Sunday, 22 November 2015

Console-Diablo Crippled by Cheating

The always-online nature of the PC version of Diablo III raised a storm of criticism back in the days, but it looks like there are some - more or less unexpected - benefits to it. The console versions do not come with such a requirement, which means that the savefiles are not handled by Blizzard servers but rather locally, and that leaves the game open to all sorts of hacks and ill-intentioned tweaks, which - by an interesting set of circumstances - have grown to completely ruin the much-hailed social aspect of the game.

The Diablo III experience has from the beginning been conceived as a social experience, allowing people to play with other people, friends and strangers alike. Thanks to the unexpected effect of a number of exploits though, one might as well drop the "strangers" part from the above sentence. Here's what's wrong in a nutshell: some players exploit an item or another (in most cases the one called the Gem of Ease), tweaking it to give much more experience per kill than it normally would. This alone would be a problem, but not a particularly annoying one. The bigger problem is that if a player wielding an item laced with the hacked Gem of Ease joins a group, he will boost the experience production for all other members of the group as well, resulting in massive level-gains which essentially take away the enjoyment of the game from players who have nothing to do with the hack itself.

Console players are obviously outraged, some of them voicing disappointment at being ignored/let down by Blizzard. Help is already underway though. When a player's character is loaded in, a basic "sanity" check is run on the gear, so hacked/tweaked items are discovered and immediately disqualified. Starting with patch 2.4 - which is set to launch on PC and console simultaneously - the Gem of Ease will be capped at rank 100. Such measures will likely get the Gem of Ease thorn out of console players' sides, but similar problems may arise in the future due to - of all things - the lack of continuous connectivity.

Philip Thalberg has been working for Gosugamers since 2004. Join the world's biggest and best eSports destination right now!

Diablo 3's new patch has a clever Fallout easter egg

We're used to open-world games like Fallout 4 hiding plenty of easter eggs, but it seems the folks over at Blizzard want to pay respect to what is surely one of the biggest games of the year.

Hidden in Diablo 3's newest patch is a legendary gem called "Boyarsky's Chip."

Its description reads: "This fragment of a gem, called a chip,w as discovered in an underground vault by old man Boyarsky, who fashioned it into the beautiful gem it is today. It damages those who would damge its owner, and once inserted into a socket, it will never fall out."

To most, it's probably just another item -- adding 30,000 Thorns with the ability to taunt the first enemy hit by your Primary skills for 2 seconds.

However, if you know the history of Diablo 3's development team, you'll realize this item is actually in reference to Fallout. As pointed out by Kotaku, Leonard Boyarsky is the name of a Diablo 3 developer who also happened to be the art director of Fallout and gameplay designer of Fallout 4.

Suddently the line "...once instered into a socket, it will never fall out," makes a whole lot of sense.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

The way Blizzard has been using fun content to collect excellent data to improve Diablo III is very clever

Most of the features in Reaper of Souls are really cool, especially the last couple of patches. But in addition to being fun game design, they are set up really well to give Blizzard a lot of iterative data on the game.

Greater Rifts: Before Greater Rifts, there was not an easy way to tell if there were obvious exploits or clearly absurdly-overpowered builds. They are fun to push, but anomalies on the leaderboard are very telling to Blizzard. It is easy to spot an exploit or a broken build (one that is twice as powerful or more) based on the deviation from the standard on the GR Leaderboards.

Focus on 6-Piece Sets: This has been pretty hated-on but it let Blizzard set a simple standard for all characters to be effective at the endgame. By making it easier to finish a set every season they can get more and more class-specific data. By looking at GR clear data for a season they can see which sets clear which GR tiers to see if any classes or skills are major outliers.

Kanai's Cube: Kanai's Cube does for non-Set Legendary balancing what GRs do for Sets. If every single Helltooth doc must use Furnace, Grin Reaper, & Convention of Elements to push high GRs, this proves that these are the most statistically optimal gear choices in all situations and gives Blizzard a balancing standard to tweak from season to season. They can keep an eye on what the top clearers are using in their Cube slots and iterate based on that.

Legacy of Nightmares: Although it may see a nerf before the PTR's end, whatever version of this ring set survives to Production will continue giving Blizzard lots of good data--but this time, instead of seeing which individual legendaries are the most "mandatory" as a balancing standard, they will have a tool to see how all legendaries work in concert. It will help them find crazy GR outliers if people put together a ridiculous build using LoN and legendaries with very strong synergies and either tweak them down or keep working to tweak everything else up.

