Diablo 3 - Patch 1.03, Monk Inferno Guide, Legendary Drop Rates, Blue Posts, and Curse Weekly Roundup

Heart of Fear Raid Preview
The Heart of Fear raid has been updated again as we approach a more final version. There are a few comparison shots before the main gallery with before on the left and after on the right.

Beta Class Balance Analysis
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We want to provide everyone with a quick update regarding the status of beta class design and balance, as well as start collecting more detailed analytics from you. Since you’ve probably seen us say many times in the past that we’re not yet in a place to start dissecting the numbers, it’s worth calling out that we now want you to bring it on!

For the purposes of keeping this thread as valuable to the developers as possible -- they will be actively reading and likely replying to posts here -- these are some things to know before posting:
  • First and foremost, as a ground rule let’s keep this one thread free of pleas about ability feedback, DPS being too low or other subjective declarations. This thread should be about information sharing. If you aren’t a theorycrafter, this thread may not be for you.
  • We feel the numbers are in a pretty good place right now. If you’re a theorycrafter who has been waiting for things to stabilize before submitting your class balance analysis, this is your cue to have at it.
  • Make no mistake, we’re confident in our ability to balance the game. On the other hand, we greatly value player feedback. And reconciling our numbers with yours is part of that.
  • Don’t consider this thread to be evidence that we feel class design for Mists of Pandaria is pretty much done. It also shouldn’t be a sign that X issue you may have been posting about for the last month is going to be ignored, or that we just don’t agree with you.
  • The primary goal is to maintain a relatively stable class system for a healthy period of time in the beta, so the number crunchers among you can really start to get into the nitty-gritty details without worrying that everything will change in the next beta build.
  • If there are any mechanics that are proving particularly hard to understand, feel free to ask in this thread. We understand there is a narrow line between squelching and fostering the theorycrafting community, and we’re not trying to solve everything for you. On the other hand, we don’t want you to burn too much of your time trying to figure out how potentially confusing mechanics work under the hood (e.g. monk weapon normalization). That said, we won’t just dump the coefficient for every spell -- you should be able to figure that out. However, if you just can’t figure out how a spell is designed, don’t hesitate to ask. We appreciate honest questions.

I am VERY interested in seeing the community's Thoughts on how to equalize 2h and DW Frost. Not from a "damage on beta" But equalize it for the future. It is obvious how one sided the damage is currently.
In a future build you will find that we removed the increase offhand damage bonus of ToT.

This isn't about wishlisting, it's about analyzing what is currently in the beta. Theory-crafting.
We agree, but at least it was a post that was getting at damage differences. The intent of this thread overall is to provide players a place to post and discuss numbers and answer any questions that are preventing you from doing so. There are plenty of other places to discuss other design issues and this thread will be moderated a bit more heavily than normal with that in mind. Nothing personal.

What level of uptime is Haunt being balanced around?
Haunt is balanced around Nightfall procs. While it may currently be a small DPS upgrade (3%?) to swap Drain Soul and Malefic Grasp, the intent is that you use Drain Soul to generate shards when you need to hit a burst window or of course below 20%.

What on earth is going on with Brewmaster mitigation? I don't even want to start theorycrafting because it feels/looks so broken
We're changing it a bit and haven't updated the beta in a little while.

The basic idea is that you should care about converting energy to chi, then converting that chi primarily into Shuffle and Purifying Brew. In most cases, we expect it to be optimal to mix those two abilities, not just always prioritize one over the other. Additionally, Guard should almost always be worth using. The next build you get should have a fairly stable version of Brewmaster mitigation, which includes the following changes to Brewmasters:

  • Added 5% Parry to Swift Reflexes.
  • Ox Stance now reduces damage taken by 25% (up from 20%), and health by 15% (down from 30%).
  • Shuffle now increases Parry by 20%, down from 30%.
  • Mastery now increases Stagger by 0.3% per point, down from 0.5%, and no longer increases Parry chance.
  • Brewing: Elusive Brew – New passive for Brewmasters which gives you charges of Elusive Brew when you get auto attack critical strikes: You get up to 2 charges per crit, based on weapon speed. For 2Hs, you get an average of Speed/1.8 charges. For 1Hs, you get an average of speed/2.6 charges. Max stack size of 15. (Using unusually slow weapons, you can actually get 3 sometimes, but we’re ignoring that for the tooltip.)
  • For example, with a 3.2 speed 2H, you get an average of 1.778 charges per crit (77.8% of the time you get 2, otherwise 1).
  • Elusive Brew (the ability) consumes those charges to give you 30% dodge for 1sec per charge.

