Wednesday, 4 May 2016

S6 2.4.1 Crusader: GR20, Fresh 70, Leveling, more

Guys I have heard of some people struggling to clear GR20 with Akkhans 4 so I decided to show you how I did it, (it took less than 5 minutes to setup the gear for it). It's as fresh as fresh can get, since doing it the "normal way" is near impossible.

Akkhans 4 GR20 VIDEOand Dfans This build was tested with the following:
  • No Paragon
  • No Pylons Picked up
  • No Legendaries, Cubed, follower, nothing.
  • Tried it with ZERO AKKHANS all yellows, still got it.

As implied above, If you just have the utmost basic of thorns builds you will be able to clear with with ease. If you want to try it with some kind of "normal" Akkhans build, you will be in for a bad time.

Other S6 Crusader Resources

Just putting this here to help you if you need it.

Crusader Leveling

Crusader Fresh 70

Crusader Farming, other things

Hopefully these help you out. GL out there!

Monday, 2 May 2016

Diablo III Season 6 Launches

Diablo III's 6th season has launched following the launch of patch 2.4.1 (1.13 on PS4) and it's off to a roaring start. The patch is an absolute must for those who intend to compete in Season 6, as it sets up the stage for it. The patch notes are a long list of Item Updates, Bug Fixes, Adventure Mode and User Interface Updates as well as a few general tweaks and additions. The patch improves game performance in an impressive number of ways while adding all the bells and whistles needed to get Season 6 going. At, there's a detailed list of these changes, including detailed explanations every step of the way. Here, we'll only point out an interface improvement that's probably the most needed/welcome: additional stash tab icons.

Season 6 comes with a plethora of rewards for players, some of them cosmetic, others very practical indeed, which we have already covered in a previous piece. In addition to all the items though, Season 6 brings new conquests as well, so there will be plenty of content for players to sink their greedy little fangs into. Quick players will love the Speed Demon and Boss Mode, which feature strict time-limits. Lone wolves will like Lionhearted and Divinity, while grinders will be happy to grind up 350 monsters for the Cursed Chest of Curses!

Something that one should always keep an eye on though is botting: potentially well-capable of ruining the Season (as has been proven in previous outings), botting has apparently been tackled by Blizzard this time around. Whether that is indeed true and to what extent botters can be weeded out remains to be seen however.

A GosuTeam member since 2004, Philip Thalberg is currently tasked with Dota 2 coverage at the world's best eSports site. 

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Deadset's Guide to 2.4.1 - Detailed Beginner/Group/Solo Guides, Personal Impressions and Expectations

You may know me from a youtube guide or two over the past year and a half, or a (hopefully educational and nice) stream that I run at, or even my participation in the State of Sanctuary, all under the nickname Deadset. I have done a similar in-depth exploration for Patch 2.1.2, Patch 2.3, Patch 2.4 and I am back at it for my cross class guides. Below you can find my full impressions of the patch, as well as links to all detailed, full-blown explanations of 2.4.1 builds!


Barbarian: Raekor Furious Charge

Full Video Guide: LINK

Playstyle: If you are looking for a high risk, high reward playstyle, you are probably looking at its best example this patch. Raekor is reworked but remains true to its roots with a fast-paced playstyle that thrives on trash clearing and requires good judment when, what, and how to engage. This is the Barbarian glass cannon, and being a close combat build it requires excellent knowledge of monster progression (which fights are worth your time, which are likely to kill you, etc). If you have it though, the potential for GR clears is sky high.

Personal opinion: I continue to dislike Raekor for all its characteristics since its 2.1 (?) rework. Raekor is the fishing master, the playstyle requires precision and practice, and pushing can be a more frustrating experience than other builds (Unfavorable elites? Bad RG? Run ends!) With Raekor, it becomes all or nothing earlier in GR progression than other builds, but in the right circumstances the ceiling for clears is unrivaled. I guess the slight refocusing to Ancient Spear in 2.4.1 is also nice, you actually feel it chunking the enemy.

Expectation of performance: I have seen this build clear GR90+ end expect it to reach around 100 when fully optimized.

Crusader: Akkhan/Invoker Thorns

Playstyle and Personal opinion: Since it's a variation of the pure Invoker Thorns build, my opinion of the two is basically the same - please check it out below!

Demon Hunter: Marauder Cluster Arrow

Full Video Guide: LINK

Playstyle: As safe and consistent as an endgame Demon Hunter can get, the Marauder places a solid wall of pets and sentries in the way of monsters, while it safely picks them off from the distance. Resource management nightmares will be largely dealt with through perma-Vengeance Seethe, and the build's arsenal of slows and chills keeps demons at bay, allowing for a beginner-friendly Demon Hunter experience.

Personal opinion: This is as close to a chill Demon Hunter playstyle as you'll get. Even a casual Demon Hunter player will reach GR75+ with relative ease if he plays consistently and gears properly. The set continues to receive buff after buff, making it a breeze to start a season with.

Expectation of performance: I have seen this build clear GR85+, and expect it to clear slightly above GR90 when fully optimized.

