Blizzard to prevent permanent immunity in Diablo 3; gives them “more freedom in designing new and powerful items”

Diablo III
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The application of Diablo III’s patch 2.2 on the PTR service has had an interesting side effect: enabling permanent player immunity with the use of some new legendaries. While attaining that status is an achievement – using the new Cooldown Reduction affix to bring ability cooldowns below their duration, Blizzard are tweaking some abilities to prevent this from happening; in fact this very outcome has been on their radar for a while now.

And in case you think this is an “anti-fun” move, the change will allow Blizzard to bring in some “new and powerful” items that can do the same, albeit in a more balanced manner.

Permanent immunity isn’t new to Diablo III, and Blizzard have spent some time thinking in a way to balance its effects. “The concept of permanent immunity has actually been on our radar since we introduced Cooldown Reduction in Reaper of Souls.” stated community manager Tyvalir. “Since then, we’ve seen many players who have been able to skirt the edges of permanent immunity using this affix. Frankly, we think that’s awesome, since we love it that players can customize their characters in different ways.”

An initial pass saw Demon Hunters, in patch 2.1.2, see a cooldown being added to Smoke Screen – an ability which granted invulnerability for a very short duration of time – and prevented back-to-back chaining. In the next PTR patch, the same will be done to various other class abilities that grant immunity: Spirit Walk, Serenity and Laws of Hope – Stop Time. Now, they will begin their cooldowns once the abilities duration has expired. To balance this, these skills have had their cooldowns reduced in some way.

Interestingly, this change is actually a hidden boon – with the headache of balancing these types of builds, Blizzard can play around more with items; legendary ones specifically. “Previously, we may have decided against adding an item power to the game that might lead to permanent invulnerability.” explained Tyvalir. “However, with these new changes, we’ll have much more freedom in designing new and powerful items, since there will be a stop gap to ensure that permanent invincibility is no longer a concern.”

A good change nonetheless, but one thing’s for certain: rest in pieces you “perma serenity” monks:

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Shadowrun Online has a new moniker to go with its release date

shadowrun online shadowrun chronicles boston lockdown

The Cliffhanger Productions developed and soon-to-be Nordic Games published “tactical turn-based RPG” formerly known as Shadowrun Online now has a new nomme de guerre. It’s also “soon-to-be” published because it now has a release date. Fancy that.

Now dubbed Shadowrun Chronicles: Boston Lockdown, the re-titling bespeaks a refocused message, as indicated by Cliffhanger Productions co-founder Jan Wagner. Wagner cites “swapping stories” and “creating a space for actual role-playing” as their “core vision,” while addressing concerns that the title would be multiplayer only; a fear he thinks may have driven many potential players away before they even gave the game a look.

In more concrete terms, this means the game’s online component will be wholly optional. Gennaro Giani, Nordic Games’ Producer and Localization Manager assures us that the game will be playable offline, hinting at the drama that surrounded such titles as Diablo III when they launched with persistent login requirements. The boxed version should, the folks at Nordic and Cliffhanger feel, be playable straight out of the box.

Seems like good news, and in line with the mostly anti-DRM politics of the Shadowrun Returns legacy. But this begs a question: though the game is touting up to 4-player co-op in its campaign, PvP matches, and the ability to use offline friends’ characters in single-player, the “persistent online world” promised by the original Shadowrun Online Kickstarter is notably absent. Unless the “live multiplayer hub” is, in fact, that world. Hopefully, if it is, there’s more to do in it than chat, trade, and party up.

Whatever the case, we’ll find out for sure when the game hits both digital and meatspace retailers on April 28.

Source [Nordic Games] Product Page [Steam]

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Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition PS4, Xbox One treks to under $30

Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition

Retailer Amazon.com Inc. this week price cut Activision Blizzard Inc.’s Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition for Sony Corp.’s Playstation 4 and Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox One to under $30 in a new sales initiative.

This week, the Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition PS4 SKU held a discount price of $29.99, $30 off the $59.99.

The title includes the Reaper of Souls expansion pack, Apprentice Mode to boost low-level players, local, online four-player co-op, new inventory system, updated boss battles and more.

The Diablo III PC SKU has sold 12 million units in worldwide territories to date.

