Reap For The Picking: Diablo III’s Huge Loot 2.0 Patch Live

By Nathan Grayson on February 26th, 2014 at 10:00 am.

Diablo III‘s first expansion, Reaper of Souls, won’t explode forth from the Internet’s gleaming loot cavities for another month, but the free patch that includes a healthy chunk of its content is already here right now. Well, if you live in America. It’s not out in other regions yet, but it will be soon. It’s quite a behemoth, with loot of the 2.0 variety flowing from both its wazoos. Rebalanced classes and a new customizable difficulty system are also in, as are revamped bosses and a fully overhauled Paragon leveling system. Basically, this patch is Reaper of Souls’ blanched white backbone. More details below.

Now, don’t get the wrong idea: Reaper of Souls isn’t a price-tag-slathered husk masquerading as an expansion. If you’re considering forking over the requisite cash, you’ll get an entire new campaign, a shiny new level cap, Adventure Mode, and a host of other features. Still no offline mode, of course, because (poorly explained) reasons. But patch 2.0.1 packs some fairly substantial highlights. For example:

  • All classes have undergone significant revision. Additional details and patch notes will be available in the near future. In the meantime, we encourage you to log in and explore the new changes for yourself!
  • The difficulty system has been completely revised
    • Nightmare, Hell, and Inferno modes have been removed
    • Difficulty is now dynamic and monsters will level up with your characters
    • There are now five difficulty settings to choose from: Normal, Hard, Expert, Master, and Torment (1-6)
      • Normal, Hard, and Expert are immediately available
      • Master unlocks upon completing Act IV
      • Torment unlocks upon reaching level 60
      • Torment level also includes a difficulty slider, offering an additional six adjustments with increasing rewards and more powerful monsters
      • Each level offers new bonuses and rewards, visible in the difficulty selection menu
    • You can now lower your difficulty setting in-game
      • However, increasing your difficulty still requires exiting your current game
      • This option is disabled in Hardcore mode
    • To account for these changes, monster density has been adjusted across all Acts
  • Itemization has undergone a major overhaul:
    • Legendary and Set items are now Bind on Account
      • Players in multiplayer games may trade Legendaries and Set Items they find with others who were present for the drop for up to 2 hours after the item is acquired
    • The Smart Drop system has been implemented
      • All items that drop have a chance to roll as “Smart Loot”
      • Smart Loot items roll intelligently based on the character being played (example: A Wizard is more likely to find items with Intelligence or bonuses to Wizard skills than a Barbarian)
      • Class specific items will no longer roll stats inappropriate to their class (example: Intelligence will no longer appear on Mighty Weapons or Belts)
    • New item affixes have been added to the game
      • This include Splash Damage, Cooldown Reduction, Resource Cost Reduction, +% damage to Physical damage skills, and specific Class Skill Bonuses
    • Item properties have been separated into two categories: Primary and Secondary
  • The Paragon leveling system has been completely revamped
    • There is no longer a cap on the number of Paragon levels a player can gain
    • Paragon levels are now account-wide and shared across all characters
      • Note that Paragon levels are tracked independently between Hardcore and Normal modes
    • Players no longer gain static bonuses upon achieving Paragon Levels and bonuses currently earned by players have been removed
    • Players now earn Paragon points each level to spend in one of four separate categories: Core, Offense, Defense, and Utility
      • Players with existing Paragon levels have been granted the appropriate number of points to distribute amongst these categories
    • With these changes in mind, the Paragon leveling curve has been updated
    • Note that all Paragon experience earned across all characters prior to this patch has been totaled and recalculated into your new account-wide Paragon level

That’s only a small snippet, too. The full patch notes can be seen here.

Now the question of the hour: will this billowing laundry list of changes turn Diablo III into a hack ‘n’ slash paradise worthy of the series’ legendary legacy? On its own, probably not. With Reaper of Souls? I sure hope so, but I’m not getting my hopes up. Diablo III is a thoroughly alright game, and while I admire Blizzard for tirelessly tuning it up, I’m not sure if it’s the foundation for something truly great. I’d love to be proven wrong, though. I don’t agree with a lot of Blizzard’s decisions these days, but a good game is a good game, and the more the merrier, I say.

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95 Comments »

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  1. Freud says:

    Nathan, I don’t think I have seen you ever write anything about Blizzard and D3 without editorializing. It seems you dislike Blizzard and D3 and it shines through, even when reporting something as simple as news of a patch.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      This is RPS, that’s kind of their thing. They express opinions, they don’t just regurgitate press releases verbatum, and we wouldn’t want them to.