It's all really elegant and clever at the end of the day.

tl;dr: Blizzard has been adding lots of cool features that are fun to play, but they are also smart business deployments because they get a ton of data out of all of it to make the game better.

Monday, 16 November 2015

How to prepare for 2.4

I managed to try a few builds out on the PTR and figured I'd share some thoughts on how to prepare for 2.4 (no firm release date yet). As usual this mainly applies to people who will be playing non-seasonal. Note that there's no season-only items for 2.4. The only benefit of doing 2.4 will be to unlock stash tabs and some cosmetic items - they're pretty cool so I'll definitely be doing some season play, but not exclusively. For all the details check out the official patch notes.

1. Save up your crafting/bounty materials

You'll need lots of crafting mats if you want to create some shiny new items using Kanai's Cube. You'll also want to cube some of the new legendary powers. Do some bounties and store the mats, you'll need quite a few. Also save up some Ramaladni's Gifts so you can stick sockets on your new weapons.

2. Save these sets

The below sets, with the exception of Istvan's Paired Blades, are pretty useless at the moment, but will be seeing a substantial buff in 2.4. The Legacy of Nightmares ring set will be quite interesting, but I don't think they'll be able to balance the power across all the classes. Start saving them if you have them.
  • Legacy of Nightmares ring set (Litany of the Undaunted and The Wailing Host)
  • Endless Walk ring/amulet set (The Compass Rose and The Traveler's Pledge)
  • Istvan's Paired Blades (Little Rogue and The Slanderer)
  • Thorns of the Invoker set (Crusader only)

3. Prepare to replace these items

You might have beautifully rolled ancient versions of the below items. Unfortunately most of them will no longer be BIS (best in slot). Newly dropped versions of these items have substantially more powerful stats on them. Don't save unidentified versions of these - the stats will only appear on ones that drop after 2.4 goes live. If you save up lots of bounty crafting mats then you can use them to reroll these items and they'll get the new stats on them (and it might be ancient if you're lucky).

  • Dread iron (+150-200% Avalanche damage)

  • Blade of prophecy (+75-100% Condemn damage)
  • Drakon's Lesson (Shield Bash damage bonus increased from 150-200% to 300-400%)
  • Frydehr's Wrath (+150-200% Condemn damage)
  • Golden Flense (+150-200% Sweep Attack damage)
  • Jace's Hammer of Vigilance (guaranteed primary attribute)
  • Jekangbord (+150-200% Blessed Shield damage)
  • Unrelenting Phalanx (+45-60% Phalanx damage)

Demon Hunter
  • Bombardier's Rucksack (+75-100% Sentry damage)
  • Dead Man's Legacy (+75-100% Multishot damage)
  • Hellrack (guaranteed primary attribute)
  • K'mar Tenclip (+75-100% Strafe damage)
  • Valla's Bequest (+75-100% Strafe damage)
  • Wojahnni Assaulter (guaranteed primary attribute)

  • Gyana Na Kashu (+75-100% Lashing Tail Kick damage)
  • Tzo Krin's Gaze (Wave of Light bonus damage increased from 20-25% to 125-150%)
  • Vengeful Wind (Number of Sweeping Wind stacks increased from 3 to 6-7)
  • Inna's Reach (Bonus Mystic Ally damage increased from 20-25% to 75-100%)

  • Triumvirate (Arcane Orb damage bonus increased from 75-100% to 150-200%)

4. Clean up your stash

There are an incredible amount of new items landing in 2.4 - clean out your stash and your mules. Be rutheless!

5. Level up some gems

There will be a new Kanai's Cube recipe which consumes a legendary gem (and some other mats) in order to add some stats to an ancient item. You can determine the stat based on what other gems you include in the cube - Ruby for Str, Topaz for Int, Emerald for Dex, and Amethyst for Vit. The amount of the stat that gets added depends on the level of the legendary gem you use in the recipe. For example if you added some Emeralds and a level 40 gem, you will be able to add 200 Dex to an item. If you used a level 80 gem you will be able to add 400 dex to an item. You can only buff ancient items. If you find an item with better stats, you'll need to farm another gem and buff the upgraded item. Because of this you'll need a lot of extra gems - you might as well get a head start on leveling them now. If you need extra gems to drop, take them all out of your stash and put them on another character. Then when you complete a greater rift you'll start getting additional gems dropping again. Level these up as high as you can so you have a bunch of them ready for 2.4.

