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Demon Daze: Diablo's Paragon Update Out Today

The main change, of course, being that Blizzard's actually throwing out the game entirely and turning it into Dear Esther.

Modern videogames may present their share of annoyances (insert obvious reference to online requirements here), but I’ve got to admit, it’s pretty neat to live in a world where someone can announce a massive free revamp one day and have it in the grasp of our arthritis-stricken click-click-clicking fingers the next. Such is the case with Diablo III‘s 1.0.4 update, which includes all sorts of balancing tweaks, upgrades to a smattering of underused class skills, buffs to legendary weapons, and of course, 100 “Paragon” levels to extend your endgame until time’s cyclical nature brings you right back around to the day before Diablo III came out.

The patch is already live in my strange land of right-sided-roads and root-beer-that-John-frequently-laments-he-can’t-have, but it’s not rolling out in Europe until maintenance wraps at 6 AM PST/12 PM BST. You can find a full, completely massive list of patch notes here.

Of course, as my grandmother used to tell me when I was but a wee child, a Diablo III developer’s job is never done – especially in an age of constant connection to their fanbase by way of forums, email, and the like. Back then, it didn’t really make any sense at all, but it seems vaguely relevant here. So, speaking to IGN, Blizzard outlined what’s next in its effort to both please harder-core-than-thou farming masters and have-maybe-played-Farmville-before casual players. Jay Wilson explained:

“The basic issue I think we have with difficulty is that  we’ve got some players want a super difficult game and some players who don’t view Diablo like that. They think Diablo is much more of a farming game and… about the player feeling awesome. And the problem is they’re both right. We’ve touched difficulty, and we’ve really pushed it more towards it’s going to be a bit easier because we’ve gotten way more feedback that the game’s too hard than we’ve gotten that it’s fine.”

“That being said, moving forward that’s one of the things we’re going to be looking at next: How can we address it for both players?”

Which seems reasonable, given that Paragon levels stand to make mowing down monsters even easier for the high-end players who’ve already felt the need to complain. But it’s a precarious balance, so hopefully Blizzard doesn’t feel the need to rush to silence either side’s cries. Granted, this is Blizzard we’re talking about, so I doubt there’s too much to worry about on that front. Regardless, the mega-developer’s clearly in this for the long haul, so I am – if nothing else – curious to see where Diablo III will ultimately end up.

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Nathan Grayson

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