The v1.03 patch has been out for a few days now, giving most players enough time to try it out and then write forum posts describing their reactions. I skimmed dozens of examples of that tonight, trying to get some sense of the overall reaction… and I can’t. There’s no absence of data — I read hundreds of player comments — there’s just too much disagreement to draw any conclusions.

    Lots of people think Inferno is still too hard, or even harder thanks to the higher repair costs, while others think it’s now too easy, or that Blizzard fixed/tweaked/nerfed the wrong things. Some fans are just about ready to give up on D3, while others say that’s absurd just 6 weeks into the game, after just one small content patch. (You’d need solid rubies for lenses to get glasses so rose-tinted that you judged any game system in D2C, especially items, as well-balanced and crafted just six weeks after release.)

    Here are a bunch of links and some quotes from pertinent forum threads. The assignation of the threads goes mostly by the OP, but that might not mean much, since most of them have dozens of replies with agree and disagree spread all throughout. But first, the vote, since the quotes are long enough that we’ll be continuing below the click through.

    On the whole, what do you think of the changes made in v1.03?

    • 3) Changes were a mixture of good and bad. (45%, 2,227 Votes)
    • 1) I approve of the changes. (34%, 1,655 Votes)
    • 2) I disapprove of the changes. (15%, 730 Votes)
    • 4) Haven't tested / no opinion. (6%, 299 Votes)

    Total Voters: 4,910

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    Positive Feedback

    Chaosmage provided some pleased feedback on a good public game.

    I never died for no reason except my own errors, I found so plentiful of rares it was almost ridiculous (I only got 15% mf from my pants) and butcher dropped a 900dps bow with high stat bonuses for me. (I gonna make a DH now, yes playing with self-found is actually possible now)

    Everybody in the party was able to do decent damage and take a few hits if necessary. The melees weren’t grinded by Molten and we ranged never instagibbed by Vortex. The DH provided some decent base ranged damage, my WD some spike range and CC, the Monk buffs and immediate melee aoe and the Barb spike meele, CC and tanking.

    We cleared every champ and elite and some dungeons and hadn’t to skip a single pack. But it was also hard at times, frozen has become really nasty but still no death zerging. The game is now balanced.

    Click through for lots more, pro, con, and in between.

    Vishos doesn’t exactly offer positive feedback, since he thinks Inferno is too easy now, but since the negative coverage below is fully-stocked already, I’m quoting this one here. Vishos provides his char stats and some background info, then compares the v1.03 play to how it used to be.

    Prior to this morning I was able to grind out a 5 stack Siegebreaker kill, but it took me a solid 45+ minutes. I would also die at least once to most champion packs, and anything with double anti-melee abilities (descrator, molten, fire chains, plagued) was simply not worth even trying to bring down. Specifically soul ripper elite packs I couldn’t even touch. Siegebreaker himself I had to kite until he began his triple strike move, then leap behind him, dps for 5 seconds or so, and charge away before his next strike. Took me a solid 5 minutes to kill him on average.

    Post patch, I can now run through all white mobs without stopping, taking minimal (less than 5% damage) on the way through. I didn’t die to a single elite pack, including a desecrator, mortar, nightmarish, fire chains soul ripper pack. I had my 5 stack in about 10 minutes. Siegebreaker I was able to face tank, leap with iron impact on cooldown, charge with 8% healing rune on cooldown and that was it. Just stood there and dps’d. Never dropped below 50% hp.

    An approach I didn’t see elsewhere came courtesy of SlowMoe, who says his machine performance is much improved since v1.03.

    Balanced Feedback

    One of the best v1.03 posts I’ve read is this one, in which BeingMused covers the Good and Bad of v1.03. Unsurprisingly, in this world of staking out strong partisan opinions and then arguing for/against them, his long and balanced post has no replies as of yet, while numerous identical pro/con screeds have dozens. He touches on Inferno changes, Ilvl drop rates, crafting changes, repair costs, and more. Short quote:

    – Inferno balance: Mostly good. You are given a lot more leeway defensively, which has made a gigantic difference playing as melee. Prior to the patch I could easily solo Act2 with a few pieces of MF gear, but Act3 was a bit too dicey for my tastes (doable in a party, of course). Post the patch, without any build tweaks, I could immediately jump into Act3 and solo it. I could even shift some of my defensive skills towards offense. I think that is good for build freedom. The only people who I knew who were having a rougher go of things were DH and Wizard friends who had not prepared for the IAS change, and were used to killing off-screen enemies via glass cannony, super high DPS setups. They’ve just got to figure out a more flexible build setup. A DH friend who *had* already shifted away from an IAS build was doing just as well as before, if not better.

    The only downsides: it feels like enemy HP is too high compared to their damage. This might speak to my lack of DPS, but it seems like they could have nerfed damage a little bit less and nerfed monster health a little bit instead. That impression might change with more gear/skill changes. Also, while the gaps between the Acts were too high, I still liked the fact that elites in Act4 were overwhelmingly difficult – it gives me a very long term goal of something to work towards in softcore.

    Negative Feedback

    The thread with the most replies thus far is Azzure’s, in which he fears that he’s done with the game, at least until future patches improve things. He’s full of complaints, including that Inferno is too hard, that builds are too limited by Inferno’s difficulty forcing so many defensive skills, the boring item system, the broken legendary/set items, those both dooming the RMAH, the “terriblness” of the story/dialogue, the broken crafting system, and more. With over 200 replies, you can bet many/most/all of those points are disputed, redirected, and discussed in great detail.

    Summercy thanks Blizzard for ruining the game and thus allowing him to break his addiction. His three points of hate: IAS nerf, destructibles drop nerf, and repair costs increase.

    Add I Bring Realm Down to the list of “higher repair costs are terrible since I die a lot)” applicants. An hour of unsuccessful Inferno Belial battles in a big party = now I’m poor. (I do wonder what sort of gains any player expects from a play session composed entirely of dying repeatedly against one of the hardest single bosses in the game?)

    RPGLegend does not live up to his name by ranting about many things and saying that Blizzard has lost their touch.

    Next to the increased repair costs, the most common complaint was from players whose glass cannon DHs and Wizards are now useless, thanks to the nerfs to Increased Attack Speed. Oddly, perhaps since Blizzard gave warning about this one and explained their reasoning, most of the players sound resigned and maybe depressed, but not angry or raging, the way they were about some of the other complaint issues.

  • Blue Templar asks how the IAS nerf affected you.

  • Conclusion?

    As always on the Internet and in real life, it’s easier to complain than praise, and people are more motivated to make themselves heard for a problem than for a compliment. In that light, it’s not surprising that we’ve got a ton of complaints, most of them focused on the same few issues. Throw in your comment if you like, but be sure you vote, as that should give us a better sense of the overall community consensus than the vocal minority that always fills forums and comment threads.

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