6. Farm some gold

In 2.4 you'll be able to "empower" a greater rift. In order to do this you'll need to spend some gold. The amount depends on the level of the greater rift you're doing. If you complete the greater rift on time, you'll get 4 gem upgrade chances instead of the usual 3.

7. Save up some Bovine Bardiches and Puzzle Rings

Empowered rifts will need a lot of gold. Put together a gold find set to make the most of your puzzle rings. The new action combat feature provides some pretty hefty XP bonuses. The Bovine Bardiche can be put in the cube and it will open a special cow level. Aside from netting you a heft amount of legendaries and XP pools, the density for these levels is extremely high. On the PTR I got about half a paragon level (granted only level 975) by earning a huge massacre bonus on this level.

8. Misc notes

  • Monks will need to focus on Physical Resist even more for their gear, as most rift guardians and other mobs have had their elements moved to Physical. The Mara's Kaleidoscope amulet will not be quite as good in 2.4.
  • String of ears looks like it is getting changed retrospectively. This doesn't happen very often, but usually when it does the range gets rerolled again. This means if you have one with 30% (range being 25%-30%) then when the patch lands and it gets changed to a power instead of a secondary roll, it might not end up as the max value in the range. It looks like this belt will be dropped to 20%-25% (the patch notes are confusing for this).

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Diablo 3: Patch 2.4 Interview! Blizzcon, quin69 had with the devs

Even though im not happy with some of the answers, major respect to quinn & the devs for actually asking AND ANSWERING all the "tough" questions. first interview i have seen in d3 that had interesting content with honest answers.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Why Is There No Diablo Themed Slot Machine Game?

There is no need to say that Diablo is a legendary game. Just by looking or hearing of the name you know it’s a great game even if you didn’t know of it before. So, why is there no Diablo themed slot machine game? There is a Dungeons & Dragons slot made by Konami, and if Dungeons & Dragons deserved to have a casino game, Diablo deserves one too.

Konami are a great gaming company, but maybe NetEnt would be more suited to develop a Diablo slot. After all, NetEnt has collected many awards for its 3D games. Diablo could easily be the next NetEnt slot nominated as Game of the Year, and would surely win.

I bet it would be nothing short of a spectacular slot game. Imagine it, entering a land-based and seeing a slot machine with a caricature of Diablo, the Lord of Terror standing atop the slot. Or, even better, seeing your favorite PC game in an online casino and when you click on the game you are introduced to an awesome 3D animated intro and bloody cut-scenes as you hit the winning reel combinations.

There could be interesting ways of building up your winnings when you play the game, for example, by acquiring items, learning spells and defeating enemies just like in the game. Something similar that comes in my mind is the Tower Quest slot by Play’n Go where you can collect potions that you can use for different bonus games. A Diablo slot would be even better, the perfect fantasy slot machine game.

At the start you would be able to choose one of the three classes, sorcerer, rogue or warrior, and with each class would come a unique skill that you can use to enhance your winnings. Their strongest attributes could be utilized in the game play as well.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

I found my old D3 Vanilla screenshots folder...I had forgotten about some of these old memories.

Looking at this makes me cringe. I can't even fathom having to reveal all these rares after each run. I believe rares were a lot more rare back then. But I think this was one of the Watchtower runs, so this many rares wasn't even THAT rare. There was no Book of Cain, either.

You could "hack" items that you pasted into chat. So at one point people were "selling" these crazy items. I don't know what ever became of that, since obviously you would not get the item that was shown in chat. I assume people just got ripped off. The item modification, I believe, was done by taking an item and copying it to your clipboard, pasting it in a word processor, and then editing it before pasting it back into D3. Not sure about that though. It's been so long I can't remember.

I remember I was so happy when I got my DPS up to 100k lol. Had to pop all my cooldowns though. It was no big deal because I would just do COTA runs, exit, and reload the game.

There was a time when beating Diablo on Inferno mode was really difficult. It took us a couple hours to get to him, from the start of Act 4, and then a couple hours to beat him.

We tried to do it the night before, but one of the elites glitched and became undefeatable. (It was an illusionist mob with shields + enrage timer.)

 My first paragon lol

My second first paragon. It took me a minute to remember that the paragon system used to tie paragon levels to the character, and not the account.

I think this was considered a pretty good rare for my Wizard.