Mystic Ally Inna Monk

Full Video Guide: LINK

Playstyle: How does a summoner Monk sound to you? How about a super safe, relaxed Monk build? How about the two combined? If all those propositions sound good, look no further than the Inna Mystic Ally build. With a straightforward gearing process, simple playstyle and the opportunity to expand into a Mystic Ally-EP hybrid with an even higher potential (and skill ceiling!), the Inna Monk is a great seasonal starting point.

Personal opinion: As a fanboy of pull mechanics, I'm a sucker for Cyclone Strike builds. Any Monk build that takes Cyclone Strike automatically receives +1 in my book. The option to expand the build into MA-EP hybrid is a great example of a modifiable build to suit your needs - the pure pet Monk is simpler, the EP variation has a higher GR ceiling. Either way, I really like the playstyle.

Expectation of performance: I have seen this build clear GR90+, and expect it to clear slightly above GR95 when fully optimized.

Zunimassa Witch Doctor

Written guide update coming very soon!

Playstyle: The build wields an army of Fetishes at its side, but gets the bulk of its damage done by the Doc shooting Poison Darts alongside his 5 closest summons. You will enjoy the build if you like pet-heavy builds, as well as hammering targets down individually with heavy single target damage.

**Personal opinion: The pet and positioning reliance of the build is really irksome at times, but the build is capable of pulling some very high damage numbers if the circumstances align in your favor.

Expectation of performance: I have seen this build clear GR80+, and expect it to clear well above GR85 when fully optimized.

DMO Arcane Orbit Wizard

Full Video Guide: LINK

Playstyle: The Arcane Orbit Wizard is a bursty, mobile and relatively safe melee spellcaster. It requires very simple stack management for the amount of damage it can deliver, turning it into one of the most beginner-friendly playstyles.

Personal opinion: Durable, melee range, crowd control heavy, need I say more? It's one of my favorite Wizard playstyles ever since it came out.

Expectation of performance: I have seen this build clear GR85+ and expect it to clear well above GR90 when fully optimized.


Energy Twister with Tal Rasha

Playstyle: The heir to the DMO version of the Twister build, the Tal Rasha version retains much of the playstyle (abuse of corners, stacking mechanics, etc.), but has little more varied rotation, and looks a little flashier - it's Tal's after all. If you hated the build in the past, you're not going to love it now, but its group power is undeniable and expected to dominate much (if not all) of the 2.4.1 group meta.

Barbarian Support

Playstyle: Abandoning his globe spawning role, the Support Barb is mostly a buffs and pulls master, an adept scout, and continues to be the overall leader of the support pack.

Monk Support

Playstyle: Similarly to the Barb, the support Monk ditches globe duties in favor of some skill-dependent healing. He fully retains his DPS guardian role.

Playstyle: Perhaps closest to his 2.4 form, the Support Doc adds some flavorful Wormwood Locust Swarms, but that's about it.

Personal opinion of the meta: I wasn't really looking forward to Darude Sandstorm and his mighty followers for a 2nd season in a row, but eh.** Expectation of performance of the group: GR120+



Leapquake with Might of the Earth

Playstyle: If you are looking for a clean, logical rotation and a more methodical approach to fights, you will enjoy Leapquake a great deal. The build dishes out a lot of crowd control and has a built-in pull to ease the AoE damage Earthquake specializes in. It does not slack in single target either, with Skular's Salvation empowered Boulder Tosses helping smooth out the usual Barbarian disparity of quick rift clear and agonizing slog through the Guardian. If keywords like 'deliberate pace', 'stun-heavy' and 'AoE and single target balance' sound attractive, look into the Leapquake build.

Personal opinion: This was one of my 2.4 favorites, and my opinion stands in 2.4.1 - less gimmicky than other builds, solid rotation built in. I love specs that lean on pulls anc CC, so I have some personal bias here, but really - try it out if you haven't!

Expectation of performance: I have seen this build clear GR85+ and expect it to clear slightly above GR90 when fully optimized.

Whirlwind with BK/Wastes

Playstyle: If you are looking for a build that feels fast, excels at hit and run tactics, and thrives the more enemies it can lure to chase it, then give the Whirlwind Barb a spin. It is very demanding to perfect gear-wise, and arguably does not reward you for it enough, but WW is always a blast to play.

Personal opinion: Wastes set needs retouching, relying on CC secondaries for some decent damage reduction from APDs is absurd. Up until you hit your toughness ceiling and you start feeling like paper, WW barb is pretty darn cool. Some number upgrades (especially Skull Grasp finally being multiplicative) push the build farther out.

Expectation of performance: I have seen this build clear GR80+ and expect it to clear slightly above GR85 when fully optimized.

Rend IK and HotA IK

Playstyle: I see these two builds as two sides of the same coin, using the base power of the Immortal King set (perma-Berserk and Ancients) to twist them for their own needs (mobile, DoT based playstyle for Rend, and a static, fight-to-fight playstyle for HotA). If you don't mind playing slightly off the meta and enjoy a decent challenge, both builds will provide plenty of quirks to learn and optimize for.

