Diablo 3 patch 2.3 guide

Diablo 3‘s patch 2.3 is launching this week. No time for patch notes? I get it. You just want to know what’s good and get back to mowing down demons! Read on for patch 2.3 essentials.

The Horadric Cube was a core part of the Diablo 2 experience, and Blizzard decided to introduce its big, bad cousin in Diablo 3. Kanai’s Cube functions as a fourth artisan for your camp, and you’ll want to take advantage of it immediately. To find the cube, start an Adventure Mode game on your preferred difficulty, and go to Bastion’s Keep Stronghold in Act III. Your old buddy, Zoltun Kulle, will be waiting for you in the lower right area of the camp. Talk to him for a quest, and then teleport to The Ruins of Sescheron (upper right section of the map).

You need to fight your way through the ruins until you find the doorway to a zone called Elder Sanctum.

Elder Sanctum

Your goal is to ransack the sanctum for Kanai’s Cube.

Kanai’s Cube Elder Sanctum

If you find The Immortal Throne, you’re in the right general area. Another few minutes of searching should lead you into a small room containing Kanai’s Cube. Click it, and it’s yours. You don’t even flinch as the smoldering brand is pressed into your flesh. You are so tough! Return to Kulle in the camp and click on Kanai’s Cube to check out the new recipes.

Kanai’s Cube ArtisanKanai’s Cube lets you destroy a legendary item to add its power to your arsenal. The collection system works just like transmogrification: once you have the power, you can always access it. The cube can also:

Randomize the rolls on legendary/set items.
Upgrade a rare (yellow) item to a legendary.
Convert a set item to a different piece from that set.
Remove the level requirement from an item.
Convert gems to another color.
Convert your plentiful crafting materials to bolster your scarcest.
Law of Kulle Reforge Legendary

Fortunately, almost all of the cube’s recipes are listed in game. However, most recipes require old and new crafting materials. The best way to acquire new materials in quantity is to head back to the teleporter and find the act with the Bounty Bonus (there can be only one).

Complete all five bounties in that act and Tyrael will give you Horadric and Bonus Caches, both of which contain new crafting materials.

Bounty Complete

The Bounty Bonus will then move to another act. Keep chasing this bonus as it moves from act to act until all bounties are complete. Why all the bounties? The new materials are specific to each act’s caches, and you’re going to need one of each to use the cube’s primary feature: harvesting powers from legendary items.

Check out our full overview of Kanai’s Cube.

Archive of Tal Rasha: Extract legendary power
Let’s get something out of the way. If you use the Extract Legendary Power recipe, you will destroy the associated legendary item. Poof. It’s gone, but its power will be added to your collection. It won’t work on set bonuses, it won’t give you a power from an item your class can’t normally equip, and it won’t work on Corrupted Ashbringer. (Sorry.)

Archive of Tal Rasha Let’s say you have The Furnace. First of all, you’re lucky. But if you don’t want to equip it, it’s an excellent item from which to extract power. Toss this into the cube along with the required crafting materials, click transmute, and its maximum possible legendary affix roll (increases damage against elites by 50%) will be added to the list of selectable powers from the cube’s menu. Click on the weapon slot in the cube’s interface, then scroll through the list of all possible weapon powers until you find The Furnace, and select it.

The FurnaceOnce chosen, that power is always active in addition to any other items, skills, and passives you have selected or equipped. There is no downside, no tradeoff, and nothing you had before is replaced. You can enjoy the power of that legendary item without having it equipped, and you can swap legendary affixes in town at any time. Also, don’t worry about putting exactly the right amount of crafting materials into the cube; it uses only as much as the recipe requires. The “Details” button on your character screen will show which cube powers you are currently using, just in case you forget.

You can select one power from each category:

Weapons: Includes all main hand and off-hand items, including shields, mojos, quivers, etc.
Armor: Hands, legs, feet, chest, belt, wrists, shoulders, and head.
Jewelry: Rings and amulets.
This is like going Super Saiyan. By combining unique legendary affixes, you can turn your run-of-the-mill Demon Hunter into a chicken-shooting, poison-farting, slam-dancing DJ. Looking for a slightly more serious recommendation?

