Quite A Treasure: Diablo 3 Adding Kanai’s Cube

“You have quite a treasure there in that Horadric Handbag!” A friend dressed as Deckard Cain for Halloween one year. “You have quite a treasure there in that Horadric Cup!” he’d declare, identifying everyone’s possessions. “You have quite a treasure there in that Horadric Hat!”

If Diablo II’s Horadric Cube could bring such joy, what about an even more powerful cube? Blizzard will introduce Kanai’s Cube to Diablo III [official site] in the next big update, with powers like turning a Legendary item’s special effects into a passive skill. You’ll find it in a new zone.

Blizzard explain:

“Those who played Diablo II might remember the Horadric Cube, a unique device which allowed you to combine items. Useful as it was, it was easily surpassed in power by the item from which it originated, Kanai’s Cube. In Patch 2.3.0, players will be able to discover this powerful ancient relic and utilize its incredible potential, including the ability to break down Legendary items and equip their special effects as passive skills (which are separate from your other passive skills), convert crafting materials from one type to another, and so much more.”

Ooh! Sounds useful, that. Though if you can’t also use it as a secondary inventory and make your pals wait around in the Durance of Hate as you shuffle items in and out, I don’t care.

You’ll find the Cube in the Ruins of Sescheron, a new zone with new enemies. Patch 2.3.0 will also rework crafting a little, add new Torment difficulty levels, bosh in new Legendary and set items, and more. Check the test realm notes for the skinny.

61 Comments

  1. Det. Bullock says:

    Do they still have that silly always on-line requirement?
    I get the on-line DRM steam-style but I always played Diablo I & II strictly single player and I have a connection that is so laggy that essentially can only be used to download stuff and browse the internet, the only time I connected to Battle.net was when I had to reinstall the game on my new PC and I discovered that the game patched automatically when connecting to it.

    • the_r says:

      Yes, they do.

      • Det. Bullock says:

        Blizzard really doesn’t want my money then, mine and that of countless people who just don’t have an internet connection fit for on-line multiplayer, why nobody went up in arms like it happened with SimCity?

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          Thirith says:

          All other arguments for and against the always-online requirement aside: don’t you think that they’ve thought about this from an economic perspective? I doubt that they’re losing much money due to this requirement. They may be losing other things, but I am pretty sure that these decisions are largely made from a business point of view. “They don’t want money from me and the countless others…” is probably somewhat naive.

          • Det. Bullock says:

            Diablo was never a purely multiplayer game like Unreal Tournament and was never an effing MMO, it’ no different than the idiotic arguments EA made for Simcity, I still wonder WHY?

          • jrodman says:

            Even if naive, depending upon your viewpoint on “countless”, I think it’s probably accurate.

            But I think you were implying that it’s probably not a very large percentage of the potential income, which I’ll buy.

            Personally, it pushed me to “never give Blizzard money again ever”, but I’m sure I’m an outlier.

          • Asurmen says:

            Well, no it’s different than EA’s argument, but with the removal of the AH I’m not really sure what argument now remains.

            Online requirements doesn’t actually bother me, but there isn’t a need for it anymore.

        • Dawngreeter says:

          Because it’s really not that big a deal. If it had an offline mode, like D2, vast majority of people would still play online because you can’t use offline characters online. Huge problems, like inability to pause, were fixed (I think? I never played it single player…). So that’s just how it is.

          On the other hand, it’s really damn odd that they don’t want my money for server transfers. If I were to switch continents, the only options are to start from scratch or to play with trans-continental lag. In year 2015.

          • trashmyego says:

            I’ve grown fine with the always online situation. But yeah, I’m still surprised they haven’t offered small things like server transfers, or even more stash tabs as micro-transactions. Just as long as they thought things out and slowly introduced them, didn’t do a push towards an in-game store, then the reaction would be fine.

          • Det. Bullock says:

            Some people did play on line, a lot of them didn’t even bother to click on “Multiplayer” on tha main menu, I repeat: forcing on line component on the single player is STUPID, the PS3 version proves that they just did it as an invasive DRM, not something that was needed for the game.

          • jrodman says:

            You may not think so, but it’s a pretty big deal that single player games are being irrevocably transformed into a rentier model.

          • Det. Bullock says:

            Rentier?

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            Thirith says:

            Rentier = German word for “raindeer”

          • banananas says:

            Raindeer? ;)

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            Thirith says:

            Yup, raindeer. It can’t all be rainbows and unicorns.

