Shortly after patch 1.03 came out several months ago, I stopped playing Diablo 3. I was tired of the terrible difficulty and ridiculousness of Inferno, and was simply not enjoying the end-game what so ever. As many of you will also recall, I was very vocal about my discontent of some of the game mechanics, particularly Loot and Difficulty. And then a few weeks ago, something happened. 1.04 happened.
When I read the various 1.04 previews, I, like most people, was excited but at the same time cautious. It sounded like they were taking a step in the right direction, but than again so did patch 1.03, and that made things arguably worse for the game. And than the Legendary previews came out, and my excitement skyrocketed. The Legendaries actually looked good, and powerful. Before the preview, I had visions at the back of my mind of Blizzard “not getting it” again, and not going far enough with the changes to Legendaries. Boy was I wrong.
So fast forward the release of 1.04, and for the first time ever in Diablo 3, I get excited when I can log on and play. I wake up on a Saturday morning, and jump straight in, and pretty much don’t stop until I am forced to by something in real life. In fact, I think I played more hours this weekend than I have played the game post-level 60 altogether before. This is a far cry from how it was just months ago, where I would almost have to force myself to PLAY the game, because it was so frustrating and simply not fun.
What about 1.04 has made the game so much better for me? I put it to a few things:
1) Legendary and Set items are powerful therefore exciting to find, and that sub-consciously makes the game far more exciting when playing.
2) Paragon system brings back that feeling from D2 where you always felt like you were working towards something.
3) The changes to rare drops (more items having the potential to be good rather than just ilvl 62+) have made identifying items exciting.
4) The game difficulty is no longer AS frustrating as it once was, however this point comes with an asterix – it could still be better. I am on the side of the fence of the people who feel Diablo games aren’t and never were about “conquering difficult challenges” but rather about kill speed and efficiency, so I am very much super anti-difficulty.
While there still are some issues with the game (Crafting system is almost useless, difficulty is still jarring for most, itemization still needs some improvements), 1.04 was a giant leap for the game as a whole.
On top of those points though is an underlying factor that gives me a lot of hope – the development team appears to “get it” about what people want from a Diablo game. The upcoming changes as hinted in Jays recent post are things that I fully believe in, and finally, the future of Diablo 3 looks to be very bright.
So if you, like many veterans, have not played the game in months, I implore you to give it a shot. From one disappointed gamer to another, the game is currently in a place where it is well-worth playing, and I think you will have fun when you give it a go in the post-1.04 world.