BlizzCon 2014: Diablo 3 adds Ruins of Sescheron, new items

Diablo 3 treasure goblins

Diablo 3 fans may not have as much excitement from BlizzCon this year as Hearthstone fans or StarCraft 2 fans, but there are a few changes coming as Blizzard continues to refine the Diablo experience to maximize fun and minimize the frustrating grind that characterized the game at launch. Though this year's panels spent the majority of their time talking about the development process that brought Diablo 3 to the place it is now, there were some hints at the future, new monsters, new items, and an early demo of a new area, the Ruins of Sescheron (which you may remember from its brief appearance in Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction).

As to a new Diablo expansion, the devs refused to give a yes or no answer, but we live can live in hope, right? In the meanwhile, check out our galleries for a look at what's coming, or keep reading for a rundown of upcoming changes.

New treasure goblins
Patch 2.1.2 is the next frontier for Diablo 3, and it includes new variations on everyone's favorite loot pinata, the treasure goblin. The goblins will be easier to find -- they'll spawn in front of their portals, have new sound effects, and have their own special map icon -- but they'll be smarter, too, going out of their way to lure players into monsters and traps. There will also be three new treasure goblins that drop specific gear:

  • The Gem Hoarder, which (surprise!) drops gems

  • The Odious Collector, which drops crafting materials

  • The Blood Thief, which drops blood shards (and lots of them)

Diablo 3 new town layout

Patch 2.1.2 brings new items, monsters, maps, and Season II
There are lots of small but notable tweaks to improve gameplay and fun. The devs recognize that the game's reliance on randomness has resulted in some less than fun scenarios, long hallways (or loops) in randomly generated maps that lead to nowhere. Moving forward, hallways and loops will be shorter and monster density in low-density areas will be improved. Additionally, some maps that were fairly static, like Tristram Fields, Oasis, Spider Caves, and Leoric's Jail will now generate in a more random way to add variety. The death penalty is also getting some tweaks, because the way a map layout was generated could make the penalty worse when you died in a particularly distant spot -- in Greater Rifts, you'll now be able to revive at your corpse, but with a stacking time penalty to make the death penalty more even.

Back in town, layouts have been changed to prevent the long, long, long walk to get to gems or transmogs, especially in Act I.

With patch 2.1.2, Season II will begin, with a selection of Conquests -- some returning from Season I, some brand new. Expect a new host of rewards for this season, including the leg and feet transmog pieces that match the set you started collecting in Season I.

Patch 2.1.2 is coming "soon," though the devs wouldn't commit to a more specific date.

Lords of Destruction

The Ruins of Sescheron and more upcoming content
Beyond patch 2.1.2, we'll be seeing a new Ruins of Sescheron zone located in Act III. This will take us to the barbarian city Baal razed in Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction. We'll visit the ruins, where the dead are buried, but they'll be full of traps and new monsters to that will keep us on our toes.

Additionally, we'll be getting plenty of great new loot, including new legendaries and sets. Because, after all, collecting new and awesome gear is what the world of Diablo is all about. But as to when we'll see the loot mentioned at BlizzCon -- especially the cat on a stick weapon that we saw on-screen that went unexplained by the devs -- we don't really know.