Sunday, 26 June 2016

When Will Diablo 4 Be Out?



We don't know a whole lot about Blizzard's Diablo-related, behind-the-scenes plans, except for the fact that work has more or less ceased on Diablo III and that the game will not get any additional expansion packs. Still though, there are things stirring Diablo-wise, things Blizzard don't see too keen on sharing. They are hiring people for a job that the community speculates could only be Diablo 4. A couple of days ago, apparently a new job announcement was made, so now Blizzard are looking for a Software Engineer, a Senior Animator and an Animator, in addition to a Senior Concept Artist, a Senior Character Artist and a Senior VFX artist. That lineup is indeed quite indicative of a serious project in the works, a project many are still suspecting to be  Diablo III add-on...or Diablo 4. The previous option is obviously not really likely, considering the string of personnel who have left the project team recently.

Diablo III's Lead World Designer Leonard Boyarsky has moved to "Obsidian", while Don Vu and John Yang have been moved to Legion, the upcoming WoW expansion. The latest big name to leave the project was Jay Wilson, the game director, who has made a big fuss about leaving the gaming industry altogether.

To add the cherry onto the top of the Diablo secrecy cake, the company has banned visitors from the Diablo development area at their campus in Irvine, California. Obviously, something big is in the works, but Blizzard have thus far refused to comment on exactly what they are working on in this respect. The bottom line is though that as abandoned and desolate as the Diablo scene looks right now, things are apparently still on the right track for the franchise. It is only a matter of time till Blizzard come out with a major Diablo announcement.

Philip Thalberg works for eSports Whitelabel solution provider Gosumedia.net.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Playing Online Craps Like a Pro

Playing online craps can be a ton of fun. If you’ve ever been in a casino to see people playing craps in person you will know that it’s a really exciting affair. The typical sight at a craps table is one of people screaming and shouting, possibly even jumping up and down, with people clamoring to get to the tables and also to watch the others play. 

The game is pretty easy to play but it will draw a crowd more than any other game in a casino. So what if you play it online?

While playing craps online might not be as exciting as playing in person with the cheering and jeering, but it can still be a great deal of fun. Another great thing about playing online is that you can do so at your own pace, when and where you want to. This gives many people an opportunity to play that might not be able to otherwise. You won’t have to travel anywhere. You don’t have to get dressed in anything special; you can even do it in your underwear if you want. You can browse the net for different casinos offering craps and then find the ones you like most for playing.

Online craps is played pretty much the same as ordinary craps so if you want to play like a pro, all you need to do is research how the pros play. See what they do, what strategies they use, and then try it for yourself. Another trick is to see were you get the best online bonuses. Check out bracasinobonus.se to compare them online.


You will need to understand the bets and what they mean, as well as how they will affect you and what your odds are. When you understand odds and how to place bets, it will help you succeed in online craps. You will learn to get your own “feel” for the game so you know how to increase your odds of success.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Diablo 2 newbie guide: tips on how to Enjoy an old classic game.


There are many of you that only played D3 and want to give D2 a chance. I hope this guide will help you enjoy this classic game while ignoring some of it's outdated game design.

Firstly, if you want to be a purist, you can always play the game as it is. Here you will find many tips, simply choose what you want and maximize you fun with D2.

1)increasing game speed.(Single player/Lan games,works best single player)



With Cheat Engine you can set the game speed. 1.0 is normal, anything from 1.1-1.5 will feel natural, faster than the normal game but slow enough to still react to everything.

From 2 to 5 you can use if you want to farm or move faster. You can still react at this speed. Anything higher than 5x will be lightning fast.This has made replaying Diablo much more fun, knowing I don't waste so much time just walking arround. Recommended for any D2 player, even if the game speed is slow(1.1-1.2) you can save hours of your time! Adding a 10% increase you can win dozens of hours with virtually no down side. Depending on your class and game style, you can choose the best number for you( from a perfect 30% to an insane 500% for farming depending on the circumstances). This will make the game a lot less tedious.


2)Plugy (Single player/Lan games)

Like the first, this doesn't affect game play in any way(except inventory charms, you can simply limit them to keep things fair). With this, you will have a bigger inventory,infinite stash and gold size , also shared stash with your other characters. Diablo 2 has some realm ( online ) only features like runewords(an item type) and special bosses, this activates those. Relocating skill and stat points is also possible.

Website: http://plugy.free.fr/en/index.html

3)Diablo 2 multires (Single player/Lan games/custom servers)

This is a simple mod, it increased the resolution of the game, you have a lot of options. D2 runs at 800/600 , it can feel very claustrophobic. Even running it at 1024/768 only will make the game more enjoyable without messing with balance too much. Higher resolutions give a huge advantage to some classes like Amazon, because you can hit enemies from very far away. However using melee classes won't mess with the game too much. Installation is more complicated however, you will need an older version of Diablo 2 to make it work. For that, you need either a D2 disc , downgrade your installation(not recommended) or a pirated copy. As far as I know, the blizzard installer doesn't let you play older versions.

