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Diablo III patch 1.0.3: hit or miss?

Blizzard has released a sneak peek at Diablo’s next patch update and it couldn’t have come at a better time, with the way the game is going and all.

Players will see new changes taking place in patch 1.0.3, and one that is finally going to start rewarding the players a bit more. Currently the Inferno Mode of Diablo III isn’t exactly what you would expect: painful with little to no rewards. To some that’s an attraction, but for many it’s simply frustrating. Inferno is where Diablo III starts to shine, somewhat, but drop rates are a bit too rare. Don’t get me wrong; I want Diablo III to remain hard and difficult for its challenge, but it doesn’t need to operate like Aion boss kills (you know, kill a boss 90+ times and never see a single drop?)

Diablo III isn’t as bad as Aion, but for the struggle and achievement, well, the reward system seems to linger behind a dark cave somewhere. Luckily those currently fighting their way through Inferno Mode will be happy to know that Blizzard hasn’t lost as much sight as we had thought and will be improving the drop rates a tad. Below is a breakdown of the new drop-rate system in the upcoming patch 1.0.3 for Inferno Mode:

Item Hell Act III and IV Inferno Act I Inferno Act II Inferno Act III/IV
iLvl 61 9 % 18% 19% 24%
iLvl 62 2% 8% 12% 16%
iLvl 63 0% 2% 4% 8%


Basically the higher you go in Inferno Mode, the greater the reward system. Those struggling in the early Act’s will have an increase to the drop-rates in order to help prepare them for later Act’s.

Blizzard’s intention, which I was surprised to read myself, came down to something many players complained about: “players who find an Act too difficult feel compelled to use the auction house in order to progress.” This was one of our complaints about the game, too, in where progression met Auction-Housing. To me this has really ruined the game. In every game my enjoyment has always come from the ‘discovery’ of an item. It may take some time before you eventually discover that particular item, or other items you come across during your search, but the reward is actually rewarding.

Jumping into an auction house for instant gratification, in my opinion, ruins it. I would like to farm Inferno Mode, help friends and do group runs. The problem, however, is drop rates. While players do have the option to increase drop rates within Diablo via the Magic Find (MF) stat, the problem deepens when trying to sacrifice survival gear with MF based gear — it’s a lot like mixing oil and water in most cases. So when the time does come for Inferno Mode, you’ll find that your survival will mean a lot more than MF. Luckily, on the other hand, level 60 players get an MF buff, stacking up to 5 and lasting 30-min, after killing elite mobs — which greatly helps if you have a few MF items equipped already.

Don’t fail me now Nephalem Valor!

This also brings up another change within the game: that gorgeous buff that level 60′s get after killing elites! Don’t worry, it’s not going anywhere. It is, however, getting adjusted — I heard your scream. While the buff will remain, the amount of items you can possibly get off of a boss will be reduced. Instead players will see a lowered number of guaranteed Rare items on bosses with the full stack (x5) of Nephalem Valor:

We’re lowering the number of guaranteed Rare items on bosses when you have your full five stacks of Nephalem Valor from two guaranteed Rares to one guaranteed Rare (you still have a very good chance at multiple rares, it’s just no longer guaranteed). In exchange, all champion and rare packs will now drop a bonus guaranteed Rare item when you have your full five stacks of Nephalem Valor. The change benefits players with more overall drops, and a reason to push to continue progressing.

While I do see this as a good move for the future of the game (seriously Diablo is a rinse and repeat game, you can’t just get everything in the first few months, people), I still see the auction house coming back into play again for those who wish to earn/reward as they go. At this point we’ll just have to wait and see how the numbers turn out after the patch.




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