      • Freud says:

        Passive-aggressive attacks on Blizzard aren’t all that interesting, even if it fills the criteria for being an opinion.

        • Zulthar says:

          Not interesting for you maybe. It’s the reason I come to RPS and not most other news sites that are basically just press releases.

          • Freud says:

            No doubt it falls into fertile ground here. Parts of the RPS readership laps up any anti-Blizzard, anti-EA, anti-Activision or anti-Ubisoft sentiment, no matter how mundane it is.

            I guess playing to the crowd it a smart thing to do for a number of reasons.

          • bstard says:

            Mee-mee-mee some guy on some site is mean to Blizzard!

          • Noburu says:

            Freud me thinks you are a bit anal.

          • Rockman says:

            Freud, don’t get me wrong I think blizzard is probably the better of the group but let’s face it, EA, Activision, Ubisoft and Blizz definitely play in the same sandbox.

        • particle says:

          Maybe not for you, but I find it interesting :p

        • Lemming says:

          Is the game still online-only? Then it’s still relevant.

        • jomurph86 says:

          And passive aggressive attacks on the RPS readership IS cool? Not saying you’re wrong to want pure journalism. (though you’re looking in the wrong place for that) Jus sayin… you know… no need to get personal, right?

    • Stupoider says:

      Blizzard’s recent track record is entirely deserving of all the passive-aggressiveness one can muster.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      I just wanted to say that I’m liking Blizzard again before RPS likes Blizzard again. Because I’m just that hip.

  2. Premium User Badge

    golem09 says:

    I have not played more than 30 minutes of the closed beta back then. Does this patch make the game playable? Almost sounds like it.

    • bookwormat says:

      If you played the game for 30 minutes in the past, then it was, by definition, playable. You can not play an unplayable game.

    • theslap says:

      I don’t understand this question. The game has been playable since the day after launch.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      The game is much better now. The difficulty curve is much better now and you can actually change the difficulty rather than needing to play it through over and over with increasing difficulty. The loot drops are much better now, you are actually picking up loot and using it rather than finding endless streams of crap, selling it all, grinding gold then going to the AH. Also there is actually room for different builds now rather than being railroaded into the one effective build above a certain difficulty.
      A good improvement on the game, I’ve enjoyed it a lot this last week.

  3. kael13 says:

    I’ve been testing these changes on the PTR for a while now and OH MY GOD does it make the game a million times better. Even the class changes are amazing – check out the wizard.

    The only thing holding me back from playing it all the time was the knowledge that eventually everything would be wiped. But no more!

    The one issue I have with the game, is that despite all the fancy new lewts, gear still has this ‘base stat’. That said, there are much more fun legendaries (that actually drop, too!) and the game is now worth playing.

    Flicking through the patch notes, I notice that gold can no longer be traded… Crazy how hard they’ve come down on gold sellers.

    • jomurph86 says:

      Do you know if you can still switch out skills at will? That was one of the “game breakers” for me…

      • theslap says:

        Yes you can still swap skills at will and, in fact, they even removed the cooldowns in doing so. It seems the buffs/nerfs and over all changes to the skills and runes makes it so that you can have a somewhat unique build if you choose to do so. Lots of the old viable builds have been nerfed to oblivion.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        I hear this a lot and I still fail to see how this is a game breaker. I personally think the D3 skill system is great, you are constantly tweaking your playstyle and tinkering with things, testing them etc. It makes the game more interesting than just railroading yourself into one build and your character will ALWAYS use the same abilities forever.

  4. Lobotomist says:

    I am tempted to reinstall the game.
    Maybe it will make me feel less of a jackass for dishing 60$ to buy it at launch :(

  5. Schiraman says:

    A lot of that sounds good, but sorry – no. No offline mode, no sale.

    The console version has offline FFS, why doesn’t the PC?

    • SomeDuder says:

      Is this out of principle, or do you have a bad connection to the Internet? If it’s the former, then yea, sure, sticking to your principles is a good thing I guess. If the latter, I’m sorry for your loss :(

      • Schiraman says:

        Principle, honestly. I don’t mind a game being online-only if it *needs* to be and/or is free (Path of Exile, Planetside 2, etc.) but when it’s a full-price game well-suited to offline or LAN play, then I don’t see any reason we should all put up with it. Especially when the console version does offer this feature!

