Diablo 3’s Mini-Expansion Patch 2.4 Hits Next Week

After a few months steeping on the PTR, it’s time for another massive Diablo III [official site] patch. Like, surprisingly massive. The type of content a different developer might package up, slap a name on, and sell for a fiver.

Want the rundown?

Joe covered some of this a few months back, but the highlight of this upcoming Patch 2.4 is an entirely new area, Gravehollow Island. As Blizzard put it:

“Miles off the coast of Westmarch lies an island that many believe to be little more than legend. Cut off from the rest of Sanctuary’s developed civilizations, Greyhollow was once the center of a grand empire. For reasons still unknown to this day, this unimaginably advanced society collapsed, leaving ruin, chaos, and a lingering curse behind.”

Spooooooky. But it’s more than just a foggy forest tileset. If after nearly four years of clicking you’ve grown tired of clicking on the same set of monsters, then good news: Gravehollow adds sixteen more to the pot. How many of them are actually new and how many are re-skins, I don’t know. At least one of them is demon Bigfoot.

And although Gravehollow doesn’t factor into the campaign, Blizzard claim there’s a story to uncover. It’s just a bit more subtle, “more driven by exploration than exposition”—which could be exactly what Diablo needs, given Blizzard’s penchant for overwrought writing.

There’s more. More! Two areas (Eternal Woods and Royal Quarters) are being tacked onto Sanctuary, and anyone wearing a full Set of related items will now gain access to a “Set Dungeon,” a unique crawl designed exclusively for whatever Set they’re wearing.

It’s an impressive amount of content for Blizzard to hide inside some unassuming patch notes.

Not that there aren’t some “Ah yes, patch notes” changes happening too. To go along with Set Dungeons, the minutiae of Sets are getting overhauled—new abilities, rebalanced stats, and the like. Rich adventurers can now burn money on enhancing Legendary Gems. And no surprise: A ton of new junk loot items.

Diablo III’s fifth season starts on January 15th, so expect Patch 2.4 to go live on or shortly before that date. Check out the full patch notes, or if you’d rather read them in-character

21 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Mungrul says:

    Really quite looking forward to this.

    My only misgiving is that I don’t think they’ve gone far enough to redress the balance between seasonal characters and non-seasonal ones.

    Ostensibly, by playing the seasons, you earn rewards for your off-season account. The problem is, it seems there is very little reason to play off-season characters now, and the gap between end-of-season and the start of next is significantly smaller than the amount of time seasons are active.

    In addition, if you do pretty well in the season, as I did this time, you end up with a massive pile of items in your email that you then have to spend hours sorting through because of the restrictive inventory space.

    But it is ridiculously fun to play now!

    • Chalky says:

      I ignored Diablo 3 seasons when they first came out, I didn’t really see the point. Then last season I thought I’d have a go since it had been ages since I played the game and my god did I have fun.

      I’m super excited for this next season to come out – more excited than I was for the original game or the expansion. It’s kinda crazy.

      They’ve really hit the nail on the head in terms of fun. This game is great now.

      • Scelous says:

        Chalky, can I ask why you had fun? I’m someone who loved Diablo 3 when it came out, but I’m also someone who doesn’t see the point in playing seasons.

        • Chalky says:

          Last season I played a DH and a WD using builds that I’d not tried before. There was a new map and a the cube and I had great fun extracting legendary powers and mixing and matching a bunch of extra legendary effects onto my character.

          I completed the seasonal journey, completing high tier rifts for the first time, got both my characters in full ancient legendary. I played for about 3 weeks I guess and it was really good fun.

          In this new season I’m going to be playing a Barbarian and maybe a Monk after I’ve done the new seasonal journey.

          Basically, for me seasons are just a great excuse to start a new character and play with loads of other players while experiencing a bit of new content. The new builds keep things fresh and it’s been long enough since I played that I feel like playing it again.

          • Premium User Badge

            Mungrul says:

            Monk’s bad-ass and easily my favourite class these days. The new set introduced for them last season is excellent fun. Going back to my original Marauder Demon Hunter feels positively pedestrian by comparison.

          • Natanji says:

            So, I’ve played D3 for around 60-80 hours I think? And I’ve barely hit the higher level content. I played it all the way when it first came out and the game progression was just tedious.

