We’ve finished up another excellent Blizzcon event – not only bringing to a close some tournament championships for the Blizzard flagship games, but also showcasing some new content, patches, and other improvements for these games. If you’ve missed our Blizzcon Recap here on respawn.ninja, go check it out for an overview of what went down.
I’m going to take a look at the Diablo 3 2.4.0 announcements to unpack what we have in this horadric cube of an update – to see what’s in here and how it affects this stalwart RPG fantasy that has been with us for an extremely long time.
Diablo 3 (D3) had a very tumultuous start after release, even more so than Starcraft 2’s initial installment Wings of Liberty – with many issues flaring up and getting patched up, and just a general feel that it wasn’t the same. Along the way there were some great patches that helped turn the tide and convert things to the way they should have been; including removing the ludicrous auction house, updating the playstyle with rifts and other methods of continuing on your character’s journey, and the tiny little things that came along like changes to the way various gems worked.
One thing that has thoroughly impressed me with D3 is the way that Blizzard continue to foster support and love for this game with the constant patching and updates to the game. As someone who’s mainly entrenched in the world of Starcraft, “the norm” for me is that Blizzard will update something after some thorough playtesting, and after they glaze over some community feedback – but all-in-all, it’s just a change to what’s currently in the game and that’s it. But that’s the way Starcraft is – it’s an RTS built on solid foundations, and you can’t just go and shove new things in easily without a billion threads on Reddit/Teamliquid popping up claiming that someone should be fornicated with a tire iron.
But D3 over the course since it’s inception has constant patching which has led many many people to come back over and over. It’s a little like a friend who may not be your best buddy and you hang out with them all the time – but the stories they can tell when you do catch-up are great to hear. Not to disrespect our nerdly friends who dine out on D3 for 12+ hours a day – those guys and gals are the true children of D3. Grinding out up to paragon 2k-3k in a season and testing new and intriguing ways of playing the game, causing Blizzard to step up their work on ensuring they are delivering the best possible product they can muster – and they do a damn fine job of it – and the upcoming patch 2.4.0 is a testament to that.
To start with, there is a new zone Greyhollow Island which will be exclusive to Adventure mode, containing new creatures and magics that the player will need to conquer. This is the type of addition that I love in D3 – something new and unchartered to quest through – allowing you to not only re-acquire your taste for some thrilling RPG action, but entertainment at the same time.
Along with the new zone are some expansions in Sanctuary to the Eternal Woods and Royal Quarters which as above will be great for players who want to journey through some new and exciting areas of the game.
Empowered Rifts will be a very interesting addition, essentially allowing you to drop the plethora of gold that you (may) have acquired on more rolls for your legendary gems. This should be a good addition to the game, though perhaps the more casual (like me) aspect of the player base won’t have as much access to this type of thing – but I do respect that “gold sinking” has been an issue with D3 for a long time, I’m sure this will help out.
There are going to be over 150 new bounties added to the pool, and personally as a more casual D3 player I am really excited for this. I know a lot of the hardcore players won’t be as phased – bounties are something where the first couple of times doing it, it’s a cool little task. But as time moves on and if you’re a bit of a grinding player – they will seem more akin to World of Warcraft’s “dailies”. More so on the monotonous side and not really that interesting – just a chore to get through to your main goal.
New legendary items and set revamps will come through, including a few very needed changes like the update to the Thorns of the Invoker set. I’m not a huge fan of crusaders but I do know from a few friends that this set was expecting a change given that it was a little… interesting, shall we say.
To help assist with the new sets and obviously with existing sets that people might already enjoy – new Set Dungeons will be added in, allowing players to finish a quasi-quest relating to their set they’ve completed. This is a really cool addition and I always enjoyed hunting down sets even back in Diablo 2 (hello Trang-Ouls for Necromancer!) – and this adds in a little dessert once you’ve completed it. Essentially – once you finish up your 6 pieces of a class set, you’ll pick up a clue to find a dungeon that you can go into and get some cool cosmetics. The dungeons themselves will no doubt be a challenge – however they aren’t randomised like most dungeons, so if you head into one and have a hard time, you can pop back and restart with a new skill-set in play.
Updates like this really give the game some longevity, and as mentioned earlier they help to encourage players to continue along with the journey of their character. The Seasonal Journey which was added a while back really started this trend, and these new changes add in a little extra flavour which will help out. Some people would think “Well I’m maximum level now – what do I do?” – now we’ve got challenges to grind out sets and cool cosmetics, paragon levels to obtain, gems to level up, and of course the seasonal journey which can certainly be a challenge.
There’s a whole lot more to look forward to so definitely go check out more details about the 2.4.0 patch here. I’m really impressed and wholeheartedly look forward to what Diablo 3 has in store for us once this patch comes out!