Patch 1.0.3 Design Preview from Wyatt Cheng

diablo 3 patch 1.0.3

Senior Technical Game Designer DiabloWikiWyatt Cheng posted a lengthy preview to the upcoming Patch 1.0.3. No change to Legendary item stats or class balance in this one but some changes to drop rates and Inferno Balance will be done. Furthermore the change to gems they talked about before will be in this patch so no more need for 3 gems to upgrade but only 2 and the gold price will be heavily reduced.

Last month we gave you a glimpse into how we were taking in initial feedback on the game, and ideas for some potential system changes we could make. Today we wanted to follow up and provide concrete info on some of the changes we’ve been working on, and give everyone a heads up before the 1.0.3 patch hits later this month.
  • We’re shifting to a philosophy where the best items in the game can drop from many different places, so a wider variety of play styles are viable.
  • We’re going to be reviewing Legendary items in a future patch. Legendaries won’t change in 1.0.3. When we’re done, high level Legendaries should be flat out better than blue items.
  • We’re lowering the number of guaranteed Rare items on bosses when you have your full five stacks of DiabloWikiNephalem Valor from two guaranteed Rares to one guaranteed Rare. In exchange, all champion and rare packs will now drop a bonus guaranteed Rare item when you have your full five stacks.
  • We’re removing the bonus monster damage per additional player in a coop game.
  • We’re adjusting the damage and health of monsters in Inferno Act II, III and IV. Our design goal with Acts II, III and IV is to keep them challenging, but smooth the difficulty ramp out a bit.
  • Repair costs on level 60 items are going to go up a lot. We’re currently evaluating repair costs between 4x and 6x their current values.
  • We need to reduce the effectiveness of Increased Attack Speed overall.
  • A Dramatic reduction is on the combine costs for tier 2-8 gems.
  • Class tuning is not a major focus for 1.0.3.

The entire thing is after the fold.

Bridging the Item Gap

The ilvl (item level) of an item determines the statistical budget for its power. The way the game is currently set up, Act I drops ilvl 61 gear and below, Act II drops ilvl 62 gear and below, and Act III and IV drop ilvl 63 and below. Unfortunately this has caused two main issues. The first is players who find an Act too difficult feel compelled to use the auction house in order to progress. The second is that certain classes, skills, and play styles are less gear dependent than others, so although great items are making their way into the game economy, people feel pigeonholed into a handful of viable strategies. For a lot of people they would rather do something frustrating or boring in Hell Act IV (such as having Tyrael fight for them or breaking vases) for a chance at a “top-tier” upgrade, rather than fight hordes of monsters in Inferno Act I. We’re shifting to a philosophy where the best items in the game can drop from many different places, so a wider variety of play styles are viable. If you would rather chain-pull elite packs in Act I rather than 3 minute cat-and-mouse in Act IV, we’d like you to be able to do that and know you can still find the best items in the game.

Nothing would explain it as well as just sharing the intended drop rates coming in the next patch, so here they are. Note that the drop rates vary slightly by item type; the table below represents an approximate aggregated rate of all item types:


Hell Act III and IV

Inferno Act I

Inferno Act II

Inferno Act III/IV

iLvl 61

9 %




iLvl 62





iLvl 63





New drop rates for 1.0.3

As you can see, players who would rather murder monsters 4x as fast in Inferno Act I can do so knowing they have a chance at amazing items, and players who want a challenge can kill in Acts III and IV in Inferno and be rewarded with a higher drop rate.

You Keep Using That Word

As previously mentioned, we’re going to be reviewing Legendary items in a future patch. Legendaries won’t change in 1.0.3, but it’s still something we’re actively working on. When we’re done, high level Legendaries should be flat out better than blue items, they’ll carry a good amount of power with them, and they should also be distinctive or memorable in the benefits they provide. We’ll be able to share more information on the specific changes we’re making after 1.0.3 launches.

The Nephalem Difference

It’s no secret that our goal for the end-game item hunt is players hunting monsters packs, building to five stacks of Nephalem Valor, and then killing a boss. While we’re seeing a lot of that occurring, what we’re missing is people feeling like it’s worthwhile to continue onward after killing a boss. To help hit that goal we’re lowering the number of guaranteed Rare items on bosses when you have your full five stacks of Nephalem Valor from two guaranteed Rares to one guaranteed Rare (you still have a very good chance at multiple rares, it’s just no longer guaranteed). In exchange, all champion and rare packs will now drop a bonus guaranteed Rare item when you have your full five stacks of Nephalem Valor. The change benefits players with more overall drops, and a reason to push to continue progressing.

You Into the Group Thing?

We’re removing the bonus monster damage per additional player in a coop game. Our design goal is for players who prefer to play solo to be able to play solo, and players who prefer to play in groups to be able to play in a group. We feel the bonus monster damage per additional player is one of the biggest inhibitors to wanting to play with your friends. In a perfect world, single player and co-op would be absolutely equal, but that’s not attainable when you consider item properties such as “Life on Kill” or skills such as Archon which simply scale better when you are solo. Since the variety and breadth of game mechanics essentially dictate that solo vs. group play will never be 100% equal, our goal is to make them as close as possible but err on the side of coop in cases where we need to make adjustments. The inherent logistical requirements when forming up with other players and attempting to work together effectively warrants some added benefits.

Oh Yeah!

Inferno balance right now has a difficulty gap in which Act I feels about right, but Act II feels like trying to bust through a brick wall. In patch 1.0.3 we’re going to be lowering that wall by adjusting the damage and health of monsters in Inferno Act II, III and IV. We feel like Act I Inferno is in a pretty good place. Our design goal with Acts II, III and IV is to keep them challenging, but smooth the difficulty ramp out a bit. If a monk or barbarian is geared well enough that they can use a heavily offensive build and murder everything in Act I, they should be able to swap to a more defensive build and do okay in Act II. As they gear up they can begin adjusting back to becoming offensive in Act II, at which point they can jump into Act III with a focus on defense, and so on. Difficulty certainly ties into itemization, encounter and enemy tuning, and class balance, and all of these things together are going to paint a more reasonable difficulty curve as you hit Inferno in 1.0.3.

