Diablo III – Post 1.0.4

Diablo III recently released patch 1.0.4, which was said to be the patch to bring many players back into the game. From what I can tell it did. However, there are still complaints, as there always will be, from within the community about the lack of viable endgame. Let’s go over what 1.0.4 did before we criticize any of it’s changes. After that I’ll tell you what my experiences have been like across my primary characters. As in more then one. Because when I’m bored with one I switch to another rather then taking to the boards and bitch.

1.0.4 added a bevvy of new features and balanced the hell out of the game. For starters most classes received BUFFS to their damage. As an example, the Wizards Archon skill has a rune that causes the Wizard to explode and damage all surrounding foes for 300% weapon damage when transforming. This has been increased to 3000% damage. The devs wanted the characters to feel stronger, as opposed to making them weaker. Overall there was only 1 nerf, across all classes! The Wizard had it’s proc chance for Energy Twister’s Wicked Wind rune cut. This skill was too powerful, and needed to be brought down to even the playing field.

Next, legendary items were greatly improved. The main issue before was that Legendary items were too weak, and were easily eclipsed by more common “Magic” (blue) and “Rare” (yellow) items. To fix this stat caps were removed, damage and armor was increases, ilevels(item levels) were raised, and new unique modifiers were added to the Legendary equipment. As a result these items are a lot cooler then they were before, and much more desirable. Check out this video for a look at some of the cosmetic changes and unique abilities added to the weapons.

The third major change was the addition of Paragon levels. Paragon levels were added to give endgamers something to do whilst they wait for the coveted PVP patch. They also feed into the changes made to Magic Find. The devs had a rough time with this one. Players were switching gear before the last hit on major enemies to ensure they received the best reward from their kills. In turn they complained that this wasn’t fun and wanted a hot swap button added, which goes against the design precedents put in place by the devs. As a result Magic Find is now capped at 300%, excluding the buff from Nephalim Valor. On top of the cap, any equipment with MF placed on the character will provide their maximum benefits after 30 seconds. The goal of the Paragon levels is to remove the need of Magic and Gold Find equipment by increasing Magic and Gold Find by 3% every level, as well as a few stats. At Paragon level 100 the character will have 300% Magic and Gold Find, eliminating the need for MF and GF equipment, freeing up inventory slots for equipment that makes the character stronger.

There were also a few other behind the scenes changes made, like increased damage of 2-Handed weapons, and lowering the health of enemies in Inferno difficulty. Some believe this all makes the game easier, but the devs feel all of the changes make the game more rewarding. I fall into the second category.

I really can’t see a bad thing about the patch. 1.0.4 made all of my characters, even my shitty Witch Doctor, viable. It allows me to use the skills I like best, as opposed to the skills everyone says does the most damage. I don’t have to worry about decking myself out in MF gear, because eventually I’ll be capped without it anyway.

I’ve spent the majority of my time post 1.0.4 as a Wizard. The Witch Doctor has received some awesome buffs to summoning, but I can’t figure out a way to make his other spells less… boring. My Barbarian has been reserved for multiplayer with friends, and has seen far less use then I would like. However, he is still incredibadass! The Barbarian feels immensely powerful, and as a result is a complete blast to play. The only downside is my current build has only 1 distance closing move. My Wizard is a beast. With the ability wreck everything that comes my way, and shield myself from incoming hits, it’s the perfect combo. 1.0.4 has changed Diablo III for the better by removing the frustrating impossibilities of previous versions and replacing it with a refreshing, challenging experience.

The best part about 1.0.4 is that a lot of my friends list came back online to see what the changes were like. While some have since dropped off again, most have continued to play nearly daily. 1.0.4 was definitely a step in the right direction for Diablo III. Keep it up Blizzard!

Let us know what you think of 1.0.4, and if you’re still playing Diablo III in the comments below!

is not a boss.

You can Email Eric or follow Eric on Twitter @EricSweeten or Facebook

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