        Honestly it feels like more and more big games are trying to force us to play online, despite this (often) offering a worse play experience, simply over paranoid fears about piracy or whatever. I’m sick of being treated like a criminal, I just want to buy the game and play it how I want.

        • Moraven says:

          PoE only needs to be online only due to F2P.

          Nothing stopping them from offering all the features for $60 and an offline mode.

          • Schiraman says:

            Sure, but OTOH I’ve had dozens of hours of fun from PoE without paying a penny. So I really feel like it’d be churlish to argue with their model.

            D3 is not free, however. So what’s their justification for being online-only exactly?

          • Freud says:

            @ Schiraman

            Primarily, I think it’s because it’s a very effective form of DRM. You can find pirate versions of D2 and Torchlight II in a minute if you look for it but you won’t find a warez version of D3 or PoE that works. There hasn’t been a lot of hacks for the game since any crucial code runs server side. They, like many of the games that are online only, have some social/community functions that they feel are important.

            It’s 2014. More and more games will be online even if they technically could have an offline function. Most gamers have a solid connection and if you don’t, petition the telecommunication industry in your country instead of raging against companies designing games around something the vast majority of their customers have.

          • Distec says:

            @Freud

            Really? Is this a #dealwithit post that I’m reading?

            I can “rage” at my ISP for being a shitty, extortionist monopoly in my area. I can also totally “rage” at Blizzard for designing their product in a way that only benefits them.

            This is Blizzard. They have money and resources. They could have easily made this playable online and offline. And it’s pretty obvious that they consciously designed it this way not to benefit their customers (as they’ve argued), but to serve their own ends. And yet I should give them a pass because I need to “Get with the times, man”? Laughable that your solution, for me at least, is to take my fight to Comcast instead. Wish me luck! I might make some headway in a decade or two.

          • Freud says:

            @ Distec

            It’s a shame you don’t have an internet connection that enables you to play games. You are missing out on a lot of fun. Many of my best gaming moments the last decade has been online.

            You can’t expect every company that makes games design their products around your lack of connectivity in 2014. Most of Blizzards market has good enough connections that makes games that require gamers to be online viable. They’re not idiots. What they lose from non-sales to non-connected gamers they gain from a game not being pirated. D3 was a massive commercial success and RoS will be a massive commercial success.

          • Distec says:

            Oh, I am entirely capable of playing this and other online games. I’m just refusing to in this instance.

            Your argument boils down to “The game is online because Blizzard can get away with it”. This is obvious and not worth repeating. Of course their audience makes an online-requirement viable. But does it actually improve the product? Does it provide any benefits to the end user? I’m waiting for somebody to make these arguments, but all I see is advice to lube up so a company can fuck its customers more easily. That’s basically what you’re saying.

            I won’t say your piracy argument is invalid, but it is far from proven. It’s not like I or other well-connected gamers got turned into paying customers due to the absence of a pirated D3. The irony is I most certainly would have bought it if Blizzard’s hadn’t had an acute attack of bigheadedness. And who cares how many copies D3 sold? It was going to sell like hotcakes with or without the online requirement, because that’s what happens when you make a sequel to a well-regarded legacy PC game series. You can’t argue that in favor of the game’s DRM.

            “You can’t expect every company that makes games design their products around your lack of connectivity in 2014″

            Uhh… most game companies do. They have working offline modes or one-time checks that don’t require you to be online every second of gameplay. I think you wouldn’t even be playing apologetics for this crap if this were any company other than Blizzard. They can throw their weight around and force players to put up with such anti-consumer practices. A lesser company couldn’t pull this off because customers would smell bullshit and walk off. Blizzard is fortunate that they have a hot IP and that gamers don’t have much sense on the whole.

            In summation: Blizzard fully deserves any flak it has received over this. It’s silly to think that the problem is with the rest of the world. And until we actually live in the future where I can get a 4G microchip installed in my skull for flawless, constant internet access, online-requirements for arguably single-player games are fucking dumb.

          • Freud says:

            @ Distec

            “The game is online because Blizzard can get away with it”

            What on earth are you on about? They’re not doing anything wrong here. There is nothing to get away with. They feel it’s an online game so they made it an online game. Just like the developers of Titanfall, Path of Exile, Eve Online and hundreds of games. Just because a game they made 14 years ago had both an offline and online mode doesn’t mean every game they make in the future should.