Paying for Your Mistakes

Current repair costs at level 60 are barely noticeable, and because of that we see a lot of people wonder if “graveyard zerging” tough enemies or “chain rezzing allies on a boss” is intended gameplay – it definitely is not. To help solve the issue we evaluated a number of new death mechanics, such as just allowing the resurrection timer to increase even higher, disallowing resurrection during boss fights, or putting a debuff on you when you resurrect (such as reduced combat effectiveness). Ultimately we felt that increasing repair costs was the best solution that preserves the fast paced style of the game. Repair costs on level 60 items are going to go up a lot. Our goal is the next time a player is graveyard zerging a boss, it should occur to them that “this is probably not an efficient way to go about things”. We’re currently evaluating repair costs between 4x and 6x their current values. In the face of increasing costs, we recommend listening to the Hardcore players out there as they probably have some helpful advice on how to minimize repair costs. Following this change zerging a boss will still be possible, but our intent is that it won’t be optimal, and players who are seeking to be as efficient as possible will adjust their item hunting routes accordingly.

Whoa, Whoa, Nice Shootin’ Tex

We’re fixing a number of bugs with Attack Speed, mainly related to the stat not working on some items, but we’ve also decided we need to reduce the effectiveness of Increased Attack Speed overall. Many players have commented that Increased Attack Speed is such a dominant stat they feel it’s required. While we don’t have an issue with there being important stats, Increased Attack Speed in particular has secondary effects on mobility in combat, resource generation and resource consumption. We want there to be options and considerations for how you gear up, and one uber trump-everything stat can really work against choice and options. There are two different solutions we’re considering to reduce the effectiveness of Increased Attack Speed. The first is to simply reduce the value on all the items to their desired values. In general our desire is to never change items as that makes them feel less concrete, but the upside is you would still be able to look at an item and know exactly what you are getting. The other approach is to change the formula used for attack speed aggregation so that stacking attack speed from multiple slots suffers from diminishing returns. The downside of that approach is that it introduces yet another hidden modifier on an item property (and many people dislike hidden modifiers), and complicates the already difficult decision of item gearing. We’re currently leaning toward the first solution, to simply reduce the value on items, but we’d be interested to read people’s thoughts on the problem.

Just Three Two Easy Payments

We previously hinted that Blacksmith and Jeweler costs are coming down, and overall it will be far more reasonable to train them up and craft items. The most dramatic reduction is on the combine costs for tier 2-8 gems.

Gem Quality

Previous Cost

New Cost


3 Chipped + 500 gold

2 Chipped + 10 gold


3 Flawed + 750 gold

2 Flawed + 25 gold


3 Normal + 1250 gold

2 Normal + 40 gold


3 Flawless + 2000 gold + 1 Page

2 Flawless + 55 gold + 1 Page


3 Perfect + 3500 gold + 2 Pages

2 Perfect + 70 gold + 2 Pages


3 Radiant + 7500 gold + 1 Tome

2 Radiant + 85 gold + 1 Tome

Flawless Square

3 Square + 20,000 gold + 2 Tomes

2 square + 100 gold + 2 Tomes

The gem combine costs for Perfect Square and above will remain unchanged.

Nerf Them, Buff Me

Class tuning is not a major focus for 1.0.3. There will be a small number of skills changes, but for the most part we want people to continue experimenting and enjoy their skills for a while. Our goal was and continues to be build diversity, and though we see quite a bit of build diversity, we think we can do much better. Class tuning will be an ongoing process, and we’re targeting the 1.1 patch for most class tweaks, with a focus on punching build diversity up a few more notches.

But What About…

While these are a few of the larger systems adjustments we’re making, the 1.0.3 patch will include many fixes, quality of life enhancements, Auction House improvements, and other changes. We hope you look forward to the patch as much as we do getting it out there, and again we appreciate your continued feedback. See you in-game!

Related to this article
  • New Legendary Gems and Pricing Changes
  • Gems, Gems and More Gems
  • Nephalem Valor Will Save Across Acts

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    154 thoughts on “Patch 1.0.3 Design Preview from Wyatt Cheng

    1. “You Keep Using That Word” I love the article just for that reference on “Legendaries” haha

      • Especially given the entire quote:

        “You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    2. Ok, so they nerfed co-op difficulty – that’s fine, but now they want to nerf Act2-4 even more? That’s just plain BS. They said they will nerf inferno ONLY when most hardcore can’t finish, and players are finishing inferno all over the place.

      I myself got decent gear and it’s really easy in Act3. I pretty much never die unless some insane affix combo spawns.. 

      And IAS nerf.. 🙁 

      • You must be a ranged class? My barb can solo act 1 inferno with relative ease (even in some crappy MF gear to help with drops) with a few deaths and I can sit blow for blow with The Butcher without the need to kite to the health shrines. But hopping to act 2 and insta gibbed by a non-elite cat or a freaking BEE is bad design in my opinion. I don’t want to fly through it, but the brick wall does exist.

      • Lets see how they handle it. If by “nerfing”, they mean tweaking some of the silly champion pack affixes and getting rid of/changing some of the one-shot mechanics (heralds, soul lashers, lacuni), that would be great in my book.
        Of these changes, I’m definitely most excited about the drop rates. Unbelievable how Blizzard didn’t see this issue from the beginning. Killing monsters is a lot more fun than breaking vases, opening chests or hunting goblins, so should be good.

