Diablo 3 clans and communities explained, coming in patch 2.0.1

With patch 2.0.1 now on the horizon, it should soon become easier to find and form parties in Diablo 3 with the addition of clans and communities. The features have been available for testing on the game's Public Test Realm, but Blizzard has now published a handy summary for anyone else curious about the upcoming changes.

At first glance, the major difference between clans and communities is their scale:

"With a member limit of 120 players, clans are intended to be smaller and invitation only," Blizzard reports. "This means that while you can send a request to join a clan, you will not technically become a member unless you are invited or your request to join the clan is accepted. Also, while anyone can create or join a clan, you can only be a member of one clan at any given time."

In contrast to a relatively small band of bloodthirsty loot hunters operating in a clan, communities will be larger and be based around a specific category and language. Categories mentioned by Blizzard include those organized around regions, companies, and player classes, among others. Another key difference is that unlike clans, players can join multiple communities at the same time. Although I often like it that way, Diablo 3 can sometimes feel like a lonely experience. Both new systems look like a good way to give new and veteran adventurers a reason to party up, an experience that almost always opens different ways to play the game.

For the full slate of new social features that will drop in the lead-up to March's Reaper of Souls expansion, check out the complete post .