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You may or may not remember when I was done with Diablo 3 back in June. Frustration over the lack of end-game, the terrible loot tables, the knee-jerk reaction nerfing of “exploits”, etc. I had some thoughts on 1.0.4 and I even tried it, gaining a single paragon level before becoming annoyed that there still was no real end-game even though they addressed a lot in regards to functionality. By itself, the paragon system was a stop gap until they added an end-game which partially came in 1.0.5.
1.0.5 introduced the Infernal Machine event and Monster Power. While I haven’t attempted the event, mainly because I want to gear up more to do it on MP3-4, I have gained a small collection of the keys. Monster Power acts like /players X in Diablo 2. It increases monster life and damage to increase the difficulty while giving you bonuses for doing so. More experience, more gold, more magic find, and more loot. The best change in 1.0.5 was the loot tables for Inferno. All acts of Inferno share the same chance for ilvl 61+ items. ilvl 58 and below no longer drop in Inferno. This effectively gives you a chance to find good items on your own without needing the Auction House, as well as the ability to accumulate some wealth.
The Infernal Machine is like Ubers in Diablo 2. Farm some Keys, make a portal, kill Uber version of Bosses, eventually get materials to craft a crazy ring called the Hellfire Ring. The great thing about the ring is that it has no level requirement and it’s account bound so any of your characters can use it. If you get bored of your Barbarian and you want to quickly get to level 60 with a different class, the experience bonus will help. Since the ring is crafted and it has random properties there’s always the chance of getting an upgraded version by farming for it repeatedly.
So after a few month reprieve from Diablo 3, I finally decided I’d give it another chance. With the same gear I had when I stopped playing back at the end of June, I loaded up Act 1 Inferno and started to face-roll. Prior to quitting, I could solo Act 1 Inferno with relative ease, my issue was the difficulty difference in Act 2 where my gear just wasn’t good enough to handle it. So with Act 1 being not even remotely difficult, I advanced into Act 2, then Act 3, then Act 4 finally beating the game. Now I understand the game has been made easier but that’s what Monster Power is for. I can now play and complete content I could no longer do before, I can now farm for upgrades instead of relying on the Auction House, and eventually I’ll move into higher MP levels to keep the game challenging. I still do use the Auction House, but I’m focussing on finding upgrades myself. Here’s a great amulet I found not too long ago that I’ll likely be using for a long time.
Now I can’t sing praises of the game without complaining about things that I still don’t like or that are missing. PvP still isn’t here. It’s been six months and one of the biggest features people are waiting for still isn’t even remotely close to being added. I have a terrible feeling in my gut that PVP will be added in with the expansion that was recently announced to be in development. I hope I’m wrong, but Blizzard needs to get PVP right the first time, so if we have to wait for as close to perfect as we can get, I think we can all do that.
End-Game could use a lot more. The Infernal Machine is a great step in the right direction and Monster Power allows you to ramp up difficulty to play at a pace you enjoy, but once you hit Paragon 100, have semi godly gear, etc all you have left is to rinse and repeat with different classes or on hardcore. Ladder seasons would be great with gear resets like in Diablo 2. It would keep the economy fresh and could reinvigorate players to return to compete for top spots.
I’ve read ideas Endless Dungeons before and I really like the idea if you add leader-boards with it. If you’re unfamiliar with what an Endless Dungeon is… Well, it’s a Dungeon, that has an Endless amount of monsters that invade it. Each wave of Monsters gets harder increasing the difficulty. After so many waves, you encounter a wave boss and upon defeating him perhaps you could get a loot drop similar to opening a resplendent chest. Leader-boards come in for competition. What wave you got to before dying, how fast you completed each wave. People would create builds simply for this to get tops on the leader-board for bragging rights.
Crafting items in Diablo needs to be improved. You have to find plans yourself or buy them off the auction house. The rolls on the items are completely random which makes it not worthwhile for the high cost. If an option was added in crafting to give a chance, not a guarantee, to roll a specific property, be it a socket, life on hit, damage, etc you’d at least have the possibility of crafting a usable item. This should increase the cost significantly, but it would allow for people to be 100% self-found. You should be able to add or increase sockets on items you have, once again for a cost, or perhaps a quest. Tie it in with the Endless Dungeon. Instead of items that drop, have gold drop with the completion of a wave and a small chance to net you a socket reward. Add a high gold cost for Haedrig to add the additional socket and those great items you’ve found that were useless because it didn’t have a socket are now viable.
My experience with Diablo 3 over the past month has been great. It feels a lot like a Diablo game again and it seems Blizzard has been humbled by the negative response to the game. I find myself playing an hour or two a day now, doing a few farming runs and I’m finally enjoying it because you can see and feel the progression of your characters. If you’re ever looking for someone to do a few farming runs with, let me know! Has your Diablo experience improved with the latest patches?