        • I thought from what they said way way back that the new version was how it was going to be, with everything being able to drop in inferno act 1 just with better odds of the best stuff in later acts.

      • if its so easy and you pretty much never die, then hard core really shouldn’t be a challenge for you  

        looking forward to having you join us on the HC side 

        • Amen! I agree. Anyone else who thinks the game is too easy, we would be glad to have you come over to HC and add to the items in the auction house. Or help add value to the items in our economy by buying items from us then dying and losing all your items because you thought the game was “too easy”. <3

        • well it’s not THAT easy. And i don’t see what HC have to do with this. I don’t say the game is now to easy, it’s fine, but if they nerf it then it will definitely will be too easy. 

          • I think what we HC players are saying is, Act I Inferno is fucking scary on a geared level 60.

          • The problem with the current difficulty level, speaking as a barbarian, is that the only way to progress is with an overwhelming focus on survivability stats and skills. Diablo’s design philosophy is about item and skill diversity, and the current inferno doesn’t jive with that.

            let me guess, you only go for gear with str, vit, all resistances (or some combo of those three), and anything after that is gravy? You have revenge with provocation, war cry impunity, wrath of the berserker with insanity, and 2-3 defensive passives in your build? 

            Sorry, not all of use like being pigeonholed. 

            • No, i got 3.2 attacks per second without counting frenzy, so believe me i am not a tank.

              But yeah some skills like provocation and impunity are must, but so are on all classes. 

      • BS, you’re talking out of your ass. Is your definition of “Finishing Inferno” skipping all elite mobs and run trough to the boss?

        • Wtf you are smoking? :] I never ever skip elites when i play, unless there is unkillable combo for me, but that happens for everyone. I killed diablo in inferno without much trouble with 5 NV stacks.

          • And how much did you paid for your egar on AH ? or how many _ranged_ friends just boosted you ?
            We can talk when you earn your gear by yourself.

            • I earned everything myself, no one gave me a single item. Now why are you talking about power of gear? As far as i remember inferno was supposed to be hard even with great gear. And no one today got THAT great gear compared to what we will have in months, and then you consider that inferno will be nerfed, i personally doubt it’s going to be challenging game after few months, we’ll see.

    3. Some good updates in this, i agree that nerfing inferno isn’t the best but it needed to be tweaked.

      Things are looking up for D3 at last

    4. Great.. nerfing Inferno, who didn’t see that coming?

      Catering to the noobs again. Fuck you blizz

      • You’re an idiot who has no idea what he’s talking about. Inferno was never balanced, it was made simply by increasing the HP/DMG multipliers for mobs without any fine tuning. STFU plz and never speak again about things you no clue about.

        • I think it’s safe to ignore the advice offered by people with a troll head avatar and a name from a notorious D2 hacked item.

        • I have no issues farming a2 and a3 after grinding for more gold and buying gear.

          Maybe you and the other scrubs should l2p 

          • no issues ?

            so you should have no problem changing to hard core and doing it there 

            • HC is a different game which I play as well, but that’s irrelevant to this topic.

          • Key phrase: “after grinding for more gold and buying gear.”

            This is NOT fun for people. The main gripe currently is that it feels like an obligation to sit through hours of boring-as-crap runs farming gold to be viable rather than actually playing the game. As mentioned directly in this article, the push towards mindless gold farming runs was not the intended design of the game.

            They’re reviving co-op play by doing this – and I’m all for it. I never co-op farmed Inferno unless it was to mention I had a goblin for people to get in on. I can almost AFK farm Inferno on my DH, but wasn’t fun to do.

            The fact I will I get to play with my friends again is a welcome change.

            • I’m not taking Ith’s side by any stretch but be aware that you just said grinding isnt fun in reference to a Diablo game.  Whether you grind easily getting gold in hell or you die 1000x trying to “grind” inferno, its still  a grind.  grind = grind

            • Correction: I said grinding for gold isn’t fun.

              The paragon of Diablo is the item grind. When people are feeling like they’re getting such trash that the path of least resistance is to devolve their play into mindless gold grinding for countless hours, there’s something very wrong with the design.

              Call it semantics, call it human perception, call it whatever you want. The fact that this has a significant impact on the enjoyment level of the game indicates where development and tuning must occur. These patch notes are a direct result of this very problem.

              As it stands, the path of least resistance is not the funnest way to get items. In fact, many would argue that it is the most boring, mindless, and terrible way. But they do it. This is in direct opposition to Blizzard’s design philosophy, and why we’re now seeing a change.

      • Let me guess, Ith played wizard or demon hunter before the nerfs?
        I’m sure he doesnt play barbarian or monk, that cant get through act 2 with high end gear

    5. does smoothing out the “hit a wall” in inferno really equal big nerfing?   Too early to tell I think.  Perhaps it will still be bloody difficult, just a bit smoother.  And they can always re-up the difficulty if necessary. 

        • Yeah. “No wall,” because you could zerg the boss packs on the cheap and abuse IAS. 😉

          And spending a day gearing up is the definition of a wall. You may want the wall, but it’s a wall. 

    6. I wonder, if they end up decreasing Attack Speed bonuses on items, will that apply to existing items or only to newly generated items from that point on? That would be like the 1.08 Valk. If they do however decrease Attack Speed on existing items, I wonder how they would scale it down; 1% to 17% becomes ? to ?
      I don’t like either solutions; adding diminishing returns is also not a great idea; it seems they made sure to have as little of that type of formula as possible, so far.  

      • All changes will only apply to new items (see legendaries topic a little while back), they also stated they not going to nerf items in that (though this might change).

    7. My barb who can tank act 1 inferno convincingly will no longer die to bee stings in act 2?

      • If he died in single player games, he will still die after patch.
        They only nerf co-op damage.

