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Friday, 9 March 2012

D3 Beta patch 14 notes - with analysis

Diablo III Beta Patch 14 v.
Released 3/8/12


Hardcore mode is now available, and can be unlocked by reaching level 10 with at least one character

Interesting but probably not unexpected. It will breathe new life into the Beta for those lucky enough to have access to it. It will probably be hard to assess Hardcore mode as people will have invested little into their characters and can only die by being careless. They've also doubled monster damage in this patch so no doubt some people are going to get caught out.

Cast time to resurrect a fallen ally has been increased from 1 second to 3 seconds

Still a very trivial death penalty.

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

Hopefully they will allow us to set the default type of game created when the game goes live. We're close enough to release though that this will probably be how it works at launch. I'm sure it will only take a moment to change it each time.

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

This has been a controversial feature but I think it's eminently sensible. Someone with 300% MF doing nothing at the back and getting better items? No thanks. I see this as making grouping with strangers win-win. If they're a bit gimped because they're heavily decked in mf gear that means I find better stuff from my kills. If they are built to kill with no mf they generate lots of drops. Neither is unwelcome.

Skill UI

In Elective mode, skills can now be dragged and dropped from the skill interface into hot-key slots

Basic functionality really

Right-clicking a skill hot-key will now open the skill interface

Great, minor UI improvements are always good.

Auction House

The Sell interface has been updated to better match the in-game inventory and stash

OK, sounds good. Another UI tweak.

Combined the advanced and basic search features

More UI polishing.

The Active auctions tab now allows users to see all active auctions
Sounds like a good fix

Searches for recipes and tomes have been added

Definitely a good fix.


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

Great. It's simply a better game if the tank-capable characters are more durable. It would suck if we had to be ranged to play Inferno.

Ground Stomp
Now destroys barrels

Adds a little free exp and loot to the skill.

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

A pretty big nerf. Snares are only so-so, it hurts that one of the class's major manoeuvering abilities gets weakened damage.

Demon Hunter
Hungering Arrow
Rune of Puncturing Arrow pierce chance reduced from 55% to 50%

Small nerf.

Rune of Impact stun chance reduced from 100% to 65%

Quite a hefty nerf. 100% stun chance must have been too good. There's no cooldown on the skill and the stun lasts 1.5 seconds so it's possible that they're worried about a Hatred-oriented build that could permastun by recovering 25 Hatred per 1.5 seconds. You can rune your Grenades Hatred builder to give 8 Hatred per shot with Grenadier so 3 shots then an Impale in 1.5 seconds would be permastun. There's also other Hatred feeders like Shadow Power (Night Bane), Vengeance, Bat Companion and Preparation (Punishment).

I doubt people are permastunning in the Beta but you can see why they fixed this before release.

The build might be something like this: Stunlock Demon Hunter

Smoke Screen
Duration increased from 2 to 3 seconds.
Cost increased from 15 to 24 Discipline

Overall an improvement to the skill, 2 seconds might not be long enough to escape.

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

Very pleased to see both melee classes get a survival buff as traditionally untwinked melee has suffered in the Diablo series.

Breath of Heaven
Heal amount reduced


Crippling Wave
Damage increased from 100% to 110%

Small buff

Deadly Reach
Damage increased from 100% to 110%

Small buff

Exploding Palm
This skill has been redesigned.
No longer generates Spirit, now costs 40 Spirit
Now deals 220% weapon damage over 3 seconds

Interesting change. I wonder why they did this. It seems to me that the Monk has too many big expensive Spirit-consuming moves. It seems a considerable nerf to me as I would have been more likely to have used this skill when it built spirit. Now I can't imagine ever using it.

Fists of Thunder
Damage increased from 100% to 110%

Small buff.

Gold cost to craft items reduced

Boo hiss. The more the economy is designed to be soft on players the less they'll want to make us committed players rich by spending their real money.

Cost to train Blacksmith doubled

Huzzah! I won't cancel my Rolls Royce order just yet!

More crafting materials are now required to craft items

Double Huzzah! I'll tell them to include the mahogany paneling and Peasant Splasher alloy wheels.

Chance to salvage rare crafting material from blue Magic items reduced from 10% to 5%

Triple Huzzah! I might ask my supplier to throw in a Porsche for running around town.


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

Must have been a bit too good. I imagine they want players to solve their own problems, not to be virtually unkillable because the Uber tank pet is so good.


Several aspects of the game economy have been adjusted, including but not limited to:

Hmm, "adjusted" such an ambivalent word.

Gold drops
Item sale values
Vendor costs
Repair costs

I would imagine that they have adjusted them to hold players back a little. Some people in Beta seemed to make a great deal of gold very easily.

Rings and 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.

OK, not something that will really matter when the game is released. It's possible they got irritated by people who spent hours and hours farming amulets in the Beta where they're a rare drop off just one type of mob. (Hat tip to Fixtion FX Reality for the video).


Mira Eamon now drops better loot.

However with that clue and nothing else to go on Beta players will now spend hours and hours farming Mira. Let's hope she gives them something worthwhile! (Thanks to Kross30009).

Monster damage has been increased

Jay Wilson, Game Director of Diablo 3, was quite pumped about this during the week.

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
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


  1. I don't know how it looks on your monitor, but on mine dark blue is slightly uncomfortable against dark grey background.

    Perhaps slightly brighter blue for dark background would look better. Something like 188 blue instead of 148? :)

  2. Good point.

    I've adjusted it, thanks for the advice.

  3. I like the Passive DR. It narrows the advantage between range and melee classes.

    Leap- Looks like they turned leap into more of a utility skill than an actual damage skill. The skill i think is very much useful as it give a group that 3 seconds of snared mobs to react and get their stuns and snares down. The reduced damage is not a big deal I feel since the skill isn't really spammable anyway.

    Exploding palm- This is a big one, will have to see how it pans out. 40 spirit seems a little steep, but based on how the mechanics work it may be worth it since the ability (i think) chains to other mobs if I remember correctly. It didn't work well as a spirit builder since spirit builders are built to be spammed, and I found this skill wasn't super effective as a spammable ability.

    Crafting/Blacksmith changes - Love the changes. I can see why they changed the crafting costs downward. The other changes more than compensate for it though.

    Double monster damage- another great change, after you craft a few blues in the beta the game became a joke. My barb had way way more health then he really needed. With higher crafting costs and higher damage, the early game will be much more challenging. If you don't have the feeling of possible death hanging over you, then the game is too easy. Plus this will be great prep for the harder difficulties, which if their descriptions are correct will be very challenging. We will have to see, ironically...sometimes game devs can be very sub-par gamers.

    I am interested in hearing about the system they are implementing regarding boss drops. I heard there is some system in the works to make boss killing more viable, but it involves clearing the actual dungeons leading up to the boss. While I love the idea of not constantly doing boss runs for loot, I also want bosses to be worth the effort.

    1. I'll write about boss running soon. It is essentially the main end-game of D3 and it's important that they get it right.