Website: http://www.medianxl.com/t1716-guide-to-multi-res-w-plugy-for-diablo-ii(ignore the part about Median)

4)D2SE mod manager(includes plugy) ( Single player/Lan games/custom servers ( maybe works on the official too, didn't try))

Diablo 2 has many mods worth playing, you spend dozens,hundreds of hours playing different kind of mods. In the old days you would need have multiple copies of the game to make it work, now it's easier. With this program you can have as many mods (and play older versions of the game) as you want.

Website: http://snej.org/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=b6310660d1667101199ef0ddc9cb21a1&topic=18914.0 ( instalation + some mod list. also check out http://www.moddb.com/games/diablo-2-lod/mods if you wish)

5)Diablo 2 reworked:

This is essentially a more casual/fun mod for D2. Everything is faster and more plentiful. Higher drop rates, higher Xp gain and so on. The core of the game is the same.

Website: http://www.moddb.com/mods/sebishs-diablo-2-lod-modification

Hope this helps. I will make more edits if anyone has suggestions.

Screenshot. Plugy also shows different statistics like this:



Full features for PLUGY: http://diablo.gamepedia.com/PlugY

Monday, 13 June 2016

Deckard Cain Lives!

This can be found at the map Route66 in Overwatch:



(The date is the D3 release date)

If you scan the barcode you'll get this:


Heres another ingame screenshot. At the other one just the contrast was increased, to make it scanable.



If this is foreshadowing about Cain's survival all along, who could've done it? Allow me to theorize out of my ass and get lost in the prose.

Mephisto's weaponry consisted of magics and pure hatred. Diablo inspired fear. Azmodan, master tactician, used demonic armies of blood and iron. Belial? His main asset is knowledge. He is a master deceiver and liar. He is malicious cunning manifest. He fights with smoke and mirrors and not with lightning hoses or brute force.

Remember when we fight him in Act II? If we get his health low enough, he assumes his alleged "true form." That wasn't his true form, it was this all along. That huge demon was a fall guy -- Belial's exit stage right. It is said that the greatest lie the devil ever told was that he made people believe he did not exist. In this case, Belial made us all believe he was dead.

Unlike his more brutish and powerful siblings, Belial's power lies in acting behind the scenes. Remember the "voices" and holograms the heroes face in Act III and IV? Where Azmodan and Diablo embarrassingly taunt the heroes about what to do next? That was Belial. Why would master tacticians bent on destruction reveal their plans and progress?

Belial's goal was to become the Prime Evil. Cain's arcane and esoteric knowledge was paramount to this end. When Tyrael crashed into the cathedral, Belial, through his servant Maghda, was immediately there. They imprison Cain to milk all what they can about soulstones and what have you. The "Cain" we rescue with Leah? Just another conjuration. After all, how can a frail old man survive days in a cathedral being hunted by demons -- being at the epicenter of a meteor landing site? Why fake Cain's death though? Perhaps it is to prevent Leah from figuring out she had a fake uncle. Perhaps it is to anger the Nephalem and make them more susceptible to manipulation as regards Belial's grand plan. I don't know.

Belial had no strength of his own to kill and absorb his siblings' essences. He strung the heroes along, knowing that they would utilize the Black Soulstone. How convenient it is to have something to collect all the Evils' souls into one vessel ripe for the picking no?

(I know, I know, Malthael kinda screwed this plan up but meh, I'm just thinking really hard who could've been behind Cain's "death" and survival if he indeed is alive).

EDIT: After further thought, how can this tie in with RoS's ending? With the Nephalem feared and doubted, with the Nephalem not trusted due to their power, perhaps all they need is a sympathetic ear and a consoling voice to guide them to the "right" path?

EDIT 2: Lorath = Belial? He stuck around to help Tyrael. When the coast was clear, Belial had hoped to pluck the Black Soulstone in the chamber, but alas Malthael was there.

TL;DR: Cain lives. His whole "death" and the story progression were orchestrated by the Lord of Lies in conjunction with Maghda. Belial is a master deceiver and the most cunning in all of creation, he manipulated the heroes into gathering all the souls of the evils so as to become Prime.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Diablo III Director Leaves Blizzard, Gaming



Jay Wilson, Diablo III's game director, has announced that he was leaving Blizzard to pursue writing - his original passion. The move will lead him away from not only one of the most successful game-developers ever, but the entire gaming industry as well. According to a Twitter post through which he's announced his intentions, Wilson always wanted to return to writing, despite the fact that he had a rather lengthy and prolific career in gaming. Having joined the company in 2006, he spent about a decade at Blizzard. Before that, he had also directed design at Relic Entertainment's Company of Heroes, and he had been a lead designer for Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War.