Consider:

Weapon: The Furnace. Yeah, it’s rare for a reason — 50% more damage to elites is amazing.
Armor: Leoric’s Crown. This doubles the effect of the gem socketed into your helm. Can’t find the king’s bling? Craft some Reaper’s Wraps. The recipe drops from Malthael, but you already knew that.
Jewelry: Convention of Elements. Its effect triples the damage of your favorite element for four seconds, 25% of the time. No luck finding one of those? Use the Ring of Royal Grandeur to activate set bonuses. You can reliably farm this from Act I bounty boxes.
Sure, the cube has other useful recipes — if you saved up a lot of crafting materials. Focus on leveling and acquiring loot if you’re just starting out in Season 4. You can optimize your items once you’re swimming in Forgotten Souls and Death’s Breaths.

Secret recipes
If you’re playing a new character in Season 4, the legendary powers granted by the cube will be your primary goal. However, two secret recipes can be extremely useful as you work to gain a seasonal foothold. You can transmute a Puzzle Ring to open a goblin portal, setting yourself up with more gold than Scrooge McDuck at the top of a full vault. You also can transmute a Bovine Bardiche to open Not The Cow Level for some beefy experience gains.

Puzzle Ring

Good riddance, Realm of Trials
Nephalem Rifts no longer require Rift Keystone Fragments, and the repetitive Realm of Trials has been removed from the game. Your old Rift Keystone Fragments can be sold at a vendor for a bit of gold, and the old Greater Rift Keystones are now generic. Entering a Greater Rift is now as simple as selecting the desired tier from a drop down menu at the Nephalem Obelisk, up to one tier higher than your previous best. Oh, and you can leave the generic Greater Rift Keystones in your stash and still start a Greater Rift — one less item to tote around. Remember, legendary/set item drop rates are at their highest in Greater Rifts; if you want loot, spend time in there.

Torment me more
Level 70 characters now have more Torment difficulty options. You can drag your character through Torment VII through Torment X, with commensurate increases in bonus experience and gold find values. These are equivalent to Greater Rift Tiers:

Infernal Amulets!
Keywardens now drop whole Infernal Machines instead of keys. Your current stash of keys will be converted appropriately. This makes farming a Hellfire Amulet (which now rolls with a guaranteed socket, eliminating a common failure point) much easier.

Infernal Machine

What’s up with crafting?
Haedrig is so over your old and busted Forgotten Souls. Now any time you want him to craft a pair of Reaper’s Wraps (or any other legendary/set item), he’s going to demand the materials you receive from Horadric Caches and Bonus Caches. What an opportunist! If you happened to have any low-level (1–60) crafting materials saved up prior to patch 2.3, they’ve been converted into higher-level (61–70) versions as part of a consolidation pass that Blizzard implemented to reduce inventory cruft. We have a full guide to crafting in patch 2.3.

 

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Margin Call, Part Five: Advanced Topics and Practice Points

In previous installments, we covered the basics of the margin regulations. In our final two installments, we’ll cover a few practice points and explore some of the more complex margin issues (particularly under Regulation U), that frequently arise in the context of financing transactions.

Purpose Statements: Regulation U requires a bank that is extending credit (regardless of the purpose of the credit) to obtain a purpose statement from a customer on Federal Reserve Form FR U-1, if the credit is in excess of $100,000 and is secured directly or indirectly by margin stock. A nonbank lender that is subject to registration under Regulation U is required to obtain a purpose statement from the customer on Form FR G-3 when it extends credit in any amount that is secured directly or indirectly by margin stock. In both cases, the customer must describe the purpose of the credit on the relevant form of purpose statement. If the credit is purpose credit (i.e., to purchase or carry margin stock), the lender must list all collateral securing the credit on the form. It is important to remember that it is the presence of margin stock as collateral, not the use of proceeds, which triggers the requirement for a purpose statement.

Purpose statements must be signed by the borrower or its authorized representative and accepted by the lender or its duly authorized representative “in good faith.” Form FR U-1 and Form FR G-3 purpose statements are not filed with the Federal Reserve or any other agency. Lenders are required to retain the purpose statements for three years after the credit is extinguished.

