Last updated April 5 @ 4:00 p.m. PT.
Below you'll find the preliminary PTR patch notes for patch 2.4.1. Please note that this isn't the final version of the patch notes and that some changes may not be documented or described in full detail.
To provide feedback on patch 2.4.1, please visit the PTR Feedback forum.
To report any issues you experience while playing, please visit the PTR Bug Report forum.
For additional information about the PTR, click here.
Introduced in Patch 2.1.0, Legendary Gems are one of the many methods by which players can vastly improve their character’s strength through perseverance and dedication. Obtained by defeating Greater Rift Guardians, these socketable facets of raw power grow alongside your nephalem with each new tier of difficulty you conquer.
In Patch 2.4.1, we’ll be making notable changes to a handful of Legendary Gems. Before we get into those changes and the reasoning behind them, we want to take a deep dive into the design structure behind Legendary Gems.
Some gems have much more broadly defined roles than others. For example, gems like Esoteric Alteration or Molten Wildebeest’s Gizzard are meant to buff up your defensive capabilities. These gems might serve the same role, but they each do so in a different way. Overlap isn’t always a bad thing, as we want players to have choices that can suit different needs.
Others serve particular playstyle niches rather than generalized purposes. Enforcer, Boyarsky’s Chip or Zei’s Stone of Vengeance are all gems with clearly defined specializations. These are the gems you think of first when you are pursuing a particular playstyle. If you’re exploring a Thorns build, Boyarsky’s Chip should be a no-brainer. If you like the kite-and-fight style, then Zei’s Stone of Vengeance should be a go-to. Builds should have some reliable choices that reinforce their general gameplay.
Some gems are less focused on overall character power and more on enhancing different gameplay activities. Boon of the Hoarder and Gem of Ease support specific goals, farming gold and leveling characters, respectively. While these aren’t the kinds of gems you’re likely to find on a build that’s pushing high level Greater Rifts, they serve their purposes well.
We also have gems that are considered more utility oriented. These types of gems often provide multiple types of benefits or focus on specific stats, though perhaps at lower values than a gem that is more specialized for damage or defense. Which gems filled these roles was a little muddier in the past than we liked, so in Patch 2.4.1 we’re creating more that fall into this category and making their utility shine through more clearly.
Finally, there are gems that might fall into more than one of the above categories. These are often good everyman’s gems or general options that are great for beginners or those who don’t want to fuss too much over their gem choice. Bane of the Powerful and Wreath of Lightning are prime examples, as they are both reliable, straight forward, and useful in virtually any build.
As we mentioned, some gems simply weren’t falling into one of the above categories or, if they were, weren’t serving their function as well as they could be. While we aren’t updating every Legendary Gem that might need a little help (and it’s possible we’ll re-examine other gems in the future), there are quite a few that stuck out to us as either needing more clearly defined roles or just that layer of new polish to keep them up to date in a Sanctuary that’s evolved over time.
You’ll find more details in our PTR patch notes, including the most recent updates and a more comprehensive list, but we’d like to dig into some specific changes and the philosophy behind them.
We’re making the following changes to Enforcer:
In addition to giving a bump in power to pet builds, we wanted to add more survivability to pets overall. This gem should be the obvious choice to players who run a pet build, but the benefit wasn’t always worth the socket. This should be a much clearer choice now.
You may be wondering why the Rank 25 bonus doesn’t make pets invulnerable. While we’ve seen this suggestion frequently, part of the Diablo experience is a sense of unpredictability and needing to adapt in dire situations. Extremes where your pets are always dead or permanently alive are much less interesting gameplay experiences than making a conscious effort to monitor your pets’ health and re-summon them if they’re in danger.
We’re making the following changes to Gogok of Swiftness:
When we originally designed Gogok of Swiftness, it was built around the assumption that this buff would be constantly dropping on and off. The goal was to have a higher total potential that we knew wouldn’t always be present. Ultimately, we decided against that design and instead opted to tune its values around Swiftness more or less always being up. This assumption allows us more control over number tuning.
Gogok of Swiftness provides very specific buffs and serves as a utility gem. However, it was lacking multi-purpose functionality, so we’ve added a Toughness component in the form of a Dodge bonus. This should make Gogok a more competitive choice for players who are either looking specifically to stack Attack Speed or Cooldown Reduction (or both!) while providing extra Toughness in the process.
We’re making the following changes to Mirinae, Teardrop of the Starweaver:
Like Gogok of Swiftness, Mirinae had a slightly different goal in mind when it was first designed. Its concept was to be the “single-target” gem, ideal for builds who focused more on area of effect abilities and needed a boost on single targets (like Rift Guardians). When we introduced Bane of the Stricken, Mirinae fell to the wayside and needed a tweak to breathe new life into it. So why not make it breathe life into the player?
