Diablo III News

Blizzard Introduces Theorycraft Thursdays

A weekly focus on a specific class build and the items that work best with it

Diablo III Theorycraft Thursdays
So much of the class builds in the Reaper of Souls Expansion are based on a specific combination of skills and equipment. A new Diablo III community weekly 'Theorycraft Thursday' event will focus on a specific interesting build each week, along with the items that can make it work. Submissions are already open, with the highlights starting on May 1. It will be fun to see a focus on specific builds, and compare them to our Popular Builds and Skills data.

In your adventures across Westmarch and beyond, you've undoubtedly come across different items, affixes, environments, mechanics, and even anecdotes from other players that have influenced or outright changed the way you play the game (or at least tempted you to try something you never before considered). All these variables can shape and help define your hero's individual playstyle, also known as its build. 

There are so many different ways to a build a hero in Diablo III. But what build are you using right now? How did you create it? And why do you like it so much? That's exactly what we intend to explore in our new weekly segment, Theorycraft Thursday!

What's Theorycraft Thursday?

Every Thursday starting May 1, we'll highlight a new build created by you, our community. We'll showcase the skills and passives you're using, the items that may have had an effect on your choices, how this build has shaped your gameplay experience, and of course: why you love it. If selected, your build will appear on the front page (right here!) of diablo3.com, giving other players the opportunity to discuss, debate, and ask you questions about it.

The fun doesn't stop there, though. Every four weeks, we'll throw up a poll and have the community vote on their favorite featured builds from the past month. The player whose build nets the most votes will have an opportunity to join a few Blizzard employees in-game and showcase their build LIVE on our official Diablo Twitch.tv channel!

How to Participate:

Interested? Awesome! To participate, just send an e-mail to TheorycraftThursday@blizzard.com with the following information:

  • The name, if any, of your build. (If you don't have one, I am not completely responsible for the lame pun your build may wind up being associated with.)
  • The mode in which you use this build. (Normal, Hardcore, or dare I say… Seasons?) Feel free to mention what difficulty you play on too!
  • Which skills, runes, and passives you use. A link to your build using the Skill Calculator would also be appreciated.
  • A screenshot of and/or a link to your character profile. (If you only submit a link to your character profile but not a screenshot, please do not change your skills until you’ve received a confirmation e-mail that we’ve received your submission.)
  • The names of any items or Legendaries that help this build flourish. If it doesn't focus on a build-changing Legendary, that's cool too – just let us know!
  • What this build does best. Do you use this build primarily for doing Bounties? Or do you use it for playing Campaign Mode?  Whether you’re taking on Infernal Machines or doing a bit of everything, be sure to specify!
  • What makes this build AWESOME. Does it showcase big crits, or is it great at clearing large packs? Maybe it’s super mobile, or features supreme survivability?
  • Two to three screenshots of your build in action!

We're eager to see the creativity of our community, and we're even more excited about getting the chance to hang out and play alongside you. So get your submissions in and we'll see you May 1!

If you hvae a great build that you want to show off, it's a good time to think about how to present that to the world.

Hotfixes Update the 'Shard of Hate' Power

Fixes to bugs with the Legendary sword and other Blizzard Blues posts

Shard of Hate Display
The Legendary sword Shard of Hate was added in patch 2.0, and has a powerful attack that can activate from elemental skills. The sword's special ability has been too powerful so far, especially for certain specs like the Barbarian Whirlwind builds, doing far more damage than could be achieved with other weapons. The Diablo III team has found two bugs that are being taken care of with hotfixes, that made the weapon do more damage than was intended. That is detailed in one of the recent Blizzard Blues posts, so let's delve into them!

Patch 2.0.4 Hotfixes
The latest hotfixes detail the changes coming to the Shard of Hate, which are still listed as Upcoming Changes, at the moment. Other changes that already went in include a couple skill fixes.

  • Shard of Hate
    • Fixed an issue where the internal cooldown for this item's Legendary affix was being reset when dual-wielding.
    • Fixed an issue where this item's Legendary affix did not account for a skill's proc scalar, causing it to proc on every skill use.



Demon Hunter

Shard of Hate Hotfix Details
A more detailed explanation was provided for the fixes coming to the Shard of Hate legendary. This weapon has been extraordinarily powerful for certain classes and builds. Even with the rarity of the weapon, it has already climbed into the top 5 of our charts displaying the Most Popular Barbarian One-Handed Weapons, among the top 25% of Barbarians by elite kills.
As with other recent hotfixes, we’ve got one coming up shortly that we wanted to give the community a heads up about, this time regarding the legendary Shard of Hate. We’ve been closely observing our internal reports as well as player feedback on the Shard of Hate and the general consensus is that this item feels wildly out of line compared to other items. After digging in behind the scenes, we discovered a couple of bugs with this item that we believe is the ultimate culprit.

