check it in-game by viewing the detailed view in your Character window, since the game bonuses are shown there, added to any you have from gear or other sources.)

Torment Difficulty display bug.

Torment Difficulty display bug.

Expert difficulty 0.00%.

Expert difficulty 0.00%.

Nephalem Rift Changes

The patch notes said there were some changes to Nephalem Rift maps. I didn’t notice any new or different ones, but I didn’t play that many. I did notice a change to the progress bar, and it’s one I’m not really a fan of.

Previously there was a number from 1-100% showing in the bar all the time, giving you a fairly precise progress display at a glance. Now there’s just the yellow-to-red bar visible, and you only see the exact % when you hover on it.

Nephalem Rift progress bar

Nephalem Rift progress bar

This isn’t a terrible change or anything, but I think the bar looks weird without any number or features to it. It’s imprecise; I kept thinking I’d finished and just hadn’t noticed the boss spawn since the bar looked solid red, but it was only at 98% or so when I hovered. And to do that I had to take a moment to move the pointer over there and hover to read the number, instead of just glancing at it. Not a huge change, but I view it as an unimprovement.

If they don’t want the number showing all the time, maybe some demarcations in the box? Little subtle lines showing each 10% or something. It looks plain and less informative now.

The bigger documented change to Nephalem Rifts is that you no longer get a goodie bag for completing one. Instead, the Rift Guardian pops a dozen or so items when he dies, right there in the dungeon. I did 3 or 4 Rifts and got about the same variety of stuff each time, which seemed like a few more items than I previously got from the Guardian (almost always just 2 Rares) + the Greater Horadric Cache when I opened it back in town.

I didn’t get any Legs or legendary plans, though. Just lots of Rares and gems and gold.

Nephalem Rift Guardian drop.

Nephalem Rift Guardian drop.

Other Changes

Gambling can now yield Legendaries! That’s what the patch notes say, anyway. And a friend said he’d gambled a legendary Crossbow. I did not, despite burning 400ish Blood Shards (5 a piece) gambling one-handed weapons. (I did get a slight Rare upgrade for one of my Monk’s weapons, though.)

Increased Legendary Drop Rates! Unclear. I found one leg in 2.5 hours of play, though we were mostly farming for fun and then doing Infernal Machines instead of rolling Bounties, where most Legs come from. I can’t comment pro/con on RNG changes from that. I did not find any legendary crafting plans, which would have been mildly unusual pre-patch since those were dropping at a bug-influenced higher rate.

DiabloWikiElite Affix changes! They’re in the patch notes and blue posts, but I didn’t notice any real difference while playing. That said, I was mostly farming very quickly in a two-player game on a low difficulty, so it wasn’t like the boss fights were stretching on and on in strategic ordeals.

Legendary Materials are Yellow! Did I mention that this is a horrible change? Just checking.

Act Five Bounties! More of them work than than previously, but there are still some bugs.

Act Four Bounties! You only got 4 bounties here, per game, during the F&F beta. The number increased to 5 in the previous beta patch, but you still only needed to complete 4 to earn the goodie bag reward from Tyrael. I assume that was a bug, since you now need to do all 5 in each game to get the Act complete bounty bag. (Which no longer looks like a bag, but a weird multi-colored space-tech box.)

Skill changes! Way too big a topic to get into now, especially since I only played a Monk during testing, but the changes to Mantra of Retribution are quite visible and surprising, as that’s the class’ most popular Aura. See the patch notes or our pre-patch datamining for more details.

Any questions or comments from other testers on these issues or other stuff I didn’t get to? Fire away. I’ll try to get in some more testing this weekend to get a sense of drop rate changes and other stuff that can’t be judged from a single rush rush rush game.


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  1. I don’t even have beta, but as soon as I read the ‘legendary crafting materials are now rare’ I thought exactly like you Flux.

