Blizzard has just posted the long awaited announcement that Patch 1.0.4 is finally here, at least for the US realm (no word on EU and Asia yet Edit: Patch is available on the EU realm too, not sure about the Asian one). You may have been wondering why we didn't post anything about the patch, but when it comes to patches we like to absorb all the information that is released like a sponge and then post everything on release. Patch 1.0.4 is proof that Blizzard does care for Diablo 3, and in my opinion will bring Diablo 3 one step closer to being on top of that pedestal it deserves.
Let's start with the most important thing to come with this patch! Remember when we posted about the Magic Find swapping changes Blizzard was meaning to implement? And you probably heard about the complaints that Diablo 3 has no end game content, right? Well Blizzard managed to hit 2 birds with one stone with a surprising new addition to the game. Let me introduce to you, the Paragon system!
The simplest way to explain Paragon levels is that you unlock 100 "bonus" levels once you hit 60. Each level gives the following:
- Stat gain similar to what you get from the regular levels
- A permanent addition of 3% Magic Find and 3% Gold Find
Apart from the above you also get a new portrait every 10 Paragon levels, just to show off how cool you are!
This is a really simple yet effective way to give players both a solution to the Magic Find swapping problem and give them end-game content at the same time! For people wondering just how much time it takes to get all 100 Paragon levels, Blizzard has stated that:
The first Paragon level should take about as long as it took most players to get from level 59 to 60, and the experience requirement will rise from there. The time to reach the upper Paragon levels approximates the long-term time investment required to get a level 99 character in Diablo II
The exact experience values have been extracted from the game files by this site, and as you can see Blizzard was not kidding when they said it was a long-term goal! We are not sure if these values are cumulative or not, but I bet they aren't.
Edit: They aren't cumulative.
If you add up all the values you end up with 10454400000 exp total. For comparison, you need only 25934700 exp from levels 1 to 60, that's a whopping 40300% more experience (or in other words, it takes the same experience as if you were to level 400 characters from 1 to 60)!
Interesting: According to the new Paragon tracking found on DiabloProgress, some people have already gotten to level 15! Talk about botting efficiency.
WillNowHalt has posted an interesting study on Reddit where he concluded that you need to kill 1327543 level 63 normal monsters to reach top level using a 5 stack Nephalem Valor buff. That's right, they are changing Nephalem Valor to provide 15% bonus experience per stack. We also got some more information regarding leveling in Inferno thanks to this patch 1.0.4 interview:
- + Experience gems still work at 60 (ie Ruby gems put into helmets).
- + Experience affixes will not be added on iLvl 60 - 63 items.
- Experience Shrines will not be added to Inferno.
Edit: Just spotted this in the patch notes:
Experience awarded by level 61-63 monsters has been increased by approximately 60%
Going by this new value, it would take 829714 level 63 monsters as opposed to the previous value of 1327543.
The fact that they put MF and GF on the Paragon went well with most, but ended up upsetting some others too. People who had purchased expensive MF sets will now find that they will become greatly devaluated as people reach the higher Paragon levels, although they still retain their value for people just starting out on their Paragon journey. As soon as you hit that magic level 100 mark, you will not need to gear swap anymore as you will get a total of 300 MF and GF, equivalent to the new cap they put on both values.
Note: The actual MF and GF cap is 375, because Nephalem Valor still stacks past 300.
Magic Find will now cap at 300% (Nephalem Valor bonuses will still stack beyond this cap)
Speaking of changes to MF, let's move on to the next point:
Patch 1.0.4 is bringing some very welcomed changes to encourage team play. For starters, Gold Find and Magic Find are now longer shared between party members allowing you to farm efficiently even when playing with other people. Next up is the health nerf monsters are getting, changing the 110% bonus HP per player to 75% in Inferno (that's 105% less total hp for the monsters in a 4 player game!). I hope this puts more players in the multiplayer games but I sure as hell don't want to see a bunch of people running around in MF gear hardly contributing to the fights. We will see how this works out!
