BlizzCon 2015 Diablo III Panel

The Diablo III developers preview exciting new features coming in patch 2.4

BlizzCon 2015 Diablo III Panel
The Diablo III team has been hard at work on Patch 2.4, and now it's time to show it off! The main Diablo III panel at BlizzCon 2015 is titled Blood and Treasure: New Content & Features in Reaper of Souls. A group of Diablo III developers are lead by game director Josh Mosqueira in covering the new features, which include: new monsters, over 175 new Bounties, the new zone Greyhollow Island, Set Dungeons, a revamped buff User Interface, 50 new Legendary items, and much more!

A liveblog of most of the panel is below, or view the video for all the fun details!

  • And we're going! We had a bit of technical difficulties getting running, but we're up.
  • 16 new monsters in Patch 2.4, over 175 new Bounties.
  • New Bounties include new cursed chests and shrines, some are going to be based on new events. A new type of Bounty is Bounty Grounds. Go through a red portal, a small enclosed world, 6 of them. There are one of four different types. One type has 6 shrines; while you click on the shrines, monsters are jumping on you; if you do it fast enough, you get bonus chests. Other types include 3 packs of champions - if you don't kill them fast enough, they'll be spawning at the same time.
  • Wyatt Cheng is up to talk about system changes. A lot of them have been based on feedback from the community. Feedback comes from emails, the official forums, Twitter and Reddit, and they take in suggestions from a lot of those places. Most of them fall into one of 3 categories:
    1. An idea that a player is feeling, but can't be implemented for some reason - they aren't feasible.
    2. The second category are changes that they can do! It fits within the design schedule, and they can do it.
    3. The third category is the tricky one, where a root cause needs to be fixed, and not just a superficial issue. A good example is the Ring of Royal Grandeur that was so powerful. The journey of that lead to more rings being added into the game, and eventually Kanai's Cube.
  • A large number of suggestions have been around the buff UI - both the buffs from Legendary items, and the skills. A lot of time has been put into the development cycle has been to revamp the buff UI. The focus is to look at buffs you care about, versus those you don't care about as much like longer term ones.
  • Always on abilities will have golden glows that show around them, when they are active. Other longer term buffs will have a green bar that slowly moves down. For Mantras, there will be a buff holder that can be moused over to look at all of them. Warcry and other such skills also go into there.
  • Rewards of solo versus co-op: they are closing the gap on Greater Rift Progression, and shifting where you get your xp from. The game is designed from the ground up for multiplayer, but the disparity is too wide. The health for monsters in Greater Rifts will be reduced for solo, 2-player, and 3-player groups. Experience gear will also be changed. The +bonus experience % gear will be changed - the effectiveness will be reduced at level 70. THe ruby currently at 41% on live, will be going down to 4.1%. To compensate, the experience for killing monsters will be increased by 50% across the board. Also, the action combat that gives monster bonus from massacres that has been on the console edition of Diablo III will be coming to the PC edition.
  • What to do about gold? Some people don't have enough gold, some are swimming in it. They want to add a use for gold, that makes it valuable again, but have it be optional. That leads to the new feature in patch 2.4 of Empowered Rifts. It's like a Greater Rift, but you pay some extra gold up front to get in, and if you succeed in it you get a 4th gem upgrade chance. The cost scales based on the rift, from 159,000 gold for GR 1, to 49.9 million for Greater Rift 50. A Greater Rift 75 will cost 540 million gold per run to be an Empowered Rift!
  • A new recipe for Kanai's Cube is coming that relates to this. It allows you to permanently augment a Legendary item by sacrificing a Legendary gem. It takes an Ancient item, a regular gem, and a Legendary gem. For every rank of the Legendary gem that you sacrifice, you get a bonus of +5 stat (Intelligence, Strength, Dexterity) per rank of the Legendary gem.
  • New display for damage - large numbers are simplified to have an M for "millions of damage", and the highest amount of damage hangs out in a bit.
