Now that Blizzard’s managed to patch up most of the problems that came with Diablo III’s launch, it’s announced that in the coming weeks it will be introducing some design patches to tweak the balance of the game.
Those who played as monk and demon hunter who were angry about having abilities nerfed, don’t get your hopes up just yet. Blizzard’s not reneging on the abilities patched in 1.0.1, although it’s offered some explanation as to why these abilities were tweaked. The developers felt that Lingering Fog, Boon of Protection, and Force Armor were all abilities that were so powerful that they were being abused, thus they felt it necessary to nerf these abilities. They also reassured fans that they won’t be nerfing every ability they feel is “good”, just any that may be abused in a way that breaks the game.
They acknowledged that Inferno’s difficulty setting also needs adjusting. Hardcore fans need not worry, they’re not going to make Inferno easier. There’s just a few difficulty “spikes” that the developers saw in the game that they felt needed smoothing out, which they say they’ll do so by better mixing champion, rare, and boss packs.
Fans have also complained that Diablo III significantly altered rare and legendary loot to the point that they no longer were quite as hard to encounter and special as they were in Diablo II. The announcement acknowledged the complaints and offered the explanation that legendary weapons aren’t meant to be the best in game, but simply be another tier of items that players could collect. The developers felt that legendary items were good in comparison to the lower level tiers when comparing levels and explained that legendary items from a lower level are obviously not going to be comparable to a higher level special or rare item. However, they've decided that in the future update, they WILL be buffing up items quite a bit.
Finally, Blizzard is changing up how the artisans will work. The developers want to alter how the blacksmith levels up by lowering the gold requirements for each level, in the hopes of allowing players to craft items good enough to fill in gaps in armor or weapon sets when looting doesn’t prove useful. They’re also lowering the amount of gems required to combine gems to a higher tier so that gem crafting will be more useful to players.
These design updates are all slated for update 1.0.3, which will be coming in the next few weeks. Next week, players will have access to the 1.0.2 update, which continues the now two week old tradition of hotfixing in game issues.