So, Diablo III is a big game. While Diablo himself has been defeated on Inferno difficulty, I stand by the statement that no one has actually beat the game yet. The bosses in the game are somewhat underwhelming, and even on the harder difficulties they are far from impossible to defeat. What is impossible to take down is an Inferno champion group running with arcane enchanted, damage reflecting, invincible minions with mortar and molten. So, until people are happily farming that, understanding the system well and making Inferno an easy run, the game has tons to show us yet. Plus… cheezments are all over the place and will take a great deal of time to unlock. With that being said, Blizzard has not been sitting idly by working on the next (possibly 2) expansion(s) to the game. Instead, they are giving D3 the old college go and making sure everything is balanced to their (and the community’s) liking.
Already, a large number of key abilities have been nerfed or patched from the more dominant classesn and many balance changes have stealthed into the game. Minus the dismal state of the auction house, things are looking good on the Diablo front, and Blizzard decided to spill the beans on some upcoming good times. I’ll be block quoting what I feel is most exciting but I strongly encourage you to fully explore the entire article as there is a ton of great information in there. First up;
We have a patch coming within the next week (patch 1.0.2) that has been in development since the game’s launch and is mainly aimed at addressing service issues. The first real game balance changes, outside of hotfixes, will be coming in patch 1.0.3. We expect that because the game is new, some other issues will arise that will need to be immediately addressed through hotfixes, but in general, most changes will arrive through patches.
Simple enough news here, but it looks like the fixes and patches will be coming at a pretty solid speed. Following that, we get a taste of the fuutuurree!
On to items! One of the biggest pieces of feedback we’ve received regarding items is the relative power of Legendaries. This isn’t a simple issue to address, as it involves some intentional design decisions as well as expectations built by other games. First and foremost, Legendary items are not designed to necessarily be the best items in the game. They’re just one additional type of item as you level up, and they are not meant to be the primary items you’re chasing at the end-game. They can — and should — be exciting to find, but they’re not supposed to serve as the single driving force of the item hunt. Rare items, for example, have the possibility to roll up “perfect” stats that can, if you’re lucky, outpace the predetermined stats of a Legendary. That’s by design.
There is even more info on items worth looking at – plus a little something extra;
One problem we’ve seen — and intend to correct quickly — is players comparing high-level Magic (blue) items to lower-level Legendary items as “proof” of an imbalance. To help correct misconceptions of the actual stat budgets allocated to items, we’ll be exposing item levels (ilvl) of 60+ items in patch 1.0.3. Comparing an ilvl 63 blue to an ilvl 60 Legendary will hopefully make a bit more sense afterward. In addition, we’re planning to just straight-out buff Legendary items in a future patch, likely the PvP patch (1.1).
That’s right, patch 1.1 will be the PvP patch. That means, my buddy Drakka, who is all high and mighty about this Witch Doctor can feel the pain of Ytar as my monkey fists destroy his little heathen mouth. Legendary items will not be retroactively fixed, so keep those sweet legendary items you have now, they will be collectors items! Finally, some gem work and blacksmithing stuff is in the works to lower the cost to create new items. With a blacksmith that’s maxed through Hell, I couldn’t be happier that I spent all that cash up front. Angry Face.
In the end, this is all good news for the future of the game and I can’t wait to get more updates like this. Blizzard had a rocky start, but they are giving us a smooth trip through one of the greatest ARPGs ever made.