Representations and Warranties: Credit agreements and other lending documents often contain representations and warranties from the borrower about US margin regulation issues. These provisions will often contain, at a minimum, a representation that the proceeds of the credit will not be used to purchase or carry margin stock. That representation does not obviate the need for the lender to obtain a purpose statement on Form FR U-1 or Form FR G-3. Often lenders will also require a borrower to represent that the borrower is not engaged principally, or as one of its important activities, in the business of extending credit for the purpose of purchasing or carrying margin stock. Based on Federal Reserve interpretations, credit extended to any borrower engaged in such business can itself be deemed purpose credit. Finally, in transactions where the borrower is providing a negative pledge over some or all of its assets or similar arrangement, lenders will typically seek a representation by the borrower that margin stock makes up 25% or less of the assets subject to the lenders’ negative pledge or similar arrangement. The purpose of this representation is to attempt to ensure that, if possible, the negative pledge or similar arrangement will fall under the exemption from the definition of indirectly secured.

Status of the Stock Matters: Whether a credit that is extended to purchase or carry an equity security constitutes purpose credit depends on the status of the stock at the time a commitment to extend the credit is entered into. If the proceeds of a loan are used to purchase nonmargin securities and those securities subsequently become margin securities (i.e., because of a listing of the stock), the loan is considered to be purpose credit after that point. In that case, the lender is not required to reduce the amount of the loan or require additional collateral if the loan exceeds Regulation U’s 50% maximum loan-to-value ratio except when the borrower seeks to withdraw or substitute collateral. Conversely, if the proceeds of a loan are used to purchase margin stock and the stock subsequently ceases to be a margin stock (i.e., through delisting of the stock), the credit ceases to be purpose credit and is no longer subject to the requirements of Regulation U.

Maintaining Credit: Regulation U provides that, if a lender extends a purpose credit that was initially extended in compliance with Regulation U’s 50% maximum loan-to-value ratio (as determined by the market price of the margin stock collateral on the date that the lender enters into a legally binding commitment to extend credit), the lender will not be required to request additional collateral or reduce the amount of credit if the value of the margin stock collateral subsequently declines as a result of a drop in the market price of the margin stock collateral.

Questions commonly arise as to whether a particular kind of instrument is margin stock. We previously took a look at the definition of margin stock and found that it includes, among other things, publicly traded stock and certain OTC securities. The types of instruments that frequently raise questions include the following:

OTC “Pink Sheets”: Securities quoted in the OTC pink sheets are not margin stock.
OTC Bulletin Board: Securities quoted in the OTC bulletin board (OTCBB) are not margin stock.
Foreign Securities and ADRs: A listing on a non-US securities exchange does not cause a security to be margin stock, but a foreign-listed security will be margin stock if it is also listed on a US exchange. Exchange-listed ADRs are margin stock, and foreign securities underlying such ADRs are also margin stock because they are also technically listed on the exchange in connection with the registration of the ADRs under SEC requirements. ADRs quoted in OTC pink sheets or OTCBB are not margin stock.
Convertible Equity: While debt securities that are convertible into margin stock are included in the definition of margin stock, equity securities convertible into margin stock are not considered margin stock. However, the Federal Reserve has taken the position that credit extended to purchase such convertible equity securities is purpose credit even though the securities are not margin stock.
Common Issues in Acquisition Finance Transactions

The “Junk Bond” Interpretation: The Federal Reserve’s 1986 interpretation on shell corporations (commonly known as the “junk bond interpretation”) is generally considered to be one of the more controversial Regulation U interpretations. The Federal Reserve determined that, where a lender extends credit to a shell company for the purposes of a tender offer for margin stock of a target, by purchasing unsecured debt securities of the shell company in a private offering when the shell company has no other operating business or other assets to support the repayment of the debt securities, the debt securities issued by the shell company will be considered “purpose credit” and such credit will be presumed to be “indirectly secured” by the target’s margin stock acquired by the shell company. Accordingly, the debt securities would be subject to the requirements of Regulation U, including the prohibition on lending more than 50% of the value of the target’s margin stock. The Federal Reserve interpretation is based on the view that, practically speaking, a lender can only extend credit to the shell company by relying on the margin stock as collateral for the loan, since the shell company has no assets other than the margin stock to support its indebtedness to the lender.