Personal opinion: The 2.3 darlings are actually bumped up a little with changes to their sets (IK and Wastes sets getting a bump in numbers, the 2.4 Endless Walk set getting added to HotA, etc.) If you don't mind playing a little outside the meta, these builds are still damn fun and different.

Expectation of performance: I have seen both builds clear GR80+ and expect both to clear slightly above GR85 when fully optimized.
Frenzy Thorns // Coming Soon!

Playstyle: -

Personal opinion: This actually exists, and is pretty cool!

Expectation of performance: 95+.


Bombardment Legacy of Nightmares Crusader

Playstyle: The Bombardment Crusader continues to be an oddity, with autoaimed volleys making up most of your attacks, having a single hyper-burst moment with a huge downtime, and spending most of the run focusing on survival. The playstyle has its intricacies - cooldown management, toughness issues, picking a proper fight - and would appeal to you if you enjoy setting up a fight and demolishing the enemy in single, spectacular shots.

Personal opinion: I'd definitely play this if I wanted to get on the Crusader leaderboard. It has some decision making as it's not the most durable build around, but that pales in comparison to its damage potential. I can certainly see people not digging the playstyle just based on how detached it feels from the battle, as you only take care of one offensive cooldown, and spend the rest of your attention on positioning and survival.

Expectation of performance: I have seen this build clear GR90+ and expect it to clear in around GR100 when fully optimized.

Invoker Thorns Crusader

Playstyle: The king of the chill endgame, Invoker Thorns is (to my knowledge) the only build that can go full tank and still clear 80+ with no twitch reflexes, heart stopping situations and instant leave decisions. Do not get me wrong, it will not clear every rift, but it will clear most of what your gear is capable of at a steady, unrelenting pace. If you ever wanted to play a solo build without flashy gimmicks but a true sense of invincibility, pick Invoker Thorns and do not look back.

Personal opinion: I have always enjoyed the Invoker take on the Thornsader, it's a straightforward melee build that doesn't go into full downtime mode on the off cycles of CoE. If you don't mind the lack of flashy, you'll feel right at home. I know I did.

Expectation of performance: I have seen this build clear GR85+ and expect it to clear slightly above GR90 when fully optimized.

Blessed Hammer Seeker of the Light Crusader

Playstyle: The 2.3 favorite has consistently received slight buffs to keep it from completely falling out. It is no longer reliant on kiting and stutter stepping (phew), and fights at a steadier pace that jumps into a fight and stays in its midst until it's over. If you enjoy slamming into the thick of the fight and mowing enemies with holy power, Hammerdin might just be the guy for you.

Personal opinion: Ever since 2.4, I've been pretty happy with how Hammerdin plays; now they get an additional buff in the form of Johanna's Argument 100% Hammers damage increase, bumping the build up yet again. I don't expect it to compete for the top spot, but you can definitely get some enjoyment out of the build.

Expectation of performance: I have seen this build clear GR80+ and expect it to clear well above GR85 when fully optimized.

Sweep Attack Rolands Crusader

Playstyle: The Sweep Sader thrives in density due to the Golden Flense mechanics, but can be quite fearless even in the thickest of fights due to his strong control capabilities. If you enjoy near-permanent CC and enemy manipulation, Sweep Sader can be your guy.

Personal opinion: I have always enjoyed the janitor Crusader; then again, any build that vacuums enemies and destroys them in a near-helpless state will earn my seal of approval. He hasn't gained an inch when it comes to single target potential, but the Roland set continues to get an improvement after improvement. If you don't mind a little fishin', you can take this build quite high.

Expectation of performance: I have seen this build clear GR80+ and expect it to clear well above GR85 when fully optimized.

Condemn Akkhan Crusader

Playstyle: Akkhan remains untouched in the defensive front (very disappointing for Patch 2.4.1), but its damage multipliers remain through the roof. One of its undeniable upsides is that this is one of the more enjoyable, fluid and visually appealing Crusader builds. If you are a fan of consistent AoE clear, crowd control immunity and the general feeling of a vortex of destruction, and you don't plan on pushing the highest of high GR tiers, try Condemn out.

Personal opinion: I still propose the trade of 150% of Akkhan's damage multiplier for a 50% reduction in damage; I don't think Mirinae as a form of sustain will pull you through burst, but it's something at least. Bane of the Stricken takes care of the formerly torturous Rift Guardian clears, and Vacuum never ceased to be one of the most satisfying pulls in the game. Somewhat similar to Raekor, you have to fully accept that elites will only be killed as collateral damage, and keep moving forward.

Expectation of performance: I have seen this build clear GR80+ and expect it to clear slightly above GR85 when fully optimized.


LoN Fan of Knives

Playstyle: Arguably one of the most interesting playstyles in the game, the LoN FoK Hunter relies on the Shi Mizu mechanic to drop to low health, get guaranteed crits, and stay there for the entirety of the run. If you enjoy exotic builds with high skill cap and Leaderboard potential, this is the build for you.