Rather than have Mirinae compete with Bane of the Stricken (and wind up creating a math problem for players), we added defense to the gem in the form of a bonus heal to create a different incentive to use it. This lands this gem in a more utility-driven area, providing a new and interesting option that may be appealing for builds that need both extra regeneration and single-target damage.
We’re making the following changes to Simplicity’s Strength:
Similar to the changes coming to Enforcer, Simplicity’s Strength should just feel like the right choice for builds that want to focus on primary skills. From the beginning, that’s precisely what this gem was meant to do; it just needed some additional tweaks to ensure it really owned that role.
We’re making the following changes to Taeguk:
As we’ve already discussed, Taeguk too often felt like the right choice no matter which build you were running. It had no particular niche or role and, it was mechanically awkward to use and gain the most benefit. It was meant to work best for builds running channeling skills like Whirlwind or Strafe, and we didn’t want to encourage players to spam skills like Multishot or Hammer of the Ancients into empty space just to maintain the buff.
That said, we recognize a lot of classes feel as though they’ve lost a tool in their kit with the above changes; this is why so many other gems have been revisited and will be gaining similar components to those that made Taeguk so desirable. The goal wasn’t just to create a clearer, more communicated identity for Taeguk, but to also provide many builds a variety of options that represent different strengths and preferences.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this insight into the changes coming to Legendary Gems in Patch 2.4.1. These aren’t the only changes coming, so if you haven’t already, be sure to log into the PTR, try out some (or all) of these changes, and let us know your thoughts. It’s important to us that the community has a chance to get their hands on these shiny baubles and give them a go. Your feedback is some of the most valuable loot we could hope to have drop, and we look forward to hearing what you have to say!
To work in software development, whether it’s for business, entertainment, or your favorite video game company, is to know that simple problems don’t always have simple solutions. Game development is, in a word, complicated. There are thousands of moving parts where the smallest iteration can cause weeks of reversions and backtracking. On the outside looking in, it’s tempting to ask, “Why not just fix it?” That’s a bit like asking a baker why they can’t just substitute sugar for sucralose. The answer is similar across the board; “It’s not that simple.”
In Diablo III, there’s lots of information thrown at the player. Let’s talk numbers. You see them everywhere! They’re on your gear, they’re in your character profile, and they float around your nephalem’s head while you’re in combat. Behind each of those digits is a huge amount of tech that makes them behave the way that they do.
We heard a lot of player feedback that combat numbers were starting to be overwhelming or difficult to comprehend in moment-to-moment gameplay. In the past, large numbers were exciting to see because they stood out above the rest. How do you bring back that emotional appeal without making players feel like they have lost power?
Patch 2.4.0 introduced a couple of new features to address this. First, we’ve introduced a new in-game option to truncate numbers and display them using abbreviations. Second, we’ve added an entirely new feature that highlights some of your largest damage numbers in a new color. Each of these additions presented their own challenges when we went to implement them; some were design issues, others created localization concerns, and at the end of all these decisions, the result needed to look good.
Initially, we had the idea of highlighting the top 5% of numbers you’ve generated in the last few seconds. The first problem with this approach was that every build is different, especially when it comes to how each dishes out damage. Some pump out small bursts of floating numbers over time while others barrage your screen with a constant stream of information. In our first pass, another issue that arose was that the new system didn’t accommodate expected fluctuations in damage dealt. Take a Power Pylon, for example, where your damage is temporarily augmented. After the Pylon ends, you’ll still want to know when you’re dealing notable damage.
We developed our algorithm over time to account for these outliers, settling on the following rules for which numbers appear in orange:
If you’ve played the latest patch, you may have already seen our new damage abbreviations. We’ve seen a lot of questions, primarily from our English-speaking audiences, about why we measure in millions, but skip counting in billions.
There are a few reasons, but one of the most important is localization. Diablo III is a global game, published in 13 different languages, so when we make a design decision that affects the written word (or, in this case, written number), we have to remain cognizant of what that change will mean in every iteration of the game. While you might think numbers would be the easiest thing to translate, that couldn’t be any less true.
Here’s an example where what might look like a simple translation can get complicated. Some languages, like Spanish or French, do not commonly use a unique term for “billion.” They instead refer to that amount as what literally translates to “one thousand million” rather than having their own word. In terms of etymology, this is a result of both American and British English evolving the word “billion” to mean “one thousand million” rather than the “one million million” it originally represented.
It gets even more complex when looking at languages like Korean or Chinese, where large numbers are grouped on a different scale. For instance, in English, the nomenclature of a number changes with every third place, such as thousands, millions, billions and so forth. In Korean, the naming convention of a number instead changes every fourth place, using a method called myriad squared. This is because in Korean, numbers are grouped every ten-thousand fold instead of thousand fold.
