According to the official news feed on Blizzard’s Battle.net game client, at 1pm Pacific Daylight Time today (SA’s 10pm), the latest patch for the PC version of Diablo III will go live. You’re going to want to stay up for it, as it will introduce tweaks and fixes alongside some of the biggest changes to Diablo III since Patch 2.0.1.

[UPDATE] The initial announcement was for US servers. The European update happens tomorrow, August 27 between 3am and 1pm CEST.

While the patch is coming for the console versions of Diablo III, it’s dropping at a later date.

The three main additions are more challenging rifts, a competitive game called Seasons that’s aimed at brand-new characters, and The Vault that introduces a chance that a portal to the Treasure Goblins’ realm will open up after defeating one.

The most interesting of these (at least to my avaricious little heart) is The Vault, as once you cross into the treasure goblins’ realm, you’ll have the chance to gather up as much gold and gems as you can while squaring off against the realm’s boss, the Baroness of Greed. Don’t expect it to happen too often, though.

Greater Rifting

Blizzard says Greater Rifts are enhanced Nephalem rifts that have been designed to “measure and showcase hero progression” and of course, drop unique loot. They’re designed for level 70 characters that play on Torment difficulty or higher, but to open these Greater Rifts players will also need a Keystone of Trials that is only dropped by regular rift guardians, so there’s a bit of a process to it.

These Keystones open rifts into an arena that works as a test of your character’s abilities, and once you’ve chosen your gear, you can’t change it until the Trial is over. Once the Trial starts, you will face waves of increasingly tougher enemies until the timer runs out, or you die. This then grants you a key to a Greater Rift whose level of challenge corresponds to your performance in the Trial.

The Greater Rifts are timed events, giving players just 15 minutes to kill enough creatures to summon the Rift Guardian, and of course the faster they complete the rift, the better the rewards.

Seasons

Lastly we have Seasons, a new game mode that lets players race to level 70 with brand-new characters and climb the international leaderboards that are being added to the game. Seasons characters are entirely separate of your other characters, gold, items and Paragon levels, and there are Seasons-exclusive achievements to unlock. Unique challenges and loot found nowhere else await those brave enough to give it a go; Blizzard’s aim here is to encourage you to start completely afresh.

Cesspools

Blizzard isn’t stopping there, they’re also adding a new area called Cesspools to Adventure Mode. They’re apparently sewer-themed levels the designers couldn’t get into the Reaper of Souls expansion, and they are now going to finally appear in the game, just in rifts. So from tonight you’ll have a chance to spawn a rift level based on these sewers.

Naturally plenty of other changes will roll out with the patch, like tweaks to all of the characters and their abilities, but these are the biggest additions. For a full list of all changes, click here.

See you in there!

[Source & Image – Battle.net]
Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.