Diablo 3 Forum Watch #88: v1.0.4 Preview Reactions


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?)

    The nerfs are coming!

  • 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 DiabloWikiInto 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 DiabloWikiWicked Wind‘s tornadoes. This matters since those hits are what fuels the machine gun speed critical hits, which feed into the DiabloWikiCritical 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.
  • 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.

    Comments

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    1. yeah they really need to fix those drop rates, across the whole board.
      after a big fight i want to see the screen filled with loot, not two grey items and a few stacks of coin..

      • Dunno about that, I’m usualy full every 10 minutes while only picking 61+ blues and 58+ rares, wouldn’t want to get back to town every 30 sec. Legendaries yes, but not other items.

    2. “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.”

      Weren’t Barbarian and Wizard not the first classes released to the public? Perhaps they’re just releasing the changes to classes in the same order as then…

      • D3 debuted with the Barb and WD. Wiz was revealed a few months later at blizzcon 2008. But was actually much further along in development than the WD. Then we got Monk in 2009 and DH in 2010.

        They might actually have released these previews in reverse order of popularity. Our recent vote is obviously not the same as B.net statistics, but it’s at least fairly similar. We can bet that the Barb is most and the WD is the least popular, at least, with the other 3 fairly closely-grouped.

    3. Really nice write-up, Flux, thanks for it.

      One nitpick though:

      “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.”

      Isn’t this literally the point of the patch??? Some skills are regarded as irrelevant in the endgame, so they need buffing!!!

      Also worth mentioning: the AH values of inferno crafting materials have been skyrocketing all week (at least on US GAH). I think people are hoarding them for crafting when the legendary and ilvl 61-62 weapon buffs hit. So if you want gold rather than items, this is actually a great time to farm.

      • You are probably correct, at least in that the aim of the patch is improve underused skills. I just found it interesting that virtually nothing in the barb preview actually applies to the play style that most high end Barbs are using.

        I’ll probably write something tonight tryign to analyze what the previews don’t mention. For instance, there’s nothing about changes to the DH play style. It’s all about improving less-used skills, to make them alternatives to other skills that have essentially the same function. Maybe doubling Sentry would offer some new play style option, but that’s pretty much it.

        Yet if you listened to the DH podcast from a few weeks ago, all 3 speakers were mostly curious about DH survivability in Inferno, and wished for some skill changes to make it possible to not die with a DH; more tanking, more life steal, and especially some sort of damage mitigation skill, as the DH is uniquely-bereft there. Maybe we’ll see it, but not a hint of that in the preview.

    4. The legendary drop rates do need some adjustments. I have around 400 hours logged on my Barb and WD and I’ve found three legendaries. I’ve also yet to find a single Jewelcrafting recipe. 90% of my farming is in Inferno w/ 5NV stacks as well.

      I’m not expecting to find legendaries and recipes each time I log in, but more than every 133 hours would seem reasonable to me.

    5. I really wish the Wizard preview was more fleshed out. It feels like they want us all to use Hydra, a skill many people hated using, and the blizzard hydra kiting tactic many hated relying on back in 1.02.

      It also doesn’t seem consistent with the reason they’re nerfing it but leaving the dual ww build completely alone.

      Anyway, they could have prevented the outcry by actually telling us what they’re going to do. Wizard AP spenders suffer from pretty much the same problem as barb ones. They’re horrible and inefficient. But while barb spenders got doubled in DPS at least, they didn’t say anything about wizard spenders. (for comparison, Rend does 70% wpn dmg / sec. It got buffed to 140% over a longer duration. Blizzard does 35% wpn dmg / sec. Energy Twister does 60% per second but never hits anything, wicked wind rune does 42%). Ugh.

    6. YES! I’m “savvy” 🙂

    7. They need to make leveling take 10x longer… shouldn’t hit 60 in sub 8 hours it’s make anything below 60 not worth using or even looking at 🙁

    8. Diablo should drop a legendary item. It would be also a motivation for further play.

    9. I think the wizard notes scream “We don’t play an endgame wizard much and are just going by forum cries.” Seriously, his comment of “not noticing” the change to wicked winds is pretty dumb. It’s a 50% nerf. Why do they have to half/double things? Why not change it from 25% to 20%?

      I’ve liked everything else I’ve read. I’m glad they didn’t nerf barbarians and I’m hoping the outcry makes them take another look at destroying wicked winds. The solution is to buff other things, not nerf the current go-to builds.

      • Yeah, I noticed the same thing and feel the same way. IMHO, reducing or increasing things by huge chunks at a time just leads to different balance problems. I would really prefer to see them tweak rather than hack-with-an-axe; in this case, would it really be unacceptable to nerf the proc coefficient on Wicked Winds from 0.25 to 0.20 or 0.225? This approach seems like it would lead to A) fewer infuriated Wizards and B) fewer unintended side effects. It’s not like you can’t nerf it more in 1.0.5 or something, if it proves to continue to be a problem.

    10. Specifically speaking to the nerfrage:
      A) If nerfs are new to you, I’d like to be the first to welcome you to gaming.
      B) If you can’t take a couple of nerfs as a tradeoff for dozens of buffs, perhaps you have the wrong hobby (gaming).
      C) If you are simultaneously angry about being pigeonholed into a specific build AND angry about build diversity resulting from buffs/nerfs in 1.04, you might be a redneck.

    11. the secret to finding set items/lgendaries is to play in coop games. I’ve found ~10 so far in my 200 hours of playtime.

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