A lot of changes for diablo 3 in the new patch and season, with some fond memories of diablo 2




Patch 2.3.0 Preview: Kanai’s Cube
Nevalistis 7/28/2015 470
Patch 2.3.0 Preview: Kanai’s Cube

The Horadric Cube is one of the Diablo series’ most iconic items. Introduced in Diablo II, this quest item was an important part of the story and offered a slew of handy transmutation functions, from combining gems to upgrading items. But where did the Cube’s power originate? The Horadrim were vague when it came to the history of this powerful item. Today, we reveal its lineage as the upcoming 2.3.0 feature—Kanai’s Cube.

Lost and Forgotten

The precursor to the well-known Horadric Cube, Kanai’s Cube is a powerful artifact containing immeasurable transmutation power. Originally simply known as “the Cube,” the Horadrim created it as a tool to aid them in the Hunt for the Three.  However, its creation was marred by dark methods and disastrous results, resulting in the order quickly determining that it was too dangerous for anyone to continue using. Creating the weaker Horadric Cube in its stead, they entrusted the first Cube to a secret organization of barbarians on Mount Arreat, who kept it safe from everyone, including the rest of their tribe.

Throughout the years, these barbarians served as guardians over the Cube, keeping it safe from prying eyes and those who would use its powers for evil. The last of these guardians, the great Chief Elder Kanai, perished when the demon lord Baal destroyed Sescheron during the events of Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. The barbarians have always believed their warriors must be put to rest on the slopes of Mount Arreat but, after the destruction of the Worldstone and the mountain that housed it, Kanai’s spirit was unable to rest. Now doomed to stand eternal vigil over his home and greatest treasure, he awaits a powerful and honorable individual to whom he might pass on his task.

One insidious individual has once again found his way amongst the living (sort of) and would love to get his ethereal hands on the artifact his order so foolishly discarded. Of course, he knows only one such individual who might impress the mighty Kanai . . .

Power Untold

So what exactly is Kanai’s Cube going to do for your nephalem hero? The short answer is all the things. This is a huge new feature that will fundamentally change the way you look at an item when it drops. Think of it as the handyman’s (handynephalem’s?) tool for item customization. Not only does it add another layer of character power at your fingertips, but also introduces a structured collection element to the huge item game at the core of Diablo III.

One of the first, most frequent powers you’ll utilize is the ability to extract a Legendary power from an item. This will add the power to your collection list, a comprehensive history detailing the vast amount of powers you’ve amassed. This also allows your hero to equip a Legendary power without having the item equipped, clearing up your stash of all those items you’ve been keeping “just in case.” You’ll be able to equip one power each from three categories:

Includes all main hand and off-hand items, including Shields, Mojos, Quivers, and the like
Virtually everything else; Hands, Legs, Feet, Chest, Belt, Wrists, Shoulders, and Head
Rings and Amulets

Characters may only equip powers from items that their class can normally equip. Powers are also extracted at their most potent value, making it a tough decision between equipping a well-rolled item or melting it down to utilize a maximized power. Powers can be extracted from any level Legendary. Finally, don’t worry if you get tired of a particular ability—you’ll be able to swap freely between the powers you’ve collected at any time by visiting Kanai’s Cube.

Let’s say you’ve hunted down that amazing Legendary that totally makes your build, but it’s rolled less than desirable. If only it had that missing stat, it would have been saved from Haedrig’s anvil. Maybe you regret an enchant you made or you wish that rare Furnace you found was Ancient. With a little effort and a lot of luck, you can rectify these situations. Kanai’s Cube will be able to reforge a Legendary, completely randomizing every roll on the item as though it had dropped brand-new and removing any existing enchants. This includes the chance to roll as Ancient, but be forewarned; if you choose to reforge an Ancient item, there’s no guarantee it will stay Ancient.

There are also several other quality of life functions Kanai’s Cube can perform, such as removing the level requirement from an item, converting gems and crafting materials from one type to another, and converting a set item to a different piece of that set.  We’ll leave you to ponder the best ways to utilize these new features!

Not Just a Legend, But a Tribute

There is more to Kanai’s Cube than lore and functionality. While we always knew that we wanted to implement a form of the Horadric Cube into Diablo III, we never anticipated the events that would lead to it becoming Kanai’s Cube.