This was one of the best items I ever found, I think. Perfect rolls on those gold/magic find. I never used it, since I played CM Wiz. But it did fetch a pretty penny on the auction house.

lol at the set bonuses.

These are the affixes nightmares are made of.

Anyone have any old screenshots from early D3?

Thursday, 29 October 2015

I reached Grift 60 on my Crusader! I hope my story and stats can motivate you to do the same.

I just reached Grift level 60 and am now very close to completing the season journey :D Reaching this Grift level solo was actually the task I was looking up against the most, so I'm very happy it's finally done.

I'm making this post to be able to share my accomplishment with people who know the game, but also to promote personal preference in your builds. On top of that, I consider myself a casual gamer and being able to complete the season journey and reach the leaderboard while still getting good grades at my university shows that other casuals should also be able to get that awesome portrait as well!

Some stats:
I'm on EU server
I started playing a couple of days after Season 4 started
So far, I've put 101 hours and 32 minutes into my Crusader
I'm currently Rank 364 on the Solo Crusader ladder for Season 4 with a completion time of 13:48
I exclusively played Crusader this season, so I have no paragon levels or gem levels farmed on a monk or whatever

I realize my average play time is approximately 102 hours / 32 days = 3,2 hours per day. It's probably because patch 2.3 is so much to my liking that I actually wanted to get so much time in this season. However, to support the casuals, the season is not over yet by far! With two more months to go (assuming a season of at least 3 months), you should be able to get where I am or higher with an hour of play per day on average.

If you have any questions or require a gear check, don't hesitate to comment!

Now on to promoting personal preference in builds. above is  my character. To summarise:
I'm using Leoric's Crown instead of Hexing pants
I'm using both Eye of Etlich and a String of Ears
I'm not using the Indestructible passive
I'm using Pain Enhancer instead of Gogok
I have a permanent CDR of 47,22% = 1-(1-0.25 Helm diamond with Leoric in cube)x(1-0.15 Fervor passive)x(1-0.10 Paragon points)x(1-0.08 CDR roll on shoulders)

I did not want to feel obligated to stutter step all the time, so I dismissed the Hexing pants and choose Leoric's Crown instead for more CDR. This allowed me not use Gogok and switch it to Pain Enhancer and also to only have CDR on my Shoulder armor. My rings, weapon and other items don't have CDR, but another useful stat instead. Long story short, make changes to existing builds to make it suit your play style! It might just work :)

I'm really glad I'm on route to obtaining an 'end-game' reward. I was never able to reach Master League in Starcraft. I was never able to get the Legend cardback in Hearthstone. I was not able to reach Rank 1 in Heroes of the Storm. For the first time, I will get an in-game reward that shows I've been at the top. I'm just very happy I did it and hope you will get the same feeling after reaching yours as well!

Ask me anything and otherwise good luck in-game!

Monday, 26 October 2015

Blizzard is making a Voice Chat system

When Blizzard announced the beta launch date for Overwatch last week, it (somewhat surprisingly) said the game would have built-in voice chat. Now we're learning that it won't just be part of Overwatch, but built into itself. A post on the Overwatch blog said that Voice Chat will launch as part of the Overwatch beta, and that it's "still in its early development and testing stages."

The post makes it clear that, for now, Voice Chat will only be available to use within the Overwatch Beta and that it's still "too early to say which Blizzard games will be supported and when." But the fact that it is being built as part of, rather than as Overwatch's dedicated VoIP system, possibly indicates that Blizzard is interested in the idea of making voice chat available in more of its games.

Heroes of the Storm seems like an easy fit for the service, but the idea of speaking to my BM'ing Hearthstone opponent makes me quiver. Well Met!

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Losing Your Diablo III Character the Deadmous5 Way

Hardcore is arguably one of the most popular Diablo III game-modes, for a good reason: the stakes are really high there. While being a hardcore player is something everyone aspires to, the price of failure is extremely high: once a character is killed, it is forever lost, regardless of the circumstances that led to its demise, and yes, that means lag, disconnect issues and just about everything else you can think of are all covered. Once a hero dies, it is gone for good. Of course, losing a high-level character to lag will indeed feel unfair, as Deadmous5, the famed music producer, was forced to find out the other day.