Follow us on Twitter @PunchJump, @WeLoveHotDeals, @PreOrderBonus, @SQUARE Gentleman, and visit us at Facebook and Google+.

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Diablo III Patch 2.2.0 Ready for Testing

Diablo III’s latest upcoming patch is set to bring the game up to version 2.2.0, and with it plenty of new items are being added into the game, including the Ashbringer—a weapon originally from World of Warcraft.

In general, the upcoming patch is set to add new class sets, revamping older ones, and buffing various Legendary weapons and pieces of gear with new powers. Quality of life improvements are also being added into the game, including the ability to craft multiple gems at the same time. Regular Health Potions have also been removed from the game, replaced instead with a bottomless health potion that heals you for 60% of your maximum life. Weird!

To incentivize testing of new items on the PTR (Player Test Realm), Blizzard is enacting a temporary Legendary drop bonuses that raises players’ chance to find Legendary items by 2000%.

Unfortunately, the Ruins of Sescheron location that’s slated for the game’s Adventure Mode isn’t ready for patch 2.2.0 and will be added in a later update.

The full patch notes can be found here.

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Weekend Playlist: Dancing with the Devil

The Weekend Playlist series takes a look at what Adam has been playing this week – Diablo III: Reaper of Souls.

Welcome one and all to the Weekend Playlist, where the HITC editors talk a little about what they have been playing recently. And it’s my turn today!

This week my girlfriend has been home from University, which means most of my gaming time is filled with co-op games, as she likes to play too. Our favourite game to play together is probably Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, which is actually more fun to play with someone rather than alone, in my opinion.

The ‘Dancing with the Devil’ in my headline above refers to Diablo in the game. OK, I know he isn’t exactly the Devil, but he has pointy horns at least. I wanted to make that clear, before you assume I’m referring to my girlfriend, which I’m clearly not – she’s lovely, honest!

Most of the time when my girlfriend is home she has a lot of studying to do, which leaves little to no time for gaming, but this week she literally has no studying to do whatsoever, so we’ve played quite a lot of Diablo III. Hoorah!

A particular milestone we’ve hit in Diablo III this week is actually finishing the game. We had reached Act V, the games final area in the new Reaper of Souls expansion, a few months ago, but had been waiting for some extra free time to dedicate to completing it. It was certainly a relief to finish the game after waiting what felt like an age to finally get around to it.

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Diablo III 2.2.0 update content revealed: Unhallowed Essence, Wrath of Wastes, Delsere’s Magnum Opus, legendary items and more

Wikipedia

Diablo III players are keenly awaiting the next patch update (2.2.0) which as of this writing is still in the works. However, Blizzard Entertainment has bared the things to expect with the next patch which was generally summed up as something that would focus on new content.

This means that the upcoming Diablo III patch would include new things to do as well as new items that players would find in the course of their journey. Among the new pieces that players can expect to find are the Unhallowed Essence, Wrath of Wastes and Delsere’s Magnum Opus.

There are also Legendary Items that will be made available, ones that would provide players with 15 new Legendary powers after successfully combining existing and legendary items in-game.

Among the powers that could be used include that of causing an Avalanche (possible when using the Barbarian’s Ground Stomp skill), or increasing the damage done using a Demon Hunter’s Rain of Vengeance.

Other than items, expect new layouts for Nephalem and Greater Rifts which should force players to be more cautious when it comes to going around the said regions. Map layout will be randomized, making it harder for players who aim to complete Rift.

For players who frequent Adventure mode, 20 new bounties await them that are spread across Acts II, IV and V. Each act provides a different kind of bounty. To claim the bounty, players will have to explore areas, help out NPC’s (non playable characters) or defeat enemies.

There will be new adversaries as well. Among them include new types of Treasure Goblins which carry different kinds of attributes.

Lastly, a cosmetics window has been added. The purpose of this is to store cosmetic items and create more room for a player’s inventory.

These and a whole lot more are in store for Diable III players which can be played on the PC, Mac, Xbox One, or PS4. The actual date of release has yet to be announced by Blizzard.

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Blizzard Experimenting With ‘Diablo III’ Microtransactions in Select Regions

In a new post on Battle.net, Blizzard reveals that it is bringing micro-transactions to Diablo III – though this feature won’t be available in all regions.