Personal opinion: I love this build for what it is: twisting expectations, going for obscure item interactions, all the good aRPG stuff. Downside is, of course, THUMP THUMP THUMP

Expectation of performance: I have seen this build clear GR95+, and expect it to clear around GR100 when fully optimized.

Unhallowed Essence Multishot DH

Playstyle: What do you imagine when you hear Demon Hunter? I personally think of a lone, brooding archer mowing demons down from a distance with a spray of arrows. This is the exact 'archer' fantasy fulfilled: no gimmicks, no pets, no vaulting like a madman.

Personal opinion: UE is on a buff streak, which makes me happy. The playstyle is easy to grasp and execute, and having a small margin of human error when executing mechanics leaves more space for better judgment of combat, positioning, and damage potential. I greatly enjoy Multishot, and so should you! :D

Expectation of performance: I have seen this build clear GR90+, and expect it to clear slightly above GR95 when fully optimized.

Rain of Vengeance Natalya DH

Playstyle: This is a high skill cap, mid-range playstyle that balances AoE and single target burst relatively well. With a slew of quality of life upgrades, several number boosts and some synergistic new items, Natalya remains a decently competitive playstyle. If you enjoy a challenging build that rewards you with relative consistency, this is the Demon Hunter build for you.

Personal opinion: Receiving a slight damage bump in 2.4.1, I can hardly talk about mind-blowing Natalya changes. If you are tired of playing the Legacy of Nightmares spec and its endless thump-thump on a flashing screen, you can give good ol' Natalya a spin.

Expectation of performance: I have seen this build clear GR85+, and expect it to clear around GR90 when fully optimized.

Impale Shadow DH

Playstyle: The Impale DH excels at assassination - sounds cool in theory, but in the AoE reality of Diablo, it plays out less smoothly. Regardless, it is more than capable of taking you to endgame, if not competition, on the strengths of its single target potential - ideally spread through Area Damage.

Personal opinion: In its doubled damage state of 2.4.1, the Impale DH actually plays more smoothly. Try it out if you enjoy seeing targets pop one by one.

Expectation of performance: I have seen this build clear GR85+, and I expect it to clear around GR90 when fully optimized.


SSS Uliana Monk

Playstyle: This is the most visually impressive Monk playstyle, using two iconic effects - Exploding Palm and Seven-Sided Strike - in a devastating whole-screen combo. The playstyle retains most of its characteristics: scales well with density, and takes advantage of snapshot mechanics. If you like a playstyle that rewards metagame knowledge and you like to research interactions of mechanics to get the most out of your build, try Uliana.

Personal opinion: This build is fun, but I don't have a taste for the wonky mechanics to snapshot Mythic Rhythm. The coolness factor of the build is undeniable though, seeing a Seven-Sided Strike detonate an entire screen's worth of Exploding Palms will never get old.

Expectation of performance: I have seen this build clear GR90+, and expect it to clear slightly above GR95 when fully optimized.

Shenlong Inna/Raiment Monk

Playstyle: On a surface look, the Generator Monk can seem too simplisic. There's more to it beneath the hood however, with Attack Speed vs. pure Damage considerations, and plently of tinkering for those who enjoy it. But even if you don't - if you enjoy consistency, durability, straightforward cooldown management, and solid-feeling melee builds, you can get great mileage out of this build.

Personal opinion: This remains a solid playstyle, and the primary skill buffs (Simplicity's Strength & Depth Diggers becoming multiplicative) do it a lot of good. If you wanna punch things to death and don't have a whole week to fish for your GR solo attempts, this is a great build to go for.

Expectation of performance: I have seen this build clear GR90+, and expect it to clear slightly above GR95 when fully optimized.

SWK Wave of Light Monk

Playstyle: This is the unique take on a ranged Monk, using Wave of Light's AoE potential, Tzo Krin's Gaze ranged mechanic, and the Pinto's Pride bracer superslow effect into a surprisingly effective combo. If you are the type of player to go for the exotic, unorthodox build, or simply want to try a ranged Monk, try out the Wave of Light SWK.

Personal opinion: This playstyle is growing to be pretty badass, having its damage doubled and still retaining its characteristic distance. Kyoshiro's belt is still a pain to work around, but the set multipliers are well worth the hassle. I highly recommend checking it out.

Expectation of performance: I have seen this build clear GR85+, and expect it to clear well above GR95 when fully optimized.


Helltooth Gargantuan Witch Doctor

Playstyle: Regardless if you're a fan of pet builds, a DoT/curse afficionado, or enjoy a little of each, the Helltooth Gargantuan build is a prime example of the best of both worlds. The build relies on the overpowering strength of the Gargantuan summons from the Helltooth set, augmented by your own entrapping Wall of Death debuffs. A very flavorful, and top tier, Witch Doctor build.

**Personal opinion: You will either love it or hate it, depending on how you feel about pets doing the damage for you. Personally, I'm a big fan, but it is worrisome that the build overshadows the others by so much.

Expectation of performance: I have seen this build clear GR90+, and expect it to clear well above GR95 when fully optimized.

