Patch 2.1.0 for the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls expansion dropped this week. I managed to download it and get in game the first night, despite the DDoS attacks that Blizzard Entertainment (and other gaming sites) were experiencing. This blog is a brief look at some of my first impressions of this patch. The screenshots you see in this blog are from August 26, 2014.

Currently, I’m trying to get my Wizard to Level 70 and I’m playing in Story Mode in “soft core”. I also want to get him through the story content in all V Acts. My first experience with this patch was under those circumstances.

I’m going to go over my initial impressions in somewhat random order, so as to make the most sense out of them. This blog should give people a good idea of what to expect from patch 2.1.0 in the Story Mode. I’m hoping to get back in game and check out the Adventure Mode soon, so I can share my first impressions of it as well.

What’s new in Patch 2.1.0?  Lots of cool things.!  The center portion is the one I am most interested in.  It says “Introducing Seasons”.

The rest of the description says: Start anew and reap grand rewards!  Compete with friends, clan, and the entire world on a variety of leaderboards.  Exclusive items will drop in this season, while your character progress will carry over to your normal roster when the season ends.   The Seasons part of the game was not immediately available when the patch dropped.  They are set to start on August 29, 2014.

Off to one side, it says “Introducing Greater Rifts”.  The description reads: Rift Guardians can now drop Greater Rift Keys.  By conquering a Greater Rift, you open the way to more challenging rifts, with ever-increasing legendary rewards.  How many Greater Rifts can you master?  Secure your place on the Leaderboard.  This part of the new stuff was available when the patch dropped.  Of course, you have to play in Adventure Mode to do Rifts, and I was in Story Mode, so I haven’t run into those yet.

The other side says: “Introducing the Cesspools”.  They are described as: The Cesspools are an eerie new environment available in Nephalem Rifts.  Winding tunnels and narrow platforms make position and movement matter more than ever.  I haven’t run into these yet, but I am looking forward to experiencing them.

I noticed a couple of “hints” that I’ve not seen on the loading screens before.  My best guess is that these are new with Patch 2.1.0.

On very rare occasions, a Treasure Goblin will accidentally open a portal on death.  Legends say these portals lead to a realm of untold wealth and danger.

Tyrael founded the mystical Horadrim to combat the Prime Evils. 

When I last logged out, I exited the game before emptying out my bag.  There was a DDoS attack going on, and I just couldn’t take the constant rubber-banding anymore!  This means I started out with a bag that was not empty.  The first thing I noticed was that Common Debris has a new look.  They updated its icon.

Here’s the old one:

Here is the new one:

The launch of Patch 2.1.0 included a special Community Event Buff.  One fun thing was All gold rewards are increased by 100%.  That’s much more exciting than the 50% gold increase buff that Blizzard has given players during some weekends! (Not complaining about the 50% buff, though.  They are nice!).  The other fun thing was really unique: Treasure Goblins appear in pairs.  I couldn’t wait to find my first pair of Treasure Goblins (and to discover if I could actually manage to kill them both).

Shawn and I explored this patch together on the first night it launched.  He was playing his Crusader, and I was playing my Wizard.  Shawn said that it did look like there was a lot of extra gold popping up.  I couldn’t tell the difference because my Wizard was wearing Goldskin Armor and a Goldwrap Belt.  Gold had been raining on him for a while, so it didn’t look different due to this buff. Orlando the Wizard is the shiniest Wizard of them all!

We were playing on Torment 1 and doing pretty well, which was surprising.  I feel like the last time we played together before the patch that things didn’t go as well.  Was it because of the patch?  Or did it have more to do with us upgrading gear since last time?  I have no idea.

There was one rather obvious problem with the patch.  It caused everyone’s Achievements to disappear!   That was somewhat disconcerting, until someone reassured me that Blizzard was aware of this issue and that it would be resolved with the next patch (the one that unlocks that Seasons).  But, look at this terrifying thing:

“This text should be replaced with game data”

My Wizard started out really close to hitting Level 58, and it wasn’t long before he officially hit it.  I’m getting close to Level 60, which was more exciting before the RoS expansion.  After the expansion, the maximum level moved to 70.  I’ll get there, eventually.

Something unexpected happened when we reached Rakkis Crossing.  Tyrael was waiting for us, as expected, and he had the usual things to say.  For whatever reason, Tyrael chose to follow Shawn’s Crusader.  The instant he did that, he turned translucent (from my perspective).  Was this a glitch?  If you look closely at the screenshot below, you might be able to pick out where Tyrael is at.  It helps if you try to find his sword.

I’d never seen that happen before, so I mentioned it in the Shattered Soulstone Clan chat.  The very helpful people who were in the Clan, and online at that moment, clarified things for me.  It wasn’t a glitch.  The translucent thing started with Witch Doctor characters.  Or, more correctly, with their pets.

The demon dogs (and other minions) go translucent when a player who is using a Witch Doctor plays a game with someone else.  The purpose seemed to be to solve the problem of players trying to attack the Witch Doctor’s minions (instead of the monsters) because they couldn’t tell one from the other in the heat of battle.  The Witch Doctor player can still see them just fine, but they go almost invisible for all the other players in the game.

It seems that in Patch 2.0.1 that handy solution had been added to Tyrael, to prevent the players that Tyrael wasn’t following from mistaking him for an enemy combatant.  Good to know.  I figure this has also been applied to other non-player characters (NPCs) that follow players in a game that isn’t solo.  Here’s another look at translucent Tyrael:

I got my very first Legendary item in the Bridge Stores, after we killed a gold monster called Sin the Fiend.  It says that it is an axe.  I decided to identify it.

It turned out to be something called The Butcher’s Sickle.  I’ve no idea why Sin the Fiend was carrying this around.  We are very far away from The Butcher!  The flavor text says: Used by the Butcher demon to snare and drag victims closer that he may feed on their flesh.

As you can see, it wasn’t as good for my Wizard as the Scourge he was currently using.   The Scourge came from my stash and was a weapon that my Barbarian once used.  It’s fun!  It turned out that The Butcher’s Sickle was an improvement for Shawn’s Crusader.  She had to level up a bit higher before she could use it, though.

DOUBLE TREASURE BANDITS!

We managed to kill off the first one, but the second one got away.

In that screenshot, you can see the piles of gold that the Treasure Goblin left behind when we killed him.  Now, is that larger than usual amount of gold there because I’m using special shiny gold finding armor?  Or is it due to the “all gold rewards are increased 100%” buff?  Another possibility is that this is a typical amount of gold to find in Torment 1, and I didn’t know because we usually did really badly in that difficulty setting.  Doesn’t really matter why – more gold is always a good thing!

Orlando, the shiny Wizard, hit Level 59 when he was in the Arreat Crater, Level 1.  He’s very close to reaching Level 60, and is working his way towards Level 70!

This concludes my first impressions of Story Mode in Patch 2.0.1.  There are some cool things happening here, and I’m having fun.  I’m not sure if I have time to get back into the game before Seasons launch.  If so, I’ll do a blog with my first impressions of Adventure Mode in Patch 2.0.1.  If not, then expect to see blogs about my progress in Seasons.  I’m looking forward to giving that a try!

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