Content of this article:
Find the Official Blogpost by Blizzard here.
Disclaimer: Every Information presented here is still subject to change during and after the PTR! We will keep this post updated as things change!
The Public Test Realm (PTR) for Patch 2.7.1 will begin on Thursday, June 17 and will last over the course of two weeks. During this time there may be periodic maintenances, outages, hotfixes, or minor patches.
- There will be three PTR-unique buffs active to help you on your journey: increased Legendary drop rate, increased experience gains, and double Blood Shard drops. You can also buy new gear for testing from the special PTR vendor, Djank Mi'em, who will exchange Blood Shards for class-specific bags full of Legendary items and Ethereals that we'd love for you to test!
- Class and Balance Changes: To ensure that the most significant class changes receive an ample amount of attention, we'd love for you to focus testing and feedback on the set changes to the Monk's Inna's Mantra set, Crusader's Aegis of Valor set and the Necromancer's Masquerade of the Burning Carnival set.
- New Season Theme Testing: Blizzard is looking to gather feedback on the seasonal theme content featuring Ethereals
We have all patch notes listed here in this post and give our initial thoughts on how they might impact the game and shift the META.
Season 24 Theme: Ethereals
Developer's Note: Diablo II left us with fond memories when it released more than 20 years ago, and with Diablo® II: ResurrectedTM coming soon, we’d like to introduce a feature to honor that legacy. For this seasonal theme, our inspiration took shape by reimagining how Ethereal items could manifest in Diablo III. In Season 24, Ethereals are rare, powerful, and fleeting items, with 21 iconic weapons from Diablo II making a return.
New Season Theme: Season 24 introduces Ethereals, a new weapon-type that players will be able to acquire and hunt for in their upcoming seasonal journey. Ethereals will roll a powerful set of affixes, a random Class Weapon Legendary Power and a random Class Passive Power. Ethereals will have unique icons, names, item types, and sounds originally found in Diablo II. For additional details on Ethereals, check out the list below:
- Ethereals are account bound and can only be dropped by monsters, chests, and destructibles, but do not require your character to be level 70 to drop. Ethereals cannot be acquired through Kanai's Cube or from Kadala.
- Ethereal rarity drop rate is set between Ancient and Primal items.
- There are 3 unique Ethereals per class. Each Ethereal has fixed affixes and rolls one random Legendary Weapon power and one random Class Passive Skill.
- Only one Ethereal can be equipped at a time.
- Ethereals ignore item durability loss.
- Legendary Powers and Class Passive Skills rolled on Ethereals do not stack with the same power equipped through Kanai's Cube, Items or Skills.
- Ethereals cannot be Enchanted, Transmogrified, Dyed, Reforged, or traded.
- Ethereals can be augmented.
- Collecting all 21 Ethereals during Season 24 will reward players with the Feat of Strength, Ethereal Recollection. Players who accomplish this will have all Ethereal transmogrify options available for future seasonal and non-seasonal play.
- Ethereals only drop in Seasonal play, and will not transfer to your non-seasonal character when the season ends.
Opinion: This concept looks amazing! It is exhilarating to see the concept of Ethereal items from Diablo 2 brought to Diablo 3. Acquiring the right ethereal item and proper affixes to complement it seems pretty RNG but with a unique class weapon legendary effect and one extra passive, Ethereal Items should be a real powerhouse!
If this is the case, this might also shift the balance in favor of Two-Handed Weapons builds as you can only wear one Ethereal item at a time. An Ethereal Two-Handed Weapon might be better than one Ethereal One-Handed Weapon with an Ancient or Primal Off-Hand.
With the stated drop chance being between Ancients (10%) and Primals (0.25%), a drop chance of ~1-5% seems likely. To get all 21 exclusive Transmogs, players will most likely have to create and play all 7 Classes during Season 24!
Possible Properties: One possibility for the "powerful set of affixes" is a ~30% higher stat range like the first version of Primal items from PTR Patch 2.5.0. As an example a One-Handed Weapon could roll:
- Damage Range [1582 - 1872] - [1932 - 2328]
- Strength, Intelligence, Dexterity, Vitality [1075 - 1300]
This is only one of many possibilities. There could also be more affixes or even completely new ones!