  • In the next patch, there is a display on Legendary item tooltips to show if that power is already in the Kanai's Cube. Death's Breath gets a new color, so it's not just yellow. And finally, the tooltips like Damage and Toughness will be displayed for changing gear on Followers.
  • Alex Sulman is up to talk about items in patch 2.4. There are 50 new Legendary items in the patch. Vile Hive - Locust Swarm gains the effect of the Pestilence rune. Another power: Energy Twister damage increases by the number of Twisters that are already out.
  • Sets have been reworked - Thorns of the Evoker has 6 piece bonus, and it makes Thorns actually matter! The Shadow's Mantle is the Demon Hunter melee damage set, along with a Legendary dagger specifically for boosting melee Impale damage.
  • For people who don't like sets, they took the Legacy of the Nightmares 2 piece ring set, and it has a bonus when it is the only set bonus being used - it's the "no set set".
  • Next big feature: Set Dungeons - designed around the power of the 6 piece set. You find a dungeon, wearing the appropriate set. There are specific objectives, based on the set's bonuses. 24 dungeons, 4 for each of the 6 classes. If you complete the entire dungeon without dying, you earn a pennant. If you master all 24 of them, you earn some great green cosmetic wings.
  • Next up, Kevin Martens with Seasons info. They've experimented with different rewards for Seasons: Seasonal Legendary items, cosmetic bonuses, portrait frames, and pennants, and pets like the Frost Hound in the current season. They've experimented with races on the Leaderboards and Conquests, in the seasons. They want personal accomplishments to be part of the Conquests, not just a race to level 70. They're trying to improve across the board with Seasons.
  • New feature: Rebirth. You can start over but lose nothing. You keep all your gear which is mailed to you, you keep the hours played, you keep your character records. But you can take a character and start over fresh for the length of the Season, and then you get all stuff that back at the end of the season, plus everything you get during the season.
  • Season 4 will be approximately 4 months, and end in late December; there will be the standard 2 week warning before it ends.
  • There's another experiment with Season length. There will be a short break between season - maybe a couple weeks, maybe a few days more or less than that.
  • Starting with Season 5, the season length will be 3 months long. If it works well, that will be the standard length from now on.
  • Conquests and Season Journey will rotate - 5 in each season for Hardcore and non-Hardcore. There are more pets and pennants coming as a reward, and other cosmetic rewards; a pet is coming as a reward in Season 5. For a future season is a skull and bones pennant. There are Andarial wings that will also be rewarded in a future season.
  • Going forward, there will not be Season-exclusive Legendary rewards. All of the 50+ new Legendary items in patch 2.4 will be available for everyone. In Season 5 you will be guaranteed a 6 piece set - the Monk gets Sunwuko Set guaranteed.
  • In patch 2.4 players can buy one more stash space. You get more stash spaces as you complete the Seasonal Journey steps. This continues up to a maximum of 10 tabs, doubling the current maximum stash space for PC. Console Ultimate Evil Edition will go from 210 to 350 slots as soon as patch 2.4 launches.
  • There will be 2 steps to the PTR. On Monday patch 2.3.0B will go up on Monday for a technical test. If all goes well on Wednesday or Thursday next week, patch 2.4 will go up on the PTR.
  • Q&A Time!
  • Q: Ramaladi's Gift - it's very RNG whether you get it or not, will that be smoothed out?
    A: It's just a straight increase to the power, it doesn't enable a whole new way to play like a RoRG, so it is kept RNG.
  • Augmenting with the new Legendary gem Kanai's Cube increases based on the level of the Legendary gem - it just overwrites the previous one.
  • Set dungeons are a fixed layout, with fixed monsters.
  • Q: Fixes for lag issues? A: The test on the PTR for optimizations were not deployed to the live game, but there will be some of those in patch 2.4.
  • Greater Rift monster density in caves - it's tricky to just increase the density, that wouldn't solve the problems. They're looking at adding more breakables to the caves, with Action Combat when you destroy them you get a speed boost, to help out.
  • Q: Can pet damage have a different color or icon?
    A: The new color is to help when you get a new high or something like that, but there's no plans to differentiate pet damage right now.
And the panel is done!

Update 11:54 PM EDT: Added a video and fleshed out more details from the panel.
Feedback for Diablo Somepage