        • Nope you are reading it wrong. co-op damage will get nerfed AND act2-4 inferno will get nerfed regardless.

          • Act2-4 is being “adjusted”. It’s entirely possible that early A2 will get easier but everything else will get harder.

            • Early act 2 is so hard because of two things. First, you are in a corridor at the start with no place to run.  Second, you run immediately into the hardest hitting cheapest monsters in the act.  (Invincileaping, mortaring, one-shotting kitty-cats).  You can use tactics to get into this act, and once you get into the open spaces and work out some strategy, it is insanely hard but doable.  I have solo’d act two on my wizard over the course of two days while gradually increasing my stats.  I did spend a few hundred thousand on the GAH to upgrade my gear, but my gear is by no means godly.  23k damage/ 23k life. The life will need boosting after I down Belial tonight.  

              In my opinion, just cleaning up/ tuning some of the damage in that initial foray into the canyon should help bring down the perceived wall.  

              I am obviously not talking about melee here as I haven’t tried a melee character past nightmare.  It sounds awful. I hope they can tune that without nerfing the difficulty too much for ranged classes.  I’m really enjoying end-game so far.   

        • Wrong.
          The post clearly states tuning of Inferno Act 2/3/4 is DIFFERENT from the removal of additional damage for mobs in co-op games.

    8. So they reduced the “gem cost” by 33% and gold cost by up to 99.5% between gem tiers 2-8?  What Blizzard needed to do was increase the intrigue of the overall gem system by 99.5%

      Oh well, it’s probably part of a master plan to slowly eliminate all gold sinks, render gold and the GAH useless, and funnel all of us into using the RMAH.  The GAH was just a primer. 

        • It’s for lvl 60 items only.  Myself, and most other players, are not in inferno.  I do not know the repair cost in inferno at the moment, i’m in NM, and I can say the repair cost in NM is paltry, even increasing it 4-6x would not make a difference.

          What would increasing repair costs in inferno 4-6x do considering the gold drop rate in inferno?  Big, noticable difference, or paltry, considering the gold drop rate? 

          • Yes, the repair costs would be noticeable. It will definitely change the way people evaluate things. 

          • Right now on my 60 WD if i break all my gear and have to repair, it cost about 9,000 gold. So if it goes up 4x than it would cost 36,000 gold for me, if it goes up 6x than it would cost 54,000 for me to repair. That is a pretty hefty price. But I agree that the Gem crafting should stay expensive. We need as many gold sinks as possible if we want gold to hold any value down the road.

            • Low level gem crafting is irrelevant really. When I entered hell, I threw away stacks of 30 flawless, perfect, and radiant, keeping only Square and above because it’s a waste of money to upgrade them when it’s so easy to find level.

              Now I might actually upgrade the low level gems since the price is dropped. They kept the upgrading price for higher tier gems so it will still cost lots of gold to get a Star.  

            • Umm its only the weakest gems that having the costs nerfed, az it stands these are more or less vendor trash it easier to find/cheaper to buy a higher gem then it is to upgrade said gems.

      • These reductions will actually increase the amount of gold sunk into gems, because any knowledgeable player is not paying for the 2-8 gem upgrades right now at all.

        • 100g for a radiant square?  It might as well be zero gold.  My barbarian has 100g stuck between his teeth.

          • This is gold that might be spent that was never getting spent before. Little gold is still more gold than zero gold.

    9. Great changes for hardcore players (increased repair costs) that play in 2s, 3s or 4s (group play buff).


    10. Wow, they weren’t kidding about making gem upgrades cheaper! We probably don’t a gem sink yet, but I feel like within a few months we’re going to reach gem saturation. Once everyone has a ton of high level gems, and there’s nothing that can destroy them, they will become dirt cheap and pointless to collect. This will also eliminate one of the gold sinks of the game, which will lead to gold being less valuable. Two ideas on ways to keep them useful:

      – Unsocketing has two options: cheap unsocketing has a chance to degrade the gem 1-3 levels. Expensive (really expensive) unsocketing will keep it at its current grade. Maybe this only applies to higher level gems.
      – The Jeweler can salvage all grades of gems into a new crafting reagent necessary for crafting all levels of items. 

      • please read carefully.
        Highest tier gems cost the same. IE. insanely amounts of gold and gems to make.

        • Correct. It will be nice to get some relief on upgrading to Flawless Square, though; I’m currently farming Acts I and II Hell with more than +200% GF, and upgrading my gems that far is still a significant gold sink.

        • Yah, I saw that. My point was that once you’ve created those high level gems, there’s no mechanic to take them away from you. Therefore you have no reason to keep creating gems, so the gold sink disappears and gems lose value.

          • All your problems are solved in Hardcore. If you want mechanics that take something away from you, then go no further.

            • That’s a square solution to a round problem. Do you disagree with me that gems will eventually become too common (and therefore worthless) if there’s no way to remove them from the economy?

    11. Yikes. I feel for anyone who actually used the jeweler for tier 1-8 gems pre-1.0.3.

      • D3 is 3 weeks, 1 day old.  My Jeweler is as pristine as she was at game launch.  After patch 1.0.3 hits, I might actually use her… maybe.

        • You know this man speaks the truth about not using the jeweler, because he doesn’t even realize the jeweler is a dude.

            • He’s voiced by James Hong. Lifetime Pass for Big Trouble in Little China, and many other films.

          • LOL… really… well, at any rate, the Jeweler is currently worthless, other than unsocketing, regardless of gender.

            • why use jeweler for unsocketing, when blacksmith does it for free by salvaging the item?

            • For the times when you just want to upgrade/change the gem currently being used or sell the item on the auction house but keep the gem.  One time, I purchased a weapon from the AH for 7500 gold, used it for several levels, removed the high level gem in it, and then put it back on the AH and sold it 75000 gold.
              Now if I could do this all the time….