There are three circumstances under which a shell corporation’s unsecured debt securities will not be presumed to be indirectly secured by margin stock under the 1986 junk bond interpretation:

the debt securities are guaranteed by the issuer’s parent or another company with substantial nonmargin stock assets or cash flow;
a merger agreement has been entered into between the shell corporation and the target at the time the commitment is made to purchase the debt securities or in any event before funds are advanced; or
the obligations of the purchasers of debt securities to advance funds are contingent on the shell corporation’s acquisition of the minimum number of shares necessary to effect a merger without the approval of either the shareholders or the directors of the target.
There are a couple of additional points to remember about the junk bond interpretation. First, the presumption of indirect security will not apply in the case of a bona fide public offering or Rule 144A offering of the shell company’s debt securities. The Federal Reserve takes the view that purchases of debt securities in a public offering or in a Rule 144A offering do not constitute extensions of credit for margin regulation purposes.

Also, the junk bond interpretation is not applicable if there are any covenants or other arrangements relating to the shell corporation’s debt securities that limit the shell corporation’s ability to sell, pledge or otherwise dispose of the target’s margin stock or that make such sale, pledge or other disposition a cause for acceleration of the debt securities. In that case, the credit would be indirectly secured for Regulation U purposes as a result of such covenants or arrangements, so the presumption of indirect security under the junk bond interpretation would not be relevant.

Other Acquisition-Related Issues: The margin regulations have historically been applied to mergers, acquisitions and other business combination transactions. For example, credit extended to finance the acquisition by a borrower of a controlling block of shares of an issuer that are margin stock is considered purpose credit for purposes of Regulation U. This is the case whether the shares are purchased through a privately negotiated purchase from a substantial holder, in the open market, by a tender offer to public investors, or through some combination of the above. Also, credit extended to finance an acquisition through a cash merger of the borrower or a subsidiary of the borrower with another company is considered purpose credit if, at the time the lender commits to make the loan, the stock of the other company is margin stock. If the stock is subsequently either delisted or extinguished through the merger, the loan will cease to be purpose credit.

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DOTA 2 The International website live – DOTA 2 Watch beta launches

It’s not long now until the DOTA 2 The International kicks off. Between 3-8 of August the brightest stars of the DOTA 2 world will do battle for that whopping $16 million plus prize pool.

Today Valve launched the official event site, and although the main event doesn’t start until August, the wild card round takes place on 26 July with the groups stage running between 27-30 July so there’s plenty to enjoy before the main event gets underway. You can check the date schedule on the new site here and also view a list of the teams and players that will be making an appearance.

In other DOTA 2 news, valve has just launched the Watch Beta which a hub to view DOTA 2 games and comes with 1080p streams at 60 frames per second as well as featuring real-time stats, graphs and match data.

The matches on the Watch page comprises of games with the most viewers watching through Steam Broadcasting. This beta launch is in preparation of streaming The International matches and will likely be hammered by fans once the event starts.

Let’s hope The International 2015 final is a little more entertaining than last year’s which was a bit of an anticlimax.

 

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Witcher 3 Patch 1.07 expected today on PC

Though it hasn’t yet (at the time of writing) appeared for download through GOG, the latest patch (1.07) for The Witcher 3 is due today on the PC.

GOG’s own twitter account states that it’ll appear “in the next 24h” (and that was five hours ago, so within the next 19 now,) and the same 1.07 patch is confirmed as already available to some console users. This does, though, mean it might take as long to show up as Saturday afternoon (or later, depending on your timezone.)

But wait, does that mean CD Projekt Red purposefully delayed the PC Witcher 3 patch to match the console release schedule, even though the PC version wouldn’t require the same certification process? Not according to company employee ‘Benzenzimmern’ over on the CD Projekt Red forums.

“There is no reason for us to artificially delay a PC patch because of consoles,” he writes. “Actually, many patches so far have been released first on PC (1.06 was PC exclusive). We don’t only fix general bugs and improve many features with 1.07, but we also fix issues specific to the platforms; of course including the PC. This means that while some platforms might be in the process of certification, the work on the others continues.”

Patch 1.07 is a sizeable one (you can read the changelog here,) and includes highlights like an alternative movement scheme for Geralt and inventory stashes around the world.

 

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