            (Seriously, though: I imagine that ‘rentier’ here is meant in the sense that the player ‘rents’ a Diablo licence, so to speak, rather than outright owning the game.)

          • malkav11 says:

            I think you might be surprised how many people would opt to play offline if they could. But the point is that it’s a choice that should be available, one that would ensure the game’s survival into the indefinite future and that would let people in low or no internet situations play the game. All at no substantial cost to anybody, because there’s nothing about Diablo III that makes it intrinsically multiplayer the way Blizzard claims.

          • Dawngreeter says:

            Well I guess that surprising amount of people annoyed at D3 are now out there, playing Path of Exile. So that’s good news for everyone. Except maybe people who claim that offline mode is essential.

        • thmal says:

          I haven’t played since last year, but I was initially very accommodating of the always-online requirement. Now I find myself in the opposite camp. For one thing, I’m trying to gradually lower the amount of time I spend online. My main (and gaming) computer will eventually be completely disconnected from the internet.

          Another reason is that I no longer wish to participate in Blizzard’s social network and the general culture of Diablo III players. If someone wants to race through the game until their character reaches the maximum level and participate in the repetitive, competitive grind of the end-game, then that’s for them.

          There’s no technical reason why Diablo III won’t feature a true single-player, offline mode. These are some of the brightest programmers in the business; if they wanted to, they could churn it out by the end of the week.

          • anHorse says:

            ” For one thing, I’m trying to gradually lower the amount of time I spend online. My main (and gaming) computer will eventually be completely disconnected from the internet.”

            Why, out of interest?

          • thmal says:

            The internet offers a million different distractions that tend to get in the way of my productivity as well as my ability to immerse myself in a game experience. If you’re conscious about security, then another benefit of keeping a machine offline is security by isolation.

        • Michael Anson says:

          The always online requirement is to allow characters to seamlessly transfer between single player and multiplayer games. It reduces cheating and improves the overall game experience. There was no reason for always online requirements for SimCity, as that game was purely single player.

          • Det. Bullock says:

            Then offer the *option* to have single-player locked characters for the fans of the series who didn’t want or couldn’t play multiplayer, dammit!

            Is that such a difficult concept to grasp?

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            Thirith says:

            Is it such a difficult concept to grasp that they have no obligation to do so?

            It’s understandable for people to be annoyed by this, but most likely Blizzard is neither stupid business-wise nor are they evil for not providing an offline option. (Amoral, certainly, but that’s their wont, seeing how they’re a business.) For reasons of their own, they made a decision to go online-only; for reasons of your own, you’ve decided not to buy the game. That’s how it works. It’s not stupid, it’s just that their goals and yours don’t coincide. Yes, that sucks, but it’s not stupidity.

          • Det. Bullock says:

            They didn’t call it Diablo 3: Arena, Diablo Tournament Edition or World of Diablo, but Diablo III, full stop.
            Having to be always on-line to play the SINGLE player campaign is immensely stupid, I don’t want f*cking lag on my SINGLE player game and I want to be able to play when my connection decides to stop working or slows down to a crawl exactly when I have the time to spare.
            At least Bioware made it loud and clear from the start that they were making an MMO instead of calling it KOTOR III.

        • thelastpointer says:

          I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but I think Blizzard is doing very well without your money.

          • Det. Bullock says:

            So?

            And to be completely clear: I’m not complaining about color palettes, I’m complaining about a stupid DRM policy, because that’s what it is.
            Don’t want cheaters in on-line games?
            Fine.
            Put a wall between Single a Multiplayer, don’t allow exporting single player characters to the on line mode if played offline.
            But don’t force a multiplayer mode on people who have been with the franchise since the first installment and were never interested or never could play it multiplayer (which was an option since the first title of the series by the way).

          • Dawngreeter says:

            I really understand your annoyance. I do. My heart goes out to you. I, too, get annoyed when the world doesn’t conform to my simple and really very low threshold of acceptability. Like Last of Us being a PC game. Or me being a millionaire (this is a major point of annoyance). But please understand that what you’re asking for, they don’t want to do. It’s not an oversight. It didn’t just slip past someone at QA to test the game with network cable unplugged. The offline part of the game isn’t packaged separately and Joe from the warehouse forgot to ship it with the other half.

            They don’t want to do that. And they are extremely clear about not wanting to do that.

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          Qazinsky says:

          I seem to remember people being up in arms about that before and around release, but they went ahead anyway, probably because it was years earlier and gaming wasn’t as popular, like most other things, it comes down to timing.