      • Like me. I don’t have a lot of time to play the game, but chose to concentrate on upgrading my Jeweler, mainly because I like to see progression in my NPC.

        I currently have about 5k gold (seriously) and my Jeweler is level 6 or 7. I have literally spent around 2 million gold on my Jeweler, which is a lot to me because I’ve only played the game for 55 hours since I started on May 16.

        That said, I do agree that the gold costs are way too high. 99% decrease in gold is rather dramatic though.

      • I knowingly continued to upgrade my 1-8 gems, and will continue to do so until 1.0.3 releases.  Commodities are forever off the AH, and i’m playing HC.  My choices are:
        1) continue to upgrade gems to strengthen my character and progress.
        2) stop upgrading my gems, weakening my character and increasing my risk of death.
        3) stop playing the game until 1.0.3 releases.
        Only option 1 is palatable to me.  Now, i just realized option:
        4) trade via Trade chat room or forums.
        I suppose i should have thought of this sooner, but the AH has taken centre stage and blinded me to anything else.

    12. I am extremely happy with everything in this article with the exception of nerfing IAS. In my opinion repetitive nerfing will only make the game worse in the long run. But besides that I’m looking forward to the new patch!!

      • Currently, what’s the maximum IAS that can be achieved?  And if the maximum is going to be reduced, I’d rather they just reduce the IAS numbers on the items.  I’m not interested in dealing with diminishing returns, break points, and not immediately knowing whether or not adding IAS to my build will actually do anything.
        Also, I wonder how many people actually have an IAS numbers greater than what the new lower cap will be.  I’m pretty sure none of my characters are there yet.  I’m playing all 5 classes, taking my time, with my highest level character being in Act 2 Hell (which has not been played in about a week).  Basically, with all the balance and item issues at end-game, I don’t really want to be there yet, a decision I made a week ago when I stopped playing my main.

        • You already have that on stats, resistances, etc.
          After 1000 dex, its no longer linear the damage increase %.
          I will be nerfed for sure, but i agree.

          • By the time you do all the math and convert the input numbers into a damage reduction, dodge, or whatever percentage on the screen, most everyone calls it “diminishing returns”, but it’s not really diminishing returns.
            As a simple example, if you have 100 life, no armor, and get hit from 100 damage, you are dead.  If you have 100 life, 100 armor where each 1 point of armor equals 1 point of life, it will now take 200 damage to kill you.  Along the same lines, if you have 100 life, 200 armor, it will now take 300 damage to kill you.
            As you can see, it’s linear, no diminishing returns.  However, this is not what’s shown on the screen.  All this information is processed and converted into a damage reduction percentage.  Using the above info, at 100 life and no armor your damage reduction is 0%.  At 100 life, 100 armor, your damage reduction is 50%.  At 100 life, 200 armor your damage reduction is 66.7%.  And everyone looks at these numbers, the difference between 0 and 100 armor, and 100 and 200 armor, and screams diminishing returns.  Well, you can look at it this way if you wish, but it doesn’t change the fact each and every armor point gave you 1 point of life, and that every 100 armor points gave you 100% more life.
            Basically, this is how all damage reduction and resistance formulas work.  Every point of armor or resistance is assigned numeric life value, and behind the scenes every point of armor or resistance gives you this amount life, but in the UI, all the numbers are crunched and presented as a damage reduction number, which, yes, looks like a diminishing return.

            • I hadn’t really looked at any numbers yet as I’m not near any caps as far as I know.  This is a revelation.  Thanks, Galt! 😀

            • Well, in some cases you are correct, however, on my monk, as an example, I should betting 45% dodge just from skills and buttloads from dex. I should be at 60% or so, but it is nowhere close to that. It’s not even 15%x15%x15% instead of 45% which would be additive, I don’t get it. Maybe it’s the lying character screen.

            • DEX->dodge is a special case with breakpoints included its linier until it past a break point then the amount drops etc.
              The return per point are 0.1% below 100 (10% at 100), 0.025% between 100 & 500 (20% at 500) and 0.020 between 500 & 1000 (30% at 1000) then its +10% per 1000 Dex for ever.
              The dodge work like this first you get a dodge roll based on your DEX then any extra dodge from skills have there own dodge check.
              So if you got 1000 DEX you got a 30% base chance to dodge, if your running Mantra of evasion and got +15% your dodge is 1-(1-0.3)*(1-0.15)=1-0.595=40.5% dodge
              if you got the full 30% 3 sec buff its 1-(1-0.3)*(1-0.3)=1-0.49=51% dodge.

      • I’m not sure why they think there are only two options… They could also put a hard cap on attacks per second derived from a multiple of base weapon speed (innately faster weapons would be capped higher than slower ones). Update the details page in some way when the cap has been met from IAS gear.

    13. “We’re removing the bonus monster damage per additional player in a coop game.”
      they shouldn’t remove it completely  
      just cut it a little 
      but they should also increase the monster and quest xp per additional player in a coop game

      • But xp becomes useless after l60 anyway, and this change was made with endgame in mind, esp hardcore endgame in inferno. I think this is a good call on their part, though at first I had the same reaction as you. I can solo or hop in multiplayer games to clear through content up until inferno and then use multiplayer games to get through some of the growing pains when I hit that inferno wall. Good call Blizz.

        • “But xp becomes useless after l60 anyway”
          good point, 
          and since I only play HC you’d think I’d appreciate the damage reduction 😆  

          I’m just a little concerned that getting to Inferno will be a little too easy now, 
          but that doesn’t really matter I guess 

        • Anyone else get bummed when they come across an experience shrine in inferno?

          Why do they even exist in this level? 