It should be apparent by the information present in this thread that multi-shot is in desperate need of a retuning.
We need to make some adjustments, but aren't sure buffing Multi is the right solution. As you point out, BM AE is fine. Marks is a little low and Survival is a lot low. These can all be fixed, but if we just buff Multi then we need to nerf BM elsewhere.

On behalf of the Paladin community on Elitist Jerks, I would like to re-post something here about Crusader's Zeal (credit to post goes to Exemplar):
We'll look at Crusader's Zeal again. Maybe the mechanic isn't even needed. We wanted it to be a source of crit, but we didn't want it to be a maintenance-y buff like Inquisition.

Most trinket procs have a generous proc chance with an ICD. Gurthalak was an exception, but had some wacky consequences as a result of our making it an exception.

We don't think the paladin 90 talents need to benefit from mastery. The healing component can be balanced around Holy healing and since all 3 talents are in the same boat, there shouldn't be talent choice consequences.

The Expertise to spell hit conversion is in and working (as far as we know). The UI may not be updated to reflect it yet.

Protection warrior rage is still flakey in the beta, assuming you want us to be in defensive stance. So I guess the first question, is are we intended to be using battle stance this much, with the potential of constant stance dancing there? Assuming thats not the case, with a fair chunk of rage generation coming from enrage ( ie critical blocks ) and revenge, the current clunky feel when off tanking or fighting magic only bosses on live has become exacerbated, as we're now also getting hit with a large rage income reduction in these situations.
You are going to make life hard for everyone if you try to tank in Battle Stance, so we'll make sure that isn't too attractive. If super optimized tanks want to slip into Battle Stance (or Berserker Stance) in some optimized occasions, we're fine with that, but it should be a rare and hardcore tactic. On the other hand, if you are off-tanking in the sense that you aren't the target for several seconds, you can safely go into Battle Stance then. We understand warriors will always want more rage, but Protection isn't balanced around 100% uptime of Shield Block and Barrier, and nearly everything else is free.

Holy priest mana regeneration seems really low. Compared to other classes, Holy doesn't seem to have the longevity to last in a heroic or raid, and feels much like early cata, where Priests were never considered until there mana regen was nearly doubled.
We find regen is pretty similar among the healers over the course of a fight. It will feel lower in leveling greens than it did at 85 in epics however. Do you have any more information?

Mastery is by comparison utterly horrible for Shadow at present. It doesn't help that the extra ticks don't function like real extra ticks (more chances to proc things) with the exception of the mana regen from a procced VT tick.
Do you have a specific example of something that is not proc'd? The extra ticks should function like real ticks.

I did make a bug report out of this though I am reposting this here just for future reference. there is currently a bug with Faerie Swarms' damage.
This is fixed in a future build.

Also what is the status of crit suppression? Is it totally gone? Just gone for spells? Or still there? It's something that is extremely painful to test in-game.
Crit chances of players against mobs that are higher level than you are reduced by 1% per level difference, in Mists.

With regards to Priest mechanics, the only two "difficult" things to measure accurately are the damage modifications due to range on Cascade on Halo.
Cascade does a % of its max damage/healing based on linear distance between the source and target of the bounce. It does 40% of its maximum damage at 0yd, and 100% at 30+yd, scaling linearly between those two points (anywhere between 30yd and 40yd will give 100%). It prefers farther away targets when it bounces.