This issue is compounded by punctuation use. Not every language uses commas as breaks in numbers. Some use periods instead, which is very common in Europe, and others don’t use any punctuation at all.
As numbers in Diablo III grew and we decided to add in numerical punctuation, we needed a way to elegantly “translate” where—and when—this punctuation would appear for each localization. Our code uses a library called ICU, or International Components for Unicode, which provides a great amount of support for localizing software. ICU can be used in a number of ways, but for this feature, we took advantage of its ability to take a number and a locale (such as United States English, French, or Korean) as input and give back a properly formatted number for that locale as output, complete with any periods or commas. Our Localization team also keeps a table that shows what numbers each region chooses to publish and the end result.
Some localizations opted to abbreviate more or less, mostly out of cultural preferences. There’s a real psychology behind player satisfaction and the actual length of the numbers you’re seeing, and player preference varies on both personal and cultural levels. For example, in English, we opted not to abbreviate in the low millions because seeing “1,000,000” is much more satisfying than “1M.” Skipping the billions place also helped with this, as seeing “1,000M” tells a much more exciting story than “1B.” Of course, number size isn’t the only consideration; the visuals, colors, and movement all play a key role as well.
It’s important to make sure that when a player sees a number, they can quickly understand the implication behind it and what it means to them at that precise instant. In Patch 2.4.0, we aimed to provide even more in-combat information than ever before. This is where those Critical Hit highlight numbers come into play.
Look at that beautiful crit!
Simply changing the color was one of many ways we could have presented this information. We asked ourselves a lot of questions about how was best to communicate these big hits. Do we make these numbers bigger? Have them path differently? Make them flash? Do they hang on the screen longer? Or do we just give them a different color? How do you decide which of these options is the right one?
We gravitated towards color because we could present this new information to our players in a drastically different way that passed other user accessibility concerns. Orange numbers stand out; they’re not something you’ve seen before, so subconsciously you pay close attention to them.
Orange also passes the colorblindness-friendly test. When you’re looking at a color wheel, orange is in a different realm than the other colors we currently use for other information. This way players that are colorblind can tell something’s new, too!
When we look at changing colors in our interface, our artists take a look a three options for variation: Hue, Saturation, and Lightness. This is part of what’s called the HSL color space, a common digital standardization for the color wheel. Each aspect is key to adjusting a different emotion or evoking a new response from the player. Do we want to change the mood? Then we adjust hue. If we’re shifting an image from being juicy to more flat, then saturation becomes key. How about drawing attention or driving it away? Lightness becomes the go-to.
As an example, some of the most critical information in the game is how much healing you’re receiving. Healing is literally your life force, and we want it to be very visible. That’s why that information is some of the brightest in the game. We wanted critical hit information to be extremely visible as well, so we played a lot with its lightness levels to make sure you always know when your next big damage spike occurs.
When we talk about the Diablo III team, it’s easy to first think of our developers who tweak the way a class or an item functions, or put cool, new features in to explore. However, there’s so much more going on beyond what your hero is wearing or wielding, and our artists, engineers, localization experts, and so many more help us ensure everything comes together smoothly for all of our players around the world.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this in-depth peek behind the scenes of a small feature that, under the hood, is deceptively gargantuan! It’s a privilege to come in every day and work on this game, even when it’s on the little details. Thanks for reading!
Diablo III patch 2.4.0 is now live in the Americas for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One! Check out the full PC patch notes below to learn all about the latest changes. To view our console patch notes, click here.
Important: Please note that you will not be prompted to download patch 2.4.0 until the patch is live in your home region. If you are logging in from a European or Asian client, you will need to wait for this patch to release in that region before it can be installed. Additionally, if your home region is in the Americas, you will be unable to log into Europe or Asia using Global Play after patch 2.4.0 is live until those regions have also patched.
Visit our Bug Report forum for a list of known issues.
If you are experiencing technical issues with the patching process, connecting to Battle.net after installing the patch, or errors while playing a newly-patched game, please visit our support site or post in the Technical Support forum for assistance.
New Feature: Greyhollow Island
The mysterious forested locale of Greyhollow Island is now open for exploration! Inhabited by new enemies and steeped in intrigue, brave the wilds and unravel the enigma behind the isle's mysterious inhabitants. Be forewarned, however; the land itself is hungry for blood.
To learn more about Greyhollow Island, click here.
New Feature: Expanded Zones
The Sanctuary you know grows larger. Two existing zones are receiving new, fully explorable additions, featuring new bounties and events. Survive the hunting grounds of the fierce yeti in the Eternal Woods, a new branch of The Ruins of Sescheron zone. The cultists have finally gotten around to clearing up the debris on those stairs in Leoric's Manor, opening up the Royal Quarters for curious treasure hunters.
