Diablo 3 PTR Patch Notes: Update Details, Season 20 Theme Revealed

Blizzard has announced the 2.6.8 patch for Diablo 3, which will go into public testing starting on Thursday, February 6. [Update: The update is now live on the PC’s public test realm.] The PTR update makes a number of notable balance changes, bug fixes, and tweaks, but the real stars of the show are three new class sets based on community feedback. The Barbarian, Witch Doctor, and Wizard each receive one of these new class sets, each geared around one of their specific skills.

The company said in its patch notes update that the three builds should leave a lot of room for exploration and experimentation from players. Supplemental Legendaries have been given some key changes to help round out the new builds too. Barbarian gets the new “Horde of the Ninety Savages” class set that boosts Frenzy. The Witch Doctor’s “Mundunugu’s Regalia” changes the functioning of Spirit Barrage. And the Wizard’s new “Typhon’s Veil” will impact the Hydra ability.

Along with the class sets, the patch will also add a new Season 20 Theme, called Season of the Forbidden Archives. All three slots in Kanai’s Cube will be able to select Legendary powers from Weapon, Armor, or Jewelry, effectively removing those typical restrictions for the Cube. Blizzard said it wants to get “creative (and maybe a little crazy)” with season themes and buffs, and this one is focused squarely on letting players boost their own power rather than impacting the environment. By participating in Season 20, you’ll be able to earn two new rewards: a pet and a portrait frame.

If you want to help test these changes in the public test realm (PTR) before they go live for all players, you can join the PTR: Diablo 3 from the Battle.net client’s drop-down menu to install it. Those participating in the test will get an increased Legendary drop rate and double Blood Shard drops, and the ability to buy customized test gear from the PTR vendor D’jank Miem. Blizzard notes that if you are participating in the test, it’s particularly looking for feedback on the new class sets and the Forbidden Archives mechanic. But given the limited time for this test, it recommends picking one class to focus on and put through its paces, rather than trying to sample all three.

You can check out the full patch notes below.

Diablo 3 PTR Patch 2.68 (February 6)

General

  • Infernal Machines and Organs are now subject to vacuum pick-up
  • Crafting plans from Bounty Caches are now guaranteed to drop unless all plans have been learned

Seasons

  • A new Season Theme has been added for Season 20, the Season of the Forbidden Archives:
    • For the duration of Season 20, all slots in Kanai’s Cube will be able to select Legendary powers from Weapon, Armor, or Jewelry
      • This means you could select three Armor powers, three Weapon powers, three Jewelery powers, or any other combination thereof across all categories
      • Items are not self-additive or multiplicative (meaning, you cannot stack multiples of the same item’s power)
      • Once the Season has ended and characters roll over to Non-Season, players will have all currently active powers in their Kanai’s Cube reset
      • Developer’s Note: As we outlined in our Developer Insight blog, we want to continue to get creative (and maybe a little crazy) with the Season Themes and powers we add to the game. We heard from some players that they preferred themes that made your character directly feel more powerful rather than needing to focus on the environment around you. If that describes you, then the Season of Forbidden Archives should be right up your alley, and we’re really interested to see how this changes the game for Season 20.
    • Two new Seasonal rewards are available for players who fully complete the Season 20 Journey, including a new portrait frame and pet
    • Classes

      • Crusader
        • Heaven’s Fury
          • The animation for the Fires of Heaven rune can no longer be cancelled early.

          Items

          • Developer’s Note: With Patch 2.6.8, we’re adding three(!) new class sets with similar goals to those we included in the previous patch. Each set was designed primarily with boosting long-requested skills and play styles we lifted directly from community feedback. Frenzy, Spirit Barrage, and Hydra were requests that offered a lot of opportunity for gameplay exploration, and we’re looking forward to seeing what players do with these new tools at their disposal. Additional changes to associated supplemental Legendaries have been included to round out these builds. It is critical when providing feedback on these sets to include whether or not you were using the Season 20 buff during your testing; while feedback of any kind is welcome, we’re especially interested in Non-Seasonal testing as that will better reflect the long-term performance of these sets.
          • Mantle of Channeling
            • The bonus granted by this item now occurs 1 second after channeling has begun
          • Barbarian
            • New Class Set: Horde of the Ninety Savages
              • 2-Piece Bonus: Double the effectiveness of all Shouts. Feared Enemies take double damage.
              • 4-Piece Bonus: Each stack of Frenzy reduces damage taken by 5%.
              • 6-Piece Bonus: Frenzy deals 1000% increased damage per stack.
              • Undisputed Champion
                • Frenzy gains the effect of every rune and deals 300-400% increased damage.
                • Bastion’s Revered
                  • Frenzy now stacks up to 10 times and hits an additional time per attack. Each additional hit will chain to any enemies within 15 yards and the damage is split between all affected enemies.
                  • Witch Doctor
                    • New Class Set: Mundunugu’s Regalia
                      • 2-Piece Bonus: Big Bad Voodoo now follows you and lasts twice as long.
                      • 4-Piece Bonus: Gain 50% damage reduction for 30 seconds when you enter the Spirit Realm.
                      • 6-Piece Bonus: Spirit Barrage deals increased damage equal to 50 times your Mana Regeneration per Second.
                      • The Barber
                        • Instead of dealing direct damage, your Spirit Barrage now accumulates on the target. When you stop casting, it explodes dealing 225-250% 400-500% of the accumulated damage to all enemies within 15 yards.
                        • Gazing Demise
                          • Spirit Barrage gains the Phantasm rune. Each active Phantasm lasts twice as long, increases the damage of Spirit Barrage by 40-50% 100-150%, and also increases the attack rate from Manitou spectres.
                          • Now always rolls with Critical Hit Chance instead of Life Per Second.
                          • Wizard