Diablo III enters Public Test Realm 2.4.0

Diablo III Reaper of Souls gets yet another expansion, but this time non-expansion pack users will get an update too

Diablo III's PTR 2.4.0 has been live for a little while now, and it seems to have gone largely unnoticed by the media. It comes to no surprise - considering Diablo III had a relatively small presence at BlizzCon - but we're here to fix that!

Here's a look at what PTR 2.4.0 has in store for adventurous Nehalem, and what will most likely be ready for 2.4.0's final release:

New areas to explore

Much like 2.3.0 before it, patch 2.4.0 will include an entirely new zone known as Greyhollow Island. This new area is rumored to be a place where people disappear. The forested locale in which Greyhollow Island is situated has a whole new set of lore pieces attached, with mysterious mentions of tragedies littered all across its areas.

According to the official PTR blog post, the land itself is "hungry for blood," suggesting that there may be more traps than creatures in this new map.

Speaking of new areas, the Ruins of Sescheron will now have an extra area added to it that takes place before the Ruins of Sescheron checkpoint players are now familiar with. This area known as the Eternal Woods is an undead-infested boreal forest that will feature new events and bounties for adventurers.

Furthermore, Leoric's Manor will also be getting a new area. Remember that rubble that acted as a blockade in the Leoric's Manor portion of Act I? That's gone, and behind it is the Royal Quarters for you to explore. Here players will learn more about the Skeleton King's living days, and discover a whole bunch of hidden secrets, as well as some more lore books to read.

Who would have thought that the Skeleton King's manor still had all of this hidden away behind the rubble?

Set reworks are on the way

According to the blog post, almost every single one of the 24 class sets in the game will be receiving revamps and overhauls once 2.4.0 is released. Players can look forward to seeing The Shadow's Mantle for the Demon Hunter become much more viable for battle, as well as a complete rework of Thorns of the Invoker.

Will the increased damage buffs finally draw out the Demon Hunter's hidden melee potential? Will Thorns of the Invoker's rework lead to a new legion of support Crusaders? Will these sets go ignored once more?

Set revamps and buffs aren't the only thing in store for Diablo III. An entirely new feature - set dungeons - will put players into 1 of 24 static dungeons that will make use of the sets players have acquired. Each one revolves around the special abilities provided by each set, and only by mastering the set's abilities will players be able to reach the treasures at the end.

Set dungeon rewards include - but are not limited to - cosmetic rewards, random weapons, and armor, as well as exclusive rewards for players who complete mastery objectives for all 24 sets. This will be the ultimate challenge for hardcore Diablo III fans. I can't wait to see what rewards Blizzard has in store for the dedicated players who can reach the end of these dungeons.

Empowered Rifts, new legendaries, UI revisions, and more

Ever get tired of running through high-level rifts, only to get two measly gem upgrades? Well, you won't have to anymore! Empowered Rifts allow players to spend some of their extra gold to increase the number of Legendary Gem upgrades at the end of a successful Greater Rift by 4. That means you can get up to 7 upgrades per rift. However, should you fail to complete the rift you will lose all of the gold you threw in, so be careful.

Over 40 new legendary powers will be added in Patch 2.4.0., and pre-existing power-less legendaries will be receiving new legendary abilities. Some existing powers will also be changed in the upcoming patch, so get ready for a whole slew of new builds to try out. Hopefully, I'll finally be able to make my ice-only barbarian! Some of the changes teased at are in the image above.

Other changes to Diablo III in Patch 2.4.0 will include: extra storage tabs, a revised buff UI, no more Seasonal Legendaries, set bundles for completing Season achievements, and cosmetics. By far the most interesting additions, however, will be the addition of the Action Combat system originally found in the console ports of Diablo III to PC and Mac, as well as the ability to turn non-seasonal characters into season characters without having to delete them.

I'm not entirely sure what benefit this has, but I suppose players who really want to play as the same character over and over again can do so...?

All of this content is just barely scratching the surface of what Patch 2.4.0 will add to Diablo III upon release. For more detailed information, you can find the official blog post here, or if you're into the numbers and notes side of things, you can find the official 2.4.0 PTR patch notes here.

I for one am glad to see that Blizzard is still adding new content to Diablo III, even if the game isn't going to see a new expansion pack anytime soon. Hopefully, this won't be the last we see of new content for the game as we see Diablo III slowly become more like the game players wanted back in its 2012 release.

Published Nov. 24th 2015
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