Interestingly enough, Deadmous5 managed to record the incident and he posted the video, together with a sharp rebuke of Blizzard's servers which he said were at the root of the problem. His character was a Demon Hunter, one apparently ranked pretty high in the Solo Hardcore leaderboards. Obviously, being the gamer that he is, Deadmous5 will probably be back near the top of the pops in short order, still, the incident isn't one to be taken lightly at all. See for yourself:

Regardless of how one turns this around, it's just utterly unfair...Hopefully, the attention that Deadmous5 has already managed to shine upon the issue will prompt Blizzard to do something about such server-related issues which result in such high costs for their players.

Philip Thalberg works for esportslistings, the web's top destination for competitive gaming odds

Monday, 19 October 2015

Why did Blizzard not make Diablo into an esport?

Blizzard, who we all can agree is the most epic gamemaker on earth (!). They can claim the responsibility for what I must say might be some of the best esport game titels in the world. StarCraft or the more recent Hearthstone for that matter are excellent examples of this. As the pro gamer you already are, I know that you already know all of this about Blizzard being awsome. However, you might not have figured yet is why Diablo did not become one of them? What goes through the game creators mind at Blizzard when they come up with a new game? And who is deciding wheter or not a game should belong to the esport category, and if so, on what premisses?

From the first beta
When I was a kid I grew up playing the beta of Diablo. It was the first online game I’ve had ever played and it was the cuase of our first ever argument about the internet and maybe more importantly over the bill cuased by the online connection. I had spent more than 50 hours in front of the computer that month, both mornings and evenings. My dad was sooo furious. I had no controll playing this game.. I can still remember a day in mid school my friends were talking about the first boss ”the butcher”. When I got there, I almost pissed my pants. I genuinly appreciated the intense hunt for gear and the real risk of loosing it all down in the deep deep dungeuns held by Diablo. Maybe my regular life was to boring but sometimes I wished Diablo was real. Perhaps I needed something to strive for.

After playing pretty much every game on all different kinds of pattforms I realized I was not looking for something to strive for in life. I just enjoyed the challenge and wanted to be the best, just like a Pokémon trainer. in life during the I realized nothing was as fun as playing a game in which you have some stakes. Of whatever kind. Me and my friends used to be betting 50 push ups, going for food or sometimes even betted their new shoes.

My past has brought me to my present and as a betting esport enthusiast, I just can’t belive that I am not able to see some awsome characters fight it off on a live stream. When that happends I will end my ”gaming career” and retire doing just that. And to get back to the question about why Diablo didn’t become an esport game? My anser is: I don’t know why or on what premisses Blizzard did not make Diablo into an esport game, but I would have loved it if they did :P

Friday, 16 October 2015

Blizzard, you need to ban or shadow-ban botters that make it to the leaderboards

If you don't ban everyone for botting since there is no monetary gain for botters any more.. you should at least ban or remove cheaters from the leaderboards.

I really hope you do this before the season closes because even though many people say that competitive leaderboards are a joke.. I think that the only reason people feel this way is because there are only two types of competition in Diablo 3.. insanely dedicated players that do deserve recognition and. .. and the people that are insanely dedicated to botting.

I would honestly love to see a shadowban at the end of the season of all the cheaters. Just as a nice FU to all those people that dedicated so much time running bots just to find a wasted effort right at the end of the season.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Healing in Diablo is a lot like healing in WoW.

  • People not designated to pull running ahead and going out of range. "WTF healer?!?! 1.7m LPS is too low for 60 speeds!!!"
  • One person staying behind the group to kill those last two mobs. "WTF healer?!!? Why aren't you staying with the group?!?!?"
  • People standing in a molten+grotesque pack exploding. "WTF healer?!?! Are you even using your mantra?!?!"
  • People habitually knocking back your tightly cyclone'd density. "WTF healer?!?! Are you even using cyclone?!?!"

Just like WoW, no matter how well you play and how well geared you are, it's always the healer's fault when some other idiot fucks up.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

The anatomy of a botter v2.

So few weeks passed since the great purge, and we all know he is back, stronger than ever. I just thought it might be interesting to look at some numbers to see if brother chris returned to his side aswell or not. (we all know the answer but i looked anyway) Screenshot of played hours until 15:08 CET today 

 We dont know the exact time he started this new account but we can roughly tell from this: 

 lets say he started fresh 2 hours before that achievement. Screenshot of time difference. (CET)

427 hours played in 18 days 4 hours, thats around 9 hours downtime since first day of new account. So roughly half an hour of sleep each day. Thats impressive! We can confirm brother chris has evolved and reached final form. Now just need gg riff for legit rank1.

Stuff around the net