Beta Patch 14: Full Patch Notes

Beta patch 14 was released on the 8th but here are the full patch notes:

General

    • Hardcore mode is now available, and can be unlocked by reaching level 10 with at least one character
    • Cast time to resurrect a fallen ally has been increased from 1 second to 3 seconds
    • Player created games now default to Invite Only. Check “Allow Quick Join” in the Social tab of the Options menu to allow your friends to join
    • Magic Find and Gold Find are now shared amongst party members. The average combined value of the entire party’s Magic and Gold Find applies to all players regardless of location in the game world. The averaged values will not display in the UI

    • Skill UI
      • In Elective mode, skills can now be dragged and dropped from the skill interface into hot-key slots
      • Right-clicking a skill hot-key will now open the skill interface
    • Auction House
      • The Sell interface has been updated to better match the in-game inventory and stash
      • Combined the advanced and basic search features
      • The Active auctions tab now allows users to see all active auctions
      • Searches for recipes and tomes have been added

Classes

    • Barbarian
      • Barbarians now have innate 30% passive damage reduction versus all sources. This damage reduction is applied at the same time as all other damage reducing effects (such as Armor), but prior to shield block
      • Leap Attack
        • Ability renamed to Leap
        • Weapon damage reduced from 125% to 85%
        • Now slows enemies in the landing zone by 60% for 3 seconds

 

    • Demon Hunter
      • Hungering Arrow
        • Rune of Puncturing Arrow pierce chance reduced from 55% to 50%
      • Impale
        • Rune of Impact stun chance reduced from 100% to 65%
      • Smoke Screen
        • Duration increased from 2 to 3 seconds.
        • Cost increased from 15 to 24 Discipline

 

    • Monk
      • Monks now have innate 30% passive damage reduction versus all sources. This damage reduction is applied at the same time as all other damage reducing effects (such as Armor), but prior to shield block
      • Breath of Heaven
        • Heal amount reduced
      • Exploding Palm
        • This skill has been redesigned.
        • No longer generates Spirit, now costs 40 Spirit
        • Now deals 220% weapon damage over 3 seconds

Crafting

  • Gold cost to craft items reduced
  • Cost to train Blacksmith doubled
  • More crafting materials are now required to craft items
  • Chance to salvage rare crafting material from blue Magic items reduced from 10% to 5%

Followers

    • Templar
      • Normal attack now deals 15% weapon damage
      • Intervene taunt reduced from 5 seconds to 3 seconds

Items

    • Several aspects of the game economy have been adjusted, including but not limited to:
      • Gold drops
      • Item sale values
      • Vendor costs
      • Repair costs

 

  • Amulets now become available at a higher level. As a result, these items will no longer drop in the in beta. Fear not – sparkly baubles await you in the retail version of the game.
  • Crafted items have had their levels adjusted

Monsters

  • Mira Eamon now drops better loot.
  • Monster damage has been increased

Bug Fixes
For a full list of documented game and service bugs, please review the Known Issues sticky located in the Beta Bug Report forum

  • Players are now able to leave the game if unexpectedly disconnected from Battle.net
  • Public Games can once again accommodate up to four players
  • Players can now queue for a Public Game involving any quest they’ve unlocked
  • Players should now properly be able to send and receive friend invites
  • Friends should no longer appear as [ ] in chat

Release Date Announcement Not So Soon

And just like that, our hope begins to fade. :(

With the newest tweets coming from Jay Wilson, the possible release date of April 17th does not seem even remotely likely anymore.

Jay tweeted “Looking forward to #ME3. Unfortunately I’m off to GDC tomorrow. No, not to announce anything, and not sign of release.”

He also said “Doubled monster damage from levels 1-13 (trailing off to level 20). Feels pretty good! Hopefully we can keep it.” and then followed it up with “I believe it will be in the next Beta patch, but please don’t ask me when it’s getting released, I don’t know. :)”

While Blizzard has been stating that they feel the game is almost release worthy, Jay’s mention of another beta patch is a good indication that the release date will be closer to the end of the second quarter rather than the beginning due to continued fine tuning.

Impending Release Date Announcement and Speculation

In the shadow of the terrible layoff news, there may be some good news on the horizon- a release date announcement.

A few days ago a fan asked Jay Wilson (@Angryrobotics) and Bashiok: “on a scale of 1 to 10, (1=not even close, 10=imminent,) how close are we to that all important #D3 announcement? :)” and Jay Wilson replied with: “9”.

Rumors are now flying even more crazily about the impending release date announcement and most people/retailers have settled on April 17th. Another fan asked Jay “can you debunk the rumor of april 17th or confirm?” and he replied with “I cannot debunk or confirm.”

Whether we should be reading into this statement or not remains to be seen, but I would not be the least bit surprised if that date is in fact accurate.

Wizard PVP Build: Highly Modified Damage

Now that the skill calculator has been updated, we can once again post some theorycrafted PVP builds for all of the classes. To get it started, here is a Wizard PVP build that is focused around damage increase modifiers and getting the most out of them. The breakdown of this build goes like this:

Talent Skill Calculator

Diablo 3 Wizard Ability with Charged Blast Rune

 

 

Magic Missiles is your most used spell in this build for two reasons. First, it will provide the highest single-target damage without spending your Arcane Power (saving it for more important spells). Secondly, and even more importantly, is that you will be constantly using it to build up Arcane Dynamo stacks for a 75% damage bonus to Meteor or your first Archon ability.