            You are free to vote with your wallet and purchase or not purchase games. That’s how the market is supposed to work. Boycotting Blizzard because they make an online game and you feel it shouldn’t be is silly, but it’s your prerogative to be silly.

            As for you not being convinced it’s an effective form of DRM, I would suggest the fact that you can’t play a pirated version of the game two years after the games release should be a convincing argument that it is.

          • Distec says:

            I don’t know why people trot out other online games as if they’re some kind of counter-point; the games you list are really not comparable to D3’s setup. In some cases, the distinctions could not be bigger.

            -You do not have a Massively Multiplayer experience if you can’t play with other people. Most of EVE’s gameplay systems simply stop working or work poorly if there aren’t other bodies floating around in space with you. It is a given that an MMO like EVE requires an internet connection. Duh
            -Path of Exile is free. Your connection is the only price of admission. You will not spend $60 bucks on PoE only to be rudely surprised when your game is shut down during an internet outage. While I will admit in principle that I don’t see why PoE shouldn’t have offline capabilities, it is hard to argue with the price. PoE’s developers want you online because they make their money from in-game purchases. Blizzard already took your money at checkout, and the only other argument for keeping D3 online was the RMAH. That’s gone now, so what’s the excuse?
            -Titanfall can actually make the case that it was built from the bottom-up as a multiplayer game. D3, not so much. I can load up D3 and play it the same way I would D1 or D2: completely by myself. The only difference is that now I have to be online to do that due to completely fabricated reasons. There is pretty much nothing in the game mechanics that is dependent on other players for a complete experience. If Blizzard’s argument is that this is a premiere multiplayer game that is MEANT to be played with others, they would have designed it as such. But it’s not, and Blizzard has been nothing less than dishonest.

            “You are free to vote with your wallet and purchase or not purchase games. That’s how the market is supposed to work. Boycotting Blizzard because they make an online game and you feel it shouldn’t be is silly, but it’s your prerogative to be silly.”

            You tell me to vote with my wallet, but then tell me that doing so is silly. Which one is it?

            “As for you not being convinced it’s an effective form of DRM, I would suggest the fact that you can’t play a pirated version of the game two years after the games release should be a convincing argument that it is.”

            That argument would have more power if you could somehow prove it translates into gained sales. Again, D3 is an anomaly that benefits from its history more than anything else. We will have to see many more companies adopt similar requirements before we can assess how successful it is at… keeping people from playing your game, I guess.

            Blizzard may not be doing anything wrong in a legal sense, but otherwise… Yeah, they are. They haven’t been honest about why the game requires a persistent connection. You say it’s because of DRM, but read an interview with most Blizzard devs and they’ll say it’s for the sake of the game itself. Then they promptly fail articulate what those benefits are. If I’ve been displeased by anything other than the online requirement itself, it’s been Blizzard’s vacuous PR over it. If they straight-up admitted that they implemented it for DRM and financial reasons, I’d have stopped caring long ago. Instead they bullshit their way around, acting as if they know better than their players and we really don’t know what we want or like in our games.

            Why do I care about D3 so much? Well, I don’t. I’ve resolved that I can live without it. But it’s a bad and unnecessary trend that I can see more of the industry adopting if they see D3 as vindication for locking down their games. Today, Blizzard forces you to be online because durr multiplayer. Next year it will be:

            “Players would be missing the full single-player experience if they couldn’t post their actions to Facebook or hook into our STATION-BUX market to buy additional items. For that reason, and to ensure you get a quality game, we will require a T1 connection during play.”

            And you could argue against that and call it for what it is, but what’s the dev response likely to be? “We had a real vision that we didn’t want to compromise on. So sorry.” or some other vacant crap. You can justify anything with a non-statement like that, and people will just believe you if it’s kept up enough.

            You don’t seem to be arguing in good faith for players, but excusing company practices that will get worse over time. Why would you do that? That’s nuts! Of course, it’s your prerogative to be nuts…

          • malkav11 says:

            Other than the fact that key game architecture and many of the modes are integrally multiplayer in a way that D3 isn’t. At no point does anything you do in D3 require other players or an internet connection and the game is actively hindered by forcing that server connection anyway due to lag, server maintenance, etc. Sure, behind the scenes architecture is designed that way, but nothing about the actual play requires it, making said design extremely poorly chosen.

          • malkav11 says:

            There are huge parts of the world, including much of the US, where there still isn’t any sort of reliable high speed internet, or if there is, it’s severely data capped. People who want to avoid designing in an unnecessarily exclusionary way will not build in internet requirements where the gameplay does not fundamentally demand them. D3 has zero gameplay that fundamentally demands its current requirements, as most signally demonstrated by them not being present in the otherwise largely identical console version.

