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Diablo 3

is an action role-playing video game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. It is the third installment in the Diablo franchise and was released in the... read more

Diablo 3 PTR Patch 2.3.0 - First impressions

Author: Dmytro Voloshyn
08-Jul-2015

Category: Preview

Tremendous amount of exciting changes are to coming to Diablo 3 in new patch! Read about how Kanai's Cube will change the world of Sanctuary! Also, check the new Sets, Rifts improvements, new zone and new Season features!

Image titleImage source : eu.battle.net

Contents


Introduction
Kanai’s Cube - the savior of Diablo 3!
Greater and Nephalem Rifts changes
New Sets! New Sets for everyone!
Let’s not forget small and neat changes!
Be wary Nephalem! Season 4 is about to begin!
Conclusion


Introduction

It’s been almost one week since a PTR is live, and actually getting into the game can be a challenge. Blizzard introduced a lot of tasty changes, and many players are coming to test them! Apart from new sets, some ability improvements, monster changes, and Rift reworks, one of the greatest changes new patch brings is Kanai’s Cube.


Kanai’s Cube - the savior of Diablo 3!

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I think for me, and for many other players, that played Diablo 2, it is a relief that developers just didn’t paste the Horadric Cube from D2, but actually made something new and exciting. Believe me, Kanai’s Cube is amazing feature of the upcoming patch. So, what it actually does? Right now, it offers 7 recipes that allow you to mess with in-game items.

First recipe, probably the most exciting one, is the ability to Extract Legendary Power, and then assign it to your character like the passive ability! This is just awesome! Suddenly, all the Legendaries that counted as unworthy or uninteresting become valuable to you! You want to find them, extract their Legendary Power, and test it with your current build and other builds that come to mind. First recipe offers tons of experiments with standard builds, and most importantly it refreshes the feeling of joy when Legendary item drops. Now, you think of it not as of another not needed for my build item, but as of item that you can now experiment with to find a better combination of passive abilities for your build. What i forgot to mention is you can only have 3 passive abilities active at the same time. And they are divided by the type of item. You can have one from Weapon, one from Armor, and one from Jewelry. Also, you can’t equip Legendary powers from items that you are usually unable to use.

Second recipe, also very valuable one, allows you to Convert Set Item. This recipe works this way: you convert the existing Set Legendary into randomized part of the same Set! As the example on the official forums states, if you convert a pair of Asheara's Finders, you could get Asheara's Custodian, Asheara's Pace, or Asheara's Ward in return. I’m super excited about this feature! I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but often times farming for new Set means getting half of the Set pieces, or even more, over and over again. 

Other recipes, in my opinion, are not so exciting, as they bring usual “quality of life” improvements and changes. With one of the recipes you can reroll your Legendary as if it just dropped, other recipes allow you to convert one type of Gems into another, same goes for crafting materials. Also, there is ability to upgrade Rare item. The upgrade will convert Rare item in random Legendary item of the same type, meaning that you can’t upgrade Shield into Weapon.

Probably, the last recipe has a bit of excitement in it as well, as it allows you to level up new characters much faster! The recipe allows you to Remove Level Requirement from the item! Fast, no really fast, are the words that can describe new character progression, which will be available after the Kanai’s Cube will be introduced to live servers. Imagine your character swinging start level monsters with 3-4k dps weapon! Ouch!


Greater and Nephalem Rifts changes

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Now that I’ve expressed my feeling towards the most exciting content of the upcoming patch, let’s talk about less exciting, but still valuable changes. One of them is the removal of hated Realm of Trials. Yes! Finally, the Realm of Trial is no more! You now gently select the Greater Rift level you want to complete, and there are no more trials, you just enjoy the Rift! Greater Rift keys are still required. They are changed a bit. The keys don’t have any binding to levels and are now just an ingredient required to enter the Greater Rift. Also, you can no longer upgrade them; once the GR is completed there is only one option - to upgrade the Gem. GR keys now drop as usual items do, and can drop on any difficulty.

As for the Greater Rifts difficulty level - it is now determined by the highest level of Greater Rift you completed and the highest level of Nephalem Rift you completed. For example, if your highest completed GR is level 40, the game will automatically unlock level 41 for you. With Nephalem Rift it’s a bit different story. The higher Torment difficulty is set, when completing NR, the higher Greater Rift level will be unlocked. So, if you complete Nephalem Rift on Torment 8, GR level 36 will be unlocked.

Nephalem Rifts no longer require keys, at all! You just select the Nephalem Rift option in the Keystone, and you are teleported to Rift. No keys required! Nice change I’ve noticed, that is not mentioned in the PTR patch notes, is that Elite Monsters in NR now drop Globes that increase your level progress just like Elite Monsters in Greater Rifts do. The Globes have different color; they are something around goldish color.