            But, leveling up doesn’t really seem to have become any faster, and I just don’t understand why I should make a new character (or why so many people seem to have multiple high-level ones) when my very first WD isn’t even maxed out yet. Why would I spend dozends of hours to level up a new character again? It takes like 40 hours at least to reach the highest level, from what I remember. I could finish 2-3 other single player games in that time.

    • cpy says:

      I went from i don’t think this season thing will last and people wont play it to deleting EVERYTHING after season ends. I keep only gems and some crafting mats, all legs and sets are sharded.

  2. anHorse says:

    Yeah that’s it
    Bring out a new patch on the same day as Dragon’s Dogma

    I really want to get back into diablo but they always release seasons at the exact same time as lengthy games that I want to play. So by the time I’m done with the new game there’s not enough season left to bother

    • minijedimaster says:

      that’s actually not true… I didn’t start playing this last season until about 1 month before it ended. I got on with some friends who had been playing (can do the same with public games) and they got me up to speed in no time flat. By end of season I had a wizard that could solo torment X.

      After the season I just moved all of the new better items I gained over to my permanent characters and deleted my seasonal wizard.

      • Natanji says:

        I think that’s actually the problem though. I don’t have friends that play D3. Without friends to pull you through quickly, you’d have to sink in hundreds of hours for each character and season to go that far. It seems really weird and unfair that for solo players, there is no comparably quick way to level.

  3. DingDongDaddio says:

    Same thing happened to me for Season 4. I started a character and had a hoot for one night, then started playing some game that had just come out and never ever made it back to Diablo 3.

    And I’m in the same boat now, ’cause I want Dragon’s Dogma…

    • minijedimaster says:

      Game play in that game looks like just another console third person mindless rehash. Pass.

      • Premium User Badge

        Mungrul says:

        Personally, I found Dragon’s Dogma to be one of the best games of the last console generation. To dismiss it as “just another console third person mindless rehash” would be depriving yourself of something with some of the best combat in RPGs.

        • minijedimaster says:

          Maybe, I’ll keep an eye on it after release. See what reviews say and what game play looks like in videos.

          • Grums McGuff says:

            Most reviews concerning the PC release will likely be concerned with the performance of the port; otherwise you can likely find a fair amount of footage on the Yutoobz, and any review for the original console release of Dark Arisen would still be relevant for gameplay opinions.

      • UncleLou says:

        One look at the short videos that show the different combat moves should make it clear that you’re wrong. They’re what sold the game to me at the time. There’s a lot to criticise in DD, but the combat is exceptional, no matter what class you play. It blows all comparable PC games completely out of the water.

        Although I am not quite sure what you mean by “mindless console blah”. Games like Dark Souls? As opposed to, er, Diablo 3? Obviously DD is no turn-based tactics game.

  4. TheAngriestHobo says:

    I looked at the header image before I read the title, and was sure that I was being shown some Sierra-esque adventure game.

  5. newguy2012 says:

    I hope its not just barbs and monks this season. WD and demonhunter desperatly need some tlc too.

  6. Sic says:

    These aren’t patch notes, though.

    Haven’t been following the D3 scene lately, but I’m not really interested until they fix the big design issues of the game. One of which is large sets (6 piece sets). Another is diversity in late-game criteria for success (rifts and greater rifts are a horrible idea at the outset, to get diversity in builds, you have to have diversity in end-game grind).

    • Herecius says:

      I made an account on RPS finally just to specifically reply to this with some hopefully good, or at least interesting news!

      One of the new bits in this patch is the reworking of the 2-piece ring/amulet set (Compass Rose I think?) which will be the ‘no set’ set. Basically, as long as you are not wearing ANY other sets besides those two items, you get a very humongous damage bonus for every ancient item you are wearing, effectively allowing you to create custom sets comprised only of legendary items.

      • Sic says:

        Yeah, I saw the rings, they looked good.

        It’s pointless without Blizzard completely turning around their design ideas on sets, though. They’ve completely misunderstood what a set is (in terms of how Diablo traditionally works, and how it should work). Sets are not supposed to be complete outfits that you gather and suddenly you’re some kick-ass cookie cutter “character” that can deal with end-game content. They’re supposed to be complementary to unique (legendary) items. Having a bunch of 6 piece sets per class, so that everyone can choose their cookie cutter build is an abysmally poor design choice. In fact, it goes against everything that is fun with a Diablo game.

        Build diversity is key. The sooner the D3 team realises this, and stop with their silly sets and non-diversified criteria for success, the sooner D3 can become something even close to the perfection that was D2.