It has been a long month of development, but it was worth it. Here are the patch notes (3000 words!) for tomorrow's 0.9.9 update. It should be deployed during the New Zealand Wednesday workday. I'll post a more accurate time once we know.
Yes, there is a legacy migration because of major changes to item balance. You're encouraged to continue playing in the legacy league if you don't want to start new characters, but be aware that balance related feedback from that league is not as useful.
Thanks very much for your feedback, support and patience! We are really looking forward to you enjoying this patch.
A legacy migration has occured at the same time as this patch. All Default and Hardcore characters have been moved to the Legacy and HC Legacy leagues respectively. Any stashed items have been added in extra “Remove only” tabs in your legacy stashes. Items cannot be placed in these new stash tabs.
We've wiped all the passive skills again. Please take care reallocating your passives so that you can use your equipment and gems.
All damage values in the game have been rebalanced. Don't worry if high level weapons and skills do less damage than you're used to seeing.
We've added a corner map. You can turn it on in the UI Options.
You can now rearrange the order of your stash tabs by dragging them around.
Added support for Totems. These are entities that you summon which either grant auras or cast spells. There are a variety of new totem skills and a related support gem. All totems count towards the same limit.
Added support for Traps. These are entities that you can throw into combat which will deal their payload when enemies move near them. There's a very short arming period before they activate. Enemy players and monsters cannot see your traps. Traps can be destroyed by area-of-effect damage and will expire after a while.
Added support for Remote Mines. These are entities that can be placed on the battlefield at specific locations. When you have active Mines, a Detonate skill is available which will cause all of your mines to detonate at once. Like traps, Mines are also invisible to enemies and can be destroyed with area-of-effect damage.
We've dramatically improved the behaviour of monsters with a new AI system. They'll now use skills in appropriate situations. Much more detail is listed in the Monster Changes section below.
Added support for cooldowns and multi-cooldowns on skills. Currently the only skills with cooldowns are traps. Cooldowns reset when socketing gems or changing areas.
Quest items spawned from chests now spawn for new players entering the instance up to five minutes after the chest was opened.
You can now scroll left and right through stash tabs if you have too many to fit on one page.
Added sounds for quest status change and quest completion.
Added support for colour manipulation in the post-processing step. This can currently be seen in the Fetid Pool area but will eventually be used in many more areas.
Added support for ground fire and other environmental hazards.
The world now fades out and in again when you use an internal area transition in a level.
Changed how monster packs are spawned so that their sizes can vary more.
Added support for monsters to switch between run and walk stances.
Changed the passive skill screen so that it defaults to looking at an area slightly to the side of your character's start position, to better indicate the direction to allocate initial points.
The social screen will now automatically show the party screen when opened if you have a new party invitation.
Added the Shadow, the Dexterity/Intelligence Hybrid character class. It's currently disabled for a few days but will be turned on this weekend.
Added a new Intelligence skill - Righteous Fire: Ignites you with magical fire that rapidly burns you and nearby enemies. Your spell damage is substantially increased while under this effect. The effect ends when you have 1 life remaining. Resistances do affect this damage. This effect can also be cancelled with a Flask of Dousing.
Added a new Strength skill - Decoy Totem: Summons a totem that taunts nearby monsters to attack it.
Added a new Strength skill - Rejuvenation Totem: Summons a totem that has an aura which regenerates life for you and your nearby allies.
Added a new Strength skill - Shockwave Totem: Summons a totem that shakes the earth around it, knocking back and damaging nearby enemies
Added a new Dexterity skill - Whirling Blades: Dive through enemies, dealing weapon damage. Only works with daggers, claws and one handed swords.
Added a new Dexterity skill - Ethereal Knives: Fires an arc of knives in front of the caster which deal physical damage.
Added a new Dexterity skill - Bear Trap: Throws a trap that damages and immobilises a single enemy.
Added a new Dexterity skill - Fire Trap: Throws a trap that explodes when triggered, leaving an area of burning ground that damages enemies who walk through it.
Added a new Intelligence skill - Conversion Trap: Throws a trap that, when triggered by an enemy, converts that enemy to your side for a short duration.
Added a new Dexterity skill - Freeze Mine: Lays a remote mine that you can detonate to freeze all enemies in the area.
Added a new Dexterity support gem - Trap: Attached skills can be thrown as traps that use the skill when monsters move near them.
Added a new Intelligence support gem - Remote Mine: Lays a Remote Mine that can be detonated to use the attached skill.
Added a new Strength support gem - Totem: Summons a totem that can cast the attached skill.
Added a new Dexterity support gem - Chance to Flee: Monsters affected by the attached skill have a chance to run in terror.
Added a new monster type - the Necromancer, which raises nearby slain undead. These can be found in the Prison and some areas of Act Two. They currently cannot raise magic or boss monsters.
Added a new quest in the Fetid Pool. Full-clearing this area will reward you with two more Passive Skill Respec Points.
The areas that Brutus and Merveil occupy have been incorporated into the previous areas (with an internal teleporter to access them) so that players aren't able to abusively farm them with instance management. The large chests have been removed from these areas.