Halo’s damage scaling is… a bit more complex. Sometimes the formulae that are under the hood are extremely complex looking, because we build in several knobs that we turn to get the tuning where we want it. Halo is one of those cases. The easy to understand way to think of it is that the multiplier on the max damage/healing is 10% at 0yd, up to 40% at 17yd, spikes up to 90% at 22yd, 100% at 27yd, then down to 60% at 35yd. The intent is that it is weak on targets near you, but there’s a sweet spot in a ring from 20yd to 30yd from you, and that the edges of that ‘sweet spot’ are smooth. The actual formula (warning, may seem scary!) is… 0.5 * (1.01)^(-1 * (((Distance-25)/2)^4)) + 0.1 + 0.015*Distance. I’m sure someone can post a graph of that pretty quickly. One thing to note is that the max range is 30yd, but that it includes creature’s hit boxes, so the distance between the caster and a valid target may be slightly larger than 30yd, which is why the formula makes sense out to 35yd. Again, you absolutely do not need to understand any of that to benefit from the heal!

We of course don't need direct coefficients for most spells as we data-mine them anyway (and then test). There are some coefficients that we don't have data for and are a bit harder to test. Mostly pet related abilities. Shadowfiend etc. I've come up with decent enough numbers for them though.
I’ll try to put together a post explaining details of how pet scaling works soon. The general idea is that pets now inherit a % of most of your stats, but that % varies by the pet and the stat.

Shadowy Apparitions have been a bit....strange. The coefficients in-game have never exactly matched what they actually do for their entire existence (I submitted bug reports about it during the *Cata* beta). At present their actual damage is *far* more than the tool-tip says. Any idea if the tool-tip on them might be fixed for MoP so we know which coefficient and base dmg are intended?
I’m not sure offhand which is correct (tooltip or damage); there may be a bug involved. We’ll double-check the tooltip on these, but the numbers I have in front of me at the moment say that they should do 97.8% of SP plus 554 at level 85, or plus 615 at 90 (and benefits from Shadowform’s multiplier). We’ll follow up on that and make sure that the tooltip and the damage match, whichever is right.

I know that modeling totem pets like the Fire Elemental has been annoying for the various Shaman theorycrafters. They seem to perform some actions randomly and they have an unexplained long "start-up" time. Any information you can give on how these things function under the hood would be welcome.
I believe there is a known issue that we’re currently working on, where many guardians that auto-assist you take a few sec to start assisting you after they spawn. We’re working to fix that, as we know that it impacts the performance of spells that summon these guardians.

In terms of number comparisons are you also "generally happy" with the AoE and multi-dotting/cleave numbers as well? We've only got a few classes implemented in SimulationCraft but there are some *wildly* different numbers when it comes to AoE.
Somewhat. There are still a few outliers that we’re working on resolving. Additionally, AoE is extremely dependent upon the exact situation. The classes that win at 10sec AoE bursts may lose at 60sec or 5min sustained AoE. Same with 2 targets vs 3 targets vs 10 targets, etc. We try to balance for a variety of scenarios, but keep some strengths and weaknesses to everyone, and make sure they feel different. That isn’t to say that if you are amazing at cleave, you must be useless on 50 target AoE, or anything like that, just that we expect some variance in performance on any given AoE situation (much more than we do on single target situations, anyway).

With Shadow Priest talent balancing, you've done a good job it seems getting Tier 3 talents to be a lot closer to one another now. Tier 6 talents still have a bit of a spread. Divine Insight seems the clear choice by the numbers on that tier unless you're able to "game" Twist of Fate to increase its uptime in which case the two become viable. If you're unable to game it then Twist of Fate is around the same level as Power Infusion which seems to be generally the worst option on that tier.
We’d be interested in seeing your analysis on this sort of thing (and other talent rows for other classes, etc). Balance of ‘power’ talent rows is something we’re trying to keep tight. I think in this specific case, we’ve been trying some new things with priest talents (the level 45 and 75 rows in particular) lately, and haven’t redone the balance on those rows since then.

While it's possible that our Retribution Paladin modeling *might* be off in terms of the exact usage of abilities, the damage range on the abilities used is something I've verified to be correct to +/- 1 damage in-game. That said, Retribution seems to be performing fairly poorly at level 85 compared to the other classes we've implemented. It has mana issues for one and I've got it Seal swapping to regen mana if it gets low, but even without mana issues its DPS still seems too low in comparison. How are they performing at 85 for you? (We've been waiting on the release of some level 90 PvE gear before worrying too much about level 90 balance for now).
We’re aiming for classes at 85 to stay roughly where they are. The mana constraint issue is something we’ll look into, as that sounds like particularly out of place. We have not noticed it in internal testing.