One of the key changes Blizzard wanted to do with this patch was make the game's difficulty more even. Currently the game has super easy normal monsters and super hard elites, which causes the difficulty to spike up too much. In response to this, normal monsters will have 5%-10% more health (althou will have 4 times the chance to drop Magic and Rare items) while Elites will have 10%-25% less. This should provide a smoother experience throughout the game especially with the following changes done to the Elite's affixes:
- No more enrage timers and health resets.
- Jailer has been banned from spawning alongside Vortex, Nightmarish, and Knockback.
- Fire Chains deal 20% less damage.
- Feared players will become immune to Fear for 6 seconds.
- Only one monster from a Champion pack can have Shielding active at any time.
- Orbs spawned from Arcane Enchanted monsters will deal 30% less damage.
- No more Invulnerable Minions!
I wish they would have banned Jailer from appearing with Desecrator or Arcane Enchanted instead, but any change is welcome at this point.
No More Trade Scams! (Hopefully)
You may have read our Diablo 3 Trade Scams post where I explained many of the current scams along with my suggestions on how to fix them. Blizzard has held true to their promise and implemented some changes that will at least hinder scammers. They made two changes basically, one makes it so that if you were about to put an item in the trade window and the other guy cancels, your item is automatically cancelled to. This stops scammers from trying to get you to drop items on the ground. The second change (which was suggested by myself and by others) is that they put a 2 second "lock" on the trade window every time a player makes a change to their offering.
Oh, and for people that were exploiting unidentified items:
Fixed a bug that allowed players to see properties of unidentified items
I would advise you to still be careful when trading with strangers because scamming is definitely still possible!
Searching for items is now easier than ever thanks to changes done to the AH interface. Changes include the ability to search using 6 stat filters instead of 3 (6 is the max number of affixes possible on an item), sorting by Armor, DPS and Time Left, searching for Legendary items by stats, canceling auctions at any time as long as they don't have any bids, and many other features and bug fixes. Overall these changes were very welcomed and I think should have been there from day 1.
One feature that has caused a lot of controversy is the fact that players can now sell 1 million gold on the RMAH. While this has caused the price of gold to go down, thus hurting botters, it has also effected people that don't use the RMAH negatively. Since the price has gone down, many people will now use the RMAH to buy gold thus greatly reducing its value. With gold having less value, the prices on the gold AH will skyrocket while the drop rates in the game stay the same, almost forcing players to use the RMAH if they want to upgrade. Many people have complained about this issue, and I even posted my own suggestions that can possibly fix this on the forums.
One of the biggest changes done in patch 1.0.4 was the complete overhaul of Legendary items. The main scope of these changes was to make Legendary items feel unique, and not just another Rare with a pretty name. Changes to the effectiveness of each item includes over 50 new exclusive affixes, new items to support uncommon builds (like ranged Barbarians or melee Wizards), better stats (items of iLvl 50 will now always pick level 50 affixes), migration for most high level items to iLvl 63, and more.
Since some of the new affixes are just monster affixes, some players were getting concerned about the inability to tell them apart. Vaeflare promptly replied stating that the weapon affixes will be visually distinctive than the monster ones. He also revealed a very interesting item that goes by name of Puzzle Ring, that actually has a chance to summon a Treasure Goblin on hit!
Puzzle Ring (Ring) - This ring gives heroes a chance to summon a Treasure Goblin when they’re hit. The tooltip will be something along the lines of: "This ring sometimes calls forth a Treasure Goblin when you are hit."
…I bet that will prove to be entertaining during a boss fight. ;)
The same changes were also applied to Set items, so much so in fact that the ones that are changing are also getting new names both for the individual items and for the set. This means that post 1.0.4 Set items will not interact with the old ones.
Note: Changes will not apply to items dropped pre patch 1.0.4.
Just like the changes to the Magic Find system we saw above, some players were complaining that existing items will be pretty much useless. While this is true, you have to understand that in time everyone will benefit from these changes!