Rethought the progression of armour pieces so that the names and art are correct for the long term. The new base items have new levels.
Renamed the Cathedral of Bones to the Vaal Ruins.
Revamped character icons that are displayed in the user interface.
Increased the size of many game areas to improve pacing and level progression.
Updated the character selection screen with new text about the characters.
Continued to incrementally improve the art, effects, environments and sound.
Rhoas have had their Charge attack restored. There are now skeletal Rhoas in the Fetid Pool.
Brutus now moves faster and signals his ground slam in advance. Avoid being hit by it!
Many snakes now change between their melee and ranged stances at will. They are substantially more defensive in their melee stance. Other snakes are melee-only or ranged-only.
In addition to using a variety of curses, Merveil's Daughters can now summon Spawn to attack you. These Spawn don't yield experience or drop items. Some Merveil's Daughters summon Exploding Spawn which run into you and detonate themselves.
Zombies in the Mud Flats now emerge from the ground when encountered.
Scavengers have improved behaviour so that they'll chose to use melee attacks or to throw rocks depending on the distance. If you run close to them, they'll stop throwing and start using melee attacks.
Sand Spitters now have behaviour that makes them prefer to clump together when shooting at you. This will make them a little easier to attack with area-of-effect attacks. Various types of Sand Spitters now perform elemental attacks. Keep your resistances up!
Water Elementals (which now deal mostly cold damage) have been added to the Tidal Island. Water Elementals in other areas have a variety of skills available such as Cold Snap, Ice Nova and some Curses, which they use in correct situations.
The unique Rhoa in the Mud Flats, Oozeback Bloom, now has a life degeneration aura and can charge at you again.
A unique Necromancer boss, Kadavrus the Defiler, has been added to the Fetid Pool. He raises the zombies and skeletal Rhoas to interfere with your quest to cleanse the area.
The Scavengers who live in camps on the Ledge now worship an angry god.
Environmental totems can use auras (such as Slow Player, Haste, Allies Cannot Die, Vitality, Monster Damage), or active skills.
Hellions on the Rocky Climb, Skeleton Archers in the Prison, Ghost Archers in the Cavern of Woe, some Melee Bandits in Act Two and Snakes in the Ancient Pyramid can now use the Puncture skill. Don't run away after they've hit you with this.
Skeletal Archers in the Rocky Climb and Bandit Archers in the Crossroads can now fire Burning Arrows.
Goatmen are now more likely to Leap Slam from above. If you stay on high ground, they're less likely to use this skill. The same applies to Ironpoint the Forsaken's Rain of Arrows attack.
Added a unique Skeleton Boss to the Lower Prison called Chatters. He uses Glacial Hammer and the Hatred aura.
Skeletal Archers in the Lower Prison and Chamber of Sins can now fire Lightning Arrows.
Sawbones, a Necromancer boss in the Upper Prison, can summon skeletons in addition to raising undead.
Necromancers cast a variety of curses such as Enfeeble, Critical Weakness and Elemental Weakness.
The Burning Menace now deals entirely fire damage and ignites with every hit.
Goatmen in the Prisoner's gate deal lightning damage. Their shamans cast Spark and Shock Nova.
Stranglecharm is a new Water Elemental Boss in the Ship Graveyard Cave. She has a Slow Player aura in addition to her Ice Nova.
Ghosts in the Ship Graveyard Cave and some Spiders in the Weaver's Chambers use Flicker Strike to get close to you. Be careful if you're taking a group of them on. Note that running away from them could cause them to Flicker Strike to catch up to you!
Shield Crabs in the Coves and some Beasts in the Waterfall Cave now inflict the Vulnerability Curse every time they hit you.
Scavengers in the Coves and Monkeys in the Dread Thicket gain Frenzy charges when other monsters of their kind are killed nearby.
Merveil has two daughters, Ambrosia and Amarissa, who inhabit her caves. They are fire and lightning themed, respectively.
The Merveil fight has been made harder. She now uses her skills more intelligently and deals a lot of cold damage.
A pair of boss Monkey twins live in the Old Fields Cave. Their two auras go together to make it a challenging fight.
Most of the spiders in Act Two (and several bosses such as Plague Retch in the Chamber of Sins) use Viper Strike and prioritise targets that are already poisoned. If you get hit by one Viper Strike, the spiders may break away from their current targets to try to stack more copies of poison on you.
Skeletal Archers in the Chamber of Sins can fire Poison Arrows.
The Hideous Abomination is now known as "Fidelitas, the Mourning", and uses Lighting Strike on every hit.
Skeletal Casters in the Chamber of Sins can cast Spark.
Skeletal Archers in the Church Dungeon can fire Split Arrows or use Frenzy.
Archbishop Geofri the Abashed is a Skeleton Boss in the Church Dungeon who casts a variety of curses and is immune to curses himself.
Bandit Archers in the Broken Bridge area can use Explosive Arrow.
Beasts in the Broken Bridge or Pools and Streams areas can cast Enduring Cry to gain Endurance charges.
Kraityn now uses Phase Run and Flicker Strike in deadly combination to get in and out of combat with you.