Will Detonate indeed not be affected by Solar Eclipse?
Correct. Mushrooms should not be affected by Solar.

Is Bloom intended to be used in AoE healing rotations? How will it affect Harmony?
It isn't intended to be used rotationally, and may be too good at the moment. It is fine for it to affect Harmony as long as it doesn't become a vehicle to keep Harmony up. If we can make it a small little bonus, that's fine.

The changes to talents have led to a pretty big change in hunter pet focus regen. Currently BM is the only hunter spec which has any talents which regen pet focus. Since pet base focus regen is fairly low, this means that the frequency of basic attacks for non-BM pets has dropped quite a bit. Even for BM the regen is pretty low (although that at least will improve with crit rate). I'm not sure if the intention is to make hunter pets do significantly lower damage or to tweak the pet melee attack to do a far larger portion of the pet damage, or if this is just a mechanic that hasn't really been worked on yet.
We essentially took some damage from the pet and gave it to the hunter. We think overall hunter damage is fairly balanced on beta, except for the AE issue noted above.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Black Market Auction House
No one should count on this even being close to a viable option for gearing up a character. If you can raise that kind of gold in the game, you're going to have much better success paying your way into raids for gear than hoping the right items appear for you in the black market AH (which doesn't include set pieces), hoping you can afford to outbid everyone else on your realm, and hoping you're the last one to bid before the auction ends.

Sure, it'll have some of the best rewards for sale. But that doesn't mean it'll be remotely reliable for one person to gear up quickly. It's the black market, after all.

Ultimately the system is going to benefit the extremely wealthy and the extremely lucky. But in all likelihood the benefits won't at all be consistent, even for those who can pony up the gold.

Being ok with buying Raiding gear (for any price) with gold? Just seems inconsistent to me.

The two actually aren't mutually exclusive concepts. You're glossing over far too many details for this to be a valid argument.

The overwhelming majority of WoW players will not suddenly be buying their gear at the magic armor store. Taken in the context in which that quote was originally made -- where we were referring to players collecting tokens from bosses to shop at a magic store -- it still holds true.

So buying armor with a token from a boss was bad, but buying armor with gold is good?
No, my point was that those can't be equally compared. For that to be true, we'd first have to create a situation where the standard for all PvE players switches from spending tokens on powerful items, to spending gold on powerful items.

The BMAH can't be compared to the token system that way. As I mentioned before, that's glossing over far too many details about both systems.

Basically what this entire conversation is coming down to are arguments for and against buying BiS. You can swap out gold with money and have the same conversation.
No, you can't swap out the two so trivially as this. Most everyone else in this thread is arguing the positives and negatives of the BMAH. Your arguments are about what might follow the BMAH and are almost entirely conjecture.

What are those differences besides how frequently the gear can be purchased at the store?
The token system, which that original quote about the magic shop was referring to, was a means for virtually everyone to obtain their PvE tier sets. What we said was that this ended up not feeling as rewarding, 'cause you ended up just collecting a currency to spend at a vendor rather than grabbing your loot straight off the dead bodies of bosses.

The token system was implemented to try and make RNG feel a little less punishing, but it had some side effects.

The BMAH system can hardly be compared to that system. You never know when the BMAH will have something you can use, you can't buy anything out, items are BoP, and you're competing with everyone on your realm who might want/need the item.

That's much more RNG and isn't a system that, in anyway, will completely replace the act of killing bosses for loot. It will be randomly rewarding to a small minority of people who happen to have a lot of gold and are lucky with timing. But as I said originally, even then it won't be reliably or consistently rewarding. It's just a shoddy comparison.

For those speculating about the rate of gear gains from the black market auction house, here's how things currently work. Keep in mind it's still beta and this is all subject to change.

The chances that a tier-14 raid or PvP item of any given armor type will be listed each day is roughly 10%. Logistically, this means there will be plenty of days where no new armor is available to anyone. Some days, if the black market vendors are extra fortunate in their scavenging for goods, you might see a piece of gear for each armor type. The items under each armor type include belts, boots and bracers, and there will be a separate vendor offering jewelry.