    Also I have been hoping they switch back the identifying rares since we first found out about it. On a side note I was wondering if it wouldn’t matter because we’d want to pickup all loot, but as you’ve stated it won’t matter shortly after release. Not picking up rares does seem odd though, why is the quality so skewed that people pickup whites and blues but not rares…

  2. Turn on the icons, they you won’t have the problems with items on the ground. Each specific icon is easy to identify, amulets, rings, etc. Even crafting mats have an anvil. Solved 🙂

    • Except all of the icons display on top of each other, unlike the text which spreads out. If the little icons spread out like the text, it would be fine, but right now, you have to pick up everything just to get the one gem you actually want in the pile of Goblin droppings.

      • This. I tried using icons earlier in the beta and didn’t like it. Too much stuff drops so they sort of overlap when you often want to pick up only one thing out of 10 or 12 on the ground, and I just think they look cheesy. Very console-esque or like Win8’s horrid Mac-style interface, with big bright colored blocks and boxes and shapes, like a child’s toy computer display.

        • Well, guess they can’t please everyone 🙂 yes, they used the icons on consoles first, so I guess that makes them console-esque, but it does work. Not perfect, but it works.

          What you are pining for is a return to what you are used to really, which is just human nature.

          I am a nature picker upper. I gather everything, including the little trail of gold the treasure goblin drops. RoS gives me a better reason for picking up everything, and since there is less to gather I go back to town less often now (in the PTR).

          • Follow up on this: I got sick enough of trying to pick out jewelry by name and turned on the icons. They’re less annoying than I remember from ago, but there’s an unforeseen annoyance. Since legendary materials are now yellow, they show up with the yellow anvil icon… same as Death’s Breaths, which drop from every Elite now, and are spectacularly over-abundant.

            So going with the icons makes it easier to pick out jewelry, but harder to pick out legendary mats. I’m just grabbing every anvil icon now on general principles, though it’s kind of annoying with death’s breaths so wildly and weirdly overly-common. (I’ve got 1000 stack in my stash and another 400-600 stack on 3 diff chars. They drop maybe 5x more than they’re needed for crafting, and the patch notes said they actually buffed their drop rate, in the 2nd biggest mystery of the entire patch changes.)

          • I’m surprised they didn’t make crafting mats autopickup at the same time as health potions. I expect that’ll come, especially if they keep the leg mats yellow.

  3. I’d like the system to pretty much encourage picking up everything. If rare crafting mats are not useful after a certain point, they should provide a means to simply dump them into say blood shards at a 10:1 ratio or something, so we can at least have a consolation prize when we see a spew of yellow items.

    Also, let us salvage on the go again. A modifier key to pick up directly into a salvage mat would be a nice quality of life change.

    They had a lot of quality of life stuff back in the original D3 beta, but they removed it because wanted people to go to town for some asinine reason. Oh, and bring back the scroll of companion. The people who *****ed about it probably all moved to PoE anyway.

    • The patch notes said they did a pass on crafting mats for availability and balance and such, but I didn’t play enough or craft anything other than Infernal Machine stuff so I can’t really comment. Prior to this patch, I was with most players, holding 10x more of the Rare mat than I’d ever use, and making sure to pick up every blue and white item since I had very few of those mats, and the blue was used pretty heavily when enchanting, which I did a lot of.

      The issue is kind of a cumulative thing; I had a ton of the rare mat since I’d been picking up a ton of rares since those were the items I was finding and using. Now that my beta chars at 70 are geared enough that rares are almost never upgrades, I’m probably obtaining rare mats at a rate equivalent to my use of them in crafting. I just have 1000+ already stacked up from the initial gear up phase.

      Presumably that’ll balance out long term, after the “pick up every rare” phase tapers off for players.

      The real “material” issue? Gold. I’ve spent something like 50m more than I’ve picked up since the Closed Beta began, and partly that’s because I’ve been doing excessive enchanting for testing purposes, and gearing up 6 diff chars at once, but long term without an AH or any way to sell finds for gold, I see any player who enters RoS without a big bankroll having to economize and pinch pennies and actual value goldfind gear. (IOW, buy some AH gold while you still can.)