Alira's Guards either deal chaos damage, fire Poison Arrows or run up to you and detonate themselves.
Skeletal Knights in the Vaal Ruins can inflict random elemental status ailments on hit.
Oak now uses Enduring Cry and Immortal Call much more intelligently. He can Leap Slam to close distance with the player and will Sweep when there are multiple targets nearby.
Maul bandits in the Pools and Streams area cast Warlord's Mark on the player so that they can leech back life when they hit them.
Some beasts in the Waterfall Cave have a degeneration aura that makes enemies lose life over time.
Spawn in the Waterfall Cave use either Phase Run or Viper Strike.
Wand wielding Ghosts in the Waterfall Cave use an attack that grants them a Power charge on hit.
Various Skeletal Casters and Chaos Fragments in the Ancient Pyramid fire multiple projectiles and are protected by environmental Totems.
General Balance Changes:
Magic items now drop less frequently. Rare and unique items drop the same as before.
Increased the sell value of unidentified magic and rare items and of the mods on identified items.
Diminishing returns now applies to the rate that Increased Item Rarity affects magic, rare and unique items (it affects the less common ones more).
Increased Item Quantity stats now also have diminishing returns. This allows us to have higher initial values and lets us balance the extreme cases so that their rate of item gain is high but not abusive.
Bonuses to item rarity and quantity from bosses or from additional players in the game now stack multiplicatively with the player's bonuses (rather than additively). Diminishing returns only apply to the player's bonuses.
The experience formula for multiplayer games has changed. There is now a 30% experience bonus for being in an area with a party member, and additional players in an area beyond the first add 50% more experience rather than 75%. This is a little better for two-person parties and a little worse for six-person parties.
Reduced the level of resistance rings to 10 so that Sapphire Rings are available before Merveil. You may need them.
Reduced the level requirements of the first resistance mods.
Increased the amount of life that monsters leech at high levels.
Increased the number of charges needed for a Diamond Flask to refill.
The Shocked state is now no longer removed on death so that it interacts with the Elemental Proliferation support gem in a more sensible way.
Dexterity/Intelligence shields now reflect damage to attackers.
Added damage reflection mods to the pool for items.
Added a set of Increased Item Rarity and Increased Item Quantity prefix mods.
Biased elemental damage mods towards the appropriate types of weapons and made their values substantially more impactful at higher levels.
Added new gems as quest rewards. Adjusted many higher level quest rewards to be less repetitive.
Halved the life lost by use of a Caustic Flask.
Active/Support Skill Changes:
Shock Nova: Increased cast speed.
Discharge: Slight buff to damage.
Sweep: Reduced mana cost.
Clarity Aura: Increased progression at higher levels.
Chance to Ignite: Increased mana cost multiplier from 100% to 110%.
Burning Arrow: Increased mana cost at higher levels.
Hatred Aura: Increased damage.
Lightning Strike: Reduced damage penalty on projectiles from -50% to -20%.
Elemental Proliferation: Increased mana cost multiplier from 140% to 180%.
Freezing Pulse: Increased cast speed, reduced mana cost, slightly reduced damage.
Passive Skill Changes:
Pain Attunement: Increased damage bonus from 25% to 30%.
Avatar of Fire: Removed. It will return in a later patch in a form that doesn't cause problems for so many other game systems.
Elemental Equilibrium: Now provides -25% resistance (was -20%) to the element not used and 25% resistance (was 30%) to the element used.
Substantially rearranged passives in the Dexterity/Intelligence part of the tree.
Added Totem and Trap passive skills.
Removed Item Quantity and Item Rarity passives.
Burn damage passives have been reduced in effectiveness.
Elemental weapon passives have been increased in effectiveness.
Aded additional elemental weapon passives on the Ranger side of the tree.
Corrected various small balance values.
Fixed a bug that would cause monsters or players to slide around occasionally.
Fixed a bug where monsters would stop performing actions entirely.
Fixed a bug where the Shock status spread by the Elemental Proliferation support gem would ignore the Shock limit.
The size of the Poison Arrow clouds now scale with their area of effect radius properly.
Culling Strike is now correctly affected by the Increased Item Rarity and Increased Item Quantity support gems.
Added the missing town icon to the map legend.
The character panel now displays mana and life per kill.
Fixed a bug where the Baleful gem could not be obtained under some situations.
Fixed a display bug with the quiver slot.
Fixed the skill icons on the character screen and pop-up skill selector to properly display the letters that show what support gems affect them.
Sand Spitter projectiles are no longer erroneously subject to melee damage reflection.
Fixed a bug in the damage calculation of skills augmented with the Multiple Projectiles support gems.
Portals now open visually when cast rather than starting open.
Fixed a problem where "Increased Melee Damage on Full Life" stat checked the wrong weapon if you were dual wielding.
Blood Chieftains will now only summon monkeys from trees if there are trees with monkeys in them nearby.
Fixed a bug where rare monsters would receive epithets on their names every time rather than occasionally.
Fixed a bug where Power Siphon could not break barrels.
Fixed a bug where the damage from Firestorm would not display on the client at the right time.
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