Weekly Roundup: Happy Birthday Diablo!

Diablo3Anniversary

Diablo 3 came out two years ago! Two years! That’s time gone by so quickly it’s unbelievable. To celebrate, Blizzard have increased legendary drop rate by 100% and will earn double rift fragments on their bounties from 15th-22nd May. Take a wild guess as to where the majority of my gaming time has been this week… If you guessed it was Hello Kitty: Island Adventure I’ll have to disappoint.

I’ve actually spent a lot less time than I’ve wanted the past few days starting the anniversary holiday in Diablo, but I’d still say a sizable chunk of my online time has been on there. I’ve managed to get new boots, new shoulders and my first Tal Rasha’s piece on my Wizard so far. I’m also certainly enjoying the increased drop rate of the worse legendaries just to get more Forgotten Souls to get better reforges and whatnot.

With news of patch 5.4.8 on the horizon, and gear upgrades going up another 8 item levels for SoO gear, we decided on halting progression on Blackfuse for the time being, to get some more gear improvements through either gearing alts/bench players, getting Warforged gear or generally getting upgrades through other means (still no Immerseus trinket though, QQ). When the patch drops, we can upgrade 8 items in the first week if they’re already 2/2 upgrades to 4/4, so hopefully on next Sunday’s raid we can get a bigger dent into Blackfuse by being able to take care of the belt or mines or whatever just that little bit easier. Sure, we’re struggling on mechanics, but getting rid of those mechanics faster might be that push we need to get onto Paragons, and then Garrosh himself.

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It’s good that Blizz are looking at new ways of nerfing content: In ICC we saw the zone-wide buff to players’ health, healing and damage; in Dragon Soul, tier 14 and Throne of Thunder bosses received health and damage reductions in a zonewide debuff on them all; and now Blizzard are looking to buff players again, but in a new fashion of us being able to choose where we upgrade our gear to do more damage or healing, or get more health. Over time, it will act similar to the 5/10/15/etc% stacking (de)buffs, but the immediate punch to those of us with 3k valor already will notice a significant difference straight away.

I know instanced PvP has an item level cap, but I wonder if world PvP will be impacted by those that will end up having full 588 HCWF gear, against those Prideful PVPers with only 550 iLvl. Is this Blizzard preparing for perhaps another PvP season before Warlords is out? I’m certainly hoping for more expansion details soon, as I’m pretty sure it won’t be a happy BlizzCon if there’s no Warlords out by then… Though having said that, even a month before BlizzCon would be awkward for the race to world first – unless we end up having a live raid between Method and Blood Legion or whatever at BlizzCon to watch them attempt new bosses right in front of us.

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3 thoughts on “Weekly Roundup: Happy Birthday Diablo!

  1. With Blizzcon in early November I doubt they would release WoD anytime between September and Blizzcon. Far too many top PvE players would just refuse to take timeout of progress to go and lets face it for many PvE raiders out there the live raids at blizzcon are one of the highlights. If thats the case it will need to be an early September/late August release and thats if the Beta was pushed out soon. if we dont see Beta until July/August time im thinking a few weeks after Blizzcon if not the week after for release. I get that the new systems being put in place are making this a huge expac but arent they all huge? Havent they been developing WoD since just after MoP release? Surely the item squish systems have been worked on since they realised during MoP development numbers were going to become ridiculous. I have to say over a year of SoO is quite a painful prospect but at the same time atleast it gives us time to get a Garrosh HC kill.

    • I believe Blizz have two teams working on WoW expansions now, in that as soon as they’re done with one expansion, ground work is started on not the next expansion, but the one after that. In essence, as soon as Cataclysm was released, Warlords was being fleshed out from its original brainstorm.

      Obviously the Cata team still had a lot of focus on Cata while it was out, developing patches and that for it, but Warlords was more than just a twinkle in a developer’s eye by that stage. Last year, Blizzard said that they were further along with Warlords than they were with Mists for the same time frame post-expansion, but fast-forwarding to May 2014 it seems a little dubious to not hear anything about beta yet.

      There’s no annual pass this time around to stagger so many people into the beta, so hopefully we’ll see a shorter beta period this time around, and I can imagine with boosted character and item levels we could get straight into raid testing on day 1 of beta. Mythic would have to be on its short-duration tests, with levelling in the world in general too. It’ll be interesting to see how they deal with the three flexible difficulties, if they’ll be available to test whenever we choose (and get boosted iLvls when inside) like they did on testing Flex for 5.4.

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