          • tetracycloide says:

            @Freud: “As for you not being convinced it’s an effective form of DRM, I would suggest the fact that you can’t play a pirated version of the game two years after the games release should be a convincing argument that it is.”

            And if that’s what DRM was for, merely preventing people from playing pirated copies, that would be a convincing argument. But that’s not what it’s for, it’s for maximizing sales revenue and it’s not at all a convincing argument on that point.

          • Freud says:

            @ tetracycloide

            “And if that’s what DRM was for, merely preventing people from playing pirated copies, that would be a convincing argument. But that’s not what it’s for, it’s for maximizing sales revenue and it’s not at all a convincing argument on that point.”

            Going from one of the most pirated games in history in D2 to a game that isn’t pirated at all combined with sensational sales numbers for D3 should be enough circumstantial evidence.

          • malkav11 says:

            D3 is the followup to one of the best selling games in PC history and was hotly anticipated for over a decade, even before Blizzard confirmed that they were ever going to make a sequel. That it sold very well isn’t particularly surprising, and it may someday even break D2’s overall sales record. There’s really nothing about that that particularly defines what impact the DRM may have had on sales, but the fact that D2 sold 17+ million copies of the base game and that again of the expansion in roughly six years (and I don’t have data on how it’s doing eight years later in 2014) suggests that it wasn’t exactly having revenue problems.

          • Freud says:

            Since high sales and no piracy isn’t satisfactory evidence of DRM working as it should, what would you require? Written testimonials from millions of gamers?

            Seems to me you guys have constructed a world view where DRM can never be shown to be effective (especially when employed by evil companies such as Blizzard and Ubisoft) and thus you can happily be anti-DRM, unless it’s Steam I guess since Steam somehow turned into the good guys and no one thinks of it as DRM.

          • malkav11 says:

            You’re taking two statements that both happen to be true (D3 has sold very well and D3 has not been pirated) and deciding that this means they clearly must be related. If that sort of argument works for you, I have this stone that will protect you from being eaten by gazelles. I’ve had it all this time and I certainly haven’t been eaten by gazelles.

            But the thing is, there are a bunch of other things that are true that are more likely to be causative. Like, you know, gazelles being herbivorous, and not native to my area, and not remotely known for attacking humans. Similarly, we could assume that D3 sold very well because it eliminated piracy, or we could look at things like it being a sequel to one of the bestselling PC games ever made, from a studio known for quality and ability to command huge followings and high prices for their games, after a decade-plus wait and incredible market demand. Just for starters.

            It’s possible the DRM contributed, but unless we can isolate it from other potential causative factors, there’s no way to say for sure. And that’s what it would take – stage experiments where you control for other variables, and you can prove the impact of the one you’re testing. I’m not sure how you would do that for this particular hypothesis because of the number of variables and the difficulty of controlling for a variable whose purpose and impact is based on the only version being one where that variable is present, but that’s about the only way to prove causation.

            One -might- be able to infer a pattern if there were a sufficient grouping of similar products all employing completely effective DRM that could be compared to a closely related grouping with no DRM, but nothing like that currently exists. On the other hand, we’ve had libraries for over a hundred years, and used goods and piracy of everything digital pretty much from the start, and we can demonstrably prove that all of the affected media are nonetheless successful, thriving markets making enormous sums of money overall despite a nearly 0% antipiracy success rate, which seems like a pretty sound indicator that piracy is not an existential threat to any of these businesses and certainly nothing like as harmful as it would need to be to justify the anti-consumer and anti-historical effects of most DRM approaches.

    • Lobotomist says:

      Thing is that “no offline mode” means that most of the game is streamed from server. They will really actually need serious client changes to make offline mode for PC.
      And I dont know if its worth the investment for them.

      • Schiraman says:

        That’s their problem, not mine ;)

        If they can make the effort to get the console version working offline, I don’t see how it’s a big deal to make the PC version work that way as well. It just suggests we’re being treated as second-class citizens, frankly.

      • Premium User Badge

        aleander says:

        Well, but that’s a bit of a crap decision. I mean, it *does* help for killing all the cheating, but hey, just don’t allow offline characters into online, ever, and design the game in a client/server way, but keep the server local.