A highly controversial figure, Wilson had riled up the Diablo community on a number of occasions. One such occasion saw him criticize the Diablo III Auction House (now closed) and calling it the "wrong solution" for the game. Another instance saw him get into a spat with Blizzard North's David Brevik, who had expressed negative thoughts in regards to Diablo III and its development.

Given the issues Diablo III had upon its release - issues for which many in the community have blamed Wilson - it is rather understandable that there's not much regret in fan-circles regarding his departure.

Through his farewell tweets, Wilson did not specify exactly what his plans were writing-wise, instead limiting himself to thanking his Blizzard colleagues.

Philip Thalberg works for Gosugamers, the best destination for The International coverage and the biggest eSports community. 

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Why Diablo III's Patch 2.4 Was so Great



Patch 2.4 for Diablo III was released back in January, which feels like it was indeed a hundred years ago...despite that, and despite the fact that we did release our take on the patch-notes, we never really took a closer look at some of the additions which made this patch stand out through the diverse ways in which it had improved the game. Of course, those of you who actively play the game know all about the tweaks and additions that I'm going to mention, so this piece is geared towards those who haven't played for months or are only now looking to sink their teeth into it.

Besides the regular patch-package of adjustments and small tweaks, Diablo III's patch 2.4 brought some actual new content to the table too, content which wasn't shabby at all. A great example in this sense is Greyhollow Island, which clearly shows that the devs didn't take the easy way out on it: it is not a collection of rehashed tilesets. It is a whole new area, complete with its own tileset and specifics, which include new monsters as well as new events.

Another example of great new patch-content are the set dungeons. These dungeons are all built up around specific item-sets, meaning that they only unlock once the player collects all 6 pieces belonging to a given set. The set dungeons can be a challenge to find even when unlocked, but Leoric's Library offers valuable clues in regards to their location.

Another great change brought about by patch 2.4 was that it finally found a role for cosmetic pets, making them not really cosmetic anymore. These pets can now pick up gold, which means that they are actually rather useful in the long-run.

Other changes ushered in by the patch allowed players to turn their non-seasonal heroes into a fresh lvl 1 seasonal ones, retaining their names, gear, as well as record.

Philip Thalberg works for the provider of the best eSports whitelabel solutions out there.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Celebrating Four Years of Diablo III - Players Hungry for More



A little more than a week ago, Diablo III had its 4th anniversary, and indeed it came and went with little fanfare. Yes, there was a post about it at battle.net, but it too was brief and apparently tossed together in a hurry. It didn't really say much, but it did feature some art which some of those who chimed in through the comment section, took as a sign that an expansion might be in the works. The problem is however, that there's absolutely no information about any such expansion being even considered at the moment...quite the contrary in fact: with developers being taken off the Diablo project, it looks like Blizzard are shelving it for a while, leaving only a skeleton crew to provide bug-fixes and to make sure the game runs smoothly in its current form.

There have also been rumors about how a possible new expansion was tabled in favor of Diablo IV, a project which may take quite a few years to take off though, considering the new technologies Blizzard are allegedly looking to implement in it.

The fans were grateful however and the majority of the vibe in the comment section below the anniversary post was indeed positive. The bottom line is that it's amazing how after so many years so many people play the game. The demographic that it covers is incredibly diverse as well. Apparently everyone plays this game, from moms to senior citizens. Some of those who posted were however discontent with the lack of anniversary specials content-wise.

Indeed, it does look like the game has been mothballed for now and with the recent launch of Blizzard's Overwatch, the hype-trained has moved on from Sanctuary as well. How long will it be till it returns? At this point, it's anyone's guess...

Philip Thalberg works for the home of the top CS:GOcoverage, GosuGamers.net.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Diablo 1 deserves some love: introducing DiabloPatch



Hello fellow diablo fans, let me introduce DiabloPatch.

TL;DR: it's a patch for Diablo 1, download it on https://diablopat.ch/download.php

What is it?

This is a is a patch for Diablo 1. It is meant to add features to the game and make it compatible with modern versions of Windows, while fully retaining the original spirit of the game. Think of it as patch 1.10.

I developed this as a personal project, because Diablo 1 missed so much features that would make it much more enjoyable. After Diablo 2 was updated recently by Blizzard, I've decided to release this unofficial Diablo 1 update.