You didn't think they would leave the new Legendaries with the same old look did you? Here is a preview:
Changes were done to each class with the main aim of increasing build diversity (which alongside the new build-specific Legendaries should resonate quite well). Changes include polishing of skills to make them more readable, buffing skills to make they more competitive, and buffing unused runes.
To read about the changes done to a specific class, click one of the links below:
Since I mostly play the Demon Hunter and the Witch Doctor, I will only be commenting on the changes done to those classes.
According to Blizzard:
Out of the five Diablo III classes, witch doctors are receiving the most attention in patch 1.0.4.
And they weren't kidding! The changes done to this class are exactly what I was hoping for, considering I have been using the "Pet Build" since release pretty much. They were dead on when they said that pet survivability was pretty much non-existent in Nightmare upwards, especially in Multiplayer games. Thanks to changes done to multiplayer in previous patches (such as no damage buffs to monsters when players join), and changes done in this patch, pets should be way more effective now.
It took me some time to understand these changes, but I will try to explain it in the simplest way possible.
First off, both the Gargantuan and the Zombie Dogs have had their life scale with the player's. That exact values are 50% for the Gargantuan and 35% for the Zombie Dogs, plus they are having their passive life regeneration increased from 30 to 60! The Gargantuan also received a damage buff, increasing his damage from 25% to 100% of the player's damage.
Now here is where it gets interesting. No matter how much stats they stacked, Blizzard testers found out that pet tanking in Act 3 and 4 Inferno was just not happening. The damage was too high, and pets were dying almost instantly. So what they did was come up with this brilliant idea to give both the Gargantuan and the Zombie Dogs a shield that limits the maximum amount of damage they can take per hit! The exact damage cap is calculated based on the player's resistances and armor, but to fully understand the changes let us take the following example:
The sample Witch Doctor has 50,000 health, 60% damage reduction from Armor, and 50% mitigation from Resistances. Here is how it wold effect the Zombie Dogs:
- Their hp would be increased from the base value of 10,000 to 27500 (Base Life + (35% of 50,000)).
- The maximum damage the Zombie Dogs can take per hit would be 2000 (Base Life * 40% (damage not reduced by armor) * 50% (damage not reduced by Resistances)).
As you can see from the example above, the max damage per hit is actually calculated on the base life of the pet, and not on the value after it scales to your own. This makes it incredibly useful to stack life when going with a pet build, and also Resist All, Armor, Thorns, and Life Regeneration (assuming you are using the Fierce Loyalty rune).
I plan on building a calculator for the Witch Doctor pets, so stay tuned (link will be put on the side bar).
Witch Doctors are also getting an increase to the base mana regeneration from 20 to 45, and are getting a complete overhaul to how Vision Quest works. In case you missed the link, click here for the full info.
The changes done to Demon Hunters are not as comprehensive as those seen previously, but they still provided some much needed build diversity. Bola Shot, Entangling Shot, and Evasive Fire are all getting their damage increased so that they are much more competitive when it comes to choosing a hatred regeneration skill, as opposed to the complete domination of Hungering Arrow pre patch 1.0.4.
It's not just resource generators that are getting buffed, but also resource spenders. One change I liked so much is that they are doubling the damage done by Sentry, and if you are a hardcore Diablo 3 fan, you will understand the joke in this quote:
Sentry is also a very distinctive spell that doesn't get used very often. It's interesting mechanically, and it has some nice potential for team play, so we'd like to make it more attractive. The solution was pretty simple for this one: we took its damage, and then we doubled it.
Again, make sure you read the full article over at the official Blizzard site.
There are a lot of other changes done in this patch and it's impossible to mention everything. Instead here are the most important changes done besides the ones already mentioned:
- Increased damage on iLvl 60-62 items.
- Buffs to 2-handed weapons.
- Repair costs are down by 25% for items with an iLvl of 53 to 63.
- Players can now teleport in and out of Boss rooms after the boss is dead.
- The Blacksmith can now repair!
Phew! That was a long one! If you want to get a head start over other players, try taking a look at Diablo 3 Gold Secrets.