You have quite a treasure there in those Patch Notes...
While I may not have vacation I usually have at start of season this time, I’m really looking forward to Season 16 for few reasons. Some of us were a bit taken back with big buffs going around as numeric values were getting outlandishly high on set bonuses, but putting all that into context changes the picture quite a lot. This was a pure balancing act to bring lacking specs on par with current leading specs. This means we do not 100% know what specs or classes will stand on top for Solo or Group play at least when it comes to DPS roles. Also we are no longer pigeonholed to using only Rat runs as means to get fast experience, which was leaving 5 out of 7 classes out in the dust before. Here are some of my observations regarding season 16:
- LoN is viable. It may not beat sets with Free RoRG effect this season, but it offers more freedom regarding which skills/legendaries to use and has shown to be a pretty good choice for Speedy GRs.
- Free RoRG buff. This will help 2 set build immensely and there are few interesting builds that did not have the toughness or DPS due to losing cube slot to RoRG.
- 10 wardrobe save slots. I no longer have to make 2 of the same class to cover the builds I want have
- Red Primal beam and map marker. I think this just creates some extra excitement in the rift to see it pop up. No more worrying that one item you did not pick up was a primal you missed.
- GR keys going to material tab. Every saved inventory slot is a win in my book.
- Witch Doctor is viable as trash killer again. Star Pact Firebird Wizard was about 4 GR levels above FB WD before and now after buffs, those are on same level.
- Demon hunter has good RGK build and generally very high pushing solo builds. They can have spot in both GR Pushing META and speed XP META (this time there are multiple working combos)
- In general this seasons theme seems to be “Play what you want to get to participate on group content”
Season 16 XP Meta runs
As season 16 draws upon us, we are finally getting what most players wanted, which is alternatives for Rat runs for getting Experience for Paragon levels. I will be covering one combo on this one which was proven to work really well during PTR. It consists of 2 Barbarians, 1 monk and 1 DH (DH can be switched with another high single target DPS as well). Thanks to usage of AD this combo scales really well for higher difficulties and I would not be surprised at all if we end up seeing this combo done up to GR 130-140 albeit slower speed.
zBarb: Use different shoulders as ones used can't have 7 Pick Up Radius anymore
Support Monk: Add RCR instead of AS
Impale DH: Add Gogok for Stricken
Why does this combo work so well?
- Each class has good fast move abilities
- zMonk & zbarb provide toughness, damage increase and movement speed (more damage increase to charge Barb)
- DH will be able to also kill bosses on the way to RG, not just RG. Not really heavily affected by adds on bosses either
- Charge Barb is quick Trash killer and weaker with bosses.
- DH is weaker with trash and very strong on bosses
There is also a variation of this combo where LoN Condemn Crusader is the trash killer. LoN Condemn has more than 3 times the damage of normal Condemn build even without F&R rings.
Since PTR testing was so short and not that many people tested or did not want to publish their combos, it is entirely possible there are many other viable speed XP combos in addition to 2 combos presented here. One combo I kept hearing about in PTR was double Tal Meteor Shower with support & Impale DH. Those were running a bit slower than the first combo we looked here but were able to run pretty high GRs relatively fast (3-5 minutes). Also Rat runs are still going to be viable, just no longer the best ones as there are at least 2 better combos using Trash clear Barb/Crusader.
Bonus 2 player combo with just DPS classes would be Impale DH and endless teleport DMO wizard with pixel pull. DH will provide small damage boost and kill high health elites while Wizard will pixel pull all trash to pile and decimate it very quickly with Frozen Orb and AD. Wizard also provides Slow Time with all runes, which helps a lot with Damage boost, AS speed boost, Damage Reduction, slowing monsters and slowing all those pesky projectiles.
Best part of this new season is going to be all the wonky and competitive combos everyone is going to come up with. I would not be surprised to see even all same class combos for speed runs. It is my firm belief that GR90 is the new GR70 for almost any group speed GRs.
Patch 2.6.4 set buffs in numbersBelow spreadsheet lists each set buff with highest buffs highlighted in Green. It does not count RoRG buff into the numbers as that depends on builds used. This should give a good idea on how much change can we expect
Entropian1960 and Lycan are continuing their Saturday night Game nights. We have also added Violet's Game night on Thursdays as well as "Sugar & Spice" game night hosted on Every 2nd Tuesday by Diane & SugarShane. Below is the list of upcoming game nights for Season 16 for Diablo 3.
Season 16 Game nights
Season 16 Game nights
- Jan 18th 7:30 PM EST: Season 16 group leveling event (Ghist, BoondockEOD)
- Jan 19th 8 PM EST: Catchup - boosting those who missed opening night (Entropian1960)
- Jan 20th 6 PM EST: 50/50 runs with Rifts & GRs (Ghist, Violet & Zykath)
- Jan 22nd 7 PM EST: "Sugar & Spice" Game night - means surprise content each time (SugarShabe & Diane)
- Jan 24th 8 PM EST: "So are you gonna use that or?" - Gearing event with GR runs and loot sharing (Violet)
- Jan 26th 8 PM EST: "I wanna a billionaire so frigging bad..." Vault runs for gold (Entropian1960, Lycan)
- Jan 27th 6 PM EST: "It;s bountiful here!" - Split bounties on T13
- Jan 31th 8 PM EST: Group GRs for squads (Violet)
- Feb 2nd 8 PM EST: Entropian/Lycan game night (Entropian1960, Lycan)
- Feb 3rd 8 PM: Boss Mode Conquest (Zykath)
- Feb 5th 7 PM EST: "Sugar & Spice" Game night - means surprise content each time (SugarShane & Diane)
- Feb 7th 8 PM EST: Violet's Game night (Violet)
- Feb 9th 8 PM EST: Entropian/Lycan game night (Entropian1960, Lycan)
- Feb 10th 8 PM EST: "Duopoly" - 2 person team GR Competition (Ghist)
- Feb 14th 8 PM EST: Violet's Game night (Violet)
- Feb 16th 8 PM EST: Entropian/Lycan game night (Entropian1960, Lycan)
- Feb 17th 8 PM EST: "Veni, Vidi, Vici" High level GR pushing (Ghist)
- Feb 19th 8 PM EST: "Sugar & Spice" Game night - means surprise content each time (SugarShane & Diane)
- Feb 21st 8 PM EST: Violet's Game night (Violet)
- Feb 23 8 PM EST: Entropian/Lycan game night (Entropian1960, Lycan)
- Feb 28th 8 PM EST: Violet's Game night (Violet)
- Mar 2 8 PM EST: Entropian/Lycan game night (Entropian1960, Lycan)
- Mar 5th 7 PM EST: "Sugar & Spice" Game night - means surprise content each time (SugarShane & Diane)
- Mar 7th 8 PM EST: Violet's Game night (Violet)
- Mar 9th 8 PM EST: Entropian/Lycan game night (Entropian1960, Lycan)
- Mar 16th 8 PM EST: Entropian/Lycan game night (Entropian1960, Lycan)
Useful Season 16 links