You've gotta hand it to the Diablo 3 team lately. It seems like almost every day, they're coming out with some kind of promise on how to improve the game based on community feedback. (This week, I think it actually has been every single day.) The latest such statement came from a forum discussion on how it's often very difficult to farm as efficiently in a group as you can solo. This is problematic in an always-online game with a strong multiplayer design focus.
"We are looking to improve co-op farming efficiency in 1.0.8," Senior Technical Designer Wyatt Cheng wrote. "Co-op play in general is a big focus of the 1.0.8 patch and efficiency is definitely one component of that. Co-op is already more efficient for some players, but this is the exception rather than the norm. The degree of co-op efficiency depends heavily on the co-ordination of the party, skill builds, and the relative gear level of the teammates. Since launch we've made some modest changes to encourage co-op play but there's still room to go farther. At the same time, we don't want to go so far as to make multiplayer feel 'mandatory' for those who prefer to play solo, but we still want to err on the side of being co-op favorable."
This comes on the heels of assurances that focus will be
shifting away from the auction house
itemization will be tweaked
to hopefully alleviate the feeling of grinding for hours and finding nothing useful.
From what I've heard so far, 1.0.8 might get me back into Diablo 3 for the first time since last fall. It certainly seems like the team is moving in the right direction now, but the launch backlash was so strong, that it might take a full expansion (which we know is on the way) to get a significant number of people to return to Sanctuary.