Beta Hotfix for Split Farming of Bounties

'Split farming' for Bounties is discouraged, by changes in group play

Diablo III Hotfixes
On the current Reaper of Souls Expansion Closed Beta server, one of the fastest way for groups to complete Bounties has been to split up -- everybody goes off to complete their own Bounty. That is not the sort of behavior that the developers want to reward, and a new Hotfix for the Beta server discourages that activity. There are a number of other issues that have been announced will also be dealt with, in the next Beta/PTR patch.

Split Farming of Bounties
Travis Day directly addressed the issue last week, since players have found it more efficient to split up to farm Bounties, instead of playing together:
On the topic of split farming, this is very clearly not how we want players to play the game. We know of the problems it causes as well as the reasons its occurring and are actively discussing ways to address the problem. While we love coop and we want players to enjoy playing the game together, the right answer should obviously not be "Lets play coop and all go solo in the game!"

Today we learned of the first changes to deal with the issue: only players who are in the same area as a Bounty being completed, will receive rewards from that Bounty. In addition, the buff for being in a multiplayer game is now only active on players who are within 100 yards of each other. The Closed Beta Hotfixes were updated with the following live hotfixes:
  • Players no longer receive rewards for a bounty if they are not in the same level area as the bounty as it is being completed.
    • This is part of our solution regarding the concern of "split farming" bounties. Please note that we are still exploring other options.
  • Players now need to be within 100 yards of each other in order to benefit from the Strength in Numbers buff.

A post by Grimiku also mentions the change before it went live:
We're going to make a change to Bounty rewards in an upcoming hotfix that should reduce the amount of split farming players are seeing. Players will no longer receive the reward if they're not in the area when the Bounty is completed, and we've updated the Closed Beta Hotfix thread to reflect this change. I should also note that this is just one element to a solution, and we're still looking at options.

Changes in Next PTR/Beta Patch
There are a number of different bugs and issues that are confirmed to be fixed in the next PTR/Beta patch. Here are some of those issues, with links to the blue post for each topic. See the RoS Beta Known Issues - Updated 2/12/14 for more issues that will be dealt with, at some point.
  • The star that shows on the minimap where a Legendary dropped is not currently showing up on the test server, but will return in the next patch.
  • The Reduced Level Requirement item affix is currently showing up far too much on items, and will be reduced in frequency. A separate issue with primary affixes not rolling at all on items is also being looked into.
  • The revamped Magic Weapon Wizard skill with the Deflection shield has a number of issues, in the current Beta/PTR patch, that will be addressed in the next build.
  • A character can get stuck in Maghda's arena after killing her. A temporary fix for the time being is to kill Maghda near the middle of her room, and not out around the edges.

Skills Without Resources
Lastly, a confirmation of a change in how Diablo III handles it when a character is out of their skill resource, like Fury for a Barbarian. In the initial Friends & Family Beta for Reaper of Souls, there was a change made in the user interface: if a character didn't have enough resource to cast the secondary skill on their right-click button, the primary skill would be used instead. This was removed by the developers, as Nevalistis explains on Twitter:

That's a look at the changes that arrived today for the PTR/Beta server, or that will be coming. With the "split farming" hotfix changes now live, we'll see if there need to be further tweaks made to deal with that issue, in hotfixes or the patch to come.
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