New Feature: Set Dungeons
Test your mettle against one of twenty-four custom designed set dungeons! Each dungeon features a pre-generated, static course designed entirely around a specific class set. Don all six pieces of your chosen set and visit Leoric's Library to obtain a clue on where these hidden trials are located. Hunt down your dungeon of choice and master it to unlock exclusive cosmetic rewards!
New Feature: Empowered Rifts
Spend your gold to empower a Greater Rift, granting a fourth opportunity to upgrade a Legendary Gem. Gold costs vary based on the tier of Greater Rift level attempted, and bonus upgrades are granted only to those who successfully complete the rift, so spend wisely!
New Feature: Season Rebirth
Transition seamlessly from Season to Season with the new Season Rebirth feature! This option allows you to instantly transform a non-Seasonal hero to a fresh level 1 Season hero, maintaining their name and hours played. All gear is removed and automatically mailed to you in the non-Season, providing up to thirty days to reclaim the items at a later time. Paragon level, completed achievements, and other accomplishments also remain behind with your non-Seasonal heroes.
New Feature: Revised Buff Bar
A cleaner, clearer user interface makes its way to all platforms with our revised buff bar. Static buffs have been removed from the buff bar area, replaced by new indicators and timers that have been added to the skill bar. We've also included a collapsible buff-holder, which condenses party and group buffs and can be expanded by moving your cursor over the indicator or by assigning a hotkey via the Heads Up Display section of the Key Bindings option menu, revealing all your buffs at a moment's glance.
New to PC: Action Combat
The popular console version of Action Combat makes its way to PC! Massacre, Destruction, and Trap Mastery bonuses are now granted to players who chain together death, destruction, and clever maneuvers. Earn bonus experience, a temporary boost to movement speed, or a buff to your resource generation through tactical play.
Death continues to stretch its icy grasp over the world of Sanctuary. The terrors that await will crush the life from your fragile frames, and know that I shall be patiently observing from the threshold of existence. Let us examine the trials ahead together, that we might better prepare for your inevitable doom.
Though I do not require respite, were I to take leave of my duties, this little lost island immersed in intrigue would be a restful destination. Bloodthirsty beasts, occult mysteries, and the total annihilation of an entire civilization? Even from the distant shores of a deserted Westmarch, I can sense the malevolent forces that are undoubtedly to blame. How invigorating.
The scattered remnants of the Coven have finally made use of their pitiful existence, clearing the previously collapsed stairwell within the decrepit halls of Leoric’s Manor. Perhaps it is worth your time to see what the Mad King left behind.
Return to the Ruins of Sescheron and take a moment to observe your surroundings. To the east lies the Eternal Woods, the wilderness that surrounds this barbaric landmark. Beware the yeti who roam this frozen wasteland and keep your wits about you; the remnants of their hunts often claw their way above the permafrost. . .
It is prudent to equip yourself to your best of your meager abilities. Luckily for you, your efforts are now much more manageable. Many of the fabled Set items of heroes past have grown in strength, boasting new or improved abilities.
This is, of course, in addition to the treasure trove of new items the Horadrim have discovered and catalogued. I have acquired some of their research, and I recommend you take note of their findings.
Pride is a satisfying sin, and there is no greater gratification than watching an egotistical hero fall as a result of their own hubris. Naturally, when a curiously dangerous new set of challenges arises, I have little doubt your arrogance will get the best of you. Set Dungeons have begun opening their mystical portals all around the land of Sanctuary, and you will be permitted to enter should you be fully equipped with a completed wardrobe.
The challenges that lie within will take planning, guile, and dedication to conquer. Naturally, you do not stand a chance and, regrettably, death will not claim you when you inevitably fail. Still, should you desire to overcome these challenges, your efforts will be well rewarded.
The greed of adventurers knows no bounds, and I have heard whispers of the immense fortunes so many of you possess. While I am hardly impressed, perhaps I can recommend an alternative to rolling about in your filthy lucre? The abilities of your nephalem friend Orek are not yet depleted, and he has use for such riches.
Empowered Rifts allow your gold to serve you best by enhancing your Legendary Gems with additional levels of power. Naturally, should you fail in your challenge, the treasure you offered will be as forfeit as your life. A pity, but to be expected. Buyers should always beware.
Are you prepared to dare the dangerous coastal forests of Greyhollow Island? Will you prevail a true victor over the challenges of Set Dungeons? Or do you simply pine for the newest Season, eager to once again begin your journey anew? Share your thoughts below, that I might welcome you to your end with open arms. I do so enjoy being the guide to your doom.
Best of luck, nephalem.