      • wyrm4701 says:

        That’s too bad, I’d consider playing it if there was an offline mode. I’ve still got D2 installed, in fact. I was curious about something else, though – last time I looked, the price of D3 and Reaper of Souls was $40 each. Is that right? It’s $80 for the full game?

        • gunny1993 says:

          If you buy at full price, Blizz seem to think their games don’t have any price degeneration, you can get them much cheaper from other online stores.

      • theslap says:

        I’m fairly certain the console versions have offline play if you’re interested in that.

    • Hunchback says:

      Why don’t people ever bitch about Path of Exile being always-online, yet they can’t seem to drop it with Diablo 3?
      Is it just because PoE is F2P and Blizz are selling their game the traditional way, or there’s something else that makes it cool to hate Diablo and Blizzard in general?

      • thelastpointer says:

        Dude, it’s Blizzard, dude!

        It’s super cool to hate big companies. So very cool.
        (end of sarcasm)

      • malkav11 says:

        Path of Exile is actually built around its multiplayer functionality. Diablo III isn’t.

        • Dawngreeter says:

          It is built in exactly the same way. D3 also had RMAH so, arguably, even more so. Though we will all agree that RMAH was stupid.

          • Hunchback says:

            I don’t thing RMAH was stupid, it’s just the concept of AH. I actually was glad the RMAH existed, i made (without trying to, really) about 280 bucks off it, which is serious cash to make by simply playing something for fun.
            D3, being a coop game and not in any form competitive (i know there’s PvP but that’s just dumb, go play DOTA if you are into such a thing), i really didn’t get all the crying about “people getting uber items because they pay for them, bla bla cry cry”. I mean, why did people even care? Do the other’s, that pay for items, beat you in any way? No… If they want to remove 70 or so % of the fun of the game, which is to find your own items, let them, who cares? *shrug*

            PoE has player trading too, it’s just infinitely more uncomfortable, with uber-spammy trade chats or forum-based “Stores”… And even tho in PoE the currency is more volatile, people still end up hoarding tons and “seasons” are necessary to keep things reasonable.

            IMO, today any online/multiplayer game of this type will have no choice but to face player-trade, and that’s totally fine. Only problem is, they have to REALLY make a currency system that FORCES you to use your money for other things than simply buying stuff, and in quantities large enough (maybe even floating?) to make sure prices don’t go retarded and “farming” doesn’t happen.

          • Dawngreeter says:

            I have no strong feelings about people getting super strong items for real money, nor people selling those to earn money. Not interested in either of those, doesn’t affect me in the slightest. The problem with RMAH is that money (real or in-game) was practically the ONLY way to progress. The moment RMAH went away, drop rates got back to normal and getting drops for clicking on monsters became fun again.

          • malkav11 says:

            “it is built in exactly the same way.” No, no it is not. I’ll grant you that Path of Exile is, as these things go, pretty low on the multiplayer scale. You could detach the campaign from the server and sell it as an offline game without having to tweak a huge number of things, and I would certainly prefer that they did. But you can play every scrap of content in Diablo III front to back, repeatedly, without ever involving another human being. You’ll never see anyone in towns or out in the fields unless you specifically open your game to them. There’s no content designed around multiple PCs. There are no class mechanics designed around supporting other characters. Hell, there are barely even group buffs. PvP exists, I suppose, but it’s rudimentary, certainly wasn’t part of the game at launch, and I don’t think anyone really cares about it. There might have been some argument that the RMAH constituted a piece of multiplayer design, but of course a) it was shit, so hardly worth the tradeoff of mandating online play, and b) they took it out. But they didn’t take out the online requirement. So whatever Blizzard is pitching as making Diablo III an intrinsically multiplayer game (which has always been the justification for the server requirement when they’ve been asked), that wasn’t it. I sure couldn’t identify anything that is. Especially since, you know, the console version is fully playable offline and is nearly identical except for having a couple of multiplayer features that don’t exist on PC as of yet.

            By contrast, Path of Exile’s towns are all shared areas with everyone playing the game, there are a variety of ways to build your character as a support class, they have a currency system that’s explicitly designed to promote a player economy, PvP represents a significant part of the design with tournaments and world PvP, among other things, and they have constantly rotating temporary races and ladder modes. Like I say, I think you could restructure the towns as private areas and produce an offline version of the campaign that would probably stand okay, minus being able to get the most out of the currency or participate in races/tournaments/etc, but there’s still a much stronger argument for the game as a whole needing to exist on servers. Not like Marvel Heroes, which mixes other players into almost every single facet and gameplay mode and even has raids, but something.