Blizzard’s experimentation with microtransactions for Diablo III aren’t currently planned for the North American or European regions, Blizzard says, but are aimed at regions in Asia where free-to-play and in-game purchases are a very big deal.

For regions that support it, the new Patch 2.2 for the game offers a new currency called Platinum (that can be purchased with real-world money), timed experience boosts and cosmetic items. There’ll also be a new UI to help support these new additions.

“While the above features will not apply to this region, players will still benefit from some of the quality of life perks tied to these additions, such as a streamlined UI for selecting cosmetic benefits like pets and Collector’s Edition wings,” said community manager Brandy ‘Nevalistis’ Camel.

“We recognize that many players have expressed an interest in microtransactions being added to Diablo III. While we may explore this model in some regions, we have no immediate plans to implement such purchases or the aforementioned features anytime soon for the Americas region.”

You can learn more about the changes here.

Source: GII

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It’s no Auction House, but real money may be coming back to Diablo 3

The next patch for Diablo III includes a number of features that point toward the addition of microtransactions to Blizzard’s action role-playing game, but not in a way that affects players in the Americas or Europe (yet, at least). The developer posted an update on the game’s forum to clarify the regional specificity of these new features, getting out ahead of the data miners that will inevitably pore over the patch code for details.

Among the pertinent features being added in patch 2.2.0 is a new in-game currency called Platinum, along with ways to spend it. It’s not quite a return to the controversial Auction House; Platinum can be used to buy timed experience boosts, an assortment of cosmetic items (wings, portraits, and non-combat pets), and the ability to purchase more stash space and more character slots.

Related: Legendary Gems, Greater Rifts, and more coming to Diablo III on PS4 and Xbox One

With Europe and the Americas out of the equation, that leaves Asia as the most likely candidate for Platinum’s test bed. Microtransaction-supported games have done well in Asia, particularly in China due to (recently lifted) restrictions on console sales driving gamer interest toward computers and online play. For the time being, Blizzard is insistent that there are no plans “anytime soon” to implement these features in Western regions.

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Blizzard Exploring Microtransactions for Diablo III

Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls

Blizzard’s Diablo III has only just recently managed to regain the goodwill that Blizzard used to be known for, after its disastrous launch years ago now, but this new development might sour some people on the game again, assuming they never read past the headline- Blizzard is apparently exploring microtransactions for the game.

Now before you get ahead of yourself, calm down. Blizzard’s research into this seems to be not for European or American markets, but rather, for other regions- possibly intended for the game’s long awaited Chinese launch.

Blizzard issued a statement on this on their forums:

“Some new features may start to show up in data-mined information for patch 2.2 that will not apply to all regions. Specifically, the following features will not apply to the European [or American] region:

  • A new currency called Platinum
  • Timed experience boosts
  • New cosmetic items including wings, non-combat pets, and character portraits
  • References to stash space and character slot expansions
  • A new UI interface that references the above information

“We recognise that many players have expressed an interest in microtransactions being added to Diablo 3. While we may explore this model in some regions, we have no immediate plans to implement such purchases or the aforementioned features anytime soon for the Americas region.”

So, yeah. Chill out, and let’s first see how this goes.

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Diablo III Microtransactions Only Being Targeted At One Demographic Currently

diablo-3-reaper-of-souls-maltheal

diablo-3-reaper-of-souls-maltheal

Diablo III has garnered a massive cult following that has its roots in the two Diablo games that preceded it ten years before. The West loves the series very much and would like sell its collective soul to Blizzard to ensure future and continuing support on current and potential upcoming Diablo games.

For some context, let’s bring up one little blunder that didn’t go over so well with initial adopters of Diablo III. Remember the RMAH (Real Money Auction House)? After a while, it became a joke and the bane of Blizzard’s existence because of the ability to use real money to buy and sell your way through the game. Needless to say, the Western world didn’t take to it very kindly; it was eventually shut down. (Did you ever buy or sell anything in the RMAH?)

It seems Blizzard truly caught wind of things and feels that only the Asian market is receptive enough to microtransactions to warrant the new features, due to this statement that makes a strong omission:

Some new features may start to show up in data mined information for patch 2.2.0 that will… not apply to the Americas (and Europe)

Head on over to our friends at Destructoid for the latest on Diablo III and its future changes that will likely only hit overseas in Asia.

Go to Destructoid to continue reading

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