        I actually play it with friends often, so I’m not too bothered, but it’s not like this was impossible to solve — probably more costly than what they have now, but sheesh, it’s not a cheap game.

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          This, I personally thing the online experience of D3 is good. The drop-in drop-out Co-op is sweet and I like the fact that I don’t have to deal with people that hacked their way to tons of legendary loot that they are trying to sell for a profit. However having a completely separate mode that cannot interfere with the online side of things but allow people to still play the game offline would not go amiss.
          I’d be interested to see how many people actually started playing offline if they added a mode, after the immense amounts of crying about no offline mode.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        Isn’t that the same bullshit that EA spewed over Sim City. “The engine simulation is so complex it needs to be shared between our servers and the client side couldn’t handle it on its own”. Then it turns out that was a complete load of crap and the amount of data being sent and received was minimal. I’m sure they could make D3 offline if they wanted to without much work.

  6. Lord_Mordja says:

    Honestly? Too little, too late, with emphasis on the last clause.

    I bought this game to play with my friends and, well, we played it through once and a bit before we got bored and there is no way I’d be able to get them back into it even were the patch/expansion god’s gift to grinds.

    • nrvsNRG says:

      Thats the great thing about online games…….lots more friends that you can play with, but its your loss.

    • tetracycloide says:

      Spoken like someone that’s grossly underestimating how sweeping these changes are. It’s like a whole different game.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      It really is night and day since this patch, so much more enjoyable now. I find it odd how some people are so stubborn when it comes to games. It was shit at first so they will believe its still shit no matter how much people are telling them otherwise.
      It’s not like it costs you and your friends anything to try it again. Just download the battle.net client, download the thing and you can try it, you lose literally nothing but an afternoon/evening if you don’t like it and even then it shouldn’t be a total waste if you are having a laugh with your mates on Skype/Vent/Mumble.

  7. SandmanXC says:

    Dunno about you, but I think I’m gonna reinstall it. At least until the Path of Exile expansion comes out.

    • level12boss says:

      I do know about you, and I did reinstall it! I might finally be getting the sweet sweet clickeyclickey lootylooty slotmachine I thought I was buying a couple of years ago.

  8. jealouspirate says:

    It’s a huge improvement. You can select whatever difficulty you want from the beginning, and the loot system is far better. I haven’t played D3 in a long time but am really enjoying it now

  9. Loque says:

    Adding “offline mode” would just kill achievements and legit progression.

    There will always be chaters and “smart” players, but without an online check/requirement… Cheaters would be the vast majority of gamers: duped items, non-legit stuff, hacked achievements/numbers and so on.

    • Premium User Badge

      Llewyn says:

      But if those players are offline, what does it matter?

      • Loque says:

        @ Llewyn

        That’s the point. You should force EVERYONE to play offline, skipping any online progression. Everyone would have their characters/stuff saved locally and that’s it. But if they add both offline AND online, we could have a problem. Because the client would be hackable/cheatable.

        • ViktorBerg says:

          You are making no sense. Separating locally stored and server-stored characters isn’t difficult, isn’t anything new, and if done competently, won’t provide any security risks for the game servers, while improving quality of life for everyone. Note the word “competently” here.

          • Loque says:

            > Separating locally stored and server-stored characters isn’t difficult

            Well, my point is that I don’t really think having both offline and online IS a simple task in the case of this psecific game, which was 100% coded around the “online only” concept. Don’t assume that “it is simple!” just because others do it.

          • ViktorBerg says:

            And it’s entirely their fault, and that’s why everyone blames them for it. If they thought about their customers instead of their precious AH when developing the game, we wouldn’t be discussing this issue.

          • Torn says:

            It’s entirely Blizzard’s business decision to make PC online-only.

            D2 had separate offline and online components, and they worked great.

        • Moraven says:

          People wanted the D2 system.

          Battle.net characters which were online only and saved on B.Net servers.

          Open B.Net characters that were saved locally that could be used offline and in a separate B.Net environment and/or LAN.

          Its hard to say if they had that system in place how easy the closed B.Net would be affected. The idea is that is certainly did affect D2 time and time again. With a new game and online system, who knows how easy or well it could have been done for D3.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      It’s almost trivial to firewall offline play from online play. There are a handful of exceptions like speed hacks which show up in many MMOs (Guild Wars 2 had what was effectively a teleportation hack for a very long time), but these have everything to do with a lack of sanity checks on the server, not a single-player mode which obviously doesn’t exist in MMOs.