Diablo 3 Wizard Ability with Molten Impact Rune

 

 

 

Meteor acts as an incredible damaging spell with good burst and damage over time but it can be difficult to use efficiently with its delay and impending graphic on the targeted area. In this build it is runed with Molten Impact to further increase its damage. Since timing with Meteor is difficult, pairing this spell with the Bone Chill-runed Frost Nova will not only make it easier to hit your target but it will also be devastating when it lands (timing the cast with roots/stuns from your arena partners will also be important). If you wait until you have 5 stacks of Arcane Dynamo, have your Familiar active, and hit a Nova’d target, that equals a 120% damage bonus with Glass Cannon- just imagine the crits.

Diablo 3 Wizard Ability with Bone Chill Rune

 

 

 

Frost Nova’s use in this build is twofold. First, it will need to be used defensively to buy time/escape when the pressure is on you. However, with the Bone Chill rune, it will also be used offensively to further stack increased damage percentages- adding another 15% during the 3 second duration (time enough to land a very painful Meteor).

Diablo 3 Wizard Ability with Wormhole Rune

 

 

 

Teleport is another “Defensive” ability, like Frost Nova, that can also be used offensively to quickly freeze enemies without putting yourself in harm’s way for long. Also, since there are no snaring abilities in this build, proper usage of Teleport and Frost Nova will be key to escaping/kiting melee. With the Wormhole rune, you can cover quite a bit of ground before running out of Arcane Power. Additionally, Teleport should be used to grab health orbs as this build does not have any healing or absorption abilities.

Diablo 3 Wizard Ability with Sparkflint Rune

 

 

 

Familiar should be kept up at all times, especially when casting any offensive abilities. With the Sparkflint rune, the Familiar becomes a big damage increase while also adding a little extra damage of its own. It is also important that you ensure there is plenty of time left on Familiar before casting Archon as you will not be able to cast it during the duration and need to get the most out of that long cooldown.

 

Diablo 3 Wizard Ability with Improved Archon Rune

 

 

Archon is a baseline ability for any PVP build. The damage output Archon form is capable of, with the added defensive bonuses as well, instantly instills fear into the hearts of your enemies. Since this build is about stacking damage modifiers, it is runed with Improved Archon. Archon only lasts 15 seconds (without any killing blows extending the duration) and has a 1 minute 42 second cooldown (with the Evocation Passive) so you always  want to wait until you have 5 stacks of Arcane Dynamo to make that first, more powerful Archon ability hit 75% harder- not counting the extra 25% from the Improved Archon rune and 30% combined from Familiar and Glass Cannon. You can use Archon defensively, but it is not recommended due to the length of the cooldown.

Diablo 3 Wizard Passive Ability

Glass Cannon is must for this build even though it makes you more susceptible to being gibbed. The static 15% damage increase definitely outweighs the decreased armor and resistances and you don’t have to think about how/when to use this passive ability. Instead, turning that focus to survival and raising your kill count.

Diablo 3 Wizard Passive Ability

Evocation is another great PVP ability and works in this build to allow the repeated use of Archon 18 seconds sooner, Frost Nova 1.8 seconds sooner, and Teleport 2.4 seconds sooner (if not spamming with the Wormhole rune).

Diablo 3 Wizard Passive Ability

Arcane Dynamo is the single biggest damage increase in this build- and it’s huge. From the sounds of the tooltip, the bonus is all or nothing. If you have 4 stacks and cast a non-signature spell, it’s just casts the spell normally and does not clear the accumulated charges.  Once the fifth charge is acquired, however, big numbers are on the way- even in Archon form.

 

*Please note that much of this build and the reasoning behind it is speculation/theorycrafting. Additionally, abilities, skills, and runes are always subject to change- even after release. However, please feel free to post your thoughts and comments on this build or builds of your own as well!

Blizzard Announces Layoffs

Bashiok just posted on behalf of Mike Morhaime the following sad announcement:

“Everyone,

We announced today that we’re in the process of cutting a number of active positions, mostly non-development, throughout the company. I’m sure this announcement has sparked some questions from all of you, so I want take this opportunity to address those as best I can. Over the past several years, the company has grown rapidly and evolved to better serve you and the rest of our global community. Thanks to all of your support, we continue to serve by far the biggest subscription-based MMO community, as well as the most passionate eSports and online gaming communities, in the world.

In order to keep making epic game content while serving players effectively, we have to be smart about how we manage our resources. This means we sometimes have to make difficult decisions about how to best maintain the health of the company. We’re in the process of making some of those hard decisions now.

After evaluating our current organizational needs, we determined that while some areas of our business had been operating at the right levels and could benefit from further growth, other areas had become overstaffed. As a result, we need to scale down some of our departments and part with some of our colleagues and friends here at Blizzard. I know that you all understand how difficult this type of situation can be for anyone who might be affected, so I want to assure you that we’ll be offering each impacted employee a severance package and other benefits.

I also want to emphasize that we remain committed to shipping multiple games this year, and that our development teams in particular remain largely unaffected by today’s announcement. We’re continuing to develop, iterate, and polish Blizzard DOTA, Diablo III, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, as well as other, unannounced projects. We’ll have exciting news to share in the coming weeks regarding Diablo III’s release date, and will soon be holding a private media event to showcase the latest work on Mists of Pandaria. It goes without saying that we’re working hard to get all of these games in your hands as soon as possible.

You’ve all come to expect Blizzard to live up to our mission statement with every game, and deliver the most epic entertainment experiences ever. You can continue to expect that and nothing less from us as we move forward.

-Mike Morhaime”

From what it appears, the hardest hit department is Customer Service. This means that, as Mike Morhaime stated, it won’t have much of an effect on Diablo 3- or the future of the company as a whole. However, I feel for all my ex-coworkers and friends during this insanely difficult time as the company downsizes.