Diablo III's Public Test Realm Enters Version 2.3.0
Blizzard has announced a new patch headed for Diablo III's PTR realms, and this time they're not just adding new legendary items. According to the patch's FAQ, Blizzard will be adding a whole bunch of content ranging from a new zone to explore, the elusive Kanai's Cube, and new difficulty levels. Here are some of the highlights.
The Ruins of Sescheron
Players who are tired of going through the same dungeons over and over again will be glad to hear that a new zone has been added to the game. The Ruins of Sescheron will sport new enemy types, new maps, environmental hazards, and more. According to the FAQ the map's central theme is the lore of the Barbarians, and players who reach the end of the ruins will find Kanai's Cube - a strange artifact reminiscent of the Horadric Cube.
Veterans of Diablo and Diablo II are sure to remember the antics surrounding the Horadric Cube, an in-game artifact that combined various items and weapons and lead to all sorts of results. Kanai's Cube seeks to do much of the same, albeit better. This artifact has the potential to "break down Legendary items and equip their special effects as passive skills (which are separate from your other passive skills), convert crafting materials from one type to another, and so much more." What this means for gameplay is up in the air as of this moment, but if the item is anything like the old Horadric Cube players are sure to have a blast fiddling with the infernal device.
Adventure Mode Updates
Patch 2.3.0 will attempt to get players back into playing bounties instead of constantly running through greater rifts by improving the rewards of bounties in each Act, as well as adding more Act-specific Horadric Cashes. Bonus Acts in Adventure Mode will also give players bonus Horadric Cashes filled with crafting materials, gold, and Act-specific crafting materials. Also, Greater Rifts can be accessed without going through the Realm of Trials, and instead players will be given the option of playing through Nephalem Rifts or Greater Rifts at any time.
Season Journey Feature
Once Season 4 comes around players will be able to track their own progress through a new Season Journey interface. This new feature will divide the Season into "Chapters", each including milestones that can be accomplished by most players, while also including Tiers that cater to more advanced Nephalem. Completing these tiers will unlock one of six portrait frames that can be seen here.
New Difficulty Levels, Combat Changes, and Legendary Sets
Even the most seasoned Diablo III players will be put to the test with four new Torment difficulty levels, each with reward rates higher than ever before.
Combat will also be updated as well with tougher enemies now gaining increased tolerance to crowd-control abilities, as well as rebalance to the game's EXP distribution. Now weaker enemies will give much less experience than they did in earlier versions, while tougher enemies can be expected to give much larger pools of experience. Also, rifts are being reworked so that clearing a rift and facing the Rift Guardian will have significantly more equal time spent.
As expected, Diablo III's new patch will include new Legendary and Set items. However, older items will also be revamped with changes to their special effects. The changes will not be retroactive, however, and players will have to re-aquire them to get the new effects.
And that's it! If you want to find out more for yourself you can read the FAQ here. Otherwise, sign up for Diablo III's PTR for yourself and begin exploring! As for me, I'll wait until it gets officially patched into the base game and leave the bug testing for the more determined players.