            I suspect that it being F2P also makes the server requirement for Path of Exile simultaneously more understandable and more forgivable to a lot of people. I personally would rather have a traditional business model like Diablo III’s (if perhaps less pricey) and offline play. But if you’re going to force me online, giving me the game for free is a lot more palatable than charging $60 (plus $40 later for the expansion), and the need to secure the microtransaction stuff is a more sensible excuse than wittering on about how intrinsically multiplayer the game that millions of people play by themselves is.

            And of course, Diablo 3 came out almost a year before Path of Exile did and was the sequel to a massively popular game that could be played offline just fine (and that’s just what everyone I know did, too). Whereas Path of Exile is a game that may be a spiritual successor to some of the ideas in Diablo II, but it’s not really got the same baggage.

            So yeah. It has more multiplayer in the design, it’s free, and it wasn’t out when the biggest furor was being kicked up. There you have it.

            PS: I like Diablo III better than Path of Exile, for what it’s worth. And Marvel Heroes enormously more than either.

          • Unclepauly says:

            I’m sorry but I refuse to read that. I SAID GOOD DAY SIR

          • Det. Bullock says:

            Then I’ll make it short for you: Diablo III is the latest of a single player series that also had very good on line multiplayer but forces to stay on-line event the large chunk of the fanbase that was in for the *single player* even though the main campaign is blatantly not something that would require to stay on-line, PoE is the first game of its series so they are doing their own thing which happens to be heavily multiplayer oriented.

          • Dawngreeter says:

            Yeah, I’m not seeing a good argument presented for PoE being fundamentally different from D3.

            I mean, by all means, stay mad at D3 while loving PoE. That’s fine. You’re allowed to be irrational.

          • Det. Bullock says:

            I didn’t even hear of PoE before you mentioned it, I had to google it, and PoE’s campaign from what I read seems to be designed around multiplayer, Diablo III is just a standard single player campaign *like* Diablo I & II but requires an internet connection *unlike* DIablo I & II, is it that difficult to conceive that Multiplayer may not be the hottest thing like people seem to believe since Quake III Arena?

            And I ask you another question: why forgive Blizzard for doing the *exact same thing* EA did with the last Sim City or with the compulsory-for-best-ending multiplayer of the initial release of Mass Effect 3?

          • Dawngreeter says:

            I’m not forgiving anything. I understand why someone would want an offline option. Yes, it’s an option that would be nice to have. But I bought D3 on day 1 and I have so far never, ever played it single player. I had various characters who performed various roles in two, three and four player games including a monk whose duty was to take as little damage as possible and keep everyone off my wizard companion who did most of the damage. These seemed to me like awfully multiplayer-oriented roles, no?

            But, again, yes, playing single player you should have an option to do it offline. But it’s a hassle, you know? You want to level up your character and then do some slaying with other people. Except you can’t, because you did it offline, because then a lot of people would hack their characters and we just can’t have that in online multiplayer. So then you build a system where everything is stored locally, on the client computer AND remotely on the server at the same time. And that’s not a small amount of work because it’s not just character stuff but a lot of other components as well. And all that you’re doing for what, I’d imagine, amounts to less than 1% of people who have strong opinions about offline modes.

            It certainly would be better if it was there. More options is always better. It’s just that no one really cares. And, while being weary of various DRM systems, I have come to accept that always online can have actual benefits. Not in terms of offline otions being bad, but in terms of me wouldn’t playing offline even if I could.

          • Det. Bullock says:

            You say: “eh, but then if they want to play with friends…”, what if the *DON’T?*

            Playing offline is not a hassle, Multiplayer is not the center of the gaming world, publishers like to push it because it’s easier to control piracy with CDkeys, online passes and always on-line DRM, that wasn’t a gameplay design choice, it was Blizzard fucking with you.

          • malkav11 says:

            You’re also doing it for the future of the game, which will be essentially infinite if people can play it on their own computers and not have to worry about yours. And because even the best internet connections and the best servers are not fully reliable and I’ve already had multiple instances where I either couldn’t play Diablo 3 because either my internet or (much more often) Blizzard’s servers were down, or the quality of the experience was substantially impacted by lag. These are things that can, ultimately, be traded away if the design demands it, like with MMOs. But there’s nothing in Diablo 3’s design that does.