Jade Harvester Witch Doctor

Playstyle: One of the more intricate melee spellcaster playstyles, Jade Harvester specializes in the application of DoTs and their nuke-like consumption. The set has received a significant upgrade to its survivability and damage potential, and it is no longer the perma-Spirit Walk reliant build you might remember. If you are looking for a high skill cap, nuke-oriented playstyle that relies a lot on player assessment of combat, the Jade Harvester might be the playstyle for you.

Personal opinion: Once you get past some pre-conceived notions about Witch Doctors, you can really get in a groove with Jade. I appreciate a build that causes you to re-learn a class and its combat playstyle, even if it doesn't turn out to be the top tier WD build.

Expectation of performance: I have seen this build clear GR85+, and expect it to clear well above GR90 when fully optimized.

Firebats LoN Witch Doctor and Carnevil LoN Witch Doctor

Playstyle: Both playstyles take advantage of the inborn durability of the Legacy of Nightmares setup, creating a visually impressive and fun AoE build for the Firebats build, and a single target, pet-reliant specialist for the Carnevil build. If you don't mind farming builds that are slightly harder to gear for, you can find something cool in both playstyles.

Personal opinion: Both builds are quite fun, durable and consistent. They require less things to keep track of than most set builds (less stacks/effects to keep track of), which is always a plus. Ancient items can be a pain to farm though.

Expectation of performance: I have seen both build clear GR85+, and expect them to clear well above GR90 when fully optimized.


Playstyle: Fitting its name, this Wizard spec strives to enter and remain in Archon form as long as it can. It's a master of demolishing elites - especially in its Firebird variation - but possesses a well-rounded skill kit for most situations, making it the ideal soloing build.

Personal opinion: With the option to go for the safer Vyr set or the all-out Firebird variation, Archon builds have turned surprisingly adaptable to player's needs. The lack of skill differentiation between the two specs is unfortunate, but its GR climbing power cannot be denied.

Expectation of performance: I have seen this build clear GR95+, and expect it to clear above GR100 when fully optimized.

Closing Words

So what's next?

I will be posting a similar thread on both the US and EU general forums, and I will be doing gearchecks / answering questions there as well, so drop by if you're interested! I will be adding links to this thread once the bnet threads are live.

I hope you enjoy the guides, and they are of future use to you in Season 6. Thank you for reading and good hunting!

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Diablo III Season 6 Rewards

With the start of the 6th season of Diablo III set for Friday, April 29, it's only natural to ponder about the rewards this new season will deliver. Well, ponder no further: we have done a bit of research and here's what we've come up with.

During season 6, brand new cosmetic items will be available, including a portrait frame as well as a unique pennant and new pieces of the Conqueror's transmogrification set. The said pennant can be picked up as a reward for completing chapter four of the season journey.

More importantly though, Haedrig's Gift will be available for season 6 as well and players will be able to pick it up no fewer than three times, by completing various requirements. By opening these gifts, players can land 2-3 pieces of a high-end set. What one needs to bear in mind in this respect though is that the class of the character that's used to open Haedrig's Gifts will determine the type of gear received.

One Haedrig's Gift can be obtained by reaching level 70 in chapter III. In chapter IV, defeating Izumal at level 70 on at least Torment II will yield another such gift-pack. The last one can be picked up by completing a Greater Rift of level 20 solo.

The sets that can be completed by picking up all the above gift-packs are indeed quite impressive. For the Barbarian, we're talking The Legacy of Raekor, while the Crusader will be able to get his hands on the Armor of Akkha. For the Demon Hunter, The Embodiment of the Marauder awaits. The Monk can get Inna's Reach, the Witch Doctor cab grab Zunimassa's Haunt, while the Wizard's reward is Delsere's Magnum Opus.

Last but certainly not least, seasonal players will be able to increase their stash-size too, granted this one won't be easy to accomplish. The list of requirements is as long as it's impressive. To fulfill it, players need to complete a Torment X Nephalem Rift in less than 4 minutes. Also, one will have to level three Legendary Gems to at least level 55. Any two quests have to be completed, Rakanoth has to be killed in under 15 seconds on torment X, Greed needs to be slain on Torment X and a Greater Rift 60 needs to be cleared solo.

Philip Thalberg has been a GosuTeam member since 2004, working for the web's best eSports destination and the home of events like the TI 2014.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Gardens of Hope Level 1 Mysterious Chest Location

I made an image for the possible locations of the Mysterious Chest for the Falcon's Wings:

Update 21.04.2016 I added images for the three Mysterious Chest Maps and put them in a Dropbox-Folder (so I don't have to reupdoad all of them on imgur when we change sth.):

Mysterious Chest Maps

  • I won't add normal chests into these Images anymore since this would overload it
  • Since all maps (except gardens of Hope 1) are randomly (modular) generated, I added a few into the images
  • I added the locations based on modular places on the map (e.g the dungeon entry at eternal woods), because I think they can spawn there too. This is just an assumption !

If you know more locations, feel free to write it down, and I will add them into the picture.