          • i get bummed when i hit them in hell =)

            good point about them being in inferno – if you need lvl 60 for inferno anyway, it’s pointless. I’m suree they’ll address it eventually.

            Btw, how did monster dmg scale with # of players? Was it simply based_dmg*#_o_fplayers or sth more complicated?

            Cause if it was base_dmg*#_of_players or anything higher than this is going to be a huge diffrence in terms of survival, no? Basically if you had 4 ppl, you’ll now be able able to survive 4 hits instead of one.

      • I’m in a favour of fairly major change (like this one) to co-op.

        Right now, I can’t play public games in my preferred area. Almost without exception, if I’m getting a good challenge soloing an area, the same area in a public game is a death trap. I now play solo exclusively, even though I prefer multi, because I want to make some progress in Inferno.

        That’s not compatible with “do no harm to co-op” and needs a change. 

    14. Seems like finally we are going to have a difficulty curve that is actually a curve, and not a square.
      Can’t wait for 1.0.3

    15. wow

      Bravo, Blizzard, bravo!

      What a fantastic article, they even put pictures in there! So informative.

      The gem cost reduction is insane, I did not expect it to be as drastic.

      Also interesting about the monster dmg reduction in coop.

      I have yet to hit Inferno, it’d be cool to experience the current difficulty difference from A1 to A2 before they smooth it out just to see how it changes, but we’ll see.

      Oh yeah, and the guaranteed gold per 5 stacks of Valour sounds awesome. I just hit 60 yesterday and started getting Valour and it’s a great incentive so this should make it even better.

      Good job Blizzard, exciting changes. 

      • “I have yet to hit Inferno, it’d be cool to experience the current difficulty difference from A1 to A2 before they smooth it out just to see how it changes, but we’ll see.” There’s nothing cool about it. You either spend 5m+(probably a lot more) in the ah to live past a1 inferno , or you grind 50 hours + like I have to get gear to make it past the canyon at the begining of a2.

        • that indeed does not sound like fun. Especially given that I’m almost always broke these days.

    16. So I’ve always wanted to get IAS items, so I bought 2 great legendaries off the AH but both are BUGGED and the IAS won’t work.
      Now when it will finally get patched, it will get nerfed.
      Ha, ha…

      • Are you laughing in an ironic way or sort of manic ‘I’m going mad’ way.  It helps when trying to picture you when I read your post.

    17. To anyone that can fix it, at the time of my post, the gem chart is incorrectly pasted in place of the hell/inferno drop chart.

      • I had the same question.  In the article he said ‘later this month’ so I guess not tomorrow…

    18. I don’t understand the Attack Speed nerf. They say they don’t want a dominant modifier, but that’s exactly what “primary stat + vitality” is. Attack speed is one of the few things keeping melee characters playable in Inferno to help us generate enough resource and life.

      • This. IAS also made the generators other than FoT somewhat usable. Guess we’re back to two generators, three defensive and a mantra. LoH is probably going some appeal too.
        Also, repair costs for L60 up ? Not cool.
        Only one guaranteed rare on boss (rare that sucks most of the time anyway) ? Not cool.
        Nerf of Multiplayer damage: me likes because damage of the party increases with players, mitigation increases less (or not at all depending on party).

        • The 2nd guaranteed rare is not going away, it’s being transferred from the Boss to champion pack kills.

    19. I cried inside when reading The Nephalem Difference….how abou allowing to wp to the next act with NV and continue playing?

    20. Stopped reading at the part “act1 inferno is where we want it to be”
      That’s ridiculous,if you are a wd every damned mob will just simply 2hit you,where is the fun in that? Had to reroll for a monk to be able to play…pathetic  

      • If your having issues with Act 1 inferno on a ranged character, switching to a Monk wont help at all. Go get some better gear…

    21. We’re removing the bonus monster damage per additional player in a coop game.

      I don’t completly agree with this point. 
      More players means more powerful combinations and synergies, more powerful defensive skills and survivability,and of course more attack power. If they remove bonus monster damage i think that they should counterbalance it with some kind of mechanic (es. increased monsters number, different behaviours, etc.)


      • I disagree strongly.
        I think it should be an advantage to play with your friends rather than an disavantage.
        I had a blast, leveling with my mate to lvl 60. Since then we just went on solo farming, because it was the only way to beat act 1 inferno with our crappy gear at that time. (around 4 days after release O_o)

      • Hmm sure but how things stand if a mob kills you in 4 hits or less it insta gibs you in a group of 4.

    22. This is great news, a lot of the issues with the game and inferno have been fixed.
      The two big points for me are:
      2% chance of finding top tier items in inferno act 1 , before there was no chance so now people are free to farm where they like with still a chance at the top items dropping, I love act 1 because of the environment so very happy with change.
      Mobs not getting multiple times the damage within group play is great. Those of you who have reached act 2 inferno know how boring it can be kiting champs for 10 mins. Now with much reduced damage we are now free to engage these champs without the fear of getting 1 shot, should be much easier now to kill them before the enrage dot kicks in.
      Very happy with the changes.

    23. I like all of these changes exceptthe increase in repair cost. That means fully broken, its going to cost me around 30k gold to repair. I know its good for the game(it needs some gold sinks) but its going to hurt when I click that repair button…

      • hopefully it’ll result in less ppl resurrecting and running solo to the champs, rinse&repeat without waiting for others and employing any kind of strategy…

        • I know.  Every post I read complaining about the increased repair costs is yet another person playing that either doesn’t care whether or not they die or wants to continue using rush in, die, rinse, repeat tactics to win the game.

          To me, the solution to the increased repair costs is simple.  Use some strategy and don’t die.  As the article stated, ask the hardcore community for some tips.  There is no one better at staying alive than them.

      • Are you joking? I can play all day and repair costs are only about 1k (at level 59 in middle of Hell). They should increase repair cost by 100X.