      • Minsc_N_Boo says:

        I didn’t pick up D3 out of protest of the Real Money auction house. The “always online” did annoy me as well, but I would have still bought the game.

        I am a *huge* fan of Path of Exile. I would have liked an offline mode, but as it is F2P it doesn’t really bother me. I think the main reason GGG do not get grief is they are awesome! Have a look at the Reddit page. They read posts, reply, give updates help and advice.

        Blizz on the other hand wanted to make you pay real money for virtual sword, and then pissed off the PC players by giving console games “offline” mode.

      • killias2 says:

        The first reply had it right. It’s cool to hate Blizzard.

        Honestly, Blizzard is once of the most consistent developers out there. Compare pretty much any AAA studio to Blizzard, excepting maybe Nintendo, and the other falls short. But -ALL- -YOU- -EVER- -HEAR- is snark/cynicism/hatred. It’s just one of those things.

      • anHorse says:

        PoE’s actually much worse as the online based issues such as desync are a frequent and game breaking occurrence

        Blizz’s always online is a pure anti-piracy measure but at least (now) it doesn’t negatively impact my experience

        • Procrastination Giant says:

          Luckily Desync will no longer be an issue once Awakening gets released – leveled a couple of characters until merciless in various stages of the beta and all i can say: the new netcode is UTTERLY AMAZING… if you have the latency to back it up… I’m on a pretty decent cable connection and i’m getting a latency of about 30ms on average, and it honestly feels like playing an offline single player game now! (Once Awakening gets released there will be predictive netcode and deterministic lockstep – the former is the old one, and vastly improved over the current version, the latter is the one i’m talking about… i repeat: it’s amazing!)

          Ah well and say what you will: even the old netcode was at least predictable… i’ve been playing hardcore almost exclusively since closed beta and only ever lost one character to desync.

          PS: Have i mentioned that the new PoE netcode is amazing?

          • Minsc_N_Boo says:

            I second the “desync is no longer an issue” statement. I got into the beta last week. The London based server and lock step mode have made the leveling experience silky smooth.

            PoE just keeps getting better with each update

        • malkav11 says:

          Server issues have continued to negatively impact my Diablo 3 experience every now and then. But mostly it’s infuriating because there’s literally no reason for them to exist.

    • banananas says:

      “I have a connection that is so laggy that essentially can only be used to download stuff and browse the internet…”
      Ok, that’s pretty bad. You might want to consider moving into a bigger city then? They mostly got quite good connection speeds there.

      • Det. Bullock says:

        You might be surprised but not all people can move as easily as others, and even moving to a bigger city might not solve the problem, I’m currently in a fairly sized city for study purposes but the internet connection in my current apartment is still quite unreliable if not to the level of my native town, they could at least have done like Steam: if the connection doesn’t work go on off-line mode but nooooo, they have to force into a pseudo MMO people that thought they were going to buy Diablo III instead of Diablo On-line.

      • malkav11 says:

        Internet in the US is basically medieval outside large population centers, but it’s pretty erratic in quality even in them. I’m lucky enough to have a good, stable, pretty high speed connection in my current location but at my old apartment I got about 2.5 mbps most of the time and that had plenty of signal noise. That apartment was right in the middle of the metropolitan area, nearly as urban as it gets around here. And we’ve got several million people in that range.

  2. Hunchback says:

    We’ll TBH i’ve been looking for a reason to go play a bit of D3 again, but i couldn’t find any… That’s good news, we’ll prolly give it a spin with the wife, when it’s out. Family co-opping is the best way to play stuff nowadays \o/

    • Dawngreeter says:

      Family co-op is probably 90% of my gaming time these days. It’s awesome.

  3. MrNash says:

    Well this is neat to hear. I always liked dumping stuff in that cube for D2 and seeing what came out. (Usually something not quite as useful as I’d like it to be…)

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    X_kot says:

    Stay a while and listen!

  5. hungrycookpot says:

    wtf is a durance anyways?

  6. deimocrates says:

    Yay, the horadric cube! Damn, im glad my toon is a bit OP, since i always have to play with +250ms D=

  7. Evilivan says:

    Well that’s a cool addition but sadly the game still suffers from a critically flawed design. From the very one-dimensional itemization to the non-existant character building; as long as those issues are not addressed it will continue to keep Diablo 3 down and make it a mediocre successor to Diablo 2 imho.