Answers to frequently asked Questions:
  • All new Cosmetic Items can be obtained on every Game mode (Season HC/SC, Nonseason HC/SC) and will be available one all the other Game modes imediately
  • The Mysterious Chests have a rare chance of spawning, but if they do, they drop the item 100% sure for all players in the group
  • The new Cosmetic Items (including these Mysterious Chests) will be available as soon as Patch 2.4.1 goes live

Friday, 22 April 2016

Pre-Purchase Overwatch: Origins Edition and Grab Mercy's Wings for Diablo III

Diablo III seems to be all about cosmetics lately. Its latest patch is all about such enhancements and Blizzard have apparently gotten so caught up in this wings/getup craze that they now offer such cosmetic trinkets as a reward for purchasing some of their other games. To make a long story short: those who have pre-purchased the digital PC edition of Overwatch: Origins will now receive the wings of the game's brilliant scientist and overall healer, Mercy, to use on their Diablo III characters (and yes, the wings can be equipped by all character-classes, not just crusaders as some rumors had it).

How exactly does this setup work though? Players who have pre-purchased the PC version of Overwatch: Origins Edition through Blizzard's own shop, can now claim the set by simply logging into Diablo III and entering a game. That's it. Accounts which are eligible for the deal will receive an in-game achievement and the wings will land in their collections immediately, together with another surprise reward.

Those who haven't pre-purchased the game can still get their hands on Mercy's wings. Overwatch: Origins Edition becomes available at retailers on May 24. There is a printed code included with the physical copy of the game, which can be redeemed for the wings, that will land in one's account. This way, even Mac players can get the goodies (although it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for them to purchase the PC copy of the game to begin with). Also, some have voiced discontent at the fact that they are required to actually buy a game they may not even want to play, to grab a Diablo III goodie.

Philip Thalberg is an eSports specialist and member of GosuTeam.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

No More Expansions for Diablo 3? Diablo 4 in the Works Instead?

Diablo fans are more and more convinced that Diablo 3, the most popular and successful iteration of the series, has reached the end of the road expansions-wise at least...there's still plenty of mileage left in the game obviously, but we are dealing with an engine here that is a decade old, even though the game it powers is just 4-years old. Fans have been expecting a second expansion to the game for a while, but their expectations have been dashed time and again last year and unfortunately, announcements-wise things don't exactly appear any more sunny this year either. Those keeping an eye on Blizzard's inner workings and on the job announcements put out by the company, have long suspected that Diablo 4 was in the works, even if at a rather incipient phase, but they also figured work was ongoing on the second Diablo 3 expansion too. A major announcement in this respect was expected to be made at the 2015 Blizzcon, but the event came and went and nothing transpired. Nowadays, it has become somewhat likely that the company will skip the expansion road and will instead go straight for Diablo 4, unless the new, as yet unnamed project they're currently working on, turns out to be something else.

The clues pointing to a direct jump to Diablo 4 are numerous: first of all, instead of putting together a team for another expansion or just keeping the current team going, Blizzard are taking people off the project. Leonard Boyarsky, Diablo 3's lead world designer, has left Blizzard to work for Obsidian, while John Yang and Don Wu have been moved to the WOW Legion team. The crew that currently mans the Diablo 3 battle-stations is a skeleton one, probably just enough to put out patches for a while.

On the other hand, Blizzard are hiring new people, among them someone handy with PBR workflows and "current surfacing techniques". PBR is short for Physically Based Rendering, which is a technology used to create photorealistic objects in a game environment. Diablo 3 is obviously not in need of such techniques, so it's obviously something for the new project. Whether that mystery project is indeed Diablo 4 or not, one thing is certain: it will definitely look like a million bucks!

Philip Thalberg works for the best eSports news portal,

Friday, 15 April 2016

John Yang moved from Diablo team to WoW team

Just tweeted the following:

I moved from the @Diablo team to the @Warcraft team few months ago. Been focusing on primarily on Legendary Items for the Legion expansion.

Additionally, if you check his Twitter profile, you'll see it lists him as a Game Designer for World of Warcraft.

It appears that Don Vu is also on the Legion team as of December 2015, according to his LinkedIn profile.

I know it will be an unpopular opinion but i feel that he played it too safe while in charge of diablo. He hasnt done unpopular things that might be better for the game long term and each patch has been very formulaic. The game isnt better than it was 12 months ago, just different.

Diablo eventually will be dropped with only critical updates etc, like d2 is now. And thats fine but the last 12 months havent moved the game towards being ready for that. This isnt all doom and gloom, theres certainly another expansion first but it just shows a lack of ambition. Maybe he was just tasked with 'steadying the ship' so im not for a moment saying he failed at his job.

For all jay wilsons errors he actually had a clear long term vision for the game, its just the game he was making was 10 years out of date.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

I achieved my goals today

I've been working on a goal for a while now. I'll never be #1 on the boards, have the highest paragon, or come up with the greatest build, but I'm still very proud of it.

I'm a bit nervous about sharing this. Peoples' reactions have ranged from "wtf" to "wtf why". They just don't understand. I'm a collector. It's no stranger than collecting ceramic zebras or inflatable dragons.

