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DiabloJul 4, 2015 2:00 pm CT

First look at Kanai’s Cube and more in Diablo 3’s patch 2.3.0

After multiple attempts to get into a Torment VII game on the Diablo 3 Patch 2.3.0 PTR, I made a bet with myself — if I start the game queue-in now, maybe I could raid through the entire X-hour queue and then finally the queue will pop when I’m done playing World of Warcraft with my guild. I lost the bet to myself, because the 4-hour Expert game queue popped about 2.5 hours later, exactly during my guild’s raid break, halfway through raid.

Later, I was glad I’d picked only Expert difficulty — hey, it was the lowest queue time when I started it. But it was also a complete breeze to literally run through mob packs and let my Witch Doctor’s DOT-spreading staff do its thing.


Torments 7-10 and Greater Rifts

You might have to wait in the 10-hour or more queue that Torment VII asks for if you want to try out bounties in higher Torments. But if you just want to peek at how the difficulty scales up, now you can do that with Greater Rifts.

Rifts are still split into two types — Nephalem and Greater — but now only Greater requires a keystone. If you had keystones in your inventory, both Realm of Trial keystones and numbered Greater Rift keystones have all been converted into a single Greater Rift keystone. Rift Keystone Fragments are useless in patch 2.3.0, and are now grey vendor items. You can take a Redditor’s advice and use your Rift fragments now to get more Trial keystones that will convert later into Greater Rift keys with the patch. Or, if you just want a lot of gold, my 100-stack is currently going for about 500k gold at the vendor.


At the rift portal stone, the menu has been redone once again. You can choose Nephalem Rifts (for free) or Greater Rifts (with a keystone for each party member player). The level for Greater Rifts will be auto-selected at the highest you’ve gone so far, but you can click the dropdown to choose a lower level if you want. Every 5 Greater Rifts or so, there’s a parenthetical note about which Torment this is applicable to. The proposed solution to Realm of Trials is you get to pick your own Greater Rift difficulty. I didn’t get to stay on the PTR long enough to see how to push a Greater Rift higher, but I imagine it has something to do with completing the highest rift in your dropdown set of choices.

Also seen in my stash are quite a lot of Hellfire Infernal Machines, despite how I’ve rarely built them let alone killed an Uber for the Hellfire ring-specific material. As TaintedSquirrel mentioned in his advice for the PTR patch, all of the Hellfire keys are converted to machines, so don’t go doing any new Ubers until the patch hits live. You’ll be wasting a lot of potential machines.


Introducing Kanai’s Cube

If your selection of Adventure Mode lands you in Act III or IV’s Bastion Keep, then you might not notice a dead boss sitting off in the unused corner. I landed in Act I, however, and as I scurried eagerly off to the Rift portal stone, I caught a glimmer of this ghostly guy in my eye. He had a quest hovering over him, as if he had something Kulle to show me.

Zolton Kulle is indeed back and he’s here to introduce you to Kanai’s Cube, a new artisan in Diablo 3. Once you get the Cube, clicking on either Kulle or the Cube will bring up the artisan menu, just as if you’d click the Mystic or the Blacksmith or the Jeweler. But before you can use the Cube, you have to find the Cube first.


Far in the upper right-hand corner of the Act III waypoint map, there’s a new waypoint to the new zone Ruins of Sescheron. While you battle new yeti monsters and avoid spike pits, you’re looking for the “end” of the zone, a big blue glowy doorway that leads to the Elder Sanctum. This puts you into the Immortal Throne zone, where you need to find the cube sitting on a pedestal at some end of this zone. When you find the Cube, just take it, and your new artisan will be unlocked.

If you run into a throne room lined up with the ghosts of barbarians, this is not the Cube’s pedestal room you are looking for, but you may want to explore the throne anyway for the lore. It’s not just new lore for the backstory of one class, but a massive tribute. Kanai’s Cube and the new lore books of the barbarians immortalize Kevin Kanai Griffith, a Diablo 3 artist who lost his battle with cancer in late 2014. If you walk into the throne room before you find the Cube (like I did), the barbarian NPC following you will say a few words and stay there, keeping watch.


Transmuting with Kanai’s Cube

Transmuting with Kanai’s Cube is much like transmogrification in Diablo 3, where once you grab the legendary power off a legendary item, it’s in your transmute library forever. Clicking the book icon next to the transmute button allows you to see what recipes there are and which one you want to use right now.

Transmuting the legendary consumes the legendary, so be sure to use a duplicate you don’t want anymore. You can have a total of 3 powers active at one time, exactly one each from a weapon, an armor piece, and a ring or amulet. Once you pick the powers in the Cube, they’ll also show up in your character’s detail pane at the bottom of the list. At the moment, there is no cost to switch powers and you can switch around powers at the Cube at any time.


There are many things the Cube can do, not just squeezing the power out of a legendary for you to use. I ran out of time before I could test them all, but Rhykker goes over the Kanai’s Cube recipes in his PTR video (warning: contains spoilers).

  • Archive of Tal Rasha — Extract legendary powers from items to use.
  • Law of Kulle — Reforge a legendary, which means to basically reroll it entirely. This can create Ancient legendaries from regular legendaries, or vice versa, so be careful.
  • Hope of Cain — Upgrade rare item, which turns a level 70 rare into a legendary item of the same slot.
  • Skill of Nifur — Convert set item from one piece of a set into another piece of the same set.
  • Work of Cathan — Remove item level requirement, but this requires the rank 25 Gem of Ease.
  • Darkness of Radament — Convert 9 gems of any color into 9 gems of any other color, though it currently requires expensive essences sold by Squirt.
  • Anger of Iben Fahd — Convert white, blue, or yellow crafting materials into another white, blue, or yellow crafting material. You need 100 of the material you don’t need, then an equipable item of the rarity you do want, and you’ll get 100 materials of the rarity you want.

The materials for the legendary extract come from bounty caches from all five Acts, so unfortunately, this is where my PTR testing soon ended after a couple Cube extracts. Starting a new set of bounties requires leaving a game and starting a new one, albeit same difficulty, and starting a new game on the PTR means waiting in yet another busy servers’ queue anywhere from 2 to 10 hours long.

Keep diving into the PTR to share your insights in the comments or leave your feedback for Blizzard in their four focused feedback threads on the official Diablo 3 PTR forums: Kanai’s Cube, New and Revised Sets, Adventure Mode, and Rift Monsters.

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