        • Jesus. And you only being in Hell makes your post come across as quite ignorant?

          • lmfao only still in Hell and talking about repair costs, he has no idea whats waiting for him, hell is like normal mode compared with inferno 🙄

            Until you reach act 2 inferno, you have no right to have an opinion to talk about anything.

        • Go get some real gear and come back. I’m not even wearing full level 60 gear yet and its well over 5k for a repair from fully broken. And as others have said, come play the real in Inferno. I don’t think I died one time until the middle of Hell on my DH. Act 1 inferno I died a significant amount. Act 2 inferno, I usually break my gear at least once a night…

    24. All I got from the NV change is that instead of starting at The Imprisoned Angel/Halls of Agony level 2 and killing the 5 or so packs to Butcher I will now start at The Legacy of Cain/Old Ruins and pretty much clear the entire act.

      I’m ok with this.  

    25. Not sure anyone mentioned it but the article has the gem cost modifiers in there twice instead of the drop rate grid.  It’s a bit jarring to read “As you can see, players who would rather murder monsters 4x as fast in Inferno Act I can do so knowing they have a chance at amazing items” after just looking over the new gem costs.

    26. Great changes overall.
      I have finished inferno on my wizard and currently try to do A3 on my barbarian but Inferno quickly began to become a chore. Coop was unplayable in Inferno. 15% PER player made 3-4 player games impossible for melee in A2 and A3. I ended up always playing solo in A3… with an occasional duo with another ranged player.
      So I’m happy they nerf that but I’m not sure about removing the whole +damage per player. It feels like a huge nerf for coop that may make things even too easy, especially if they make the difficulty more progressive. We’ll see but I think 5% per player or just a flat 10% more damage would have been fine. Just… 45% was crazy.
      We’ll see about drops but thats great if you can finally drop something great in A1 and A2.

    27. “We’re shifting to a philosophy where the best items in the game can drop from many different places, so a wider variety of play styles are viable.”

       I love that they are doing this. They really need to adjust items so that SOME level 30 legendarys are still viable for lvl 60 charracters because of the cool uniques stats or abilities they give. In Diablo 2 you could find mage fists which i think required lvl 28 and they were still usefull at level 99. Makes playing through the lower difficulties more exciting knowing you can still get some good loot, ya know?

      I cant believe they are nerfing IAS…… Hell, in half the legendaries the IAS doesnt even apply anyways….   

      Repair costa are going up?!? That sucks cuz sometimes in inferno im dying so much almost all gold i make goes to repair! Now instead of staying about even in gold while playing the game im going to be loosing gold! Noooo!

      The rest of the changes sound good to me.   


      • Repair costs to much?…stop dying so much! I actually do have a SC Barbarian that I use for playing with friends that don’t like HC. I am totally reckless with him. I lead the pack and I chase down goblins through packs of elites even when my health is like at 20%, but he just REFUSES TO DIE. 😈

    28. I just can’t help but keep thinking that a more robust beta testing process would have resulted in a lot of these “fixes” being corrected pre-release…

    29. In regards to the change in item drop locations:

      Wasn’t this the way they’ve been saying it would be since they first announced the new inferno?


    30. Inferno was never balanced right in the first place so this should be better for everyone. I think they nerfed the jeweler way too much.

    31. They should add more valuable crafting recipes. The potential for making the BS crating a stronger mechanic ingame has not even remotely been explored. Maybe even recipes on unique items you cant find without crafting them (maybe even Bound items/ or recipe for one item) and have the materiel for making the item be weird **** you have to find all around the game like the staff of herding. I want more dept in the game….

    32. I saw the same thing. Act 1 inferno was manageable, Act 2 was mostly brick wall. It took a sheet-ton of strafing around to not be insta-gibbed (as someone else said), and I’m still only 1/2 way through — the rest of the changes seem good, except, I’m worried about repair costs… that means with my current gear all broken would go from 6,000 to 24,000 for repairs!!! Think about that, 24k after 10 deaths! And that’s only if it quadruples!

      • 10 DEATHS? Seriously…..Total HC deaths=1, Total SC deaths (and playing recklessly too!)=0.0
        My SC secret, just go to auction house and set like a 1k buyout limit and re-equip your character every couple levels. Spend extra gold on your weapon if you have any. SC stuff at the auction house is dirt cheap compared to HC, although prices are slowly dropping on HC too.

        • You’re only in Hell for god’s sake, shh! I would be very worried if you had any deaths prior to that. L2p.

          • Unless it was to a boss gimmick the first time you fought him *damn act 2 boss and is mines*

    33. I think the first table is misplaced here.
      It must be the Item droprate table and not the gem table, which appears twice here

    34. Is it just me, or is the item drop table simply the gem review table all over again?  Does anyone have any information on the item drop changes?

    35. TL;DR Changes that don’t matter, except for the item drop rate one. 

      Bring in the changes that change the core of the game, maybe then it will be good lol 

    36. I think I’ll take a break from normal until this patch comes out, they’re going to make inferno much better so I’ll stick with seeing how far I can get in HC

    37. The number 1 issue I have with this whole thing, is the increased attack speed change. I really REALLY hope they don’t change it. They say that it’s a dominant stat, but it’s honestly not. There are other options to IAS, such as increased critical hit damage, or increased critical hit chance for example. The thing that a lot of people seem to not get, Blizzard apparently not getting it either… Is that increasing your attack speed does NOT make you hit harder. In fact, a faster attack speed changes your actual damage output ZERO if you attack only once. If you hit for 10-100 damage, with 0% IAS, you will still hit for 10-100 with 50% IAS, you will just attack more often. Allowing ranged classes a chance to get an extra shot in while kiting for example. If they reduce it, or give it diminishing returns, they will be ruining way more than they are fixing. Attack speed increasing as is, is just fine and honestly shouldn’t be messed with. There are plenty more things in the game that are broken, IAS is not one of them.