First, the internal cooldown of this item’s power was being reset each time a dual-wielding character attacked with a weapon in their other hand. This meant the effect was occurring twice as often for dual-wielding characters, and with particular skills such as Whirlwind or Tempest Rush that also carry attack speed multipliers, this effect was even more frequent.

Secondly, the proc rate of the item was ignoring the proc scalar of the skill it was used with, which in simple terms caused Shard of Hate’s affix to apply every time a skill was used. Combined with the above issue, this resulted in this Legendary vastly over performing, and even more so with particular builds.

The hotfixes we’re applying correct both of these unintended behaviors and have been added to our 2.0.4 Hotfixes thread. As with all major changes, we hope to provide insight as to why we felt these changes were necessary as well as give context to the decisions we ultimately make.

Horadric Cache and Difficulty Levels
Grimiku jumped into a discussion about the Horadric Cache rewards from Bounties, and how those rewards relate to the Dynamic Difficulty levels.
Posted by: commiedic

I run bounties on Normal just to burn through them as quick as possible, but I can burn through T1 almost just as fast. Should I be doing them on T1 for a higher percentage drop rate from the caches or should I just keep doing them on normal?

The loot from a Horadric Cache won't change based on the difficulty, but Torment 1 does offer incentives (like an increased drop rate, gold and experience) that help while you're earning a cache. If what you want is to get as many Horadric Caches as possible then a lower difficulty might be optimal, though, since all of the benefits for increasing the difficulty to Torment 1 exist outside of the cache specific loot.
Posted by: Flood

Sorry, just wanted to clarify something. You're very clear about the loot in the cache not changing based on the difficulty. I take that to mean that the loot table does not change.

However, does the "chance" that you'll get a legendary from that fixed loot table increase with each torment level?

For example. Am I just as likely to get a Ring of Royal Grandeur (a cache specific item) from a T1 cache as I am from a T6 cache?


That's a great observation, but more of an oversight on my part rather than precise, selective messaging. The chance to get a Legendary item from a Horadric Cache does not change based on the difficulty you acquired the cache. To use the example provided you'd have the same chance to get the Ring of Royal Grandeur from a cache acquired in Torment 1 as one acquired in Torment 6.

Set Items from Kadala
The gambling for items with Blood Shards can occasionally reward a powerful Legendary item. The items that can be obtained through gambling are limited, though. Some of the items that are not obtainable from Kadala, include the class-specific set items. (More generic sets with items like Blackthorne's Surcoat can be obtained through gambling.)
I dug around a little to see if I could find a bug or something, but it's looking like everything is working as intended. It's not currently possible to get a piece of Tal Rasha's (or Firebird's) set from Kadala. We're always interested in finding out if there's a bug, though, so feel free to let us know if you did find an item on Kadala that she shouldn't have. As a reminder (or in case you're wondering) Kadala should not be able to offer any items that are restricted to Horadric Caches or Torment difficulty.

Items Higher than Character Level
In multiplayer games, items drop based on the level of the party leader, as of right now. So a lower level character getting power leveled by a much higher level character, may end up with higher level gear than they can immediately use.
Posted by: Jeremy

Posted by: Polaris

The game session has a level. When you look above the minimap it says something like "Torment I (70)" The (70) indicates the level of the game. Drops are based on that number, and it is tied to the level of the Party Guide.

So you're saying if it says 70, while I'm still lvl 1, it is intended that I can get lvl 70 gears? that's mainly my question.

Yep, that's the way it's currently intended to work! A level 1 character will get level 70 gear if they've joined a game made by a 70. This might be something that we take another look at later on down the road, but it's hard to tell at this point. As a side note, there are a lot of level reduced items, so be sure to keep an eye out for them whenever you join your higher level friends game. You just might find an upgrade sooner than you think!

Keywarden Spawns
The Keywardens that drop the keys and recipe for the Hellfire Ring are supposed to only spawn on Torment difficulties, but there is a bug where they can spawn at lower difficulties as well. Be careful out there, especially on hardcore!
Key Wardens are only supposed to appear in games set to Torment difficulty, since that's when they start having a chance to drop a key. However, there is a bug that allows them to sometimes show up in games set on a lower difficulty than Torment 1, but it's not meant to work that way.