Almost a better percentage of me getting some items to drop from bosses it seems though. In fact it took months to get the healing trinket from spine for anyone in the guild.
Just keep in mind you're competing against far more people than you were in your raid. You also have to be able to afford it and place your bid at just the right time. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Vendor Filters
We are talking more about adding an "All" option for vendors for players who want transmog gear, RP gear or want to see what is available for friends or alts. We'd still default to showing just class gear because we think that's more useful for the typical case.

Talking? as in, it is 50% confirmed? 70%? 100%?
I keep toning down my language, because if I say "there is a very, very, very small chance we might do X" then when we fail to do X the reply is "GC breaks promise again!"

It's something we would like to do and are actively working on but the actual work hasn't been completed yet and in cases like that there is always a chance that a problem may arise forcing us to reconsider. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Death Knight (Forums)
Shadow of Death
Shadow of Death wasn't removed for balance reasons really. It was removed because it was very hard to get working correctly. At some point when such a huge percentage of bugs are caused by one ability, it's time to take a serious look at whether or not that ability is cool enough to justify the attention it gets.

This is super rough to the point of inaccurate, but consider a matrix, where the first value is impact on the game and the second value is work involved to get it functional, bug free, and sans exploits.

Impact - Big, Work - Small = no brainer.
Impact - Big, Work - Big = painful, but worth the investment.
Impact - Small, Work - Small = eh, probably still worth the investment.
Impact - Small, Work - Big = kiss of death.

Now please don't infer that questioning the bang for the buck of "big work" somehow means we're lazy or cheap. (I personally qualify, but that shouldn't reflect on the team as a whole.) What I mean here is that there are a limited number of developers on the project and a limited number of hours in the day. Every hour we spend on feature X is less time spent on feature Y or else longer you have to wait to get any new features. (Yes we can also hire more people to a point, and we always are. If you're awesome, check our web page.)

Everything I said about Shadow of Death is also true of Divine Intervention.

A non-exhaustive list of examples of class abilities that are very hard to get working that we still support are Mind Control / Dominate Mind, Spirit of Redemption, Vanish, Blink and Heroic Leap.

Was it the fact that we weren't paying repair bills during a wipe part of it? That's pretty much the only thing I used it for, and I never had issues being rezzed afterwards.
No, that would be a balance issue, which as I said wasn't the problem. (It is a little lame that DI became more about saving repair bills than wipe recovery, but that's a different discussion.)

The problem with DI is that we didn't have a clean way to make an encounter reset. We were increasingly having problems with the boss (especially complex encounters with lots of moving parts) not recognizing that the paladin was still alive, but invulnerable, and so the encounter was over and the boss needed to despawn and reset. It is totally a solvable problem, given enough time and resources, but we thought there were more pressing matters on the paladin and encounter side to attend to. We even tried to bring the ability back in Mists as a simpler out of combat self rez, but even that was causing so many bugs that we made the tough call to scrap the work. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Hunter (Forums)
Hunters and Expertise
Shots that cost focus should give a partial refund when they miss. If that isn't happening, we'll fix it.

We don't think Steady and Cobra Shot need to provide resources even when they miss. We're not going for a design where hunters can be certain to always have maximum resource income in PvP. As long as they have enough focus, they'll be fine. If we see evidence that hunters are focus-starved, we'll adjust accordingly, but we haven't seen that so far. There hasn't been a ton of PvP testing on beta yet. There has been a lot of speculation, and while that is still valuable feedback, it is understandably less valuable.

If Shred and Backstab were so reliable in PvP, I don't think there would be such a storied history of druids and rogues asking to buff alternatives to the positional requirements or just removing the positional requirements for PvP. In other words, I think "melee can nearly always attack from behind in PvP" is overstated.

If hunters get close to hit and expertise caps, they should do fine even against Agi users with high dodge chances. They won't do fine against a rogue that pops Evasion, but Evasion is intended as a survivability cooldown. Different classes are different and cooldowns and durations all vary, but I don't know that rogues have a great counter for Deterrence either.

The loss of minimum range is a huge hunter PvP buff. I don't think we've seen the full ramifications of it yet. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Diablo III Patch 1.0.3 Poll
If you missed the 1.0.3 Patch Notes, you can find them over on Diablofans.

Trading Card Game Art
Blizzard has updated the Trading Card Game art gallery to feature ten new pieces.