Kevin Kanai Griffith was a beloved member of the Blizzard family and a longtime Diablo fan. He joined Blizzard as an artist on the World of Warcraft team in 2005 and his work can be seen in the Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, and Mists of Pandaria expansions, as well as the World of Warcraft trading card game. As the Diablo III team came together, Kevin joined and made his mark on the original game, crafting a plethora of diverse and moody environments that you’re certain to recognize.

Kevin continued producing gorgeous environments and Diablo holiday art throughout the launch and beyond the release of Reaper of Souls. You might also remember him from footage of his Diableard being shaved live on stage at the 2011 launch of Diablo III, his Artist’s Stage Demo at BlizzCon 2013, or our second anniversary livestream. He was always an active member of the community both inside the company and out, whether it was by organizing weekly sketch groups, or encouraging his friends to team up and play games together. Kevin was an amazing mentor to everyone around him and a wonder to work with: you couldn’t help but get passionate and pumped about your job when he was in the room.

Tragedy struck in February of 2012 when Kevin was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer known as Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma (ASPS). Kevin kept his spirits high throughout the grueling treatment process and continued to work on Diablo III as much as he was able, pioneering environmental features such as the weather and night/day cycles experienced in Adventure Mode. Though he fought valiantly, we lost our coworker and dear friend on October 17, 2014. His spirit and legacy will always live on in the many games he’s touched with his stunning art, as well as the hearts of every individual who had the honor of knowing him.

We miss you, Kevin. This Cube is for you.

Kanai’s Cube Calls…

Kanai’s Cube is a huge feature of Patch 2.3.0, set to change the foundation of Diablo III as we know it. We’re excited to share the intimate background behind this powerful system and in-game dedication to a man who was truly a king amongst mortals.

Which part of Kanai’s Cube has you the most stoked? What kind of Legendary powers are you looking forward to combining the most? Let us know in the comments or, if you haven’t already, hop onto our PTR today and give it a try! We can’t wait to hear your feedback.

Patch 2.3.0 Preview: Adventure Mode
Nevalistis 8/4/2015 659
Patch 2.3.0 Preview: Adventure Mode

Patch 2.3.0 brings a huge number of changes to Diablo III. From new features to an entirely new zone, there is plenty to discover for the first time. However, we’re not stopping there. We also have some quality of life and system changes coming to Adventure Mode, designed to make both leveling and maximum level play more smooth and streamlined experiences.

Crafterpiece Theater

Let’s start with the basics: crafting. Crafted items have fallen into a strange place where they feel too expensive to craft and, aside from a few select pieces, often not worth the effort. We’re aiming to fix that in Patch 2.3.0.

First off, we’ve removed an entire tier of crafting materials, including Common Debris, Exquisite Essences, Iridescent Tears, Demonic Essences, and Fiery Brimstones. This leaves one remaining tier of crafting materials, making items salvaged at any level always useful.

We’ve also trimmed the fat away from the list of crafting recipes for both the Blacksmith and the Jeweler. There is now a much smaller pool of recipes at each artisan level, and while there should still be a good mix of different types of gear to craft, each unlocked level should feel like a meaningful stepping stone that’s worth the crafting materials you spend. Disparities in crafting material abundance have been evened out, both in terms of how often they drop and how often you’ll require them for crafting: no more 72 Arcane Dust bracer recipes!

Left: The current recipe.                                      Right: The 2.3.0 recipe.

Crafting costs in general have been reduced across the board, especially for gear that’s intended for use while leveling or to help you gear up when first hitting level 70. Crafted Legendaries, for example, no longer require Forgotten Souls to craft (though they also no longer provide Forgotten Souls when salvaged). Instead, they will now require new Act-specific crafting materials that can be obtained at any level by completing bounties. This should make these items feel like a viable option for starting out whether you’re a new player or starting a new Season.