Closing Nephalem Rifts
There is a big discussion on the forums, about the etiquette of closing Nephalem Rifts. The game closes the Rift automatically shortly after any character in the party completes the event in town, and some players feel like that is a problem.
Just wanted to jump in say thanks for this discussion! I've already passed it along to our devs.

I've got a few follow-up questions, though. If you'll humor me. :)

Question #1: After killing a Rift Boss, do you prefer:
  • Clearing the Rift in its entirety before collecting your rewards?

- OR-
  • Collecting your rewards immediately, closing the Rift before clearing?

Question #2: In your opinion, what do you feel would be a happy medium between the two different playstyles (clearing Rifts vs. not clearing Rifts)?

Question #3: Why does having a Rift closed in a group before you have a chance to clear it (if you prefer that option) bother you or frustrate you? From a personal perspective, how does it negatively affect your gameplay? (Or does it even affect you?)


Keep track of the current Diablo III news with the latest Blizzard Blues posts in our Blue Post Tracker or the RSS feeds.

PlayStation 4 Diablo III Previewed at PAX East

New features for the PS4 edition includes a side-kick Apprentice Mode

Diablo III Console Developers at PAX East 2014
The console group of the Diablo III team has been hard at work on Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition for the PlayStation 4. This past weekend at PAX East 2014 in Boston, they showed off the PS4 version of the game, and detailed new features that aren't in any other edition of the game. These include social features with item trading via a mail system, a side-kick Apprentice Mode, and other interesting ideas.

Diablo III console senior producer Julia Humphreys and senior level designer Matthew Berger, seen above, talked about the development of Diablo III on the next-generation console. In a video with GameSpot they showed off the game in 1080p resolution at 60fps.

Here's a list of the features discussed in the video, for Diablo III on the PS4.

  • Apprentice Mode allows two characters at different levels to level up easily with each other. Using a side-kick type of system, the lower level character is temporarily boosted up to the higher level for that play session. Both characters get experience and gear according to their base level, as they level together. The lower level character gets a bit of an extra experience boost, to help them level up even faster.
  • Player Mail will be available, to let players send items to an ingame mailbox of other players on their friends list. It isn't explicitly stated, but it appears that Legendary items won't be bind-on-account to the same degree that they are now in the PC version of Diablo III.
  • When a Legendary drops for a player, there is a chance for an extra Player Gift to drop, specifically for someone on the friends list. It can be opened by any character on the friend's account, and the item will roll a Rare or Legendary appropriate to that character.
  • A fun feature is the Nemesis system, which was previously called Avenger Kills in the previous developer discussion at BlizzCon 2013. If a monster kills your character, there is a chance that it can level up, turn into a different creature, gain new abilities and jump into a portal (and out of your game). Later on that same monster can show up with ominous music in your friend's game, with a name making it clear that it was the monster that killed your character. If the monster kills your friend's character, it gets even more powerful, and can go on to someone else on their friends list! If the monster is killed, there are Player Gifts that can be sent back to the character who it originally killed.
  • Some parts of Diablo III haven't had a big impact so far, and are being boosted for this edition to give the game a more "arcadey" feel. Massacre bonuses are being boosted to give more experience and prominence in the display, and each new level reached of the Massacre bonus (10, 20, 30 monsters killed, etc.) provides a chance of dropping a Nephalem Glory globe. The Destruction bonus from destroying 5 or more pieces of furniture or barrels, now provides a little speed boost. Killing enemies with traps like chandeliers is being experimented with, to possibly provide a resource boost.
  • One of the areas that was a little tedious on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 editions of Diablo III was dealing with loot in a local multiplayer game, where only one person could have their inventory open at once. To help with this further in the PS4 edition, loot in a local multiplayer game will automatically be assigned to a character who can use it. When it shows up on the ground, it's marked for Player 1, Player 2, Player 3, or Player 4. For example, if a Demon Hunter picks up an item with Strength, it will automatically go to the Barbarian in the group, since that's who it was really dropped for.
  • The PS4 edition is being tuned specifically for the console. It will include all of the Reaper of Souls Expansion features, as well as the base game content and recent patches. This includes the Crusader class, Acts 1-5, Adventure Mode, and all the other expansion content.
Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition is scheduled to be released sometime in 2014. Any characters from the previous PlayStation 3 edition of the game can be transferred and upgraded into the PS4 edition. Blizzard also has Diablo III in Development for the Xbox One, but they have yet to announce if or when the game will be released for that console.