New Sets! New Sets for everyone!

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Actually, almost for everyone - Demon Hunters and Barbarians didn’t get any! But that’s fine since they got them previous patch. New Sets look very promising! As a player who mains DH and Wizard(I really struggle to decide whom i want to play more -_-), I can’t wait to get a grasp on a new Wizard Set based around Archon ability. Archon is very fun ability, and not being able to use it at higher progression levels was a big disappointment. I hope that things will change, and new Archon set would be viable, and could compete with other sets in terms of damage output.

Other hero classes also got neat sets. Crusaders got Seekers of the Light - Set based around Blessed Hammer and Falling Sword abilities. Monks got Set that encourages to play with Seven-Sided Strike, and Witch Doctors now have Set that buffs dmg of Creature Skills(Corpse Spiders, Firebats, Hex, Piranhas, and Plague of Toads)

The addition of new Sets is great, but it’s not the only change to hero classes. The Developers reworked and tweaked the existing Sets, buffed and improved some abilities, and added new Legendary items to encourage the new Sets play style. For example, Demon Hunters now have bow, Yang’s Recurve, that is superb with Multishot Set, as it increases the attack speed of Multishot and rolls with 30-40% Resource Cost Reduction!


Let’s not forget small and neat changes!

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This PTR patch is great not only because it adds tons of new exciting content, but also because of many “quality of life” improvements! I’ve already talked about changes to Nephalem Rifts and Greater Rifts, but they are just a part of the improvements. Bounties have been reworked as well. Now, there is only one Bonus Act per game. When you complete it next Bonus Act will appear, and it changes every hour. Also, the rewards got reworked. Horadric Caches now include Act specific Crafting Mats and guaranteed Legendary item or Set recipe!

The Infernal Machine event is different now. You don’t need to farm keys, because they don’t exist. Blizzard removed keys from the game, and Keywardens now drop Infernal Machines! Also, Hellfire Amulet now rolls with guaranteed socket!

New Torment difficulty levels are introduced. Now, the maximum Torment level is ten. Bosses in Greater Rifts and Nephalem Rifts, and some monsters got reworked to make them less annoying, but still challenging. Crafting is changed in the same way.


Be wary Nephalem! Season 4 is about to begin!

Image titleImage source : eu.battle.net

Right now, Season 4 is not available on the PTR! So, i wasn’t able to test new Seasonal Journey feature, or new Seasonal items. Judging by the description, Seasonal Journey is a new special interface, designed to present Seasonal achievements, milestones, and rewards in different format. New Seasonal items look tasty, especially the Wizard belt. It buffs Armor, Attack Speed, and Resistances by %1 for each Archon stack. Combine it with a new Archon Set, and Torment X is just a child’s play!


Conclusion

Tremendous amount of exciting changes, Legendaries, Sets, Kanai’s Cube, reworks and so on. What could be better? Well, i might have few ideas, but i definitely know what can be worse! It’s PTR queue times! They are ridiculous! While the PTR changes are great, the only downside PTR is plagued with, and i hope it won’t affect patch release week, is queue times. Too many players are eager to test the patch. And that results in PTR queue time rising to 6, and sometimes to 9, hours! This leaves some players unable to test the PTR at all, and be frustrated! I wrote small guide to help you get in the game faster. You can read it here. It also provides info on how to obtain Kanai’s Cube, and where to get mats for it.
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Almost forgot to mention the addition of new zone! In this zone you actually obtain Kanai’s Cube! Other than that, it basically functions like Cesspools - new area with new textures, monsters, reminds act V from Diablo 2. But that’s it!

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So, let’s summarize everything up! PTR Patch 2.3.0 looks like mini-expansion. Hero classes are getting new Sets, and old Sets are reworked, tons of ability improvements, quality of life changes, and new items, and so on(new difficulty levels, crafting changes, new seasonal features, combat changes). But the most important piece of the content is, of course, Kanai’s Cube. Reason i value it so much is it makes game more complex, it adds more depth in the game, and it solves a lot of issues that were in the game before! The only downside to all this tasty and exciting content is PTR queue times! And i hope the patch release won’t be plagued by such problems! Great changes are coming to Diablo 3, and i like where the game direction is going. Not only developers increase the amount of the content and solve some issues, but also, which is very important for game health, they increase the depth of the game by adding new elements and features!


P.S.
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This patch adds few Legendaries for Demon Hunter and Crusader classes named after Johanna(Guard of Johanna, Johanna’s Argument) and Valla(Valla's Bequest), which are Heroes of the Storm characters from Diablo 3 Universe. Some cross-promotional inception here!



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