The Diablo III as we know it is no more. Introducing Diablo III 2.0, ushered in with today's 2.0.1 patch, is now live and I doubt anyone's going to want to go back. With 2.0.1 several portions of the game have been entirely recreated including: the difficulty levels have been trashed, replaced entirely; how loot drops is completely reworked in "Loot 2.0"; Paragon levels, how they level and what bonuses they provide, is completely reworked in "Paragon 2.0"; plus some new community features like clans. Blizzard's really outdone themselves this time around. To think this may just preparation for the Reaper of Souls expansion... awesome.
While going into the entire list of patch notes would be a bit too expansive of a single article, I did want to key in on the major features that I mentioned above:
- Nightmare, Hell, and Inferno modes have been removed
- Difficulty is now dynamic and monsters will level up with your characters
- There are now five difficulty settings to choose from: Normal, Hard, Expert, Master, and Torment
- Torment level also includes a difficulty slider, offering an additional six adjustments with increasing rewards and more powerful monsters
- Loot 2.0 - Only effects new items that drop, where existing items will not be effected
- The Smart Drop System - Smart Loot items roll intelligently based on the character being played (example: A Wizard is more likely to find items with Intelligence or bonuses to Wizard skills than a Barbarian).
- Item properties have been separated into two categories: Primary and Secondary, this is to prevent stats that directly and indirectly increase character power from competing with one another
- Stat ranges on items have been narrowed significantly (example: instead of an item having a stat range of 1-200 Strength, its range might now be something like 140-200)
- All Legendary items have been reworked
- Paragon 2.0
- There is no longer a cap on the number of Paragon levels a player can gain
- Players now earn Paragon points each level to spend in one of four separate categories: Core, Offense, Defense, and Utility (Paragon levels have been refunded so players can invest points amongst these categories)
- Paragon levels are now account-wide and shared across all characters and existing Paragon levels across each player's account have been added totaled and recalculated
- Should be pretty self-explanatory: Make or be invited to a clan, of which you can only be a member of one at any given time
- 120 players maximum per clan
- Features a Members Roster, a Private Chat, and a News & Info tab
Of course, that's just the tip of the iceberg in terms of patch 2.0.1. All character classes have had severe changes to their skills in order to rebalance them. Monster strength, how they spawn, where they spawn and the abilities they have has all been reworked too -- and don't even get me started on bosses! Crafting has been changed, simplified, too, and then several pieces of the GUI have also been smoothed over just for the 2.0 transition.
I'll absolutely be patching tonight and rerolling a Diablo III character. Maybe a Barbarian or a Monk this time. It's exciting to see Blizzard not only addressing fan complaints, but doing their best to keep their game fit and trim almost two years after launch. Bring on Reaper of Souls; I say it's high time for a huge new campaign.