Bountiful Bounties

In addition to adding a new zone with its own new bounties to tackle, the rewards gained from bounties have been revised. Nephalem Rifts no longer require Rift Fragments to enter, so we needed to change the incentive behind completing bounties. In addition to being the only way to obtain the new Act-specific crafting materials used with Kanai’s Cube, we’ve shifted the reward from bounties to focus on being the primary source for gold and crafting materials. It’s also a great way to complete your crafting recipe collection as each cache guarantees at least two crafting recipe drops if you are missing any. If you want to craft a bunch of stuff, bounties are now the place to go to get started!

Bonus bounties are bound to be beneficial.

We’ve also changed up the bonus Act mechanic. You’ll find there is now only one bonus Act active in a game at a time. Each player in a game who completes the active bonus Act will receive a Bonus Cache, stuffed to the brim with crafting goodies. Once the bonus Act has been completed, it will automatically rotate to a new Act, eliminating the need to start a new game to receive this benefit. Rather than navigating game menus, we want you to spend more time doing what matters: fighting the good fight and destroying demons.

Rifting It Forward

Nephalem and Greater Rifts both have a huge number of changes coming intended to draw a clearer line between the two. Nephalem Rifts are aimed at being a more relaxed version of a loot run while Greater Rifts are where you go to strut your stuff and push the limits of your nephalem heroes.

Let’s start with the biggest change that you asked for: the Realm of Trials has been removed from the game. To accommodate this huge change, we’ve reduced the number of Greater Rift keys down to a single, universal type. These new keys are used at the Nephalem Obelisk to enter any level Greater Rift, up to one higher than the highest level you have previously completed (though if you totally crush a Greater Rift, you can still move up to 3 ranks at a time). In addition, we’ve removed Rift Fragments from the game. Nephalem Rifts are now open to players of all levels and difficulty, requiring no special key to access.

Greater Rift tiers are even labeled with their approximate difficulty equivalent.

Greater Rift keys are now able to drop from Rift Guardians at any difficulty level, including Normal through Torment I. This chance scales up to 100% at Torment VI and there is an additional scaling chance for a second key to drop in the new Torment VII-X difficulty levels. Greater Rift keys are now only usable for one level and can no longer be upgraded. Instead, when you successfully complete a Greater Rift, you’ll automatically get the Legendary Gem upgrade screen. Please note you will no longer get the gem upgrade screen if you fail to complete a Greater Rift. Our concern is that players might tackle a Greater Rift well beyond their ability just for a chance at upgrading. This experience would feel sluggish and miserable and isn’t something we want to incentivize.

There have been several other balance changes made to Rifts, including tweaks to Rift Guardian mechanics, enemy health, and the progress meter to even out the amount of time you spend clearing regular enemies versus fighting the Guardian. For more information, we recommend checking out the full PTR patch notes or simply giving the PTR itself a go!

Infernal Machinations

Last but certainly not least, the Infernal Machine event is getting a few minor but meaningful tweaks. The largest piece of feedback we’ve heard regarding the Hellfire Amulet and its counterpart Ring is that these items often felt too gated by multiple levels of luck. The time investment was high and, even after dedicating that amount of time, the payoff wasn’t guaranteed.

While we still want the Hellfire items to be an investment, we’ve slimmed down the process to make it less time intensive to complete. To start, there is no longer a need to craft Hellfire Machines; the recipes have been removed from the game and each Keywarden now has a chance to drop an appropriate Infernal machine. The chance for an Infernal Machine to drop remains the same, though now appropriately continues to scale into Torment VII-X.

We’re cutting out that middle man, Haedrig. His interest rates were terrible anyway.

In addition, the Hellfire Amulet is now guaranteed to roll with a socket. This removes a layer of luck to acquiring that perfect complement to your gear and should, overall, make the time invested into crafting one of these items feel well spent.

Less Mode, More Adventure!

Adventure Mode has been an extremely popular addition to Diablo III. You love spending time there, and we want that experience to continue being fresh, rewarding, and fun. These changes are currently live on PTR for testing, and we’d love to hear your thoughts on them.

Which change are you most looking forward to? Have you given any of these changes a try? What did you think? Let us know in the comments and we hope you’re looking forward to Patch 2.3.0 as much as we are!

Are You Prepared for 2.3.0?
Nevalistis 8/18/2015 400
Are You Prepared for 2.3.0?

