Season 5 Wraps Up With Massive Bans

Hundreds of Diablo III accounts are closed before the end of Season 5

Diablo III Season 5 Ending Soon
Season 5 in Diablo III is nearly finished, wrapping up Friday at 5PM Pacific. Over the past couple of weeks before the end of the season, Blizzard has banned many players who were using third-party programs to gain an advantage in the game. Those accounts have been closed, and their rankings removed from the Diablo III Leaderboards. These banwaves have been broader and more persistent than the previous actions taken by Blizzard.

Blizzard Account Bans
Blizzard has a long-standing policy against using unauthorized third-party programs to provide benefits in their games. In Diablo III, this includes bots and maphack programs that provide extra information about the game world. Before the end of Season 5 many accounts were banned for using those programs.

There were lengthy discussions at reddit about the first and second banwave, including on the China and Taiwan servers, and then the third, fourth, and most recently fifth banwave. The rankings on the Diablo III Leaderboards have been changing dramatically, as hundreds of accounts were removed before the end of Season 5. These actions show the ongoing steps that Blizzard takes against accounts that use such programs to gain an advantage in Diablo III.
Overall, the Diablo community is filled with honest and dedicated players. For those that suddenly experienced their teammates disappearing, it's already a sobering situation to realize a friend or clan mate you trusted wasn't playing fair.

That said, this is the first time we’ve used this particular approach. We’re constantly monitoring the results of our account actions to ensure that the process remains effective as both punishment and a deterrent for behavior that is against our Terms of Use. We may change our methods in the future. The bottom line is that if you Play Nice, Play Fair, you won’t ever need to worry about the status of your account or your leader board records. :)

Moving On From Diablo III
A few members of the Diablo III developer team have moved on to other opportunities, either in Blizzard or elsewhere. Developer John Yang announced that he has moved to the World of Warcraft team, to help with the new expansion Legion.
Developer Don Vu also switched from Diablo III to Legion, as of last December. Leonard Boyarsky has been the lead world designer for Diablo III, and recently left Blizzard to go work at Obsidian Entertainment.

Patch 2.4.1 Stack Limits on Firebird's and Invoker's
Another update arrived on the Public Test Realm for patch 2.4.1, as testing of the next content patch reaches completion. The latest patch includes changes to the stacking damage set bonus for the Thorns of the Invoker and Firebird's Finery sets. The damage will ramp up faster, but cap at a lower number of stacks.
Hey all,

As you know, we're winding down on Patch 2.4.1's PTR, as the launch of Season 6 and the launch of the patch is nearly here. We've seen a lot of great testing, even after the PTR Feedback forums have come to a close. As a result of this testing, we've implemented a couple of changes you'll notice in today's patch:

Thorns of the Invoker
  • (2) Set Bonus
  • Damage per stack increased from 25% to 35%
  • Note: The maximum number of stacks has been reduced from 50 to 25

Firebird's Finery
  • (6) Set Bonus
  • Damage bonus for each enemy burning increased from 25% to 40%
  • Damage bonus when an Elite is burning increased from 600% to 2000%
  • Note: This damage bonus is now limited to a maximum of 60 stacks

The long and short of why this change was made is that we were seeing both sets over-perform, particularly in certain monster distributions. This resulted in a very swingy experience that, over time and in the right conditions, became demonstrably higher than other options. As has continuously been our goal, we are striving for sets to be as close to one another as possible, and these two sets were outliers that rose very late in the PTR process. This makes it very likely that these changes will be going live with Patch 2.4.1.

These changes are intended to both bring these sets back in line with others and make their gameplay experience less dependent on fishing for the right monster distribution. As the PTR Feedback forums are closed, you're welcome to leave your feedback in this thread instead.

Thanks, as always, for your dedication to testing on the PTR and in sharing your thoughts with us through our development process!
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