Blizzard has announced what we can expect from the next major patch for Diablo 3. The list of new additions, tweaks and changes is pretty extensive, so let’s focus on the big ones.
First up, three new Legendary armor sets for level 70 characters are being added to the game: Unhallowed Essence, Wrath of the Wastes, and Delsere’s Magnum Opus, for Demon Hunter, Barbarian and Wizard characters, respectively (check them out below). These new sets come with their own unique abilities. With the Barbarian’s set, for instance, Blizzard says you’ll be able to take it for a spin – likely a reference to the Whirlwind ability.
Meanwhile, 15 new Legendary Powers have been added to the long list of random abilities on gear. A Barbarian’s boots, for example, might spawn with an ability that will trigger an avalanche each time you use Ground Stomp, while a Demon Hunter’s Rain of Vengeance could get a boost of 84% to the damage it deals – useful for when you find yourself caught in a pinch on Torment V difficulty. One of the new powers will also be the one chosen by the community in the Legendary Workshop during Blizzcon, though Blizzard isn’t ready to give any further details just yet.
Moving on from loot, Adventure mode will be getting some new additions. New tilesets based on Fields of Misery, Festering Woods, Stinging Winds and Fields of Slaughter will be added to Rifts, and their layouts will be radomized each time you encounter them. 20 new Bounties are being added to Acts II, IV and V, providing some much-needed new variety to the mix, and a new type of Bounty will make its debut. Exploration Bounties task players to explore an area and either kill a monster or rescue allies. 14 of these new Exploration bounties will be added across every act in the game.
As any Diablo 3 player knows, Treasure Goblins cause a mad scramble to kill them before they can disappear through a portal. Blizzard is adding 3 new Goblin types to the game: the Gelatinous Sire, Gilded Baron and Insufferable Miscreant (pictured below). The Gelatinous Sire splits into smaller goblins, while the Gilded Baron will supposedly “satisfy your never-ending greed for gold”. The Insufferable Miscreant, meanwhile, will have company attempting to interfere with your bid to kill their friend.
Last of the headline additions to game itself is a new Cosmetics window, which will see items like vanity pets, wings and portrait frames moved to a new menu where they will no longer occupy precious inventory space. Hurrah!
Last, but by no means least, players on PC and Mac will see Blizzard switching the game’s current MPQ file format to a new proprietary format called CASC. The change will supposedly bring a number of benefits for both Blizzard and players, such as fewer errors during installation, faster patching, and the ability for Blizzard to hotfix the game client. Presumably this means that 2.2 will be a pretty hefty download if you play the game on computer. No mention was made about whether Blizzard’s other games will be affected by this in their own patches, but it seems reasonable to assume that they will.
Blizzard was keen to stress that these aren’t the only changes being made to the game – while the emphasis this time is not on class balance and quality of life improvements, many more additions, balance tweaks and enhancements will be made, with others being added as the patch goes through the usual period of testing on the Public Test Realm. There’s no mention of when we can expect a final release of 2.2, but no doubt Blizzard will want to ensure that all the changes don’t cause any problems before rolling it out to the masses.
Yours truly reviewed Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls upon its release last year, and I was thoroughly impressed – awarding the expansion 9/10 and praising the work undertaken by Blizzard to fix almost every single major problem levied at the original release.
” If you played the original and didn’t like it – and there were many who didn’t – then you may well find yourself pleasantly surprised by this expansion,” I said in my Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls Review. “It’s still not quite the direct continuation of Diablo 2′s famously addictive gameplay systems many wanted – and, no doubt will continue to demand – but it does an excellent job of finding an agreeable middle ground.”