It has been quite some time, nephalem. My master is as dangerous as ever, eternally haunting Pandemonium Fortress beyond the confines of your little campaign. Still, it is entertaining to watch you struggle against the chaos and destruction that permeates Sanctuary. Ever more horrors arise from places long lost and your insatiable curiosity pulls you closer to oblivion. Allow me the pleasure of escorting you along the way.

Deadly Ruins, Deadlier Inhabitants
– The Ruins of Sescheron –

The inhabitants of Sanctuary are puzzling creatures: Terrified of death, yet unable to deny the allure of the unknown. It would seem adventure calls once more as the ruins of the (supposedly) great barbarian civilization opens their destroyed gates to you:

Danger lurks around every corner, with new and terrifying enemies baring and gnashing their teeth at the chance to sink into your tender, fragile flesh. I would say it a pity, but we know my allegiances lie not in your favor. Keep your weak senses on guard as devious traps designed to slaughter in the most delightful ways line these halls. I have heard that the most skilled explorers may be able to turn these devastating mechanisms against those that call these ruins home . . . shall we see if that excludes present company?

Temptation by Immeasurable Power
– Kanai’s Cube –

Some of your species is admittedly smarter than the common rabble. The Horadrim have always had a knack for recognizing power beyond their means to contain. Of course, it takes only one of your kind to exhibit bravado and throw caution to the wind just for a smidgen of power. Your sad effort to slay Zoltun Kulle has failed, and he now returns once more to offer you a deal too good to be true.

The artifact known as Kanai’s Cube is said to have incomprehensible powers of transmutation. Certainly, the services this item can provide will enhance your potential to incredible levels, including personal customization and impressive mastery over the many treasures you have uncovered throughout your journey. I wonder . . . will it be worth the cost?

Equip Yourself for Endless Adventure
– Adventure Mode Revisions –

After your so-called victory against the Angel of Death, you may have found yourself overwhelmed with activities to pursue in Adventure Mode. Many of you crushed any opposition that arose, clamoring for greater challenges as eagerly as I once reaped the fetid streets of Westmarch. *sigh* Memories.

Your breath shall be bated no longer, as the Adventure Mode you know has received a thorough pass and polish. Everything from refining the antics of that bumbling Blacksmith to revisiting the challenges presented by Orek and his Nephalem Rifts has received updates. I am not the type to repeat myself, so I must recommend revisiting this thorough preview of the changes awaiting you. It will not disappoint.

Let the Seasons Turn
– Season 4 & the Season Journey –

Just as the angels of the high heavens are reborn from the Crystal Arch, each new Season brings a slew of new nephalem, ready to take on the impossible (or to, hopefully, die trying). Regardless of the start or end, the story of each hero is unique. As such, each should be individually chronicled.

Along with the regular updates to seasonal Conquests, Legendaries, and rewards, a new archive system known as the Season Journey will chronicle your accomplishments each season, beginning with Season 4. Whether you rise to great glories or meet a terrible end, the choice is yours as to how far you set your sights. My combustible companion Tyvalir has detailed these seasonal subjects, so investigate his findings if a fresh start sounds appealing to you.

Armed to the Teeth
– New & Revised Legendary Items –

Greedy little nephalem, I can feel your ravenous desire for precious treasure in the hollow of my chest. Of course we will fulfill your gluttonous appetite—after all, each sin we tempt you with is but another nudge toward your imminent downfall.

Frivolous trinkets and outfits are well beyond my interests, but the onerous goatman Grimiku has cataloged the more notable items. While this is not a comprehensive list, it should give you a tantalizing taste of what is to come.

Rise to the Challenge
– Sescheron Awaits –

Does this slake your thirst? Or do you crave even more knowledge? There are whispers that you might soon have the opportunity to ask of us what you will, but the details are murky at this time. Keep your dull eyes open in the coming days. We will have more to share, and it would be wise you pay close attention.

How are you preparing to storm the broken gates of Sescheron? Are you preparing for the next Season or pining to get your hands on Kanai’s Cube? Do let us know in the comments below.  After all, if I am to observe your oblivion, it is far more gratifying to know exactly how far you will fall.

Good luck, nephalem.