I set a goal and achieved it

Aim high

Believe in yourself

Never give up on your dreams

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Anyone else getting the itch to comeback every time another banwave happens?

This was mailed to us from one of our readers:

A big part of the reason I haven't played much D3 in the past year is primarily because I hate playing a game where cheating is rampant. On top of that, it seemed like Blizzard didn't care about their game, so why should I.

But these banwaves are seriously making me feel like Vince McMahon in that famous gif. Here's a fantasy football related one in case you don't know what I'm talking about:

If someone makes a decent D3 related one, I'll gild them.

Keep the banwaves coming Blizz and you will definitely see an influx of players!

EDIT: It's not even about leaderboard climbing/ranking. It's about people who are cheating getting punished (finally). It's hard to wanna grind at a game all day when you know others can do the same thing when they're at work or school or sleeping. I'd rather play other games where I know people are forced to play under the same constraints I am.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Diablo III Season 5 Wraps Up, Season 6 Has a Launch Date

The end of Diablo IIIs season 5 is drawing near and the race is on to see who the top players are at the cessation of hostilities. This time around, the community is really hoping the rankings will indeed provide a much more accurate representation of who the top dogs really are, as Blizzard have adopted a few measures in this sense. A few days ago, a number of bans have been handed out to accounts suspected of having used bots. What that means is that we're essentially witnessing the season-end clean-up, which will hopefully see all the banned accounts removed from the Season 5 Leaderboards.

Season 5 officially wraps up on April 15. Season 6 has been under testing on the PTR for a while now, and it looks all set to go. Upon the end of Season 5, characters will once again be changed to non-season characters and Blood shards, gold and other in-game items will undergo a similar process.

In North America, the official end of the season will come about on Friday, April 15, at 5:00 PM PDT. In Europe, we're looking at the same day, and the same 5:00 PM, CEST. The same goes for Asia, the time being 5:00 KST.

As said above, Season 6 has been in testing for a while, and it now has an official launch date: it will follow the end of Season 5 after a two-week gap. It will launch on April 29, at 5:00 PM PDT in the US, at 5:00 PM CEST in Europe and at 5:00 KST in Asia.

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Sunday, 3 April 2016

Contract Killers - like followers, but better

An idea for a new feature - *Contract Killers*

New followers you use for 2 hours at a time via a consumable "contract" that drops in game.

Contract Killers:
  • Can't be used in Greater Rifts
  • By default, they can't die
  • Instead of follower tokens, each has their own legendary follower weapon.

Here are some contract killers I’d like to see:

Gould Psync

Gould Psync costs 100% of the gold that you collect while he is fighting with you.

  • Radian: Increases your pickup radius by 20 yards, and picking up gold causes an explosion in a 20 yard radius for 250% of your most recent gold streak.
  • Fiduciary Bonds: When Gould Psync is equipped with any legendary item that interacts with gold, 100% of the effect also applies to you.
  • Rapacity: At all times, Gould Psync’s attacks do additional damage for 500% of your highest gold streak over the past 60 seconds.
  • Greed: For 15 seconds after a gold streak, 1000% of the gold streak amount is added to the damage of your attacks.
  • Perscrint: Gould Psync can only equip 2H weapons, but provides you with their stats and legendary bonus.

Follower Weapon:
  • Camelot: Collecting a health globe causes an explosion of gold, and you gain +10% damage for each stack of nephalem glory.


Jerry is so desperate for adventure that he actually pays you to let him tag along.

Jerry’s Abilities:
  • Sorry: Jerry sometimes gets lost, and returns chased by a large number of enemies.
  • Oops: Often, Jerry accidentally investigates cursed objects that he finds in the world, inadvertently unleashing teams of elite creatures and sometimes demon bosses.
  • It Won’t Happen Again: Accidentally spilling some of your gold on the ground, Jerry attracts treasure goblins who must be killed before they can escape with your treasure.
  • My Bad: Tricked into reading an ancient text, Jerry invokes ancient magic that duplicates every creature on your current map.
  • JERRY FIRE: When using his slingshot to attack, Jerry will sometimes accidentally summon a chaotic firelord who will attack everything on screen, including you and Jerry – dealing massive damage for 20 seconds or until you die.

Follower Weapon:
  • The Hungry Apple: Every two seconds Jerry absorbs an enemy into the Hungry Apple. Every two minutes the apple becomes full and releases all trapped enemies as elite enemies.


Paragon will aid you in combat in exchange for half of the experience you would have gained while he is fighting with you. He gains levels beyond 70 as he fights alongside you and is the only contract killer who starts at level 1 and gains levels.

