Patch notes for the Public Test Realm edition of Diablo 3 patch 1.05 have appeared on the Battle.net forums , with more details on the big Monster Power and Infernal Machine updates heading our way. Monster Power will "increase the health and damage of monsters according to different 'power levels'" yielding improved experience, gold and magic find for every power hike.
The Infernal Machine is a special challenge for level 60 players. The machine must be assembled from a series of secret objects. Once completed it'll unlock events featuring "not one, but two bosses which have been augmented from their original versions, both in terms of difficulty and appearance." Defeating a duo of uber bosses will drop gold, magic items and - if you're lucky - components for a unique legendary ring.
A bunch of class skills have been buffed again, which means it's time for another chin-stroking rethink of those builds I'd long since discarded as useless. The Demon Hunter in particular will get plenty of attention in the next patch, with significant buffs to basic skills like bola shot, which will be a lot more explodey in post-patch Sanctuary. The Demon Hunter's companion pets have had their toughness boosted and can let off some deadlier attacks.
There are a lot of changes designed to increase the value and availability of Nephalem Valour stacks. Previously you'd only gain a stack for slaying an elite mob, but you and all party members will gain one for opening Resplendent Chests. The contents of those chests, and loot dropped by unique enemies in Inferno events, will respond to the number of stacks you're rolling with at the time. This should make it easier for level 60 players to buff their magic and gold find quickly and find decent items faster.
Blizzard certainly seem intent on fixing major play complaints. They recently added 100 paragon levels that high level players can earn to increase their magic and gold find further. There's also a PvP mode in the works, though that's probably still some distance off.
But, suddenly, A NEW CONTENDER ENTERS THE RING. Torchlight 2 came out yesterday, offering a budget alternative with LAN support and offline play that Diablo 3 will never have. Chris will be busy reviewing it over the course of the weekend, but you can read his first impressions of Torchlight 2 to see how he's getting on so far.