      • Premium User Badge

        aleander says:

        And get a bajillion support requests from people who started offline, but want to play with their friends now, after investing hours into leveling the characters up (and possibly exploiting things like item duplication bugs and such).

        It’s a messy thing, and those are entitled jerks (in my humble opinion, of someone who actually would be in the position of those people if offline was firewalled from online), but decreasing customer support cost is something that companies like.

    • malkav11 says:

      So what? Even if this were true and there were no way to build countermeasures that didn’t harm the game’s singleplayer experience and/or availability in future, neither of which are things I would concede without argument, we are talking about something which is not a competitive game and is trivially played solo or with specific chosen people. If people are choosing to cheat in a noncompetitive game, why does their fun or ruination thereof constitute a problem for you? If it does, why not avoid them?

      If you are playing with specific chosen people and they still choose to do things that ruin your game experience, you need to find better people to play with. If you’re playing with random people on the internet, I’m not sure what you expected. Furthermore, I would wager, based on the prevailing trend with games that have some sort of solo play and multiplayer both, that the vast majority of people playing the game are doing so solo. And harming their play for a dubious protection against cheating for a minority of players is distinctly erroneous prioritization. (If, of course, my wager is correct. But it’s the case for every comparable situation where we have data so it seems very likely I am.)

  10. Zaxwerks says:

    “Difficulty is now dynamic and monsters will level up with your characters”

    I’m confused, so what’s the point in leveling your character higher then if you cannot gain an advantage over a horde of monsters because their damage and health will just increase as your level increases?

    • Dawngreeter says:

      You are right. And also on your way to the gaming philosophy endgame of “all this does is trick me into clicking left mouse button a lot”.

    • Moraven says:

      Its there now more so to gradually introduce loot with higher stats and different secondary stats.

      A lv 10 monster drops up to lv 13 item level. While a 60 will drop up to lv 63 item level.

      I hope they do this in WoW’s leveling content to make it more interesting. The leveling content is a lot more interesting than the quest content in D3.

      • Xocrates says:

        Yeah, but if a) you can not outlevel the monsters and b) you cannot pick what skills/stats you get when you level up, why do you have a levelling system at all?

        Why not just give the rewards based on story progression?

    • tetracycloide says:

      Better gear and a wider and stronger variety of skills to mix and match ensures that doesn’t happen (speaking from experience here.) What it does do is ensure content is rarely completely trivial and always yields solid progression.

      • salgado18 says:

        I was anxious to update the game and give it a try, but then I read this point and gave up. Solid progression is kind of good, but for me a loot-based game meas I need to get up to the challenge by getting strong enough to face the next monsters/area/whatever. If monster level progression is fixed, you must work to overcome the game, and sometimes you hit a wall of difficulty that makes you want to get your character better to keep going. But when it all changes around you, everything is tailored to you, around you, whatever you. Too smooth to my taste, too “built around the all-important player” to me. Maybe I’ll give it a try, but very disappointing.

        • Freud says:

          There are difficulty levels you can set. If the game is too easy, you can increase difficulty. There is no way anyone reaching level 70 will be able to tackle the higher Torment difficulty levels right away. You have to collect gear for a while and work your way up.

          It’s possible there is some auto-adjusting while you level up but at level 70 and in adventure mode, you can definitely adjust difficulty.

        • tetracycloide says:

          There’s a separate difficulty for max level characters that works that way with 6 tiers all its own. So leveling is faster and more engaging because theres little repetition while the end game provides a stiff wall against with to grind.

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          Yep you have 3 difficulty levels to choose from on your first play through. Dependant on how your loot drops go you may find yourself overpowered and turn the difficulty up. Once you beat the game once on one character you have a fourth difficulty level with which to choose from, when you hit level 60 you get a completely new difficulty scale to go up against. Compared to the original system of, play through the game 3 times to unlock the highest difficulty, it is miles better.
          This game can be very challenging if you want it to be, or you can obliterate everything very easily. I would reconsider your decision to not try this again as I think you have misunderstood exactly what the game is now doing.

          Higher difficulty levels give quicker XP gain, monsters scaling to your level is to combat this as somebody playing on easy will not level as fast as someone playing on hard, so it stops you outlevelling content. The game still gets more difficult as you progress through the acts and your gear needs to improve to be able to handle that.

  11. Trespasser in the Stereo Field says:

    Oh cool! All patched up and ready to go 2 years after release! I’m getting really close to almost buying this.

  12. Bull0 says:

    Check it out everybody, D3 is out of beta.

