Diablo 3's 1.04 patch is rolling out onto live servers today, bringing with it 100 new levels of advancement, big buffs to legendary items, and an angelic host of class buffs. I got a chance to chat up Blizzard about the philosophy behind the changes in this patch and going forward, and why it's okay for Diablo's heroes to be overpowered.
Change can be hard. When Diablo III's aesthetic direction was first revealed, parts of the Diablo II community erupted with complaints, claiming that the graphics weren't in the true spirit of the Diablo series. But what about the gameplay itself? As a hardcore D2 player, with plenty of alts, gear, and Stone of Jordans stashed away in the bank, I wanted to know what Diablo III would offer to players who consider themselves intimately familiar with D2's mechanics. We asked D3's senior technical game designer Wyatt Cheng and senior game designer Andrew Chambers about what parallels we could expect from the next installment. We were surprised by what's actually making it into the game, and it's great getting insight into Blizzard's viewpoint on hardcore gamers.