While conducting *ahem* research for the big Demon Hunter report/comparison (to the pre-patch version of the DH) I’ve been taking numerous screenshots to document the changes and to provide visuals for the coverage of the Demon Hunter skills in the Diablo Wiki. The report isn’t quite ready yet, but I might as well post a dozen of the screens that will accompany it.
So, here’s another bunch of brand new screenshots from the beta, post-patch. As in the last update, these all show something new or changed in the patch, and there’s a paragraph or three of explanation with each shot. You’ll not only see pretty pictures, you’ll learn! (Sorry, but it can’t be helped.)
One nifty new thing can be seen to the right. As you train your Blacksmith (or any Artisan, presumably) their training window displays the costs of training, as well as the new recipes they’ll learn. Each level up has lots of steps along the way (this one has 5, of which 4 have been completed), and at each step they learn a new recipe or two, with a larger batch of new recipes at each full level up. Which is why this one lists a whole heap of new recipes, four of which were not shown prior to this patch.
Which four? The ones that upgrade your normal materials to nightmare materials. That’s not an issue for Beta testers, of course, but likely the full game testers were finding it annoying to level their Artisans up into Nightmare, and then being stuck with a bunch of normal difficulty materials that the higher level recipes didn’t require. Hence this ability to convert them.
I do wonder how this will work with all three Artisans. Say you’re into Nightmare and you’ve leveled up your Blacksmith to this level, but you’ve neglected to train Mystic and Jeweler nearly as much. Won’t all of their lower level recipes will still require normal materials, which you are not going to salvage items into in Nightmare… as far as we know. So how would you obtain the materials you need for their crafting, without going back to normal to salvage the mats they require?
Maybe lower level recipes will use higher level materials, if that’s all you’ve got? Low level recipe says “Common Scraps” but all you have are “Assorted Fragments.” and it works anyway?
I’ve found a lot of items in the Diablo 3 beta, but so far only one was so ugly, when equipped on my character, that I considered not using it for purely aesthetic reasons. And yes, those child’s rubber rain boots below are them. There are no armor dyes in the beta, sadly.
Click through for another 10 screens of new stuff.
A pair of boss screenshots, just because they’re cool.
On the left you see a nice action shot of a very aggressive pack of Electrified Grotesque. I was trying out Chakram in this series of pics, and this pack just ran through the swirling killing zone. Clearly the next one will finish off Grimok here, and that won’t be long in coming as the Demon Hunter has quite a bit of Hatred still a’boiling.
One thing you don’t appreciate about Grotesques until you’re playing is how lethal they are to other monsters. When they die and burst like overstuffed hovercraft, their death explosions are quite damaging to anything in the vicinity, and since monsters have fewer hit points than characters, you can turn Grotesque into weapons; one killed at the right time will take out a whole bunch of lesser monsters (like zombies), and on more than one occasion I’ve enjoyed the glorious sight of an entire boss pack of Grotesques going off like a chain of dynamite dominoes.
The boss on the right is more of a comic relief. Teleporter Carrion Bats aren’t anything new, but there are a bunch of new boss names in the patch, and this is one of the most pretentious and unsuitable to a weak monster like this one.
The many changes to the Demon Hunter’s skills have greatly improved the class, both in function and in fun, and not just because Rapid Fire is now available. I said not “just” but I have to admit that a great deal of the fun of a Demon Hunter now is using this machine gun skill as often as possible. The various Hatred generators (of which the much-changed Impale is far and away the most useful) might as well be called “Rapid Fire reloaders,” given how most testers are playing their new DHs.
You get an idea of how much fun Rapid Fire is to use when you realize that everyone’s using it constantly even though it’s not actually all that effective. In most situations in the Beta you can kill faster while spending less Hatred with Hungering Arrow, Chakram, or Elemental Arrow… but none of them are as much fun to use!
Rapid Fire is the best of the early options at one thing, though. It mows down big single targets, or multiple enemies in a row, exceptionally well. I finished off Leoric with a single Rapid Fire (firing speed boosted by Shadow Power, of course) in my last game yesterday, and literally squealed with delight when he went down to what was nearly my last arrow/drop of Hatred.
So you’re like, “Impale and Hungering Arrow have new graphics in the beta. How about a screenshot of them?” And I’m like, “How about both in the same screenshot, thanks to some really sloppy Photoshop editing?” And you’re like, “Sweet! BTW, can a Demon Hunter equip a one-handed xbow with a shield at the same time? And if so, where do they go when he throws the new dagger-form of Impale?” And I’m like, “Look down.”
Lloigor the Crazed is a SuperUnique boss that only appears in one library area on Catacombs level 4. Prior to this patch he was fairly uncommon and could only spawn right beside the entrance to Catacombs 4 (where there is always a little library area). Since the patch Lloigor remains quite uncommon, but he can now spawn elsewhere on the level as well, as seen in the screenshot below.
This monster is a nice homage to Zhar the Mad, a Diablo I NPC/quest.
Here’s another sighting of everyone’s favorite patch complaint, the nerfed version of Arcane Enchanted. This time the ghostly gravedigger spawned the second hands of death mild injury over to the right, in an area that characters and monsters can’t even walk into. Which is odd, since I”m fairly certain the old Hydra form of this monster’s attacks could not appear in no-walk areas.
As far as I’ve been able to tell, the purple pivoters always turn clockwise, and they start out at random directions; they’re not all at twelve o’clock or something. So it’s just chance that these two, which appeared almost simultaneously, were both pointing harmlessly off to the right. (And the bosses were dead long before they rotated around to where they might have inflicted damage upon my Demon Hunter.)
Like many other Demon Hunter skills, Chakram is improved in the beta patch. I don’t notice any real difference in the function, but the Hatred cost is much lower than before, which makes them much more useful, since spamming them to create a killing field is generally the way to go with this erratically-moving projectile.
One odd property of Chakram, which can be totally exploited, is that it will pass through any kind of debris or obstacle short of a solid wall, as well as moving up or down a level without slowing down. The Chakrams move forward in a looping sort of epicycle orbit, and if they get to a ledge or staircase they instantly pop up or down to the floor level they’re at, dealing full damage to anything they run into on the way. And yes, of course they kill flyers, even though they’re on the ground and the birds are not.
This might seem a small thing, and it would be in Diablo II, but in the Diablo III beta rares just do NOT drop. I’ve played a goodly number of characters to 13, dabbled in Magic Find, done countless item runs, etc. And this is the FIRST time I have ever seen a rare item, of any kind, that was not dropped by Leoric on his quest reward drop (which each character gets only once). My experience is not unique; many other beta testers I’ve talked to have never seen a Rare item (much less Legendary) drop at all.
Nothing about improving the ridiculously-bad drop rate was mentioned in the beta patch, but there are a lot of undocumented changes and tweaks, so it’s entirely possible the chances of finding higher quality items have been improved. Or else I just got my one in a million drop for the beta. (The ring’s stats sucked anyway, but it was the principle of the thing!)
Nothing amazing here; just cool timing on the Leoric kill (with Chakram) awarding enough experience to level up to 12. Quite the glorious, glowing starburst of level up light, and the visual of Leoric, crumpling in on himself, is a nice touch. He falls inward, then levitates up into the air in a more ghostly form, howls, then bursts, with his armor and weapon flying off to the sides. Sadly, you can not grab his massive scepter and use it like the Butcher’s Cleaver in Diablo I.