Paragon’s Abilities:
  • Baseline: Paragon can equip a legendary gem and provide you with its bonus. However, when Paragon is re-hired he is unlikely to return with the gem…
  • At Level 10: “PDQ” – Paragon provides you with 30% movement speed.
  • At Level 35: “EXP” – Gaining xp reduces your cooldowns. Through some sort of complex, non-OP formula.
  • At Level 60: “LVL” – You gain mainstat equal to your total paragon level.
  • At Level 70: “DMG” – Paragon will cast a copy of your damaging attack 10% of the time, for 50% of your damage.
  • Beyond: After level 70, Paragon continues to gain levels. For each level he gains he increases both the chance that he will echo your attacks, and the percent of your damage the attack will perform. When Paragon reaches level 1000, he will cap at echoing 100% of your attacks for 100% of your damage.

Follower Weapon:
  • Staff of Infinity: Every minute, Paragon gains a different random effect from the traits you have extracted in Kanai’s cube. These traits also apply to you.

Frank the Trashman

Frank is a simple man with simple needs. Frank needs trash. Frank loves trash.

Frank’s Abilities:
  • Salvage Yella’s: Frank will pick up yellow items, salvage them, and drop half of them behind at the end of his contract.
  • Salvage Blues: Frank will pick up blue items, salvage them, and drop half of them behind at the end of his contract.
  • Salvage Junk: Frank will pick up white items, salvage them, and drop half of them behind at the end of his contract.
  • Trash Rage: When an enemy dies without dropping any trash, Frank goes into a Trash Rage for 10 seconds. While in a Trash Rage, Frank attacks for 10,000% weapon damage every second. These attacks stun enemies for 1 second. After a Trash Rage, Frank needs to rest for 20 seconds.

Follower Weapon:
The Golden Can: When Frank is equipped with the Golden Can, his trash rage has a 100% chance to knock loose at least one legendary item from an enemy.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

[EU] Banwave stats: Paragon levels

So after compiling EU leaderboard stats a couple of weeks ago I decided to take a look at paragon distribution of banned vs not banned players.

Here's the distribution of plvl (at the moment of rift completion) among top500 spots in each solo leaderboard

Here's one for top100 spots:

Ofc there's an indication bias because players that grind paragon like crazy are also more likely to bot than those that don't. And there's sampling bias because those players are more likely to attract Blizzard's attention.

For many classes, there's a clear divide between 75% percentile of non-banned players and 25% percentile of banned ones. This makes sense for Wizard/Barb as they also seem most paragon-dependent for GR pushing. DH has a really big variance among plevels of banned players. WD in top100 has surprisingly small difference in plvl between banned/non-banned.

Here's the distribution of ranks among top500 spots:

And here's one for top100:

Monks and Wizards seem to experience the most top-centric bans (also Monks have 3 outlier bans very close to 500s). WD in top100 are the only class for which median rank among banned players is lower than the median rank of non-banned players.

Here's some numeric stats over banned players:

The most banned class are Wizards (surprise, surprise!), the least ones are Monks and Barbs. Overall, 155 spots out of 3000 (6 boards, 500 spots) are banned, which is 5%. Of the top100, that's 71 spot out of 600, which is 11.8%.

Any feedback/suggestions for further analysis are welcome :)

EDIT: added rank graphs as well.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Some Superb Diablo III Item Sets

Diablo III game-play is all about item sets. Item sets are great because their individual pieces are interesting enough as they are, but the more of them a player adds, the more powerful the combination will be, thus, far beyond just pretty visuals and great stats, item sets are great drivers of action too, as they spur players on to continue searching for the next item in the set and to eventually complete it. Few things are more rewarding and satisfying in the game than the completion of one of the sets we're about to discuss below.

The first one is the Jade Harvester, which turns a Witch Doctor into a lean-mean damage-dishing machine, who is as great at harvesting mobs as he is with pets. The MO here is to load up the enemy with a bunch of damage-over-time spells, then to gather them up and use Soul Harvest on them. The Soul Harvest will deal 150 seconds worth of damage-over time instantly, and thus the Witch Doctor becomes a one-hit killer. Another spell which works well for damage with this set is Haunt which can be stacked for instant damage.

The Monkey King's Garb is an interesting set for Monks: it too is focused on dealing massive amounts of damage while increasing survivability. Sweeping Wind is what goes best with this set, as it will hand out the most damage while also protecting the player, by absorbing damage while active. The Monkey King's Garb should be combined with other legendaries for the best effect. These legendaries should be ones that boost Tempest Rush or Wave of Light, which will end up consuming a stack of Sweeping Wind to increase damage output by a surreal 1,500%.

The Might of the Earth set is a great addition to a Barbarian character, because it allows it to jump around, causing earthquakes upon landing. Other than being fun and looking great, the effects of the set include an 800% damage increase on earthquakes, upon other goodies. Avalanche, Ground Stomp, Leap, Seismic Slam and Ancient Spear are subject to the same 800% increase.

The Shadow's Mantle set carries an entirely different and altogether much greater significance than all the above-covered ones: it allows the very concept of the melee Demon Hunter to exist, thus, essentially allowing a class to do something it was never really supposed to. While this set is equipped by a Demon Hunter, every melee weapon wielded will have its damage increased by 600%. In addition to that, Impale will deal 40,000% of weapon damage to the first enemy hit. is the best spot to keep your eyes on various eSports events like The International 2015.

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