Explore the Top Diablo III Items in 'Reaper of Souls'

An early look at the most popular Legendary and Set items at level 70

Diablo III is a game with epic loot, and here at Diablo Somepage we enjoy tracking exactly which loot is the most popular. We now have fully updated charts for the Best Legendary and Set Items, that list the most popular Legendary and Set items at level 70 in the Reaper of Souls Expansion. This includes brand new charts for the stalwart Crusaders, along with the 5 other classes. These charts are generated daily from data of more than 3 million Diablo III characters.

The Best Legendary and Set Items overview section has data of the most popular weapons and armor from all the classes combined. This shows the items that are used by characters in many or all of the classes. There are individual sections for each of the 6 classes; select the links below to jump right to the class you want to see!

Some thoughts to keep in mind about this early look at the top items for level 70 characters in Diablo III:
  • The expansion has been out for less than a month, and many players are still getting their characters to level 70 and starting to gear up. We expect these item numbers to change dramatically in the future, as more players farm up powerful legendaries.
  • Currently a high percentage of the items used at level 70 are Rare. Those come from drops or from players crafting up items to replace old gear after they reach level 70. These include crafts from the Sovereign Ascended and other recipes. The percentage of equipped items that are Rare will drop over time, as more of those slots are instead filled with the new Loot 2.0 Legendary and Set items.
  • The old versions of these charts split up the softcore maximum level characters into two groups, based on each character's Paragon Level. Since the Paragon 2.0 revamp changed Paragon Levels to be shared across accounts, that is no longer a useful way to divide up the softcore characters. We currently split up the softcore characters into two groups, based on the total elite kills that a level 70 softcore character has made. The main group for each class is made up characters who are at the bottom 75% for elite kills. The smaller group for each class has the top 25% of elite kills. The hardcore characters continue together as a single intrepid group.
  • The Legendary and Set items in these charts come in three different editions:
    1. The standard Legendary and Set items are the ones that drop now in Diablo III, since Patch 2.0 arrived. These make up the vast majority of the most popular items at level 70.
    2. The (Legacy) Legendary and Set items are no longer available, but dropped before patch 2.0. A handful of those older items from level 60 are still useful even at level 70, and they show up in the charts.
    3. The (Old Legacy) Legendary and Set items are very old, as they only dropped prior to Diablo III PC patch 1.0.4. These can be seen in very low percentages in some of the Demon Hunter Best Items charts, a handful of items from the Demon Hunter Set in that era, which provided a powerful 4-piece set bonus.
  • Two of the Legacy items take top honors for the most popular softcore items at level 70, among the lower 75% of elite kill characters. They are the level 60 Legacy edition of the Legendary belt The Witching Hour (Legacy), and set pants Inna's Temperance (Legacy). Those are currently the top two items across all the classes for lower 75% of the softcore level 70 characters. Those two items included high values of Increased Attack Speed, making them hard to replace for certain classes and builds at level 70.
  • There are many options for weapons at level 70, including weapons with class-specific bonuses. In the combined top 25 lists of popular items across all the classes, there is currently one weapon that makes the charts: the transplanted sword Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker.
  • You can look up your own Diablo III BattleTag in our database, or add it to be recorded and kept up to date, in the Add a BattleTag section. Keep in mind that the character stat sheets are partially incorrect for the time being, until all the information on Diablo III characters (including Paragon Point allocation) is available from Battle.net. Adding your account allows us to scan it, both for our charts and to provide you with the history of your characters and Diablo III progression.
  • We have updated the look and layout of these charts to make them as easy to read as possible. The individual charts now list more items than the previous versions, to reflect the many items that characters at obtaining at level 70. If you have any feedback or suggestions, feel free to leave us feedback.
See all the latest Diablo III charts and guides, and find out the Diablo III news as it happens! Follow Diablo Somepage on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ for updates.

Update Monday, April 14, 1:10PM EDT - The original charts were missing some of the crafted Legendary and Set items. That issue has been fixed, and all the items are now listed. One other issue to be aware of: There are two different Witch Doctor helms with the same name, the Legendary Mask of Jeram and the Set item Mask of Jeram. Since both of those items have the exact same name and are currently dropping in Diablo III, we need to update our system to support that. For now, the set item is listed as a (Legacy) item, even though it is actually current; that will be updated in the future, so they both are correctly listed as current items. Our thanks to the great feedback provided in the reddit discussion, that helped with these issues.