    38. So they’re nerfing inferno already.  Really? Its 3 weeks into D3 and many people have already cleared the whole game on inferno and are farming A4 or Whimseyshire with no problem.

      I play a barbarian and I face smash farm act 2 with 25 minutes 5 stack runs (as a 2-handed barb, I’m not defensive fall asleep while tyrone kills stuff spec). Act 3 is incredibly hard for me, but I can make some progress in it with patience, good play and a lot of deaths.  With a few more weeks of gearing up I should be doing Act 3 with no problem. From what I hear Act 4 is the same difficulty as act 3, so the whole game will be on farm for me at that point. As a barbarian. A 2-handed barbarian. Probably one of the worst choices possible for progressing in the game right now.  This is considered too difficult? The whole game on farm in 4-6 weeks as a crappy class/spec is too difficult and needs to be nerfed?  What happened to inferno was supposed to be super hard and supposed to smash our face so we had some kind of end-game content for the years ahead?  I guess that idea went out the window as soon as the noobs whined too much on the forums.

      I think its too easy as is. Sigh…

      • So you die repeatedly until you’re overgeared and then it’s easy? No shit Sherlock. How about you try HC? The difficulty curve right now is a nightmare for HC players, you can’t progress naturally at all.

        • Inferno wasn’t meant for hardcore. Jay Wilson even said so when asked that question months ago.  That said, some of the streamers have already passed act 2 inferno on hardcore. Other people might be farther and just not broadcasting it, who knows. Inferno mode, in mmo terms, is our end game raid. Those things can take people months just to gear up for and figure out one boss.  Why do people think its so unacceptable if diablo inferno takes months to complete too?
          The change making higher ilevel loot drop in lower level inferno acts should go a huge way towards helping people gear up to progress. It doesn’t also need to be nerfed.

          • They are not nerfing it they are smoothing out the jumps in difficulty a bit I mean being able to kill the butcher  in act 1 easy and then dying/nearly dying to standard mobs at the start of act 2 is stupid.

    39. I love blizzard sometimes, it really feels like they’re looking at almost everything I have a problem with in the game. The exception is battlenet itself, it’s awful and I hope they know it, I can’t even create a chat with my friends to link items but instead I have to message them all individually – awesome.

    40. Some good changes.

      However i’m mostly scared about what they’re going to do with nerfing IAS. If anything, make all the other offensive bonusses on par. It’s already hard enough to play a offensive Barbarian build, i DO NOT want to be pushed in even more pure defense because Blizzard thinks one mod is powerful to an offensive minded character.
      Infact, i don’t even truly understand wtf they’re on about, it’s extremely hard to come by good IAS while keeping all your other important stats like main stat/vit/res/armor up. People should be rewarded when they can meet those requirements and fit in more exotic and elite mods like IAS.

    41. The IAS nerf is good, stacking ias as wiz or demon hunter was a must for high dps.
      60k dps on wiz and dh with very average gear and just ias and crit on rings, amulets and gloves was the only viable stat for max ranged damage.
      I like a int + vit wiz build myself, and good to know this is going to be viable again after the nerf.
      There is going to be a lot of pissed of dh and wiz’s who have spent loads on the ah getting a ias build, looks like they wasted there money.
      We will see the prices of high ias rings/amulets e.t.c plumet on the AH as they now sell for millions.
      Good Job Blizzard, it was becoming a joke seeing some wizard with junk gear compard to mine but with double my dps. :mrgreen: primary stat + weopon damage should be the main source of dps not ias or crit.

    42. I found this update summary to be informative, clearly worded, and reassuring. I’m still in Hell so my itemization woes have not yet begun to manifest, but I did find a legendary and was sincerely disappointed in it. 
      After the insightful topics on the forums here, and the great articles outlining constructive criticism about itemization and design, it’s refreshing to see a clearheaded and relatively comprehensive response from Blizzard. I was already happy with the game, and I’m glad to see that my hopes for Blizzard’s ongoing support and tuning will enhance my experience!

      Sorry if I’m coming across as a fanboy, I just like having my hopes fulfilled after absorbing so much gloom and doom about “teh broken Blizz excrement” here and elsewhere. 

    43. I totally disagree with the IAS nerfs. The first decent thing I have found was last night. A socketed amulet with a shit ton of vitality and IAS. They took FCR as a stat away, now they are wanting to decrease the effectiveness of the only way to increase cast speed. 
      The jeweler costs going down are very nice though. 

    44. I think I’m with the majority here when I say I don’t like the idea of them touching attack speed.

      The real problem is that Blizzard weren’t comprehensive enough when designing the damage system. It seems to me that they had the right idea in making many of the skills calculate damage as a percentage of weapon damage but why didn’t they take this concept to it’s logical conclusion and include the time component as well?

      E.g. Skill deals 100% weapon damage per second.

      This would make the whole skill system a lot easier to balance but it has to be done for all the skills across the board. I don’t understand how Blizzard came to the current skill system and it’s mishmash of different calculation methods. Other examples of which:

      Why are there healing skills which heal a fixed number of life and not a percentage of max life?

      Why are there defensive skills which mitigate fixed number of damage to life and not a percentage of max life?

      Why are pet’s stats other than attack damage calculated as flat values rather than a percentage of the main characters?

      Why is resource generation / spending calculated per attack and not modified by the time it takes to complete the attack (attack speed)? This is the major one, resource generation / spending should be calculated per second just as damage is.

      This would separate resource generation / spending from attack speed making it much easier to balance whilst leaving the attack speed mechanism the same for the rest of the proc on hit system (which works fine btw.)

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