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Diablo III's 'Monster Power' Makes Old Zones Hard Again

All in all, I'm pretty happy not being The Devil Himself. It's a sentiment that's followed me through each day - from dusk 'til dawn - for quite some time, but Diablo III gave me renewed appreciation for my frail, non-red flesh and lack of dominion over the most miserable location ever conceived. I mean, it's bad enough having every righteous hero's target on your back, but when they start Paragon leveling and optimizing builds, well, why even get out of your bed assembled from the twisted, eternally weeping faces of ten thousand racists who constantly insist they aren't racist? Blizzard, though, is hoping to put some challenge back into not only the Big Bad himself, but every single zone in its exceedingly beaten and battered hack 'n' slash.

Patch 1.0.5 will bring with it a feature called "Monster Power." In short, it allows you to tailor the difficulty you encounter in every zone to your own specifications - regardless of what level you are. Want to settle down and open up a little kill farm in dreary ol' Tristram? Well, go right ahead. Blizzard explained:

"Similar to the 'Players X' command in Diablo II, Monster Power gives Diablo III players the option to increase the health and damage of monsters according to different 'power levels' - and in return, they'll receive scaling bonuses to their adventure stats (including experience, Magic Find, and Gold Find) as well as more drops."

"In Inferno at Monster Power 1 or greater, monsters in every Act will also be bumped up to level 63 and share the same high-end item drop rates. This means that no matter which act you're progressing through, the monsters in that act will all have the same shot at dropping items level 61-63, including crafting recipes, Legendary items, and set items."

Monster Power's broken up into a total of ten tiers, ranging from MP1's slight health and damage boost to MP10's increase of  371 percent more damage and 3439 percent more health. Obviously, Blizzard's prioritizing health way over damage, and there's a very good reason for that: gearing up to maximize damage is fun. Questing tirelessly to turn yourself into the world's damage spongiest punching bag isn't.

So, all told, it's yet another interesting solution to a long-running problem that's resulted from the muddled mess of expectations both fans and Blizzard have heaped atop Diablo III. "It's totally not an MMO, but we want it to last as long as one and have an endgame and continually churn out new content," etc. Between Paragon leveling and this, though, Blizzard's at least done an impressive job of creating longevity without rushing some form of expansion out the door.

And yet, it is a bit disheartening to see a total lack of new locations or even some quick, episodic DLC to tide people over until the inevitable expansion. Also, I hate to beat a dead horse, but doesn't it sure seem like modders could be lifting some serious weight off Blizzard's shoulders right now? Oh well, though. Given that we now live in a world where Torchlight II exists, I'm pretty sure humanity will sooner run out of air than things to hack and slash and loot and pinata.

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