Legendary Drops Fixed in Patch 2.0.4

Undocumented changes in the new patch include higher pet damage

Hexing Pants of Mr. Yan - Level 70
The arrival of patch 2.0.4 brought changes both big and small to Diablo III. The Diablo III Patch 2.0.4 Patch Notes and Hotfixes info has the official list of changes, but there were many other additions and tweaks that didn't get listed in the initial patch notes. These include new Paragon Level portraits, certain Legendary items dropping at level 70 for the first time, and a potential big buff to pet damage. Read on for all the details!

Legendary Items Dropping Again
Certain Legendary items were removed when the Reaper of Souls Expansion arrived, and so were not dropping. One of those items was the Hexing Pants of Mr. Yan. As seen in the image above, from a discussion at reddit, those Legendary pants are now dropping at level 70. This was listed in a blue post in the Italian Blizzard forums, and then later confirmed in the updated Patch 2.0.4 Hotfixes. There are 6 items that have now started dropping at level 70, that weren't available in the expansion before patch 2.0.4.
Shortly before the launch of Reaper of Souls some legendary items were temporarily removed because they needed a fix that was implemented with patch 2.0.4. As the patch is live, the following items can be found again in the game:

Pets Fully Inherit Critical Hit Damage
Another substantial change that slipped into patch 2.0.4 involves pet damage. Previously the Critical Hit Damage stat for pets was capped at 50%. With the patch that cap has been removed, so pet critical damage now can scale up further based on their master's gear. This was confirmed as an intended change by Nevalistis, for all pets. This change dramatically increases the damage of pets for characters who have a high amount of Critical Hit Damage.
Posted by: Bogy

would be nice if they made a statement about the chd pet dmng changes and if they are here to stay or not

Wish granted. :)

This is indeed an intended change, and the amount of benefit provided to pets does not have a cap. Critical Hit Damage now scales for all pets, from Witch Doctors to Demon Hunters. This actually also includes stationary pets, such as Sentries and Hydras.

Apologies for the delay in communication on this one, but we always want to be sure the information we're providing is full and accurate, and it took me some time to check with all the appropriate folks that this was an actual change and not a bug. We'll be updating the patch notes to reflect this information as well.

Skill, Item, and Gameplay Undocumented Changes
Here are further changes to the game, as detailed in various reddit.com/r/Diablo threads.
  • The Crusader passive Iron Maiden was initially doing much higher Thorns damage, scaling up by Torment level. This was hotfixed shortly after patch 2.0.4 was released, and the skill will be reworked in a future patch.
  • The Demon Hunter skill Chakram - Twin Chakrams now spins through most world walls, like other Chakram runes.
  • The Healing attribute is made up from many different stats like Life on Hit and Life per Kill. The calculation of that attribute appears to have been changed in the patch, for all the stats that provide healing based on a resource. Stats like Life per Fury Spent and Life per Spirit Spent now are weighted less, in the overall Healing attribute.
  • As mentioned above, Moonlight Ward is dropping again, available for the first time at level 70. The special Legendary power from that amulet now has an internal cooldown of 1-2 seconds, so it can't go off constantly, as it was before.
  • The Wizard off-hand Mirrorball provides extra missiles to Magic Missile. Those extra missiles no longer give a chance to proc events like Life on Hit, APoC, etc.
  • The item stat Increases Damage Against Elite now stacks additively, instead of calculating with diminishing returns as it used to. This makes it more worthwhile to wear multiple items with the stat, which increases damage to all elite creatures including bosses, goblins, and even other players.

Cosmetic Undocumented Changes
There were many cosmetic improvements made with patch 2.0.4, and here are some of those.
  • The text for monster health now has commas in the numbers, making them easier to read.
  • There are new Paragon Level portraits every 100 levels, starting at level 200 and going up to level 800. The new portraits mainly add stars around the character icon.
  • Once a Pool of Reflection has been used, it no longer shows as active on the minimap.
  • An improvement that makes it much easier for players doing the Reset Quests option, to replay through the Campaign Mode: quests that haven't been played yet are now a different color than completed quests. This makes it easy to see which quests still need to be done, to be eligible to use Reset Quests.

    Quest Selection UI in Patch 2.0.4
  • New graphics for the Wizard skill Archon are different, depending on the rune used.
  • If you're lucky enough to get a Legendary or Set item gambling with Kadala, that item is now listed in chat, as if it had dropped.
  • There are now new icons for the Mystery items that can be gambled from Kadala.
There will doubtless be more changes and additions that show up for the patch. Keep an eye on the Diablo III Patch 2.0.4 Patch Notes and Hotfixes for updates to the official patch notes and hotfixes.
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