      • Why is it a bad thing that the gold now matters?

        • Didn’t say bad or good, just FYI. It’s certainly bad if you don’t bring at least 50m into RoS, since you’ll be broke all the time from the regular course of enchanting and upgrading gems and such. Without an AH there’s really no way to make more gold than you spend, other than just grinding away. The new Hellfire Ring design costs 5m gold, and I know plenty of people with under 1m saved up now.

  4. Just a lowly PTR maggot here, but still lots of changes in the patch.

    The Good

    1. I can tell the difference on the lower elite effects damage, seems like a nice change, frozen seemed to cover less area as well. Still a bit too much at times, but a step in the right direction.
    2. Boar got a small buff to resistances, +5%, now at 1150 on my tank.
    3. The Evasive Fire Hardened visual cue was adjusted and can now be seen much easier, even at the lowest graphics setting, and in the middle of melee combat, Nice tweak there.

    The Bad

    1. Boars damage was reduced from 120% to 50%, not sure why, whats the matter,afraid my little Poomba will one shot Diablo?
    2. Tasker and Theo Legendary gloves had the pet AS nerfed from 100% to 50%. This I do not understand, as a sentry user this was a big deal to me. Sentries cant proc anything, they cannot crit, all we had was AS to help bolster damage and then you nerf the one pair of gloves that helped the most. I just don’t understand this, if thorns can “be a build” then why cant sentries. Now I have to stack attack speed (or try!) which I hate doing on certain builds. I was looking forward to finding these again in live, NOT ANYMORE.
    3. Map zoom not working, new feature that I cant use.

    The Ugly

    1. Watching people, listening to people, reading about people, and thinking about people enjoying roughly 8 to 9 gigs more of content than me via ROS. 🙂

    • For the record, there ARE other bonuses to sentries, such as the set bonus that allows sentries to use your hatred spenders or the legendary that allows up to 4 sentries.

      In addition, complaining about number tweaking is one of the most unhelpful and meaningless critiques a person can give. They won’t be final until release. Whereas thing such as item diversity and quality of life items are rather important, number tweaking rarely affects actual gameplay.

      • I was pretty specific in why I thought the change in AS on the Tasker and Theo’s was a bad thing. Its based on experience with the originals on the PTR, that’s not complaining, its called having an opinion.

        I always thought that was COMMON SENSE.

    • Sentries can crit now, and they can proc certain things like numbing traps.

  5. The slippery slope to meet a deadline, every single thing you mentioned Flux is aweful and Josh should be fired. I am glad I haven’t pre-ordered ROS, every update I feel urge to buy it.

  6. The bounty bag background is fugly, but I like it. Guilty pleasure 🙂

    Some changes are just bad, imo, like removing the number of rift progress bar or changing the mats color.

    Did they buff the weapons DPS to 3k again? Of the legendary ones, maybe?

    • I didn’t find any leg weapons to compare, but 1H rares seemed slightly buffed. I found more with 2100+ dps than I was used to, and a few with 2200. Nothing like the 3-4k we saw earlier in the beta, though.

      At the same time, 2H weapons seemed a little nerfed. I found numerous around 2000-2200, which is just insane when 1H can go 2400+ on legs. If it wasn’t just RNG luck on what I saw, I think maybe bliz nerfed 2H melee stuff a bit due to the Crusader passive? No other class even bothers with 2H melee weapons anyway.

      • Seismic Slam 2H Mighty Weapon? Though halfed cost of Seismic Slam is a big bonus. Still higher DPS should be there. Or flat bonus for using single weapon (2H or one 1H) leaving off-hand empty.

  7. The one thing I’m really missing from the F&F beta (still no idea how I got into that one) is RMB attacks defaulting to the LMB skill when the RMB skill is on cooldown or you’re out of resource. Bring that back ASAP!

