Development continues to ramp up in testing the next big content patch.
The next big content patch is ready for testing, with a slew of new Sets and Legendary items.
The Diablo Twitch livestream moves to Friday for the next round.
A presentation about the difficulties of the Diablo III release, and the steps since then
Another item will be added to each original set, in a PTR patch next week
The five original class sets are getting a lot of attention in patch 2.2.0. Those sets are:
The 5 vanilla class sets will get a 7th piece in the next PTR patch. Should help w/ gearing/power issues since the sets have weapon/jewelry.— John Yang (@_JohnYang) March 3, 2015
An entirely new Barbarian set is being added in patch 2.2.0, the Wrath of the Wastes set built around using Whirlwind. The set bonuses have changed multiple times since it was first introduced back at BlizzCon 2014, and most recently were based on swapping between Whirlwind and Rend. The set will change again in the upcoming PTR patch, and now will be focused more specifically on using Whirlwind.
@itsNobbie WW Set has changed and should feel more like WW. WW won't require Rend on target for dmg. You'll see it next PTR patch in a week.— John Yang (@_JohnYang) March 3, 2015
Skills that provide damage immunity are getting changed in patch 2.2. It has been a constant concern that stacking Cooldown Reduction and certain items could allow for permanent immunity. Skills such as Smoke Screen and Serenity have been changed back and forth multiple times since the release of Diablo III to prevent being able to play with permanent immunity, going all the way back to the first hotfixes for the game!
The topic came up again in relation to the Legendary item Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac being updated in patch 2.2. The ring's new Legendary power is:
Reduces the remaining cooldown of one of your skills by 1 second each time you spend resource.
To deal with the issue across the board, in patch 2.2.0 four skills will be changed so that their cooldown starts after the skill buff ends: Smoke Screen, Serenity, Spirit Walk, and the rune Laws of Hope - Stop Time.
The change listed above for Spirit Walk will impact most Witch Doctors; as seen in the Popular Witch Doctor Skills, it is easily their most used skill. The Witch Doctor set Raiment of the Jade Harvester will see set set bonus updates, along with another Legendary item, to help mitigate the skill cooldown change. John Yang also mentioned this on Twitter, along with a discussion of a new cat Mojo graphic. There won't be a Mojo with that graphic in patch 2.2, but hopefully it will arrive in another patch down the road.
Jade Harvester will get new 2pc/4pc bonuses and a new complementary item to make up for the Immunity changes that affect Spirit Walk.— John Yang (@_JohnYang) March 4, 2015
@thheller What you're really asking for is Jade to perform/play better against 3 or less targets. I hear you. Stay tuned.— John Yang (@_JohnYang) March 4, 2015
As with other recent patches, the next Diablo III patch will be released simultaneously for PC/Mac, and the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles.
Development continues to ramp up in testing the next big content patch
The weapon Ashbringer is coming to Diablo III with patch 2.2.0, as seen above on the PTR. This is another classic weapon from World of Warcraft. As detailed in a reddit thread, the sword changes appearance when it shifts from the Corrupted Ashbringer to the fully powered Ashbringer. The weapon's transformation was temporarily disabled by a hotfix on the PTR, due to performance issues.
Hotfixes have been rolling out on the Public Test Realm, to deal with issues on the server. This includes fixes for the new class sets that weren't dropping properly, and temporarily disables some Legendary powers that were causing performance problems.
Developer Don Vu took to the forums to discuss the revamped set bonuses in the Monk set Raiment of a Thousand Storms, which will be changed further in an upcoming PTR patch. Many class set bonuses are getting updated in patch 2.2, to give more interesting gearing options for the end-game.
It can be a bit annoying after getting a new Diablo III hero to level 70, to go through the process of obtaining a solid Ring of Royal Grandeur. Going through Bounties in Act I over and over is tedious, and the developers are looking at other possibilities for obtaining that ring. The goal is to make it so players can experience other types of gameplay, and not be stuck doing the same content.
Since there is so much going on with the new patch on the PTR, the community team has a thread devoted to feedback focused on specific topics. If you are testing out these items on the PTR, be sure to drop by and let them know what you think.
There have been frame rate issues on the PTR that are being looked into, along with other bugs like the wrong quality of gems dropping from new Treasure Goblins. There will no doubt be many more PTR patches as the development continues for patch 2.2.0.
The patch is ready for testing, with a temporary Legendary drop bonus
The next content patch is available for download on the PTR
Patch 2.2.0 includes a number of technical updates, including an overhaul of the file format used for the Diablo III data files. The PTR data can be currently downloaded, but more work is being done before the test server is ready to go. The many new features and changes in patch 2.2.0 can be tested soon, once the PTR is up.
The Ruins of Sescheron is a new Adventure Mode area previewed at BlizzCon 2014. The new area isn't ready for patch 2.2.0, and will arrive in a later patch.
There will be three new class Sets added in patch 2.2. Earlier this month it was still undecided whether or not those Set items would be Seasonal upon release. The current plan is for the Sets to not be Seasonal items, so all heroes will be able to obtain them once patch 2.2.0 lands.
The very useful Ramaladni's Gift is handy to have, but some lucky players are ending up with multiple copies sitting around in their stash. That will be fixed in the upcoming patch, as the consumable will become stackable.
The first Season ran for 5 months, but this second one is expected to not last as long. The new planned schedule for patches and Seasons involves ending the current Season, pushing the content patch live, and then starting the next Season.
Blizzard has developed a new file system for their games, and it is coming to Diablo III in patch 2.2.0. The CASC file format first arrived in World of Warcraft with the most recent expansion to that game. As seen in the extensive WoW hotfix list, the new file system has increased the speed and breadth of the hotfixes that update World of Warcraft. While Diablo III does not require as many regular changes as World of Warcraft, the new CASC file format will make it easier to apply any needed hotfixes.
The new Wizard set Delsere's Magnum Opus is coming in the new patch. It is one of the ways the developers are looking to increase diversity in the end-game beyond the standard Firebird's Finery set that dominates the Wizard Most Popular Items.