Diablo 3 tweaking Inferno, crafting, Legendary items
by Alice O'Connor, shacknews.com, May 29, 2012 6:00AM PDT
Update: Blizzard is currently applying the 1.02 patch. Servers are expected to be down until 11 a.m. PST.
Original Story: Having poked idly at Diablo III's balance with a stick in hotfixes, Blizzard has started revealing its plans for future balance updates. In the near future, expect changes to damage spikes in Inferno difficulty, crafting, Legendary items, and more.
Blizzard's blog post offered a little more insight into the recent skill hotfixes, saying that Lingering Fog, Boon of Protection and Force Armor were "simply more powerful than they should be." While it's fine for certain abilities to be powerful, Blizzard says, "If any single skill or rune feels absolutely required to progress, it means that skill is working against our goal of encouraging build diversity--and those 'required' skills need to be corrected."
While Inferno is certainly intended to be difficult, Blizzard explains in a blog post that it's mean to present a "very consistent drain on your health" but has too many damage spikes right now.
Blizzard does note that a "pretty significant number of people" have ventured into Inferno severely undergeared, so if you're struggling too much, head back to Hell and gear up.
You're unlikely to get your new gear from the blacksmith, though, given that he's widely agreed to be a waste of money compared to the auction house, so Blizzard's working on him. The costs of both training and crafting will be reduced for levels 1-59, and combining gems will only take two gems, rather than three--because, again, it's cheaper to buy gems on the AH.
Fixing underpowered Legendary items is a little trickier, and will come in several stages. First, Blizzard plans to display the item level of gear level 60+ so people can better see why they're finding plain magical items which are more useful. After that, it'll "straight-out buff" Legendaries, probably in the patch which introduces PvP, then work on giving Legendary items more diverse and unique bonuses.
Some of these balance tweaks will arrive in patch 1.0.3, while others are further off into the future. Before all this, though, is patch 1.0.2, which should arrive this week and is "mainly aimed at addressing service issues."