Features
  • Full compatibility with modern versions of Windows
  • Windowed mode: Diablo now runs in a resizable window
  • Non-intrusive: modifies game code only in memory
  • Items on ground are highlighted by pressing ALT
  • Highlighted monster has a health bar at the top of the screen
  • Life and mana bulbs also display life and mana in numeric form
  • Spells level modifiers are displayed in spell book
  • Shrines effects are displayed in the text zone when highlighted
  • Dupe bug fixed (by the way, I've read somewhere that fixing this bug was not possible for Blizzard because it would mean rewriting a good part of the game engine... This is absolutely false. It is just a few lines of code to add).

Download and usage

There is no risk in using DiabloPatch, as it does not modify the original game files at all. The game is patched in memory, making it easy to revert to the original game (just launch diablo.exe as usual).

How do I know it's safe?

The source code is not available yet (and I don't know when it will be). You can check virustotal's analysis here:https://virustotal.com/en/file/27a1af8f85e944103799bce7a35f9c7721d4095b540e6790ea9178d11cbb2b2a/analysis/1463835232/

If you're really paranoid about it, I guess you could run it in a VM and monitor sytem calls.

I've created a subreddit for feedback, discussion, features request, ...: /r/DiabloPatch

EDIT: some answers to questions in comments:
  • Diablo 1 files and saves are absolutely safe and will never be modified by DiabloPatch (it's an in-memory patch).
  • Resizing the window only works only in game, not in the menus (the new size is saved between sessions, so no need to redo it every time).

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Where is Diablo III Headed?



Diehard fans know/feel that things have been stale around Diablo III for a while now. Someone who's truly onto the pulse of the scene sees that the game seems to make fewer and fewer headlines lately and most of the articles pushed out about it concern various gear-combinations and/or an exploit here and there that will streamline farming techniques and hand the player a special reward every now and then.

The latest patch was great, but as everyone has pointed out, its effects were mostly cosmetic, although granted, it did deliver a few more than welcome tweaks too. Sure, Seasons are great, but some are already complaining about the lack of challenge and too-fast progression, which makes the riftings of past seasons look painfully slow and therefore several fold more challenging than the current setup.

The real problem is that the lore/storyline isn't really going anywhere, despite its potential, and that new, real content hasn't really come about since the launch of Reaper of Souls, which was 2 years ago. To all that, we need to add the fact that Blizzard seem more and more embroiled in other projects and that the Diablo III team has recently been substantially diminished. Indeed, some believe that the latter issue is an indication that instead of looking to add another expansion to Diablo III, Blizzard are flirting with the idea of Diablo IV, which will supposedly entail great things and revolutionary techniques. The problem with that train of thought is though that given how long Blizzard generally take do develop a game from scratch (which is essentially what happened with Starcraft 2, and which - by the looks of things - is what may be in store for Diablo IV too), that's hardly good news. Theoretically, this way, several generations of consoles and PC hardware may come and go before Diablo IV becomes reality.

Tasked with Dota 2 Forum maintenance, Philip Thalberg has been a GosuTeam member for quite a few years now. 

Monday, 16 May 2016

Get Your Diablo III Falcon Wings



The awesome-looking Falcon Wings are one of the cosmetic extras introduced by Diablo III's patch 2.4.1 and while they are difficult to get, for someone who knows where to look and what to do, it should be fairly easy - if painstaking- to pick  them up.


The first thing one needs to know is where to look. The scene of this heist is Act 4 Gardens of Hope Tier 1, and its objective is the Mysterious Chest. While it is exactly like any other chest in the game, save for its actual name, the Mysterious Chest is quite peculiar in the sense that it doesn't show up on the mini-map. One actually has to visually survey his/her surroundings for it. The other peculiar feature of the Mysterious Chest is that its spawning is 100% luck-based, which means one may happen upon it on his/her first try, but some farmers have been known to persist for 8 hours in its hunt. The good news is though that once it shows up, the Mysterious Chest guarantees a set of Falcon Wings: all one has to do is to open it and to pick up the goods.

Needless to say, farmers have already optimized the Falcon Wing hunt process. There's a recommended build for it, the Speedrun build, which allows one to quickly explore the entire map and then to get out and jump back again if no Mysterious Chest lands. It is good to know that one doesn't have to kill off all the monsters to get to the Mysterious Chest. Some players have also begun drawing up a sort of map of the most likely spawn locations of the coveted chest, as it is logical that there are a limited number of such spots.

Difficulty does not seem to play any role in how often the Mysterious Chest spawns.


Having been involved in e-Sports for about a decade now, Philip Thalberg is a GosuTeam member and a Dota 2 enthusiast. 

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 battle.net, 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 twitch.tv, 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!

S6 STARTER SET 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.

*==================================================*
GROUP BUILDS

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+

*==================================================*
SOLO BUILDS

*==================================================*
BARBARIAN

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+.

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CRUSADER

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.

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DEMON HUNTER

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.

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MONK

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.

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WITCH DOCTOR

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.

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WIZARD


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.

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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.

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