This article was originally published in forum thread: Heart of Fear Raid Preview, Beta Class Balance Analysis, Blue Posts, D3 Poll, TCG Art started by chaud View original post
Comments 48 Comments
  1. moveth's Avatar
    Been reading a LOT of the Class Balance Analysis and its very cool of Blizzard to do this.
  1. Playintrafic's Avatar
    Why is it that the Fan art's posted are almost allways better than the TCG art? The TCG art has gone downhill a lot sadly.
  1. roboaxxil's Avatar
    zomg first?
  1. Raistlin212's Avatar
    Less than 30% saying yes on the Diablo poll. I know I can't afford to do Inferno anymore. Have to go back to Hell to farm gold.
  1. shamestia's Avatar
    In love with the heart of fear.
  1. Yunru's Avatar
    THis raid instance looks meh. All rooms same just difrent color.
  1. Pipkadin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Descense View Post
    THis raid instance looks meh. All rooms same just difrent color.
    Agreed. If I compare it to BWD for instance (no pun intended) it just looks very shitty.
  1. Noemonad's Avatar
    I'm loving the looks of these raids so far. Considering I'm a very frequent LFR raider and a casual player, how the raids look plays a big role to me (hence why my favorite raids are the sunwell and karazhan) so seeing such cool art styles on display in these instances are awesome. Looking forward to seeing how this place looks when fighting a boss.
  1. Zatheyll's Avatar
    It'd be interesting to see why so many are voting no in the poll.

    Do people actually have a serious reason for not liking the patch, or are they hating on it just to hate on it?

    I've checked out the patch, and I have nothing wrong with it. A few quality of life nerfs, some class balance, it isn't even a content patch. It seems people freak the hell out if they would have even a single point of health taken away from them.

    HoF looks simply amazing though, very excited to check that out.

    ---------- Post added 2012-06-20 at 08:07 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Descense View Post
    THis raid instance looks meh. All rooms same just difrent color.
    To me every room looks drastically different. Unless you are looking at two pictures that are similar and saying because of those two all the others are the exact same.

    The colors are fairly uniform (as they should be), but the rooms are completely different from what I see.
  1. Fuhok's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by roboaxxil View Post
    zomg first?
    zomg no

    I hate reading about Brewmasters not being supremely awesome I'm not in Beta (cancelled my account until xpac launches) so I can't see it for myself, but they need to be uber awesomesauce in a bottle of sauceness... cause they're monks... nuff said.
  1. Ilyiana's Avatar
    I have high high hopes for heart of fear,
  1. Whiskra's Avatar
    Heart of Fear brings me some Black Temple vibes, oh I do hope this raid is good, because it looks very good just by looking at the previews.
  1. shadowkras's Avatar
    The patch is awesome, i had a blast with my friend last night, elites are a lot more tolerable on groups now.
  1. Feles's Avatar
    I can't say I've been up to date lately with anything WOW related, but did not Blizzard state that the mantids didn't have relations with the old Gods? The squid like mosaic in the room with the white particle effects just got me curious. Blizzard could always go back on their words, of course. Maybe it's an old God that's gotten the mantid to go crazy.
  1. F-Minus's Avatar
    Well the blue color in that raid reminds me of ICC now, people compared it to the blood wing of ICC before, but now it really looks like this is somewhere in ICC, at least that room. I'm not complaining tho .
  1. Easo's Avatar
    Last TCG gives a new meaning of sharding souls.
  1. Canbie's Avatar
    D3 endgame is still terrible. I've gone back to D2. (No lie, level 15 Sorc, hardcore of course)
  1. shamestia's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Pipkadin View Post
    Agreed. If I compare it to BWD for instance (no pun intended) it just looks very shitty.
    You would expect it to look the same there's no reason it should be different. It's a raid on a mantid stronghold. It looks amazing. Stop complaining and expecting ulduar every fucking raid it's old. Were not raiding a castle that stores keepers of yogg saron that are living in their respective environments therein.
  1. 93sika's Avatar
    Exactly what Shamestia said about looks of this new raid. It looks fantastic to me - and since it's not one giant lab. for Nefarian to experiment within there's no need for 6 or more different looking rooms
  1. Alixie's Avatar
    There's something creepy and sexist about that undead over the nelf picture...

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