Item & Balance Changes
- Skill Change: Mystic Ally Fire Ally
Now splits into 2 instead of 5, but now all Fire Allies can split. Damage radius slightly increased and damage increased from 480% to 1920% weapon damage.
- Skill Change: Mystic Ally Earth Ally
Damage increased from 380% to 4500% weapon damage.
Opinion: Good change to bring other runes up to speed to Water Ally! Prepare for some crazy synergies with Fire Ally and these changes below:
- Inna's Mantra (4) Bonus
Gain the base effect of all four Mantras at all times. You gain 5% damage reduction for each Mystic Ally you have out. Your Mystic Allies no longer take damage.
- Inna's Mantra (6) Bonus
Gain the passive abilities of the five runed Mystic Allies at all times. Attacking enemies creates your chosen Mystic Ally that lasts 15 seconds, up to 10 Mystic Allies. The damage of your Mystic Ally is increased by 950% for each Mystic Ally you have out.
- The Crudest Boots
Mystic Ally summons two Mystic Allies that fight by your side. They deal 300% to 400% increased damage and are able to attack with their active forms longer.
- Binding of the Lesser Gods
Enemies hit by your Cyclone Strike take 300% to 400% increased damage from your Mystic Ally for 5 seconds. Split Fire Allies gain 5 times this bonus.
Developer's Note: Inna's Mantra played similarly to other Monk sets and didn't have a strong identity. We want to see the Mystic Ally play a more important role, rather than simply providing a passive power boost.
Opinion: The reworked Inna's Mantra Set seems to have an amazing concept and was one of the best targets for a rework! The first damage estimations actually seems pretty good. We have some first build concepts below, but will have to wait for the actual PTR patch for in-depth Build Guides and mechanics!
- Skill Change: Mirror Image
Mirror Image icon now displays a counter to display how many Mirror Images are active.
Opinion: A very welcome change for extra quality of life for all Firebird Mirror Image players out there!
- Aegis of Valor (2) Bonus
Attacking with Fist of the Heavens empowers you, allowing Heaven's Fury to deal 125% increased damage for 5 seconds. Stacks up to 3 times.
Opinion: This bonus used to be 100% multiplicative to itself for a total of 8 times your damage (2x2x2). The new bonus stacks are additive with themselves, giving a total of 4.75 times your damage for a total multiplier loss of 1.68. This results in a 3.32 Greater Rift Tier nerf for the AoV Heaven's Fury Crusader. The build will still be very powerful both in Solo Push or as a Trash Killer and stays firmly in the S-Tier.
- Masquerade of the Burning Carnival (6) Bonus
Bone Spear cast by you and your Simulacrums deals 6,000% increased damage.
Opinion: The triple damage from Simulacrums is completely gone and the damage is nerfed from 10,000% to 6,000%. This leaves the Masquerade Bone Spear Necromancer with a 4.97 multiplier loss which results in a 10.21 Greater Rift Tier nerf. This is currently one of the strongest builds in the game in Season 23 and even with this nerf it can still clear Solo Greater Rift Tiers in the low 140 range. However it will most likely lose its spot in the Group Push META as the Trash Killer and also in the Group Experience META Bat-Runs as damage dealer. Now Bird and Rat-Runs will dominate again, but there might be a new Monk experience META with the reworked Inna's Mantra Set!
Developer's Note: Aegis of Valor and Masquerade of the Burning Carnival have been overperforming for several seasons. We're adjusting these sets in the interest of competitive variety.
Possible New Builds
We theorycrafted 3 new possible builds below. These are not final and still subject to change! As of today, the only Mystic Ally Active Effect benefitting from Pet multipliers is Water Ally. This means your sheet Attack Speed is not a separate damage multiplier and Enforcer does not work for the Active Effect of most other runes. Area Damage also currently only works with the Water Ally. The following builds are created under the assumption that all Mystic Ally Active Effects will benefit from Pet multipliers on the PTR!
- We will keep this post updated during the PTR and list a changelog here.
Let us test all these changes thoroughly, give constructive feedback and enjoy the reworked Inna's Mantra Set as well as the crazy Ethereal Item update. See you on the Public Test Server!