The v1.0.4 preview articles regarding the Legendaries, the Barbarian, and the Wizard set off a ton of comments on the news page, but there are some interesting conversations about the upcoming changes in our Diablo III Forums as well.First up, we can safely say that the improvements to Legendary items are one of the most popular changes in the history of Diablo III. A new forum vote has a whopping 91.14% approval rating for the new legendary improvements. I wish the vote had broken down the opinions a bit more; how many of the 91% love the v1.0.4 legendaries, and how many are just happy that we’re getting improvements to the current state of affairs?Another field ripe for speculation is the whole, “will there be new builds based around single items?” You see a lot of that in this forum thread, where even just the handful of items previewed thus far seem to open up a lot of possibilities, such as Firewalkers for WW Barbs. It seems likely, if we get more of the “+50% damage to Skill X” type mods that were teased in the preview, and that’s fine with me. Lots of fun variants and builds in D2 were predicated on a single item that added some interesting effect or enabled a whole new skill, after all.The new and improved version of The Three Hundredth legendary spear is massively boosted in damage to make it viable for game use, but the v1.0.4 version does not have the 21-25% Magic Find property you get on it in v1.0.3. Since current items will not change stats when the patch goes live, savvy players saw an investment opportunity and jumped in right after the patch details went live. And sure enough, item has jumped in average price from 800k a few days ago to over 3m today. That might prove a silly investment if the v1.0.4 changes create numerous Set/Legendary weapons with more than 25% MF, but we won’t know about that for another couple of weeks yet.
At least it’s one item worth searching for now; with all the big legendary improvements coming up some players are feeling zero desire to item farm in Inferno now, since almost anything green or orange you find today is going to annoy you once v1.0.4 comes out and you see how much more awesome it has become. (On the other hand, as Sentarius points out in comments, Auction Prices for Inferno materials have skyrocketed as players stock them up for improved crafting in v1.0.4. So play now and make your fortune via salvaging?)
Not everyone is so sanguine, of course. The biggest unaddressed issue about Legendaries in v1.04 is whether or not they’ll become more common. This is not a trivial issue, since the only bigger complaint than “D3’s legendaries suck” is, “I don’t actually know if D3’s legendaries suck since I never find any.” (I’m guessing no big changes to the drop rate, or they’d have stressed that in the preview.) That point is mentioned by Kurki in his complaint thread, but his main complaint is that legendaries are not the best items for every weapon and armor type in the game. IMHO that would be a pretty boring game design, but if you’d like to weigh in, hit the thread and add your own opinion.As for the Barb and Wiz previews, opinions are mixed, though generally positive. It’s interesting that those are the two classes that Blizzard revealed first, since the Barbarian is clearly the most popular, and thus theoretically the least in need (in the opinion of fans) of fixing. The Wizard remains fairly popular as well, though down in popularity from her pre-game standing when she was routinely first or second behind the Barb.The Barbarian preview one forum threads, in which fans seem pretty pleased with the changes. As the Barb is the most popular class, simply saying “no nerfs” would have been a pretty winning strategy. And Blizzard did just that, electing not to tweak the arguably-OP functions of the popular WW/Sprint build, or reduce the effectiveness of Into the Fray. Other than that, most of the content of Blizzard’s Barb preview is largely irrelevant to high level Barbarian builds, since basic Fury Generators Bash, Cleave, or Frenzy or Fury Spenders like Rend, or Hammer of the Ancients, are hardly used at all.The Wizard preview generated more controversy, since it included a nerf, and focused mostly on Hydra. That odd amount of detail about one skill made fans like NBarnes worry that the Wizard update will be overly-focused on kiting builds where changes to Hydra are of huge importance.Speaking of the nerf, it’s the focus of this dismayed thread in the Wizard forum, with fans worrying about the reduction of the proc chance from 25% to 12.5% for Wicked Wind‘s tornadoes. This matters since those hits are what fuels the machine gun speed critical hits, which feed into the Critical Mass passive, which is what enables the cooldown-eliminating techniques that are the Wizard’s rough equivalent of the Barbarian’s proc-tastic Sprint/WW build. (Yes, I realize that last sentence might as well have been written in Swahili for all the sense it made to anyone not steeped in current end game Wiz and Barb strategies.)Much the same debate flows forth in this thread, though digressions into other skills and some bold predictions that Inferno might actually become too easy, with all these skill improvements and weapon improvements and legendary improvements coming in v1.0.4.
The nerfs are coming!
I highlighted most of the complaints in this post since controversy sells, but on the whole most fans seem pretty happy about the changes, and are eagerly-looking forward to v1.0.4. It’ll be interesting to see if today’s 3 preview articles change, or enhance, that popular opinion.