  13. Freud says:

    With everyone being able to switch out all their gear while leveling in RoS, there isn’t much point to playing the game now unless you plan to play it without buying the expansion.

  14. derbefrier says:

    No deal unless they got rid of that dumbass perk system…oh sorry I mean character progre…bwahahaha I almost got it out without laughing.

    I still can’t get over that shit. What a boring way to design a sequel to the one of the greatest games ever made.

    • Premium User Badge

      xao says:

      I know, right? Who wants a dynamic skill system when you can drop twenty points into each of five core skills and call it a day? I hate being able to change my skill loadout for different boss fights: I’d much rather be locked into a build that was optimized for content two patches ago!

      • Diatribe says:

        I know! The game is way better if I have to spend 20+ hours leveling another character up so I can move one of my points around. Stupid lack of consequences! Hardcore mode should not only kill you forever when you die, but should also never let you change skills. That would be perfect!

  15. Dawngreeter says:

    I honestly can’t wait for the expansion to hit. AH silliness was really very stupid, but without it D3 is currently one of the best ARPG titles you can find. The other being Path of Exile. After a couple of grueling days of attempting to play Torchlight 2 with my wife, we just agreed to wait for Reaper of Souls. And I didn’t even try Van Helsing. Apparently the only two things the Internet can agree on is that Vista is bad and Van Helsing in multiplayer is something you shouldn’t even try.

    • malkav11 says:

      Have you tried Marvel Heroes? I think it’s right up there with the other two you mention.

  16. mwoody says:

    I know RPS loves to talk shit about the game because reasons, but the original was incredibly fun – no other ARPG comes close – and this patch squashes all my remaining criticisms of the game. It’s one of the few game series that gets me actively excited for releases like I would as a kid, and I’ve yet to be disappointed (though, admittedly, boy am I glad to see the auction house go).

    It’s amazing how many people who have clearly never played the game feel like their opinion on its gameplay mechanics are somehow well-informed or in any way valid.

  17. Potunka says:

    “Master unlocks upon completing Act IV”

    If you, like me, quit after finishing the campaign once, I recommend starting fresh on Master Difficulty. Started this up last night. Many potions were devoured. Levels were gained quicker. Monsters took more clicks and survival CDs were blown repeatedly.

  18. Premium User Badge

    bglamb says:

    Wow, they crammed so much new loot into this patch that even though my game was up-to-date, and had pre-downloaded the patch before launch day, it forced me to spend over an hour ‘reconfiguring’ my game files, before telling me I had another 7Gb to download. 7Gb! Of New Loot! Impressive Blizzard!

    Then it forced me to click through lots of adverts for Reaper Of Souls. And here I was thinking they’d *fixed* the game….

  19. Metalmickey says:

    Online only was certainly irritating for the once per 10 hours that I’d get DC’d, but apart from that I can’t honestly say it detracted from the game in any way whatsoever, and I can’t really blame them for implementing it as an almost unnoticeable DRM system since I barely know anyone who played a legit copy of D2 (apart from my dad), whereas if it had been impossible to pirate D2 then I think most of my friends would have bought it.

    I’d had my fill of D3 by about halfway through Inferno, never cared to play multiplayer at all, and didn’t see what all the fuss was about the ah since I barely looked at it and have no reason to believe that I would need to. I’ll probably let it patch up and take a look now with all the new changes though, sounds like it might give the game a few more hours of enjoyable playtime before I move on again.

  20. weregamer says:

    Hmm. A total reboot might wipe away the horrible taste of what happened when the RMAH came online, and remove some of the sting from the memory of when just the game gold AH was there.

    But I’m still not convinced it’s worth investing any of my time when Path of Exile is so good and more trustworthy and free to boot (though I already bought D3), and great games with offline modes like Torchlight II are available.

    Maybe something to try when I’m bored some night.

    • Sardaukar says:

      Within minutes- no hyperbole- I was beginning to replace things I got from the AH (not the RM one, though, to be fair), with dropped loot. This patch uses the old reliable method of dealing with legacy items in a new system: it makes them rapidly obsolete.

  21. Noburu says:

    Freud all up in this comment section with his pro blizzard butt kissing.

  22. smeaa mario says:

    This is the kind of mess you get yourself into when the game you have originally created is nothing but a huge shame for the entire series.

  23. Carados says:

    Hey, it’s the loot system from Marvel Heroes, a game released a year ago! Wow, what innovation!