    • Found my first legendary in this patch (Pox Faulds) and it didn’t do a legendary drop sound effect or the map star.
      For now I’ll assume this is a bug, but you never now with Blizzard these days… They may have decided people were picking up too many legendaries and decided to make them harder to notice 🙂

      • I found one leg and a bunch of keys from KWs, and they all clanged and gold starred. So I’d guess yours was just a bug?

        • I didn’t even think about keys, but I did a couple dozen key runs yesterday and none of them gold starred. They do clang, but the lack of a gold star is consistent for me…
          I thought it might be related to me switching to item icons instead of text, but when I tried now with it turned off it’s still the same.

  8. What saddens me the most is that rares are going to be less valuable than they are right now in Vanilla. I was hoping with RoS rares would be more than a viable alternative to legendaries or sets — at least in some cases. Hasn’t Blizzard learned anything?

    • Apparently they have not, and I couldn’t agree more with you!

      Right now on the PTR I have a vanilla rare hand crossbow that was mediocre even in vanilla, and compared to the rares I am finding it is far and away the better weapon.

      That is just at level 60, things get even worse as you progress, and then rares are just left on the ground for you to run past.

      I understand the devs want legendaries to be powerful, but having a diverse item choice is what makes a game interesting, and that means rare items need to become powerful in their own way.

      The PTR rares at level 60 are definitely being held back, and making any drop that’s not a legendary a non upgrade before its even inspected. I thought loot 2.0 was going to INCREASE upgrades at all levels, not hinder them.

  9. The new bounty popup is really ugly. The old one was consistent with the other UI elements so why change it?

    Legendary materials as Rare items… why? Just why?

    Thankfully, these are extremely minor things, but they are still baffling.

    As for bringing back unID’d Rares, I *really* hope they won’t. It’s so much more convenient to hover over items with CTRL and quickly decide if you want them or not than going back to town with them and IDing them there. As for your points Flux:

    1) I agree that with the exception of Legendary ones, Rare materials should have a light blue color.

    2) When the drops are shown as icons the types of the items are always very obvious and they also take up less space on your screen. Give that option a try, if you didn’t already.

    • “The new bounty popup is really ugly. The old one was consistent with the other UI elements so why change it?”

      Agree. It looks like it was originaly created for Baner Saga (similar style of graphics).

  10. I don’t know if it was in Beta but certainly not on PTR:
    Pool of Reflection
    – looks like yellow Health Pool
    – grants 25% (tooltip says 0.25%, but that’s bug) bonus exp for 10% of your exp required for next level

    • *Healing Well (I always forget the name)

    • I sure hope that’s a multiplicative bonus. Otherwise it will be barely noticeable. Things look interesting though, I have a strong urge to reinstall the PTR client and have a little fun again, even though I finally got my Hearthstone beta key. 🙂

  11. Not to dis on scrapbookers, but that Bounty reward pop-up looks like it would look better in someone’s precious memories photobook. I agree that it looks nice by itself, but I think it’s way out of character for a Diablo game.
    It’s also very neatly centered down the middle of the design with the little wax stamp cutely placed on the lower right like a boutineer.
    What about using old parchment, scraps of leather, or old animal hide instead? Why not have it written in ink, or blood, or have the text burned into it?
    I’d like to see different designs as if it were hastily scribbled by a peasant, penned by an aristocrat, or written by the Captain of the Guard.
    Or maybe . . . just maybe . . . this is still temp art (I sure hope it is) and the UI designer is just having a bit of fun.

  12. Also, the skill menus have little banners on each skill/rune which tells you what kind of damage the skill is.

  13. Yellow craft mats doesn’t bother me because I’m picking up EVERYTHING because I never seem to have enough mats for enchanting. All yellows, blues & whites have value now especially since you can’t recycle vendor items. Between enchanting and crafting I never have enough of crafting materials.

    • How are you crafting that much? I’ve been crafting what seems like a lot to me in the beta, and I’ve long since stopped picking up Rares or Deaths’ Breaths, with 1000 stack of each in my stash and several hundred more on each of my active chars. I only have 400ish blue mats, and enchanting really eats those, so I try to pick up every blue I see, but the yellow mats, found or salvaged, I’m drowning in.

  14. I didn’t think the previous Bounty notification was perfect in every visual way or anything, but this new one just looks out of place in a Diablo game.

    This Diablo game looks out of place in a Diablo game, lol.

  15. Disappointed that there is nothing about exp rate or item sharing mechanism for close friends and family.

  16. It’s not just you Flux, the purple background DOES look ugly and it doesn’t fit Diablo. Even Diablo 3.

    • It’s funny to see people complain about that notification wallpaper being out of place in a Diablo game… The whole art style in D3 is out of place compared to the previous Diablo games!

      But don’t worry, I am sure Blizzard will actually listen to the fans strong reaction this time.

      • Every once in a while, I see these kinds of comments and have to make a plug: If you download the darkd3 filter with its fantastic sharpening filter, you’ll find that the art style is much, much more Diablo. It turns out it’s not so much the art style that makes it seem so “un-Diablo” but the very strange decision to put a soft, blurry filter over everything. Put on that sharpening filter and the Diablo vibe comes back for real.

  17. The bounty pop-up went past ludicrous speed and right into plaid.

  18. QUOTE

    It's funny to see people complain about that notification wallpaper being out of place in a Diablo game... The whole art style in D3 is out of place compared to the previous Diablo games!
    But don't worry, I am sure Blizzard will actually listen to the fans strong reaction this time.

    That battle was lost when we waited too long for what had via scope creep turned into a different game.

    I saw the beta and learned to accept that.

    We now all have good idea how many of you are still whining about it.

  19. well,
    since maps, new guardian health bars and now bounty reward are in same weird cartoon style, i’ll say they just hire new gfx guy to this expansion and he is clearly not meeting our expectations:

    1) UI is same like in D3V just recolored
    2) new elements like map, bounty reward etc are in cartoon style
    3) new layout of buttons (after hitting escape) is hmm weird, i preferred cetred little menu than pixelated character on whole screens and buttons on left

    so many to improve…
    these are details, but these details are important IMO

  20. I can confirm legendaries can be gambled since I’ve got a legendary 2-handed weapon last night (The Zweihander). They don’t unlock transmog looks, however, probably because they “drop” already identified.

  21. I do not really get why it is good. Unless you do not intend to use it… Following such a reasoning, I think it would be good if they remove hardcore, clans, barbarian, monk, witch doctor…

  22. I think the new bounty graphic is great.

  23. You are wrong to dislike the sharpening filter but I’ll forgive you because you’re nice and everyone makes mistakes. 😉

    (Seriously though, I’ve heard that complaint but have never noticed it myself.)

  24. I hope they get back to “legendary” crafting mats. I dont know why, but I like the idea mats being legendary colored for legendary/set recipes.

    Either get back to leg or change to different color.

  25. The best things would be for legendary crafting mats to have orange text and backgrounds, but no pillar of light.

  26. QUOTE

    Was there any final comment regarding darkd3 and account ban ?

    Their official stance is that you shouldn’t use any third-party programs with any of their games. It’s a blanket statement though, probably to protect people who don’t know how these programs work. The truth is that they only ban you for certain activities. I haven’t heard of anyone getting banned for using DarkD3, as it’s only a post-effect filter. It doesn’t use code injection and doesn’t interact with the game in any way. Don’t quote me on this, but unofficially even stuff like AutoHotkey is fine, at least if you are using it for simple macros. It has some functionality that may not be viewed as benign. Still, if you want to be a 100% safe, don’t use anything.

  27. QUOTE

    Didn't say bad or good, just FYI.  It's certainly bad if you don't bring at least 50m into RoS, since you'll be broke all the time from the regular course of enchanting and upgrading gems and such. Without an AH there's really no way to make more gold than you spend, other than just grinding away. The new Hellfire Ring design costs 5m gold, and I know plenty of people with under 1m saved up now.

    Sounds like the legendary Couch Farm Run(tm) has been forgotten!

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